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klecser

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Everything posted by klecser

  1. I think you mean "rules-g33ky." You missed a big opportunity there. I'm honor-bound to point it out.
  2. Last video is up (see first post)! Thanks to all of you for your feedback!
  3. I use a generic 50 for skills that I need for Call of Cthulhu so those options make total sense to me.
  4. Is RAW, "read as written?" MGF = Maximum Game Fun?
  5. Last night was my first time GMing Runequest. As a veteran GM of DND (all versions since 2) and Call of Cthulhu, the challenge for me was making sure that I effectively communicated just enough Glorantha lore, system feel, and fun all in one evening. I think it went well. I did a lot of prep for this game, with most it focusing on making sure I had blocks of text to introduce lore, and that my players had the resources to engage with the combat system. Example: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10uZrm72-Sd6_CAA0L8tWetBnomVZqw9Bw2QHuetI2zA/edit?usp=sharing I recognize that there are probably errors in that document. Feedback is appreciated. Try to see all the newness through a new player's lens! Cattle Raid spoilers to follow. My players chose from among a pre-selected sub set of the starters. I included the complete rules text of every one of their spirit and rune spells, including the stat for the rune they were associated with next to it. The goal being to not have to flip through a book or packet in order to know what they could do. I began by reading the "blurb" at the start of the QuickStart and added in some specific information about the Dragonrise. My players were really interested in the in media res aspect of starting with a cataclysmic event. I began by just having them walking through Apple Lane and seeing a sign advertising the need for a group of heroquesters to protect local cattle. This was a good opportunity to emphasize some culture of Glorantha and I had them make some culture and homeland rolls. The fruits of these rolls were gaining some reasons as to why their characters would want to take risks to protect cows. I tied these reasons to their passions as well, particularly loyalty and devotion to temples. This provided a further opportunity to talk about passions and augmentation. I introduced Brightflower, who served as a strong intro NPC to give them further reasons to help. I also used this as an opportunity for them to introduce their characters using the italic text on the sheets. Brightflower played off of each one after they gave their little speech and I used her as a vehicle to give the players some insights into the motivations of their characters, given how new everything was. The big challenge of the first adventure of a brand new game is that players really don't even know what questions to ask. So, as GM, my job becomes finding creative ways to feed them information from the adventure text questions, without it seeming canned. I think I did a good job of bringing up some things to get them thinking. They took the job and suggesting bothering after Brightflower offered the 50 Lunar. They lead with room and board as an add-on, but Brightflower was so impressed with their Critical success roll on Bargain that she upped the sakkar fee to 100 Lunar. She fetched Heotarl (who I nickname Tarl, because I find Heortarl awkward to pronounce) and they set off for the Gejay Hills! I portrayed Heortarl as written in the text, being a bit overeager towards heroquesting. I went and had him express marriage interest in one of the Adventurers as a way to introduce the "forwardness" of Glorantha social custom. My players did a great job of playing off of what I was doing. I was able to include in the information that Heortarl is designed to give the players about ignorance of the ruins, as well as setting up the Orlevings as an antagonist. Upon arrival at the herd, I used Jareena as a counterpoint to Heortarl, with her chiding him for his "frequent proposals" to young women. One of my player's played Nathem and asked if she could send her Shadowcat on a scouting mission. I wasn't sure how to play this, given that I don't know the extent to which trained Shadowcat's "follow orders" like familiars in DND. So, I had her roll Nathem's Beast Rune. She got a regular success, which I deemed as not good enough for the Cat to go wandering off away from the safety of the fire. I wasn't trying to say "no," so much as do what I thought was realistic. I also wasn't interested in her losing her shadowcat by it just being eaten by sakkars, although maybe that was the most exciting play. Let me know what you think about that? The group followed the cattle the next day, as written. My players made judicious use of Scan and Search to find some sakkar scat. One of my players rolled Critical on Scan and noted a significant rustling in the grass right before the sakkars attacked. Cattle Raid suggests that the sakkars don't want to fight humans. While I totally understand that from a Runequest flavor perspective, I was getting the impression that my group was ready for action, and it was starting to get late anyway. So, I elected to have them fight to the death. Here is the map I prepared for the encounter. Solid lines are increasing elevation and dashed lines are decreasing. The X is where the sakkar attack occurred, and the circled letters refer to the herders. T is HeorTarl. I asked the players how they planned to move with the herd and they elected to spread out. I deliberately made the scale large to increase the tension. I also made a point to emphasize with them that the down slope towards the upper left of the diagram leads to Orleving farm lands. My players did discover that the Varmandi had been grazing within Orleving boarder stone boundaries prior to this. This close proximity made them appropriately nervous. The sakkars attacked! My plan was to keep them near the kills and to feed on them, until anyone chose to intervene. With my players being spread our over the whole map, the challenge was getting them involved with combat and not be sidelined just because of positioning. Vostor was the only one close to the attack, and he elected to use his javelin as a melee weapon. A big part of this first combat was players figuring out "how this works" and I think they did a fine job given the newness and circumstances. They did a good job of attempting augments with skills like bargain, homeland, culture, etc, but really struggled with the idea of augmenting weapon attacks. This is my fault because I could have done a better job of emphasizing that weapons could be augmented