Saturday Seed ~ 93 (Call of Cthulhu)

This week’s seed is for Call of Cthulhu, and is intended to serve as a launching pad for investigations which leave the ‘normal’ world behind, or the turning point in a campaign where the Investigators realize they are in too deep and it is time to get the hell out of Dodge.

The seed

The PCs literally walk into an impossible situation and are immediately faced with the choice of going on, or turning tail.

Planting the seed

This is appropriate for a new campaign with experienced players or an established game with a new cast of characters. As it is designed to remove the characters from the mundane world, or at the very least shift their focus to threats which will seek them out from beyond the veil of conventional consensual reality, employing this seed means a significant shift in direction that will minimize or negate the opportunity to run any typical mysteries and investigations once it has been planted.

All that is required to plant the seed is one or more characters seeking a new dwelling. They view the place empty with the landlord, and then are invited to come back the next day to get the keys and ask questions of the previous tenant.

The Details

When they go back, they find the interior of the apartment totally changed – barricaded and stocked as if for a siege – and signs of lengthy inhabitation… even though they saw it yesterday with their own eyes. Notes, maps, journals, graffiti, and so on are scattered everywhere, and those with occult and Cthulhu Mythos scores recognize the sort of fear the notes and symbols indicate. Worse… the corners are plastered over, leaving no sharp angles exposed.

What really catches their eyes are the bits of familiar gear and clothing which remind them of their own possessions…. but somehow more worn.

What is going on

One of the horrifying elements that should not be overlooked in mythos tales is the basic inability of human kind to perceive the universe as it actually is – particularly in terms of the flow and meaning of time. For us, it is singular, unidirectional, opaque, and inviolate. We may perceive only the steadily shifting focus of the now – and then only in our paltry, scarcely cognizant grasp of our 4 limited dimensions.  These limitations and blind spots do not universally apply to all sentient beings… or their servitors.

This is not a tale of time travel but it can easily become a story where what is seen is only a part of what exists, and if set adrift from the normal anchors in human perception, our Investigators may come to fall away from the mundane and known and into the  malevolent and unknown like a stone from the palm of a forgetful and indolent child.

The crux of the situation is crossing the threshold, but it is not so simple as merely stepping into the room. Looking at and recognizing some or all of what has happened will connect the Investigator to the events which they will perceive as being in their future.

Should the group choose to turn away, and refuse to acknowledge what happened, in conjunction with truly not recognizing the possibilities of what they have seen, let them go back to their normal lives. If not… engage them in wonder and horror in equal measure. Remove certainty and replace it with doubt, remove confidence and replace with fear, remove knowledge and replace with a sense of possibility, and then… give them a chance to make something of themselves in this strange new existence….  before you send hungry horrors hunting after them for their temerity.


2 Responses to “Saturday Seed ~ 93 (Call of Cthulhu)”
  1. Kevin says:

    I like this seed a lot.
    It evokes odd without being overly blunt about it.

    Particularly nice is the concept that merely stepping into the room and even interacting with the objects therein is not enough to link the characters to the “alternate” reality. Instead, intent of becoming involved by studying the why and how of the “alternate” reality is what links the fate of the characters to it.

    • Runeslinger says:

      Glad you like it~
      I like to maintain a distinction between the universe being innately hostile but not actively inimical toward life. Combined with that, I try to remember that human scale action is often insignificant, but recognition bears massive consequences.

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