GM Tarondor's The Two-Headed Serpent Campaign - Pulp Cthulhu

Game Master Tarondor

Maps and Images for Chapter One: Bolivia

House Rules
The Glossary and Campaign Notes
Firefight Cheat Sheet
Inspirational Images for Pulp Cthulhu



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THE TWO-HEADED SERPENT

Welcome to the Recruiting Thread for The Two-Headed Serpent, a Pulp Cthulhu campaign, a two-fisted, action-oriented epic adventure in the world of Call of Cthulhu.

What is Pulp Cthulhu?
Pulp Cthulhu is a version of Call of Cthulhu in which the heroes are larger-than-life adventurers rather than the cautious investigators of the base game. Influenced by Indiana Jones, Doc Savage and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, this game is set in the 1930s era, when America was in the grip of the Great Depression and on the road to World War II.

What is The Two-Headed Serpent?
According to the back of the adventure: The Two-Headed Serpent is an action-packed, globe-spanning, and high-octane campaign set in the 1930s for Pulp Cthulhu. Thee heroes face the sinister conspiracies of an ancient race of monsters hell-bent on taking back a world that was once theirs.

Working for Caduceus, a medical aid organization, the heroes will loot a lost temple in the forests of Bolivia, go head-to-head with the Mafia in New York City, face a deadly epidemic in the jungles of North Borneo, uncover the workings of a strange cult in dust-bowl-era Oklahoma,infiltrate enemy territory inside an awakening volcano in Iceland, face the horrors of hideous medical experiments in the Congo, race to control an ancient and powerful artifact on the streets of Calcutta, and ultimately travel to a lost continent for a desperate battle to save humanity from enslavement or annihilation!

How Much Experience Do I Need?
Absolutely none. We’ll all be learning this together!

How Much Do I Need to Know About the Cthulhu Stories?
Nothing at all. It’s fine if you’re an expert, but the adventure assumes that you characters know nothing about what insiders call “the mythos”, so it’s fine if you don’t.

What Kind of Horror Should I Expect?
Well, the Cthulhu mythos can get pretty dark and there are a few spots of real horror in the game. But this is Pulp Cthulhu, a four-color comic book of an adventure and for the most part you are expected to punch evil in the nose (or give it both guns from the wing of a biplane). It’s more on the level of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and less like “John Carpenter’s The Thing”.

Who’s the GM?
Well first of all, Call of Cthulhu calls them “Keepers”. Anyway, I’m Tarondor. I’ve been GMing role playing games for over forty years. I’ve run every version of D&D, both versions of Pathfinder and dozens of other systems over the years. I write the “Tarondor’s Guides” to various Pathfinder classes. I’m also an attorney, husband, dad and amateur historian.

As a GM I like a reasonable pace and I try to be as fair as possible. I am known for long-form adventures and do not fade away. I value players who are friendly, flexible and eager to have fun.

What Materials will I need if I’m Going To Play?
You’ll need three things:
1) A copy of the Call of Cthulhu Investigator’s Handbook, 7th Edition.

2) A copy of Pulp Cthulhu.

3) The Free Pulp Cthulhu Autocalculating Character Sheets from Chaosium.

You don’t need any of those things to apply, however.

What Kind of Commitment Will This Require?
This is a long game, comparable to a Pathfinder Adventure Path. Please, please, please don’t sign up if you don’t think you can play a game that will take years to complete.

What Is the Expected Frequency of Posting?
I’d like to keep to a schedule of “Post at least once per weekday and once per weekend”, but I am not fanatical about it. I myself will take the occasional mental health day off.

What Should I Do if I’m Interested?
All I want at this point is a statement of interest and a little bit about yourself. Tell me a little about why you’d like to play in this campaign. I guess what I’m looking for is 1) Interest; 2) The ability to play a role and not just roll dice; 3) The ability to commit to a full-length campaign and not fade away after a short while.

What Should I NOT Do?
Please do not give me any characters at this time. It’s fine to say “I think I’d like to play a hard-boiled detective, a femme fatale, a pilot or a bon vivant” or whatever, but I do not want any fleshed-out characters. First of all, I don’t want you to waste your time if I choose someone else to play and second of all, I intend to run a Session Zero where we’ll all build our characters together so they are an organic whole.

How Many Players Will Be Chosen?
Five players will be chosen for this campaign and I have already extended three invitations to specific players before creating this recruitment thread. If those invitations are accepted, I will be accepting two more players.

