Shadows of the Mythos - The Call of Cthulhu in the Sixth World
"In the elder time chosen men had talked with the entombed Old Ones in dreams, but then something happened. The great stone city R'lyeh, with its monoliths and sepulchres, had sunk beneath the waves; and the deep waters, full of the one primal mystery through which not even thought can pass, had cut off the spectral intercourse. But memory never died, and the high-priests said that the city would rise again when the stars were right. Then came out of the earth the black spirits of earth, mouldy and shadowy, and full of dim rumours picked up in caverns beneath forgotten sea-bottoms. But of them old Castro dared not speak much. He cut himself off hurriedly, and no amount of persuasion or subtlety could elicit more in this direction. The size of the Old Ones, too, he curiously declined to mention. Of the cult, he said that he thought the centre lay amid the pathless desert of Arabia, where Irem, the City of Pillars, dreams hidden and untouched. It was not allied to the European witch-cult, and was virtually unknown beyond its members. No book had ever really hinted of it, though the deathless Chinamen said that there were double meanings in the Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred which the initiated might read as they chose, especially the much-discussed couplet:
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die."
"Or so the legend goes. It's not even a legend - it's a myth, and a poorly understood one at that. The same goes for its author, Howard Philips Lovecraft. The man was no more an author than I am a circus clown. No, he was a prophet in fact. You don't believe me?"
Professor Roivas paused then to take a drink, glaring down the end of his nose, over his glasses and mug. It was the look a wise man might have toward a fool, a judgement; pity and regret. The beverage looked like coffee, but perhaps there was something else in it, because the man wasn't making much sense. If he weren't up until recently so thoroughly respected, you might be forgiven for thinking the man a fraud, or merely a drunk.
He coughed, and continued, "That's fine, bury your head in the sand like all the other fools at Miskatonic's Magical Studies department. I'll prove that I'm right, you'll see. That is, if it isn't already too late. I'm telling you, The Stars Are Right. It's the Sixth World. That's what he was talking about! It's all right here, plain as day!"
He clutched an old tome. An honest-to-ghost musty old book. He didn't let it show, but the letters seemed to say something-omicon. Damn, his hand is in the way.
And that was when the good professor walked out of frame and shut off the tridcam. Recorded only days before he disappeared into Dunkelzahn's Rift, the astral void left behind when the great dragon was assassinated. Miskatonic received a grant to study the phenomenon, and Professor Roivas was sure he had the answer. In the end though, he went just as stark-raving mad as all the others. All the others who'd tried to astrally peer into the secret of the rift either died or went batdrek insane, Roivas was no exception.
This was old news by now - yesterday's scream sheets. He never did get to prove his point, the poor old bugger. Edward Roivas the Second, he's completely whack-o these days, the docs and magic experts all agree, it's some kind of catatonic schizophrenia. He's completely non-responsive for long periods, then suddenly, you have to peel him off the walls and sedate him. It sounded like nonsense, his wild theories, but it hasn't been conclusively disproven, either. These are strange days, chummer.
That's the context of the game. Shadowrun's basic timeline, blended with the Cthulhu Mythos. Some other things have been thrown in for fun as well, pulled from other mostly copatible sources in the margins of pop culture. There may be references to Twin Peaks or other Lynchisms, the X-files, Eternal Darkness, and maybe others.
The rules are mostly CoC standard (I'm using the 6th Edition), but I've toned down the severity of the costs of casting most spells to better match Shadowrun. Some spells are still going to harm the caster, however. I'm also going to use some other rules from Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying. Don't worry if you don't have the book(s) in question. Once your character is made, you don't really need anything else.
I'm also incorporating anything from the Shadowrun books, up to the tail end of 3rd Edition. I have made up some rough conversion guidelines, and what doesn't fit, we'll just fudge it. CoC is good at that. In fact, you can even make your character in SR3 if you like, and we'll just convert it, if that's easier.
The game will be starting in a relatively insignificant small city in the Great Lakes region of the UCAS, but I expect there will be a lot of travel, so don't worry if you don't know the area. I chose this area because I know it, and because it's pretty much a blank slate in 2060.
Time. Right. The year is 2061, spring.