Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by klecser

  1. If you are a new Keeper to Call of Cthulhu, whether a veteran role-player or new to the hobby, you may be wondering what the "tiers" of engagement are for the game. Here is my view of what I recommend at different levels. There is a lot of experience on this board, so CoC vets, please feel free to chime in. Also remember that if you purchase any of these products directly from Chaosium.com, you get the PDF for free with your purchase. Chaosium is really good at packing boxes so it will stay safe. What should I get first? Whether a veteran role-player or new to the hobby, you should pick up the Call of Cthulhu Starter Set. It contains everything you need to get started, plus more. You'll get dice, the basic rules of the game, a solo adventure to help you to start prepping character creation, three scenarios, handouts, character sheets, pre-generated characters and more. If you want to see what's inside, here is my Unboxing of the Starter Set: Veteran role-players may say: "Why should I get a Starter Set? Starter Sets are dumb and not useful." Chaosium is reinventing the Starter Set for the role-playing hobby, in my opinion. This isn't like Starter Sets you've seen for other large RPGs that shall remain unnamed, with a lot of flash and little substance. This Starter Set has depth. The scenarios are all classic scenarios, but with two key changes: 1) the production values and art have been upgraded tremendously and 2) the writing has been massaged to progressively teach Keepers and players how Call of Cthulhu "works" as they play through these scenarios. Two key differences between Call of Cthulhu and other role-playing games are that CoC is investigation-focused, not combat-focused. That means that even experienced role-players are going to find something new with this game. Rather than "gearing up" for an encounter you "knowledge up" in CoC. This also means that CoC is a handout/clue-focused game in which players are handed papers and objects that add to the immersion. The Starter Set includes models of what this is like so you, as Keeper, whether veteran or new, can see what the "prep" looks like for this game. There is more prep than most role-playing games, but that prep is VERY rewarding when you see players reacting to the immersion. What scenarios will help me continue beyond the Starter Set? I recommend these two scenario collections as being excellent for new Keepers: Deadlight and Other Dark Turns and Gateways to Terror. If you only have one Keeper and one player, the one-to-one scenario collection Does Love Forgive? is tailored to you. Doors to Darkness is also designed for new players and Keepers. These scenarios work well as is for new Keepers, and experienced Gamemasters will see opportunities to flesh them out even more. Ok, we played and really enjoyed it! What next? The Keeper Rulebook, for sure. This is the Core ruleset, and will also give you a very rich introduction into the Mythos, how it works, and what your players could encounter (or try to avoid!). The Keeper Screen Pack is another great resource that is also a good value. A solid Keeper screen, two scenarios, a gorgeous map of Arkham, plus more. I'd also recommend that you check out Seth Skorkowsky's YouTube Channel. Seth is, I think it is fair to say, the preeminent Call of Cthulhu YouTuber. He has an 11 Part series walking you through the rules of the game, with tips on how to make them "pop" for your players. Also CJ Leung's videos on How To Play are excellent! After that? Well, that's up to you! By that time I think you'll be developing your own tastes of what you like. Explore Chaosium.com and see what's available. The beauty of Call of Cthulhu is that there is nearly 40 years worth of material to draw from. Everything produced in the past for CoC is compatible with 7th edition with very little conversion time. This game isn't about stats so much as characters and situations. Out of this huge past catalogue, I think a solid intermediate scenario collection is Mansions of Madness. It also just got the first part of a 7th edition release! Mansion of Madness Volume 1: Behind Closed Doors. One of the great challenges of Keeping any role-playing game is how critical the use of description is to immerse players. The Malleus Monstrorum is indeed great as a collection of Cosmic Terror monsters and deities. But I'm going to recommend it here because it contains some great advice about how to provide evocative descriptions to your players. Doing your best with those descriptions can really make or break your ability to help your players get into the terror and squirm in their seats. Check out licensees like New Comet Games and Golden Goblin Press. Check out Seth Skorkowsky's Channel or Bud's RPG Review, or Dethstrok9, or my Channel (RPG Imaginings) for more product unboxings, scenario reviews, product overviews and Keeping advice. Daniel Harm's The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia is an invaluable resource for Keepers wanting to understand the lore of the Mythos better. There are also two major Podcasts with an incredible backlog of tips for running the game: The Good Friends of Jackson Elias Podcast, and The Miskatonic University Podcast. Both have major authors/designers of Call of Cthulhu as hosts. Most of all, feel free to ask questions here. We would love to help you get started!
