Friday, September 6, 2013

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I have been working obsessively on my upcoming Call of Cthulhu adventure. As of Friday morning, I've got the entire adventure planned, and a broad outline of the entire campaign (which would span at least eight sessions, but probably much more than that).

I've said in previous posts that I want to "settle down" and focus on one game, one campaign. I want to have a meaningful, deep role-playing experience, and I'm tired of the rather hollow (albeit fun) of the casual, open-ended sessions I normally run. I didn't know at the time that the creative inspiration would drive me to Cthulhu, but here I am.

What's even more surprising is that I'm not just running Cthulhu...I'm running my own Fate Core hack of Cthulhu. That, to me, is just weird. I hate hacking systems. I would typically rather play another game than a game that gets jury-rigged into something else. I have neither the motivation nor the confidence to take a system that's been vigorously tested and analyzed and then start fiddling with the dials.

By extension, I also tend to dislike "generic" RPG systems. I've always believed an RPG system is as much a part of the story as the setting. The dice used, the terminology used...it all contributes to the experience of the game. What a film-maker may call Mise-en-scène, the "art" of the story. I always thought generic systems were for people who don't care about that kind of stuff and just want to toss dice. No disrespect to people like that, but that's not the game I run.

All I can say is, Fate is somehow different. There is something...for lack of a better word, organic...about the way the game is built, that lends itself well to the storytelling/game hybrid that I seek in RPGs. The system, as written, seems to imply a message that if you bring your game to Fate, Fate will help you make it better, not hold you back or make it worse. And so here I am, taking one of the oldest and most-loved RPGs of all time and hacking it into a system that, although it carries a strong pedigree, is itself not even a year old.

Will it all work out? Or will it be a disaster, another disappointment in what I've determined is a "cold streak" in my GMing? We will find out Sunday...

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