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!
I like using 28mm miniatures when I’m Refereeing Traveller and I’ve found a cheap method of printing A1 and A0 paper plans for less than £2 each.
For my US friends, A1 is about 23 x 33 inches, A0 is 33 x 47 inches, and £2 is about $2.50. I’ll admit up front that this blog post is aimed at those of us in the UK, but hopefully you can find somewhere similar for printing your own plans over on that side of the planet.
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.
I’ll admit I was a bit sceptical when I first saw the big shiny Mongoose books and their fancy pants artwork but I bought the Core Rulebook anyway. As soon as I started reading I recognised its clear kinship to Classic Traveller and I soon realised that my house rules had been heading in the same direction anyway.
But, Mongoose Traveller Psionics rules are broken. (Well, I guess Cepheus broke them first.)
Let me explain. I’m afraid we need a short history lesson. There will also be number crunching.
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.
I’ve spent a sizeable chunk of my time during the last couple of years re-engaging with a much-loved hobby from my younger years, roleplaying games. I’m currently obsessed with Call of Cthulhu, especially Pulp Cthulhu which gives my players the character survivability they enjoy in campaign play.
I particularly love the Pulp Talent system, but I noticed a gap in the talents with social skills. Whereas Charm and Intimidate are covered with the Smooth Talker and Scary talents (p.24 & 26 Pulp Cthulhu rulebook), Fast Talk and Persuade are not.
This got me thinking about adding a couple of house rule talents, which then became ten. And I’m working on another set of ten at the moment to appear in a later post. Bonus points if you spot the various references! Scroll down for a PDF copy of this talent table to print out.
Revolutions is an anthology of speculative fiction set in Manchester: seventeen stories of science-fiction, horror, dystopian and weird fiction.
I’m very happy to be wearing two hats for this project as both writer and editor.
As writer, Revolutions includes my short story Traveller. This is an unusual departure for me: time-travel. I am probably the world’s worst sceptic when it comes to this particular subject so I’d like to think that my story explores a new approach to how it might all work in a believable, if slightly cynical, fashion. No bootstrap paradoxes here. In fact, no paradoxes at all.
Scarecrow is a new anthology of speculative fiction about to be published by World Weaver Press and it includes my short story Truth About Crows. That cover art is fantastic!
Truth About Crows is a standalone story with a very subtle link into the same universe as my Canton Station series of novels. If you like low-fi sci-fi and an independent young female protagonist with a knack for fixing tech then you might enjoy Truth About Crows.
Scarecrow is due for publication on the 4th of August, edited by the wonderful Rhonda Parrish.
Competition time! And not just one competition . . . but two!
So we did MCM Manchester Comic Con. This was a first for me and only the third time time I’ve ever cosplayed if you count Secret Cinema. I was wearing my Jedi outfit — I really need a blue lightsaber to qualify as Obi Wan — and I was accompanied by my younger son dressed as Anakin and my eldest son going for a Boba Fett / SWAT look.
So we did Secret Cinema. We dressed up as Star Wars characters. We wandered around London. That’s my eldest son in the photo next to me. I do not have the words to describe how much of an amazing time we had that night and even if I did I wouldn’t tell you because that’s the whole point.