  2. Part of the reason I don't use miniatures is the cost, so projects like this are most welcome!
  3. I'm guessing that the TC views "sneaking" as a combination of being quiet while moving and being concealed while moving (a combination of sound and sight). And there is a game situation where a Gamemaster expects both to be tested.
  4. I agree. I could have been more clear there. What I should have said was: Amongst the subset that go online for more information, official forums are a common place to go. We still have a huge responsibility in curating our local groups/tables as well.
  5. I want Call of Cthulhu to grow and thrive and be a welcoming place for the influx of new players. I believe that means that experienced players have a responsibility to do a little bit of PR for the game, whether we like that or not. Many of you may feel inclined to ignore me. More power to you. But I’m posting this because I’m trying to actively grow this game and make sure that new players here get the help they need. There are simple steps we all can take that can help us maximize new players. Let’s start with what I consider to be a reasonably agreed upon fact in gaming: Most new players to any game usually go the official Boards/Forums of the company that produces it to seek out answers to questions and ideas. I think that begs the next question: How can we use this board as a vehicle to support and keep new players? I think there are two things that we need to keep pursuing. 1) Veterans of the game need to be active on this board. There is nothing inherently wrong with lurking. If you don’t feel comfortable posting, don’t post. But how might posting here help to affect the feel of this board? Responses on this board do not come rapidly. There are often very few responses to new topics. I don’t think that helps us welcome people to the game. “Most people are on Yog-Sothoth. New players should go there.” Yog-sothoth is a fine thing and I’m there too. But the truth is that most new players don’t know about Yog-Sothoth and are more likely to come here first when they have questions and need ideas. That means that veterans need to respond just as quickly here as there. There is nothing more disheartening to new or veteran players than to ask questions and be ignored. A new player that doesn’t find Yog-Sothoth and then doesn’t get an answer may not feel inclined to continue with the game. “You’re saying I should quit Yog-Sothoth?” No, I’m saying that we should be BOTH here and there! Right now, most of the community is there. The responses come quicker there. And I’m of the opinion that the presence here hurts our mission to attract new players. You can disagree and that’s fine. I just want us to do what’s best, not what passes for ok. 2) We need to gush a “your game is your game and that’s ok” attitude. Gamers that don’t curate the image of their game often find that their game doesn’t grow. We can control the attitude towards Keeper and player preference that exists on this Forum. Most people here do a great job of welcoming new people. One of the things we need to keep striving for is the recognition that different people have different playstyles no matter what game we are talking about. And that’s ok. There is no one “right” way to play Call of Cthulhu. And while I hear that message loud and clear from the Chaosium design team (it’s something I love about them), I think we can do even better to espouse “Your Game Will Vary” here. “How well does my post welcome different approaches to the game?” is a question we can all ask. And if it isn’t welcoming, it may not be encouraging people to stick around. You are entitled to your opinion. Your opinion also sets a tone. How can we be sure that tone makes new players stick around? Please consider ways that we can be part of a positive image for Call of Cthulhu.
  6. Thank you for the suggestions Mike. Good point that I could port any Scenario into the Dreamlands. And perhaps "re-skin" it with a Dreamlands feel.
  7. Eric, your "suggestion" was: "I don't think you're playing the game right." That isn't a suggestion. I didn't ask for your opinion on how I handle my group or how I Keep. I posed specific questions in my post. And you didn't contribute to either of them.
