UK Games Expo 2013 – Cthulhu Masters

The Masters is a two round tournament – in the first first, six groups of 6 players play to get through to the invite-only second round:

  • Pack Up Your Troubles (Sean Connors) – Achtung Cthulhu
  • Laundry Files (Sue Wilson) – Cthulhu/Laundry
  • Through A Crack’d Lens (John Wilson) – CoC
  • The Blood Of Heroes (Glenn Berry) – CoC 6th edition
  • An Insidious Construction – Cthulhu by Gaslight
  • Ghosts Of Future Past (Max Bentleman) – CoC 6th edition (BRP – Basic Role-Playing)

I signed up for the WWII scenario, “Pack Up Your Troubles”. The description on the convention website had no connection to the actual scenario so I assumed they changed something major along the way. 

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For this particular game, no dice were required as we used a giant foam Cthulhu die. The 12 sides were partly customised – nine had an extra number (1-9) stuck on them, leaving three faces to act as specials. So if we were rolling a skill check where we needed to get under 60%, instead of using percentile dice we had to score a 6 or less. 7, 8 or 9 would have been fails and the special faces gave more interesting and creative results. This was a nice touch as it simplified things dramatically and gave us something to chuck around.

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Another nice addition was a boiled sweet that was to represent a cyanide pill to be used in the case of capture by the Germans. The GM said that eating the sweet at any other time would also result in character death!

Further additions were one-off re-rolls which you could sacrifice a card for and the use of background music

The plot was that two months before the outbreak of WW2, a group of six SOE operatives were to parachute into Germany and break into Colditz. Normally, you’d escape from Colditz but not this time. (I MUST play that game again soon…).

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The game went well and we all had fun (I think). By random selection of characters, the player that was actually a German ended up with a character that couldn’t speak German. I didn’t ask him why he was playing the scenario – try not to mention the war, you see.

The end had four operatives escaping in hijacked prototype Messerschmitts whilst the other two rode off into the night on a motorbike-and-side-car. In the background the GM was playing Vera Lynn and “We’ll meet again”.

After that we voted our top 3 players in that game to decide overall 1st and 2nd. I assume the 2nd place was to stand in if the winner decided not to go on to the next round. The winner (on the left) was genuinely touched when he was told the result, which was nice. Second place went to a player who had no Call of Cthulhu experience, which shows its your role-playing skills that are important and not your rules knowledge.

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