Of Old Ones: An Introduction

Of Old Ones has become In the Pines and is being re-worked from this original vision. Check out this post for more details.

Of Old Ones

A Game of Lovecraftian Discoveries

“The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen.”
“The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft

Introduction

Tonight, the stars are right. It is a night for the Elder Things. The Unnameable. The Lovecraftian. Tonight powerful and alien creatures turn their gaze upon the Earth. Tonight unknowable agendas and unfathomable desires are played out in our world. Tonight is the night Of Old Ones.

Of Old Ones is a tabletop role-playing game in a contemporary style. Contemporary games focus more on the story than the stat-line of traditional games. Of Old Ones isn’t meant to be a dungeon crawl or even an adventure. Of Old Ones is about telling stories and exploring the mythos of Howard Phillips Lovecraft and his collaborators.

Here there is no single Game Master, Narrator, Storyteller, Keeper, or whatever other name you’ve heard used before. Instead everyone contributes to the story by setting scenes, discussing agendas, and collaborating on narration.

Each player has two roles; an Old One, the nightmarish deities whose wills influence reality, and an Investigator, the brave fools who are blind to the horrors of the larger world. Both characters have a say about how the story is being told; the Old Ones create the larger mystery and the Investigators detail it’s finer points.

The Old Ones are eternal and unchanging. As you play your Old One remains the same. A constant darkness at the edge of vision. The only time an Old One leaves the story is when the player chooses. Perhaps that creature has grown bored with the human race, or maybe the stars are out of alignment. No damage can be dealt to the Old Ones and they can never die.

Investigators are fragile and short-lived. The lives of Investigators would be disappointing and bleak if it wasn’t for the knowledge they can gain. It’s the things they learn that live forever. While Investigators come and go, typically by death or madness, their journals get passed on.

As a player you should learn to be comfortable with portraying multiple Investigators over the course of a campaign. There will even be times when you’ll need to switch between roles during a session. While the persona changes, the things they know are shared. Hopefully this eases the sense of loss and despair… at least temporarily.

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