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  • RPG Biography
    First RPG played: AD&D 2E. First BRP RPG played: Call of Cthulhu 5E.
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    Call of Cthulhu, Clockwork and Chivalry
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    23 years a gamer.

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  1. I broadly agree. I think it would be sensible to have the percentile stats as an option - a bit like how some retroclones of old-school editions of D&D include concepts like ascending Armour Class as an option - for those that want to use them, but to have the SRD not use them as the default. I think, as you say, percentile stats are a poor fit for games where superhuman levels of ability are going to be common - but I think they're a somewhat better fit for games where PCs are built on a more mundane scale, and where making Stat x5 rolls would otherwise be common enough that it's simpler just to convert to percentile stats and then divide for the occasional harder-than-average task.
  2. Ah, and the announcement that's just gone out about the Jonstown Compendium is the other shoe dropping. Looks like the deal is that if you want to put out your own RQ or CoC material, you go via the Jonstown Compendium/Miskatonic Repository (or seek a third party licence if your plans are more ambitious), if it's your own bespoke thingamuffin you can use the SRD. Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Dare I hope for a similar solution for Pendragon - a Troubadour's Gallery, maybe?)
  3. I'ma repeat TrippyHippy's question: does this include Paladin? I dunno whether the rights to that are held under the overall KAP umbrella (since it's a spin-off game using the same system) or not. (I assume Aquelarre, being an entirely different game connected only by virtue of being another Nocturnal project, isn't part of this deal.)
  4. As I said to others when passing on the news, "pretty much anything you enjoy in RPGs which doesn't directly derive from D&D or D&D-like play can be traced back to something Greg did or influenced". Chaosium's games have been the standard against which I measure all other RPGs for a good long time now, and it's rare that a game has beaten Chaosium on its own turf. On top of that, I think it's no accident that of the list of games at the back of 1st edition Vampire: the Masquerade that are cited as influencing that RPG, three of the ones listed are Chaosium releases (RQ, COC and Pendragon), and two of those are very much Greg efforts. You take everyone that Greg and Chaosium directly influenced, and then you add on everyone that those folks influenced in turn... and it's hard not to conclude that Greg was the most important and influential thinker in the history of RPG design since Gygax - and without Greg's contributions our hobby might have been much more narrow than it would have otherwise been. The sense of place, of belonging to a community, of your character having an existence and stakes in the world rather than being a mere visitor who didn't care about anything beyond personal enrichment, even the idea that what we do in our hobby could be considered to have literary or artistic merit, or could touch us on a deeper emotional level than the mere rush of getting a good roll in combat - I trace that largely back to RuneQuest and to Greg. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. I am really glad he lived to see Chaosium pass on to new, steady hands, and to see RuneQuest return home to Glorantha in the new edition.
  5. So, query (apologies if this has been answered elsewhere, good faith attempt to find it did not turn up answer): in what respects does the Glorantha Sourcebook differ from the Guide to Glorantha? I mean, obviously it's shorter. But what in particular does it include? Is there stuff which isn't in the Guide?
  6. I wonder if Chaosium, if they don't want the risk/expense themselves, could see their way to letting the current publishers try their hand at an English release of that new French version? It looks absolutely gorgeous.
  7. I just finished a retrospective review of (most of) the Nephilim line here. Looking back to it I'm struck by how neat a little game it actually was, provided you were willing to really commit to its conceits, and how substantial and useful the improvements in the supplement line were. I genuinely think a second edition that incorporated some of the ideas from the supplements into the core and gave a much clearer steer on "What do you do with this game?" could have a decent shot, though I suspect the low sales of the original might put off Chaosium from repeating the experiment, which is a little unfortunate. Either way, it certainly doesn't deserve the "poor cousin" status it often has. (Poor thing isn't even represented in the banner up there!). Aside from here, is there a good place to go to catch up on the Nephilim fan community? *Is* there a fan community, or did people just walk away from it?
  8. Yeah, Pulp Cthulhu isn't my personal jam, but I can 100% see how it would fit the style of Mask perfectly, and if the new version includes suitable support for using it with Pulp Cthulhu then that makes it decidedly worth the update for those who like Masks and/or Pulp. I don't resent the existence of the product and think it's a sensible move, I'm just disappointed that Cate and Pete's story got me set up for something that it wasn't about.
  9. Hrm. OK, so I've just seen the blog post on Chaosium.com and I see that this process was a teaser for the new Masks of Nyarlathotep cover art reveal. Which is, admittedly, a really cool bit of art... but I feel like I have to gripe a little. I got really into #thegreatpicture and was very excited about it because all of the teasers were set in the modern day, and I greatly prefer the modern day as a setting for CoC - to my mind the sort of emotional separation and distance you get when playing a distant time period is exactly what you don't want in a horror game. Precisely because all the teasers were modern-day stuff, I was all excited for some sort of interesting modern-day product being announced, so discovering that it's a reprinted 1920s campaign feels really deflating. Possibly the fault is mine - I did, after all, jump to conclusions. But I'd argue that it was an entirely fair conclusion to jump to given the format of the teasers - an entirely logical conclusion from the information given. (It's possible that I could have picked up more hints from the teasers to suggest that this was Masks, but it's been long enough since I ran it that I don't remember a lot of the fine details.) So I guess I have a little request: please, Chaosium, the next time you do one of these teaser campaigns, try to present them in a way appropriate to the milieu of the product they're teasing - it helps with managing expectations and stopping people getting keen for something which isn't actually getting delivered. (Caveat: I'm probably part of the minority that really doesn't like Masks of Nyarlathotep as a campaign - I dislike globetrotting campaigns generally because I don't think they are true to much of the source material short of Derleth's Trail of Cthulhu, a novel I profoundly dislike, and I feel like Masks steers slightly too hard into a "heroic Westerners save the world from evil foreigners" mode which sits especially uncomfortably with the 1920s late Colonialism setting. It is possible that some of my grump comes from disappointment there. But still.)
