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klecser

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Everything posted by klecser

  1. Role-playing games are for everyone. Your Game Will Vary. Why did I choose these four? They're the ones I felt like talking about today.
  2. I'm glad you posted this, but it also begs the question as to why people aren't posting their lists here. Anyone who has played games for any amount of time knows that official forums are the most likely place to be heard by companies.
  3. Um, doesn't look to me like he read wrong? Did you read his whole post?
  4. IIRC, Mike indicated that there were some special plans for this in the works.
  5. By the letter of the RAW, sure. But YGWV. If a Keeper decides that a player can buy off a firearm malfunction, then they can. Lloyd brings up another struggle we have in the hobby. And that is how different people attenuate to RAW. Personally, I think that it is fully appropriate that, if you go to an FLGS or a Con, it is fair for you to expect the RAW to be used, because it helps players to manage their expectations of what a new Keeper will and will not do. The other side of this coin is that there are also people who seem to think (and I'm not saying that Llyod is one of them) that the RAW of any game should be treated as sacred, and that people who violate the RAW in their home games are "doing it wrong." The truth is that everyone's game will vary, and you can do whatever you want with the ruleset. If I were Keeping at an FLGS or Con and knew in advance that I wanted to play the RAW differently, I would just be upfront about that at the table. This is central to the discussion because everyone has a different base set of assumptions for how mechanics work in the game. People don't like to have their assumptions contended with. Yet, all of us attenuating to universal application of the rules would basically just mean some people wouldn't have fun. I've been wondering why people are so passionate about one side of this discussion. And it may very well come down to perspective on RAW.
  6. Only if purchased from Chaosium or a Bits and Mortar store, I believe. The incentive for PDF is to support small stores and the publisher.
  7. I agree, and I think our perspectives are closer than you think. In the time I've spent thinking about this, it appears as if there is some degree of semantic differences that fuels the difference in perspective. Earlier in the thread Ian Absentia commented that this debate has never been resolved. Yet, we keep flogging the dead horse. Why? I think it is for two reasons. First, we all want everyone at the table to have fun. And there certainly are differences of opinion of what makes something fun. And while fun may seem like something locked to the one experiencing it, in a collaborative game it is not. One person's fun can be another person's dissatisfaction. Second, and related to the first, is the impression I get that some people believe that their fun at the expense of others is perfectly reasonable. This is where the table contract comes in. Any Keeper running a table needs to communicate with their players. And really probe what people find fun and what they don't. Communication is difficult. Questions I am very curious about: To what extent is there a division in the hobby? Tables that define "fun" by a particular creed and tables that define drastically different rules for said fun? How many are mixed and what challenges present themselves under those circumstances? Failure is indeed interesting. But something being interesting and something being satisfying do not always coincide. That is what I was getting at with those examples. Failure in any of those situations would certainly be interesting. But it doesn't satisfy. And I think that might be getting to the crux in differences in preference for story-telling. I personally do not believe that it is easy to craft both interesting and satisfying under random conditions. The dice don't know what satisfies people. People do. And whether one fudges dice or fudges description, the end result is some fudging is needed somewhere if we intend to produce satisfying. And before people jump on me, I never said that satisfying means "players always win." I've never said that. I've given my prime example of dissatisfying earlier in the thread: Random flukes that produce inane, satisfaction-killing, absurd outcomes. We're using them to inject an element of chance. Not complete and total governance by chance. And that is the key to what I oppose. I know role-players that wholeheartedly believe that a story in game should be determined entirely by chance, and if everyone leaves the table having seen nothing fun, interesting, or satisfying happening, then oh well. We were at the "mercy" of the dice all along. I guess the dice didn't allow an interesting story. Can you imagine a novelist rolling dice in writing a story or character? It would be a disaster. And yet, you get role-players treating the dice as if they are the sacred arbiter of story-telling. It is bizarre, and in my opinion is a liability in the hobby. I think it is important to note that positive things can be different and interesting as well. I can't tell you the number of times that my players completely upended my plans and then succeeded. And I had a blast seeing them succeed. Part of me also thinks that there is this delight in seeing people fail. Why can't there be delight and interest in seeing them succeed? But this seems to be the argument of many. If they don't see threat, they can't imagine failure, and if they can't imagine failure, then the endeavor isn't worth doing. It's almost as if the journey is irrelevant to them? The legacy of Gygax is that he has engendered what I consider to be only one perspective as to what can be satisfying in the hobby. I believe his players knew what they signed up for and it isn't my job to tell them how to have fun. But I also think the consequence of Gygax' success is that he created a generation of role-players that equated brutal unyielding chance with fun. I happen to not equate those two things. And I also believe it to be a tactical wargamer's perspective not a story-telling perspective. When someone tells me that I'm cheating by fudging, what I really hear people saying is I define what is fun and what you define as fun doesn't matter. And I basically refuse to accept that. Yeah, I don't disagree. We're closer than you might think. I think the key difference is that I view the satisfying outcome possibilities as being just as interesting under circumstances of "unexpected success" as "unexpected failure." And while don't begrudge anyone their preference of "unexpected failure is more satisfying," I also find it a cynical way to game. To each their own. But gaming is for everyone. Not just the cynical. I think it is important that we discuss these things. If we want better tables, we have to understand each other better. The exact wrong thing to do would be to not talk about perspectives on fudging.
