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Everything posted by klecser

  1. Personally, I like both covers. They are different, yes, but every artist has their own style and interpretation. Art has breadth. And while people can have their own preferred styles, saying that a certain art style "should" prevail, when one is not sitting in the editorial driver's seat, is a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. Mike chose a different artist and style than the preference of some. Shucks.
  2. I think that one of the great unspoken divides in the hobby is convention versus campaign thinking. People can be successful with both, but I find that many GMs tend to gravitate towards one or the other, for whatever reason. And there is nothing wrong with either of them, unless they get in the way of Maximum Game Fun. Convention scenario thinking is often fight-this, high-risk, high-death. I think part of the reason for that is that when people take the time to go to a convention, they want "action" to happen, whether that is a natural aspect of the game in question or not. Campaign thinking needs to take a different tack. If there is a high death rate in a campaign, you don't really have a campaign. It is actually just a series of one-shots stitched together with different characters. For people to tell good stories, we have to see our characters grow, learn, and go on journeys. And the best way to do that in CoC is with existential dread and fear of the unknown, not physical threat. The Sanity mechanic is a way to keep track of this. Why not use it to its fullest? If a character dies, the Sanity mechanic becomes irrelevant except in the moment. Of course, every game group is different. Doors to Darkness is very much designed to transition groups away from the "fight everything" mentality of DND/Pathfinder. That can be difficult though, because people do find that fun. So what you see in Doors to Darkness is the compromise: scenarios with monsters that the players can fight, but also plenty of investigative fodder and really beautiful settings. Here is how I switched up Darkness Beneath the Hill: I don't see a spoiler option on my edit bar, so don't read if you don't want to be spoiled: <spoiler>Darkness Beneath the Hill reads as if it assumes that the Ghasts will attack player characters. I played them as intelligent body guards that were more bemused that the players dared to enter the realm, and who waited for S'syaa H'Riss to give them the go-ahead before attacking. But that doesn't mean that they aren't described as incredibly menacing. I had also intended for the players to have the option of working with the Serpent Sorcerer if the conversation went amicably, so I stationed a Ghast in the egg room to deter the players from destroying them. And it not only worked, but it created this awesome encounter where a character with PTSD had a Bought of Madness and attempted to attack the ghast. And it became the party trying to subdue the player to STOP an attack on a ghast. All while the ghast is licking its chops, but clearly subservient to its master. And now I have a campaign situation where the players are loosely allied with First Empire Serpents against Second Empire Serpents, and shaping up to be a lead in to The Two Headed Serpent.</spoiler> So, published adventures are tools. Nothing more. It is ok to not have a convention approach if your needs are different. It is ok to develop beginner scenarios to be more robust if you are ready for that. Your Game Will Vary and that is ok. Don't let anybody tell you that there is "one right way" to play Call of Cthulhu. They're wrong.
  3. Thanks for posting! Think of published scenarios as a set of tools, not an established end point. The challenge of writing scenarios for a wide audience is referencing the myriad of possible outcomes. At the end of the day, investigative role-playing is about investigating. How a scenario is play-tested can have an impact on its final form too. While scenarios do sometimes make the assumption that players will fight it, I approach any scenario as a Keeper with a "this is available for use" mentality. But just because a monster is stat-ed-out or the module says the players should fight it, doesn't mean you can't do better with your players. Also, consider that part of the mystery can be trying to figure out HOW to fight something. And the answer to that question might be something specific, or the answer may be that it isn't possible to fight it. I find that a big part of transitioning players from combat-focused games to CoC is to "prove" to them that combat often isn't a viable option. It's better to prove that through clues than in combat itself. Description can be the most powerful tool here. The more horribly you describe it the more likely your Investigators may see it as foolhardy to attempt direct conflict. Also, consider trying to avoid the "perfect timing" fallacy as a key way to up the horror and minimize the combat-focus. Further reading:
  4. If "off the mark" means seeing the forest for the trees, then I'm happy where I am.
  5. I appreciate the quality of the art that Chaosium commissions and don't think there is any "danger" of this art style miscommunicating the game's flavor.
  6. I don't think its wrong to ask a player if their character even cares about family history either. But is that in the "spirit of Runequest?" I know YGWV is an answer. But that isn't the only answer either.
  7. This is a great question. The answer is that they are attracted to the concept of detailed family history during character creation. They know even less about "canon" than I do. So I can see an argument being made for "make it what you want" and calling it good. I'd like to challenge them to just write a character history that smells of "bronze age" and "mythology-focused" (as opposed to "high fantasy").