When Will the Players Will Be Chosen?
As soon as possible. I’m raring to go, and I’ll choose players as soon as I feel that we have a sufficient number of players to choose from. I won’t waste your time, I promise. That said, I will choose a team no later than Friday October 16, 2020 and possibly before then. If you’re interested, say so sooner rather than later!

Good Luck and Keep Watching the Stars!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello. I'm CariMac. I've been playing and GMing on these boards for six years.

On these boards, I'm playing in several of Tarondor's games, and several other long term games. I've played in two Pathfinder APs to completion. I have GMed PF1 Scenarios on these boards.

In person and on Roll 20: I've GMed a Dead Sun's to completion, GMed several PF1 and Starfinder Society games at my local game store.

Outside of games I'm a doggo mom to a rescued three year old American Staffordshire Terrier mix who is a certified Therapy Dog, and does agility training. At least she did those things before COVID. One of these days we'll get back to it.

I work for the Department of Veterans affairs as an accountant in the Research Department.

I'm excited to play something that isn't sword and board high fantasy. I love the 1930's era of history, and am all about the pulp. I really hope there are air ships.

Thanks for considering me for this game.


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I'm excited to try something new! Enchanter Tim here. I've been playing on the boards for 6-7 years, mostly Pathfinder and now 2e with some Starfinder tossed in.

I'm in a few of Tarondor's online games, several PFS games, and I'm a distance-member of Tarondor's RL game group. I don't think I've ever played a online AP to completion, but I've gotten through several books in multiple APs.

I'm excited to try a new system, particularly Cthulhu. I've never played a Cthulhu game and I like the idea of a pulp game to boot. Indiana Jones is one of my favorite series, so being in the same period and similar style is awesome to me.


Dot


Definitely dotting!

Dark Archive

I'd love to join! I've been doing Pathfinder and Starfinder with CariMac for several years. I'm currently in three APs and GMing one Starfinder AP. It's been many years since I've done Cthulu RP, although always been an avid enjoyer of the mythos, especially pulp, I particularly enjoy PbP for the freedom to think of creative text.


Hi Tarondor, I am Very interested! It has been a while since ive played on these boards and I'm excited to return. Ive been searching for a group here for a couple weeks. I have experience as a PbP player, but most of the campaigns had GM's fall out.

I am the permanent dm for a few irl groups, and Im looking for a place to sink in and discover a character as a player again.

Torgrin Deepsmith wrote:
I particularly enjoy PbP for the freedom to think of creative text.

(I also appreciate this medium for the creativity and ability to craft responses)

As others have mentioned, this pulp setting sounds great, very unique and welcome change from the typical fantasy.I know very little about the Cthulu mythos. However, I think learning this as my character does would be a bonus for me in this setting.

I am married, no kids, and I work a 9-5 as a project manager in manufacturing. (With access to this site at work) ;)

I look forward to learning more!


Longtime DM and player (44 years!!!), and resident of the Paizo forums. Been part of many long-lasting campaigns on these boards, and many more brief forays.

I have all the books listed, and am an immense fan of the Pulp Genre. I've been thinking of a priest character with a substance abuse problem but a intense connection to his faith.

I travel quite a bit for work (When COVID is not in charge)... so my posting times are sometimes a bit skewed, but usually daily posting is not a problem... and if it is I give notice.

Would appreciate being considered.

Scarab Sages

Hi Tarandor! I'd love to be considered for this game. I've played a tiny bit of pulp style Cthulhu and really liked it. It was a bite-sized demo called Trail of Cthulhu with pregen characters, about the length of a PFS scenario. It was super fun and I've always loved the twenties and thirties setting for games and just about everything else.

If I'm accepted for the game I think I'd like to rework the pregen character I used before: Lian "Louise" Chau, a Chinese national who is a university student and photographer. Maybe she's remade as a journalist or something along those lines.

I've been playing on the boards here for about 5 years. I'm still in my first game ever, the RotRL AP, and it's still going. I'm in a few other games as well so I'm on to post daily, and a daily rate (or less as needs be) isn't a problem at all.

I tend to prefer PbP games over IRL because they don't tend to pit character interactions and development against limited play time for keeping the game moving forward. I'd rather avoid the "role play" vs "roll play" dichotomy, but I tend to put more energy into character relationships and story building than rules and combat.

