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Chaosium Inc.

Call of Cthulhu Style Guide

  • All manuscripts should be submitted in MS Word (either .doc or .docx).
  • All submissions should use American English. We advise English writers to set up the document with US English as the default language.

General

  • Font size 11 point.
  • Insert only one space after periods.
  • Do not indent paragraph starts.
  • Never use spaces in order to align your paragraphs. Spaces should only be used to separate words, numbers, and symbols.
  • Use Oxford (serial) commas.
  • Lower case letter following a colon, unless a proper noun, e.g. here: fish / here: Paul
  • @@ is used to denote a page or table number, i.e. do not use “XX”
  • Dice rolls should be written with a capital D, e.g. 1D6; 2D6+4; 1D100.
  • When a sentence ends with a quotation of more than one word, the period should be inserted before the end quotation mark, e.g. “….was done.”
  • When making a cross reference to another section in the manuscript, use “see Name of Section>, page @@.”  Or, if referring to a box on the same page, write “see Name of Section> box nearby” (rather than ‘see box below’ – layout may mean the box is not below).

E.g. For more information, see Violent Unicorns, page @@.

For multiple pages, use an en-dash to join the numbers, e.g. pages @@–@@.

  • Text intended to be put into a text box should be indicated with at the start, and after the end of the boxed text. Do not put an actual box into the document.
  • Tables: should be written as: Table @@:
  • Tables – label the start as:Table@@: Name/Description of Table; withnoting the end of the table.
  • Handouts: number each in consecutive order with a signifier relevant to the scenario name, e.g. in a scenario called “Rhino Jaws” the handout would be referenced as: Handout Rhino 1: Letter from Mr. Rhino.
  • En-dashes should be used to connect numbers, e.g. see chapters 7–9 for information on Cthulhu deities.
  • En-dashed are also used to represent the minus sign, e.g. 1D10–1
  • Em-dashes are used to separate words (no spaces), e.g.…Cthulhu—yet…
  • Use italics for real world book (and film and ship) names.
  • Use italics for examples, e.g.: Example: xxxxxxx
  • Use Í rather than X or x as the multiplication symbol.
  • Headers should be marked

     descending.

  • E.g / i.e. / etc. – should NOT be italicized.
  • Foreign language words should be italicized.
  • Bulleted text should be formatted as following, with tabs separating the bullet from the text:
    • Bulleted Text
    • Bulleted Text

Game Terms

  • Within the text, the term “non-player character (NPC)” should be spelled out at the first mention and thereafter “NPC” may be used.
  • Use “investigators” rather than player characters (lower case i), and avoid referencing investigators as “players”—e.g. the players do not enter the creepy house, the investigators do. Players make dice rolls, investigators interact with the scenario content.
  • Use Keeper (capital K) rather than “game master” or “GM”.
  • Damage Bonus (DB).
    • o   A Damage Bonus of “none” should be written as “0”.
  • Build (always capital B).
  • Lower case on hit points (HP); magic points (MP); whereas for Sanity points/roll (SAN) use capital S.
  • movement rate (MOV) or Move.
  • Maneuver/s (or combat maneuver) – abbreviated to “mnvr” or “(mnvr)” in attack entries, e.g.

Grab (mnvr)    50% (25/10), damage 1D6 + held (opposed STR roll to break free)

  • Note that the Idea roll and Intelligence (INT) roll are now different mechanics (but both use the same characteristic, Intelligence (INT)).
  • Roleplaying (one word).
  • Regular difficulty; Hard difficulty; Extreme difficulty – caps on Regular/Hard/Extreme.

Regular difficulty is a standard roll and most times it can simply be written as: make a Drive Auto roll (rather than: make a Regular Drive Auto roll). Otherwise, make a Hard Drive Auto roll or an Extreme Drive Auto roll.

  • Skill and characteristic rolls should be emboldened: e.g. make a Drive Auto roll.
  • Skills should be written with capitals: e.g. Drive Auto.
  • Characteristics rolls should be abbreviated in capitals: e.g. CON roll, STR roll.
  • Spell names should be in capitals: e.g. Curse of the Beast.
  • reality check - lower case; delusion - lower case.
  • Cthulhu Mythos or Mythos with capitals.