  8. Right now I have a prospective Green Elf and Duck. What might be some examples for them?
  9. In what ways would you alter the "Family History" step of character creation rules for Elder Races? Would you alter it at all? The Family History section seems to assume that players are human? Did Elder Races participate in conflicts like The Battle of Grizzly Peak?
  10. His content IS recommended in the Starter Set!
  11. Calling all Call of Cthulhu fans to show their support for ALL Chaosium-affiliated products! http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/2019/
  12. Calling all RQ fans to show their support for ALL Chaosium-affiliated products! http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/2019/
  13. I will update this post as new videos are released!
  14. This is pretty much where I am right now. I discovered Runequest back in April and I'm pretty psyched about it. This Board has been overwhelmingly helpful in addressing my concerns. But then things like this happen: I was trying to be helpful here. And people are essentially indicating that I've committed some sort of Board faux pas simply by asking a designer for insight? It makes me feel like attempts to help aren't welcome. It makes me feel like I'm not part of the "Club." I'm here on loan as a newbie or something, but I'll never really get my "cred" until I'm here for X years. 10 years? 15 years? Until I'm angry about a new ruleset? It's even more strong on the Call of Cthulhu boards. I've been on those Boards for a couple of years and STILL don't feel welcome there, despite countless efforts to try to support new players. Heck, I've sworn off YSDC because the Club mentality there is so ridiculous. Now, I may have misread the situation. That is the point. As a new player, I don't understand what those reacts mean. No one has ever reacted "Sad" to an attempt to help before. I'm an experienced gamer and I've always believed that it is incumbent on experienced players to work extra hard to welcome new players.
  15. I read that more as an example of Keeper adaptation to a particular situation and preserving the spirit of "player acts" over "NPC acts." I'd encourage you to play it in whatever way makes sense in the moment. I think you may be seeking objectivity in a game that is intended to be deliberately more squishy. Call of Cthulhu is first and foremost about role-playing.
  16. So, clearly my comment above is considered "Sad" by people, and I don't understand why. I was just trying to be helpful. Why is it "Sad" to ask a designer to give insight on the design process? It's a rare privilege that we have from Chaosium designers. If you don't want me to be helpful here, I'll stop commenting.
  17. "Opposing skill/Difficulty level: When attempting to hide, the opponent’s Spot Hidden or Listen skill is used to set the difficulty level for the roll. Situational modifiers may also apply (e.g. darkness or loud noises)." Page 77 Rulebook. The NPC is trying to hide. The "opponent" is the Investigator, who sets the difficulty level. An investigator with a detection skill of 50 sets it to Hard.
  18. Everybody has different play styles. In an investigative game, having a tough obstacle can be a real tension builder. This could be both as an obstacle that the Keeper is keeping a monster behind, or as a chase/investigation obstacle for investigators. When exactly will the monster break through? Will the cultist get away in the time it took them to knock down the door? So, your perspective is one of a myriad of options for Keepers to consider. I do not think that advising any Keeper that there is only one right way to do something keeps people playing the game. This Board needs to be all about options if we are to continue to attract new players.
  19. The system has told me that I ran out of my react allowance for today. LOL. So, anyone who contributed, it is appreciated.
  20. It would depend upon the material that the door is made of and how thick it is. It also depends upon how crunchy you want to get. Crunchy: You could add increasing damage reduction to a door based upon its material. Steel and iron doors have greater DR than wooden doors. Oak better than pine. You could have hit points be based upon the thickness of the doors. Page 138, Chase rules: "Sample barriers hit points: Internal door or thin wooden fence: 5 hit points. Standard back door: 10 hit points. Strong domestic external door: 15 hit points. 9” brick wall: 25 hit points. Mature tree: 50 hit points. Concrete bridge support: 100 hit points." Streamlined: From page 83 of the rulebook: "Harvey failed to persuade the librarian to open up, so he has decided to force the backdoor of the library. Harvey has a STR of 20. The library door is made of thick oak, with a stout iron lock, and the Keeper judges it to be particularly strong. The difficulty level is thus set to Hard, requiring Harvey to roll 10 or below (half Harvey’s STR)." Note that, in that case, the Keeper just set a difficulty for Strength.
  21. If I had the opportunity to play RQG, I would play a very interesting "serious" Duck that would stretch the lore to its furthest. Alas, I am the Forever GM of my group.
