What started as an innocent bit of fun has quickly turned sour for a local group of Call of Cthulhu players, eyewitnesses allege. According to testimony, the campaign started like any other, a meticulously planned story created by game master Ryan DePaul. However, things went awry as soon as it occurred to everyone present that the antagonist was clearly based on Ryan’s ex-boyfriend and that he was just using the campaign to work through some shit.
“Everything was so simple at first,” states June Matthews, Ryan’s friend and a member of his campaign. “We were supposed to take down a cult leader before he could summon something horrible into the world. But as soon as Ryan started describing the guy’s facial features in… really explicit detail, we knew something was up. I mean, he named this character ‘Guiles.’ His actual ex is named Miles. How dumb does he think we are?”
“It was so weird,” claims Parker Fitz, another player. “He was really fixated on how awful and manipulative Guiles was, but it came across really inauthentic—I’m talking cartoonishly evil. One of the subordinate cultists got him a medium latte instead of a large, and he stole that guy’s identity. Not just bank account shit, either—he fucked that dude’s wife. Sure, you expect a horror campaign to be brutal, but yikes.”
Call of Cthulhu is a tabletop RPG akin to Dungeons & Dragons but with elements of Lovecraftian horror mixed in. It’s known for being especially punishing, but generally towards the participants’ characters, and not the participants themselves.
“I couldn’t tell if he wanted us to thrash Guiles, or if he wanted Guiles to thrash us,” adds Abigail Price, yet another victim in this deeply uncomfortable scenario. “It’s like he wanted us to feel what he was feeling, and then triumph where he failed. Still, even though it really squicked me out, I almost feel like I know Ryan a little better in some twisted, creepy way. Get a therapist, DePaul. Fuck’s sake.”
The final player we interviewed, Miles Tanner, told Nerfwire that he “really just had to get the fuck out of there while [he] knew [his] brake lines were still connected.”