“My own rule is that no weird story can truly produce terror unless it is devised with all the care and verisimilitude of an actual hoax. The author must forget all about “short story technique” and build up a stark simple account, full of homely corroborative details, just as if he were actually trying to “put across” a deception in real life…as carefully as a crooked witness prepares a line of testimony with cross-examining lawyers in his mind. I take the place of the lawyers now and then-finding false spots in the original testimony, and thereupon rearranging details and motivations with a greater care for probability.”
This quote is attributed to HPL and more than anything it makes me appreciate the work he made. Say what you will about his pacing, his over analytical and verbose descriptions, or his often flat even racist portrayals, dude did some great work when it came to making his stuff believable. I’ve never read a story of his where it was the narrator or the narrators actions I didn’t believe. If they were discovered today I’d have no trouble believing they were just regular ravings of your average mad man. And with insanity being one of the main terrors of the Mythos, I think that more than anything is what makes it work.
Recently I just listened to this cracked podcast about the rules of fiction creators impose upon themselves to give a consistency to their work. It seems that HPL had his own rule and I look forward to try to follow it, both in fiction and in RPG’s. I’m not yet sure how it will translate to the game format but I think in order to get that feel is has too. I’ll think more on it but for now, I think the key is to run it as if you’re actually trying to convince your friends this is a thing that happened. Perhaps as a “training scenario” or “war game” type thing.