  22. Call of Cthulhu deliberately establishes skill breaks for expertise for certain skills. 50% is considered "Professional." By the time you have invested enough in a skill to have it at 50% or higher, you essentially are granted skill-specific "professional perks" with it. Once you hit 50 in Spot Hidden or Listen (two of the most critical skills in the game), it is just much, much harder for someone to sneak up on you. Another example would be the Other Language skill. Once you hit different milestones in numbers, you can execute certain communication abilities without making rolls. Example: At 30% you can conduct transactional business without the need for a roll. At 29? Nope. It is an incentive to use skills to proc improvement rolls. A flavor consideration could be that it is harder for you to be BOTH well-hidden AND quiet than it is for you to just see or just hear something. So, the designers (I think) made the decision to make "hiding" more difficult than just hearing or just seeing. @Mike M or @Paul Fricker, am I understanding the design intent behind the "expertise break?" Spot Hidden and Listen are critical investigative skills in the game and the pendulum swings both ways. If we reverse your example and have an Investigator with 50% spot hidden, it is setting a Hard difficulty level for opponents to sneak up on them. The Investigator is so good at Spot Hidden that they have gained a bonus "perk" for investing in the skill. So, it is important to keep in mind what the NPC skill value is for Keepers to be sure the challenge is where they want it to be for investigators. For this specific example I think it is worth noting that this game does not define Stealth/Spot Hidden or Stealth/Listen as opposed rolls. All the game establishes is that the skill level of your detection skill sets the difficulty for Stealth. So, yes, there is no numerical distinction for setting a difficulty level for Stealth if the detection skill is any number over 50. It is all the harder to sneak up on someone who is professionally trained to detect things. That means that is also generally harder to be sneaky in this game than to detect things. A rationale behind that is that it keeps the action and the narrative moving. You have several options here: 1) Option 1 is to play it as written. There is a deliberate numeric bias set up in the game that gives investing in detection skills a point-for-point advantage over investing in Stealth. Its an investigative game and skill points are limited. This gives the player more value in bringing Spot Hidden or Listen to 50. 2) Option 2: House-rule it to what you want it to be. Maybe you want Stealth to be just as advantageous as Spot Hidden or Listen and you remove the "expertise break" of the two detection skills.
  23. I can think of lots of advantages to playing a Duck: Access to potential allies of another culture, access to culturally unique magic, role-playing opportunities, underestimation as strategy/tactics. Creativity isn't a problem for me. It is for some role-players, ironically. But that is why a GM has to know a world well enough to be able to SUGGEST things. That's the point here. It isn't about what my players can/cannot do. It's me learning what I need to learn to model for them what might be possible.
  24. Bill, I don't have a problem with it personally. But I know a LOT of min-maxers. Like, a ton. I don't AGREE with it. But I've dealt with it enough that I now PREP for it for any game. An ounce of prevention...you know how the saying goes. I hate dealing with drama in playgroups and I like to anticipate it as quickly as possible so that I can cut it off, respectfully, right out of the gate. These questions are the questions people WILL ask. Somebody is going to say to me: "Why should I play a Duck when a Duck has X disadvantages?" That mentality is SAD, but it is real. If you play with people who don't ask these questions, you are fortunate. But I sometimes do play with those types of players, and asking these questions in advance helps to avoid a lot of the issues. I need to be able to provide suggestions to keep things moving. This is why my friends and I 1) built our own Con and 2) stopped going to Cons. It was wall-to-wall people criticizing us at tables for building sub-optimal characters. And its part of what drove me to CoC and RQG. So, trust me, this has a happy ending. For the videos, I'm sad to say, I tried to attenuate to optimization just so that I wouldn't get a flurry of comments complaining about how I've built a sub-optimal character. Notice how I did make quite a few decisions that were characterization-based, as opposed to stat-based. I kept my Broadsword even though someone recommended to me it wasn't the most "optimal" choice. Because I envisioned my character with a Broadsword. Does this make me needlessly hypersensitive to something that should be a non-issue? Absolutely. My approach is rooted in being prepared for the bullspit, so that it doesn't stress me out when it happens. See, my number one goal is to give people a good experience. And if I get a min-maxer, and I'm not prepared for it, they may not have a good experience. Right or wrong. Personally, I think min-maxing is sad. People who min-max role-playing games should be playing video games instead. But that's just my perspective, and as a GM, if I stop someone from having fun just because I disagree with their play style, that doesn't make me feel ok about the situation.
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