The difficult thing about being an adult with an interest in roleplaying is that its often hard to find the time to pretend to be an elf.
For many of us, gone are the days of meeting up with our Dungeons and Dragons group once a week without failure- playing a campaign without end, (because there was no end in sight).
The nature of Roleplaying Games -a shared, ongoing narrative with group problem solving and character development-, has become the plight of the Geek With Responsibilities who's free time seldom aligns with that of their friends.
Now, thanks to MetaArcade and Chaosium Inc., you can roleplay anytime, anywhere with Cthulhu Chronicles.
Cthulhu Chronicles brings all the excitement (and terror), of Chaosium Inc.'s award-winning Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game directly to your mobile device.
Just like in regular tabletop, you will interact with the story, make choices, fight otherworldly horrors and uncover ancient mysteries.
While you cannot (yet) create your own character, Cthulhu Chronicles allows you to choose from several different investigators, each with their own unique history, strengths, weaknesses and choices to make.
An interactive fiction with mechanics that will be familiar to those who have played Lovecraft games, Cthulhu Chronicles presents stories with an interconnected meta-plot, multiple endings and storylines to discover- allowing for a very high re-playability.
While a number of the adventures available for Cthulhu Chronicles are remastered versions of stories published for the tabletop version of the game, there are also a number of completely new stories that fans of Call of Cthulhu will not have seen.
Cthulhu Chronicles offers a sleek and rewarding experience for the average tabletop enthusiast, however some players may long for the other unique aspect of Roleplaying- creativity, and crafting your own story. There is certainly something to be said about sharing your own tales with a group of like-minded players, and at first glance, that would appear to be a crucial absence from an otherwise stellar tabletop simulator.
To that end, the most innovative and exciting aspect of Cthulhu Chronicles is the pilot program currently running which will grant approved applicants access to Adventure Creator, the software MetaArcade uses to write the interactive stories for the game.
Founder and CEO of MetaArcade, David Reid, explained the software at GenCon earlier this year: 'What we have with the MetaArcade Adventure Creator is tech that you can download and create your own adventures using the art and audio in our archives.' What this means is that Game Masters and Narrative Designers can write their own stories of eldritch dread, and publish them to Cthulhu Chronicles to become an in-app download for anyone in the world to play.
But the Adventure Creator isn't something solely targeted at veteran Game Masters or experienced programmers. Reid said that the idea came from his own experience- he wanted to write adventures again, but had never been a creative person.
The software was built with this in mind. 'If we were building something that I can use, well then it could be something that anybody can use.' Reid said of the software. 'The whole point was to not have to be technical.'
While the mobile version of Call of Cthulhu will not replace the social aspect of roleplaying, Cthulhu Chronicles offers an excellent alternative to those of us who may only have the option to roleplay over Skype, or on play-by-post forums.
As geek culture continues to grow, games have to adapt to fit our lifestyles. MetaArcade and Chaosium Inc. are a great example of two companies coming together to create a new and exciting way for us to experience roleplaying. Supporting projects like this is a great way to push for change and much needed innovation in the roleplaying games industry.
Although it might be a while before someone comes up with an app that provides adults with additional free time to make pretend.
New to roleplaying? Speak to your local Good Games about the Call of Cthulhu RPG today- thanks to the Bits and Mortar program, you'll get a free PDF when you buy a copy!