You Only Have One Shot

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Wordcraftian
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You Only Have One Shot

Post by Wordcraftian » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:01 am

Hello people of the page,

First, I have very little experience when it comes to Keeping the Lore... okay, I have NO experience. Greener than great Cthulhu's pubic hair (if you'll pardon the image).

I'm looking to pop my keeping cherry within the next couple of weeks on a game played over the interwebz. Probably Google+. Just two or three friends from back home who have been begging me to keep a Call of Cthulhu game for them.

My first time out, I certainly don't want to bite off more than I can chew; and this, dear friends, is where I humbly ask for your assistance.

I want a quick little one shot scenario that leans pure and packs a punch. Something I can wrap up in an hour or two (minus character creation). I would prefer the regular BRP rules as opposed to Cthulhu Dark, because who wants to lose their virginity wearing a condom?

Do any of you know of PDFs (preferably cheap or free), that would scratch this itch? Also, I would love to hear about your experience playing or running whatever you suggest.

Thank you, fellow Miskatonians, for your input.
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trevlix
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Re: You Only Have One Shot

Post by trevlix » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:11 pm

The standard is The Haunting, which is in the free Call of Cthulhu quick start. I'm not sure you can get that done in 2 hours, especially for newbies, but it should be close.
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Re: You Only Have One Shot

Post by Wordcraftian » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:14 am

trevlix wrote:The standard is The Haunting, which is in the free Call of Cthulhu quick start. I'm not sure you can get that done in 2 hours, especially for newbies, but it should be close.


Thanks! Initially, I wanted to avoid this one because one of my players has a copy of the core rule book and I didn't want to run a game he'd already read. But I just checked with him and he says he's not read it. As this is the top suggested scenario for new Keepers across all of the internet, I will definitely have a go at it.

Who else has run this game? Does anybody have any hints, tips, or tricks? The guys I'll be playing with are used to high fantasy role playing. They have an interest in some purist Cthulhu for a change (I'm not trying to convert them, they are willing participants), and are experienced gamers. Alas, I am not. Any edge you can offer, would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: You Only Have One Shot

Post by Keeper Dan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:18 am

Here's my Haunting ideas that I've implemented in the past. I thought about just what Corbitt was doing down in the basement. I decided that it was a kind of cocoon, and that he was slowly changing into something else. I had him actually absorbing the structure of the house as a new body, which would again change once the assimilation was complete.
To this end, while investigators were looking around the house, I was able to do more than have Corbitt do telekinetic attacks. The house was him. If anyone thinks to touch the walls, the wall has a soft and warm feel. If they look really close, there are pores, and the pattern of the wallpaper is formed by very fine hairs.
I had occasional drafts in odd places to show breathing. Creaks and groans happened when he was woken up to their presence.
If they break through walls, make sure to make it messy and gross. Support beams have taken on a heavy bone-like quality, and electrical wiring is like sinew.
They're in the makings if a great beast that will be causing chaos when the stars are right, so they need to do something about it. And it might not be enough to destroy Corbitt's body in the cellar. There may be too much of him now in the house.

Listen to the live play of Cluethulhu that Jon played in. That has very similar ideas in it for you to use for inspiration.

I'd also recommend looking at the free handouts on YSDC for nicer looking newspaper articles and such.
You might want to explain at the beginning that it's an investigation game, so the players know that they should look around at resources to get the history of the place before going in. That's not an intuitive thing for people used to playing tactical combat games like D&D.
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Re: You Only Have One Shot

Post by trevlix » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:41 pm

The issue, I think, is that 2 hours at max is a really short time to play Call of Cthulhu in (or any RPG for that matter). I have seen it done though. I remember playing in a number of 2-hour events at Origins a number of years ago that were really just an intro to CoC.

Instead of looking for a full scenario to run, I suggest creating a 3-part situation for the investigators to explore. Part 1 will be the hook, part 2 the investigation (in 1 or 2 scenes), and part 3 the finale. You should be able to stretch it out to 1-2 hours and give your players an experience. So, for example from my previous playing experience:

Part 1: Players are all MU students. They find out a fellow grad student studying physics has gone missing. Their curiosity is piqued, or a professor/friend/etc asks if they can look into it.

Part 2: The players investigate the missing student. The two major scenes are in the student's office and the planetarium. Investigating the office, the players eventually find notes that the student had been studying some esoteric lore concerning astronomy and found a summoning spell that he wanted to try. Information pointing to the planetarium is found.

At the planetarium, the players find signs of a struggle. In a hidden compartment, they find the book the student was using.

Part 3: The student had cast the spell the two nights ago and summoned a fire vampire. Unfortunately, he did not have the binding spell so the fire vampire attacked. He barely escaped and is planning on coming back tonight to cast a dismissal spell. If the players camp out, they will see him come back. If they don't, or they stake out his apartment/dorm, they will see him. Regardless, when they do find him he tries to explain what happened, but the fire vampire attacks.

