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About Spence

  • Rank
    Advanced Member


  • RPG Biography
    Was introduced to RPG’s with the original D&D game and the Arduin Grimoire supplements. Judge’s Guild’s City State of the Invincible Overlord became “the” city.

    Played/Ran many games in the early years including in no particular order:
    Empire of the Petal Throne
    Chivalry and Sorcery
    Villain & Vigilante’s
    Boot Hill
    Gamma World
    Metamorphosis Alpha
    Tunnels & Trolls

    Joined the Navy after high school and found that there were many other people very interested in RPG’s, considering the very very small space needed. One book and some dicer was all you needed and that fit nicely in the seabag.

    While in the Navy I became dissatisfied with the “kill’um take their stuff” style of play I had been involved in from day one. I started playing updated versions of the above plus discovered new systems such as:
    Call of Cthulhu
    Top Secret
    Justice Inc.

    After a while as I gained rank and responsibility and with the increased ops tempo, my RPG time cut way back. Sometimes to zero.

    In ’04 I retired started playing again, but with a different outlook. While I preferred thinking and investigative games on one hand, or super’s games on the other hand, I still played a lot of the video game driven generation of “kill’um take their stuff” with the kids that came into my FLGS.

    After I left the Navy, I ran/wrote up many games set in the 30’s (I love the interwar period for RPG adventure) and have accumulated a library of support publications and every RPG game/system/publication I could lay my hands on paper or electronic.

    In the recent years I have tried/run/played a lot of different games including updates of old standards as well as FATE, Ubiquity, Savage Worlds and Gumshoe.

    Now I am back to Call of Cthulhu and think the 7th edition update is looking pretty good. Plus, the addition of an organized play program fulfills one of my other gaming needs, games I run at my FLGS must be available for purchase in the FLGS.
  • Current games
    GUMSHOE: Fear Itself, Trail of Cthulhu, Night Black Agents
    Hero System: Champions, Home brew.

    Starting up Call of Cthulhu 7th: Organized play, Homebrew.
  • Location
    Marysville, WA
  • Blurb
    Retired Navy Chief
    Avid reader and RPG gamer.
    Love to play historical miniatures, though the call for it is much less these days.
    Read a lot of scifi and fantasy novels/series.
    Satisfied with the number of watchable genre movies and TV series we get these days.

