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Chaosium Digest Volume 17 Number 06

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Chaosium digest
 · 13 Dec 2023

Chaosium Digest Volume 17, Number 6 
Date: Sunday, December 1, 1996
Number: 1 of 1


Cthulhu Leap: A Tale of Terror (Arthur Boff) CALL OF CTHULHU
More Notes on Migrating from AD&D (Joab Stieglitz) CALL OF CTHULHU
CF: Aldeberan Moves in the Sky (Shannon Appel) MYTHOS
Announcement: German RQ-Con IX (Ingo Tschinke) MISC

Editor's Note:

This week's issue starts off with a pair of CoC articles: a neat tale
of terror and some more notes on migrating from AD&D to Call of
Cthulhu. I've also included a Mythos Card File that I just realized I
never included in the Digest, on Aldeberan Moves in the Sky. Next
week: another Card File, and maybe a short Pendragon NPC I'm working
on. Keep those submissions coming! I'd particularly like to see
articles for Elric! and Nephilim, since they've been quite quiet in
recent months.

The Glorantha Con megasaurus continues forward. Glorantha Con IV
registration booklets will be going out in the next week. For more
info on this January 1997 Chicago convention, see the web site:

Michael O'Brien ( has officially
announced GloranthaCon VI (RQ-Con Down Under II). It'll be in January
1998 (likely the weekend of the 17th and 18th) in Melbourne,
Australia. Plans are still being made, but info will be posted here as
it becomes available.

And finally, the German RQ-Con is coming around again. A full
announcement of that is included as an article in this Digest.

Issue 14 of Arcane contains a survey of the top 100 RPGs. The
following Chaosium (or related) games were in the top 50:

Stormbringer was at number 25.
Pendragon was at number 12.
RuneQuest was number 5.
Call of Cthulhu was number 1.

Stormbringer was described as capturing "the spirit of the books",
Pendragon was said to have "a huge amount of charm", RuneQuest was
called "one of those games which has its die-hard fans, and deservedly
so" and Call of Cthulhu was called "pretty well the perfect
roleplaying game". Thanks to Arthur Boff for this information.



* Elric! - _Pawn of Chaos_ (White Wolf, 400 pg., TPB, $14.99) is White
Wolf's second all new anthology of stories related to the Eternal
Champion. It contains tale by a variety of authors, notably Nancy
A. Collins, John Shirley, Robert E. Vardemann, Colin Greenland, and
Gary Gygax. These stories range across the entire span of champions
from Elric, Urlik, and Hawkmoon to the Dancers at the End of Time,
Jerry Cornelius, and Oswald Bastable. There's a short little story
by Moorcock too, which is peripheral to his recent Chaos Engineers


The Necronomicon Press Web Site

Necronomicon Press' web site is back, with their latest catalog.


From: (Arthur Boff)
Subject: Cthulhu Leap: A Tale of Terror
System: Call of Cthulhu

(Note: this Tale of Terror is different from other ones in that it
leads on from another adventure.)

Cthulhu Leap: A Tale of Terror

Michael Krissler has not been himself recently. Literally. He is a
prisoner of the Great Race of Yith, and is desperate to get home.

Unfortunately, he won't.

The Yithian agent in his body has attracted the attention of the
investigators. Realizing this, the creature from the past abandons his
research and tries to construct the device (described in "The Shadow
Out of Time") which will send him and Michael home to their respective
bodies. As he constructs the machine, the investigators (who, due to a
red herring, think he is a very dangerous but run-of-the-mill cultist)
burst in with the police, guns blazing. Mr Krissler's body and its
Yithian occupant are killed. Michael, realizing what has happened,
plans his revenge.


1) Michael uses the Yithian technology to inhabit one of his killers'
bodies and tries to kill the other investigators.

2) This is the more interesting possibility. Michael tries the plan
outlined in 1), but his understanding of the Yithian technology is
limited. Instead of swapping minds with one of the investigators, he
settles for temporarily temporally unfocusing the whole party. The
investigators' minds end up going all throughout time, to times past
and future, with the minds of the bodies they inhabit being stuck in
the 20th century until they change bodies. This makes a host of
adventure possibilities. Here are a few (ideas d) and f) are for
really evil Keepers only):

a) After the stars became right.