  8. I was wondering this too. Thanks for asking.
  9. My players will likely choose to enter the Dreamlands shortly (this choice is possible in my game) and I want to give them a great experience. The purpose of the excursion is for them to find levels of Gate knowledge that "doesn't exist" in the Waking World. Once again, my spin. They have a Cat of Ulthar ally who has been with them for a while, giving them subtle aid and dropping them Dreams periodically. But, now they will likely choose to walk the staircase. So far, I've mostly focused on Dreamlands 4th and Sense of the Sleight of Hand Man to give them their own "QOUK" but with the end goal of finding the Gate knowledge. I need to rely on published materials for a lot of what I do as I have limited prep time. Tentative plan: 1) Staircase as presented in Dreamlands 2) Intro to the Lost Woods and Ulthar 3) Suggestion to visit Randolph Carter, loosely following the Ilek-Vad chapter of Sense. Along the way they meet the Black Man and get their first real introduction to one of the major Outer Gods of my campaign (so far it has been just lesser independent races). Saving Randolph Carter will get them the knowledge they need. 4) Seek out The Book of Keys and Gates highlighted in Sense. Does anyone have any suggestions for other Dreamlands scenarios that might fit into this? Or other "tasks" they may need to complete in order to "earn" the Book of Keys and Gates? I also considered that training/practice of the Dreaming skill could be a component. They will have to warp their experience to ultimately get the book. I will not be using the "notch" system in Sense. Update: I think that I'd also like to add another sandbox option where they can get a tip to visit a sage/sorcerer that can give them insight on the main campaign villain (Serpent People).
  10. Also worth noting that, even at 100%, a character will still only attain a critical success 5% of the time. 100% skill only guarantees a Regular success. Thanks for posting TC! As others have said, it's your game and you can choose to alter any parameter. There is no rule that says that anyone has to play any RPG "as written."
  11. As an avid Call of Cthulhu Keeper, I've come to appreciate what a well-constructed scenario looks like. Whether sandbox, branching, or linear, there are a lot of potentially great elements that give players and GMs options to tell fun stories. That said, CoC is a game of avoiding combat. Heck, a lot of the rewards for scenarios are based upon preventing a group of people from being harmed or simply getting out alive in retreat. And I love that. But every game is different and it just strikes me as prudent for Chaosium to have IPs that complement each other so well. So, I'm coming to Runequest with a largely DND-focused martial perspective. I'll be the first to admit that I saved scenario reading in my slipcase until now simply because I made the poor assumption that it would be "here is the list of things to fight and where they are." Sweet Orlanth, was I fool. Reading Defending Apple Lane is teaching me how combat might look very different in Runequest from what I am used to. And I like what I'm reading. If you are a reader of DND supplements, you know the drill: "There is a monster here. It attacks the PCs." Absolutely riveting. <<< (That's sarcasm.) Defending Apple Lane is breathing life into the enemies, their goals, and their plans of action. These enemies, in an intro adventure, hold back reserves, have contingency plans, have perspectives for taking and ransoming prisoners, have retreat conditions, and future plans if they do retreat. I'm not saying these things don't exist in DND supplements. They just read as afterthoughts in those supplements, or are tactics/strategies that are "reserved for boss monster entries." And there is indeed an optional boss monster here - Redeye the Boar. But you better take "optional" very seriously before choosing to fight it. You gonna get wrecked. I've always appreciated martial games where things outside your skill set can exist anywhere your characters may be. And anyone assuming that they're going to take out Redeye where he is presented, without a detailed plan, is in for a shock. But I'm not done. I'm also noticing how the reward structure for this scenario plays into the themes of the wider world as a whole. Will you become Thane of Apple Lane? Sounds great. It comes with extensive responsibilities. Head to Clearwine, get recognized, defend the village, watch out for the common good, you have five households under your jurisdiction. The scenario can get the group the classic "home base," but deeply rooted in the culture of the world. That is modeling how Glorantha works at it's finest. It's truly a teaching scenario. As a professional educator, I appreciate sound modeling that invites new players joyfully to the hobby. If you look at the recent Call of Cthulhu Starter Set, that is a case study in game introduction for new players. The revamped writing of those three classic scenarios is coming from the perspective of easing players into how Call of Cthulhu "works." The same thing is happening with Defending Apple Lane. Am I the only one that thinks that Chaosium is just leading the HOBBY right now with writing and production values? I know I'm fan-gushing a bit here, but if not here, where?
