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some humour and some useful tips (RPG)

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#1
arkhaminmate

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after a recent post about the RPG, i went through my collection and found some funny articles written by players. thought you might enjoy.

#2
arkhaminmate

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Call of Cthulhu Survival Tips

In a game like Call of Cthulhu, where the average lifespan of a player character is less than that of a mayfly, pointers a needed to stay on top of things.


Have you just inherited a mansion whose previous owner went mad, died horribly or simply vanished? Never ever sleep in the master bedroom, explore the unmapped caverns beneath the cellar and never try to find the source of that insane piping-sound going on at night. In fact, never ever visit the mansion in question.

Conduct investigations while the sun is still above the horizon. The common idea that night is the proper time for sneaking around and committing B&E is even deadlier than The Thousand-Faced Rotting Bubble-Person From Beyond ever could be.

Being illiterate is a good thing.

Yes, there is such a thing as too many tentacles.

Always bring a handgun, that way you can make sure that one of your friends will be in no shape to run when your group is chased by outer-dimensional hunting-creatures, thereby giving the horrible being something other than you to munch on. Hopefully.

Never become good friends with University professors. They are the living embodiment of trouble. In fact, watch out for people whose job is to read books, specifically old books, or tomes, as they like to call them. They always want help after having summoned The Horrible Horror with a Shady Reputation. Helping them will get you dead right quick or, at the very least, insane. Surreal happenings or outer-dimensional summoning may be commonplace in their lives; better not make it commonplace in your life.

Never date women who refer to themselves as cat-persons. Cuddly or not; the Cats from Saturn be damned!

Never go abroad. If you, for any reason, have to go abroad it better not be as a crewmember on an expedition.

Egypt and Antarctica kills off more investigators each year than cancer does.

Always bring explosives. Not pansy explosives like grenades instead bring bundles of TNT. Going to your cousins wedding? Great! Just remember to pack the TNT. TNT is good for some many things, like blowing up blasphemous temples or horrible proto-masses. Failing that, TNT makes great firewood for your final bonfire.

Never join a cult or sect. Enough said.

Curiosity did not kill the cat. Some unspeakable horror did. Not only that, it also turned the cat inside out, had pseudo pods grow from every orifice imaginable, gave it a taste for human blood and made it six times larger than before. Now the cat is coming for you.

Stay well away from mountain cabins. Every mountain cabin comes with an obligatory psychopath. Some cabin-retailers may allow for the psychopath to be exchanged for an Unknown Horror Existing in Far to Many Dimensions. Beware cabins!

Try not to live your life in England or New England. In fact, you should probably move to Sweden, a country where Mythos activity seems to quite non-existent.

Avoid anything that can be associated with the words ancient, elder, forgotten etc. I cannot emphasize this enough. Contracting Ebola is far more enjoyable than being torn to pieces over the course of seven years by the Ancient Guardian-Monstrosity.

Make a distinction between Good Slime and Evil Slime. Good Slime does not really do anything except maybe make you disgusted. Evil Slime, on the other hand, tends to eat you, dissolve you, expand like there is no tomorrow, et cetera. A surefire way of distinguishing between Good Slime and Evil Slime is this:
When you see a pool of slime for the first time, ask yourself these questions. But before proceeding, take heed; Good or Evil, no slime at all is better.
1. Does it shiver, move about or show any other sign of having means of producing kinetic energy by itself? No? Then it is probably safe to assume that you are dealing with Good Slime.
2. Does it have countless mouths and bulging eyes? No? Good Slime.
3. Does it talk? No? Good Slime.
4. Do you feel threatened in any way by this slime? No? Good Slime.
5. Poke the slime with a pointy stick. Does it react? No? Good Slime.
6. Have any of your pets disappeared lately? No? If yes, can you see the bones of your pets inside the slime? Yes? Evil Slime.
7. Did the slime come from outer space? No? Good Slime.

When dealing with beings of incomprehensible power, tread lightly. If you suddenly decompose, burst into flames, explode or suffer otherwise along similar lines you know you have done something wrong.

On the other hand, if you deal with beings of incomprehensible power you are a right git and deserve nothing less. Steer well clear of Outer Gods, Elder Gods, Old Ones and their ilk.

If your Keeper asks you to print out a couple of new character sheets before the session begins you know trouble and death are afoot. Suggest that you play Dungeons & Dragons instead; a game where being resurrected doesn’t automatically turn you into The True Spawn of Evil.

Of course, following these pointers alone is not really enough to keep your investigator alive. Common sense along with a big dose of self-preservation is also needed, but often sorely lacking when it comes to investigators in a game of Call of Cthulhu. Good luck, and remember: even how dreary it may sound, spending your last years in a retirement home is far better than spending your last years in a mental asylum eating bugs.

