Welcome to the first episode of series 44, everyone! This series, we welcome James Coquillat, member of the Chaosium Digital Content team and cast member of the Stream of Chaos, to discuss Call of Cthulhu (7th Edition), a game of investigation and cosmic horror, from Chaosium, Inc! This episode we learn about the game, its robust history, and begin creating our characters!
Welcome to the first episode of series 44, everyone! This series, we welcome James Coquillat, member of the Chaosium Digital Content team and cast member of the Stream of Chaos, to discuss Call of Cthulhu (7th Edition), a game of investigation and cosmic horror, from Chaosium, Inc! This episode we learn about the game, its robust history, and begin creating our characters!
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Call of Cthulhu by Chaosium Inc
Character Creation Cast:
Ryan Boelter 0:01
Welcome to the first episode of series 44. Everyone, it's October. And our schedule is all over the place right now because I am in the process of moving packing house, and just recently transitioning to a new position with more responsibilities at work, which has made things a lot more interesting in my life. Never a dull moment. Things have been a lot lately. I know for both of us and getting things organized for the show has been a lot on top of that.
Amelia Antrim 0:36
Yeah, yeah, I think this time of year is like always a lot for like September's like back to school. And then you're moving, I had my hands surgeries, and then I had a really fun reaction to my third COVID shot. So it's just like life, you know, it's just doing life. Thanks. We're a little behind. But that's okay, fine. If you're not, things should get better after November. We're both feeling a lot of burnout. While we're trying to hit all of our commitments and things. It's hard. But we'll get there. Thank you so much for your patience as we navigate the next few months. Hopefully there's nowhere to go but up. I've been saying that for two years. But okay, we're getting we're
Ryan Boelter 1:19
getting to that point. Having said all of that, you will notice that the schedule will be a bit off through November. We have this series premiering today, obviously. But we will also have a spotlight episode coming up somewhere in the middle that we're going to be recording soon. And we also will likely take a break for November. With my move and a cat a con. I don't think there's any way that we can reasonably record anything for November at this point. But we should be able to line something up for December. So stay tuned.
Amelia Antrim 1:55
Yeah, definitely. And we are doing a paddle panel at a cat con. So hopefully we can kind of get something out from that and maybe put that on on the regular feed. Because those are always a good time. So don't worry, they'll still be some stuff out there. We're not going to just disappear for a month. But just with the way life has been and you know, obviously, some things take priority, like you know, setting up your children's bedrooms and things like that are more important than recording so we'll get there. Um, with that out of the way, we do have some announcements. Right now the Kickstarter for iron Edda. reforged is in its final week and needs your help to fund it's an ambitious Kickstarter with some really great goals involve producing phenomenal actual play content with extraordinarily talented people. So please check that out. This Thursday, our very own Ryan Boelter, you may have heard of him. We'll be demoing a session with Tracy Barnett and Gavin Reedy from the newest GM podcast. This will be streamed on the one shot twitch stream so definitely check that out and back the Kickstarter.
Ryan Boelter 3:05
Absolutely. I'm really looking forward to that and and here's a spoiler I'm going to try to recreate our original iron at a my original iron at a character with the romance of the of the bones I guess I don't
Amelia Antrim 3:20
know. Yeah, bone bonded like a romance with the giants and everything.
Ryan Boelter 3:23
Very cool. It'll be really interesting to play. So I'm excited for that. But that should be it for now. Check back with us here after the show for our call to action. But in the meantime, enjoy our first Call of Cthulhu episode everyone.
Ryan Boelter 4:10
Welcome to Character Creation Cast a show where we discuss and create characters The best part of role playing games with guests using their favorite systems. I'm one of your hosts Ryan. In this episode, my co host Amelia and I are excited to welcome James cockier, a member of the digital content team at caesium and one of the cast on the calcium stream of chaos on Twitch every week.
Amelia Antrim 4:34
James, welcome to Character Creation Cast. We are very excited you're here.
James Coquillat 4:39
I'm excited to be here. Thanks so much for having me on.
Amelia Antrim 4:42
Can you let everyone know a little bit more about yourself where they can find you what kind of stuff you're up to?
James Coquillat 4:47
Yeah, sure. So I work for calcium as has been mentioned, you can find me on Twitter where you can also keep up with some of the other work I do. I'm in the video game sector. So I do a little bit of work for a variety of video game companies. And I also work on some other ttrpg projects from time to time and do a little bit of prose writing. It's fun stuff.
Ryan Boelter 5:12
A very nice little bit of everything. Yeah. All right, well, let's go ahead and get into this. And we will start by discussing what this game is all about.
James Coquillat 5:22
What's in a game? Fantastic. So Call of Cthulhu is a game that I'm very passionate about. So I'm really happy to talk about it. Am I correct in saying that neither of you have any experience with Call of Cthulhu.
Amelia Antrim 5:36
I have not played it. I have looked at it a little bit. And I have read lots and lots of supplements and adventures for it. Because I was one of the nice judges this year. So I got to read a lot of the submissions for that. So I have a vague familiarity with it, but I have not gotten the chance to play it yet.
Ryan Boelter 5:57
This is my first exposure to Call of Cthulhu the RPG. But no no stranger to the Cthulhu Mythos. For at least 2020 years or so. My friend and I have been kind of obsessed with the board games and whatnot throughout surrounding that myth. Oh, yeah.
James Coquillat 6:19
Great. So you're you're on top of the source material. There are some great board games out there. For sure. So and you've read the AES submissions, so you're on top of the top tier of content that's out there. Yeah, right.