  12. klecser


    I did not know that Robin Laws was involved in Runequest. Cool.
  13. I think the key is that there is space for everyone in gaming so long as everyone is welcoming to everyone.
  14. As a person brand new to Glorantha but very experienced with the internet and role-playing, I can't express how much I appreciate this post. In my time, I've seen games rise and fall and an immutable truth that keeps cropping up is that players of any game have a hand in how the game is perceived and thrives. We all have a responsibility to a little bit of PR for games we love, whether we want to or not. I will admit that I have stopped reading some of my posts as the discussions shifted. I have a very positive feel about this board and a super majority of fans have espoused a "YGWV" open approach to gaming! But I can also imagine that gamers with less patience could reach a tipping point.
  15. If, in the family history section, the rolls advise you to "add X Passion," but you already have it, what is the outcome? +20% to that passion?
  16. What about the Sartar Companion? For the last week I've been thinking about getting the Glorantha Sourcebook, but I'm now wondering if the two Sartar books are more relevant for "day-to-day" game execution.
  17. I co-designed and wrote the text for the Star Wars Strategy Showcase puzzles for Star Wars Miniatures that appeared on wizards.com in the mid/late 2000s. Not even close to the level of work it sounds like your wife did. Her name is on my shelves. As an educator, I'm used to being "on camera." I have another YouTube Channel about mechanical pencils with a decent amount of Subs. We all dabble in a lot of things, right? First video is uploading, focusing on an Intro and selecting a Homeland. I'm going to go all-in on Family History for the series. Update:
  18. My mistake. Thank you! I like the idea of a Sartar character learning the Moon Rune secretly so as to "know thy enemy." Lots of conflict possibilities there!
  19. I actually thought you were being coyly political about DND by using strikethrough. 😜 And I take spreading the hobby and keeping it inclusive very seriously and always have. I think one thing that a lot of gamers just don't understand is that popularity and engagement follows the kind of experiences new players have. And you can break a game's community when it becomes too toxic. Boards where experienced players seem more annoyed and standoffish with questions or insights (or don't respond at all) aren't helping their games. 😕 That said, I've decided I'm going to go ahead and post a series of videos about detailed character creation in RQG on my YouTube Channel (RPG Imaginings). I'm not pretending to be an expert. I think it's fun to see new players working through something for the first time. It will not be definitive or the best. I'm doing it because people are more likely to dive in when someone helps them. The first of a multi-part series for each character creation step will go live later today.
  20. LOL, thanks. I'm kind of at "where the hell has RQ been all my life" point right now. The "four food groups" mentality makes role-playing games so bland. The attitude that "these are your choices and here's how its optimized" is just so incredibly asinine, sad and basic. Part of the reason why I've gotten into BRP in general (this and CoC) is because it is a deliberately simpler/more elegant system that compels creative decision-making. Are my examples of use of the Moon ruin kind of on the right track for creative use?
  21. Clearly I need to do a more thorough reading. I think that my DND background is causing me to unintentionally disrespect this setting. Looking back at pages 44-45, I see that each rune has that list of suggested "augments." I love this concept and it's flexibility. A mechanic example might be that I use the Moon rune to try to augment my Spirit Combat? A story/investigative example might be that I encounter some arcane location and I use my Moon rune to try to figure out what magical influence has been present?
  • Create New...