Trail of Nyarlathotep
Resources and Guidelines
Resources and Guidelines for the Aspiring Adventurer
So, you’ve decided to heed the call to adventure, put on your adventuring boots, and head out into the weird, wonderful, and horrifying world of 1925, eh? Here’s what you should keep in mind.
First, come up with a rough concept for who your investigator will be. In Trail of Cthulhu, characters are loosely sorted into bins based on their vocation, so a good place to start might be something as broad as “a down-on-their-luck PI”, or “a woman who aspires to be the best barnstormer in the world”, or “a hypochondriac English Literature Ph.D.”
Here’s the list of pre-generated jobs that Trail of Cthulhu knows about. If you don’t see anything you’re looking for on this list, don’t panic—just sketch it out in a couple sentences and tell me about it and we’ll work it out.
- Police Detective
- Private Investigator
Don’t go too nuts with backstory and detail at this stage, since we’re going to be engaging in some collaborative character-building, in order to connect our little band of investigators together on a deep level. So we’ll be discovering more about your character—especially in the first couple of sessions, and probably throughout the whole campaign!
Second, I’d like us all to come up with a portrait for our character. Feel free to scour google image search / IMDB / any of the inspiration resources below for portraits, and print one out. That will hopefully help us imagine the action at the table.
Third, at the first session I’ll provide an overview of the mechanics of Trail of Cthulhu. It’s fairly light as these things go, but once we’ve figured out a little more about our characters and how they fit together we can put some numbers to them. For meaningless brownie points you can look up the system on your own time and come prepared, but that’s optional.
Inspiration and Resources
- The Call of Cthulhu Card Game . Browse the online card list linked there to see a wide variety of classic-era mythosy goodness. I’d filter down to one or more of the “human” factions (Agency, Syndicate, Silver Twilight, Miskatonic) or maybe Hastur and then further filter by type “character”.
- A collection of 1920s photos at 19 Nocturne Boulevard.
- Some classy mugshots from 1920s Australia.
- This fairly epic yog-sothoth forum thread. I’ve started you at the end because it started a long time ago, so dead links. And was also just creepy for a while.
- Look for old movies, and movie stars. Or heck—newer ones and convert the picture to black and white for a more “authentic” feel :). Books set in the period that were later filmed are a good resource: think Poirot and the like.
- More to come—if you come across anything great, let me know and I’ll add it. You never know when you’re going to need a new character!