Amelia Antrim 6:32
Yes. I think one of them one best adventure this year, didn't it? I know that I believe his hand I think hand of glory. Yes.
James Coquillat 6:39
by Alan Claire's type 40. plastic. Yeah, absolutely fantastic scenario. And all of the seeds of terror range are really great stuff. Anyway, I'm Colin Cthulhu. So as if you've never been introduced to it before. And just in case you're not familiar with the Cthulhu Mythos, we'll go right from the start. So Call of Cthulhu is a game of cosmic horror. So it's a tabletop role playing game that is focused on dealing with these existential threats that are beyond the comprehension of humanity, and that beholding them will drive you entirely insane. And you are but insects, before the vast powers of the cosmos, you play as investigators in a variety of historical settings, the most common of which is the 1920s. And you work together to try and foil the plots of cultists who are trying to bring about the end of the world by summoning these eldritch beings, or of work to disrupt the schemes of strange, mad scientists who are putting together bodies that they're stealing from the graveyard to animate and eat the locals of some rural town. It's that sort of story. And if that sort of adventure, in Norman Cathedral, you tend to be very frail, as opposed to a lot of more combat focus, tabletop role playing games. So you really want to avoid getting into fights where you can, when you get come up against one of those eldritch horror style things. There's no way you're going to be able to fight against them. So you just have to be ready to run.
Ryan Boelter 8:18
That's awesome. The Cthulhu Mythos has been kind of resurging in pop culture as well, with like Lovecraft country being so popular.
Amelia Antrim 8:31
I mean, I'm not sure that it ever like all the way wasn't popular, right? It's a thing that it's had a lot of staying power.
Ryan Boelter 8:37
Oh, yeah, it's been around for quite a while. I can't remember when HP Lovecraft wrote the the original mifos. But it was probably what 20s 30s give or take, you know,
James Coquillat 8:50
I'm gonna embarrass myself and probably get the exact year wrong. But yes, it wasn't the 20s he was writing all throughout that period, as were many contemporaries who also contributed to the Cthulhu Mythos. And now we have this great, huge wealth of cosmic horror, that all these different writers and artists and content creators have contributed to leading up to where we are now a century later, with a huge wealth of content to draw from.
Ryan Boelter 9:21
Yeah, that's awesome.
Amelia Antrim 9:23
Yeah, I'm really surprised that I haven't gotten to play these games yet, because it has like all of the stuff that I like, which is, you know, sort of the more investigation heavy, like a little bit lower on the combat side, frail characters, that kind of stuff. But I think maybe it's because I like to be the one raising the dead, as opposed to trying to put a stop to that. I'm just like, I see that I'm on the wrong side.
James Coquillat 9:49
Enough, yeah. cola Cthulhu is one of the kind of great classic tabletop role playing games. It's been around since 81. It's actually going to be the 40th anniversary of Call of Cthulhu this year. So that's exciting.
Ryan Boelter 10:01
That's very exciting. Well, what sort of tools do we need to play Call of Cthulhu.
James Coquillat 10:07
Okay, so you're gonna need your standard suite of typical tabletop role playing game supplies. So paper and a pencil, you'll need a character sheet. And there are Grissom character sheet resources online that you can find, I think that you have a couple of them ready to go that we talked about just before we started. And apart from that, in terms of dice, you'll be the standard suites to play. But for this character creation process, we're going to need a D six, and we're going to need a D 100. So that is a D 10. And a percentile dice.
Ryan Boelter 10:41
Right? Nice. Beyond that, I love when we get to roll dice during character creation.
James Coquillat 10:47
It's a bit of fun, isn't it? It is. beyond that. You just need a willingness to be terrified by by all the horrible things that are sure to happen to your investigator Call of Cthulhu is very much a game where your character kind of deteriorates over time. And it's all about watching them struggle until at last they retire or valid or go mad.
Amelia Antrim 11:12
All right. See, this is this is my kind of game though, is that like characters are not you know, made of stone and can't, you know, they're supposed to fall apart a little bit. I enjoy putting my characters in those kinds of situations where where there are stakes to it. And I know that there are a lot of people that like games where they are like the larger than life hero who are kind of invincible and that kind of stuff. Which totally fine, have your fun the way you want to have your fun. I like to take my little person and hurt them as much as possible.
James Coquillat 11:46
Absolutely love this then, although for people who are interested in the more heroic fantasy side of things, there is polka filler, which is a supplemental ruleset that you can apply to your games of cool look of thriller, which allow you to be the kind of heroes of the pulp era where you're running around and able to keep the monsters a little bit more.
Ryan Boelter 12:09
Oh, that's very interesting.
Amelia Antrim 12:10
Yeah, I like that a lot that there's like another option for, for people, it's
James Coquillat 12:14
a bit of fun. It's got a scaling system inside of called the Popo meter where you get to kind of apply or not apply rules. So you can scale up things to be a bit more difficult to move them down and really land where you think your group is going to fit best.
Amelia Antrim 12:33
What kind of stories and themes? Do you think that this game does best
James Coquillat 12:38
stories and themes? Well, the kind of overarching themes of cosmic horror that is the frailty of humanity, the enormity of the cosmos, and a lot of bleak philosophical kind of principles about insignificance are obviously really, really baked into the system. But there's also a couple of other themes that really, really come through, I tend to find that historical atmosphere comes through really, really well. And Nikola Cthulhu has a bunch of different settings from the the Wild West, to the French Revolution to the Dark Ages, any that you can mention where you can really immerse yourselves in these very specific historical meal years and start to feel the unique things that come through, and each one of them on an overarching theme, you also get a sense of investigation, a sense of thrill, a sense of horror, the kind of classic things that you would expect from a game where your characters are so in danger and have to rely on their wits and skill. There's also a sense of camaraderie, I suppose, facing certain death, you tend to have these fantastic moments between investigators, where they'll light a cigarette and drive off towards their own certain doom, knowing that although they'll sacrifice themselves, they might just save the world doing it.
