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  • RPG Biography
    For BRP, Call of Cthulhu, Delta Green, and Runequest
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    Call of Cthulhu
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    Slowly, slowly returning to the RPG hobby

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Travern's Achievements


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  1. Thanks, I'm pleased to hear you find it useful. I'm sorry that the boxes for 1/2 and 1/5 scores are hard to fill in, though. With only so much space available, I'd have to reduce the size of the Name/Player area to increase the skill boxes'. I don't know if that would be an acceptable tradeoff for people. It also occurs to me that I could try experimenting with a PDF version, even a fillable one, if there's demand for it.
  2. No worries - Paizo's blog just posted the official links to the draft ORC license and FAQ, along with an invite to the official ORC Discord for discussion of them: https://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo6si9y?First-Draft-of-the-ORC-License-Ready-for
  3. Quick question, @Jason D: The ORC License draft is marked "FEEDBACK REQUESTED", but there doesn't seem to be a method of submitting this (e-mail, webform, etc.). How do people send in their comments/critiques/questions? Many thanks,
  4. There's also a draft preview of the ORC License ("Feedback Requested"): Landing page: https://www.chaosium.com/orclicense/ "Answers & Explanations": https://www.chaosium.com/content/orclicense/ORC%20AxE.pdf Draft version of license: https://www.chaosium.com/content/orclicense/ORC%20License.pdf
  5. Maybe this Rookery interview with @Lynne H and Aaronovich explains it (here are the timestamps and transcript for those who don't have time to watch for an hour and a half interview for a few minutes game design): At the 28 min. mark: "The Fey and the rivers, they all have a completely different magic system which they do in the books and so therefore we had to come up with something much more kind of free-flowing and kind of uh whimsical. […] I think we ended up driving that half of the Luck system that was one of Ben's suggestions was, 'Well, can we not just use Luck for that?' And it's like, well, yes that makes perfect sense. I love the Luck mechanic in Call of Cthulhu [but] it's not optional as far as I'm concerned. I always use it and it fitted perfectly for this, but also the idea that the the more powerful of the demimonde can bestow Luck upon you. You can get Luck from but only for the kind of purposes that particular person wants you to use it for so you can get extra Luck points providing you do what Number 10 says." At the 1 hour 31 min. mark: "I had already had the the idea that the people like Beverly Brook are actually slightly changing the world[…]. The world is actually organizing itself to in that kind of way around the goddess and goddesses in a way that they're not really aware of most of the time. They don't even think about it, so Beverly Brook has never had a little red man pop off a light in London ever in their entire life. It's always green when Beverly arrives to cross the road, it's always the Green Man. And the Luck system just really really handles that really well. And the idea that they can give Boons to people and stuff that I think that really elegantly allows you to do a wide range of effects you can do a wide range of effects with this mechanic and cover all sorts of things you might want the supernatural sort of events you might want to do that are not covered by the spell system and I'm really pleased with that. […] I think I think the elaboration because they take basically took the idea and ran with it and now I think the system works really really well and I'm kind of looking forward to seeing it in action." So, that seems to boil down to: Luck is a metacurrency that reflects the fantastic and fateful nature of magic in RoL's world as an urban fantasy. And it was the handiest existing mechanic in BRP's rules to expand and adapt.
  6. Wound/damage conditions are trend that have been around for a while—certainly since the narrativist movement, though I believe the D6 Ghostbusters RPG may have touched off the concept back in 1986—and it's intriguing to see them implemented in BRP. Grant Howitt's one-page RPG Dead Channel (2017) has an amazing breakthrough mechanic of how damage conditions advance character arcs/plot—that's some spicy special sauce! That's an astute observation about social interactions, which tend to have more, not less, mechanics in police- or detective-style investigation systems (c.f. Mutant City Blues' wide selection of Interpersonal skills, including BS Detector, Cop Talk, Flattery, Influence, Interrogation, Negotiation, Reassurance, et al.). What was the design decision to reduce this aspect in the rules, @Lynne H? That sounds very interesting—could you please let us know which interviews we should look at? What's the postcard pitch for how RoL's Luck mechanic works thematically? That "why" is the key to a great game mechanic. CoC's Sanity, to use a familiar example, differs from other fear mechanics since it reflects HPL's attitudes toward psychology (for better or worse).
  7. For reference, @klecser posted a Youtube video with an invaluable overview of RoL's rules, which are like BRP Accelerated. To switch to a slightly different culinary analogy, roleplaying games are like cake, with the general rules system as the foundation, and then the special ingredients, filling, icing, etc. as the distinctive mechanics. Call BRP chocolate cake, and d20 angel food (maybe GURPS is fruitcake to extend my metaphor). The SAN-Mythos skill death spiral is the cherry jam-whipped cream filling of the rich black forest cake that is Call of Cthulhu. Some cake recipes are plainer but still perfectly tasty, of course, just as not all BRP games have standout mechanics (say, ElfQuest). For something special, the Flashback mechanic from the "tea loaf" of an RPG titled Blades in the Dark is the Earl Grey blend that makes it taste like a Soderbergh-flavored heist. Much as I like crits (introduced in Empire of the Petal Throne) and fumbles (The Fantasy Trip (1977), AFAICT), they aren't especially unusual in RPGs, not enough to be a "secret sauce". These days the mechanics of partial successes and failing forward in RPG design have moved beyond this. The Resistance Table is the "sugar substitute" for people who don't want to do math in their heads. 😅 Mechanically, that's straightforward enough, from a freeform approach. My question is how this treatment of the categories of the conditions affects the gameplay thematically, as an adaptation of the Rivers of London novels. Similarly, how does Luck, as a metacurrency, affect the gameplay thematically as a literary adaptation?
