A Sequel to The Call of Cthulhu Short Story
THE IDOL OF CTHULHU is a scenario for The Call of Cthulhu™ role-playing game, licensed by Chaosium, written by Matt Sanderson. It can been played as any CoC module, but it will have props specially created for it that will enhance your gaming experience.
BEWARE : SPOILER AHEAD ! Players are advised not to read further.
You can purchase a .pdf or a print-on-demand version (+.pdf)
Autumn 1928. A firm of private investigators in Rhode Island is hired to find the whereabouts of two missing men. Both have been named as beneficiaries in the will of a recently deceased academic but they have both gone into hiding. But what are two apparently unconnected men, from very different walks of life, possibly hiding from?
Your players won't need to read "the Call of Cthulhu" short story beforehand but it's not really a problem if they have. The scenario can be played as a one shot, were you play members of a detective agency, but options will be proposed to integrate characters from a preexisting campaign. The scenario will be 20.000 words long (around 40 pages).
Without spoiling too much, in the center of the story, the Investigator will have one of the hardest dilemma they ever have to face. For us, a story about Cthulhu is not about winning the day, it's about the fear of the unknown, the insignificance of our existence in a universe that doesn't care if we live or die, but still, we have choices, moral choices, tough choices : "If there's no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do" (as worded by Joss Whedon).
The "Idol of Cthulhu"module will be available through DriveThruRPG, both for the .PDF and the printed version.
You can own the Idol of Cthulhu, a sculpture specially created by Delphes. Of course you can purchase it just to have it even if you are not a player.
Granted, there are other Idols of Cthulhu out there and even beautiful ones, but this one is different : of course, it is created to be accurate to the short story, and it tries to be as lovecraftian as possible, which for Delphes means it should be more evocations and feelings than realism. Cthulhu is not just another monster, it's an idea, the symbol of an indifferent universe, so he should not be represented wholly, even by ancient and alien civilisations. You should not be at ease when looking at him, and that's what we are aiming for.
But there is a twist : first, it will be 100% compatible with the module (we won't be too specific here, but the runes should be important). And second, it has a hidden cavity where a small speaker (sold with the sculpture) will take place. Imagine the reaction of your friends when sound files created especially for the module will soothe from within the sculpture !
The Idol is 26x22x18 cm or 10x8.5,x7 inches.
The Bas relief created by Wilcox and described in the short Story will reappear in the module. Its size is "an inch thick and about five by six inches" (3cm thick and about 12cm by 15cm). The version created by Delphes will allow you to give your players a real prop.
The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society will create some special sound files to go with the module. They can be used with the idol, but you can purchase them separately to use them during your game.
All the paper props needed for the module will be created with care and verisimilitude by Denys. You can expect newspaper clips, business cards, handwritten letter(s), and more…
Mainly, we have to say we did it for ourselves and we hope it will please others. We always felt that the Cthuhu cult was one of the great threats created by HP Lovecraft and that it should be used in a RPG module that would use "The Call of Cthulhu" short story as a starting point. "The Call of Cthulhu" story was seminal for a lot of reasons, but the creation of this omnipresent but hidden cult is the paranoid touch every fan of Call of Cthulhu needs to experience in game. Who can you trust ? What can the cult do ? This module will not answer every question you have about the Cthulhu, because we feel that a story about him should not be about answering questions, but cosmical fears and existential terror.
I am a classically trained sculptor based in Paris. My husband Denys is a Call of Cthulhu Keeper and he often asks me to help him make props for his campaigns. He is the one who made me discover the role playing game. Denys is also a screenwriter and a bit of an infographic designer. So he is helping me a lot to elaborate and decide this proposal. I can say that he's my art director !
Because he and his players enjoy and appreciate using the props & handouts I create so much, we thought others would too!
The scenario will be written by Matt Sanderson, an experienced writer for Call of Cthulhu who worked on such acclaimed supplement as Pulp Cthulhu, The Two Headed Serpent Campaign, and the seventh edition of Call of Cthulhu.
Do we need to present the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society ? They are amongst other things creators of numerous Dark Adventure Radio Theatre dramas, and we are very happy to work with them on this project to create quality sound files who will enhance the story.
