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About wombat1

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  • RPG Biography
    Have run and played many role playing games over the years
  • Current games
    BRP based fantasy game, CoC
  • Location
    central Iowa
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    Blurb goes here

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  1. A mystery role playing scenario is very much (but not identical to) a mystery story. So I have always been able to profitably draw from tips in writing mystery stories and varying them to account for the fact that a role playing scenario is indeed not identical to a mystery story. Here are three sets of rules to look at, by S.S. VanDyne and Raymond Chandler that have helped me: http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/triv288.html http://www.en.utexas.edu/amlit/amlitprivate/scans/chandlerart.html http://www.openculture.com/2014/02/raymond-chandlers-ten-commandments-for-writing-a-detective-novel.html The difference between the two forms that is key for the scenario writer to my way of thinking is that in the scenario, the player characters and the detective are the same thing. In the mystery story, the reader is a very different figure from the detective character and so any rule found that refers to the reader needs to be reconsidered accordingly.
  2. I of course wonder why I didn't have university classes like this back in the day, but then I remember that when I was an undergraduate the alphabet only had the three letters in it, which made it very difficult to flunk, but also was somewhat limiting in the curriculum. I appreciate the original poster may not wish to do this for professional reasons, but I for one would be curious to see the syllabus and course materials, and the assignment sheet for the course. I also look forward to reading the scenario and reviewing it.
  3. Many thanks for the responses! Let me refine this a bit further. Consider the mythos cult of Carl Stanford, which sends members forward in time to grab something from the future, bring it back, and make some use of it in that particular present. Now consider that activity from the other end, that scenario's future but our scenario's present. Some jerk shows up, grabs the magic thingummy, and then disappears. That particular problem is insoluble for those particular player characters, without much more, which makes it a poor scenario for itself BUT as a prequel makes it potentially quite interesting. Of course, if that particular spell has been handed out once in the 1920's CoC world, there is no particular reason why it cannot be discovered multiple times... So, my thinking runs along these lines. Background, the Miskatonic University archaeology department has been at it again, and has retrieved the magic thingummy from excavations, this time along either the Hadrian or Antonine Wall in Britain, and of course brought it back triumphantly for display in the university museum. There is of course a reception with much wine, cheese and magic thingummy on display. Our heroes, such as they are, are invited. Episode 1, at the reception, some rather mysterious individuals appear, steal the magic thingummy and disappear. History of magic thingummy discussed. Our heroes are placed in a compromising position. End of first episode. (Because fundamentally insoluble). Could become the characters in a different campaign if they manage to clear themselves. Episodes 2 through n, start of actual as such campaign proper. Our different set of heroes, set in Roman times, have to obtain magic thingummy from improper cultists, who shouldn't have it. Hijinks ensue, and our heroes, such as they are, either win through or are beaten with magic thingummy most heinously. This seems to me to be a more interesting way of introducing the magic thingummy than simply creating a handout or narrating the saga of the magic thingummy.
  4. Alright, this may take a moment to lay out fully so bear with me. Occasionally in starting a CoC campaign, or other role playing campaign, I have used a prequel scenario, perhaps far removed in time or genre from the actual subject material of the game itself. So, in starting a wild west game, set in the 1860's, I introduced part of the subject matter by writing up a little Braunstein style wargame scenario about a raid on a monastery in Mexico set in the 1690's followed by a British raid on a French gulf port set 5 years later. This introduced that idea to the players without a lot of tedious explanations, or a handout, which may or not receive attention, and it let more people play than just the folks playing in my game, which was important, since I am part of a larger club. However, all of those were essentially 'historical' in nature, taking part before the time period the game was set in. Now, has anyone tried running a scenario set AFTER the main events of the campaign, perhaps, let us say, a 1920's scenario which shows some aspect of the outcome or action of a Roman era campaign. What might be the problems arising from the presentation of this?