Otherwise, I live in Portland, Oregon and work for the Oregon Department of Human Services. I have a son and a dog, and of the two the dog is by far more trouble to manage. To be fair she's only 1 year old.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Jili peeks out from behind a curtain and waves at rdknight. "Hi Ro." Then ducks back behind the curtain.

Scarab Sages

Hiya Jili! Nice to be breathing air that isn't brown huh? I love the rain!

Scarab Sages

Oh wow! Looking at CoC stuff on Drive thru RPG I see they have a supplement Berlin - The Wicked City that contains three adventure scenarios. This is pretty much a dream come true for me. I have an almost unhealthy level of fascination with Weimar-era Berlin. If I can make it work somehow, I will be running this in 2021.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love the rain. The doggo on the other hand is ready to move to Arizona. She's COLD, and hates the wet.

Dang I'm going to have to look into running COC for some friends. I love this era of history. I listened to some of radio programs from the 30's over and over. The Shadow was one of my favorites.


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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Well, for anyone who's going to run Call of Cthulhu (or Traveller), I cannot recommend Seth Skorkowsy's YouTube Channel highly enough. Funny, useful and instructional all at the same time.

Please don't watch his reviews of "The Two-Headed Serpent", though!

Silver Crusade

dotting. I don't have the bandwidth for any more games right now, but I'll be following this one with interest since I've been looking to break out of Pathfinder/Starfinder into some other games and this looks fun :)


Interested in participating.

I've always enjoyed the pulp and Cthulhu genres and would be keen on combining them.

I've read/listened to most of HPL's more popular work.

I'm is several multi-year pathfinder campaigns here on the boards, so commitment has never been an issue.


Hi there! I'd love to be considered for this game! I've been playing pathfinder (1st ed) for about 8 years now, and have dabbled in other systems during that time (GURPS, Mutants&Masterminds, Edge of the Empire Vampire the Masquerade) but never have had a chance to play in a cthulhu setting! I have my own completely homebrewed Harry Potter meets HP Lovecraft system, but if I'm going to be completely honest, it's extremely clunky. This is my first time looking for a virtual game, and although I am a college student, I have quite a lot of free time available to me.
Thank you so much for the opportunity, and I hope that you have a great game!


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

A small update:

Two slots have been taken by invitation. I will be taking three more by recruitment. I will probably make a decision before Friday.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Those of you who dotted for interest, I'll be making a decision much sooner than Friday, possibly sooner than tomorrow. If you want to be considered, please say so now.


I do!!!!!


I am definitely interested in it. The Pulp Action twist on things sound really neat. I'm trying to get the auto-calculator working but it is being a pain in the butt.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Well, the character sheet was for your benefit. If it doesn't work, ignore it. See the Campaign Info tab for how we'll be making and formatting characters.


Let me know if I’m in and I’ll make my character... unless you want one before making your choice?


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As I stated above, I do not want any characters until we as a group have had a chance to discuss.


Tarondor wrote:
As I stated above, I do not want any characters until we as a group have had a chance to discuss.

OK. I was confused by you posting the character creation rules.


Sounds neat. Interested.


I do!


Okay, folks. This part is never fun. I've got lots of great applicants and I've simply got to make some choices. Honestly, I'd be happy to have each of you in my game.

CariMac, Enchanter Tim, rdknight, Torgrin Deepsmith and JoshB, please head for the Discussion tab.

Everyone else, thank you very much for your interest!


Thanks. This is the most confusing recruitment I've ever been a part of. I never heard anything about a discussion thread or even where this was being discussed until after the decision was made. Oh well... good luck...


That is because there was no discussion thread until the decision was made.


Sad face. If someone drops, please let me know! I'd love to get in on this.


Will do! Sorry I couldn’t take everyone!


Looking for one or two more players. Send me a PM if interested!


RECRUITMENT OPEN

Looking for one or two players to join our Pulp Cthulhu game! It's early on in the campaign. No Cthulhu experience required (hell, none of us has any...)


Ooh! I'm definitely interested! I'm a huge fan of of Cthulhu games! Let me take a look and I'll work on an investigator soon. I had one once for a Murder on the Orient Express game that blew up early. I'll just have to change up the dates a bit (I think that one took place in the '20s) and see what kind of pulp hero you're looking for. My guy was an archaeologist/scholar type, but I'll see if you've got that role covered and tweak him into something else if need be. If he seems a good fit with the party, I can probably just lift him from that pbp board and place him here straightaway - though I'll check out your character creation rules first. I don't recall that adventure being 'pulp', which I know usually makes the heroes a lot tougher to kill. I'll figure it out later today when I get home.

