Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Investigator Origins


Below are three options for getting 1920's and 30's era Call of Cthulhu investigators involved in the Mythos.  They are origin stories hooking ordinary men (or women with some changes) into a larger, weirder world of supernatural strangeness.  Keepers of Arcane Lore might want to roleplay these situations at the outset of a campaign.  Alternatively, they could be describe before play begins or have the player read his account aloud in order to set the scene.

1.  "Something in that night-haunted alleyway killed my partner.  There was a sound like a man's scream, quickly followed by the ungodly roar of a wild animal.  Henry and I went in.  I was immediately thrown back by something large and wet that knocked the wind out of me.  Seconds later, I got up, ran into the darkness with my flashlight shining and gun at the ready.  Henry's mutilated body lay before me - ripped apart by the ferocious beast we heard moments before rushing in.  No animal was ever found, though."

2.  "We had staked out the factory for three nights in a row, desperate to catch the men who had been kidnapping women each month and killing them in some kind of gruesome ceremony.  Finally, our coffee and donuts laced skulking paid off - three men approached the factory, a woman with them, clearly being forced along.  Another full moon hung heavy in the night sky.  We crept in, got close to them... real close.  Near enough to smell some kind of exotic incense or spice.  They were preparing their ceremony and distracted.  Walter shouted for them to put their hands up.  The group scattered.  A gunfight ensued.  Two of the men were shot, one through the heart, the other in his head.  The last one escaped down a row of machine parts.  I don't know how it's possible, but they both vanished.  We searched the factory high and low, finding no trace.  Nothing outside the factory either."

3.  "I used to work at a nightclub called All That Jazz; played the saxophone.  But the club showcased more than just music - all kinds of acts.  Just before I quit, there was a ventriloquist - you know, a guy who could throw his voice to make like his dummy is really talking.  The ventriloquist always gave me the heebie-jeebies... his big wooden doll, too.  Anyways, one night the cat finishes performing and starts putting his doll away in this old beat-up suitcase, except this long lump of wood is staring at me, and just before he closes the lid on the case, the dummy winked at me.  After that, I tried to stay out of their way."
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Of course, each backstory can be expanded upon by an enterprising Keeper of Arcane Lore.  Many a couple different investigators have the same history?  Let me know if you use this in your Call of Cthulhu RPG.

Thanks for reading!

VS