Roleplay with Cthulhu – The fear of the unknown

April 20, 2021 ella tom No Comments

In times of social distancing, getting a round of board games together can often be difficult. So maybe the ideal time to take a closer look at role-playing games. One of the oldest is the Cthulhu role-playing game. If Cthulhu or RPG is a book with seven seals for you, we have put together a guide that presents the whole thing informally and clearly.

And that is exactly what we encounter at Cthulhu. However, one by one. First of all, RPG, just like the board game, means gathering a few friends around the (physical or virtual) table. However, you don’t need a board and hardly any other game materials. A sheet of paper, a pen, and a handful of dice are enough. The rest happens in your mind.

Except for one person, you all embody a character. You determine what this character says, thinks, etc. The world in which your characters move is determined by the rest of the person. This fellow player acts as the game master and describes what you see, whom you meet, how the world reacts to your actions, etc.

All your actions, including those of the game master, are guided by rules to create an exciting framework that fits the genre to give. In Cthulhu, for example, your investigator is set in the 1920s. Thus, the rules largely follow the laws of the real world and are therefore not difficult to understand and understand, even for beginners.

Specifically, the rules come into play when your character tries to do something that a normal person cannot easily do, such as jumping on a moving train, defusing a bomb, or knocking down a gangster. In such cases, the dice are rolled. The result then determines whether your project is successful or whether the gangster might bring you down and you need help from the characters of your fellow players.

Of course, your characters have different backgrounds, which can positively or negatively influence the result before the throw. A professional boxer is likely to have fewer problems with the gangster than an 80-year-old professor.

Since the game master is not only a master of the world but also a referee, he should have read the rules clearly beforehand. At Cthulhu, the short, free quick-start rules are initially sufficient. With that, you can start, and you are ready for your first role-play evening. You will now find out why you can do this excellently in the exciting world of the Cthulhu system.

The basic rules of Cthulhu are very simple. They are based on a W100 cube system. This means that two ten-sided dice are rolled (which are easy to get in a game store or online), one for the one’s place and one for the tens place. 8 (0) and 9 become 89.

With each throw, you have to fall below a certain value to successfully implement a project. It all depends on what you want to do specifically and how well-versed your character is in the respective activity. For example, the professional boxer Herbert could have an 80 in physical strength. If he wants to smash a door, it should be easy for him since he only has to roll an 80 or less. It could look different for the elderly Professor Arthur, who may only have a 30 (he would probably have other strengths for that).

All actions in Cthulhu work on the same principle. Additional, smaller mechanics also build on these basic rules. So maybe in a particularly difficult situation you have to roll the dice below half your actual value; Herbert could be injured and not face a gangster, but a (little) monster.

In such particularly unfavorable situations, he would have to roll 40 or less instead of just undercutting his actual 80 in order to wrestle it down with physical strength. However, such details are clearly and comprehensively listed in the rules and can be explained by the game master while the game is running.

The only thing you should do now before the adventure is to choose your characters. You can either easily create these yourself using the rules or use the numerous ready-made investigators that come with many Pegasus adventures.

So the rules are catchy and easy to understand; But what makes the setting of Cthulhu so unique? As already described, it actually moves in well-known realms: You play in the 1920s, either in the USA or Germany, but ultimately the whole world is open to you as a venue.

The special thing is, of course, the unknown, the supernatural horror elements in every adventure, which are largely based on the Cthulhu myth of Howard Philipps Lovecraft. (You don’t have to know horror literature to have fun with the game.

Rather, it should only make the horror even more comforting.) Your group is faced with a mysterious horror that very few people even know about. While the rest of society is leisurely, you are the ones who peek behind the curtain of inexplicable events, horrific deaths, and dark machinations of secret cults.

You discover behind it will not pass your characters by without a trace; the chances are you will go insane if you do things that are not intended for human eyes. And that is precisely what makes the Cthulhu role-play setting so attractive.

The closer you get to the truth of a mystery, the more dangerous it becomes not only physically but also mentally for your characters. Who cares to meet a slimy insect monster in a dark sewer to which people have been sacrificed for years? This game with fire, this search for truth, in which your life and mind are at risk for the protection of humanity, is what defines the Cthulhu setting.

If you are interested in the Cthulhu role-playing game, numerous doors are open to you on your way to your first adventure (and others). The quick-start rules already mentioned are an excellent opportunity to get a taste of things.

If you want to watch, you can easily do one of the many Pegasus Cthulhu rounds on YouTube. Alternatively, you can register for a round at a convention yourself. There are often beginners’ adventures for people who have little or no knowledge of the rules or role-playing experience. Our online convention CONspiracy from 21.-24. May. Here you can log in comfortably from your home PC and get started.

The second big Robinson Crusoe expansion, Mystery Tales, contains new scenarios and an extraordinary horror mode. Time to take a closer look at the expansion and learn the story behind the extraordinary setting.

