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General Category => RPGs => Topic started by: Seejo Crux on June 15, 2010, 01:02:00 PM

Title: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Seejo Crux on June 15, 2010, 01:02:00 PM
After watching E3's Armada of the Damned trailer, I found myself wondering if a Call of Cthulhu game run in a pirates/naval setting would work. I've listened to the U-Boat Haraus cast, and that led me to believe that it was possible. You would just have to account for more swashbuckling.

Has anyone played such a game? Any thoughts? Is it possible to convince the RPPR cast to give it a try?
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Dogfish on June 15, 2010, 01:10:39 PM
Well the things is the truth about pirates is rather split. They were either just regular sailors that had the job of looting the ships of rival countries, often during periods of war, or they were genuine bastards of the sea raping and pillaging and putting entire villages to the sword.

A good way to combine the two is to use the sea-based gods. Call of Cthulhu, funnily, would be a good place to start as the majority of that involves travelling by sea to distant ports. For when you're in the ports itself look no further than Innsmouth...perhaps expanding on what did happen on that South Seas Island? Perhaps they attack a ship only to discover the crew were heading to a mysterious island with a large haul of this odd gold.

I think it would be a good basis for a game if you can keep the players in line with the darker side of piracy rather than the Treasure Island/Pirates of the Carribean swashbuckling.

I was interested in running a 'bad' party pirates game using 7th Sea and I think I would of included some of the supernatural there anyway. Certainly an interesting idea.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Tadanori Oyama on June 15, 2010, 01:34:25 PM
I think a period CoC game using characters styled similarly to real pirates would be excellent. The players would already have slightly lower SAN scores (killing people and taking their stuff for a living) and the chances of running into mythos beasties or crazy hidden cults is pretty good when your life depends on finding out of the way places to hide.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Ryo on June 15, 2010, 02:23:23 PM
Having seen and even commented numerous acts of atrocities upon these raging seas, what happens when a band of pirates come face to face with horrors beyond mortal understanding.


                                           Below still waters; they awaken.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Kroack on June 15, 2010, 02:47:21 PM
The titular story, Call of Cthulhu, features pirates. Does it not?
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Tadanori Oyama on June 15, 2010, 03:15:25 PM
The titular story, Call of Cthulhu, features pirates. Does it not?

Mostly as antagonists, if I remember correctly. "Religious minorty groups" pop up all over the place and I think some of them are pirates, particularly in the second act of the book. I haven't read the story in years.

I think pirates as protagonists requires a slightly altered approach.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: ArtfulShrapnel on June 15, 2010, 03:52:38 PM
I think it could totally work, especially if you're dealing with pirates in the carribean, and the mid-atlantic islands. They'd be sailing right by R'yleh on a regular basis, and collecting artifacts and treasure from locals who are close by and could easily have been influenced. Don't forget about the awesome possibilities around Viking Cthulhu, either. I wonder which Norse god was inspired by Nyarlethotep? I'm willing to bet on Loki.

Here's a plot idea: Players are crewmates on a pirate ship. The captain, corrupted by an ancient artifact he found while travelling the south Americas, begins having dreams about Cthulhu and has them sail to R'yleh.

Action!


Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: clockworkjoe on June 15, 2010, 04:03:10 PM
R'yleh is in the Pacific Ocean.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%27lyeh
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Tadanori Oyama on June 15, 2010, 05:10:44 PM
R'yleh is in the Pacific Ocean.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%27lyeh

You could take the CthulhuTech approach: R'yleh is in another fucking dimension and it crosses into our world when it damn well feels like it.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: clockworkjoe on June 15, 2010, 10:35:26 PM
R'yleh is in the Pacific Ocean.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%27lyeh

You could take the CthulhuTech approach: R'yleh is in another fucking dimension and it crosses into our world when it damn well feels like it.

just your like mother
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Dogfish on June 16, 2010, 04:16:03 AM

You could take the CthulhuTech approach: R'yleh is in another fucking dimension and it crosses into our world when it damn well feels like it.

just your like mother

You dumb are.

