Trail Of Cthulhu
Community member Scott Case has released an amazing community ruleset for pelgrane Presses Trail Of Cthulhu game! The ruleset is totally free to use but you will need the Trail Of Cthulhu source books (or PDFs) to really use this ruleset. There is a conversion of the source books in progress and once complete you will be able to buy the complete source material ready for use in Fantasy Grounds!
Checkout the Q & A with Scott Case:
First, some clarification:
What’s the difference between Trail of Cthulhu and Callof Cthulhu?
They’re both tabletop RPGs based on the works of HP Lovecraft, and both are great games. Although they overlap a lot in the type of content they feature, the two games approach it in a fundamentally different manner. If you’re looking for a traditional old-school RPG with good support for detailed, token-based combat and some crunchy rules depth, you probably want Call of Cthulhu. If you are interested in a game with more emphasis on shared narrative and story, then Trail of Cthulhu is for you. Another way to put this that might be more familiar: Trail of Cthulhu is to Call of Cthulhu what 4E is to 3.5E. (That’s a broad generalization about philosophies of those game systems, not about specific mechanics.) And to be clear, BOTH of these games have good support for investigation, storytelling, and combat; the difference is where the emphasis is by the rules.
Where can I get rulesets to play them in Fantasy Grounds?
For Call of Cthulhu, there is complete ruleset, including the game rulebook as a library module for FG, for sale in the Fantasy Grounds store. There are also so adventures and some extra modules available for it there. Because the ruleset includes the full game rules, you don’t necessarily need to buy anything else to play. But if you’d like to obtain a copy of the rules in print or PDF, you can get it from http://www.chaosium.com.
For Trail of Cthulhu, a member of the FG community recently built and released a ruleset. It’s available for free on the Armory forum on the Fantasy Grounds web site. This ruleset, being a free release, does not include the game’s rulebook, so at least for the moment, you’ll need the game rules in either print or PDF format. At present, though, a library module to add the full game rules into FG is under development. When it is complete, it will be available from the FG store. Or if you prefer not to wait or just enjoy a fine, well-put-together book, you can get the Trail of Cthulhu rulebook from http://www.pelgranepress.com.
About the Trail of Cthulhu ruleset:
What does the new Trail of Cthulhu ruleset look like?
You can see a quick video overview of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYD0RxtlNGs
What kind of features does it have?
One of the nicest features is the fact that the character sheet keeps a running total of how many build points you’ve spent in setting up your character, taking into account all of the various rules exceptions and things that apply to specific skills. This means that you can build a Trail of Cthulhu character right there on your character sheet in FG, without having to refer to external utilities or use a scratchpad or calculator.
Another handy thing is the Keeper’s party sheet. This is a panel where the Keeper can view all of the PCs’ skills in one place, allowing him to easily answer questions like, “Does anyone in the party have skill in Forensics?” This makes it easier for the Keeper to tune the clues in the story for the PCs currently playing and make sure that everything keeps moving smoothly.
Can I use alternate campaign frames with the Trail of Cthulhu ruleset, such as Pelgrane’s Bookhounds of London?
Yes, easily. The only change necessary in this case would be to add the new skills that are specific to Bookhounds, and you can do this directly on the character sheet by adding a custom skill.
What about other GUMSHOE system games?
This depends on how picky you are, or how willing and able you are to make some changes by creating an extension. For example, take Fear Itself. You can add custom skills to fill in those that appear in Fear Itself but not Trail of Cthulhu. And while there’s no blank of the ToC sheet for Risk Factor, you could write that in the Drive space. However, if you wanted to actually change the name of the Drive blank to say Risk Factor, and remove the ToC-specific skills that aren’t relevant to Fear Itself, you’d need to write up an extension for the ruleset to change those things. You can find more info about doing that in the Workshop forum on the FG web site, and a community that is extremely knowledgeable and helpful.