Characters and Monsters

  • Use the NPC’s full name (e.g. Arthur Dent) on their first appearance in the text; thereafter either use their full name or their last name (e.g. Dent) to refer to them, i.e. avoid using first names only in the text.
  • Statistics: between character stats, insert one space between Stat and Number, and one tab between the number and the next stat.

e.g. STR 70                 CON 80                SIZ 80                   DEX 70                 INT 40                                 

Also, ensure the order of characteristics is consistent, and please use the following Statistic Blocks.

  • Characters in the Dramatis Personae should be written: First Name Surname, [age], key descriptor.  e.g. Kent Wordsworth, 67, public defendant
  • Place a period at the end of a character’s skills, spells, armor, and other lists that follow the character’s stats (see Statistic Blocks following).
  • Languages may be listed beneath and separate to the character’s skills.

E.g. Languages: French 25%, German 45%.

  • Weapon/Attack skills should be written with full, half, and fifth values in parentheses, as

full value (half value/fifth value), followed by a comma, and then “damage” and the damage amount.

E.g.

Sword                          35% (17/7), damage 1D6+1D4

Statistic Blocks

NPCs and Monsters in a scenario (usually unique or representative): 

STR CON SIZ DEX INT
APP POW EDU SAN HP
DB: Build: Move: MP:  

Note: use an em-dash for monsters who do not have APP, EDU, etc.

e.g.EDU —

For Pulp Cthulhu - the NPC stat block differs (addition of “Luck” at bottom right):

STR CON SIZ DEX INT
APP POW EDU SAN HP
DB: Build: Move: MP: Luck:

 

New Monster Entry

char.                      roll                          average

STR                         (3D6) x5             50                          

CON                       (2D6+6) x5      60                   

SIZ                          etc.                        etc.

DEX

INT

POW

 

Sample Character Listing

 

COLONEL NEVILLE "NEVER" GOODENOUGH, 65,retired colonel

Colonel Goodenough is making the trip in memory of his recently deceased wife, Lily. He believes his wife was murdered and seeks justice.

 

STR 60                   CON 60                 SIZ 70                    DEX 70                  INT 75                  

APP 60                  POW 60                EDU 93                  SAN 50                  HP 13                    

DB: +1D4              Build: 1                 Move: 5                MP: 12 

 

Brawl                                       30% (15/6), damage 1D3 + 1D4

Walking stick                        35% (17/7), damage 1D6 + 1D4

Dodge                                     35% (17/7)  

 

Armor: None.

Skills: Art/Craft (Technical Survey) 65%, Charm 37%, Credit Rating 60%, Firearm (Handgun) 40%, Intimidate 45%, Law 50%, Mechanical Repair 35%, Natural World 22%, Persuade 60%.

Languages: English 80%, French 60%, German 30%.

  • Description: prominent nose and large handlebar moustache; carries a walking stick, and walks with a limp.
  • Traits: stoic, determined, and forthright.
  • Roleplaying hooks: a potential ally; may wrongly accuse the investigators, believing they murdered Lilly.

Sample Monster Listing 

Deep One, terrible frog-fish man

 

STR 70                   CON 55                 SIZ 80                    DEX 55                  INT 65                  

APP                  POW 50                EDU                   SAN                   HP 13    

DB: +1D4              Build: 1                 Move: 8/10*      MP: 10

 

*Swimming                                                       

 

Breath under Water: dwelling under the sea, deep ones require no exterior help to breathe underwater and are equally capable of breathing on land.

Attacks per round: 1 (claw, weapon)

Deep ones can use weapons as humans do. They are skilled with their spears and tridents.

 

Fighting               45% (22/9), damage claws 1D6 + 1D4, or spear 1D8 + 1D4

Dodge                  25% (12/5)

 

Armor: 1-point skin and scales.

Spells:deep ones have a 40% chance of knowing 1D4 spells.

Sanity Loss: 0/1D6 Sanity points to see a deep one.