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  • RPG Biography
    Call of Cthulhu player (since the start) and Cult of Chaos member.
  • Current games
    Call of Cthulhu
  • Location
    Portland, Oregon
  • Blurb
    I have an affinity for miniatures and props.

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mvincent's Achievements


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  1. My preference runs the opposite: I like learning about real events as the historical knowledge seems useful. CoC is one way for me to interact with history in an entertaining way, and aids my simulationist desire for verisimilitude. Conversely, I have less desire to gain more knowledge of fictional settings and events; my Arkham knowledge has been less fulfilling (and felt silly) compared to say, my Venice knowledge. Similarly, reading up on the '87 San Francisco quake felt far more compelling than reading up on a quake in a similar, but fictional city in "At Your Door".
  2. My own 80's campaign (based on "At Your Door") was like our world, but darker. Example: the '87 San Francisco quake still occurs, but it's caused by mythos activity (and it feels even more dramatic to those caught in it). Other news items often have similar mythos causes (that regular people do not know about).
  3. Exactly. When facing mythos monsters, I just want to avoid the hit (at full skill) rather than fight back at effectively half skill. This game is all about surviving rather than fighting back. Also, diving for cover is mainly just for firearms (which you can't fight back against anyway, so totally worth it).
  4. COC 5e p.114 (covering firearms) says "One penalty die is applied when targeting a combatant involved in melee combat" To me, that also includes combatants in melee with the one firing the firearm. In my campaign, this rule has effectively removed the point-blank bonus die for handguns (which I never liked as it made guns too effective and ubiquitous). Anytime a new player asks for a point-blank bonus, I also remind them of the above rule (so eventually, they quit asking). Of course, hunting rifles don't get a point blank bonus, so the above rule results in an actual penalty die in the scenario mention in the initial post
  5. I *wish* my players only used .45's (instead of Whippets, Thompsons and explosives). It's a game, so I expect them to optimize damage output.. and if an encounter can be solved with force, this just speeds it up. However, I typically: Have spell casting NPC's use the Flesh-ward spell Use monsters that can't be easily taken down with guns (or use more of the monsters) Get the PC's in legal trouble for murdering human cultists (since the cult probably has influence). Authorities might take the PC's guns away, watch them, imprison them, or help the cult hunt them down. As a simulationist GM, I let the players try to take realistic, responsible actions (which may include excellent efforts to stay alive, and minimizing their own horror). However, there are also very realistic social consequences to firing a gun... possibly resulting in isolation from normal society and prematurely ending an investigator's career (which can add to the horror). (doh: Mike ninja'd my same answers while I was writing)
  6. Note: the original poster appears to be asking about WWI U-boats (and yours appears to be WWII). I almost posted a WWII U-boat floorplan myself.
  7. I wouldn't have them lose sanity again for the exact same encounter (as that seems odd, plus it would discourage running away). And even an entirely different floating skull encounter (say, later that night while they are sleeping) would still have limited SAN loss (due to "Getting used to awfulness" p.169).
  8. I think it might be writer's intent for them to be the same (i.e. referring to the same d10 hours). And either way: using one of the rolls would likely make the other roll superfluous.
  9. The spell can be recited forwards (1 round) or backwards (2 rounds): Reciting it forwards takes 1 round and resurrects someone: "A complete corpse is necessary"... "the successfully resurrected need not be all in one piece—as long as the coffin is intact and sufficient care is taken to scrape together all the fragments and dust within, the spell succeeds" "Reciting the spell backward returns the resurrected entity to dust" and "takes two rounds"
  10. No (unless the Keeper wishes it, since it is technically open to interpretation). The spell can be used to resurrect corpses, as indicated by the text: "resurrected need not be all in one piece—as long as the coffin is intact and sufficient care is taken to scrape together all the fragments and dust within, the spell succeeds". If the designer intended that it required two castings (i.e. a highly unintuitive interpretation for the most common use of the spell), that would've been made explicit. That said, I'm surprised the spell's description is still so confusing after so many editions. It seems like errata is in order.
  11. mvincent


    Not Applicable, Not Applicable, For challenging scenarios, No, No, See below I'm not so much a Lovecraft fan myself, nor even a big fan of horror. I like Sandy Peterson, challenging environments, and roleplaying in a historical setting (because learning the history of our own world feels more useful than learning the history of a fantasy world). I still try to convey the scariness of the environment to my players because I believe they enjoy the thrill (adrenalin rush) and/or the novelty (being exposed to something alien and new).
  12. That's what tip #5 is for. Pointing to a player and asking "what do you wish to do now?" focuses them. Move on (clockwise) to the next player if they don't know yet. By the time you reach the last player, any previously undecided players usually have an idea what they want to do (even if that's only joining one of the other PC's on their idea). It's ok (even preferable) for PC's to split up and follow different leads here... conversations are expedited with fewer PC's involved (and they're assumed to relay the information later).
  13. Believe it or not: I've run the previous edition at conventions, with each of the six chapters being a 4 hour session (discussed here). It worked pretty well, but I was also very fast and organized (having just run it for multiple home groups, where each chapter usually took about two 4-hour sessions). Some tips: Use (blue) painter's tape to affix the handouts to the appropriate pages in the book (so they are quickly ready) Prep ahead half a chapter at a time Skip side scenarios if need be Australia can be skipped (it wasn't in the original edition anyway). During play: skip Order-of-Attack. Just go clockwise around the table and ask each player what they want to do. Skip to the next player if they are not ready (while assuring them they will still get to go before the bad-guys next turn anyway, so order doesn't really matter). This method works well outside of combat too, and often gets players to investigate separate leads (which can actually speed things up greatly).
  14. (hmm... that doesn't appear to be "both", and they can indeed complain, but as for "why not"...) Restating: it can (based on my experience) break narration, slow the game, reinforce gamism, increase acrimony, make revelations about the opposition (breaking tension) and make unchangeable commitments to a character's fate. My players know that sudden results are the style of CoC (and their characters are fragile), not a railroad. Indeed, they know that I'd prefer their characters stay alive (as that's much easier on me as GM, campaign continuity-wise). Conversely, I absolutely "roll in the open" in D&D, since that is D&D's style. Still, there's been instances even in D&D that I wish I had summed up the results rather than played it out. Example: when the players were captured by the Slave Lords in order to move on to the module "A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords". Boy, that was a painful railroad that I wish I'd shortened...
  15. Bullets don't really decelerate that much at mid range (plus, some bullets may even start to tumble at mid-range, potentially making them more injurious). Game-mechanics wise, there would be no extra damage from the force.
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