Call of Cthulhu: The Haunting

It is my honor and privilege to introduce what is no doubt the finest actual play ever posted or ever will be posted on this site. This game used the classic scenario, ‘The Haunting’ albeit set in a modern era with a group of experienced and skilled investigators. Will they uncover the secrets of the house or will they suffer a fate worse than death? You will be thrilled, chilled and terrified by this actual play.

(sorry Aaron)

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  1. Wow, another amazing scenario by the RPPR crew. This is probably the most gripping scenario this gaming group has recorded; forget Fear Itself, Candle Cove or Bryson Springs- The Haunting takes the prize.

    I was impressed by the sheer intensity of the RP between the characters. The hard-boiled, no-nonsense social worker that Ross played was my personal favorite, always keeping his cool even when the eldritch horrors strike at their hardest. Who’d imagine that a social worker with a shotgun could be so bad-ass?

    Cody’s character was immensely deep, as a teenager whom just turns eighteen he is filled with insecurities typical to a boy thrown into a man’s world. The dark undertones around the character’s background such as growing as a bastard son and being raised in a violent culture where guns were a daily part of childhood were extremely impressive. I loved the way he interwove all of this into the story, kudos for that.

    Jason, oh Jason. Your portrayal of the highly successful yet mentally disturbed magician really hit the mark. As the illegitimate father of Cody’s character, I really enjoyed the dynamic conversations you two had regarding the failure of the character to be in his son’s life. His successfully public life was a real contrast to his broken private life.

    Tom, as always, plays a deep character with violent tendencies. His character, gunsmith and ex-Navy veteran, was also very interesting. I won’t spoil the twist in his character’s background, sufficed to say I had to listen to the AP twice to truly understand it. Tom- it chilled me to the bone.

    Caleb, I can’t believe this was your first roleplaying game! Your preacher was the most active in the scenario, throwing himself right at the abominable horrors with as much fervor as any lawful good cleric. He could have chosen a different path and taken care of the children’s event, yet he stood still, facing fear even if It were the last thing he would do, never showing a hint of his rapidly draining sanity. It was impressive indeed.

    Aaron, thank you so much for GMing this game. And for any AP fan, this is a must-listen. You will not regret it.

  2. Wow.

    If you guys were sincere in giving Aaron a ‘trial by fire’ for worst-case con gaming, you deserve kudos and Aaron was a trouper and stuck it out. Kudos to Aaron for putting up with an exceptional amount of amusing but ultimately game-derailing asshattery. This AP episode is only useful as a didactic tool.

    The advice given at the end of play was pretty standard but useful for a new GM. Aaron’s GMing chops aren’t that bad, but maybe he does need some pointers on controlling the game (or, more specifically, dealing with idiotic players who are out of control).

    I listened to his GM session of the ‘Divine Fire’ scenario and thought he did a decent job of it. He dealt with a decent group of roleplayers and everyone seemed to enjoy what was going on.

    I’ve listened to an awful lot of your AP episodes. Aaron, don’t take it personally, they’re just trying to break you out of that cast-iron mould that you have for RP. As for GMing, I think you’re doing a decent job and if you suffer through their version of ‘GM Boot Camp’ you’ll be a better GM for it.

    I would have just shot the players and/or gone for a beer. 😀

  3. Dom expressed it much more eloquently than I can, but it bears repeating: this game is a masterpiece. The manner in which all of the characters’ fates are intertwined is truly awe-inspiring and could only have originated from a group of masterful role-players. Both the characters and scenario were so realistic, I had to continually remind myself that this was a Call of Cthulhu game!

    I contributed to the fundraiser for Aaron’s trip to GenCon, and I am elated to finally see this actual play available to the community as a whole. Even if you dislike APs, this game is well worth the time to listen. You will not be disappoint.

  4. An epic of epic proportions and epic epicness. No listener will be disappointed.

  5. The first 45 minutes of this is the best roleplaying that RPPR has ever done! A Masterstroke!

  6. When did this actually get recorded? Was it around a year ago or so then? Also, I finally checked out the facebook page and got to put a face to everyone’s voice. Gratifying, indeed.

  7. Author

    This was recorded last summer, either June or July.

  8. Yeah I listen to this game before we play each week. It pumps me up. Can we give Aaron like a “most improved?” AND is he going to be at Gen Con 2011 running games for mendicants like us?

  9. Yes, I will be at Gen Con this year as well. I’ll be running three one-shots using Monsters and Other Childish Things.

  10. You’re more man than I, Aaron. Well done.

  11. At first I was like: you guys are assholes.

    Then I was like: I saw what you did there.


  12. And *then* you realise ‘actually, no, they were just being assholes cause Aaron was late’ 🙂

  13. Yup we’re assholes! I really want him to run another game, and he actually has an interesting idea I’d like to see come to fruition…sorry no hints.

