Disconnect Between Designer's Intent and Player Intepretation

pemerton

Legend
I think if play of a Cthulhu-esque RPG starts to turn on the question of whether or not horrors from out of space and time can be shot, run over, killed by animals, etc, then the play has drifted a fair way from HPL's focus.

The stories have various sorts of pulp-ish things in them, to various degrees, in order to make the plots work. But I don't think the most interesting thing about the story "Call of Cthulhu" is that Cthulhu was rammed by a boat. Nor is it the body count among the sailors - that's a device too, to give the horror physical form - to make it palpable.

A CoC-esque RPG could take a variety of approaches to these matters and nevertheless engage with HPL's themes. Conversely, a RPG that includes CoC-type tropes might involve no guns or dynamite or physical violence at all and yet still be closer to Scooby Doo or to a PC-grinding dungeon it its feel.
 

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A CoC-esque RPG could take a variety of approaches to these matters and nevertheless engage with HPL's themes. Conversely, a RPG that includes CoC-type tropes might involve no guns or dynamite or physical violence at all and yet still be closer to Scooby Doo or to a PC-grinding dungeon it its feel.

Now that I think of it, Whisperer in Darkness and The Shadow Over Insmouth were like reverse Scooby Doo. "Now let's see who farmer Akeley really is..."
 

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