Role Playing Games: The Tale Of Old Man Henderson


Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
I hung around with some people who played (dice and paper, not computer game) RPGs back in the day. I maybe jumped in a handful of times. Great friends, but it was never quite my thing. I was an RPGer hanger-on, which is pretty fucking low.

My friends never played Call of Cthuhlu, but this is the sort of thing my friend Travis loved doing. I laughed hard reading this, so I thought I'd share.

The Tale of Old Man Henderson,
the character who 'won' Call of Cthulhu.

I'd like to start by saying that the GM was a bastard that had it coming. Bullshit tactics to make everyone go crazy like a d6 with only 5 sides. No story, no reason; lose 10 sanity.

The others continued to allow this faggotry.

We were playing a modern day setting, with the other players being: A college professor who found a couple of stray pages of a copy of the Necronomicron and wanted to find out just what the hell it was, a detective who was investigating a missing persons case connected to the local cult, and a local athlete (I think it was football) trying to find out why some of his friends seemed so distant lately.

And then.... There was Old Man Henderson, who was never given a first name.
Old Man Henderson was already a little crazy, and blamed his life's misfortunes on Vietnam. He never went to Vietnam, he was 12 in '74 (and I will be fucking amazed if anyone gets that reference). Old Man Henderson wore Combat boots, cargo shorts, and an open-front Hawaiian shirt with a wife-beater underneath.

He was dyslexic, and had a lesser case of Schizophrenia; allowing him to assume that the reason he saw crazy shit was because he WAS a little bit crazy. He had a grizzly adams beard and wore his hair in a mohawk. He never took off his aviator shades, for any reason.
He had a stuffed parrot on his shoulder named Rupert that he constantly asked for advice, while ignoring the other party members as convenient, assuming they were hallucinations. He had a Automatic combat shot-gun he knew how to use.

He also had MEMORIZED the anarchist's cookbook. He started the game with a pre-existing hatred of religion, cutlery, and books.

His motivation was that he thought that the cult had stole his lawn-gnomes; while he had actually donated them to a charity auction, got high, and forgot about it.

Most importantly, he had a 320 page backstory that justified EVERYTHING, from his casual knowledge of physics to his ability to speak Portuguese flawlessly.

The point to having such a long backstory was three-fold:

1: to ensure the GM would never actually read it and

2: Since he would never read it except for in excerpts i pointed out to justify things, I could re-write and change things around completely at random without anyone noticing and MOST IMPORTANTLY

3: Convince everyone that I was serious about this character, and that it wasn't simply the game wrecking bullshit that it was.

Dickish yes, but he really did have it coming.

First outing of the group: The Detective was spying on the building of the cultists with a camera.

The Jock was parked nearby, waiting for the group to let out so he could snoop it out.

The Professor had 'joined' the cult to try and gain information.

Old Man Henderson very calmly parked his car, got out holding the shotgun in clear view of anyone who happened to be looking (in this case, the detective and the Jock), strolled up to the front door and kicked it in.

While everyone just kind of stopped in shocked silence for a moment, he leveled his Shotgun on the lead priest/cultist guy and yelled "MUCKLE DAMRED CULT! 'AIR EH NAMBLIES BE KEEPIN' ME WEE MEN!?!?"
Did I mention that he had a Nigh Incomprehensible Scottish accent that came and went as he drank and/or as amused me?

The leader couldn't understand my simple request to return my lawn gnomes (literally, you think what I typed is hard to understand? imagine it being slurred at you by a drunken Scotsman), he assumed I was trying to cast a spell at him in an elder tongue and summoned a shoggoth by murdering one of his fellows.

One Molotov And about 20 rounds later, the Shoggoth is dead, as is the cult leader, the Professor (he made the mistake of trying to make peace-maker mid murderous rampage) and about 10 assorted cultists.

Old Man Henderson then pissed on the Shoggoth's corpse, got back in his battered '92 Buick Century, and went home.

The whole event was over in about ten minutes game time and no-one thought to get the Buick's plates.

The building burned down shortly, along with about half the written plot, and every lead either of the other surviving players had. The GM called a break then to figure out how to fix and/or work around what I just did.

It only got crazier from there.
Some of his finer moments include:

Dropping a Yacht onto a penthouse suite owned by Cthulhu Cultists.

The stealing of said Yacht from cultists of Hastur, thereby starting a cultist gang-war.

The Tanker truck incident, and my personal Favorite:

Hell on Ice.

Technically the theft of the Yacht came first, and is connected to the dropping, so I'll start there.

Old Man Henderson, with his erstwhile companion Jimmy (the Jock) and his Friends William Brocklaw, a once humble bartender (The now dead Detective's player. Old Man Henderson burned down his bar on accident and blamed it on the cultists. One bluff check later and he in the Posse.), and Simon Breckenridge, British Spy (the Professor's player, now six characters in. And yes, they were more or less all killed by Old Man Henderson).

Old Man Henderson had discovered that there was not one cult to the Elder Gods, but several. This complicated his search for his gnomes/crusade. He decided to enlist help in making the problem solve itself.

Using his contacts, Simon discovered that a Influential Cultist of Hastur was coming to town to try and figure out how an Avatar of his god was killed (more on this in the tanker truck incident). He also located the exact dock on which he would be landing his boat.

Jimmy, meanwhile discovered the home of the head of the local Cthulhu cults was at: a Penthouse suite downtown.

A plan was hatched.
Old Man Henderson used all of his cunning to steal a Military Cargo Helicopter (read: Shuroken'd the pilot and flew off), and hid it in an abandoned warehouse.

