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Cthulhu Live: Live Action Horror Game Set in the Worlds of H.P. Lovecraft Paperback – January 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 155 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards Attic (January 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568820410
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568820415
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 8.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,320,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Scott Nicholson is an Associate Professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies and the Director of the Because Play Matters game lab. His areas of interest include meaningful gamification and the creation of transformative games for informal learning and training. During the 2011-2012 academic year, he was a visiting professor at MIT in Comparative Media Studies and the GAMBIT game lab. Dr. Nicholson is a published board game designer, wrote the book Everyone Plays at the Library, and was an academic reference librarian. His research blog is at http://becauseplaymatters.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
It is hard to compare this book to any other role-playing system, LARP or other. When compared to it's mother system, Chaosium's Call of Chtulhu Role-playing, it is barely more than adequate to convey the richness of the setting and the sheer amount of terror that comes with that system. But then again, comparing LARP to table top role-playing is like comparing apples and pears. So it would probably be better to compare it to other LARPs. And it is in this comparison that Cthulhu really shines. The most important reason I like this system, is for it's accessibility to inexperienced players. Unlike the PC's in ohter systems, like those of the Mind's Eye Theatre, here they are normal, regular every day people, and thus are not such a stretch to play as, say for example, Vampires, Ghosts, and Werewolves. Maybe playing mere mortals might not sound like an exciting idea, but wait till you find out what they are up against. This, the relatively easy system, and the good suggestions for props, monsters and make-ups. Make this the system for every starting LARP group, and I'm speaking from personal experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Skirmisher Online Gaming Magazine on October 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
And they said it couldn't be done! The Great Old Ones themselves are stirring in their sepulchers over the first official live-action version of Chaosium's acclaimed Call of Cthulhu role-playing game. Based on the short stories of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) and the expansive group of writers known as the "Lovecraft Circle," Call of Cthulhu took the gaming world by storm when it first appeared in 1981. Over the years, several organizations have created their own systems to bring Cthulhu gaming to life. This has been a challenging proposition at best.
Cthulhu Live is the first officially licensed live-action role-playing system for Call of Cthulhu. The book contains a tremendous amount of information, ranging from the game mechanics of character creation, skill use, and combat, to the more challenging tasks of make-up, costuming, monster building, prop construction, and running a live-action game.
Although it took 16 years for an official live-action Cthulhu to appear, it seems to have been well worth the wait. The basic rules structure is top-notch, streamlining the Call of Cthulhu rules into a simple, fast-playing system that is quickly mastered. I would rate the combat system as fair. It is one of the better non-contact systems I've seen for live-action gaming, but it's certainly the hardest element of the game for a new player to learn. We tried running a couple "practice battles" with all the players before starting the actual game, which seemed to help everyone later in the adventure.
The greatest challenge gamers might face is assembling a large enough group to run many of the adventures proposed in the rules. Eight to 10 players seem to be about the absolute minimum for Cthulhu Live, and some scripts call for 12 to 20 players.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
Much as I expected, this book was somewhat saddening. The authors did try their best to convert The Call of Cthulhu into a Live Action Role-Playing game, but the mood just wouldn't be there. You can't properly express sheer terror when facing down a Byakhee made of cardboard, and the general concept is pretty much a "We Can't Do This But We're Going To Try" idea from the start. Sigh...
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
The folks who wrote these rules have never actually played a live-action game. There is little to no element of chance involved in anything (either you can do it or you can't), combat is incredibly boring (you might as well be rolling dice), and most skills have been abstracted to the point of being just plain silly. Their strong points are on roleplaying and costume/props, but that's about it. If you want to get some good ideas how to do a live CoC game then read this book. But a retarded monkey with two broken hands could write a better rules system.
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