Weird Science Gadget: Hidden Blade

Here’s another Weird Science Gadget for Pulp Cthulhu. Enjoy!

A Hidden Blade is a concealed, spring-loaded weapon which extends from a specially designed bracer worn around the wrist. This weapon can be used to launch a devastating series of attacks against an unprepared combatant.

This weapon is difficult to notice when worn. The wearer must be searched and a Spot Hidden roll is required, opposed by the wearer’s Stealth skill.

During a surprise attack, an attacker with a Hidden Blade may attempt two attack rolls instead of one (as per the Shadow talent, p.26 Pulp Cthulhu rulebook). An attacker with a Hidden Blade who also has the Shadow talent can attempt three such surprise attack rolls. A Hidden Blade causes the same damage as a Medium Knife (1D4+2+db).

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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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Call of Cthulhu Name Card

I often lose track of who’s who around the table, especially at convention games when I’m meeting players for the first time.

Here’s a game aid I created for Call of Cthulhu: a name card which can be placed on the table in front of each player. Print it out and cut the edges as marked. Players can add their name, their investigator’s name, and any preferred pronoun for themselves and/or their investigator.

I’ll include a couple of links at the end of this blog post to download a couple of different versions, one with a QR code to the Cult of Chaos code of conduct page. Feel free to download and print whichever one you want to use.

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Weird Science Gadget: Sleeve Gun

Here’s another Weird Science Gadget for Pulp Cthulhu (p.86ff, Pulp Cthulhu rulebook). Scroll down for a PDF to download and print.

The Sleeve Gun is a concealed, spring-loaded weapon which extends a small firearm from a specially designed bracer worn around the wrist. This device can be used to quick draw a firearm.

During combat, an attacker with a Sleeve Gun may draw their hidden firearm and attack without needing to have their weapon “readied” to gain +50 DEX when determining position in the DEX order for combat (as per the Quick Draw Talent, p.25 Pulp Cthulhu rulebook). A Sleeve Gun is typically used with a .22 Short Automatic or .22 Derringer (causing 1D6 damage, p.402 Keeper Rulebook or p.251 Investigator Rulebook).

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Call of Cthulhu Prop: Fortune Cookie

I love handouts in Call of Cthulhu: old photographs, diary entries, half-burned letters, telegrams or business cards. I enjoy making my own if a scenario doesn’t come suitably equipped.

I’m also a fan of physical props. I recently ran a scenario set in my 1929 Chicago campaign where my investigators were following clues around town, eventually leading to a Chinatown opium den.

One of my investigators has a dog called Highball with the Scent Something Interesting skill. During the scenario Highball sniffed out a fortune cookie kicked beneath a bookshelf. I handed over a fortune cookie to my players, which they broke open, discovering the address of a Chicago Chinatown restaurant hidden inside.

My players loved it! But they wanted to know how I’d managed to pull off this magic trick from here in the UK. Here’s how…

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Weird Science Gadget: Night Vision Goggles

Here’s another Weird Science Gadget for Pulp Cthulhu (p.86ff, Pulp Cthulhu rulebook). Scroll down for a PDF to download and print.

Night Vision Goggles are a cumbersome headset mounted on a leather harness with a large disk worn across the chest. The disk projects a beam of infra-red light, illuminating the target, which is then visible through the headset.

When worn, this device allows the user to see in complete darkness to a range of 50 yards without being detectable by other individuals (unless they are similarly equipped). Movement is hampered whilst wearing this device: subtract 2 points from Move, and apply a penalty die to melee, Dodge, ranged combat, Climb, Jump or any other physical activity.

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Weird Science Gadget: Mind Control Helmet

This is the first in a series of short blog posts detailing Weird Science Gadgets from Pulp Cthulhu (p.86ff, Pulp Cthulhu rulebook). Each of these posts will include a PDF for you to download and print.

The Mind Control Helmet looks like a traditional pith helmet covered in a web of thick tubes. When worn over the head, it allows the user to attempt to control the actions of another individual. This device functions in an identical fashion to the Dominate spell (p.254, Keeper Rulebook) including range (10 yards), opposed POW roll, magic point and SAN point cost. Stepping inside the mind of another is an unnerving experience.

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Call of Cthulhu Single Player Scenarios

I’m currently running a Call of Cthulhu campaign for a single player. I was struggling to find a list of suitable scenarios, so I did a little digging, which turned into a list, which became this blog post! I hope you find it useful.

If the idea of running a single-player scenario seems odd, then you’re in good company. I’ve always been a “3 or 4 players and the GM” kinda guy, but it seems to work well in Call of Cthulhu.

This isn’t a long list. Feel free to comment or message me if you know of anything I could add. Every week I see people asking about single-player scenarios. Couples, often, running a game for their significant other. There’s clearly demand for more!

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Animal Handling in Call of Cthulhu

Earlier this year I ran the single-player scenario Love You to Death, one of two in the excellent sourcebook Does Love Forgive? During that scenario my player’s investigator acquired a pet dog, a German Shepherd called Highball. I thought this photo on the left, a Google search, was a good match for him until my player pointed out that this dog looked more like a Malinois.

Which shows how much I know!

If I’d looked a little further I would have found an actual photo of Highball. Poor chap. In my universe he’s now living happily with Betty in Old Town, Chicago with regular walks in the local park.

Highball is effectively Betty’s sidekick, an NPC, but we’ve developed a simple set of house rules to determine how successfully he carries out one task or another using the Animal Handling skill. That’s what this blog post is all about.

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Madam Long: Call of Cthulhu NPC

Two of my players just completed a Call of Cthulhu scenario I’ve written called Love to Hate set in 1929 Chicago. This is a sequel to the fantastic Love You to Death featured in Does Love Forgive? written and edited by Lynne Hardy, Airis Kamińska and Anna Maria Mazur. Love You to Death was a single player scenario which, in our campaign, left a loose end, brought to a conclusion in this sequel with a second investigator tagging along for the ride.

During the scenario the investigators needed to trace the whereabouts of a missing Chinese laundryman. They ended up at the fictional Xi’an Palace restaurant in the heart of Chicago’s Chinatown. This was an establishment owned by Madam Long, leader of the infamous (again fictional) Dragon Tong who controlled most of Chicago’s Chinatown.

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