Forums Gaming Chat Roleplaying Lovecraftian Dungeons?

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  • #560834
    BigJackBrass
    • Posts : 4638
    • Drider

    Here’s a simple topic for discussion: do you think it’s possible to run a Lovecraftian dungeon adventure, or does the nature of dungeon-bashing fantasy run counter the themes that make a story “Lovecraftian” in the first place?

    Examples welcome 🙂

    #648424
    Pencil-Monkey
    • Posts : 5728
    • Mind Flayer

    Frankly, many people already play Call of Cthulhu as a dungeon crawl, or at least as a hack ‘n’ slash adventure. 🙂 The Investigators head out, heavily laden with shotguns and dynamite, itching to kill as many cultists and minor gribbly creatures as possible, until they eventually meet their gory glorious demise at the tentacles of an Elder Being. That’s not far removed from a traditional dungeon crawl, although with a higher lethality rate than many modern RPGs offer – it might be more accurate to compare it to old-school 0D&D games, where TPKs were an everyday occurrence.

    If your whiney little cry-babies players want a Cthuvian dungeon crawl with less risk of being cosmically disemboweled, you could try a reverse-dungeon approach. The players take the role of Cthultists and Deep Ones, going on “city crawls” where they try to sacrifice/devour as many orphan baby paladin nuns as possible, to increase their own power level.

    You may also wish to take a look at Machina Arcana, which has been described as a Steampunk Cthulhu-esque dungeon crawl board game.
     

    Machina Arcana is a cooperative steampunk horror board game for 1-4 players. An immersive and dark, turn-based tactical game.

    Players take on the role of explorers that are thrown into dreadful halls, scratching for survival and progressing through the chapters of one from many horror stories. Even if they manage to stay alive till the end of the story, they will face a special mini game at the finale of each scenario.

    A novel way of interacting with environment, inventory, combat mechanics, tactical and storytelling experience all connected in order to give you a complete immersion and replay value. But beware! A horde of unique and terrifying monsters are bent only to destroying your party. If that isn’t enough, Horror itself disrupts and hinders any remaining hope in these comfortless chambers.

    Enjoy the stunning art and dark visuals of the game, let yourself be entranced in the gripping story and peculiar events. There is no need for game master, no special conditions based on player count, a modifiable duration and difficulty setting. But one thing is always certain – every session is different, huge content and a game that is easy to learn but hard to master.

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    #648425
    Hafwit 2.0
    • Posts : 160
    • Orc

    I think what’s needed to make dungeon crawls (sorta) Lovecraftian is a change in mood more than anything else. The characters should very much be going into the unknown every time they go ‘crawling. Their adversaries should be alien, and the rewards should be strange and somewhat of a double-edged sword.

     

    Cleric: “I can’t find an exact passage, but I’m pretty sure the Lord frowns on a glowing green blood-drinking rock”.

     

    Thief: “Did you SEE the hole it blew in the baron’s tax collectors? KA-BOOM and you were exempt!”

     

    Rock: “Feeeed meee!”

    #648426
    BigJackBrass
    • Posts : 4638
    • Drider

    I posted this topic from my mobile ‘phone, which seems to have occasional issues with double posting. Sure enough, looking at the forum on my PC I see that the topic has appeared twice! Because of that I’ve combined the two threads.

    #648427
    Hafwit 2.0
    • Posts : 160
    • Orc

    Do you think that system of SAN/fear checks/mental stability would make a game more Lovecraftian?

     

    I don’t personally think it’s needed (although it can be fun!) Some things I think a ‘Cthulhu-crawl’ game should consider:

     

    – Magic should come with risk and with a cost.

    – There should be a real feeling that the PCs are on their own. As such clerics should probably have a different role (or being a person of the cloth should just be background)

    – There should be an element of mystery and investigation. A gradual revelation of what’s really going on.

    – No ‘standard monsters’.

     

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    #648428
    Lucky_Strike
    • Posts : 197
    • Orc

    More thoughts on this later but the the horror at alien strangeness can fit in many places.

    If you chose to run it with a slant to the descriptions Expedition to the Barrier Peaks could be very lovecraftian.

    #648429
    Pencil-Monkey
    • Posts : 5728
    • Mind Flayer

    I posted this topic from my mobile ‘phone, which seems to have occasional issues with double posting. Sure enough, looking at the forum on my PC I see that the topic has appeared twice! Because of that I’ve combined the two threads.

     

    Having trouble with all these new-fangled doohickeys, eh gramps? 😛

     
    tumblr_n0yzn9lhjt1shsh8fo3_1280.jpg
    (“Call louder, I’m half deaf!”)

    Cthulhu, the Great Old One.

    #648430
    Hafwit 2.0
    • Posts : 160
    • Orc

    Awww. Lookit the spawn. 🙂

    #648431
    Pencil-Monkey
    • Posts : 5728
    • Mind Flayer

    Here’s another Lovecraftian dungeon crawl board game, this time with a Western twist: Shadows of Brimstone.

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    Players create characters, taking on the role of a classic Western Hero Archetype, such as the Law Man, Gunslinger, or Saloon Girl. Forming an adventuring posse, the Heroes venture down into the dark mines, overrun with all manner of ancient demons and foul creatures from another world. With tactical gameplay, lots of dice, and a robust card-driven exploration system, no two games are ever the same as the Heroes explore the mines finding new enemies to fight, new Loot to collect, and new dangers to overcome. Players can even find portals to other worlds, stepping through to continue their adventures on the other side!

    An exciting campaign system allows the Players to visit local frontier towns between adventures, spending their hard-earned Loot and building their characters from game to game! As players find fantastic Gear and Artifacts to equip their Heroes, they also gain experience from their adventures. This experience is used to level up, guiding the Hero’s path through an expansive, class-specific upgrade tree of new skills and abilities, allowing each player to develop their Hero to fit their own play style.

    So load up yer’ six shooter, throw on yer’ hat and poncho, and gather the posse, the darkness is coming, and all hell’s about to break loose… in the Shadows of Brimstone!

     

    #648432
    Hafwit 2.0
    • Posts : 160
    • Orc

    That does look like great fun. The guy with the rifle looks like he’s a wild west Cacofonix/Trubadurix.

    #648433
    Lucky_Strike
    • Posts : 197
    • Orc

    That does look like great fun. The guy with the rifle looks like he’s a wild west Cacofonix/Trubadurix.

    Now I’m going to have to find a way to incorporate an Armorican archaeological dig into my next Call of Cthulhu game.

    #648434
    kendoyle659
    • Posts : 379
    • Thri-kreen

    Now I’m going to have to find a way to incorporate an Armorican archaeological dig into my next Call of Cthulhu game.

     

    Will they find lots of wild boar bones and a mysterious potion gourd?

    #648435
    Pencil-Monkey
    • Posts : 5728
    • Mind Flayer

    They might discover ancient remains of Roman legionary soldiers, who appear to have been frightened to death by an eldritch horror summoned by Celtic druids. Oh, and above the mass grave there’s a menhir bearing a message carved in Gaulish: “They’re crazy, those Romans!”

     

    #648436
    Lucky_Strike
    • Posts : 197
    • Orc

    They might discover ancient remains of Roman legionary soldiers, who appear to have been frightened to death by an eldritch horror summoned by Celtic druids. Oh, and above the mass grave there’s a menhir bearing a message carved in Gaulish: “They’re crazy, those Romans!”

    And a shield inscribed “I don’t know where Alesia is!”

    #648437
    Slartibartfast
    • Posts : 905
    • Gelatinous Cube

    By Toutatis‘ tenticles!

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