  14. So long as we don’t have to wait a year or so to see this “interesting idea” come to fruition, Jason, we will all be happy. =)

  15. That Call of Cthulhu game sounded more like a Paranoia LARP. HAHA.

  16. Well I hope the idea comes to fruition, that game is what I’m running at Gen Con! Plus I’m running it for Arc Dream so I have an obligation to fulfill.

  17. Congratulations, guys: You broke the douche meter.

  18. Just started playing Call of Cthullu this weekend, and my first game was this very scenario. Amused to say, that our session seems like a completely differnt scenario then your session even though its the exact same. My group where a intellectuals in the 1980’s and they tried deducting every situation with rational thought.

    I see that this was recorded last summer, but incase you havn’t gm’d much more, if your people are as troublesome as yours were being, instead of letting them keep talking just do a hidden roll, and say “whats your luck again?” Worked for keeping my groups attention 😛

    Enjoying these AP’s, will be listening to more

  19. Oh hell fucking yes! Haven’t listened yet, but could this be the game that Ross has teased us with for ages? The fabled Ross-kicks-down-the-door-to-the-haunted-house-and-jack-assery game?

    Must… download… today!

  20. Finally listened to this episode on my trip up to Los Angeles the other day.

    Oh man, what a great session and where to begin!? I listened to it twice and laughed my ass off each time.

    I thought you did a good job for your first time. I think everybody makes mistakes when running their first CoC scenario. God knows I made my fair share, but honestly, once you got comfortable you did pretty well and I was really impressed. I noticed your verbal tick subsided as time passed, to the point of barely being noticeable. Kudos Aaron!!!

    As for the player jackassery, its the players/cast of RPPR that makes you guys my favorite gaming group (besides my own). You guys always make me laugh and this game was no exception.

    This has got to go down as one of the classic RPPR games. I mean, its right up there with the Gaga 2.0 game…

  21. This was my first introduction to Call of Cthulhu, but I loved it. What version of CoC do you guys use and what source materials are used?

  22. Move along, nothing to see here…
    Well may be only some wildly hilarious AP.

  23. The keeper’s “that’s like” Tourette’s is annoying as hell.

  24. Well, I guess all the interconnected characters and “roleplaying your character can be bad after all. Man, you guys were dicks. 😉

  25. Hey Aaron, I thought you did a great job out there. If this was your first time behind a Call of Cthulhu screen then you deserve some credit. A lot of the problems in this game were problems I faced my first time running Call of Cthulhu games.

    I’m clearly confused by what the players were going for in this game… I guess they were being intentionally problematic to prepare you for a potentially hazardous con game? Their feedback at the end was great, so I have to assume they are good guys and good players IRL. But if that hadn’t been a test, I would have told half that group to step outside while the people who wanted to play the game got to play the game, and the people who wanted to run down halls and scream and deliberately break up the atmosphere could go play Medal of Honor or whatever. GMs bust their ASS to deliver games that are HALF that quality. I’ve noticed that the players who are the quickest to write off a storyline as boring and start being disruptive and critical of the GM are the ones who struggle the most at telling a good story themselves; sometimes it pays to sit in the drivers seat and see how it feels.

    Again, I’m sure you’re all good guys, and I’m not here to disparage or judge any individuals or your groups’ methods. But Aaron didn’t seem all that confident by the end of that session (though he certainly can’t go through much worse). Aaron, if it maks you feel better, in my first Call of Cthulhu game, one of the guys started demanding I change the adventure while I was still setting up the mood music. I acquiesced (big mistake) and the guy promptly fell asleep. My GM tactics, methods, and style have all improved, and we don’t game with that guy anymore. You’re on the road to great places, but hell is it a bumpy one sometimes.

  26. Little crusaders pancake jamboree, fuckin’ genius.

  27. @kexizzoc Yeah, the crew was training Aaron with what to expect at Con games. So weird that going to a gaming con can end up with such annoying players eh? Especially ones that paid to be there! It was a trial by fire to be sure, though.

  28. Could any of you guys give a link to that Adam Scott Glancy interview?

  29. Listening to this again years and years later while preparing for a move. I don’t know if it will be seen, but let me say this. Aaron, you most certainly did not, do not, and will never suck.

    That is all.

  30. Oh my. I had heard a lot about this game on other episodes of the podcast, but it did not prepare me. It is still a journey. And it’s actually Fiasco-esque, with these over-the-top mostly terrible characters competing for the limelight.

    In some ways, it reminds me of the first CoC game I ran. Not so much the content – I wrote my own adventure – but in not knowing how to herd the destructive cats known as players.

    Still, I’m glad and a little amazed that you didn’t manage to scare off Caleb or run Aaron off GMing.

  31. My friend suggested this and said it was good . .. we’re no longer friends

  32. It’s an April Fool’s Day episode. Your friend was being mean.

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