Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mythos Generations / Purist Trail of Cthulhu campaign setting

Some thoughts collided earlier today.

Thought One: I read a review of Pendragon, the Arthurian RPG game, some time ago. The review mentioned that the classic storyline covered decades in its scope, and that it was common for players to play the descendants of their original characters.
This struck me as a cool idea. I thought it was a way to encourage players to invest in the peripheral aspects of their characters - establish a family and have children, or lose access to the cool stuff you've learnt/acquired so far.
I wondered why more games didn't do this.

Thought Two: A friend (hi Andy) forwarded me a rumour about Nintendo renewing the Eternal Darkness name for the Wii U/Project Cafe project.
Eternal Darkness was a Cthulhuesque investigative horror that focuses on one family's exposure to and struggle against the plots of an Outer God over the course of several generations.
It is an amazing game, with some genuinely scary moments, well thought out puzzles and magic system, and an... Interesting... Method of displaying your current Sanity level.
The game is told from the perspective of the modern day, as you investigate the mysterious death of your Uncle, and learn about your family's occult history.
As each new chapter is revealed, you play out the actions of one of your ancestors.
Each chapter provides another piece of the puzzle, leading toward the final confrontation in the modern day.

Collision: This would (clearly) make an excellent Trail of Cthulhu campaign setting.
All of the characters would have the In The Blood Drive, with the possibility of the Revenge Drive as well.
The first story would be set in, say, 1890 and introduce the players to a major Mythos threat that awakens from its slumber every 23 years, when the star are right, and the cultists that try to usher it into our world.
This would mean the threat would trouble the world in 1890, 1913, 1936, 1959 and 1982.
These dates can be fudged. The important thing is that they allow sufficient time between installments for characters to have children, or for their existing children to mature and have children of their own.

Trail... Purist campaigns are renowned for disposing of its investigators in short order, through death, sanity loss or Mythos shock, so it makes sense to me to have a replacement character lined up, one with access to their unfortunate relatives notes, possessions and demented ravings.

As the story continues, and characters are killed and retired, younger family members step into the breach to fulfil their ancestral destiny and prevent the dread horrors from the furthest stars from walking our earth once more.