Some quick rules of survival for the Delta Green Operative:
* Always carry one more magazine than you expect to use.
* The abandoned mine never is.
* Painstakingly sealed refrigerators in the Green Box are probably painstakingly sealed for a purpose.
* If in doubt, empty the magazine.
* Never let your less-than-sane colleague carry the explosives.
* An autopsy-room is not a "safe place".
* Any dark strangers offering you gifts and favors should be avoided like the plague.
* When contemplating ways to execute your mission : think "Overkill".
* Sleep is only a bad substitute for caffeine.
* Always save the last bullet for the moron who got you into this.
* If that moron isn't you, aim for the legs. If you're going to get eaten alive so is he.
* Any offer to let you "Experience the Other Dimensions" should be tactfully declined ... with a shotgun blast.
* If you have no social skills: try "physical interrogation".
* Reading books is for the colleague you keep locked up in the nice room with soft walls.
* There is no such thing as "too many guns".
* Gasoline. Refueling cars is only its secondary use.
* When you enter a government facility and the toilet-doors are marked: "Men", "Women" and "Other" you might want to reconsider your position.
* Old Nazis never die. Period.
* Wimps fondle guns. Real Men fondle Doomsday-devices.

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#3
arkhaminmate

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The Ten Commandments of Cthulhu Hunting

Cthulhu investigators have an average lifespan only half the national
average. Their working careers are even shorter, compared to laymen,
because many investigators don't begin exploring the Mythos until late in
life. Such abbreviated careers are the result of psychological casualties
and death by misadventure. Such deaths are largely preventable by following
a few simple rules.



1) Keep It Secret
"Opinions were divided as to notifying the Massachusetts State Police, and
the negative finally won."
-H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror

The most deadly threat posed by the Cthulhu Mythos is knowledge of its
arcane science, its creatures, and locales. Always remain closemouthed
about your activities. It's often better not to bother with a cover story;
professional seekers-after-truth make indifferent liars.

In general, authorities should not be notified of a Cthuloid menace's
presence unless catastrophe looms. Police, federal agents, or the National
Guard are unprepared to deal with the preternatural, and their
participation in a dangerous investigation is rarely helpful. Secretiveness
is not for selfish purposes - it can save lives. The same applies to local
help, who must often be hired to complete an investigation. Of course,
secrecy can be carried too far - a man who lost a family member to a
Cthulhu monster has earned the right to know the truth.

Another reason for sealed lips is preventative. Widespread knowledge of
paranormal techniques would change our world irrevocably. A crackpot with a
grudge could whistle up Azathoth and wipe out a state. To obtain Glaaki's
hideous reward of near-immortality, hundreds of hopeless or
terminally-diseased folk might flock to join his service. A misguided
government agency might attempt to utilize Ghatanothoa as a military asset.
Worse scenarios are easy to imagine. Some scholars also believe that many
authorities may be pawns of the foul Cthuloid monsters such as the Mi-Go,
etc. and are not trustworthy.

By confining knowledge of arcane horrors, a handful of dedicated
scholars can work to avoid the worst horrors, advance the cause of science,
and protect not only humanity but also the dreams of humanity.



2) Stay Together
"Even though you're a vampire, you're still my brother."
-from The Lost Boys

This particular tidbit of advice is two-part: first, never operate alone if
you can possibly avoid it; second, stick with your partners.
While many great Mythos discoveries have been made by intrepid
explorers working by themselves, it equally true that most of these
solitary scholars came to bad ends subsequently. Emulate their skill and
their values, not their solitude.
Peter Dannseys, the noted metaphysician, gives a cautionary account of
the parapsychologist L. Svedin who, with several aides, ended his career
while investigating cattle mutilations. Correctly suspecting a nearby
mineshaft, Svedin sent a hired hand into the shaft while he and the others
performed a bovine autopsy. When the hired man did not return, he sent two
aides after them. They, in turn, vanished. Svedin sent a dozen men into the
shaft in twos and threes before plunging in with the rest of team, never to
be seen again.
Some years later, Dr. Dannseys discovered that the mineshaft housed a
rather nasty parasitic being. The shaft originally held only a singly
parasite, who captured the hired hand and transformed him into a being like
itself. When Svedin sent in his aides, the parasites transformed them as
well. When Svedin finally braved the shaft with his remaining
investigators, nearly twenty parasites awaited him. If Svedin had initially
penetrated the cave in force, he would have easily overpowered the
parasite. By frittering away his strength, he became an accomplice to a
great tragedy in parapsychological history.



