Call of Cthulhu: The Haunting – Session One (Pt. 1)

Seriously, make any picture of a child or teddy bear black and white high contrast, and you'll be unsettled

Seriously, make any picture of a child or teddy bear black and white high contrast, and you'll be unsettled

List of Characters

Stephen St. John, Esq.; Accomplished solicitor/lawyer.  A dapper dresser and impeccable orator.  Is willing to take on cases no one else would touch, partly out of pride and…  well, no, entirely out of pride.  Helped save the Adams store from lawsuits intended to keep Adams from inheriting it.

Vincent Adams;  Orphaned son of gun store owner, inherited the shop and all the weapon stock and the clientele, both legal and illegal.  Always looking for extra cash, and a way to test out his newest weapons.  Owes St. John for his livelihood, and will help him at the drop of a hat.

“Lady” Jane Simpson; Privileged dilettante, thrill seeker, trust fund child.  Slumming it at the moment in nearby Miskatonic.  Parents are professional peers of St. John, and she met Adams through their mutual association.  Yawns a lot.

Rachel Hemingway; Journalist and budding author.  Currently studying the underworld of arms dealing, working as publicist and adventure companion for Adams. Continue reading “Call of Cthulhu: The Haunting – Session One (Pt. 1)”

Call of Cthulhu Character Creator

Maybe he's smiling and his face is just upside-down

To help the lazy and the indolent I’ve created a character creator.

I’ll be making minor changes as time allows, but it’s nearly done.  All I have to add as of now will be descriptions of what Occupation you’ve chosen, and for the point pool to change if you assign skill points to a skill.  Right now it just shows you what points you have available in total, and doesn’t change even if you change your skills.

Keep in mind that your characters will need to have a somewhat cohesive storyline about how they came together and how they know each other from the past.  It’s possible that four strangers wandered into a room at the same time while someone was describing a job they want done, but that just isn’t very likely. Maybe the group is a separate set of specialists called in on their first job together.   Or possibly one or two of the characters know each other from military service or from their schooldays.

Regardless, something has drawn your character to the paranormal.  Something has made your character interested in the occult and metaphysics.  Whether they’re skeptical and scientific and want to debunk myths they find childish, or whether they’re obsessive cultists, that’s up to you.  But some sort of backstory makes the game more fun and makes the character more lifelike.

Call of Cthulhu Character Creation Part 2

Cthulhu Kills 'Em with Kindness, and Bear Hugs
Cthulhu Kills ‘Em with Kindness, and Bear Hugs

There are a few straggling items in creating a character in order to flesh them out more fully in the game.

Here is a small sample of the occupations you can choose from.

Switching up Attributes

If you have somewhat confusing attributes that don’t please you you can do a few things.

  1. Accept it, and realize that not everybody is easy to understand and that your character is complex and mysterious.  Like the Green Power Ranger.
  2. Shuffle the scores, but don’t change the scores.  Such as, swap Appearance with Education.  That’s a tradeoff we’ve all made in our lives.
  3. Re allocate the total points, but never exceed the possible rolled scores of each attribute.

Do this only with the primary attributes, obviously.  As the secondary are all dependent on primary.


Character yearly income is determined by a die roll, just like basically anything else in the game.  It also determines what assets this character has saved.

For a 1920s game, the result of a 1D10 roll assigns the income.  I’ve put in parenthesis what hourly wage this would be roughly equivalent to in 2013 dollars.  It’s a very rough estimate, but it helps you conceptualize the financial situation of the character.

Yearly income:

  1. $1500 + room & board ($7)
  2. $2500 ($13)
  3. $3500 ($17)
  4. (also) $3500 ($17)
  5. $4500 ($22)
  6. $5500 ($26)
  7. $6500 ($32)
  8. $7500 ($37)
  9. $10000 ($50)
  10. $20000 ($100)

Total assets in holding for a character are determined as 5 times yearly salary, and one tenth of that is available banked as cash (immediately available by visiting local bank).  Another tenth of that is in investments available with 30 days notice.

