Author Topic: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?  (Read 18442 times)

Seejo Crux

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Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« 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?

Dogfish

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #1 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.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #2 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.

Ryo

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #3 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.

Kroack

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2010, 02:47:21 PM »
The titular story, Call of Cthulhu, features pirates. Does it not?

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #5 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.

ArtfulShrapnel

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #6 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!



clockworkjoe

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2010, 04:03:10 PM »
R'yleh is in the Pacific Ocean.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%27lyeh

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #8 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.

clockworkjoe

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #9 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.

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Dogfish

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #10 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.

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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.

Seejo Crux

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #11 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.

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #12 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.
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Mckma

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #13 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...

Seejo Crux

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Re: Pirates and Cthulhu: A Good Mix?
« Reply #14 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.