The investigators are sent to the future, when R'lyeh rises, Azathoth
gets his mind back and all hell breaks lose. The investigators could
enter the bodies of humans and have to survive until they change time
again, or they could become members of one of the servitor races,
having to conceal their identities while perhaps trying to help the

b) Before the stars were wrong.

Here the investigators enter the bodies of some of the servants of the
Elder Gods, fighting the Great Old Ones and the Other Gods. They are
sent on missions into the heart of enemy territory, making Elder Signs
and securing key points.

c) Er, hi Michael...

The investigators enter some Yithian bodies, and end up meeting
Michael, who can't believe his luck when they turn up. This is a good
chance to give the players an explanation of what's going on, before
Michael and his Yithian chums try to feed them to who knows what.

d) Stuck.

This isn't actually an adventure, just something to mention to the
players in passing. Tell them that between two of the "jumps" they
seemed to be inhabiting the bodies of some of the Great Old Ones (make
them suitably powerful ones, but they must NOT be Nyarlathotep or
Ithaqua). They couldn't move or see anything, but could faintly hear
the prayers of cultists. The significance of this will become clear
later, in this adventure:

e) Back to the present.

The investigators return to their bodies, waking up in an asylum. They
have to explain and sort out the mess left behind by the people whose
bodies they inhabited. (If idea d) was used the Great Old Ones escaped
and laid waste to a few cities before they left the investigators'

f) Tidying up time.

Although the investigators managed to get back to their own bodies,
the people whose bodies they inhabited didn't. This means that the
course of history is totally messed up, especially if idea d) was
used. The investigators must make a "remote control" version of the
Yithian mind-swapping machine. Then they must use it to send the minds
back home, minimizing the damage to time. Even if they suceed, the
Yithians will still have a terrible grudge against them.

Arthur Boff

Writing from Yuggoth.

From: Joab Stieglitz <>
Subject: More Notes on Migrating from AD&D to Cthulhu
System: Call of Cthulhu

from the mind of Joab Ben Stieglitz


In Chaosium Digest V17.4, Ricardo J. Mendez spoke of the trials and
tribulations of introducing Call of Cthulhu to AD&D players. I
underwent a similar experience about five years ago, when I introduced
the game to a long-standing AD&D group that I had just joined. I too
have encountered many of the issues he raised, and I would like to
take this opportunity to relate my solutions, since I took a somewhat
different approach.


With respect to vulnerability, I made a concession. I created a spell
to, in a sense, create a "Healing Potion". As with all CoC spells, it
takes a fairly long time to cast, requires constant chanting, and
yields 1D4+1 doses. The official description is as follows:


This "recipe" describes how to make four applications of a
salve that will close all impale, incision and abrasion type
wounds with no visible effects and return 3D4 Hit Points. It
requires several herbs available from gourmet grocers and
specialty florists, two days of incantation and meditation and
12 Magic Points.

Admittedly, this is a crutch, but it did enable my hack and slash
players to get used to the CoC role-playing style. By stipulating that
the ointment only worked on normal type wounds, it left the
possibility of unusual scars and wounds from "monster-type" attacks.
Eventually, the players adopted a 360 degree opposite style, where
they pondered over every tome before doing practically anything. This
has resulted in failure several times.


I find the real time aspect of the game makes play more interesting.
My players are interested in history, so the passage of time poses a
challenge to them, both in terms of actual historical events (we
always play 1920s), and in terms of keeping the game moving. Studying
tomes and such is generally left for between adventures/scenarios
(I'll explain this later).


Getting around work was challenging. One of my players usually plays a
federal agent. She tends to provides a vehicle for "commandeering the
services" of the more traditional academic types for her investigations.

Some of my players are self-employed (a cab-driver, an inventor, a
private investigator), so their time is their own, within reason.
Often the players receive reasonable expenses and some small
compensation from the government for their services.

I also ran one small campaign where the players were the police
officers assigned to a case. That proved very entertaining when I
threw in local politics, bureaucracy, and gangland violence.


In terms of saving the world, I have developed and maintained a hidden
plot line that links the various scenarios, and even campaigns
together. At the time of this writing, the players have not yet
figured it out. They are aware that they are fighting forces bigger
than humanity, but more often than not, their goals are personal
survival rather than saving the world. If defeating the baddies
happens to better humanity or allow for its continuation, it is
usually a secondary benefit.