  8. Similar experiences. My players aren't fools. Why do Keepers treat their players like fools? Why do Keepers assume their players will make foolish decisions when given agency? Let's take the gun malfunction as an example for the topic. Jane brings her rifle to bear against the cultist bearing down on her. She pulls the trigger. It jams! But Jane is determined to stop this vile organization. She checks the bolt action quickly, finds a misalignment, and rights it. (Luck spent) *Boom* The Cultist won't be spreading their vile poison anymore! At least this one, of legion. Some gamers prefer for the encounter to go the other way. Jane pulls the trigger and it jams. And that's fine. There is nothing wrong with that. But I think that the key thing here is that there is also nothing wrong with the alternative. I just really dislike the "dice tell the story" exclusively attitude. I understand the logic behind it. People want random elements injected into their stories to make them more exciting. But "random elements" of plot and situation alone are never what make a story interesting. They never have been. Luke misses his shot on the exhaust port because he fumbled the roll is not interesting to me. Professor Armitage fumbling his spell casting in the denouement is not interesting to me. Trinity missing the point blank shot on the Agent, resulting in Neo dying, is not interesting to me. I'm pretty sure that anyone who acts like their stories are completely random are deliberately ignoring the ways in which they make choices that guide story. "Dice alter the story" is more to my taste, and maybe I'm just splitting hairs on the language. But I've listened to gamers speak on this for ages and many that I know act like dice are the only vehicle that alters the story. It's a shame too because that is pretty self-deprecating.
  9. Great question. I predominately do campaigns, but I've also run one-shots at FLGS' and with friends. Keeping each type of game is very different. Pros and cons that I perceive for using Luck in each type: Campaign Pros: Luck can really give a sense of both excitement and relief when it helps players succeed. The Group Luck roll really helps to balance Luck use because everyone suffers if someone blows all their luck in a short time. Players get attached to their characters, and while I appreciate the nature of CoC being about lethality, it also isn't a Keeper's (or anyone's) job to tell anyone how they should feel about their game experiences. All of the "but that isn't the right way to play CoC!' voices in the audience, I'm looking at you. Campaign Cons: The Group Luck roll can also make it so that players are afraid to spend Luck and it actually becomes a source of anxiety for them. Maybe this isn't really a Con, because then you're just playing 1E-6E. 😜 A Con may be that Luck rewards are a thing and it is something the Keeper has to consider and manage. If you don't like managing numeric statistics of a group, that is a downside. One-Shot Pros: Can ease the likelihood of an early player death that leaves them sitting at the table. It gives them the power to decide how big of a risk they want to take in a situation rather than the Keeper deciding that. Obviously bringing extra character sheets can alleviate this too. As above, some players like the idea of a sense of control over big moments or as a security blanket. Players do fear getting an inexperienced or vindictive Keeper that will leave them high and dry for most a game. One-Shot Cons: Min-maxers will deliberately withhold spending Luck until the one critical moment and then blow it all to craft a critical success, thereby getting what they want: "winning" a role-playing game. Many Keepers restrict Luck spending at all in one-shots or limit the total amount of Luck that can be spent in a one-shot. I've heard "no more than half" as a common example. Those are not exhaustive lists. Others will come up with other examples. That's just off the top of my head whilst doing three things at once. All of that said, and on point to this topic, we have trust issues in the hobby. A lot of these discussions seem to boil down to "I can't trust my players" or "I can't trust my Keeper." It boggles my mind that some Keepers especially seem to assume that their players have poor story intentions or aren't smart enough to manage mechanics. And there are certainly both players and Keepers that exhibit all of the traits we dislike about each group. It is important for us to assume the best first, IMO.