  8. Thanks - I now notice the "Impaired" box under "Damage" (I was instinctually looking for a separate section). What are those "certain circumstances" that call for an Impairment roll? Thematically, does RoL consider "Impaired" (mental state) to be on a par with "Bloodied" (physical state) (or "Hurt" or "Down")?
  9. Impairment is only mentioned as asides in the quick rules preview (I don't see it listed on the character sheet, unless I'm missing something). Could you please elaborate on that? Are the impairment rules optional, for instance? Thanks again for the insights,
  10. Thank you very much for the design insights, @Lynne H. It’s quite helpful to receive these as Chaosium rolls out Rivers of London. I’m also interested in hearing more about RoL’s Luck system and how it distinguishes itself from CoC’s. It likewise appears to be a metacurrency that can be spent to alter skill rolls (like the Magic skill) as well as to offset wound conditions. I remember Aaronovitch saying in an interview he was a CoC fan, and I was wondering what his input on the game system was like on mechanics like this. You also mentioned RoL’s magic system, which sounds intriguing. What’s mechanically unique or distinctive about the spell system as it relates to the novels’ setting and the urban fantasy genre? The quick rules preview—which of course is a glancing first impression at best—suggests it runs off a Magic skill and Magic Points with degrees of success. Newtonian spell casting is effectively ranged combat, right? Incidentally, what are RoL’s special GM tools and mechanics? (It would be terrific to see a preview of the table of contents to get a fuller overview.) Congratulations on RoL’s publication and good luck with its launch!
  11. As standout RPGs have "special sauce" rules that thematically drive their gameplay and reflect their genres or settings (e.g. D&D's XP/levels for heroic adventuring, CoC's SAN-Mythos skill death spiral, or Night's Black Agents's Conspyramid-Vampiramid structures), what's The Rivers of London's? (DriveThruRPG previews a brief guide to character creation/quick start rules, but this is obviously not in sufficient depth to answer that question.)
  12. A 7th edition version of BtMoM, like Masks of Nyarlathotep and Horror on the Orient Express, is still on the “to do list”, right?
  13. Thanks for the new briefing. We appreciate that a lot can change in nine months, especially these days (even the remastered 40th anniversary box set ran into delays, but people are very happy we their copies they’re receiving now). It’s doubtful anyone was anticipating anything from Cthulhu World War, Cthulhu Cold War, or Cthulhu Britannica this fiscal year. There’s Regency Cthulhu in the front of the queue, then, perhaps, Cthulhu by Gaslight (next year?) after that. Again, thanks—simply hearing Chaosium’s priorities is useful. You’d mentioned that after the 40th anniversary Kickstarter shipped, you’d start getting other older titles back into print. We’re all avidly looking forward to learning what exactly these will be (Beyond the Mountains of Madness maybe?).
  14. Many thanks for the update. As there’s naturally a lot of space between “set in stone” and “ready when it’s ready”, would you be able to narrow that down for us please? When the acquisition was announced back in August of last year, “all-new layout and art” were promised for the 7th ed. republications—is that still the case? If so, where does this series, along with the other Cubicle 7 re-publications, fit in Chaosium’s fiscal year projections (FY 2023 or FY 2024, maybe)? Or could you let us know what their slots are in Chaosium’s CoC editorial-production pipeline? (Where do they line up with respect to, say, upcoming announced projects such as the anticipated Lovecraft Country guides (Arkham, Dunwich, Kingsport, Innsmouth, Miskatonic University, and Miskatonic Valley), the Dreamlands, and Sci-Fi Cthulhu?) Thanks again—everyone is eagerly waiting for more CoC news.
  15. No, Mogoose licensed the RQ from Greg Stafford’s company Issarries, which derived them from Chaosium, for MRQI. Moreover, Chaosium’s FAQ explains (emphasis added): “Mongoose’s license for RuneQuest was terminated in April 2011. At that point, Mongoose lost all rights to continue using the RuneQuest trademark, or to create and publish material derivative from the previous copywritten material, or to issue any sublicenses based on that agreement. Since Mongoose no longer had any rights to RuneQuest, it has no ability to issue a third-party license to that material (which is all an OGL is).” (And the OGL requires the ability to grant rights in perpetuity, which Mongoose never had.) The trademark is a separate issue from the copyright to the RQ rules. Product Identity is irrelevant, as is the governing language in the WotC OGL boilerplate. The MRQI SRD—which is emphatically not valid for new games—is different from Legends, which is a separate, original d100 rules system created by Mongoose (and which started out as Mongoose’s RuneQuest II system, not MRQI). Because of this, the new edition of OpenQuest was able to switched from the deprecated MRQI to Legend for its basis. The old edition of OpenQuest is out of print and a dead end for OGL game design because of the copyright issues with the MRQI SRD, as the author has made clear.
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