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One Thousand and One Nights and One Night

a role-playing game campaign design ’zine Vol.: 2, Issue: 32, June 15, 2008
Late, Late, Late Actual Play: Call of Cthulhu!
Sorry, folks, for the lateness of the I recently ran my WWI Call of Cthulhu
issue. As I’ve mentioned before, I (Chaosium) Terrible Old House scenario (Issue
work full time and attend graduate #26) game with my group, the Corvis Monkey
school for a Masters Degree in Troupe. The game occurred over two sessions
Engineering. Spring quarter, my and on the whole it went
class really poured it on for the last well, except the ending
few weeks. I just received my wasn’t to my satisfaction.
grade: an A (GPA 3.8)! Go me! The game had MW, XO,
And the professor said that I had GM and AW in the first
the highest grade in the class for session and everyone but
people taking the class for credit. AW in the second session.
As I’ve probably
Funny Quote mentioned before, it’d
been at least 15 years since
“No. 36. 40 points for claiming that when your I ran a Call of Cthulhu
theory is finally appreciated, present-day (Chaosium) game, and
science will be seen for the sham it truly is. (30 probably more like 20 years. I usually don’t do
more points for fantasizing about show trials in horror as a single genre. If I use it, it’s in
which scientists who mocked your theories will conjunction with SF or Fantasy. I found that a
be forced to recant.)” slow buildup of the tension, enabling the
-From The Crackpot Index: A simple method players to get more and more into the Elder
for rating potentially revolutionary Horrors, worked quite well for the first session
contributions to physics by John Baez but in the second session, when the PCs were
well aware of something being very wrong, it
Vegas After Midnight didn’t work quite as well.
Mick Bradley, from, has a I had found a copy of the No Man’s Land: WWI
game coming out soon called Vegas After Mythos Action with the Lost Battalion
Midnight ( It’s a post- (Chaosium), which had a great amount of
apocalyptic setting, where an area 100 miles in information to aid in the game, including
radius around Las Vegas, Nevada, is the only several tables like the Infantry Charge Results
land, as the rest of the world has disappeared. Table (what happens when you charge across
no man’s land toward the enemy trenches, such
as “Hit with shrapnel. You lose 1D3
hit points for the wound, then lose
1/1D6 SAN when you discover the
bloody fragments of someone's
Different survivor groups live in each casino. jawbone sticking out of your arm!”),
Caesar’s Palace has the Romans, mobsters live the World War I Weapons Data
in the Flamingo and Elvis impersonators (with all the rifles, pistols and
inhabit the Hilton, while wild Goths and evil grenades used by American troops),
Clowns abound. It’s a pretty evocative setting. the Keeper Quick-Ref: Combat rules
The website has a good sampling of the (very helpful for getting the combat
personalities, factions and info on how the right), The Soldier’s Lot: Life on the Western
world ended. Mick is going to run several Front (with info on a soldier’s life, equipment,
games at GenCon Indy (all are currently full). daily routine, and what happens when your
Here’s hoping he’s done with it soon. (continued on Page 2, First Column)

Content © Wooden Leg Named Smith Productions 2008 published in association with the Corvis Babbage Cliological Society
Website: ’zine art is either open source or through fair use of copyrighted works
One Thousand and One Nights and One Night Page 2
a role-playing game campaign design ’zine Vol.: 2, Issue: 32, June 15, 2008
Actual Play: CoC (cont.) Actual Play: Call of C (cont.)
overcoat gets wet and muddy – it can weigh up be one of the most disturbing things about their
to 35 pounds!), and the Keeper Quick-Ref: stay in the house. Each morning, I had them
Sanity rules (also very important). roll Spot Hidden. If they made it, I told them
that Jackson looked like he was closer to the
The game started as outlined in Issue #26 with
house (but still in the same position)! Enough
the 4 PCs: Private John Garrett (played by
of the party missed their rolls to make it
MW), Private Denny Tate
interesting, enough so that after a few days of
(XO), Private Morley Dotes
this, two PCs, Dotes (GM) and Garrett (MW),
(GM), and Private Charles
made a run for Jackson, to recover the body.
Contague (AW). The rest of
They ran across the field, in full view of the
the squad were NPCs - Sgt.
Germans. Dotes was killed and his headless
Lefter, Pvt. Tharpe, Pvt.
body fell across Garrett, causing a SAN loss!
Jackson, Pvt. Wright, Pvt.
Martin, Pvt. Roze, Pvt. Garrett crawled back to the house under fire
Wieder, Pvt. Relway, Pvt. and GM took over Pvt. Martin. Earlier that day,
Wood, and Pvt. Ratzenburger. one of the other sentries, Pvt. Wood,
Sgt. Lefter was wounded and so the in-game had disappeared. They searched high
decisions were dropped on the players as and low but couldn’t find him. After
planned. Dotes was killed, Garrett (MW) and
Tate (XO) went into the basement
I had planned most of the events for the first
with Pvt. Wright to check out the
few days pretty well. At the start of each day
door. When they forced it open, a
they spent in the house, they had to make a
whole mess of skulls, children’s
SAN roll. If they failed, they lost 1D4 Magic
skulls, poured out, with the smell of
Points, otherwise they lost 1. This showed up as
the grave! SAN loss all around!
bad dreams coupled with not sleeping well. As
Wright started freaking out. Meanwhile, Martin
the group lost Magic Points, the monster in the
(GM) found Pvt. Wood’s dead body in the well.
house used those points to do certain “effects.”
Concern over moving dead bodies prompted
The first day in the house, the PCs were
the PCs to check out the woodshed and tie up
attacked by some German troops. Pvt. Thorpe
the dead bodies! Garrett (MW) and Wright
was killed and they put him in the woodshed,
were the two most on edge and both kept losing
along with the dead German Sergeant they
SAN. Later, Garrett (MW) experiencing a vision
found in the house. Over the
where he saw a horrible creature, lost more
course of the game, the
SAN as a result and freaked out, shooting like a
woodshed became the place
madman in all directions. Finally, the first
where they stored the ever-
session ended with the group losing SAN when
increasing dead bodies! Later
Wright was “controlled” to move like a
that night, several of them
marionette across the field, screaming for help
noticed someone walking into
as he was killed by German soldiers.
and out of the room where they
were sleeping (that was the With this great set-up, the second session was a
monster, folks). In the morning, one of their let-down. I had built up the creature to the
sentries, Pvt. Jackson, had disappeared and point where I had painted myself in a corner.
they saw his body about 35 yards away in the The players felt they had no other choice but to
field around the house. Over the course of the escape. If I had been on the ball, I would have
next few days, Jackson’s body would prove to made either collapsing the house and burying
(continued on Second Column) the horror or destroying the house an option.

Content © Wooden Leg Named Smith Productions 2008 published in association with the Corvis Babbage Cliological Society
Website: ’zine art is either open source or through fair use of copyrighted works

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