Ryan Boelter 13:59
Mm hmm. That's very cool. So what two characters spend specifically do in this game? The ones that we
James Coquillat 14:06
play fantastic, yeah, your characters in kokufu are fundamentally just normal people. So they're referred to as investigators. And they can be from any background and any type of person. And there's nothing inherently special about them. You have a set of beliefs, you have a set of, you know, special items, special locations, which flesh out your character and give them sort of a soul. But your skills and your abilities are identical to anybody else's that you would come across in the world. In poker fualaau, you have some additional things that you can do when you get things called pop talents, which lets you have a little bit more style, but the classic Call of Cthulhu experience is really stripped back. Ultimately, there's nothing special about you, you're just one person and that fits into the theme of insignificance again, I suppose. Yeah, that's great. Well, technically you have a set of occupations which your character is built on. But these aren't like classes. They're very customizable. And all they really do is they help you decide where you're going to assign your skill points, you're not gated by one location you are in any major way
Ryan Boelter 15:16
Amelia Antrim 15:18
What do you think makes Call of Cthulhu unique from other role playing games from other sort of investigative role playing games, even other horror role playing games?
James Coquillat 15:29
That's a good question. I think in general, it is the focus on very, very intense investigation and atmosphere that sets it apart from other tabletop role playing games. When you come out of playing something like Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder, Warhammer Fantasy star finder, whatever you want to mention, you're in a mood where you're ready to kind of move from encounter to encounter. And you're ready to play in what is kind of a rigid story structure where you sort of have these scenes based on social role playing, before moving to combat, perhaps you have some investigation, I love those games, I'm not, you know, knocking them in any way. But Call of Cthulhu tends to be much more, you know, dynamic in the way it presents the investigations and the structure of a scenario, you're never really sure what's going to come around the next corner. And you tend to focus on a lot more minor detail, things that logistical details like how is your character going to get a train? What are they going to do there? What food will they be served on the train these really fascinating minor details can form the basis of super engaging gameplay. And in terms of terms of how it sets its set apart from a horror, I suppose that other horror tends to provide you with a different perspective in some way, you know, talking about the world of darkness and how those games kind of focus on personal horror, or focusing on the alien tabletop role playing game in which you have this sci fi setting that changes the dynamic of everything, you really are limited in Call of Cthulhu, you adjust you and you can't really do anything more than a normal person would do in the face of all the horror that's going to be pushed towards you. Hmm,
Ryan Boelter 17:24
that's really interesting about the minor details. Because when I when I think of like Cthulhu, and like, Yeah, what what meal Are you being served on the train that could eventually be turned against you, in terms of now your meal is part of the horror? From what I understand?
James Coquillat 17:45
Well, absolutely, I mean, there's all these different stories where you will, you always have to be worried about the villain trying to poison you and things like that. But I think that, you know, in horror and in, you know, storytelling in general, I think it's very important to have a juxtaposition of what is horrible, and what isn't, or what is action packed. And what is if you have everything at a flat tone throughout the entire story, you tend to lose focus. And in calcasieu, there is a lot of this slow build. So it's something where you really given the opportunity to gradually scale things up and up and up and up and up until finally, everything turns against you, and you've realized the enormity of what's going on. Like that.
Amelia Antrim 18:31
I know, I think I noticed from a lot of the adventures that I read too is that you you get to a point where you know, you start as a player making these decisions, not between, like, do I you know, want steak or chicken and it starts to be like, Do I want bad or worse and I really I really enjoyed the way that you talked about that like that it kind of scales up because I think if everything is horror all the time, there's a sort of fatigue or even a sort of like tolerance built up to it. And the way that it it kind of moves along and progresses till you get to a point where like, you know, you have to make these decisions of like, okay, is it me or everyone else? And you know, like, Is it really a bad thing now or like maybe okay thing but forever. And it's these really tough kind of gray area decisions that I really enjoy.
James Coquillat 19:25
Absolutely. And that gets even more dynamic when you talk about longer campaigns cool. Looking through Louis is absolutely a game system that has a very different feel between your one shot story and your long, overarching mega camp. Oh yeah, you know, you've got these scenarios for these campaigns, rather like horror on the Orient Express, and mastered nearly at the tip, which you're expected to play for an enormous amount of time with a huge number of sessions and bring these intense arcs of character development. You just can't keep the horror up. At a high at 90, you know, dialed up all the way right for all that time because you know, for one, your characters are going to die, but also the emotional beats just aren't there. So you have these really fascinating ways that the story kind of has these peaks and troughs in terms of power in terms of action. And I think that builds a great sense of dread throughout the entirety of the campaigns. Speaking of the campaigns and the scenarios, I think the one of the other things that sets call Cthulhu apart, in my mind, and obviously, I'm going to be a little bit biased here as someone who's written for both. But I think this is a, a real, or real mastery of the scenario writing craft that is baked into the game. So you have these fantastic pre written campaigns, pre written stories that you can get access to. And of course, there are plenty of fantastic pre written campaigns are proven stories out there for every system, but Call of Cthulhu has been really hitting these fantastic baits for many, many years, and is definitely one of the strong players in that game of pre written scenarios.