3) Act in Haste, Repent at Leisure
"Then we'll turn it up hotter and burn the ashes."
-from Return of the Living Dead

Enormous grief stems from the crime of acting before thinking. In one case
a team discovered that an enormous clay plaque was connected with a
particularly obnoxious manifestation of Nyarlathotep. Suddenly confronted
by a hissing swarm of supernatural locusts, they instinctively reacted by
shattering the plaque. Alas, the plaque actually contained the chant for
dismissing the aforementioned manifestation, and shattering it eliminated
all hope. The entire team was killed or hospitalized, and the manifestation
continues to this day. Anyone knowing a 12th Dynasty spell for the
dismissal of the Bringer Of Pests is invited to contact Dr. Rategg c/o
Department of Oriental Antiquities at Miskatonic University.
Such tales should give pause. Before doing something irrevocable, make
sure you have no other choice.



4) Always Have a Plan
"... Lancelot, Galahad, and I leap out of the rabbit ..."
-from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Even a bad plan is better than no plan at all. While a bad plan may get
everyone killed or turned insane, the lack of a plan always will. In
contrast, Cthulhu monsters usually operate with very clear goals.
In one sad case, a group of scholars accidentally created a dimensional
Gate to a hideous alien reality. One of the scholars entered the Gate
without any plan of return. Presumably he's there yet. His friends wish him
luck, and periodically send sandwiches and beer through the Gate, hoping
they reach him. Somehow.
When investigating a Cthuloid manifestation every member of the team
should have a clear idea of what will be expected of him during the
investigation. If possible, a backup plan should also be available. Have an
idea of what to do if the only members with guns disappear. If one member
of the team is especially important to the success of the investigation,
make sure he is safe at all times, don't leave him alone in the cellar,
don't take a nap while he reads some awful book, and don't let him
experiment with strange talismans alone.



5) Scout It Out
"Does this house have a basement?"
-from Re-Animator

Before risking an encounter, make sure someone has scouted the area. This
need not take the form of sending in commandoes; doing a bit of research
into local history can be quite effective. Careful survey of all the
evidence is vital. Remember: knowledge is power.
One of the surest ways to be killed by monsters is to run into their
lair with no information about possible escapes, numbers of monsters, and
other such vital information.



6) Guns are a Last Resort
"What're we supposed to use, harsh language?"
-from Aliens

A firearm is a useful tool, handy in opening jammed locks, an excellent way
to signal a comrade, or useful in attracting the attention of local
authorities. When confronted with unruly locals, nonchalant display of a
firearm can often effect quick cooperation. A gun has a wide assortment of
uses; no investigatorial team should be without one.
Many investigators mistakenly assume that guns can defend against
preternatural entities. This is a serious error. Firearms are designed to
kill or wound humans and other native Earth life. No reasonable person
would expect much effect against entities from other worlds, other
realities, or other geologic time periods.
Undisciplined use of guns as weapons leads to unfortunate accidents, an
unscientific regard for violence as the answer to problems, and even to
possible jail terms. A gun should be the last resort of the successful
investigator.



7) Know Your Enemy
"I want to measure the bite marks. Maybe we can find out what we're dealing
with here."
-from Creepshow

Use all forms of media as research tools. Books, movies, the television
news can all give clues and information about the weaknesses, powers and
whereabouts of the enemy. Know the sign of the vampire, the werewolf, the
deep one hybrid, and others.
But do not expect that something which worked on the late show will
work against Cthuloid monsters. Always keep an open mind with regards to
the mythos.



8) Things Are Not Always as They Seem
"I never drink ... wine!"
-from Dracula

Some entities are not distinguishable as powerful monsters, or even as
monsters at all. Is that three-foot tall insectoid really an avatar of
Nyarlathotep? Is your next door neighbor who spends so much time in his
swimming pool actually a deep one? When dealing with the mythos, assume
that what you encounter is powerful: that's just playing it safe and smart.
Keep eyes and ears open. Ronno Meeb relates a time when a friend he
thought dead came knocking at his door. Some of his companions were
overjoyed at seeing the friend again and invited him inside. When he
claimed that he was thirsty, Professor Meeb responded slyly "How about your
favorite, an ice-cold glass of turpentine?" When he responded that
turpentine would be delicious, the rest of the group pulled out guns and
blew him to pieces. The fluid flowing from his veins was, luckily,
fluorescent yellow, not red.
Many monsters are expert at fitting into human society. Beware
especially the effect that Mythos monsters can have on their weak-minded
human servants. Almost anyone could be a worshipper of the Great Old Ones.



