Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

140 Excellent

About Travern

  • Rank
    Senior Member


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

Recent Profile Visitors

371 profile views
  1. Campbell used M'nagalah in story "The Tugging" a couple of years later. (I'm also going by Daniel Harms's invaluable Cthulhu Mythos encyclopedia for the Cynothoglys to Ligotti, but elsewhere online I've seen a few citations for Richard L. Tierney's The Seed of the Star-God—1984.)
  2. M'nagalah is the IP of DC Comics (Swamp Thing #8 by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson—February, 1974), and Cynothoglys belongs to Thomas Ligotti (The Prodigy of Dreams—1986). If Chaosium couldn't clear the rights to the originals this time, they couldn't appear as such in the new MM edition.
  3. Robin Laws's Fung Shui is definitely suited for wushu.
  4. DoubleZero went its own way in game development, and the final product doesn't resemble GORE very much. From the publisher's blog:
  5. @Mike M is also writing a "how to make a monster" guide for the new MM.
  6. Could we please have an answer to this, @MOB? Nothing in the BRP license addresses this, but it's a major stumbling block for any project with variant rules.
  7. Those kinds of considerations and tradeoffs are expected in a regular contractual license between parties and take a lot of negotiation to avoid problems for the final product. An open license, however, must be transparent in its terms in order that the licensing party does not have to engage in any further deliberations, vide, say, Creative Commons, GPL, or WotC's OGL. As such, it should eliminate any ambiguity, obscurity, or "known unknowns" (which is good contract law practice in the first place). Whether the potential licensees out there are professionals, amateur hobbyists, or just dabblers is immaterial. They should all be able to put their confidence in an open license as it is written rather than risk being told later that their project is not in compliance because it contravenes an unclear clause or unwritten rule, especially if they've already put work into researching it or, worse, begun writing it up.
  8. Using numbers follows Exremis's plot, that's all. If you're adapting that episode (and “Last Christmas”) loosely, then you can swap out repeated images, sounds, or whatever pattern works with your preferred skill checks. The only question is how they should lead the players to the next stage of the investigation or the revelation. Since you're using a dream world setting, you might consider Kingsport for your location. Lovecraft's second-favorite town has always had a dreamlike atmosphere to it—see his stories “The Festival” and “The Strange High House in the Mist”.
  9. Since none of your players' characters will be the Doctor, you'll have to make the pseudorandom numbers plot point a whole lot more obvious. Since noticing repeated numbers doesn't lend itself to Spot Hidden, you've got a choice between calling for multiple Idea rolls or just repeating the same set of numbers at every point you can—dates, times, street addresses, pocket change, ticket stubbs, etc., etc—until the players notice it for themselves. Once your players have picked up on the repeated pattern, it's up to you to tease the significance (welcome to the wonderful world of Stephen Moffat Plotting). Maybe a successful Science—Mathematics roll will spell out the improbability of what's happening. Perhaps the numbers are a code that the players can break with a successful Science—Cryptography roll.
  10. Yes, you can convert CoC and ToC/Gumshoe scenarios. Admittedly, this takes a little effort since they're entirely different skill-based systems (it's not like converting between CoC and Delta Green, which are both d100 systems). The ToC rulebook has an appendix on conversion, and the Pelgrane website's ToC resource page contains examples of converted stats/plotlines for published CoC scenarios. Pelgrane's Repairer of Reputations is a ToC scenario and well worth looking into. It's a great example of how Chambers's weird horror differs from HPL's and treats the meta-game quite inventively. The Yellow King RPG runs a modified and simplified version of Gumshoe, however. This would be much harder to convert to CoC—you'd have to homebrew a lot of it. Its campaign's opening 1895 Paris setting could be translated to 1920s CoC easily enough. The other stages in later decades are tied to its overall theme of the forces of Carcosa warping time and reality. It's fascinating material, but it doesn't lend itself to ongoing campaigns. As for Gumshoe as an investigative RPG, it's a pool-based game of resource management. Although players always find basic clues automatically, they have to spend their limited points for more detailed or secret information. There's no equivalent of a "success with complication" in it (the separate Gumshoe One-2-One system has its own version of "pushes" unrelated to CoC's.) In BRP, the suspense comes from each risked die roll; in Gumshoe, it's from the slowly dwindling amount of points as the plot unfolds. Gumshoe rarely goes off the rails or suffers blocked bottlenecks, but I sometimes miss the randomness of BRP and the improvisation it requires.
