Greg Costikyan revisits the narrative versus game-play debate that continues to be a staple of both Game Studies and Game Design. He presents a spectrum that ranges from game-focused forms to narrative-centric models, and suggests that free-form role-playing may be the most desireable marriage of narrative and game-play.
Keith Herber discusses how in his "Haunted House" scenario for Call of Cthulhu, characters are driven insane by their attempt to unravel the game's mysteries. Herber's explanation distinguishes his work from many other role-playing games in which the goal is to develop characters and acquire power and/or wealth. In contrast, characters in Herber's scenario are rewarded with mental instability.
Kenneth Hite argues that the long-running, H.P. Lovecraft-inspired Call of Cthulhu franchise differs from traditional tabletop role-playing in its focus on suspense rather than character growth. Hite's analysis suggests that in its origins and emphasis on narrative structure Cthulhu is a highly literary game.