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  1. Well thank you to those that took the time to reply to my questions. But I have also been reading other threads in the RQ forum and frankly it has been an eye opener. And not in a good way. I will be shelving my copy of RQ and going back to the CoC side of the house. I find it difficult to believe that the RQ forums and the CoC forums are on the same boards with the same company. CoC has some differences of opinion comparing purist games to pulp games, but they have never gotten this venomous about hw you are allowed to have fun. RQ books books are covered with pictures that say Classic Greek or Hoplite and yet to even mention it apparently is heresy or something. A player or GM trying to enter RQ based on the current core rule book really has no idea and cannot find anything in the core book to actually describe what the various tribe/nations are like. I can understand that they apparently disliked real world history enough to try and make everything completely different. Which is fine, except now the game has no entry portal unless you wish to turn a game into a full on research project. But the venom displayed on some of the threads I read is very revealing. Especially since it is apparently accepted as OK. Now I thank the three people that took the time to answer me directly, Crel, 7Tigers and Joerg, and their well thought out responses. You are great representatives of the RQ community. But I'll be moving on. I have very little free time to RPG at all and I simply cannot waste it in this environment. Good luck all and I hope you can get back to the FUN that is what RPG's are all about.
  2. It's possible. Maybe once I retire and suddenly have spare time measured in hours 😜 For me I want to usable information that I can read in 5 minutes or so. What products are in the pipe and when do they expect to hit the shelf. With the love affair with pod-casts no one appears to be able to succinctly impart information anymore. Now I am not in anyway saying that people should not watch or like pod-casts. They are entertainment. Do you like the show? The only difference between a pod-cast, a TV show or a movie is what the watcher finds interesting and what they are willing to spend 30 to 90 minutes of their free time to see it. But if you like the show, then watch/listen to it. More power to the people that are pod-people.
  3. So, I bought RQ after many years, the last time I played RQ was back in the 80’s. Before the AH version. The current version has really escaped me though. The rules are not too bad and the magic will simply need a little time to understand and use. Nothing too bad really. It is the setting. It is meticulously laid out, using undefined terms. What I mean is the world, its cultures and people are described using terms that really have not be defined. Read the write up of Sartar on page 24. Or even the more in-depth description later (pg103?) and you do not end up with a usable visual of the world. When I played the game back in the 80’s the GM used real world historical civilizations to give a baseline that was close so we had something to envision. In the campaign I played in all those years ago, we were loosely based on the ancient Greeks and the campaign was at sea. We encountered many foes, some were creatures (broos, trollkin and so on), but also other “Greeks”, Etruscans, Assyrians. The example cultures may not have been spot on for bronze age, but it gave us a basic mental image to work with. After reading through (skimming really) the RQ core book, I have exactly zero idea of just what characters from Sartar, Esrolia or Prax look like or what their culture resembles. I know that Glorantha is not the Classic world, but is there a guide out there that connects the dots with historical equivalents? And is there anything out there on the seafaring side of the house. It is possible that everything I remember was homebrewed, but I cannot believe that our GM completely redid everything and we did use the rulebooks that were out back then to make our characters. Any help out there?
  4. If they posted transcripts it might be of use. Podcasts have pretty much ended a lot of games up where i play. getting spare time to game is rough, spending valuable time listening to people talk on the off chance they drop a nugget of useful info is a no go these days.
  5. Yes, this. I have an account and post here and there but FB is useless to actually follow a topic. I do not FB every hour of every day, instead I may check my feed once or twice a week. Trying to find posts relevant to me as opposed to the garbage FB wants me to see makes it worthless. If the information is on the companies site in a format that I can search and read, like a forum, then I follow it. If I have to dig through social media feeds to painstakingly excavate small grains of news, then I go find another game. The only thing that screams "do not buy our products" louder that over reliance on social media is defaulting to PODcasts. If I don't have time to search and skim through pages of social media streams, how can anybody think I have hours to listen to people babble about minutia just in case they actually mention a usable piece of information. I may sound a bit harsh, but I work full time with a hour+ commute. I actually love my job, but my gaming time is very very limited and I absolutely refuse to squander it digging for information that should be being pushed to me. The social media and PODcast craze masquerades as methods of easy communication, but the reality is it makes product information virtually impossible to easily access. Quick, in less than 5 minutes tell me if the 50 minute PODcast gives a release date and price. Quick, jump on FB and in 5 minutes or less find that post from sometime last Wednesday. Pretty much the only companies I really bother with are the ones that maintain active forums with an actual company presence or they maintain and actual updated website with a news page/blog. Well I guess I should end my rant now 😳
  6. True, the X-Files is not Lovecraftian horror in of itself. But it is a wonderful collection of seeds that can easily be made that way. But I really don't run Lovecraftian horror exactly myself. I like to run suspenseful horror or thriller horror instead. The unexpected twist. I will admit I am more pulp than purest and the periods I enjoy most are 1880's (Colonial British Empire and American Old West), 1930's (interwar period), 1940's(WW2), 1960/70's (Delta Green style), and 1980's (my Modern). I am less inclined to enjoy modern era's once we had internet and cell phones. The big thing I have found is that players will enjoy a good horror game and will work with you to make it fun. They really enjoy the unknown. So in my one-shots I try to mix up traditional CoC Mythos with non-Mythos horror to keep them guessing.
  7. Just think about Carpenters' movie The Thing, Scifi's series Helix, the series The Burning Zone, X-Files, Project Blue Book and so on. Any of them give you material for a modern CoC game. Just mode the plot to be driven by Mythos or a servitor. It actually comes together pretty easily. Of course, when I run CoC it is almost exclusively one shot sessions with pre-gens.
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  10. Add me to the list wondering about that....
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  12. Sounds good. I have the Bermuda book too. I just make the default assumption, yes yes I said assume, that it was 20s/30s, not modern. If you change your mind, just hollar 👍
  13. I have a couple good sets, but the Empress of Japan (liner)(1930, 1260 passengers, 22 kts) might be a good choice.
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