I am really getting behind this idea, I can think of a lot of supernatural things that have been attributed to the sea that could be adapted into adventures of a dark and horror filled nature. A ghost ship, mermaids/deep ones, a mysterious ships graveyard that your boat is naturally pulled into, stories of green fire...though in one large isolated column etc.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Seejo Crux on June 16, 2010, 09:26:26 AM
I just downloaded the CoC quickstart rules pdf. Maybe I'll spend work writing up a pirate scenario. This R'yleh angle sounds good to me. Just finding the damn place would be a challenge. Although, I doubt anyone would want to find it on purpose.

Unless the captain claimed there was gold there. Lots of gold.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Setherick on June 16, 2010, 01:02:10 PM
I love the idea of a ship based game because it complete isolates the players. I really wanted to see the forum get behind the idea of coming up with a cruise ship zombie game, but it never materialized.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Mckma on June 16, 2010, 01:20:07 PM
I love the idea of a ship based game because it complete isolates the players. I really wanted to see the forum get behind the idea of coming up with a cruise ship zombie game, but it never materialized.

I actually half prepared a real brief version of this for All Flesh Must Be Eaten as a short one shot for my group to introduce the system before playing another longer campaign.  Neither were actually played...
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Seejo Crux on June 16, 2010, 02:13:32 PM
I've done some digging around on Wikipedia. Here's some thoughts.


Setting: 1715. Treaty of Utrecht ends Queen Anne's War (War of the Spanish Succession). Thousands of sailors, privateers, and paramilitary are out of a job. Cross-Atlantic colonial shipping trade is on the rise. Many normal, well-adjusted, but poor people are turning to piracy to pay the bills, while true-blue, crazy-eyed pirates are happily accepting all the fresh recruits. Even the normally law-abiding merchants of colonies and countries alike are overlooking - even funding - pirate voyages in the interest of profit.

Hook: The captain (or sponsor) of [your ship here] comes across a book describing the Lost City of R'lyeh, a city where an "ancient god and all His treasures" waits to be discovered. The book doesn't show the way to the lost city, but does hint that the book's author still lives in Ponape, one of many seemingly innocent islands in the Pacific region. It's a long way from your normal stomping grounds of the Indian Ocean, but the captain is eager to begin the search. Perhaps too eager.

Quest Line
- Sail the old Pirate Rounds to Ponape. Speak with [local mystic] and get directions.
- Learn from [local mystic] that R'lyeh is not just lost, but deep underwater.
- Steal the experimental Diving Engine from the English inventor, John Lethbridge.
- Sail to Point Nemo, a.k.a the Pole of Inaccessibility.
- Descend to R'lyeh using the Diving Engine.
- Find R'lyeh's treasure. (re: roll SAN loss)


I was thinking that a maritime "professor of occult" would fit well with this setup. The captain/sponsor has probably been looking for R'lyeh for a while now and has called on the services of educated men to help with the search. A character with an emphasis on knowledge skills could still be involved with the game even if they aren't an actual seaman.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Setherick on June 16, 2010, 02:26:26 PM
Another possible setting would be T. Jeff's illegal war against the Barbary Pirates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Kroack on June 16, 2010, 02:52:59 PM
I think that the pirate theme would be great for sandbox type game play.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: ArtfulShrapnel on June 16, 2010, 03:33:32 PM
I've done some digging around on Wikipedia. Here's some thoughts.

Quest Line
- Sail the old Pirate Rounds to Ponape. Speak with [local mystic] and get directions.
- Learn from [local mystic] that R'lyeh is not just lost, but deep underwater.
- Steal the experimental Diving Engine from the English inventor, John Lethbridge.
- Sail to Point Nemo, a.k.a the Pole of Inaccessibility.
- Descend to R'lyeh using the Diving Engine.
- Find R'lyeh's treasure. (re: roll SAN loss)


Another take on the quest for a more "mystical" feel. Complete with cults and the writings of a mad arab.