  5. Many thanks for all the answers. I have a lot more to reflect on now, and will set about implementing.
  6. Straight forward enough question--how do the gamemasters and keepers on this forum create NPC's for use in their games. It seems straightforward enough in Dungeons and Dragons--an 8th level Whasis has certain statistics, hit dice and so on. In the BRP family it has always seemed less simple to me. I I get that a beginning level NPC who is going to be somewhat important can be generated like a starting player character, and I get that the NPC gets whatever he needs to get his role in the story done, so that the heroic fighter doesn't have randomly generated strength 3. But what about other statistics, and skills? So I am curious to hear how other game masters deal with this.
  7. out of idle curiosity, were there Portuguese translations of 1st through 6th edition and what would be their bibliographical information?
  8. Many of the local colleges and universities have game clubs and some of these welcome members of the public--one can look on the various local college websites to see what is there. Also. many of the local game stores have notice boards where one can post notes inviting gamers to contact you.
  9. The general theme is that this really can be a self solving problem if the Keeper keeps an eye out for opportunity, and I think that correct. I once ran a Cthulhu Dark Ages scenario, in which I paid somewhat less attention than I should have to character generation by the players--one rather munchkin-ish type set his investigator's sword skill as high as he could. I nodded agreeably. The central monsters were winged,so at a dramatically appropriate moment, one flew over the investigator just out of sword reach. I, all feigned innocence asked, 'Do you have any skill with any sort of ranged weapon other than throwing rocks?' (Of course not--all the points went into sword.) At this point I declared that the creature let out a noise that sounded something like "Ha ha!" and let go whatever passed for its digestive contents, and that the investigator took 1 hit point of damage and 1d4 SAN (in addition to whatever he had taken for seeing the beastie in the first place.) Strangely enough the characters drawn up by my players have been reasonably well rounded ever since.
  10. I like this a lot--I think it might be a novel and viable campaign idea too. The 'monster' or 'critter' if you prefer a more neutral term, can be whatever it needs to be to fit the requirements of the story, and the better handle the game master has on his players, the more fun that can be for everybody involved, since the monsters can always surprise the players' expectations in new and different ways if you give the description the slightest twist or an independent motivation. Sometimes not even a change in statistics is needed. Thus, in my Cthulhu Invictus campaign Tiberius Claudius Coluber, a straight out of the rule book serpent man wizard, also turns out to be the laziest Mythos villain ever, installed in a minor priesthood in the Temple of Claudius in Rome. He isn't bothering to forward his own nefarious scheme, as the Romans don't seem to be bothering him at the moment, and so he is more than willing to help the player investigators put the kabosh on any other nefarious Mythos scheme that looks like it will cause him trouble. All he has to do is sit in the temple, study, collect his pay, and occasionally take a temple sacrifice to feed "Baby" in the basement. When "Baby" digs its way out, because it is bored, fun times can be had by all.
  11. Mvincent has already picked up a thread in which I posted my thought on the subject, however, nearly any scenario can be put into the prequel. One simply writes in Jackson Elias, and one can take the chance to write in other characters as well, if one wants to do so. The prequel scenario in MoNC is very good, however, it also makes the assumption that the characters already know Jackson Elias, and so we simply have moved the problem back one level. The real trick to my way of thinking is to make it not-too-linear. Some misdirection is needed, because if Jackson Elias is the only harbinger of bad wrong Mythos news and gets the investigators beaten up too often, then the players will start having their characters cross the street to avoid him. So he should only be the instigator of adventure about half the time. You can pair Elias up with other MoN characters, or you can put other MoN characters in for the other half of the adventures or both. Thus, my chain of scenarios ran like this; nearly any will do: * Elias (and Bradley Grey, of the MoN law firm) hired the investigators to retrieve a (Mythos) manuscript that a not too bright patron lent out to a Mythos cultist busybody. (This was one of the Halloween monograph scenarios, with the patrons replaced.) Once the investigators retrieved the manuscript they would bring it back to Grey and Elias, who would get it back to its owner (de Marigny, since I also wanted to run Secrets of New Orleans scenario.) Our heroes, the investigators, being such as they are, promptly executed the mission and accidentally (!) dropped part of the manuscript in the Miskatonic River, though to their credit they did fish it out after it was