With my upcoming “Cthulhu Experiment” coming up, I found out that Chaosium has a free solo adventure called Alone Against The Flames. I right away thought to myself “A solo adventure?. How would this work? What’s the point?”. But, because I have the hindrance Curiosity (major), I needed to find out. And the best part? It’s free! You can download the adventure right from Chaosiums website right now!
Well, I am glad I did just that. This product was intended to teach you (sort of) how to play the Call of Cthulhu (CoC) Roleplaying Game system. And I must say it does a decent job of doing just that. Now, having read a fair amount of the rules already, it didn’t really “teach” me anything about the rules. But, I can easily see where this document could teach someone new to CoC the basics of the stats, skills and the die roll. This is fantastic to anyone looking to play in the crazy world of Lovecraft and wanting to learn the game mechanics. It even has a way for you to have a custom character for the adventure by choosing one of five character occupations- Antiquarian, Doctor of Medicine, Journalist, Private Investigator, or a Professor. For my first time through this scenario, I chose to be a professor.
Now, with the custom character, you need a character sheet too, right? Of course you do. But this is the next part that made this so great. At Chaosium’s website, you can download a character sheet for free that even does auto calculations for the “hard” and “extreme” difficulty’s for your skills. These are Call of Cthulhu specific for the skills in the game. Once you have these 2 items (zero cost so far, right?), all you’ll need now are a set of RPG dice (If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you already have at least a set or ninety of those!) and BAM, you’re off and running. You don’t even have to hunt down the last pencil you have in the house that you hid from the kids! It’s an auto-fill PDF character sheet!
Now, I ran through the adventure one time and I really enjoyed how they hit all the spots for a CoC style game. I won’t give away too much so you can enjoy it too, but it was great. But, I will give away one spoiler though- I died… And you may too. That’s a Cthulhu game! I will be running through this again to see if I can not come down with a case of death. Since, that’s a goal most of us have.
I do have a couple of pieces of advise for you, if you are going to download and play this. Who am I kidding, of course you are! The greatest reason to play this game in PDF format is because everything is linked and makes it super fast. Think of it this way- “You do <x>, go to part 264”. (Notice I sad “part 264”, not “page” 264) Well, if you had the physical book, you’d be flipping through pages, looking for your next spot and just generally taking more time. With the PDF, the locations you need to go to next are clickable and will take you right to the correct location in the document. No searching, no hassle. But, and this is the biggest BUT about playing it this way- make sure you pay attention to what section you are going to next. Don’t just “click and go” without double checking what section you are going to next. The reason for this is that there will be multiple sections on any given page. So, if you’re not completely paying attention to where you are supposed to be, you will get lost. Trust me, I had to backtrack a couple of times to find out where it was I was supposed to be.
Something else to add to this- be honest with yourself. Let the dice fall where they may. Just because nobody is around to see your dice results shouldn’t mean that you don’t accept failure. That’s part of the game. Embrace it! Hell, I think I only succeed on one dice roll. ONE! But hey, that’s how it goes!
So, I hope you’ll download this great FREE material to get yourself in Lovecraft country and get yourself ready for the Cthulhu Experiment as well. Oh, and on a side note- all the links I put are to Chaosium’s site. They don’t take you to some crazy pirate site that’s gonna fill your PC with crazy viruses. But, if you want to be on the safe side (and I completely understand that!), you can just peruse through Chaosium’s website and find all this material for yourself. A piece of mind is always a good thing!
Thanks everyone and I’ll see you for the Cthulhu Experiment!