Ryan Boelter 21:10
Very cool. Speaking of the history of Hulu, this is usually the point where we pull up the Wikipedia article and spout off all sorts of facts about the game to make
Amelia Antrim 21:22
it public, we know exactly what we're talking about.
Ryan Boelter 21:27
So it was interesting, because, yeah, when I, when I went to do the research on this, it looks like it was originally going to be a game called dark worlds back in the very early 80s. That was commissioned by caesium but that one was never published. But then that eventually turned into what is now known as Call of Cthulhu, which came out in 1981. Which I was just a wee one year old at that point, by goodness, 40 years. That's, that's a wild amount of years for this to have been around. Because that's, that's at the infancy almost of RPGs in general.
James Coquillat 22:08
Absolutely. It's definitely a game that's had a long history, and it's been through a lot of hands in the time that it has developed. I'm actually not the greatest expert on the earliest stages of the Call of Cthulhu story. I was born in 94. So I'm
Amelia Antrim 22:27
I know like Ryan saying, like, Oh, I was only a one year old now. I was like I wasn't born yet. But even I was an ADA.
James Coquillat 22:35
But yeah, so I kind of didn't learn about Cthulhu until I was old enough to play it really because you don't want to throw it straight away
Amelia Antrim 22:46
James Coquillat 22:48
There's, there's the we've got the Cthulhu for beginning readers range, which you can grab, which is just this fantastic set of set of books that are a bit of a laugh, but yeah, in general, it's it's a little more PG.
Amelia Antrim 23:03
Right, and I were planning on setting up a playground for ages.
Ryan Boelter 23:10
But yeah, there's been a lot of additions that came out since 1981. And I think we're on the seventh edition to that, right? That's
James Coquillat 23:16
right, the current edition is the seventh edition of the game. And there's not a huge difference between each subsequent edition, you can transpose them relatively easily. They're all built on chaos emsb rp system. So it's pretty universally usable, you know, recognizable system, and it adjusts relatively well between iterations.
Ryan Boelter 23:39
Very cool. Yeah, and I know there's a lot of supplements like we were talking about as well, which is exciting, especially if the system doesn't change much. Over the years, you've got, like decades of supplemental material that'll be easy to translate, which is really cool. Absolutely.
James Coquillat 23:54
And the you know, calcium has has made an asset to bring an update some of that material for seventh edition, and not just for the, you know, small changes in rules, but also gaming updates the story and, you know, making changes that make the game more modern and more dynamic and more exciting. And there's still a huge amount of content that was created decades ago, which is fantastic. And we might see some day brought forward and there's also amazing stuff being written now so yeah, check out some of those. Those pre written campaigns are a lot of fun.
Ryan Boelter 24:30
Yeah, it's very Yeah,
Amelia Antrim 24:31
I will say like, even just from what I read, doing the stuff, there's just so much out there that I think if you wanted to get into the game and you weren't, you know, you're the kind of person like me that you're like, I don't know where to start in writing an adventure or anything like that. Like there's lots of really accessible places to kind of dip your toes in and try out things. And you know, pretend as a GM that you just have, like such brilliant ideas. You know, like you're an endless phone. Have one shot or campaign ideas?
Ryan Boelter 25:03
James Coquillat 25:05
Yeah, there's a lot of great stuff. And I think that, in general, I, when I first came into tabletop role playing games, I think that I sort of had this odd perspective where I thought I'm gonna make everything about myself, why would I read a pre written story and I've now realized that there's this fantastic art in, you know, translating a pre written story into a game and how you really don't lose creativity, playing something pre written. In fact, it's a very dynamic experience. I still love making my own stories, but I love playing from pre written as well both can be really exciting.
Ryan Boelter 25:43
And it's really interesting. I remember my my experience with pre written adventures, days back to the Palladium heroes unlimited days. Of course, I know I rose from Amelia because it's fine. But you know, back then we were we were teenagers and we didn't know we didn't have the like, the creative energy to to morph what was in the adventure itself. So there might be a lot of people out there with the concept of, if it's written as a pre written adventure I, I cannot deviate from what in the book. But that's just simply not true. For sure
James Coquillat 26:26
you want to be applying your own creativity and I have played pre written campaigns under different gems that completely more often were unrecognizable, depending on who's running them. And you can transfer setting you can transpose time, you can do all kinds of exciting things, it's really just a great way to spark ideas. And if you do want to rely on some of the stuff that's written there, it's really really fantastic. In terms of assisting you with prep,
Amelia Antrim 26:56
absolutely. gives you a nice little like stepping stone into things. As you're as you're first getting going to,
James Coquillat 27:04
for sure. I mean, that said there's you know, a range of options for everybody out there, there are some pre written scenarios that throw you into a setting that is so complex and so difficult that you have to do more prep to make sure that you're across the several about all of these interesting details.
Amelia Antrim 27:23
Oh, yeah, yeah, I know, I know lots of people who love that kind of stuff. We're like, I'm just gonna, like dive all in to this. And I've played games that are like that, that have like so much lore and so much research involved and sometimes that's fun. And then sometimes you're like, no, I would just like it to be here. And now I just want to step in and be done. Yeah, I just have a little bit of something for everybody. Before we jump into our actual character creation, let's cover a couple like basic terms and concepts that people might need to know. So that when we say words, they're not like but um, we made notes of a couple characteristic characteristics. You explained
James Coquillat 28:03
your characteristics are the basic statistics about your investigator that they're there that don't change they're the static determiners like your strength your dexterity these things that give you a sense of the person of course they can change and potentially nasty cold definitely scenarios tend to have a habit of you drink a strange potion and suddenly your size drops and you'll shrink into nothingness. Yeah, they tend to be the more static descriptors the base stats if you will. Check.
