How to Survive a Call of Cthulhu Adventure

Interested in exploring the dark secrets of the unimaginably vast cosmos? Aren't we all. Unfortunately, in the role playing 'Game Call of Cthulhu' by Chaosium, the terrible monsters of the Cthulhu Mythos can be a bit tough to defeat. To help you survive, read the article below.


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    Remember, this is all for in-game only; don't do this in real life!
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    Put points into skills THAT ARE USEFUL. (i.e. Spot Hidden, Listen, Combat Skills, First Aid, etc.). Ensure that someone has a high skill in Library Use. Consider the team skills; for instance, only one person need know Ancient Egyptian.
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    Research the town before investigating. Use the local library, town hall, newspapers, and court records.
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    Always go in groups.
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    Arm yourself.
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    Ask many, many questions.
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    Go to any suspicious places and spend the night. If you hear sounds which do not sound like movement, feel free to send two people to scout. One person should look, the other should not look - only watch his back. If you feel you hear non-humanoid movement, flee immediately.
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    Do not try to fight monsters. Ever.
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    Do not trust main characters.
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    If you feel you cannot defeat the monster, run. It may be your only choice.
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    Going home is your easiest route to survival.


  • Don't go to Antarctica. Ever.
  • If someone starts to hemorrhage, scream or twist in weird ways, or speak in weird tongues, kill them. Kill them quickly.
  • Accept that, for all your efforts, you will likely end up dead or insane. You can prolong the inevitable if you are smart, but that's it. In fact, it might be a better story if your character dies or goes insane in a really memorable way that your friends talk about for years.
  • Get as many skills at 89%. If you master a skill (it goes to 90) you get 2D6 sanity.
  • If you know that the cultists are trying to summon a really big critter, burn down their house two hours before midnight (or time of alignment) and gun down anything that comes out... from the car. Two cars actually, so some of you might get away.
  • If you encounter a monster, chances are good that something had already gone VERY wrong and even more: it's all your fault.
  • Never investigate alone. Never go pretty much anywhere alone. Never meet people alone, never read books alone. The more investigators in a given spot, the better.
  • Be nice to all the characters you meet; it can save you in some hairy situations.
  • Always research a town before investigating.
  • Use the pistol only against humans. Do not try to fight monsters unless the monster is of about human size and your party is large and/or well-armed.
  • Keep all your cash on you. Let your friends loot your body.
  • Dodging is "The art of being elsewhere". Believe me, there are more than enough situations where "being elsewhere" is a really good idea.
  • Never let anyone know you are suspicious of them.
  • Eventually you will face a monster. Know some melee skills really well. Important: Melee skills allow you to parry. Of course, running away may be an even better idea.
  • Remembering childhood rhymes may pay off, especially this one: "If there's a fight and the odds are fair, don't look for me - I won't be there!"
  • Buy a pistol. It shouldn't be too powerful or too weak.
  • If the Keeper calls one or more of the players into a different room for a secret part of the game, and when they come back in they either turn on the T.V. or begin playing the computer, etc., then just declare you're going home.
  • Be suspicious of everyone, especially characters who are memorable. If the character is special in some way (i.e. exceptional strength or intelligence), do not trust them ever.
  • Unless you are in a really, really small town just remember that the police outnumber, and probably outgun you, so stay on their good side.
  • Do not pronounce anything out loud. Ever. In one scenario reading an engraving out loud summons an alien god which turns your skin into leather. This is just one example of why not to read things out loud.
  • Never use any "Unidentifiable," "Strange" or "Weird" substance, item or bottle of something unless your back is to the wall and it could be your only means of survival. Half of the time, the interesting substance will help, the other half of the time it will melt your skin.
  • Remember not to go around torturing and killing anyone you please. The police may not understand that the man you are pulling finger nails from is trying to summon an old god to wipe mankind off the face of the earth. If there is anything more difficult to take down than a Gug, it's the police.
  • If you find yourself unable to finish off monsters or cultists in a building, pack some gasoline and torch them. No one said you ever had to play fair.
  • If you find out your fighting a wizard, make sure you get the first shot in. Always make sure the first attack is as lethal and brutal as possible, even more importantly catch them off guard.


  • If they have big eyes and large foreheads, they are Deep Ones; if you smell mold, Ghouls are at work.
  • Have someone who can patch you up after a pitched gun battle or monster attack, there is rarely a good doctor or hospital nearby.
  • Don't be a hero. If you and your friend are being chased by a monster, and it's gaining on you two, don't be afraid to clock your friend. The point is to survive. Survive.
  • Trust no one.
  • If strange things start to happen to your character, such as dreams, it is usually an indication you need to move quickly.
  • Packing heat? Pack a permit.
  • Never make a deal with a Deity, since they really have no moral obligation to uphold their end of the bargain.
  • If the weather gets bad, it's getting bad.
  • Never treat cultists nicely. Never respond to their questions or let them do something "harmless." Neutralize them (don't kill them unless absolutely necessary or unless they are a leader) and question them.
  • If you suspect something is supernatural, never have more than one party member try it at once.
  • If the Townsfolk don't want to talk about what happened in the past, don't press them, just look it up.
  • Never tell the Lord of the old Transylvanian manor that you were snooping around his basement, let alone drop kicked his baby homunculus.

Things You'll Need

  • Pistols and Ammo.
  • A close combat weapon
  • A light source, torch, flashlight, etc.
  • Rope and climbing material.
  • Gas and explosives are recommended.
  • Money for bribery.
  • An escape plan.
  • A party leader.
  • Someone with high sanity.
  • Someone who knows History.
  • Someone who knows Languages.
  • Someone who knows the Occult.
  • Common sense (harder to find than you would think...)
  • Shotguns (for when things get really sticky)
  • Sawed off Shotguns, Browning Automatic Rifles, and Thompson Sub Machine guns are very effective weapons.

Article Info

Categories: Role Playing Games