...
- Learn from [local mystic] that R'lyeh is not only lost, but is sunken and rises to the surface only when the stars are right. Supposedly a school of Arabic astrologers know when that might be.
- Sail to the port of Doha in Quatar, where the Cult of the Burning Eye are known to traffic in stolen artifacts.
- Somehow acquire the secret mad writings of Ali ibn Ridwan from the cult, which contain the star charts and diagrams which came to him in dreams while the Burning Eye (now known as Supernova SN1006) burned in the sky for three lunar cycles during the summer of 1006 A.D.
- Decipher the diagrams somehow, perhaps visiting chinese or british astronomers.
- Sail to Point Nemo A.K.A. the Pole of Inaccessibility on the proper date (which is of course reasonably close at hand)
- Discover R'lyeh as it rises from the ocean, hilarity and SAN checks ensue.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Kroack on June 16, 2010, 03:41:34 PM
what would the motivation of the pirates be?
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Dogfish on June 16, 2010, 03:46:10 PM
Gold no doubt Kroack. I just feel that the game as presented is bit weak because it immediately gives players knowledge that they may have gathered via simple osmosis of being near Call of Cthulhu book or RPG.

You mention these specifics to people and they may get giddy but if you have even a slightly survival minded player (and god forbid character) the whole thing falls about your ankles.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Setherick on June 16, 2010, 03:57:16 PM
I've done some digging around on Wikipedia. Here's some thoughts.

Quest Line
- Sail the old Pirate Rounds to Ponape. Speak with [local mystic] and get directions.
- Learn from [local mystic] that R'lyeh is not just lost, but deep underwater.
- Steal the experimental Diving Engine from the English inventor, John Lethbridge.
- Sail to Point Nemo, a.k.a the Pole of Inaccessibility.
- Descend to R'lyeh using the Diving Engine.
- Find R'lyeh's treasure. (re: roll SAN loss)


Another take on the quest for a more "mystical" feel. Complete with cults and the writings of a mad arab.

...
- Learn from [local mystic] that R'lyeh is not only lost, but is sunken and rises to the surface only when the stars are right. Supposedly a school of Arabic astrologers know when that might be.
- Sail to the port of Doha in Quatar, where the Cult of the Burning Eye are known to traffic in stolen artifacts.
- Somehow acquire the secret mad writings of Ali ibn Ridwan from the cult, which contain the star charts and diagrams which came to him in dreams while the Burning Eye (now known as Supernova SN1006) burned in the sky for three lunar cycles during the summer of 1006 A.D.
- Decipher the diagrams somehow, perhaps visiting KIDNAPPINGchinese or british astronomers.
- Sail to Point Nemo A.K.A. the Pole of Inaccessibility on the proper date (which is of course reasonably close at hand)
- Discover R'lyeh as it rises from the ocean, hilarity and SAN checks ensue.

One minor fix.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Tadanori Oyama on June 16, 2010, 04:07:29 PM
Good fix, dude.

I'd encourage the players to think as pirate-like as possible because it'll make them feel more confident and bold with each wench they kidnap or ship they board until they get to the big finish.

I may try running this. My players have wanted to try another CoC game.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: ArtfulShrapnel on June 16, 2010, 04:10:52 PM

- Decipher the diagrams somehow, perhaps visiting KIDNAPPINGchinese or british astronomers.


One minor fix.

I was thinking of "visiting" as a sort of vague euphemism for all sorts of piratical social interactions, but yours is definitely a good, much more specific pirate plot point.

I may have to run this one myself after I wrap up my current Masks campaign.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: The_Last_76 on November 15, 2010, 07:29:14 PM
I've done some digging around on Wikipedia. Here's some thoughts.


Setting: 1715. Treaty of Utrecht ends Queen Anne's War (War of the Spanish Succession). Thousands of sailors, privateers, and paramilitary are out of a job. Cross-Atlantic colonial shipping trade is on the rise. Many normal, well-adjusted, but poor people are turning to piracy to pay the bills, while true-blue, crazy-eyed pirates are happily accepting all the fresh recruits. Even the normally law-abiding merchants of colonies and countries alike are overlooking - even funding - pirate voyages in the interest of profit.

Hook: The captain (or sponsor) of [your ship here] comes across a book describing the Lost City of R'lyeh, a city where an "ancient god and all His treasures" waits to be discovered. The book doesn't show the way to the lost city, but does hint that the book's author still lives in Ponape, one of many seemingly innocent islands in the Pacific region. It's a long way from your normal stomping grounds of the Indian Ocean, but the captain is eager to begin the search. Perhaps too eager.