  10. I'm enjoying that first scenario. Yithians feature prominently in my campaign and I've targeted that scenario for an immediate adventure hook option for my players. It will take some development, but it has lots of potential. Now that I'm thinking about it, I think I need to go back and re-read Devil's Swamp, because Serpent People feature heavily in my campaign as well. @davewire , I am really appreciating your contributions to the community!
  11. I'd add that, if everyone is having fun, that is all that matters.
  12. @Mike M, just to be clear, we're not saying you're doing a bad job or anything. This is your cheering squad. That doesn't mean we don't have opinions about what we'd like to see, of course. I am super psyched for the future of CoC!
  13. In terms of form, yes. But it is Down Darker Trails. I think what people are really saying is that that they want a short campaign for 1920s. Personally, I believe Shadows Over Stillwater is easily adapted to 1920s.
  14. Your point is very well taken and I agree. I do want to pitch to everyone in the audience that you do not have to think of any campaign as a self-contained entity. Many campaigns have sandbox-y, "interim" scenarios that can be easily lifted and put into other campaigns. Granted, this does take a little bit of work and not all scenarios are good candidates. I actually think a big part of the work is simply accepting a different perspective and having the courage to make the change. The key thing for all of us to remember: these are our games. We define how to use the products. Not everyone has the time or desire to "cut and paste" scenarios, of course, and it is overall less work to run from self-contained. An example: Anyone in the audience who has Masks, check out The Derbyshire Horror as a candidate for a "cut-and-paste" campaign mentality. It is well-suited, in my opinion, for four reasons: 1) The characters and situations are compelling and do not need any prior setup. The situation is easily connected into or out. 2) There is the prospect of gaining an ally from the scenario, further strengthening it's connection to the latter parts of a campaign. 3) Mam Tor is a locale located nearby that can be made into anything you want it to be. It became a key location for me. It became the holding place of a three-volume Necronomicon, each volume possessed by a different Spirit. It also contained the "prophecy" that is a huge continual source of dread and anxiety for my play group. Tee hee hee. 4) I don't think it's very difficult to shift the location from England to New England or another locale.
  15. This is a really good point. Diversify, diversify, diversify. All of the existing shorter campaigns are for specific settings or Pulp (Shadows, Cold Fire). I'm certain that the team knows this and is working on it. I am very eager to see The Children of Fear.
  16. I appreciate that course. If Call of Cthulhu is to survive, it must reinvent and grow. That means attracting new players while simultaneously offering something fresh to veterans. Anyone who wants Call of Cthulhu to freeze in time is fighting a losing gaming battle. I've been following the community for several years now as a relative newcomer compared to those in the old guard. I'm a veteran of gaming in general. And man, are there some epically bitter people in the old guard of this game. The typical very loud small number. They work to either prevent new people from playing the game or, more passive-aggressively, telling players that they aren't playing it "the right way." Heck, I've seen it in a post from today. The point is that whenever game designers follow the desires of the loud and bitter, it usually spells doom for the game. I've seen it many times. Gamers simply don't see their lack of PR support as a player as a liability. But it totally is. So, the editors get it, and aren't bowing to this group, and I salute them for that. Heck, there aren't many games of this size where the Director of the Flippin' Line™ comes onto the forums and asks what people want. And to that end, for me personally, I'd rather see something new or one of the classics mentioned by ColoradoCthulhu (BTMOM) than The Dreaming Stone. No offense intended to anyone who wants that. Heck, if we got that, I'd be happy for you. Just throwing in my two cents.
