The Rhetoric of Cthulhu

I am a dedicated believer in the notion of developing expertise in the things you wish to study. For me, that means making sure that I’m playing games as much as I am talking about them or blogging about them. I haven’t always been successful in keeping this goal, but the introduction of my new blog means I need to up my game quotient.

To that end, I’ve started a new Call of Cthulhu campaign. I’ve got about six players and we’re working towards eventually playing Masks of Nyarlathotep, but I wanted to give everyone (including myself) a chance to get familiar with the 7th edition Call of Cthulhu rules before we began the campaign. So everyone’s getting a short adventure to get familiar with the rules and to establish their characters.

The first story is out of Chaosium’s new collection of short adventures, Nameless Horrors. With the players’ permission, I’m also going to be discussing some of the rhetorical choices they make in negotiating the grim and scary things that happen to them. In the interest of identity protection, I’ll only be referring to them by their character’s names. It should be noted that my players’ characters are not necessarily reflective of the players’ age, gender, or profession.

That said, let’s meet the team for the first adventure:

Rosemary is a 30-something librarian working in the municipal library in Proctor, Massachusetts. She a survivor of a terrible fire in her childhood that left her badly scarred. She earned her Master’s Degree in Library Science at Miskatonic University, where she also took more than a passing interest in the occult.

Oscar is a 40-something psychoanalyst. With Freud’s books having only been published in the last few years, psychoanalysis is still under something of a cloud in the academic community, and Oscar is having some small trouble making ends meet.

Charles is a 20-something “doctor.” We say “doctor” because he’s actually only a medic, trained in the Army during the Great War, and the capacity of small towns like Proctor to validate medical licenses is somewhat limited. Charles keeps a low profile by only offering his services on the sly, meaning his own finances are also in dire straits. Charles is also fascinated by the occult, but not as educated in such matters as Rosemary.

As you may have guessed, we’re playing in the 1920’s – 1924, to be precise. There will be a few more PCs as time goes on, and I want to take them through a few different kinds of adventures as we get ready to face the Crawling Chaos. For the blog, I’ll be taking a look at some of the different persuasion and negotiation events they have to navigate and how they do so. Hopefully, we’ll learn something about the intersection between roleplaying and interpersonal skills, especially in strange or extreme situations.

Or we’ll all just lose a lot of SAN.

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One thought on “The Rhetoric of Cthulhu

  1. Pingback: World of Pure Imaginations | Rhetorical Gaming

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