Amelia Antrim 28:42
Skill mechanics Yes, your
James Coquillat 28:43
skill mechanics These are what your investigator is talented at the abilities they have and really how they interact with the world your skills are what allow you to solve problems presented to you. These are things like spot hidden brawl, stealth, climb, swim, library use, accounting, archeology, whatever you might mention, and of course there's blank spaces for you to insert custom ones if you should choose so
Ryan Boelter 29:11
interesting. Now I see it is percentile based skill system. How does how does the rolling work for that?
James Coquillat 29:20
Absolutely. So the percentile based system works, you have a number of value in each skill. And that number will be something like 525 5070 whatever you would care to mention. And when you want to make a skill check, you roll your potential die that is your D 100. And you are trying to roll under the skill that that under the value of the skill. So if you have a 70 and something you're rather good at it, you are going to succeed in 70% of the time. And when you make the role. You as long as you roll from one to 70 you have succeeded interesting. It gets a Little more complicated when you start to add things like tiers of success. So technically if you roll under half of your value, so let's say that you have 70 in a skill and you've wrote a 35, or under, that's called a hard success, you've done particularly well, you've rolled well under your skill. And you can see that that becomes more likely to hire your skill is, if you roll under a fifth of your skill, you actually get an extreme success. And if you roll 01, so 100 chance that is a critical, those are the four tiers of success that you can have. Oh, wow.
Ryan Boelter 30:35
And then above the skill is just failure are the different bands of failure at all,
James Coquillat 30:40
you can technically get what's called a fumble, which is kind of like a critical fail. fumbles start at 96, but they become rare as you get better. So if your skill gets over 50, the fumble range actually shrinks, making it more difficult to fumble. But in generally a fumble is in 96 to a 100 and something disasters happens in those cases. But apart from that, everything else is just a fail. In some variation. For reference, a professional tends to have anywhere from about 30 to 70 in a skill so that you can be you that's kind of the range if you go up to a you know an accountant, they'll have somewhere in that sort of scale, you know, a bell curve towards the middle. If you start getting below that you can be like a hobbyist or you know, an amateur have an interest in you start getting above that, you start to become, you know, a real expert. If you hit 90 and anything for you that a characteristic or a skill, you are amongst the best in the world. Oh, okay, cool.
Amelia Antrim 31:48
sanity, and this is one of the big things in this system.
James Coquillat 31:51
Absolutely. Yes. So your sanity in Call of Cthulhu is basically a measure of how damaged your character has been by exposure to the Cthulhu Mythos and to the terrible, horrible things that looked beyond the veil of space and time. In recent additions of Call of Cthulhu, we've really tried to divorce the idea of sanity from its, you know, attachment to mental health and, you know, in mental health experiences, in the context, we're using it here, it really is your characters comprehension of the incomprehensible, and their understanding of these malign forces that just destroy the human mind when they ever held, you gradually lose sanity over time as you're exposed to more and more of the terrible things that look out there and the Cthulhu Mythos. And if you lose a significant enough bump at a single time, or a significant enough amount in a single day, you can have a bout of madness, which means that you can temporarily lose control of your character, and things like that. It's similar to getting losing a lot of health in a single burst, and you can fall unconscious, things like that. Okay, interesting, and also regain sanity. by defeating the monsters and managing to put rice the world you can also regain sanity by getting a skill over 90 that represents you mastering so acutely an element of the human experience that it provides some context that provides some logic in this crazy chaotic world of ours.
Ryan Boelter 33:26
Amelia Antrim 33:27
I like that. Are there any other concepts or things that you want to highlight before we jump into the character creation portion?
James Coquillat 33:34
I think there's a couple of things like damage, build, you know, magic points, things like that. But those will become clear as we jump into the character creation itself. So I'd say yeah, let's let's go right ahead.
Ryan Boelter 33:47
All right. We're ready to make some people. All right. All right. Well, let's let's make some people.
Marie-Claire Segues 33:52
Let's make some people.
James Coquillat 33:54
Let's do it. Alright, fantastic. So what I will request that you both do is pop open the keepers rulebook that has all the information that you need on it, jump to page 30, which is the creating investigators section, you can have the investigators handbook open as well if you'd like but we're going to focus primarily on what's inside the keepers rulebook. I'm also not going to go directly through you know, reading these sections, I'm going to sort of guide you through the process the way that I tend to do it, which might get a bit different, but let's do it. So, we start off by generating our characteristics. And this is a really great way to get a sense of your character. If you are somebody with really, really high strength you can start to think about why that might be if you are somebody who is has really really low constitution, you might think oh, you know, he's my is my character, you know, potentially injured Is that something that I might fold into their story gives you all these opportunities to flesh them out. There are a couple of optional ways that you can guide the generation of characteristics So that you get a investigator that suits you better. And those are explained. At the end of the chapter, there's also a couple of homebrew rules, but in general, we'll stick raw for this one. So what I'll get everybody to do is grab a, DEA six, and you are going to first of all go to your strength and you are going to roll 3d six and times that by five.
Ryan Boelter 35:23
We're gonna have to get out a couple more D sixes here.
Amelia Antrim 35:27
But you could just roll the same one three times.
Ryan Boelter 35:29
I don't. I've got so many days here, I gotta you know, I
Amelia Antrim 35:33
have the I have the jar. All the little ones are on top because my daughter likes to use them as math counters. Lovely. Which we have a whole box of math counters. But she likes the dice.
