Jump to content
Godforsaken

Module Suggestion

Recommended Posts

Greetings friends, I am a new keeper to CoC, me and my players never played it, though we are very familiar with the works of H.P Lovecraft. 

I started looking for modules to run for my players. I of course watched Seth Skorkowsky's videos, and looked all around the net. The main problem that I find is that most modules start very nice and creepy, but end in combat with monsters and cultists. And usually they use the monsters very bluntly, the cultists summon something and now the climax is just combat with a monster. I find that the concept of shooting a creature of the Mythos, literally steals all the mystery from the creature.

My question is, are there any modules that are a bit more subtle? something maybe more close to season 1 of True Detective, but with more of the Mythos in it.

Thank you for your answers and help :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The short answer is yes.

I do suggest you pick up the Call of Cthulhu Starter Set (across the 4 scenarios in that set, combat is not the only solution, and in most cases is the wrong solution). Also Doors to Darkness, Reign of Terror, Petersen's Abominations, Nameless Horrors. Doors to Darkness and the Starter Set are specifically geared to newer players and Keepers.

Combat is a valid solution sometimes, but isn't the only solution  - most scenarios written the last few years understand that, and provide advice or suggestions on a range of solutions. Ultimately, it's down to the players to decide how they deal with the situation they uncover. Older scenarios tend to be more focused on combat as the only solution, but even these can be tweaked to allow different outcomes. Also, remember, there are many monsters who are unaffected by bullets.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Godforsaken said:

I find that the concept of shooting a creature of the Mythos, literally steals all the mystery from the creature.

You're doing it right for sure, IMHO.

Edited by Steve
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting! Think of published scenarios as a set of tools, not an established end point. The challenge of writing scenarios for a wide audience is referencing the myriad of possible outcomes. At the end of the day, investigative role-playing is about investigating. How a scenario is play-tested can have an impact on its final form too. While scenarios do sometimes make the assumption that players will fight it, I approach any scenario as a Keeper with a "this is available for use" mentality. But just because a monster is stat-ed-out or the module says the players should fight it, doesn't mean you can't do better with your players.

  Also, consider that part of the mystery can be trying to figure out HOW to fight something. And the answer to that question might be something specific, or the answer may be that it isn't possible to fight it. I find that a big part of transitioning players from combat-focused games to CoC is to "prove" to them that combat often isn't a viable option. It's better to prove that through clues than in combat itself. Description can be the most powerful tool here. The more horribly you describe it the more likely your Investigators may see it as foolhardy to attempt direct conflict.

Also, consider trying to avoid the "perfect timing" fallacy as a key way to up the horror and minimize the combat-focus. Further reading:

 

Edited by klecser
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are some amazing suggestions, thank you. A friend of mine have the Doors to Darkness book, and in it there is the Servants of The Lake scenario. I think if tuned down with all the zombies and monsters could be really cool and frighting, I really think that people acting monstrously is a much more frighting and shocking prospect, than to discover they were monsters all along. This scenario can also work very well with the ideas you present in your "Perfect Timing Fallacy" article, as there are plenty of encounters there that will benefit from arriving to late or to early. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Godforsaken said:

Those are some amazing suggestions, thank you. A friend of mine have the Doors to Darkness book, and in it there is the Servants of The Lake scenario. I think if tuned down with all the zombies and monsters could be really cool and frighting, I really think that people acting monstrously is a much more frighting and shocking prospect, than to discover they were monsters all along. This scenario can also work very well with the ideas you present in your "Perfect Timing Fallacy" article, as there are plenty of encounters there that will benefit from arriving to late or to early. 

I think that one of the great unspoken divides in the hobby is convention versus campaign thinking. People can be successful with both, but I find that many GMs tend to gravitate towards one or the other, for whatever reason. And there is nothing wrong with either of them, unless they get in the way of Maximum Game Fun. Convention scenario thinking is often fight-this, high-risk, high-death. I think part of the reason for that is that when people take the time to go to a convention, they want "action" to happen, whether that is a natural aspect of the game in question or not. Campaign thinking needs to take a different tack. If there is a high death rate in a campaign, you don't really have a campaign. It is actually just a series of one-shots stitched together with different characters. For people to tell good stories, we have to see our characters grow, learn, and go on journeys. And the best way to do that in CoC is with existential dread and fear of the unknown, not physical threat. The Sanity mechanic is a way to keep track of this. Why not use it to its fullest? If a character dies, the Sanity mechanic becomes irrelevant except in the moment.

Of course, every game group is different. Doors to Darkness is very much designed to transition groups away from the "fight everything" mentality of DND/Pathfinder. That can be difficult though, because people do find that fun. So what you see in Doors to Darkness is the compromise: scenarios with monsters that the players can fight, but also plenty of investigative fodder and really beautiful settings.

Here is how I switched up Darkness Beneath the Hill:

I don't see a spoiler option  on my edit bar, so don't read if you don't want to be spoiled:

<spoiler>Darkness Beneath the Hill reads as if it assumes that the Ghasts will attack player characters. I played them as intelligent body guards that were more bemused that the players dared to enter the realm, and who waited for S'syaa H'Riss to give them the go-ahead before attacking. But that doesn't mean that they aren't described as incredibly menacing. I had also intended for the players to have the option of working with the Serpent Sorcerer if the conversation went amicably, so I stationed a Ghast in the egg room to deter the players from destroying them. And it not only worked, but it created this awesome encounter where a character with PTSD had a Bought of Madness and attempted to attack the ghast. And it became the party trying to subdue the player to STOP an attack on a ghast. All while the ghast is licking its chops, but clearly subservient to its master. And now I have a campaign situation where the players are loosely allied with First Empire Serpents against Second Empire Serpents, and shaping up to be a lead in to The Two Headed Serpent.</spoiler>

So, published adventures are tools. Nothing more. It is ok to not have a convention approach if your needs are different. It is ok to develop beginner scenarios to be more robust if you are ready for that. Your Game Will Vary and that is ok. Don't let anybody tell you that there is "one right way" to play Call of Cthulhu. They're wrong.

Edited by klecser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don’t mind modern, try Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home by Stygian Fox. There are two potential monsters and some cult members but I ran it for two groups and neither involved combat. Plus it’s one of the all time great CoC scenarios.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...