Hmm... for that matter, I have a pulp character ready to go as a 'backup' in another Cthulhu game I'm playing. Maybe he'll work... He's a tough guy type, good in brawls and with the shotgun and he has a medical background.

Also, just read your original recruitment post. Let me know what I have to do going forward, but I've played Call of Cthulhu before (currently in a campaign that is going on Roll20) and I love the premise of the game. I've been playing pbp style games for about 25 years now, I helped run a board with a few others for more than 15 years before attrition (and the debacle of EZBoards turning into Yuku and then TapaTalk... don't get me started...) killed my interest in staying there any longer. I migrated a couple games to the Paizo boards, and I've got two of those games still going strong even after a few years of gaming. Heck, I kept one game alive on my old board for nearly a decade before player attrition just made it impossible for me to go on. That one was Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. Sure wish I'd been able to finish it...

Anyway, I'm here for the long haul!


Hey, GMWest. Yes, I ran my Kingmaker game on EZBoards, then Yuku, Then finally TapaTalk before saying "screw it" and bringing it over here.

RttToEE is a -LONG- game. I got tired just reading it! But I was a huge fan of the original. I think I ran it three times.

Anyway, slap together a character. Maybe you'd like to pop into the Discussion board and ask for advice from the players. Since you'll be joining late, you don't need to integrate your characters into the backstories of the others. You'll be airdropped in as backup!


Nice! I helped run the d20 World of Greyhawk board I started with a few online friends. I'm sure you remember the horrid data loss that EZBoard suffered many years back, which really put a dent in things. I wasn't a fan of Yuku, but limped along through it and Tapatalk is just worthless. Ugh! It's too bad too, because I really liked the layout that we'd created using that site.

Anywho... What are the rules for character creation? Just straight out of the book? Want me to make the rolls in this Recruitment thread or in Discussion? I used Dhole's House to create my other pulp character, including the Doc Savage-type backup I've got (the GM recommended it.) Let me know what you think!


GM West:

The Character Creation guidelines are on the Campaign Info tab. Also a good idea to check out the House Rules found at the top of this page.


Aha! Will do, thanks! :)


Ooohhh... an aviator is so tempting... I'll stick with the scholar for now. When he gets horribly killed or goes insane I'll go with an aviator!

I'll work on the character tonight, after looking over the details of character creation I need to start from scratch anyway. Thinking a scholar with a background in anthropology and history. I don't want him to be helpless in battle, so I'm going to make him an avid hunter (rifles, for the most part) as well. I'm thinking fluency in Latin for sure, as well as a bit of Spanish, French and Arabic - perhaps one or two others. EDU will definitely be his prime score, but POW as well - for when he inevitably starts looking over those eldritch tomes I'm sure we'll be running across. Then let the fun begin! :)

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

In looking at the original recruitment, I would answer that I'm definitely interested. I love Cthulhu.

As for being able to commit long term. there can't be too many people on the boards with more of a posting history than you Tarondor, but I'm one of them, including several games with a long history.

Do I understand there's a need to buy some resources to get the rules? That's no problem either, but if they are available free somewhere, that would be great too.

I see the group could use a Medic?

I would propose a former Miskatonic University student. I'm stunned to not find any Miskatonic-ness anywhere in the threads for this game. Anyways, I'm a native of Puerto Rico who was working on a degree in Medicine from Miskatonic, and went on a summer expedition with a University team in 1925 to the Congo. Something terrible happened on that expedition, as often does to Miskatonic expeditions, and it caused me to drop out of school, and take my medical knowledge to the French Foreign Legion to get away from it, with an assumed name. I did 8 years in the Legion, learning French and some combat skills, and am now seeking employment with the Caduceus Foundation as a Medical expert with some actual combat experience from my years in Algiers as a Legionaire.

So roughly, and I haven't looked into the game mechanics yet, but I'm think trilingual: Spanish, French, English; Medical background and skills; and some combat skills.


Zahir: Sure. You're in. Whip up a character. Maybe you can coordinate with GM West.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

GM Tarondor wrote:
Zahir: Sure. You're in. Whip up a character. Maybe you can coordinate with GM West.

I’ll figure out how to make a character and get into things!


Character Creation is outlined on the Campaign Info tab.

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