I’ll admit–I’ve not played Call of Cthulhu before. I’ve always wanted to. Still, one thing about it bugs me (and it isn’t unique to CoC); when a character goes insane, are they just done? This can be abstracted to “when someone runs out of hit points, are they just dead?”
Steve at Kobold Quarterly discusses this (and related) topics in a post about horror gaming. His last bullet point has captured my interest most–he advocates for a dream quest through “an insane world inside their own blistered minds” to allow characters who have succumbed to insanity a chance to recover.
And why not? Even yesterday, I described an adventure into Hell to redeem on who had lost her body. What is Cthulhuesque insanity but another form of Hell?
Killing Me Softly with His Carbon Monoxide
Speaking of dreams, one of my players always gives me crap for that one time that I killed his character in a dream sequence. I’m fond of the “actions have consequences” approach to gaming, and in RPGs, most consequences are dire.
Patrick at Gnome Stew reflects on character death through things other than swords: when poison or environmental conditions kill a character (or a party). I’m a big fan of having these kinds of threats–but the key is that the players have to know that they’re a possibility, or have an escape route on the other side.
Hot Button: Silent Killers from Gnome Stew
Rory at Blog of Holding advocates a novel idea for D&D Next: allow a wizard to swap out a memorized spell to cast any one he knows, in exchange for extending the casting time to 10 minutes.
Brilliant! I’ve always hated playing wizards, because of the mourning I experience when that “just right” spell is out of reach because I didn’t prepare it. And sorcerers don’t scratch the itch of the careful planner. This rule gives a great midpoint. Thanks, Rory!