From the back of the book:
Cthulhu Live is a full evening's worth of fun every time it is played. There are no winners and no losers, only a group of friends having a good time. The participants are both actors and audience. Cthulhu Live is set in the universe of eldritch horror created by Howard Phillips Lovecraft - typically play alternates between horror and comedy, as the participants put different spins on the situation they face.
The evening's host (Keeper) controls the flow of action, much as a theatrical director directs a play. Props, costumes, special effects, and interesting locations contribute to a rich dramatic environment. Some players act out the parts of background characters, guided by the keeper. Other participants play investigators, tracking down clues and deducing their next moves. The investigators work together to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles standing between them and their final goal, perhaps rescuing a friend or saving the entire world. All participants react spontaneously - there is no dialogue to memorize.
This rulebook includes a Player's Guide and a Keeper's Guide. Illustrations include photographs from actual live action games. Features include:
- Simple rules.
- How to build a reusable costume wardrobe.
- How to find or build inexpensive and realistic props.
- How to make monsters, including easy instructions and simple diagrams.
- Short scripts. A script summarizes the evening's action - two sample scripts are included.
Only one rulebook is needed. With it you can play any sort of horror game, or any plot involving mystery and investigation. A typical game needs no more than eight or ten people.
One of the co-authors of Cthulhu Live, 1st edition is Scott Nicholson, host of Board Games with Scott and designer of several tabletop games.