Email sent to the players before the first session:
As we’re only a few weeks away from the first session I thought I ought to send an email out about what we’ll be playing come the end of the month. I’m pretty sure you’re all aware that I will be running “something” using the Call of Cthulhu rules system. I also know that all of you have played the system at some point to know that adopting the “Hack & Slash” approach of D&D won’t work in Cthulhu and will usually end up with your characters being “hacked and slashed”.
As a GM (or Keeper of Arcane Lore as we’re called in Cthulhu) I love the system, the setting, and the superb role play it usually generates, so I’m looking forward to running it again a lot.
However, I need to apologise in advance to you all. And here’s why…
In trying to decide what exactly I’d like to run I did a lot of background reading, a lot of posting on certain forums I read, and some generic scheming. In doing so I established that there were at least two classic Cthulhu campaigns that I’d love to have a crack at running, so I concentrated on them for a bit to see which it would be. From doing that I eventually ruled out that you won’t be going to Antarctica in game, as I’ve elected to not run “Beyond the Mountains of Madness”. I will run this campaign at some point, but now isn’t the time. This left the other campaign that interested me which involves taking a trip on a very famous train.
So I started prepping running this campaign, but at the same time I kept on reading forums and surfing the interwebs, and it was then that I discovered Campaign #3. I probably should have stopped myself from reading it, but I didn’t and discovered that this too was something I’d really like to run. And then it occurred to me – there was the ability to be able to combine and run both.
So instead of just the one Cthulhu campaign, filled with the usual amount of horror and terrible deeds, there will now be a combination of two campaigns (Tatters of the King and Horror on the Orient Express – don’t go reading them, it’ll spoil it for you!) and several smaller scenarios all brought together to create the EPIC CAMPAIGN OF DOOM!
Or as I’m now entitling it “An Unspeakable Journey…”
So yes, sorry… this does rather mean that instead of the usual two or three backup character concepts you’re suggested to come up with (or four or five in Hoppy’s case) you might to think of a few more if it all goes wrong at any point.
Enough of that – here’s some info about the game to get you thinking about what you’d like to play (although I’m fine with you choosing to wait until the first session to decide as I won’t be accepting pre-made characters, everyone will roll up stats at the same time on the Friday evening).
The game will be set in the 1920’s (I can’t give you the exact year yet, but will be able to close to the weekend) and will to start with the action will focus on the UK, kick off will likely be in London. You won’t be limited to playing a Brit though, you just need to be there when the game begins. There should also be connections in the party group so that you can all be brought together for whatever reason – but these can be talked about when we we’re all together. Also there’s likely to be NPC’s that some of you will know well to make the game run easier (these NPC’s I like to refer to as sacrificial goats).
Due to the some of the aspects of the campaign there will be a few character types that would be useful to have in the party such as:
An Alienist (what we used to call Psychiatrists back in the 1920’s) or Psychologist who is published in his field.
Some people connected to or interested in the Arts, so maybe an author, an actor, an opera singer, an artist, an expert in one of the Arts etc
Also there are some skills which are particularly useful:
Credit Rating: Other than this being used to procure money when you need it, it also establishes you as someone who is well off or well respected – how prosperous and confident you are. This skill can be a real bonus when trying to get out of a sticky situation with the law, or similar.
Languages: Lets just say there might be some travelling done in this game to various places (and that there will always be fun books to read in a variety of languages) – having people who can speak various lingos might be useful.
Don’t stress too much about character ideas now, as you might find in talking as a group you all come up with something different and potentially more fun, but ideally having some of the above will be very helpful for all concerned. I will explain more when we’re all together on the 25th.
If you do have any questions before then, just let me know.