Ignacy Trzewiczek, founder of Portal Games and one of the creative minds behind the brand, is the author of titles such as Robinson Crusoe, Prêt-à-Porter, Imperial Settlers, and many more. He describes his thoughts on the Robinson Crusoe series as follows: “The world is full of great stories.

When I decided to design Robinson Crusoe, I knew that this topic had incredible potential for storytelling and twists. Even the basic game begins very simply with “Make a fire and look for help!” and then quickly evolves into Indiana Jones and King Kong. And that was just the beginning! With the many great adventure books by Jules Verne, it was always clear that we could still create numerous captivating and thematic scenarios. “

But how did Jules Verne come up with the horror setting that awaits us at Mystery Tales? “As a die-hard Cthulhu fan, I have been working on a horror campaign for Robinson Crusoe (1-4 players, ages 10+) for a long time. I wanted players on this deserted island to experience fantastic stories that drive them to the edge of madness and sometimes even beyond.

What could have been a more appropriate source of inspiration than the stories of H.P. Lovecraft? ”Said Ignacy. “Everything went wonderfully. I had written numerous dark events and adventures. I worked on a plot when I came across the story of Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett, a British explorer who disappeared on an expedition through the Brazilian jungle in 1925. And that changed everything! “

After more than a year of extensive research on Percy Fawcett, Ignacy finally completed the expansion for Robinson Crusoe. In addition to a horror mode with which already known scenarios can be played in a completely new way, it also contains an epic, five-scenario campaign that begins a few months after Fawcett’s last letter to his family.

The players slip into the role of the rescue team who set off towards the Amazon jungle. Ignacy reports that ten new characters have been created for this, including a preacher, a writer, a psychologist and more.

Instead of larger boards, the characters are now shown on double-sided cards. You can influence the game on the one hand as an active character or on the other hand as an NPC. Together they set off on their rescue expedition with rifles, tents, and survival equipment in their luggage and on a mission: Find and save Colonel Percy Fawcett.

About the five scenarios, Ignacy says: “Not only do they have a storyline, but there is also a book that gradually reveals the story of the missing Colonel. A game scenario to spin a real person about which I had read everything I could find before was an incredibly exciting adventure! Fawcett was a fascinating personality and one of the last few explorers to devote his life to exploring and exploring new countries and cultures.

This campaign is also a unique experience for the players because they not only expect an exciting adventure story at the gaming table but so much more! The campaign invites you to delve deeper than ever into a story at Robinson Crusoe. Players can read historical documents, books, or films about the sunken city Z between games. If you get involved, I am convinced that she will not let go of the story any more than it was with me! “

Who does not know it – come home, quickly turn on the oven and put pizza in. It’s quick and still tastes pretty good or at least acceptable. But why not cook or bake together? Instead of just preparing something quickly to satisfy the hunger, the joint preparation can be celebrated.

Or why not cook several courses and decorate and set the table? The whole family can help with the necessary preparations. And when the whole family is sitting together at the table, and everyone is full and happy, what could be more useful than playing a game of your favorite game?

With Tricky Druids (2-4 players, ages 8+), you can exchange the saucepan for a magic kettle, and off you go with the brewing of potions! Hidden behind your druid’s hut screens, each of you brews your own soup, unlike in the kitchen before.

Everything would be so simple if it weren’t for the first rule of the Druid to be kind to one’s neighbors. So you first offer the ingredients you previously rolled to one of your fellow players as a gift. It isn’t very pleasant if he really accepts the gift. On the other hand, if your teammate doesn’t accept, you have to keep the ingredients. You have to assess your fellow players well and combine which ingredients they can and cannot use.

This is the only way to make the right offers at the right time. Because you naturally want to have everything together as quickly as possible without having to sit on the wrong ingredients that clog your garbage and threaten to spoil your drink. Because honestly, taking down garbage is probably not a task that you would like to take on, right?

If you still feel like playing afterward, try to help the residents of Fabulantica (2-5 players, ages 6+) out of a tight spot. A spell went terribly wrong and spread to all residents across the country. Use your travel cards cleverly and help the characters find their friends again. Whoever plans best and uses little stories to remember where the residents are hiding wins. Fabulantica was nominated for the children’s game of the year in 2019 but is guaranteed not only a highlight for little heroes.

But with all that gaming, it’s still important to get out into the fresh air regularly. Especially now that you are not going that much in everyday life, a walk in the field or forest is particularly good and helps if the ceiling threatens to fall on your head.

So put on your hiking shoes, sneakers, sports shoes, boots, and off you go! ? And when you come home freshly strengthened, the gaming table is already waiting for you. But just because you’re back inside doesn’t mean your kids have to miss out on racing. Because in Hexenhochhaus (2-4 players, ages 4+), the little witches compete for the magic ball on the roof of their crooked house.