  10. Exactly. Tickboxes are great for prompting players to step up like that. (It works brilliantly with the personality traits in Pendragon - if you want your knight to be the most courageous in all the land, he's going to have to behave consistently courageously.)
  11. I thought Chaos explicitly wasn't part of the Great Compromise, and the various incursions since then have been the result of outright violations (Gbaji) or loopholes (the Red Moon, mmmmmmaybe)?
  12. A speculative bit of definitely-not-canon here, but I was wondering what people thought about this little twist to the setting. So, you have the endless sea of Chaos, and you have the world as a bubble of not-Chaos within it. Things within the world which are of Chaos want to unmake the world to get back to the sea. Now, everything in the world was Chaos once, But now it isn't. So perhaps part of the process of transitioning from nonexistence to existence involves the stuff being brought into existence being purged of Chaos? Those things encountered within Glorantha that are of Chaos are entities which either failed to properly purge themselves of Chaos when they were brought into being - the Unholy Trio might qualify as such - or which were brought into the world without any proper attempt to purify them whatsoever (Wakboth would be an example of that). Some of the legends of the God Time might be understood as the nascent Gods undergoing the process of purging themselves of Chaos so they could be fully manifest in the world - take, for instance, the Initiation of Orlanth, in which Orlanth and most of his siblings succeeded but Ragnaglar failed and thereafter ended up part of the Unholy Trio. Maybe the "evil" uncles in that were just trying to purge Orlanth and his siblings of any vestiges of Chaos remaining in them. Orlanth's hatred of Chaos may in part come down to him taking offence at entities trying to get away with shirking the work of becoming fully real that he and (most) of his brothers did. The apparent paradox of Yelm being associated with Illumination but not apparently having Chaotic affiliations himself may be down to Yelm retaining some understanding of the nature of Chaos after being purged of it. In the Dawn Age the Council were not fools - they weren't deliberately trying to make Gbaji happen. But in their enthusiastic reverence of their new God they failed to make him purify himself of Chaos, or couldn't bring themselves to force him to, or never realised that it would be necessary to begin with, so the Gbaji Wars happened. Likewise, the Red Goddess successfully brought something new into the world, but either chose not to or couldn't purge the Red Moon of Chaos - perhaps she found it simply too useful to give up. Perhaps the White Moon, once you get past the White Moon Movement's propaganda, is really what the Red Moon was supposed to be if it had completed the process of entering existence properly - or the Hero Wars are in fact that process of purging which will allow the White Moon to be born from the Red, free of Chaos. The big problem the Lunars have is that they are wrong that Chaos is a necessary part of existence; it is a necessary precursor to existence, that becoming fully extant requires one to give up. A thing that will not let go of Chaos is a thing which will never fully be what it is supposed to be. The living tainted by Chaos will live a life dedicated to undoing life; the undead raised by Chaos are dead things failing at properly being dead.
  13. I would say that cults and social structures are enormously important to RuneQuest. Having characters be part of society rather than rootless renegades existing a little way outside it was (one of) the really distinctive and new things that RuneQuest brought to the table; previous games had paid lip service to the idea, but the way cults are set up in the system provides a really excellent incentive to get invested in a character's social connections that previous games tended to lack - for instance, in principle D&D clerics are members of organised religions, but in practice they tended to operate as free agents much of the time. Other games have come up with other riffs on the same idea, of course. I'd say that Vampire: the Masquerade's clans - and, by extension, all the various splats in subsequent World of Darkness games and similar modern-day horror/urban fantasy games riffing on Vampire's ideas - are a good example of a social organisation that is supposed to give game mechanical benefits and which players are expected to belong to by default. But few have done it as well as RuneQuest, and almost none have done it quite the same way as Gloranthan RuneQuest manages. (Of course, system-wise various BRP derivatives have produced similar organisations, but Glorantha does a fantastic job of really integrating the cults into the very essence of the setting which I have seen few alternate settings managing to repeat.) So in general I would say that RuneQuest is exactly as dependent on social organisations as it needs to be. Make them less important wouldn't just be a bad idea - it'd be a direct attack on one of the foundational ideas that make the game distinctive, just like if you tried to work in hardwired character classes or abandoned experience rolls and training in favour of D&D-style experience levels.
  14. Would adapting material from After the Vampire Wars help? I understand the setting has vampires and other supernaturals stepping "out of the shadows" more than they do in your classic World of Darkness-type premise, but if the supplement provides a basis for creating vampires/werewolves/whatever who are varied enough that you can support an extended cast of them but clearly related enough that they're the same general type of monster, it might be useful for a spot of monster-hunting, or an "Investigate the hidden society of vampires" sort of deal. Of course, that said there's perfectly serviceable vampire and werewolf stats in the CoC core books, so you could just take those and adapt accordingly.
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