only slightly ruined. * Elias (and Grey) decide that the investigators had better go along to New Orleans with Elias so that they can personally explain to Mr. de Marigny about the manuscript. On the first night there, the assembled galloots go to a speakeasy, thus setting up "Dead Man Stomp." Elias does nothing about this, but just hangs out in New Orleans on his own business (which see below). * De Marigny, being impressed that the investigators aren't complete idiots, recommends them to one of his friends, who has relative troubles, thus setting up the scenario out of Secrets of New Orleans. Elias meanwhile jumps on a freighter to Mexico, thus putting him in position for the scenario in MoNC, and oh by the way we can run a bunch of Mysteries of Mezoamerica scenarios too. * Our heroes, deciding that New Orleans is too hot for them, go back to New York, where Grey has recommended them to another client, a Miss Tillstrom, thus setting up the Dreamlands scenario Pickman's Student eventually, but for the moment we instead run the introductory BRP scenario Murder in the Footlights. * After all of which, Elias sends the info about his Mexican adventure found in the MoNC scenario, and we run that, and after that, we also run one of the Mysteries scenario, involving the bats, which is what Elias was (really) working on. If one steps back and looks at all of this, Elias is important, but he is not the only important figure. Other figures can be added, or used to impart information when we finally do reach MoN, and we can also use them for links to the other non player characters. Penny Tillstrom, for example, could provide the investigators with the necessary introduction to society that can get them into Carlyle House should that be wanted. Lots of work but the players shouldn't tumble to the idea that they are in a plot driven campaign so easily, and there is a more social feel to it-Jackson Elias is now a valuable resource that the players will miss when the Keeper finally pulls the plug on him, instead of a nuisance.
  12. I tend to keep track of the cash. I don't use little fantasy coins, as the numbers needed are still cost prohibitive. I have used little paper money notes for a wild west game, they can be knocked together with any sort of art program quickly enough to look decent
  13. As for the star chart, yes, has that too, and I will drag that in as well in due course, but it is early days for the project yet. In general terms, as there are a bunch of different C and S editions, one begins by rolling to see whether the character is well-aspected, neutrally aspected, or poorly aspected, and then one rolls for a star sign, each of which has bonuses or penalties associated with certain types of professions. If one ends up poorly aspected, at least in the newer additions, one has to roll for some sort of flaw, and if one ends up well aspected one has to roll for some sort of benefit. At one point, in consequence, we ended up with the (poorly aspected, therefore flawed) near-sighted yeoman archer. I was half tempted to offer to let the player rolling this little drama out in character creation off the hook, but he said it was about his luck and took the character. This would be a natural to add into a BRP system. The feudal manor material is very handy for mapping out the world--my club comes out of a wargaming tradition, and so it is often times very handy to know how many knights, and other miscellaneous trouble makers can be found on any given manor or castle.
  14. Sorry to be so long getting back to you. I am using the random social status table, which gives rise to a basic score for the Status skill. This also extends out to "father's occupation." This would be of minor interest to the players, except that it gives rise to a small number of skill points to be put into occupations on the father's occupation skill list. The player is by no means required to make the character follow that profession, but gets a little extra bonus based on it. (There are thus three pools of skill points rather than just two.) Also, the price list material for things. Also, the world building material, which simplifies my life tremendously. Will eventually start round to dealing with the magic system but that is down the path a bit--at the moment there are no real magic user characters that cannot be handled by the shaman system of the old AH edition of RuneQuest. But I would like to pound my way through the C and S Basic Magic System and some of the others, if I can figure out how to plug it in with reasonable magic point costs.
  15. Began a new fantasy campaign on Saturday, for the moment using the big gold book with bits and bobs out of Chivalry and Sorcery, and some scenarios out of the Harn fan material. The campaign is set using the old Avalon Hill "Perilous Lands" setting, in the mythic (and faintly ridiculous) Kingdom of Donara. This mix (using different rules sets) has been an occasionally recurring nightmare in our group for decades. Previous campaign was Cthulhu Invictus using 6th edition Call of Cthulhu rules, and a one shot for that ran a couple of weeks ago. Both ran until the wheels popped off or the shark was finally and unsuccessfully jumped
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