Quest Line
- Sail the old Pirate Rounds to Ponape. Speak with [local mystic] and get directions.
- Learn from [local mystic] that R'lyeh is not just lost, but deep underwater.
- Steal the experimental Diving Engine from the English inventor, John Lethbridge.
- Sail to Point Nemo, a.k.a the Pole of Inaccessibility.
- Descend to R'lyeh using the Diving Engine.
- Find R'lyeh's treasure. (re: roll SAN loss)


I was thinking that a maritime "professor of occult" would fit well with this setup. The captain/sponsor has probably been looking for R'lyeh for a while now and has called on the services of educated men to help with the search. A character with an emphasis on knowledge skills could still be involved with the game even if they aren't an actual seaman.

Has anyone tried this?

Because, it's seems like it has a metric fuck-tonne of potential.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Setherick on November 15, 2010, 10:31:30 PM
I've done some digging around on Wikipedia. Here's some thoughts.


Setting: 1715. Treaty of Utrecht ends Queen Anne's War (War of the Spanish Succession). Thousands of sailors, privateers, and paramilitary are out of a job. Cross-Atlantic colonial shipping trade is on the rise. Many normal, well-adjusted, but poor people are turning to piracy to pay the bills, while true-blue, crazy-eyed pirates are happily accepting all the fresh recruits. Even the normally law-abiding merchants of colonies and countries alike are overlooking - even funding - pirate voyages in the interest of profit.

Hook: The captain (or sponsor) of [your ship here] comes across a book describing the Lost City of R'lyeh, a city where an "ancient god and all His treasures" waits to be discovered. The book doesn't show the way to the lost city, but does hint that the book's author still lives in Ponape, one of many seemingly innocent islands in the Pacific region. It's a long way from your normal stomping grounds of the Indian Ocean, but the captain is eager to begin the search. Perhaps too eager.

Quest Line
- Sail the old Pirate Rounds to Ponape. Speak with [local mystic] and get directions.
- Learn from [local mystic] that R'lyeh is not just lost, but deep underwater.
- Steal the experimental Diving Engine from the English inventor, John Lethbridge.
- Sail to Point Nemo, a.k.a the Pole of Inaccessibility.
- Descend to R'lyeh using the Diving Engine.
- Find R'lyeh's treasure. (re: roll SAN loss)


I was thinking that a maritime "professor of occult" would fit well with this setup. The captain/sponsor has probably been looking for R'lyeh for a while now and has called on the services of educated men to help with the search. A character with an emphasis on knowledge skills could still be involved with the game even if they aren't an actual seaman.

Has anyone tried this?

Because, it's seems like it has a metric fuck-tonne of potential.

Probably not. We just like to throw around ideas for games. :)
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: doctorscraps on November 16, 2010, 11:44:29 AM
Pirates are perfect for Lovecraftian adventures.
Though you might have trouble keeping it solely horror and will probably wander into Pirates of the Carribean territory for a bit.

...A swash buckling avatar of Nyarlathotep.
...Cthulhu wearing a Tricorn...
...Hastur up in the crows nest...
...Yog sothoth in a powdered wig and pantaloons...
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: clockworkjoe on November 16, 2010, 04:51:24 PM
Freeport (from Green Ronin) is a pirate and Cthulhu heavy D&D type setting - might be worth looking into for ideas.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: The_Last_76 on November 16, 2010, 08:43:44 PM
Pirates are perfect for Lovecraftian adventures.
Though you might have trouble keeping it solely horror and will probably wander into Pirates of the Carribean territory for a bit.

...A swash buckling avatar of Nyarlathotep.
...Cthulhu wearing a Tricorn...
...Hastur up in the crows nest...
...Yog sothoth in a powdered wig and pantaloons...

I will move heaven and hell to make this my next campaign.
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Setherick on November 16, 2010, 09:03:44 PM
Pirates are perfect for Lovecraftian adventures.
Though you might have trouble keeping it solely horror and will probably wander into Pirates of the Carribean territory for a bit.

...A swash buckling avatar of Nyarlathotep.