But we can't do this project alone... So, if you would like to own an original truly lovecraftian scenario, with siome fine-art quality props, and tailor made handouts, you can help us create some great props by participating in this crowdfunding campaign!
We will need funds to pay for :
• the conception, illustrations, and the time our artists will need to take to complete the project professionally. At this moment, the writing has begun and we have a full detailed synopsis but we can't go much further without you.
• the casting of the sculptures (it will be done in France either by myself or by professionals and renown casters). The sculptures you see in the video and picture are still prototype.
• buying the materials needed to create the props (from the bluetooth speakers to the polyurethane).
Reaching the goal should allow us to begin production.
Select a pledge amount and reward on either the right-hand side of a project page or after clicking the “Back this project” button and selecting “Continue”. From here you’ll be taken to a page where you can continue as a guest, or login if you already have an account. If you would like to continue as a guest, just enter your email address and select “Continue as Guest”.
Make sure to double check your email address – that’s where you’ll receive your pledge confirmation details, messages from us, and a survey to provide details needed to deliver your reward if the project is successful.
Next, fill in your payment details and take a minute to review your pledge details. If you want to purchase add-ons just calculate the amount and add it to the initial pledge. When you’re ready, just click the green “Pledge” button. You may then message us about your add-ons, but even if you forget, there will be a Backerkit survey after the campaign, if successful, to check your add-ons.
We have a few stretch goals. But for two of our rewards, we decided that we wanted make things simple. Concerning the sound files and the paper handouts, we decided that the budget will depend on the direct success of these rewards. In short : each time someone take one of these options (or a pledge level that list them) the budget for these rewards increases, allowing us ultimately to propose more quality sound files or more handouts for people who ordered them. We don't list that in the stretch goals, but you should know that each share of this kickstarter on social media (with a spoiler warning for players) can help us to create the best handouts and sound files we can do.
The shipping of the scenario (B&w or color) will be handled by DrivethruRPG, so you will receive it separately from the other rewards.
Backerkit is an after-Kickstarter management website we will use to ask for your delivery address, you will the be able to verify all your options and you can even add some extra options to your pledge. This is also during this phase that shipping fees will be calculated, depending on the weight of your order, and the country you live in.
In our previous Kickstarter campaigns, the shipping fees were calculated for each pledge during the campaign itself. Even if we tried our best to be accurate in our estimations, we had a few surprises. Some objects weights had been underestimate and the shipping was way over the estimation price, or we found out late that there was better options to send some objects at a lower cost. For this new campaign, in order to guarantee the safety of the project and offer you a system that will be fair to you, shipping fees will be added during the Backerkit phase.
The Scenario – between 4 to $8 / 3.5 to €7 / 3 to £6, depending on the stretch goal reached. Shipping will be handled by DrivethruRPG, so it must be added to the other shipping fees.
The paper handouts – the price should be around €4 for France, and €11 / $13 / £10 for other places (packaging and shipping).
The Bas relief – France : around €8, International : €15 / $18 / £13. (Price may vary by 10% when combined with the paper handouts)
The Idol – France around €12, Europe : €20 / £18, other places : €40 / $47. (Price may vary by 10%-20% when combined with other rewards)
The Cthulhu Voodoo Deluxe (scenario included) – France: €30, Europe : 40€ for and other places : €65 .
It's only estimations to avoid bad surprises for your backer when the actual shipping prices will be asked for with backerkit. Delphes is working on a way to make her sculpture lighter, so it is possible that we overestimate some of these prices (it's another reason why we prefer use backerkit this time : it can save you some money).
Call of Cthulhu is the Registered Trademark of Chaosium, Inc. and is used with their permission.
A big thank you to David Sarrio for directing the video.
Risks and challenges
We are fully aware that unexpected delays can always occur. The experience from our other projects helped us to understand some principles.
First, Communication is key, of course. Second, always defend quality before quantity. Also, a kickstarter is not about adding a gazillion stretch goals, but realistic ones, and to try first to deliver the goods on time.
We will send updates at least once a month until completion so that you are kept in the loop at all times. We feel that, as pledge contributors, you are our collaborators and you should have a voice in the decision making.
Everyone involved is a professional with experience in its field, so we are confident the writing and the main props will be delivered on schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)