The parents are not there; this is the perfect opportunity to grab the brooms and fly all the way up to the roof. The die decides how far you can move or whether you can even fly on the broom. Because be careful: the broom is magnetic and only takes you with it if your tokens are on the right side and are attracted. So you have to remember whether your stones are the right way round. In this way, your kids will also learn how magnets work.

Stories are a great way to pass the time. Of course, you can also watch stories on television in the form of films or series. But why not read a book together? Read stories to each other or think up and tell stories? Or you can record your own documentary or news program on your cell phone. She could then send them to friends and relatives right away.

For little and big storytellers, there is also So Not, Scoundrel! (2-5 players, ages 5+) a great basis for writing your own stories. But don’t worry, first of all, you can throw yourself into the adventure together with the already included stories. Children can let their imagination run wild here because together, you go on adventures in the Land of Fabula.

Everything is there that makes the adventurer’s heart beat faster: from robots, through fairies and elves to dragons and magic. One of you takes on the role of the narrator and guides the other players through exciting stories. Here you don’t play against each other but experience adventures together.

The rules are so flexible that you can easily adapt the game to your fellow players’ age and gaming experience. You don’t really know what to expect yet? Then, for example, have a look at Mama und die Matschhose, Kitano, or Big Heads and have a closer look at the game there.

Who does not know it – come home, quickly turn on the oven and put pizza in. It’s quick and still tastes pretty good or at least acceptable. But why not cook or bake together? Instead of just preparing something quickly to satisfy the hunger, the joint preparation can be celebrated.

Or why not cook several courses and decorate and set the table? The whole family can help with the necessary preparations. And when the whole family is sitting together at the table, and everyone is full and happy, what could be more useful than playing a game of your favorite game?

With Tricky Druids (2-4 players, ages 8+), you can exchange the saucepan for a magic kettle, and off you go with the brewing of potions! Hidden behind your druid’s hut screens, each of you brews your own soup, unlike in the kitchen before.

Everything would be so simple if it weren’t for the first rule of the Druid to be kind to one’s neighbors. So you first offer the ingredients you previously rolled to one of your fellow players as a gift. It isn’t very pleasant if he really accepts the gift. On the other hand, if your teammate doesn’t accept, you have to keep the ingredients. You have to assess your fellow players well and combine which ingredients they can and cannot use.

This is the only way to make the right offers at the right time. Because you naturally want to have everything together as quickly as possible without having to sit on the wrong ingredients that clog your garbage and threaten to spoil your drink. Because honestly, taking down garbage is probably not a task that you would like to take on, right?

If you still feel like playing afterward, try to help the residents of Fabulantica (2-5 players, ages 6+) out of a tight spot. A spell went terribly wrong and spread to all residents across the country. Use your travel cards cleverly and help the characters find their friends again.

Whoever plans best and uses little stories to remember where the residents are hiding wins, Fabulantica was nominated for the children’s game of the year in 2019 but is guaranteed not only a highlight for little heroes.

But with all that gaming, it’s still important to get out into the fresh air regularly. Especially now that you are not going that much in everyday life, a walk in the field or forest is particularly good and helps if the ceiling threatens to fall on your head.

So put on your hiking shoes, sneakers, sports shoes, boots, and off you go! ? And when you come home freshly strengthened, the gaming table is already waiting for you. But just because you’re back inside doesn’t mean your kids have to miss out on racing. Because in Hexenhochhaus (2-4 players, ages 4+), the little witches compete for the magic ball on the roof of their crooked house.

The parents are not there; this is the perfect opportunity to grab the brooms and fly all the way up to the roof. The die decides how far you can move or whether you can even fly on the broom. Because be careful: the broom is magnetic and only takes you with it if your tokens are on the right side and are attracted. So you have to remember whether your stones are the right way round. In this way, your kids will also learn how magnets work.

Stories are a great way to pass the time. Of course, you can also watch stories on television in the form of films or series. But why not read a book together? Read stories to each other or think up and tell stories? Or you can record your own documentary or news program on your cell phone. She could then send them to friends and relatives right away.

For little and big storytellers, there is also So Not, Scoundrel! (2-5 players, ages 5+) a great basis for writing your own stories. But don’t worry, first of all, you can throw yourself into the adventure together with the already included stories. Children can let their imagination run wild here because together, you go on adventures in the Land of Fabula.

Everything is there that makes the adventurer’s heart beat faster: from robots, through fairies and elves to dragons and magic. One of you takes on the role of the narrator and guides the other players through exciting stories.

Here you don’t play against each other but experience adventures together. The rules are so flexible that you can easily adapt the game to your fellow players’ age and gaming experience. You don’t really know what to expect yet? Then, for example, have a look at Mama und die Matschhose, Kitano, or Big Heads and have a closer look at the game there.

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