Technically Nyarlathotep has a nearly infinite number of avatars, so I don't see why this wouldn't be acceptable. :)
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Leofric1313 on November 18, 2010, 03:40:10 AM
It's not piratey, but it is at sea and it is Call of Cthulhu.
The 20 Weeks of Hell Podcast did a 1920's Ocean Cruise Liner game a few years back, the download feed is on Podbean at -
http://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail?pid=27354

Try that, it is not only freaky, but freeking hilarious.   Takes a while to get going (like most CoC games), but when it does, boy does the blood and guts hit the fan!


Also, like most red blooded males I am absolutely 'into' the whole Pirate idea [in general, and not just the game idea  ;)], and I am loving this idea of Pirate Cthulhu.   I have been looking for something to run for a xmas one -shot (it was going to be Paranoia), I think I may have found my inspiration!

I think you may all be onto something here.   My wife loves 7th Sea AND Call of Cthulhu, my son and his group have played 7th Sea and had fun but only a couple of them have played CoC.   Now, do I use CoC or 7th Sea rules (with an additional homebrew rule for Sanity!), OR do I go for something else.   
I'm thinking of using the Song of Ice and Fire RPG (SIFRP) system - it has brutal combat and excellent social mechanics.   The social mechanic could be adapted to some sort of Sanity system!   Unfortunately, there are no firearms in SIFRP, but it would only take a few minutes to add black powder weapons.

I think this idea has legs [sits pondering idea, whilst thoughfully stroking his goatee], thanks guys.   ;D
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: Setherick on December 21, 2010, 03:09:15 PM
I'm res'ing this thread again to post this. At some point two years, I started writing a CoC - Pirates game that would play on the idea of mercantile insurance companies hiring private security firms to retrieve boats and combat pirates. I would have probably ran the game as a forum game, but I fried the laptop in a freak tea-drinking related accident. Fortunately, my dad retrieved the hard drive when I gave him the old laptop this summer and sent it to me this week. Keep in mind that these are unfinished notes.

Quote
CoC Pirate Scenario

Ship: (Decommissioned) TAK-3008 2nd Lt. John K. Bobo Class Refitted to transport general cargo.

Cargo: Scrap metal being shipped from the Alang Ship Breaking Yards to Europe.

Crew: 25

Passengers: 2 a newlywed American couple who is taking an around the world cruise for their honeymoon through a cargo ship tourism company (Bulk Tours)

History: loaded scrap at Alang, was taken by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden three days ago, one day ago lost contact with the Somali pirates and the ship appears to be dead in the water and drifting out into the Indian Ocean

Contracting Agency: Mercantile Insurers of London have contracted [Blackwater Group] to retake control of the ship for $1.5 million dollars

Plan: Insert a 5 or 6 man fire team on board the ship via helicopter, retake and secure the ship, and reestablish the original crew at the helm if possible, if not wait for a crew that can take over the vessel.

The Back story: The owner of the ship has been using it to smuggle archaeological artifacts out of India and surrounding areas. On board the ship are cult artifacts for a cult that worshiped a variation of the Indian god Yama. The ship was also carrying the archaeologist that had been researching a lost city thought to be the home place of Yama on earth.

Mythos Artifacts:

Archaeologist's Journal Gives a broken account of travels to the lost city, some bits about various artifacts, the idol, and something about a rope. Much of the journal is in short hand or crossed out furiously. Also appears to be covered somewhat in blood. (sanity loss for skimming 1 / 1d2)

Players that attempt to decipher the

Idol of Yama The idol is a statue that shows a man kneeling before Yama. Yama holds a mace aloft in one hand. In his other hand, he holds a rope that ends in a noose coiled around the man's neck. The kneeling man's head has split open and appears his skeleton is coming out of his body from the hole created by the split head. The idol is made out of a semitransparent metal with the same color as obsidian, an unearthly green glow emanates from the center of the statue. No source of the glow can be identified.  (sanity loss for seeing the idol 1 / 1d10)
Title: Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
Post by: clockworkjoe on December 22, 2010, 11:33:52 PM
http://www.intermanager.org/Resources/News/tabid/82/newsid500/624/mid/500/Default.aspx