Beyond that is really based on the players and the rolls of the dice. If the grad student is killed, what do the players do with the fire vampire? Does it leave (but thats not fun)? Do they try to dismiss it themselves? If he does survive, do they protect him, etc.

This is just a quick example and honestly is off the top of my head so its not very thought out. However, I hope it shows what I was talking about. Taking a full scenario might be too much for your timeframe, but taking a specific scene or part of a scenario may work.
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Re: You Only Have One Shot

Post by Wordcraftian » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:01 pm

Thank you for all the advice. I'm come to terms with the fact that I may have to split this one shot into multiple sessions. Not quite sure I've got the cops to run my own scenario just yet.

I really dig the living organic house stuff!
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Re: You Only Have One Shot

Post by Keeper Jon » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:34 pm

Keeper Dan wrote:Here's my Haunting ideas that I've implemented in the past. I thought about just what Corbitt was doing down in the basement. I decided that it was a kind of cocoon, and that he was slowly changing into something else. I had him actually absorbing the structure of the house as a new body, which would again change once the assimilation was complete.
To this end, while investigators were looking around the house, I was able to do more than have Corbitt do telekinetic attacks. The house was him. If anyone thinks to touch the walls, the wall has a soft and warm feel. If they look really close, there are pores, and the pattern of the wallpaper is formed by very fine hairs.
I had occasional drafts in odd places to show breathing. Creaks and groans happened when he was woken up to their presence.
If they break through walls, make sure to make it messy and gross. Support beams have taken on a heavy bone-like quality, and electrical wiring is like sinew.
They're in the makings if a great beast that will be causing chaos when the stars are right, so they need to do something about it. And it might not be enough to destroy Corbitt's body in the cellar. There may be too much of him now in the house.

Listen to the live play of Cluethulhu that Jon played in. That has very similar ideas in it for you to use for inspiration.

I'd also recommend looking at the free handouts on YSDC for nicer looking newspaper articles and such.
You might want to explain at the beginning that it's an investigation game, so the players know that they should look around at resources to get the history of the place before going in. That's not an intuitive thing for people used to playing tactical combat games like D&D.


OMG!!! I freaking LOVE this idea!!!!

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Re: You Only Have One Shot

Post by Dr. Gerard » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:54 pm

Keeper Dan wrote:Here's my Haunting ideas that I've implemented in the past. I thought about just what Corbitt was doing down in the basement. I decided that it was a kind of cocoon, and that he was slowly changing into something else. I had him actually absorbing the structure of the house as a new body, which would again change once the assimilation was complete.
To this end, while investigators were looking around the house, I was able to do more than have Corbitt do telekinetic attacks. The house was him. If anyone thinks to touch the walls, the wall has a soft and warm feel. If they look really close, there are pores, and the pattern of the wallpaper is formed by very fine hairs.
I had occasional drafts in odd places to show breathing. Creaks and groans happened when he was woken up to their presence.
If they break through walls, make sure to make it messy and gross. Support beams have taken on a heavy bone-like quality, and electrical wiring is like sinew.
They're in the makings if a great beast that will be causing chaos when the stars are right, so they need to do something about it. And it might not be enough to destroy Corbitt's body in the cellar.



Dude. You just made The Haunting 100 times better for me. And way more Lovecraftian.
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Re: You Only Have One Shot

Post by Keeper Dan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:59 pm

What can I say, that's how I roll. :accept:
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Re: You Only Have One Shot

Post by KeeperMurph » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:37 pm

Keeper Dan wrote:Here's my Haunting ideas that I've implemented in the past. I thought about just what Corbitt was doing down in the basement. I decided that it was a kind of cocoon, and that he was slowly changing into something else. I had him actually absorbing the structure of the house as a new body, which would again change once the assimilation was complete.
To this end, while investigators were looking around the house, I was able to do more than have Corbitt do telekinetic attacks. The house was him. If anyone thinks to touch the walls, the wall has a soft and warm feel. If they look really close, there are pores, and the pattern of the wallpaper is formed by very fine hairs.
I had occasional drafts in odd places to show breathing. Creaks and groans happened when he was woken up to their presence.
If they break through walls, make sure to make it messy and gross. Support beams have taken on a heavy bone-like quality, and electrical wiring is like sinew.
They're in the makings if a great beast that will be causing chaos when the stars are right, so they need to do something about it. And it might not be enough to destroy Corbitt's body in the cellar. There may be too much of him now in the house.

Listen to the live play of Cluethulhu that Jon played in. That has very similar ideas in it for you to use for inspiration.

I'd also recommend looking at the free handouts on YSDC for nicer looking newspaper articles and such.
You might want to explain at the beginning that it's an investigation game, so the players know that they should look around at resources to get the history of the place before going in. That's not an intuitive thing for people used to playing tactical combat games like D&D.

We should expand on this idea and do a reprised edition of the haunting.

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