One thing that the more recent Call of Cthulhu rules don't stress, but
that were originally there and that AD&D players always bring with
them, is the concept of character classes, or as I prefer to see them,
archetypes. The team usually falls into a more or less Ghostbusters

One player is always the Venkman type. This person either disbelieves,
or takes advantage of whatever situation arises to advance the goals
of the party. Sometimes this character becomes the front person for
the group.

There are usually two or more specialists, typically archaeologists,
anthropologists, historians, and/or doctors. These characters use
their work experience and/or knowledge to figure out what they group
is up against and why. These are the ones who read the tomes and learn
the spells.

Then there is the muscle, or course. The guys who get beat up, mauled,
lose SAN through encounters, and generally save the necks of every one
else. Unlike AD&D, however, these characters are usually in the
minority. In our current group of five, there are three specialists, a
disbeliever, and a federal agent. The dynamic works very well.


One thing that a lot of "hack and slash" players grow to like, which
is not alien to AD&D but is not common, is role playing. Players
still talk in third person about their characters during play, but
they do take on the persona of their characters, and actually have
conversations with NPCs rather than just stating their actions. I
have even noticed that the Cthulhu players, who I also play AD&D with,
have started role playing, to a much lesser degree, in the AD&D game.


Bringing AD&D players into the Cthulhu fold takes time, patience, and
creativity. As evidenced by the different approaches taken by Ricardo
and myself, there are a lot of possibilities.


Joab Ben Stieglitz
High Priest of K'Choo and Bl'syu E'Yuck P'Tui F'legm!


From: Shannon Appel <>
Subject: CF: Aldeberan Moves in the Sky
System: Mythos



Name: Aldeberan Moves in the Sky
Set: Mythos Limited, B2: Cthulhu Rising
Type: Event
Subtype: Star
Affects: All Investigators

Special Effect Box: If ALDEBERAN is not already in play, then play
this card as normal. If it is already in play, then Bury it and Bury
this card. When revealed, Bury all other Events (except Travel cards).
While in play, only one Phobia can affect any Investigator (randomly


Aldeberan Moves in the Sky Buries itself. The first time it is played,
it goes out into the Event area (Aldeberan "rises"). If Aldeberan
Moves in the Sky is already in play, both Aldeberans are Buried
(Aldeberan "sets"). Other cards may also Bury Stars (there will be

When Aldeberan is revealed, all Events are Buried except Travel
Events. This includes Phobias, Days, Nights, Storms, and all other
Event Subtypes. Aldeberan totally clears the playing field. This
happens both when Aldeberan rises and when it sets, because each time
the card is newly revealed, just for a very short time in the second

Only one Phobia can affect each Investigator when Aldeberan is out. If
someone has a second Phobia played on them when Aldeberan is out,
randomize the two Phobias and Bury one of them.


Q: The Special Effect Box of Aldeberan Moves in the Sky says "if
ALDEBERAN is not already in play". Does it really mean "if Aldeberan
Moves in the Sky is not already in play"?

A: Yes. The wording in the Special Effect Box is slightly confusing,
but Aldeberan Moves in the Sky is referring to itself. Future Star
Events will just be named for the Star (eg, Algol and Polaris will
appear in MYTHOS: THE DREAMLANDS) to avoid this confusion.

Q: Does Aldeberan Bury Astrophobia?

A: Yes, meaning that the Aldeberan/Astrophobia combination is usually
just a 1 point Sanity loss. Astrophobia works better with a
combination of Day and Night events. New Stars which will be
friendlier to Astrophobia will appear in MYTHOS: THE DREAMLANDS.

Q: How does Aldeberan interact with Townsfolk Riot?

A: If you get Rioted, and play Aldeberan instead of a new Location,
you take the Sanity Loss. This is because Townsfolk Riot is triggered
the instant you play Aldeberan, even though it is then Buried. If
another player had played Aldeberan before your Turn, you would have
been saved (because the Riot Event went away before being triggered).

Q: How does Aldeberan interact with Ambush? How about Police

A: Police Investigation says "Bury this card at the end of the Round".
Ambush should. However, these cards are kept out only as a matter of
convenience, to aid memory. Their actual effects are triggered the
second they are played, and can not be stopped, short of Yithian
Mental Contact. When Aldeberan Buries these cards, it does not stop
their effects.


