It has eternal lain on my shelf – or at least for the last 17 years, the receipt from the FLGS is still tucked in the back – & it’s finally time to bring out Call of Cthulhu d20. For some reason I had remembered this as a Ken Hite production, but darned if it isn’t by Monte Cook & John Tynes. As with yesterday, chargen proceeded more quickly than I had expected, even though I went into today with no concept to work toward. Or maybe that’s why it did go quickly: with no target in mind I could just look at how the dice fell & build the concept on whatever random framework arose.
It’s d20, you know the drill. Stats are technically 4d6 drop lowest, arrange to suit, but we’re going full on random today so we roll in order & keep them.
STR 15, DEX 10, CON 11, INT 15, WIS 9, CHR 13
What the heck is going on here? Strong, but not hardy, so not a professional warrior. Very intelligent. So the question is, are we dealing with a smart fighter or a jacked academic? Let’s say that unlike Lovecraft’s usual neurasthenic academics, this character – the d12 of gender comes up odd, so he’s a man – is an adjunct university professor who’s also into a strength-reliant sport.
Step two is to pick the Defense Option or the Offense Option. A Defense character gets two +2 saves, one +0, & a Base Attack Bonus of +0 at first level. An Offense character gets two +0 saves, one +2, & a BAB of +1. The professor is a scrappy guy, so let’s choose Offense. He puts the +2 into his Reflex save to compensate for the mediocre DEX.
Step three is to choose a profession template. A character gets nine template-dependent skills plus three more of their choice to be “core skills” that can be bought more cheaply than non-core ones. Starting characters have (8 + INT mod) x 4 points to spend on skill ranks. Core skills cost 1 point/rank, non-core are 2/rank.
Template skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Knowledge (Astronomy), Knowledge (Math), Knowledge (Electronics), Research, Speak Other Language (Italian), Spot
Free choice skills: Innuendo, Computer Use, Knowledge (Anthropology)
A starting PC gets two feats. The professor chooses Toughness (+3 HP) & Martial Artist (enhances barehanded damage). The prof is an amateur boxing enthusiast who has acquired a bit of a reputation for dropping heavy leather at local smokers.
All PCs start with six, yes six HP plus their CON mod, plus three for each time they took Toughness. The professor thus begins with nine. CoC d20 uses the same SAN mechanic as the original Chaosium game. Things take a turn for the worse here; starting SAN is WIS x 5, which gives the prof a 45. Ouch. It’s not going to take too many punch-ups with Deep Ones to send this poor bastard wibbly. We also note what 20% of the prof’s current SAN is. If a PC loses that much in the space of an hour, they go indefinitely insane! With a paltry 9, prof really had better watch his step…
Last touches consist of determining height, weight, starting cash, & yearly income. Those done, our astronomy prof can gaze into the depths & see the first horrible stirrings in stygian, limitless voids as the stars begin to come right.
Name: Benjamin Cutler
Height: 6’3, Weight: 205
STR 15 (+2), DEX 10, CON 11, INT 15 (+2), WIS 9, CHR 13 (+1)
HP: 9, AC: 10, Initiative: 0, BAB: +1
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +0
Melee +3, Ranged +1
Current SAN 45, Max SAN 99, 20% SAN 9
Feats: Toughness, Martial Artist
Skills: Computer Use +6, Concentration +3, Diplomacy +4, Gather Information +6, Innuendo +3, Knowledge (Anthropology) +5, Knowledge (Astronomy) +6, Knowledge (Math) +6, Knowledge (Electronics) +5, Research +5, Speak Other Language (Italian) +5, Spot +3