Pick a Card Surprise! It's Human Combustion
Call of Cthulhu 7E RPG Keeper Decks
These card decks are created by Chaosium and each deck has a variety of cards that can be used by Keeper and Player to reference in-game resources, use as NPCs or back up characters, and be picked randomly for a mental break down or unfortunate event. Each box comes equipped with 48 unique cards.
The Phobia Deck
Spontaneous Human Combustion
As stated in the title of the article I let these cards be used as a random surprise; one of these times being an investigator pulling the Human Combustion card. This card had the investigator screaming and pointing at the others at the table in horror. The other investigators did really well acting and role playing a long trying to figure out what was happening. Nothing like a player pretending to throw water on other players to "put them out".
How the Fox has used them:
I love using these cards. Not only do players respond well to having a visual it makes things easier when all of the information for that item/person/phobia/event is written so nicely on the back.
The weapon and artifact cards I use primarily while running scenarios. If the investigators find that thing I give it to them for quick reference of that items stats and descriptions. It's easier for me to hand them a card then make them search for the information in the investigators handbook.
Just like in any ttrpg, investigators sometimes go off script and want to talk to people that may not be written into the module. It's nice to have the character folio cards to be able to have a quick individual and their stats in case things start to happen. I have used one of these cards to create a npc that our investigators want to take with them.
When a player's sanity goes to low or they are suffering from a phobia or episode I have the players pull their own cards. I like them being in charge of their fates. I usually pull 5-6 cards fan them out and then the player has to act upon it. It is always fun hearing the snickering as the investigator reads and then acts accordingly. With Cthulhu being a really role-play based game these cards have made for some amazing acting work at the table.
The Weapons and Artifacts Deck
Not just pew pews
This deck also holds more than just the guns of the game. Hold able items such as brass knuckles, hold able items such as torches and some of the strange mythos items such as the brain cylinder are also examples of cards that you can pull.