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before the D&D starter set comes out #9 “narrative examples”

May 22, 2014

Previously: first post, second post, third post, fourth post, fifth post, sixth post, seventh post, eighth post,

I’ve been reading this great book ..

book - book of cthulhu 2

The Book of Cthulhu II edited by Ross Lockhart, pub: Night Shade Books

.. and it came to me as a surprise that I don’t think I’ve ever read a detective story before.

The book is a short story anthology called “The Book of Cthulhu II” edited by Ross Lockhart and published by Night Shade Books. The particular short story I was reading was “The Big Fish” by Kim Newman. In it a detective uncovers a Cthulhu cult in LA harbour during the days following the attack at Pearl Harbour. It’s a great example of a short story in that it tells the tale of a single character, in this case a detective, caught up in a single plot.

It’s a great story and, I think, a great way to get a handle on what investigation could be like within a Cthulhu-based roleplaying games – or perhaps any investigation game for that matter. As I read the story I kept thinking how it could easily be made into an rpg adventure.

A Thing Robin Law’s Always Says is that the first adventure published for a new roleplaying game can have a lasting effect on the way it is played thereafter. I think the takeaway was that publishers should be careful to make that first adventure the best it can be and to make sure it explores the types of activities that the game supports well.

Having read “The Big Fish” I think a short story can also be a great way an rpg publisher can influence the way their products can be played. A series of great short stories can quickly showcase the range of possible scenarios the game can support and be especially important for people like me who have had little experience in say the investigative or horror genre.

Releasing a few well written and entertaining short stories along side the games would allow players a quick “IN” to the core activities of the games.


From → roleplaying

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