Cthulhu Mythos Beings In Other Campaign Worlds

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Like, I suspect, more than one fantasy Games Master, it occurred to me to introduce Call of Cthulhu monsters into my campaign. Eventually I did so. This post gives some details about how I did so. It is a bit RQ3 specific because that is the system I used but I hope it will still be useful to GMs of other systems.

As I have noted in previous posts on role-playing games, I used to GM a game set during the Saxon Wars in Fifth Century CE Britain. However, I also had a hankering to run a traditional High Fantasy campaign with a battle against Evil. So some of the more longer lived and powerful PCs in that campaign began making some unfortunate discoveries. To cut a long story short, they had stumbled across a remnant Atlantean Cult which worshipped the creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos. Setting Cthulhoid beings loose on a party of adventurers presented problems though.

First off, in Call of Cthulhu if the Investigators even see a Mythos being the players have to make rolls agains SANity with often dire consequences for failure. Since these were established RQ3 characters they did not have SAN points and creating a new characteristic mid-campaign didn’t seem right. At the same time I wanted to emphasize that these creatures were more horrific than anything they had previously encountered. I compromised by having them role against POWer when encountering Mythos beings. Since POW was a measure of the strength of the soul this seemed reasonable. Failure could result in anything from the characters pissing themselves to the permanent loss of 1D4 INTelligence. Secondly, it is a guaranteed certainty that Investigators in Call of Cthulhu who don’t go mad are going to die sooner or later.

In other words, Investigators in traditional CofC campaigns do not last long. Players accept this but I didn’t think my players would be quite so keen on their characters being destroyed by impossible odds. Again, however, I wanted to give a flavour of the stupendous difficulties in fighting these beings. To do this, if the being’s description in the CofC rules stated that ordinary weapons did not harm it, this was the case in my campaign world. Magic would (sometimes) harm them so magically enhanced weapons would do damage but only the enhancement damage effected Mythos entities. For example, if a broadsword (damage inflicted normally 1D8 + 1) had Bladesharp 3 cast on it, it would do 3 points of damage to a Mythos entity whatever the player rolled. Tough luck if its hide provided 3 or more armour points.

I had already introduced ‘power blades’ into the campaign. These were filched from a RuneQuest campaign world published in Fantasy Chronicles in 1986. They were magical blue blades that always inflicted the maximum damage for the weapon type. So the broadsword power blade possessed by one of the characters always did 9 points of damage if it struck the target. This gave its possessor a huge advantage against a normal foe and a fighting chance against some Mythos entities. There was a suggestion in a scroll the party found that there were 13 such blades and if they were all brought together they could be used to bind Great Cthulhu in the Deeps and thus save the world. I gave them a futher characteristic: their possessors were compelled to fight Mythos beings they encountered. The party discovered this when one player who had very poor dagger skills convinced the rest of the party that she should keep the power blade dagger they retrieved. When they encountered a Hound of Tindalos, she was compelled to fight it. (We will now doff our caps in honour of the valiant dead.)

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