Episode 208: Investigator Organisations in Call of Cthulhu

We’re back and we’re looking for like-minded individuals to join our investigator organisation. Sure, the pay is awful but the work is disgusting, deadly, and likely to drive you insane. It’s a bit like working in IT, only moister. Give us a moment and we’ll dig out the forms you need to expense shotgun shells and dynamite. The medical benefits are good but do remember to bring any severed limbs back from missions if you expect us to reattach them. Welcome aboard, and thank you for not asking too many questions about how this vacancy arose!

Main Topic: Investigator Organisations

Once again, we’re delving into some of the underpinnings of Call of Cthulhu. In the more innocent days of the ’80s, we generally handwaved the reasons why a new investigator might step into the smoking shoes of their fallen predecessor. While this was convenient, it usually required active suspension of disbelief. Having some sort of organisation that might recruit investigators or provide them with a rationale for banding together makes a lot more sense than flagging down a random taxi driver and telling them that they are now part of the fight against alien gods that would consume humanity. It also saves a fair bit on tips.

Of course, investigator organisations have been around for most of Call of Cthulhu‘s life. It wasn’t until 7th edition that they were formalised, however. Now, the Investigator Handbook devotes an entire chapter to investigator organisations, offering a wealth of examples. Building on this, many subsequent Call of Cthulhu publications have also incorporated them. For instance, you’ll find entire sections on investigator organisations in Pulp Cthulhu and World War Cthulhu: London.

So, what makes an interesting investigator organisation? What kinds of groups might form and for what purposes? And how might we use investigator organisations in unusual ways?

call of cthulhu investigator handbook cover


Things we mention in this episode include:

SOE handbook cover


The Blasphemous Tome Issue 7

Issue 7 of The Blasphemous Tome will be creeping your way before the end of June. It features a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario, licensed by Chaosium, written by our very own Matt Sanderson. Matt offers us a few tantalising details in this episode. Everyone backing us on Patreon will receive a Tome. Please see our Patreon page for more details.

The Blasphemous Tome issues 1-6

Transgressive Horror

Paul speaks briefly to Christopher McGlothlin about his current Kickstarter campaign. Transgressive Horror is a collection of essays by a variety of writers, looking into horror films that have broken the rules. The campaign ends on the 27th of May.

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