Jimmy, and Will set up a VERY EXPENSIVE surround sound speaker system at the docks, while Simon made and planted a lot of smoke bombs.

That night, the Yacht pulled in, and we made our move.

Right as Simon maneuvered the Helicopter over the docks, we set off the Smoke bombs and activated the Speakers.

On one side: A Fifty piece Marching band playing 'God Save the Queen' at max volume, and on the other the audio from the beach scene from Saving Private Ryan.

Imagine, for a moment what being on the dock would have been like.

Utter. Fucking. CHAOS.
I jumped down from the Helicopter onto the boat, and rigged it to lift out of there. During the course of which I ran into the Cultist guy and Ninja Kicked him in the head, knocking him tail-over-teakettle and off the boat. I later learned that he broke his neck in the fall.

Damned convenient, otherwise he might have have been able to ID me.

We then lifted the boat out of there, switched to out secondary audio on all sides (My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion. I was in a Vengeful mood, gnome stealing bastards.)

So when the cultists finally got the smoke to clear their Yacht was gone, their leader dead, and Celine Dion was stuck in their heads. Not the best of days.

Then we went across town, in a stolen Military Cargo chopper, carrying a 40ft Yacht, and 'parked' the helicopter above the penthouse, with the Yacht about 80ft above it. Then we cut the line, jumped out with our parachutes, and watched the Yacht ruin a dinner party while placing bets on whether the military would save the chopper, blow it up, or if it would just hover there until it ran out of fuel.
Now, time for what will forever be known as 'The tanker truck incident'. Notice 'The' is capitalized. This is because no matter what incidents in the future may involve tanker trucks, this is the definitive one.

It started out innocently enough, Old Man Henderson left the stakeout in a van outside the evil cult's meeting place to go get some hooch. The only people now there are the Detective, and James Fink (the professor's second character). Jimmy was gone because it was a school night (Old Man Henderson was a bad influence, but damned if he didn't have the kid's best interests at heart.)

The cultists see me leaving (I had a very distinct appearance, after all. VERY USEFUL in scoring TPKs.), and discover my friends spying on them. The detective gets a pretty GAR death, and James dies like a bitch. But not yet.

I'm on my way back, walking along. The Detective and James had been brought inside as part of a ritual to give Hastur an Avatar in our world (He had been banished, and the only way he could come here is via a loophole). He could only use people who knew he existed and had thwarted him trice as a host, and then he had to make them drink the life-blood of their closest friend to make the binding permanent.In case you're wondering, permanent binding = GAME OVER.


Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
The first part of the ritual was completed, but before Hastur could take control, the detective broke James' Shackles and he tried to run.

He made it as far as the street, when the detective(Now Hastur) caught up with him, part demon-form.

Now where this church (for lack of a better term) was located, was at the end of the road on a T shaped intersection. There was a gas-station about three blocks away, which is where Old Man Henderson was while this was going down.

Old Man Henderson sees the shit hit the fan, and steals a Half-full tanker truck that WAS refilling the station's holding tank.

While I bring the truck up to ramming speed, I toss a 12 lb block of C-4 in the passenger seat and rig the detonator to the airbags.

Old Man Henderson then took a bracing shot of whiskey, jammed a knife through the gas pedal, then jumped of of the truck onto his heelies (Yes, he modified his combat boots to have heelies. I swear to god I had not planned this to happen, the heelies just sounded like something fucking ridiculous and in character).

He watched the Truck ram the detective into the church, the blew him and all the cultists to Kingdom Come. The truck also killed James By running him over.

That's when the back-trail ignited, fire going all the way back to the gas-station and destroying it; continuing my streak of accidentally destroying anything that might lead people back to Old Man Henderson.

I took a moment to call Jimmey.

"Henderson here. Figured out what the nasties are weak against."

"What's that Mr. Henderson?"

"Point blank annihilation."

Almost forgot to mention, there was a bar right next to the gas station called 'the Horrible Revelation', which was the one that Will had owned.

We were in the end-game, with zombies and shoggoths chasing us. I managed to get Jimmy Disappeared, so it was Old Man Henderson, Simon and Will going to the final strong-point we had.

An abandoned Hockey Stadium.

On the way there, we had rammed through a small home-and-garden store in our truck. And when we arrived, we started barring the doors and windows, when I noticed something. Our trip through the store had netted us a passenger: a single lawn gnome.

Somehow, I knew right then that this was it. No lucky turn of fate, no Deus Ex Machina... Old Man Henderson was going to die.

But I'd be damned if it wouldn't be the best fucking last stand ever.

I then revealed to the GM that Henderson was a World Champion Figure skater, Hockey player, and golfer.

The Backstory of Doom got one final use.

We had got almost all of the doors barricaded, but the zombie/shoggoth army kicked in the last door and got Simon, Will was pulled off the Zamboni after he manage to throw the Crate onto the ice.

The crate full of exploding hockey pucks.

Lasted a couple of minutes while blasting Bust A Move (Young MC) before the situation resolved into totally fucked. I switched to the next track as I yelled "HASTUR HASTUR HASTUR!".

The next track came on, it was the Canadian national anthem, which Old Man Henderson began to sing proudly, at the top of his lungs.

I then threw out the three pieces of knowledge that marked Old Man Henderson's Blaze Of Glory:

1: Calling Hastur's name 3 times will summon him, but only if the one who is truest foe at the time calls it (guess who).

2: When an elder God is summoned from beyond, they suffer a sort of summoning sickness. They're still unbelievably strong, but can be killed FOREVER if you hit them hard enough.

3: The building had enough explosives wired to make Michal Bay blush.

And that my friends, is the tale of how Old Man Henderson won Call of Cthuhlu.