  17. This exact thing happened to me in my last game and my thought process was to put myself in the shoes of the cultist. I was running a scenario in which the Cultist is pursuing the PCs and they could make Spot Hidden rolls to see the pursuit. Multiple rolls succeeded and they got a good bead on their tail. The scenario assumes that they would avoid/Stealth. Not my players. One of them turned to confront their pursuer. At this stage, I knew that the Cultist would run, but I had to be prepared as to what would happen if there was a fight. This cultist had a critical "mission" and needed to escape. So, I reasoned that the Cultist would be willing to severely cripple their pursuer to be able to escape. I also run CoC with the assumption that baddies know "how much Magic" they can handle in a short amount of time. They don't know exactly how many "magic points" they have, but they know when they get "tired" from casting Spells. I reasoned that this cultist wouldn't use all of their Magic Points on a surprise encounter like this. He actually had plans later on that would require Magic Point reserves. In addition, I knew that he would want to really cause a devastating blow to shake off this pursuer. Crippling them was a goal of the situation. This particular scenario described the cultists as murderous in their aims and deliberately wanting to kill the Investigators. So, I was knocking five or six in my head and went with six. Six met all of my "requirements" of the logic/madness the cultist would use in this situation. He might have chosen differently if two Investigators came at him. This all boils down to "think like the Cultist." Are they enraged? Do they need to escape? Do they need a Magic Point reserve for later? Do they anticipate this "fight" lasting a while? (You don't put all your eggs in one basket.) Incidentally, the Cultist had the initiative and lost the Shrivelling opposed roll. The Investigator won their Dominate opposed roll. So, it ended up being a moot point. They used the two rounds of Dominate to bring him closer and make him tell them why he was following them. They then knocked him out and let him go in a place where they were sure he couldn't tail them when he woke up (assuming he was the only one). Had it gone the "other way" I would stand behind my decision. Had the cultist caused a horrific major wound and then ran, it would have given my players a lot to think about: 1) They would get a glimpse of how "bad" offensive spells can be in the game. We've been running an investigation-heavy, combat-light campaign and this would have been their first introduction to one of the nastiest of spells. 2) It might have made them think twice about confronting pursuers in the future. 3) They would have had the knowledge that someone capable of that was still out there and pursuing them. Which is better? Eh, it's what happened. They came out on top in this exchange. Next time there will still be an option for the Cultist to "land a big one" on them. Players drive narrative.
  18. I don't know if community guidelines allow this, so mods, if not, you can delete this post.
  19. Go check it out. This is the second book in Sons of the Singularity's southeast Asian Cthulhu Setting/Scenario book "series," this one set in French Colonial Vietnam. Their first KS was well managed and that book, The Sassoon Files, is well-regarded.
  20. I started in a "new editions invalidate old editions" mindset, having come from DND. I started thinking I would only invest in 7th edition. I quickly realized (because I remained open-minded) that there was this unbelievable back catalog of materials to draw from and started collecting it all. Remember that, as an investigative game, the power of scenarios is in their clues and characters, not the stats. Heck, many monster's stat blocks can be replaced with "You have no chance unless you prepare in these X ways" and it honestly wouldn't change preparation or execution for the Keeper. Call of Cthulhu teaches us to get more from role-playing games than "There is a monster there. We assume you fight it." If you like that, that's great. I like it on occasion. But it barely scratches the surface of sophistication of the kinds of stories you can tell.
  21. Call of Cthulhu is different from many other role-playing games. As Mankcam points out, the conversion differences between even 1st Edition stuff and 7th edition take minutes. CoC has always been one of the easiest games to convert and that doesn't seem likely to change.
  22. I respect the fact that you are contributing free options. Everyone's financial situation is different and it is up to anyone to decide how much they are willing to spend on role-playing games. I think that it is worth mentioning that this is the official message board of a game company. Game companies have to make money to survive. They don't sell product, the game doesn't grow. My goal in creating this post was two-fold: 1) As an information resource to help prospective Keepers. I think it does this. Note that I suggest several free resources as well. and 2) To showcase some of the products available for sale that, as an experienced gamer, I think could be useful to people. You seem to be making the argument that I'm being disingenuous in making a bunch of suggestions for people. I am not saying to buy all these things. The post starts with "Pick up the Starter Set." The PDF costs 10 USD and the physical product is 25 USD. I then follow with a variety of options. I'm trusting the reader to make some informed judgments on their own. I recognize that you also may be interpreting the word "need" literally. I'm using "need" in a very casual way here. When I talk to gamers they ask "What do I need?" and I suggest several options to them.
  23. Copies of the Great Old Ones are difficult to find, but it is available on DriveThru. I don't recall that specific supplement being on the "short list" of updates that have been referenced by Chaosium employees at Cons. I want to say that Shadows of Yog-Sothoth is near the top of the list of old campaigns to get a redux? Regardless, Black Moon Rising is a classic scenario and deserves a look.
  24. Big Edit adding a lot of different resources. Daniel Harm's Encyclopedia, references to Good Friends and MU Podcasts, and Malleus Monstrorum as a great resource for how to play creatures.
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