* Burying Phobias - Aldeberan can be used much more effectively than a
Church for Burying Phobias. You don't have to go anywhere, you just
play Aldeberan and all Phobias affecting you are buried. The deficit
is that all other Events are buried too, so this strategy works best
if you don't have any Phobias in your own deck, and you don't depend
much on other Events.

* The Aldeberan/Europe Deck - Being able to Bury Phobias is extremely
useful is Europe because there are only three ways to do this in
that Region: the Knight's Head Inn, the Huntingdom Asylum for
Lunatics, and Madame Blavatsky. This situation is made even worse by
the fact that the good Dr. Freud actually induces Phobias in his
patients. For this reason alone, using Aldeberan in a Europe deck is
a good idea. Stonehenge is also in Europe, and as luck would have
it, the gate at Stonehenge becomes reusable when Aldeberan Moves in
the Sky.

* The Byakhee of Doom - When Aldeberan is out, Byakhee are 6 value for
0 Sanity cost. Sure, you might not be able to hurt your opponents
with them, but they are still useful for defense (since they always
fight in the cosmic battle). You can't do any better.

* Hastur - Finally, Aldeberan Moves in the Sky is the Event
requirement for playing Hastur. You also must be at an Outside
Country Gate (if you're in Europe, this might be Stonehenge, again,
or the Highland Loch). A lot of the times it's hard to play GOOs
because other players can Bury your Event by doing something as
simple as playing a Day or Night card. However, currently the only
thing that Buries Aldeberan is Aldeberan. Thus, if you're going to
use an Adventure requiring a GOO, Hastur, paired with Aldeberan, is
one of your safest bets.


It's fairly hard to counter strategy Aldeberan.

* Knock it Out of the Sky - This requires you to put an Aldeberan in
your own deck (or when DREAMLANDS comes out, use another Star or

* Work Around It - By this I mean, simply try and destroy the
combinations that work well with Aldeberan by working against the
*OTHER* Card. Stay Inside so Byakhee can't harm you. If you think
your opponent is trying to summon Hastur, Bury his Outside Country

* Phobia Frenzy - Give the opponent using Aldeberan a nasty Phobia.
If he is depending on Aldeberan to Bury Phobias, he may be forced to
play a second Aldeberan (and thus Bury both) to get rid of that
irksome Phobia.

All of the Card Files are now archived at:


From: Ingo Tschinke <>
Subject: Announcement: German RQ-Con IX
System: Misc

The german RQ-Con is coming again. The Con will be on the 16 - 19 of
May 1997 on Whitsun. Best of all, the con will taking place at Castle
Stahleck again. If you want to see this wonderful castle above the
River Rhine Valley, come to Germany. All foreign guest are
welcome. They need not be members of our RQ Society.

Our invited guests of honour are Greg Stafford, David Hall, and Nick
Brooke. The price for this convention is about 140,- DM (56 UKP or US$
95). For this price, you will get the good accommodations at a high
class youth hostel (the castle itself) and two meals per day.

This is the current programme of the IX RQ Con:

- a Pavis freeform Game (made with the help of Oliver Dickinson - go
to see the real living Griselda)
- The King's Funeral, a Ralios freeform game
- a G:tG discussion panel
- the traditional German troll ball (very wet)
- a Nick Brooke illumination bachelor party
- a lore auction
- an auction
- and a really good atmosphere.

If anybody wants to know more about the IX German RQ Con, get in
contact with me:


Ingo Tschinke
RuneQuest - Society Ingo Tschinke Schevemoorer Landstr. 33
Free INT - 28325 Bremen/Germany
RQ Society discussion forum -


The Chaosium Digest is an unofficial electronic 'zine about Chaosium's
Games. In no way should it be considered representative of the views
or beliefs of Chaosium Inc. To submit an article, subscribe or
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Howard Phillips Lovecraft was one of the greatest American writers, who lived between 1800 and 1900. Without knowing this incredible writer, who left us dozens of short stories and a couple of short novels, it is difficult if not impossible to approach the game role based on his narrative's production.

You can play "Call of Cthulhu" without ever having read anything by him, perhaps just to create the scary and disturbing atmosphere that this game manages to recreate, but I advise anyone approaching this game to read at least a couple of Lovecraft's stories

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