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52 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“An Effective Keeper”

Call of Cthulhu is a great game to play with low game mechanics and rules. Focus on the story and character interaction and emphasis on storytelling and character interaction makes for a fun game. Staying away from combat and trying to weave a good intriguing mystery for the players to navigate through can make this a fun gaming.

Keepers (or game masters) would benefit from reading Lovecrafts’ short stories and pulling the mood, atmosphere and some of the plot devices from them. When I am keeper I use the premade adventures for structure of plot and deviate where I feel I can intertwine side plots to get characters more involved. I also inject elements from the short stories that are not present in the adventures.

Focusing on skills like Library and other professional skills for individual characters as solutions over combat helps players get into their roles and focus on what their characters should be. Just focus on the story and draw from other sources to help build a rich world for your players.

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Advanced Reviewer
52 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“Description is key”

Call of Cthulhu is a very atmospheric game. Perhaps the best piece of advice I have ever had about running the game is to rely on description. Never tell the players “you see a Deep One lurking in the shadows of the alley.” Instead, describe things to them (look to Lovecraft’s original stories, he was very adept at describing while keeping things “indescribable”). The same goes for scenes of horror; often it is more effective to keep the description of the situation itself vague but to describe the reactions of the players’ investigators or the NPCs instead.

Practice your storytelling skills, and let your players’ imaginations do the rest of the work. It may be old hat advice, but it’s true when they say that a person’s imagination, when properly guided, will generally come up with the mental image of the story that scares them the most.

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