I ran a one-shot session of Call of Cthulhu last night. Check it out here.
5 players - 3 of which had never played before. There was limited time, especially when you consider the socializing and eating and drinking that accompanied our new monthly night of gaming.
Long story short, I wanted to streamline CoC's character creation. Here's what I came up with...
- Pick a profession. All relevant skills are at 80%, as this was a one-shot. However, if this was the start of a campaign, I might adjust starting skills at 70%, giving them a little more room to grow. Additionally, everyone can pick 3 skills that aren't related to their character's profession - those are at 40%.
- Forget rolling ability scores. If a players wants his character to be noteworthy in some way, he can write that into his introductory thumbnail sketch... which gets mentioned when everyone goes around describing their PC.
- Instead of worrying about language skills, whenever it comes up, every PC has a 1 in 6 chance of knowing enough of the particular language to get by. I mean, there are so many languages in the world. It seems like a waste to spend 70 skill points in French, when Spanish, German, French, Latin, and Arabic would be so much more helpful.
- Everyone had to pick either a motivation for investigating or something they really care about. That way, not everyone has to be a detective type; some could just be random humans caught up in the Mythos.
- For hit points and magic points, I'm just going to have players roll 3d6 for each. Nice bit of randomness.
This last thing isn't so much of a hack as it is a possibly helpful random table for determining a character's memory of bizarre, otherworldly events - things which the average person might forget, block out, or mercifully blur the details.
Roll on this table after some time has passed (at least a month). There's a benefit to having a foggy memory, of course. At the end of each result is a sanity adjustment in brackets.
1. Either the trauma was too great or the character just didn't put enough stock into the initial experience. He remembers absolutely nothing, though dreams may occasionally break through the subconscious. [+1d6]
2. Some faint glimmer of strangeness related to the actual events is half-remembered, but nothing definite. [+1d4]
3. Strong, distinct impressions, and concrete fragments of what happened with a few fuzzy areas. [no change]
4. Total recall of what occurred. In fact, various scenes are constantly being replayed in the character's mind. [-1d4]
For a streamlined and rules-lite d6 dice pool system of Lovecraftian pulp investigative horror, check out The Outer Presence.
Authored by Venger Satanis