Updated Investigators for The Lightless Beacon

The Lightless Beacon is one of my favourite Call of Cthulhu scenarios, especially as a one-shot for new players. The investigators are dropped straight into a mystery ‘in medias res’ with none of the usual frontloading. 

My only issue is that one of the pre-generated investigators has a tendency to overshadow the others. After comparing investigator characteristics and skills with those in the scenario it’s apparent why, so I’ve created investigators with more balance.

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Pulp Archetypes by Occupation

On page 15 of the Pulp Cthulhu rulebook there’s an optional rule allowing players to select an occupation before they pick an archetype.

My players seem to prefer this method but it can cause a lot of scanning back and forth through the rulebook trying to list which archetypes are then available.

Here’s a list of Pulp Cthulhu archetypes by occupation to save your players some time. I hope it proves useful!

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Archetype Development in Pulp Cthulhu

Here’s a new house rule I’m adding to my Pulp Cthulhu games. It’s a riff on a similar rule in a Cubicle 7 publication, but I can’t say which one to avoid spoilers for my players!

Archetypes in Pulp Cthulhu seem somewhat forgotten beyond character generation. What’s to stop a Sidekick going Cold Blooded? Or an Outsider acting like a Bon Vivant?

This new house rule should encourage heroes to keep roleplaying the traits associated with their archetype, with a few bonus skill points awarded after each scenario as an incentive.

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The Devil and the Drum

I’m very happy to announce the publication of The Devil and the Drum, a scenario for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. I’d like to thank all of my play-testers, especially my family and the folks at Grogmeet November 2022.

This scenario is set in Devon, 1946. The investigators are National Trust volunteers asked to survey an old ruined abbey. Events unfold amidst an unnatural storm wreaking havoc across the United Kingdom.

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Default Skill Characteristics in Call of Cthulhu

I like the skill-based system in Call of Cthulhu, but I’ve always thought that characteristics are somewhat underutilised, so I’ve decided to add the following house rule to my game…

A player may suggest the use of a characteristic instead of a skill roll to increase their chance of success, attempting the roll at one level higher difficulty: Normal requires a Hard Success, Hard an Exceptional Success, and Exceptional a Critical. The Keeper must deem the suggested characteristic appropriate: such as DEX for Throw or CON for Swim.

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New Luck Spends for Pulp Cthulhu

I love the Luck rules in Call of Cthulhu, and especially those in the Pulp rules. Here are three new Luck Spends and a modification to an existing rule. Feel free to use these (or not) in your own games!

“Keep Calm and Carry On!”

Cost: 20 Luck

A player may spend 20 Luck points to avoid the effects of Temporary or Indefinite Insanity. A subsequent loss of 1 or more points of Sanity will trigger insanity as normal.

Alternative names: “Oh dear. How sad. Never mind…” or “Always looks on the bright side of life! [sung]” or “Everything is AWESOME!” or “Hakuna Matata! [also sung]”

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Traveller Plan: Generic Bar

Here’s another example of some plans I’ve created using Rob Pearce’s excellent geomorphs. I’ve barely made any changes, tweaking the exits, applying some shading, and adding labels.

This bar featured in my campaign a few months ago. The Travellers were on the trail of a kidnapped child and they ended up in a violent confrontation with some pirates in this bar on Lanth. As this world is 90% water I decided that the starport was constructed like a giant underwater arcology with ‘sub’ levels going down from sea level to the seabed.

This blog post includes the usual A1 printable PDF as well as a separate A4 sheet with a very brief description of each numbered location on the plan.

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Traveller Plans: Generic Apartments

Here are two more generic plans I’ve created using using Rob Pearce’s excellent geomorphs. I designed these to fit on A4 paper suitable for a home printer. 

Both of these plans are apartments. They featured in my campaign a few months ago as the Travellers were visiting Lanth. As this world is 90% water, I decided that the starport was constructed like a giant underwater arcology with ‘sub’ levels going down from sea level to the seabed. The larger apartment has a lovely underwater view. 

This blog post includes the usual downloadable PDFs including a separate A4 sheet for each plan with a very brief description of each numbered location.

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Call of Cthulhu Road Tiles

I’ve been running a Pulp Cthulhu campaign set in 1929 Chicago. The investigators have been running around the city, jumping in and out of taxis, on and off the “L”. They’ve had a few run-ins with the Mob and I know it’s only a matter of time before there’s a car chase.

Taking Mr Skorkowsky’s advice I bought some Models of Yesteryear cars and then I decided to create some road tiles using Inkarnate that I could drop onto the table. I’m planning on using these with the Chase rules in the Keeper’s Rulebook (p.130ff).

Here are the results. Feel free to download and print for your own game. And let me know if you have any ideas for more obstacles. So far I have wandering sheep in a rural setting and scattered crates in a city. The rulebook mentions two guys carrying a pane of glass–a classic!–there must be more.

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Traveller Plan: New Horizons School

Here’s another plan for Traveller using Rob Pearce’s excellent geomorphs. Welcome to New Horizon School, a secret research facility, operated by SuSAG, for children with special abilities.

New Horizons is located on Lanth. As this world is 90% water I decided that the starport was constructed like a giant underwater arcology with ‘sub’ levels going down from sea level to the seabed. The large common room (location 17) has an impressive sea view.

I’ve included the usual A1 printable PDF in this blog post as well as a separate A4 sheet with a brief description of each location. You could always move the school to another world in your own campaign.

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