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Overheard at the game shop

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I made my third failed attempt to join a pickup D&D game at one of my local game shops this morning -- not because I especially want to play D&D 5th but because I'm desperate to role-play and it seems to be the only game (heh) in town.  The newbies group I had planned to join failed to show up.  At the next table, a group of veteran D&Ders was prepping a new session; the Game Master was trying to persuade his group to try a different system, a sci-fi game he wanted to run.  He happened to mention that he'd once played a single session of Call of Cthulhu.  The only thing that happened in the scenario, he said, the whole point, was that at the end of a masquerade party Death showed up and shriveled the guests by touching them.  "And the CoC players all thought that was really cool.  Boy," the DM remarked, "Those Call of Cthulhu players are really weird."

 

I didn't say anything, I wasn't offended, but I had to chuckle to myself.  You see, my parents worried that I'd become the family warlock while I was playing Traveller and TOON and wouldn't come near a game shop if they knew of its existence.  And here I am as an adult surrounded by folks wearing black T-shirts with an angry wizard logo on them.  Posters of superheroes and stranger creatures adorn the walls.  The packages and books on the store shelves feature innumerable gruesome scenes.  The female D&Der at the next table who has been describing her psychotic fantasy character wears dangling skull earrings and a Doctor Who-ish straw hat.  The Dungeon Master is as grim and bald as one of Robert Howard's Stygian high priests.  And Call of Cthulhu players are especially weird compared to the general run of role-playing enthusiasts?

 

Um, don't mention to my Dad where I've been, OK?

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I'm the kind of Call of Cthulhu player that would try to set Death on fire, or blow it up with TNT.

I'm the same way, but to be honest, I think I am very poorly suited to a Call of Cthulhu game. I'm not a big Investigation+Horror guy. I'd have been investigating this grim reaper, and trying to figure out how to kill it, Winchester Brothers style.

 

I've yet to play Call of Cthulhu (though my girlfriend picked up CoC 5.6 used at our local gaming shop, and I have read through it), but when people describe it they tend to compare it to other things that I just didn't understand the appeal of/'get it'. I think I'm a bit too action-adventure/pulp for a typical investigation horror game.

 

It's possible that I have misunderstood some stuff, however, and that I'd actually enjoy Call of Cthulhu. I did like the Hellboy movies. I thought they were fantastic. But I'm not sure you usually get to kill the eldritch horrors by making them eat large quantities of explosives, in a Call of Cthulhu game.

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Call of Cthulhu is a great game, enjoyed by an awful lot of people and has been very successful over the years.

 

I am sure that Call of Cthulhu players are no stranger than players of other RPGs.

 

However, it has stuck me in the past that if you like angsty, creepy things and jump at horror films then you are probably going to like CoC. If you point out where the character in a horror film has gone wrong, enjoy the buckets of blood and laugh at zombies and monsters running around then you are probably going to miss the point.

 

Although I have played a number of CoC games, I have, generally, missed the point.  :)

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Enjoying CoC is just a matter of having read and loved Lovecraft's tales before becoming able to realize how bad they are.  :lol:  

 

 

In CoC PCs are straight men of the real stars: the monsters. So you want to put your character in the ultimate danger, because that's the only way to make the star appear in the spotlight and scare the imaginary audience. If your character manages to do that, you've done a good job; and if they're still be able to tell their story, that's a triumph!

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Postscript:

 

In their defense, the folks at the game shop were no more strange (had fewer tattoos and body piercings, were a whole lot cleaner) than the customers who come in my all-night grocery store at 3 a.m.  Since they rarely buy Pokemon cards, World of Warcraft refill subscriptions or D&D dice I must presume that these nocturnal patrons are not also gamers.

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Postscript:

 

In their defense, the folks at the game shop were no more strange (had fewer tattoos and body piercings, were a whole lot cleaner) than the customers who come in my all-night grocery store at 3 a.m.  Since they rarely buy Pokemon cards, World of Warcraft refill subscriptions or D&D dice I must presume that these nocturnal patrons are not also gamers.

Your all-night grocery store sells all those things? Wow. I'll be sure to visit if I'm ever in the neighbourhood.

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Your all-night grocery store sells all those things? Wow. I'll be sure to visit if I'm ever in the neighbourhood.

Was that "Wow" or "WoW"?   ;)

 

My store sells innumerable collectible trading cards, media-themed bobble heads, sports cards, even My Little Pony themed merchandise.  Rocketeer, Game of Thrones or Godzilla action figures?  We got 'em.  Sadly, no actual role-playing games (unless you count Lego Heroica).  At one time, we had the starter box for D&D 4th edition but after they sold out or were sent back no other such materials were ordered.

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I'm playing in a CoC game at the moment. Haven't played Cthulhu for years and I'd totally forgotten how much fun it was .

 

We're on a globe trotting escapade to discover the reason for a clients death. It was a little suspicious...

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We're on a globe trotting escapade to discover the reason for a clients death. It was a little suspicious...

 

Have they got a reclusive old uncle who lives in a turn of the century house? I'd start there, if I were you ...

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Have they got a reclusive old uncle who lives in a turn of the century house? I'd start there, if I were you ...

Yes.  It was built in 1999.  They had a big party there ...

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Strange that you should mention that...

 

The Uncle is the client we are investigating. And there was an old country house which had a little out building on a cliff edge on the grounds. There was definately something going on there, we bumped into a ghoul. I know it was a ghoul because it 'meeped' and 'glibbered'. We found a clue there that lead us to Old Blighty, where we had a similar experience but with a Hound of Tindalos, which was quite worrisome!

 

Then we had to catch a boat to Japan, took ages, where we found more clues, one of which lead us straight to a Star Vampire (I say Star Vampire as though I have some idea as to what is going on, but really it was a rather panicked event). I seem to remember us running away from that one... so we might have missed a clue there...

 

Fast forwarding with no montage at all... We are back in England, well Scotland actually, on the shores of Loch Ness, which feels quite safe and tame compared with some of the places we've been recently.

 

Thankfully my character isn't too smart so he still has most of his SAN left. The Professor however, has developed some OCD type behaviour though...

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Looking back at the original post reminded me of an incident when I was talking to my mum after playing Rune Quest. She wanted to know what I'd been doing at my mates and I said something like '... I almost joined a cult today...'

 

Oh, how we laughed... about an hour later when I had finally managed to successfully communicate what I actually meant :)

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Yes.  It was built in 1999.  They had a big party there ...

 

Damn kids - call that a century? When I was a lad, turn of the century meant around 1900.

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