Thursday, 24 May 2012
I was considering this some time back, and we even got so far as creating characters, but never got around to playing. One of the main factors in this was that I realised I'm not that keen on the Call of Cthulhu rules, and (moreover) that I just can't be bothered to learn and master some new rules set. It's just not something that interests me. One of the brilliant things about playing Labyrinth Lord for me is that I'm innately familiar with the rules.
So I've gotten to thinking about how I might run a Cthuluesque game using a foundation of Labyrinth Lord / basic D&D.
Unlike in D&D, in a modern(ish) horror setting the concept of "classes" of adventurer isn't important. What is important however is what characters know and can do -- hence the enormous skills list in CoC. I'm not a fan of skills systems, which was one of the main things which put me off CoC as a rules system, but I'd want some way of defining what each character is good at.
Here's what I'm thinking of.
For each attribute, the player can choose a number of things which the character is good at or has training in, relative to the score, as follows:
3 to 8: not good at anything, 9 to 12: good at one thing, 13 to 15: good at two things, 16 to 17: good at three things, 18: good at four things.
Each "good at" / skill should of course be in some way related to the attribute in question. The player would basically be free to choose whatever they wanted, without being restricted by a pre-defined list of skills. Some ideas would be:
STR: climbing, boxing, wrestling.
CON: running, can drink anyone under the table, rude health.
DEX: shooting, draftsmanship, card shark.
INT: history, languages, mathematics.
WIS: self-control, good judge of character, compassionate soul.
CHA: public speaking, "ladies' man", mesmerism.
How these areas of skill would actually be used in play would be open to the referee's judgement. One example might be that if characters were given a 1 in 6 chance of achieving a certain task, then characters who are "good at" that thing would get a bonus (probably based on the attribute in question).
Very flexible, very vague, but probably enough to run a game with! (At least for people like me who aren't bothered about having strictly defined rules for everything...)