Ryan Boelter 35:46
dice are much better. In all instances,
Amelia Antrim 35:50
right? Yeah, I
Ryan Boelter 35:51
mean, I can't blame her for that. So I've got three different D sixes from different die sets. One metal and two power. Oh, I hate that. I hate No. Why? Cuz chaos? Oh,
Amelia Antrim 36:04
yeah. No. Okay, well, I'm going to focus on having some stability in the world. And we're gonna use three of the same dice here that I believe are stolen from my ex husband. Here you
Ryan Boelter 36:15
go. So I got a 12 for sure. Lucky. And it looks like we multiply that by five.
James Coquillat 36:21
Yeah, exactly. No, don't worry, that low characteristics don't necessarily mean they don't bad. In fact, two years ago,
Amelia Antrim 36:33
I got a two, a two and a one with
James Coquillat 36:35
really Oh, fantastic.
Ryan Boelter 36:38
I have to not have to do math 25 strings
James Coquillat 36:41
of a two, a two and a one. I ended up with 70. So I've done pretty well.
Ryan Boelter 36:46
So I got 60 for my 60. Okay, so we're just going down the line for the first fours.
James Coquillat 36:52
So we are going down the line, you'll do strength, you'll do constitution, you'll do dexterity, so we'll keep rolling through them. For reference, I like to think of any skill that is outside the 30 to 70 range as a defining skill. This isn't mechanized equals the flu, but I use it as an element to really define my investigator and to give them some detail. So with a strength of 25, you might decide to make that a major component of what your character is about. Now, I'm just rolling fantastically coming in for Carnival 65.
Ryan Boelter 37:26
Amelia Antrim 37:32
Oh, see, yeah, my con is like, let's see here. What is this 16
James Coquillat 37:38
times. So going through each of the characteristics, I'll talk to each one a little bit strength, obviously, strength, that is your character's physical strength. You know how their muscle power, how much they can lift, how much they can carry, it's most often used for breaking through doors in call Look, a fellow tends to be the the most common usage, it also determines your max damage build, which is going to determine how much damage you do when you hit things. Your constitution is your physical health. And that will determine how much you can resist poisons, how much you can resist harmful environmental effects, things like that. It also determines your health. Your dexterity is your balance. It also is the determining factor in your initiative, how quickly you go and also will determine your dodge skill, which is very, very important, particularly when you're fighting the giant monsters that are going to be trying to eat you all of those are 3d six times five. So when you've both been through that, I'll introduce the last couple of skills we're going to roll on.
Ryan Boelter 38:44
Sure. So I've got strength constitution index, we were rolling for race to start with. Yes. So I got 6050 and 5060 5050.
James Coquillat 38:52
Good, nice rounded character. That's pretty good.
Ryan Boelter 38:56
Amelia Antrim 38:57
I got 2580 and
James Coquillat 38:59
oh my god. So 80 is huge.
Amelia Antrim 39:02
So I'm really weak. But
James Coquillat 39:05
yeah, you will Yeah, you see you're incredibly hottie incredibly enduring. You just don't have like, you know, a lot of physical strength. In terms of wrestling, you could either just like have like a
Amelia Antrim 39:15
great immune system, but I can't lift.
James Coquillat 39:19
If you wanted to play an athlete, you could be like a marathon runner or something like that. You can Oh yeah, our phone or something. So you've got a couple of options there. So next up, we're going to roll to characteristics that maybe don't make as immediate sense we're going to roll a PP for appearance and pow pow for power. So your AVP is kind of your character's personal magnetism. their appearance in terms of you know how much they're able to be charming. It doesn't necessarily mean how physically attractive you are. It might just mean that people really get along with you and really tend to dig your vibe. All kinds of Things like that. To graphics. Yes, exactly. That's 3d six times five as well. And then your power, this is your force of will. This is your, you know ability to clean to your sanity in the face of terrible things, is your ability to cast spells very critically. In the rare case that you get magic, which is not a given in Call of Cthulhu. And it's a very dangerous thing to start messing with. There are professions the game like cult leader, and musician. Both of those use power as a defining characteristic. Okay. Oh, wow, I've come up with a 13 on appearance. 65 get to roll below 100 he said
Ryan Boelter 40:49
I got 74 appearance and 55 for power. It's not bad at
Amelia Antrim 40:54
all. Yes, 64 appearance and only a 35
Ryan Boelter 40:57
Oh no, your your dreams of magical domination Oh,
Amelia Antrim 41:07
I decided I don't like this.
James Coquillat 41:11
Actually, this this special ways you can increase your power during play. Of course, it may require you to delve into some more eldritch tones, but I'm sure that she'll be there it
Amelia Antrim 41:23
is just kidding. This is the game for me. Oh, I'm sorry, am I supposed to touch things that you're not supposed to talk to. And then I can get more powerful, because I'm definitely going to do that.
James Coquillat 41:35
So next up is your size. And this is your physical, physical bulk, your height, your mass, whatever you want to do. And this is basically scalable. Once again, it's kind of it's an abstraction. So you can be really, really tall or you can be really, really stocky, whatever you should choose. This is 2d six plus six, rather than just a straight 3d 613
Ryan Boelter 42:02
times five again, I'm assuming no 2d six
James Coquillat 42:05
plus, plus, and then times five, it again, you Sorry, I should, okay, terrific. plus six times five,
Ryan Boelter 42:12
you would think that it would be getting used to these multiplications
James Coquillat 42:16
they're getting great ahead, eventually. I know
Ryan Boelter 42:19
65 for my size, it looks like I've got the character sheet that auto fills things for you, it looks like the power auto filled my magic point right in the size auto filled my hit point perfect. So that's neat.
