The game Call of Cthulhu is a role playing game, based on the writings of H. P. Lovecraft. Having been a fan of the writings and of the game, i have a long history with the game and his fiction, the game published in 1981, by Chaosium. The game is in simple terms a role playing game with a horror theme. Unlike most role playing games that use a horror theme, CoC (one of the more common acronyms for the game) seeks to create the feel of playing in a horror story, and like when one reads a horror story, one feels a controlled horror for enjoyment. one doesn’t read horror stories or play role playing games for other than enjoyment…but one isn’t going in like a member of an elite team determined and able to beat the baddie so much.
one’s goal in CoC is to thwart the evil as one can, but at risk, one is not wanting to fight the big bad monsters if at all possible…mortality and sanity of the characters are on the table. the characters investigate, and try to stop the evil but if at all possible before the true evil is released.
Characters in CoC lose their lives or sanity (or both) at a remarkable rate in the game, but that is to a point part of the game. but again, these results only mean something if the players care about their characters.
I will elaborate a bit more in a post soon overlooking Lovecraft’s writings and the themes of the game. These themes, however, form an undercurrent in the game and are part of what make it so fun.
Some regard the feel of the game as nihilistic, and to some extent it is, but the point is that it isn’t mindlessly so, or pointless..nihilism doesn’t negate value in the case of the game’s approach. More to come