Trail of Cthulhu
Συγγραφέας: Kenneth Hite
Trail of Cthulhu is an audacious project combining true occult knowledge with the traditional Cthulhu Mythos: It's a "do-over" of Call of Cthulhu, an enormously popular and enduring game.
Ken Hite has tossed out the Basic Roleplaying engine of CoC, little changed in the game's 27-year history, and replaced it with the Gumshoe system, recently created by Robin Laws explicitly for investigative horror games. Previous iterations of that system have been entitled The Esoterrorists and Fear Itself. Neither is a Lovecraftian game, but the Gumshoe system was intended from the beginning to fix what Laws sees as one of the main problems with CoC: that it can stall when the players fail their die rolls and miss clues that are essential to progress in the scenario.
I think anyone interested in Lovecraftian roleplaying would do well to get Trail of Cthulhu, despite some potential problems and shortcomings. Hite's writing skill is very impressive, as is his grasp of the Mythos and his determination to make a better game of them. In particular, the section on the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods is genius. Instead of learning that Hastur has 150 HP and 30 points of armor, we're told that:
«Hastur is a sentient (or at least self-willed) meme, or rather a viral complex of memes centered on alienation, ennui and despair. If, say, an artist depicts futile conversations on the edge of reality, she inculcates Hastur into the belief systems of her susceptible viewers. "Seeing the Yellow Sign" is a kind of perceptual stigmata that occurs as the brain begins to become convinced of Hastur's centrality».
But that's just one of 11 interpretations of the nature of Hastur that Hite gives us. Hastur could also be a great octopoid Great Old One similar to Cthulhu. It's up the GM to decide which one, or which ones, apply. The only stats given are for the hit a character's mental health will take from the encounter: you don't fight a meme or a god, at least not with weapons.
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