  11. Very ingenious! (Recently I was idly wondering about what would be a better format for collaborative RPG design—a hypertext wiki or a distro software development environment.)
  12. Pro Tip: Archive.org often has caches of abandoned websites and their files, including cthulhurising.co.uk. (Archival preservation is a lovely thing.) EDIT: Although the Internet Archive has cached the old Cthulhu Rising site, it looks like the PDFs and ZIP files are not part of their backup.
  13. The BRP OGL is currently on version 1.0.2, so it's not set in stone. We raised the issue about Clause 10's ambiguity about maximum revision, and Chaosium clarified it here that it was 30% or more of the total word count and updated the license accordingly. (The question about whether this covers open content/legal information or only original content—a not inconsiderable issue for shorter works—remains open.) Chaosium has demonstrated that it's prepared to work with the community to improve the license. If it's option 1, then you're in effect negotiating permissions, and you'll need new contractual language for your project if Chaosium gives you their consent to go ahead. Anything else leaves you legally exposed. For option 2, well, my initial (Twitter) reaction to the news of a BRP SRD was unqualified enthusiasm. As I've said, BRP is my favorite rules system, and I've been looking forward to the SRD for quite some time. Admittedly, after reading the fine print and discussing it here, I now have reservations about the BRP OGL's current state. Having taken a public stance, though, I'd like to see it through. Sadly, there's no easy middle ground between overthinking a contract and underthinking one—and it's always safer in business to go for the former. Let's take your sci-fi game idea of Eldritch Mysteries on Mars! (which sounds pretty fun). "Eldritch" is a 16th-century adjective meaning "eerie", not a unique coinage by HPL, so the title is not a problem. As long as your aeons-old alien overbeings were original creations and not reskins of Cthulhu Mythos entities such as, say, CAS's Vulthoom, that should be fine. You could take the adventurer aspect from the public domain fictional character Gullivar Jones by Edwin Lester Arnold (who influenced Edgar Rice Burroughs's character John Carter—which is not public domain). For the antagonists, you could use H.G. Wells's Martians from The War of the Worlds, which is public domain (finally). The only complication, however, is that Wells's Martians appear in Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu supplements Cthulhu by Gaslight and The Malleus Monstrorum. Thankfully, @Rick Meints has clarified that they're OK to use as long as you don't copy-paste Chaosium's work in your own adaption of them. The obstacle here is that this is not reflected in Clause 1(e)'s language, which could be cited to revoke the project's license. I doubt the current Chaosium management would do such a thing, but in the BRP OGL's current form, a future one could easily. Moreover, such issues could potentially arise across all the product lines and literary works enumerated in Clause 1(e). That's the kind of legal loophole that absolutely needs to be closed before embarking on a licensed project.
  14. But this misses the point of an open license. You don't have to petition to Evil Hat at all for permission to produce a FATE game since they released that under the regular OGL in the first place ("You don’t have to ask our permission or anything like that, though we’d love it if you let us know your product’s out there and maybe slide us a few free copies (digital is fine).") Established fair use practices, the public domain, and copyright law cover all the questions about intellectual property. There's a reason why FATE and PBTA are perennial recommendations in RPG design forums (n.b. Design Mechanism has a standard submission process). Why would you tell a prospective game designer they have to create pitch for an open license?
  15. All of those are viable ideas for RPGs, simply as log-lines. (Plus they also overlap with my own interests—who knows what I may do with them?—though I also enjoy the works of Moorcock and Niven, which we haven't begun to address here.) The only one that isn't ready to go out of the gate is The Sword in the Stone–based game, which would either entail negotiating with T. H. White's estate or revamping as an original YA Arthurian squires-focused RPG. I wouldn't have proposed them otherwise. I appreciate how you'd like to cut the Gordian Knot of this conversion thread. It's not a matter of a single pitch, however, but of clarifying the language in Clause 1(e). Why would you ask a prospective game designer to go to the time and effort of conceiving and writing a detailed game pitch on the basis of an open license if there was a chance that it would be rejected on the basis of a "known unknown" interpretation of Prohibited Content? Elaboration on this in the context of Clause 1(e) would definitely be helpful.
  • Create New...