Amelia Antrim 42:37
As my size also at,
James Coquillat 42:39
Oh, you are gonna be able to survive. Yeah, a lot of love, you're just
Ryan Boelter 42:44
just a tank, no.
James Coquillat 42:50
Then, after doing your size, we are going to do intelligence and education. Intelligence is as it sounds and education is not necessarily your like education in a specific facility. It's not how many degrees you have or whatever, but it represents your mastery of your job and the training that you've received in your craft. So this might be you know, you might have never gone to a specific educational facility but you might be very, very on top of you know, well you know, what you do and be very well trained in your profession. And that was at a higher education. Yeah.
Amelia Antrim 43:31
And what are we rolling for those the same 3d
James Coquillat 43:33
three days of both 2d six plus six times five? Oh, yep. There is a general guide for education if you would like to say that your character is somebody who went through the sort of traditional academic route and that means that if you are around 60 you are a high school graduate 70 you've been a college a little bit with 80 you've kind of done some graduate work and you've completed a you know, a postgraduate degree and all that sort of stuff. 90 might you start to get stuff get real real impressive.
Ryan Boelter 44:14
Nice, I got 70 for my intelligence and 65 for my good scores. Yeah, my last one is 50 and that's both Khan and dex
Amelia Antrim 44:27
know my intelligence I got 70 and then I got 65 for my education. Oh, nice.
James Coquillat 44:32
Brilliant. Just finished my role.
Amelia Antrim 44:36
I just can't lift anything.
James Coquillat 44:39
Okay, fantastic. So now that we've determined our characteristics, we are going to decide on a couple of other key points and it's good that the sheet has automatically filled out a few details. We can technically roll our luck here. But I like to leave that for the end as like a final little flare to add to the car. All right now the typical things to decide a basic overview for our character in your head, have a think about what your character, your character, my theme, what profession they might have, what their life might be like. And then the next decision we make is their age. So they will determine a few factors for reference. As your character gets older, they can gain additional education. And as they get significantly older, they will start to take penalties to their physical attributes. So this strength deck on the decks in such
Ryan Boelter 45:38
interesting. So now it's, it's worth noting that we have downloaded the 1920s era investigator sheets. So I'm assuming we're going to be people within the 1920s
James Coquillat 45:52
aeroelastic classical Cthulhu setting. Absolutely.
Ryan Boelter 45:56
Yeah. So trying to figure out what will be in that era, it's going to be interesting,
James Coquillat 46:02
if you'd like if you if you don't quite have any ideas we can start to roll on the backgrounds table. And these are yes that can be technically you do them after but you could do this in any order. So why don't we jump across the bat instead flip over to the back of the character sheet Oh scroll down if you're using a digital version, and you will see that there is a lot of slots for your character's backstory. Let's go off by looking in the ideology and belief one and I'll say grab your D 10. And make a roll and there is a table there and you can get one of the items within it so for example I roll the five with Dr the prompt for which is a member of secret society eg Freemasons Women's Institute are anonymous.
Ryan Boelter 46:53
Oh okay. It looks like this is on page 43 of the book. So I rolled a six there is an evil in society that should be routed out what is that evil? Oh interesting. So these are these are answers personal to our characters
James Coquillat 47:12
Exactly. So at the end you know you did their prompt so you work with them to kind of figure out your your what you want to actually put down and as you go forward so ideology the first one and then you continue to move through so significant people is the next one. And you roll to D 10. For this The first is deciding who your significant person is. And the second one is deciding what your relationship to them is. So for example if I rolled through the 10 year old a 10 so I would get a non Player Character NPC in the game as to keep it a pick one for you. And let's let's reroll that because we don't have to keep you here with us. I wrote a sibling for my for my second one and my second detail I got a four which says you wronged them and seek reconciliation so I have you know a brother that that I that I let get thrown into jail instead of me to take the heat or something like that.
Ryan Boelter 48:07
Oh very cool. What did you get for your ideology? Amelia?
Amelia Antrim 48:13
I got a belief in fate
Ryan Boelter 48:14
Oh, that's interesting.
Amelia Antrim 48:18
No see now I'm trying to like sell it in the actual fillable one that my keyboard is so loud so I might go back to writing it later. I just wanted to do I wanted to do the math part for me
Ryan Boelter 48:29
just you can type that's fine. I'll I'll get rid of it. So much
Amelia Antrim 48:34
more editing for you. I should have done it on like a quiet keyboard.
Ryan Boelter 48:40
Ooh, okay. Oh I see so on the significant people you roll a D tend to figure out who it is and then another D tend to see kind of what it was what the relationship is. That's right. Awesome. So I got sibling as well
James Coquillat 48:58
perfect. Well you know, you can you can stick a six stag take the same one and I'm sure that we'll get something different. What did you get for your your second
Ryan Boelter 49:06
a feeling of regret? example you should have died in their place you felt or you fell out over something you said you didn't step up and help them when you had the chance. Interesting. You can
Amelia Antrim 49:20
I got a fellow investigating fantastic Oh, and it says you seek to prove yourself to them. Oh how? example by finding a good job by finding a good spouse by getting an education. I'll show you I'm going to get married to somebody
Ryan Boelter 49:44
is going to be correctly called call to action.
Amelia Antrim 49:53
Yeah, like that. I enjoyed the Call of Cthulhu stuff so much. I Unfortunately, prior to this and forgotten to really do a lot with it, other than than reading stuff, like I said in the episode, but I'm really itching to play it.