9) Never Give Up
"Sometimes on the very brink of certainty, I failed; yet still I clung to
the hope which the next day or the next hour might realize."
-Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Inexperienced investigators commonly give up when it appears that victory
is impossible. Dedicated scholars never cease action, no matter how
hopeless matters seem.
Never overlook the obvious; recheck your data; do more research. If
things still look bleak, try random approaches to defeating the menace. No
matter how bad it seems, it can get much worse if you give up. Don't go
poking sticks into wasps' nests unless you are prepared to finish the job.
Our brothers and sisters in arms are all that stand between earth and
the sinister designs of the Cthulhu Mythos. Take heart in the fact that
perils and sacrifices of today may make a better world for future
generations of the human race!



10) Be Prepared
"Normal folks, they don't spit up bullets when you shoot 'em!"
-from Near Dark

This goes much further than just bringing along extra rope when spelunking.
Before starting an expedition, do research on the subject, find out any
legends about the area which may give helpful clues; with access to ancient
tomes of magical spells, a particular cantrip may be useful on your
investigation. When ready to confront the beasty, consider the hardware
needed. Take anything which sounds even remotely useful, but does not
burden or impede movement.
In most cases, assume that you can never have enough stuff. Who knows
what might come in handy when facing the Mythos?



These advices was taken from "Cthulhu Case Book" and written into this file
by
Brian Nevad Hansen - Nov 1991


#4
arkhaminmate

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Subject: How to Survive in a Lovecraft Story

I wrote this a while back, and while I originally had Lovecraft's
original 20's-era fiction in mind, a good many of these suggestions might
prove of benefit to DG agents today...

Note: these are tips for survival should one find oneself in a piece of
Lovecraftian fiction. Attempts to apply them to a CoC game campaign should
be undertaken only with extreme caution.

1: If you find yourself in a position to acquire your ancestral estate
(castle, manor house, etc.), *don't*. Especially if it's built on a cliff
or overlooking a bog. Just trust that your ancestors moved away from there
for a *reason*, and steer clear of the place yourself. Don't even go there
on holiday.

2: Never read *anything* whose author was reputed to be mad.

3: If, while dreaming, you find your dream-self going down a long
flight of steps toward a gate, *turn around*. *Go back up.* Settle for a
nice wet dream featuring a supermodel of your choice instead.

4: *Don't drink the water*. 'Nuff said.

5: Any electronic equipment you may bring along for the purpose of
artificially enhancing your sensitivity to unknown phenomena, or for
recording such phenomena, will only increase the likelihood of you going
insane and/or getting eaten. Just stick with a flashlight (if you really
*must* be able to see where you're going; even that is often ill-advised) and
a really good pair of running shoes.

6: Buy a gun, but use it *only* in the following situations: if somebody
you know comes to you claiming to have been dispossessed of his/her body,
which is then subsequently inhabited by an alien intelligence, *shoot that
person*. You're doing him/her a favor. Likewise, if you ever suspect that
your own mind has been has been displaced by another, just go ahead and
shoot yourself. Avoid the stress and aggravation.

7: In all other situations, *leave the gun at home.* You'll only drop it
in your mad flight to safety anyway.

8: Avoid fog, mist, shadows, darkness, and anything or any place that
smells bad. Avoid primeval forests, caves, cemeteries, charnel houses,
abandoned buildings, and the sea.

9: Break off friendships with anybody who tends to capitalize the
following words in their writing: "Old," "Elder," "Ancient," "Chaos,"
"Evil," "Dweller," "Lurker," "and "Horror," especially if any of these words
are used in combination with one another or with the word "God(s)".

10: Break off friendships with artists. Especially weird ones. The same
goes for college professors. These people quite simply know too much for
their own good. Or yours.

11: Never travel to the following destinations, particularly for
exploratory purposes: rural England; rural New England; any town or city in
America that can justly be described as "centuries old"; India; Africa;
Australia; Asia; Antarctica; or any place above or below the ocean's surface
that might ever have been part of the lost continent of Lemuria. If you live
in any of these places, *move away immediately*.

12: Don't keep a diary, journal, or travelogue. The only people who write
down things that happen to them are the people to whom bad things happen.

13: If a stone artifact ever comes into your possession that is clearly
artifical in shape, and just as clearly not the work of human beings, *get
rid of it*. And the box it came in, just to be on the safe side. Then go
and wash your hands.

Chris Womack
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#5
arkhaminmate

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AND NOW FOR SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE PRACTICAL:

Anarchy's Call Of Cthulhu Handbook - A handbook for players

SKILLS

Contrary to what most GMs say, there are some skills which are more
important than others. Here they are (In my opinion):

* Firearm - You'll need a damn good weapon for defense
* Spot Hidden - You'll constantly roll this to see if you notice
important things
* Dodge - Used constantly in battle
* First Aid - Some of you will be injured, a lot. Get this and use it.
* Library Use - You'll need to research clues, etc. A must.
* Listen - Used half as often as Spot Hidden, but still important
* Knife/Punch/Kick - When your GM takes away your gun...

There are also a few skills which SOMEONE in your party should have.
These are:

* Fast Talk - You'll need to bypass hazardous situations quickly.
* Medicine - First Aid can only do so much.
* Mechanical Repair - For fixin' guns.
* Locksmith - Gotta have this, at least when in a place with locks.
* Sneak - Don't let those cultists hear you.
* Climb - Gotta sneak into some places.
* Throw - For grappling hooks, knives, etc. This goes with climb.
* Photography - Otherwise no one will believe you.
* Law - Jail sucks.
* Coneal - Hide your stuff when you don't want it found.
* Psychoanalysis - If you have it, it can slowly get back sanity.

GAMING TIPS

If you all choose "shotgun" as your firearm skill, you get three
advantages:

* You can use each other's weapon, should you need to.
* You do a lot of damage.
* You begin with 30% skill

Sleep in shifts, with one investigator, or two if possible, watching
over everything. Get equal amounts of sleep.

Keep your backs covered. In battle, always fight back-to-back if
possible, and never assume that the enemies being fought will be the
only enemies. Others may join.

If possible, kill everyone you fight. Extract information first, if
needed, and then kill them.

EQUIPMENT

If possible, carry two of each weapon, at all times.

Try to enhance hand attacks with sap-gloves/brass-knuckles and your
kick attacks with steel-toe boots.

Get rope, handcuffs, etc. for capture of enemies.

A magnifying glass is a good tool to have, for fire creation.

Disfigure your character somehow, or give the police, etc., some way
to identify your body should you be injured or murdered.

Read every Mythos-related book you get your hands on, no matter the
cost.

Put out rewards in local newspapers if useful. To raise money, become
P.I.'s

ANARCHY'S BIGGEST TIP

Once you begin the campaign, any characters that are made while the
campaign is already in session, should be shaped TO the campaign. If
all you do is fight, pick a character who can. If the party badly
needs a doctor, be one! This is usually allowed/unobserved by the GM,
so do it!



#6
arkhaminmate

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that first one cracks me up no matter how many times i read it.

#7
badash56

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Haha good stuff. Now I want to get a rpg game together again.

#8
Jan

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Haha good stuff. Now I want to get a rpg game together again.


Yes, me too. I manage to do some one-shots once a while but its becoming more rare. This card game is actually easier for the Cthulhu fix. The Elder Sign version for iOS and Android is also quite entertaining.

#9
arkhaminmate

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yes. its a sad fact that we are actually more time poor even though we're supposed to have all these gadgets that make our life easier. im definately a luddite in this respect. i only use the internet for Cthulhu !! haha. but i remember the days when getting together for a weekend of RPG-ing was simple, easy and always well attended. and most of us wouldn't have even had mobile phones back then !!

i've tried on several occasions to get a 'cthulhu club' going, but most prefer the non comittment of boardgaming. well. that's the effect the quick fix generation is having. eating away at our brains, our time, and our attention spans !! haha.

it's a shame really, because i feel that you just don't get the laughs you used to get from seeing a well known character (player) you've grown to know, getting up to some of their 'crazy' hijinks.

#10
Skelton

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I used to love the Chaosium Roleplaying game, especially the comic strips in the back. Very comedic. I never had much success in finding a group for what could be one of the better roleplaying games out there. As you pointed out, people are more interested in a quick fix rather than seeing a well crafted story develop.

#11
Midian

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I recently played in a disastrous (for the characters, we players had a blast) campaign based on Return to Dunwich. Now we are playing a Delta Green campaign set in the Soviet Union during 1933. Good times, well it will not be for poor Aleksi when his Sanity score of 35 starts to dwindle, but that's the life of the Investigator. :rolleyes:

Mostly played one-offs when I played the most (darn GM thinking his campaigns sucked while we players loved them), but now I am more into short campaign play. Cthulhu is one of the best RPGs ever created and always so much fun to get back into.

#12
dboeren

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Our local store owner knows we're into the CoC LCG and wants to run a one-off CoC RPG adventure for us sometime coming up. Turns out he used to be big into GM'ing Pathfinder several years ago at the store until the group went sour. So, he's an experienced GM, he just wants time to study up on the CoC system before trying to run it which is fine with me. I don't really think we'll be able to find time to do it on a regular basis, but it should be fun anyway.
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