trupie said: Do you have any experience running Cthulhutech? I agreed to dm a game for my friends in about a month and the system looks like kind of a trainwreck.
Interestingly enough, a handful of people have asked me about this game.
Unfortunately, I’ve never played it, although I’ve heard as much about the system and its NC-17 contents. I’d still like to take a gander at it sometime, but I can’t seem to find the book locally.
I’m actually not quite happy with that response, since it was pretty short, so I’ll expand a little bit here.
CthulhuTech is a really good concept for a game, but it has a few unpleasant quirks. For one thing, the mechanics of the game are weird and difficult to get used to, and although they work just fine once you get the hang of it, there’s no need for it to be so difficult to understand.
Secondly, and more important in my eyes, the writers are idiots. While they try to appear socially progressive when describing the culture of 2085, they are fairly bad at actually being inclusive to players who aren’t cisgendered males. Two things stand out as good examples of this; in the equipment book Unveiled Threats, they wrote rules for a literal rape machine. I understand that they were going for the most horrible thing they could imagine, but that was NOT something they should have done. (No one should ever pay money for Unveiled Threats because of that. Pirate it, do not pay for it.) There is also a scenario involving Shub-Niggurath in which the players encounter Horned Ones, which are eldritch demon-animal-things which are supernaturally sexy. If the players fail to resist them and end up fucking the animal-demons, the rules say that it will always result in a pregnancy. Now, for a male character, this isn’t such a bad thing, but it’s pretty fucking awful for a female character, especially after they specify that no human will survive this pregnancy and any attempts to abort will probably kill the mother. It was an incredibly stupid thing for them to write.
Having said all that, if you’re into Lovecraftian horror combined with mecha anime and you don’t mind working with some strange dice mechanics, it is overall a really fun game. The best ways to play are as over-the-top as possible; either go full mind-twistingly horrifying in the “humanity is truly fucked from every direction” variety, or go as far as you can in the opposite direction and let players punch Cthulhu in the face with an Evangelion. If you want to put the effort in to learn the odd mechanics and work around the unnecessarily sexist bullshit, it’s a very rewarding game.
However, if you’re looking for a good sci-fi game with many of the same elements as CthulhuTech, I would recommend Eclipse Phase instead. From what I can tell, it is much friendlier to players of all skill levels and gender associations.