Let’s say you rolled a 5, setting your income at $4500.  That would mean your total character’s worth would be $22500.  With one tenth ($2250) in the bank and another tenth ($2250) available as stock options, your character has a remaining $18000 in assets.  These are held as a house, or a barge, or a coin collection or whatever, and is generally unattainable within a single mission’s time, unless your character is remarkably good at some sort of wheeling and dealing. (Accounting, fast talk or some such)


Education has a direct bearing on age in CoC.  The more education you have, the older you have to be.  Whether this requirement comes as a side effect of having gone to med-school, or whether it’s because your character has had to live on the streets for years and learned how to bottle his own pickles using his own fluids, that tidbit is up to you.  But to determine age you follow the formula as such:

Minimum age for character is EDU + 6 Years.  This will generally not even put you above 20 years old at a minimum.

However, you can increase your character’s age at creation as a tradeoff.  For every 10 years you age your character, you gain another point of EDU, adding 20 more occupation points to your pool.  But once you pass 40, this takes a toll on the body, and for every 10 years above 40 you push your character, you must subtract one point from either STR, CON, DEX or APP.  (Your face gets liver spots or something)

Having a high skilled, disgusting looking 80 year old character could be delightful.


Call of Cthulhu Character Creation

Cthulhu Bathes in Madness and Seasalts
Cthulhu Bathes in Madness and Seasalts

Turns out CoC Character creation follows a very few simple ruleset which you can download here.

A character can be boiled down to a few certain attributes, which that PDF will go over, just like most RPGs.  And also like most RPGs those attributes will be instantly familiar to you, and generally you can infer what each will mean.

The majority of these attributes are created randomly during character creation.  The remaining attributes are created based off of those random assignments.

As you work your way through the character creation, you will fill out the last few pages of this PDF document.

Primary Attributes

Major influencers of gameplay.  Set to determine how smart, fast, resourceful, strong, or SEXAY your character is.

  1. Strength
  2. Constitution
  3. Dexterity
  4. Size
  5. Intelligence
  6. Power
  7. Appearance
  8. Education

Secondary Attributes

These are generally influenced by the primary attributes, but are used commonly during the game process to determine if you’re about to die.

  1. Idea
  2. Knowledge
  3. Luck
  4. Damage Bonus
  5. Magic
  6. Hit Points
  7. Sanity

Occupation and Skills

Once you see how your character is fleshing out, you can decide on an occupation that would make sense for the character.  For example, an moderately intelligent, highly educated, good looking character could be a businessman that’s got by on his looks and credentials.  Or a character that is huge, slow, but incredibly lucky could be the rich lazy son of a English Duke.  A dilettante of sorts.  Those same attributes with low luck you could make a dock worker.  And so on.

Once you choose the occupation, you can pick from the list of occupation skills that are in the skills list of the Character Sheet.  You assign percentage points to those skills that fit within the character’s backstory and occupation.  You wouldn’t normally assign the dock worker any accounting skill points, but maybe his spot hidden would be highly refined due to working around dangerous equipment.  You determine the pool of points for those skills based on your EDU (education) point total multiplied by 20.  For example, if you had 15 EDU, you would have a starting point pool of 300.  You could then assign those points to each skill as you see fit.  However, no skill type can be greater than 75.  Also,the Cthulhu Mythos (knowledge of the ancient gods and monsters that lurk in the universe) should not be increased, since the characters we’re creating have not yet encountered such terrible tentacled beasts.  Yet.  That’s what we’re going to put them through during our adventures.  You’ll see your characters grow in Mythos knowledge, and likely in insanity and sweaty palms.

For hobby skills, you take your INT score, and multiply it by 10.  That pool can now be used and assigned to skills in the same manner as occupation skills, except do not need to be limited by the occupation and background you’ve chosen.