Ryan Boelter 50:10
I know I know I didn't anticipate the amount of connection I had to to my character and you'll find that out next episode. But But goodness The, the the detail we were able to put into these characters, just from the backgrounds alone, which was really interesting.
Amelia Antrim 50:28
Yeah, I mean, and I I knew that like, there was definitely some investigation stuff and it was like, that's kind of my jam. But I don't realize how much like this game is like exactly my kind of garbage. So I really I'm hoping I can get to play it at some point.
Ryan Boelter 50:43
I know. So yeah, stay tuned. Next episode is gonna be great. And I think the discussion is gonna be great, too. So
Amelia Antrim 50:50
yeah, we'll find out shortly we haven't discussed it.
Ryan Boelter 50:52
Nobody had done well, for our first and biggest call to action right now is to check out the iron ada reforge Kickstarter that is going on right now. It is a cyberpunk twist on Norse mythology, where you rise up as multiple characters to defeat the Norse gods and they're evil corporations. Which is so interesting because you you character hop as a mechanic of game play, which just blows my mind. Yes. This also funds two fantastic actual plays, one video stream series and one podcast series, both with phenomenal casts that absolutely deserve to get paid for their work. Just Just check it out if you haven't yet, because it's, it's it's a really good game.
Amelia Antrim 51:41
Next up, thank you to everyone for all of your patience as we work our way through life stuff and our slightly unusual schedule for the next month and a half. We will have our full series this month just in time for Halloween. But obviously starting a bit late, as you've noticed, so stick around we will keep releasing episodes. And we will be back to like a regular schedule before you know what I promise.
Ryan Boelter 52:04
Absolutely. But before we go, we have one last call to action. If you want to help us out and help us feel amazing. Try leaving us a rating and review. We will be able to read out your five star review right here in the call to action and thank you personally for it. Like we are about to do for this review from Hawk Lord 2112 on pod chaser, they said so I clicked into CCC following an ad on one chat. I was not disappointed by taking a formulaic approach to the show given a brief analysis of the system then character generation, and then discussion of advancement and what stories can be told with those characters. CCC provides a balanced set of review this game without reviewing this game. If you're struggling with a new game you've bought this podcast is a terrific guide to the core of any game, the characters, the addition of the guests keeps things fresh and interesting. I'd love to hear more Jeff and john By the way, and the wide variety of games use means there's sure to be something for everyone.
Amelia Antrim 53:10
Well, thank you so much. We love Jeff and john and their ability to torment me. I believe there was a joke in the one shot discord actually about doing a specific episode of just the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And how that would only be fun. If I was there,
Ryan Boelter 53:32
so it's true, we would probably have to pay you to be there. But you know, Patreon
Unknown Speaker 53:39
I get to sit through Ninja Turtles
Ryan Boelter 53:43
might as well. It should be fun, but really, if we don't want to talk to you that much we could just go with after the bomb segmentation and you know it'd be about the same thing. Oh,
Amelia Antrim 53:55
how okay. The copyright infringement was really what was bothering me about that. You're right. Yeah, it was the rest of it was fun.
Ryan Boelter 54:04
So now instead of a mutagenic, who's mutating everybody, it's genetic engineering and nuclear bombs.
Amelia Antrim 54:11
Well, as I said, when we first discussed it, I would like to know if I can play Teenage Mutant Ninja pelicans.
Ryan Boelter 54:17
Yep, and perfectly acceptable, I would imagine.
Amelia Antrim 54:25
That is all we have for today's episode. Thank you for joining us everyone. Stay safe, drink water, get vaccinated, and keep making those amazing people. We will see you next time.
Amelia Antrim 54:50
Thank you for joining us for part one of this character creation series. We'll be back in part two picking up right where we left off.
Ryan Boelter 54:57
Character Creation Cast is a production of the one shot Podcast Network and can be found online at www dot Character Creation cast.com. Add to the website to get more information on our hosts this show and even our press kit. Character Creation Cast can also be found on Twitter at Creation Cast or on our Discord server at dischord Character Creation cast.com. I am one of your hosts Ryan Boelter and I can be found on twitter at Learn Neptune or online at Lord Neptune calm. Our other hosts Amelia Antrim can be found on twitter at ginger reckoning. Music for this episode is used with a Creative Commons license, or with permission from the podcast they originated from. Further information can be found within the show notes. Our main theme music is hero remix by Steve combs, and it's used with a Creative Commons license. This podcast is owned by us under Creative Commons. This episode was edited by Ryan Boelter. Further information for the game systems used and today's guests can be found in the show notes. If you'd like to leave us a rating or review. We have links to various preview platforms out there including Apple podcasts in our show notes. Also check the show notes for links to our other projects. Thanks for joining us. I remember we find that the best part of any role playing game is character creation. So go out there and create some amazing people. We will see you next time.
Amelia Antrim 56:43
Now we got a ransom show blurbs show blurbs show show good show blurbs.
Ryan Boelter 56:51
Character Creation Cast is hosted by the one shot Podcast Network. If you enjoyed our show, visit one shot podcast comm where you will find other great shows like a horror Borealis
Amelia Antrim 57:03
a horror Borealis is an actual play monster of the week podcast set in the 1990s in the fictional town of Revenant, Alaska, just south of the nation's least visited National Park and way north of everything else. A reclusive small game hunter with a magical secret. A young anarchist librarian with a passion for conspiracy theory, and a sensible park ranger with a strong local book club following find themselves pulled together by common threads woven mysteriously into their past when monsters begin plaguing their tiny community. But they soon discover the things they're fighting run much deeper and much closer to home. Tune in for a story about identity, empathy, Community Mental Illness and healing and stay for the beloved local diner.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai