Trail of Cthulhu is a pretty cool game … it’s a kind of similar-but-different take on Lovecraftian roleplaying from good ol’ Call of Cthulhu, taking intriguing steps into narrative roleplaying.
Plus it has loads of really cool scenarios and campaigns, which take Cthulhu roleplaying into completely different (some would say almost heretical) realms.
One thing Trail of Cthulhu does not yet have (IMHO) is an attractive character sheet — the standard offering that comes with the game is doubtless very functional (listing many character gen rules as footnotes on the sheet itself) but it’s not very aesthetically pleasing.
Recently I was contacted here on Cthulhu Reborn by Matthew Strachan who runs a pretty unusual game of Trail set in 1890s Paris. Matthew discovered the Art Nouveau CoC sheet hosted here on the blog (actually one of the most downloaded item); he wondered whether such a beast might be designed for Trail. I thought it sounded like an interesting challenge, so I thought I’d give it a bash.
Below are some snapshots of the design I came up with. One of the design goals was to do something that isn’t identical to the 1890’s Art Nouveau sheet (what would be the fun in that … plus that design is now part of Chaosium’s 3rd Edition Gaslight book). Another goal was to experiment with making something that looked a bit hand-drawn. In the end I made two variants of the sheet — one of which is very hand-drawn, the other which still features lots of straight lines.
Here’s what the two designs look like (click for larger versions):
Details & Artwork
The Victorian-looking Trail of Cthulhu logo is something I designed specifically for this project, as is the multi-layered texture underneath the logo bar. Both of those can be seen in more detail below. The name “Absinthe-Hounds of Paris” is also an invention … but one that I hope Matthew’s group will embrace in some form or other (even if only to inspire in-game refreshments :-))
And, BTW, in case anyone is interested … yes, it definitely is much harder to make something on a computer that looks authentically hand-drawn.
You can grab a PDF version of either the straight-line or hand-drawn version of the 1890’s Trail of Cthulhu sheet by clicking on the links below:
Hand-Drawn 1890’s Trail Sheet (2 sided, formatted for US Letter)
Straight-Line 1890’s Trail Sheet (2 sided, formatted for US Letter)
As with everything I release here on Cthulhu Reborn these designs are copyrighted, but offered free under a Creative Commons License. That means you can do pretty much anything you want with this material, except make money from it. Now … given that the 1890s isn’t (yet) a published setting for the Trail of Cthulhu game (it’s pretty much focussed on the 1930s and 1950s so far), I’m not sure how someone would use this. But there’s lots of creative people out there, so I’m sure someone will figure out something. Or maybe one day there *will* be an “Absinthe-Hounds” book … heck, I’d buy a copy!