too! The "it is whatever it says on my character sheet" mentality is potentially a barrier for people coming over from other games, because skill augmentation is pretty novel for most role-players. Mobility was the most commonly used Spirit Magic and the player playing Yanioth was absolutely dead set on making the biggest Earth Elemental possible to deal with the threat of the sakkars and I couldn't blame them. The beginning of the combat was a brief introduction to how Strike Rank works and the logic of it was well-received by my players. The first few rounds were largely positioning rounds and getting out of the way of cattle. I had the cattle split into three main groups, and having the map really helped here. Players really had a lot of positioning choice and many of them were adept at "finding the gaps" between the three groups to avoid being trampled. Everyone had to make at least one DEX roll and nobody was trampled! But the THREAT of the trample played out really well and definitely influenced the sense of threat. Vostor immediately took a savage gut swipe to his abdomen from the big male sakkar. 17 points to that one location! I basically was fudgy on the movement rules during this section. I recognized that the scale I provided for the map was perhaps a little too much on the harsh side for the combat, as some players were starting hundreds of meters away from the battle. They used Mobility and full moves to get there as quickly as possible. On the other side of the coin, I recognized immediately that I had set it up risking a lot of players just being straight up irrelevant in the battle. Which is not a good thing. So, that resulted in some generous movement responses to player decisions. I didn't play it perfectly by the numbers, because if I did, it really would have punished some players who basically made the logical choice to protect on all sides. That said, Harmast was close enough to Vostor to be able to get to him with a healing potion. We did the Strike Ranks accurately (Dropped weapon, 5 SR take out potion, 5 SR administer) but I did fudge the movement a little. With mobility, Vasana and Yanioth were able to cross the field and get to the threat by the fourth round. Yanioth dropped all four of her Rune points to make a medium elemental and used it to engulf the female sakkar. Vasana trampled it's head with her Bison, killing it. Harmast made a special success sword attack against a failed parry of the male sakkar and it went to the head! It didn't quite do triple damage to the head, but given that it was at less than zero main hit points, I called it a beheading. Where was Nameth this whole time? Nameth ran after Heortarl to guard against any shenanigans with the Orlevings. I had Nameth see two riders in the distance. She (the player) grappled Heortarl to prevent him from doing anything stupid. She wasn't able to wrestle him to the ground. Deseros and Erlanda approached and I played out the expected threats between them and Heortarl. Kari did a great job of rune and passion augments to bargain with them. With a great speech, a logical augment, and a good roll, she talked them into only taking half of the cattle from this sub herd! So, all told, the group only lost 18 cattle and managed to eliminate the sakkar threat. Yes, I know that cuts across the "sakkar run" tactic of the scenario, but based upon the combination of time, table feel, and this being their first adventure, I felt that it was appropriate to have a longer fight. Even if that cuts against the "monsters and people flee" rule of Runequest. We did get the cultural thing in at the end with Nameth and the Orlevings and the negotiation. Most importantly, they want to play again. So, the current plan is to play Defending Apple Lane for our next session! Questions: 1) What do you think about the Shadowcat situation above? Do Shadowcats "follow orders" like familiars? Whether they can or not, how would you have avoided an effective "no" under that situation? 2) Is an elemental's damage physical or magical damage? In other words, does Armor apply? I wasn't sure in the moment, so I made it physical, with the hope being that Yanioth would roll a 4, 5, or 6 on its damage to overcome armor. She rolled a five, and it was appropriately epic, but I'm wondering if I played it correctly. It just seems odd to me that you'd drop four rune points to control an elemental, roll a two for damage result when it engulfs, and have the elemental do no damage to a foe with armor. Seems a potentially huge waste of a large rune point investment. 3) I wasn't sure how creatures with natural weapons "parry," so I just used their claw statistic. Correct? 4) Any skill not in any NPCs list happens at base value, correct? The biggest aide that was missing was a list of skill base values, and I will have that for the next session. Thanks for reading!
  6. Written by @EpicureanDM: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sqmq88ratu5s6go/Newcomer's Guide to Runequest's Strike Rank Combat v0.5.pdf?dl=0 And @g33k, I always appreciate your critical analysis! I'll be doing a short write-up on how it went (spoiler: very well), but when we got to combat I ended up allowing move and attack. The decision was more a table-management one and I think when I explain what happened you'll see why I did it that way. Stay tuned. And here's my report!
  7. I'm not one of the designers, but I think the simple answer might be that Luck doesn't apply to Monsters. Period. So if a mechanic like Burn relies on Luck to avoid, the monster just suffers Burn. I don't know that this is correct, but it seems to fit the "kill it with fire" conventional wisdom of the game, and it is how I would rule it in my game. Consider consulting this discussion (couldn't find an equivalent here at BRP): https://www.yog-sothoth.com/forums/topic/30368-burn-damage-7th-ed/
  8. Hey everyone, Tonight is my rescheduled first Runequest game as GM. I'll be running Cattle Raid for players experienced with 5E and Call of Cthulhu, but completely new to Runequest. This will be my first time running Runequest too. I have lots of handout resources to make things run smoothly, and all character Spirit and Rune magic printed out for them so we can focus on fun and decision-making. I'll post a report with some photos and then get to making my last "I Make A Runequest Glorantha Character!" video! @Bill the barbarian Quick question: Quickstart says "Those moving up to half of their usual movement allowance may also participate in melee, cast a spell, etc." If my move is 8, and I move 5 (5 SR), why can't I use my readied 6 SR weapon and attack on SR 11? Update: Reading the ridiculously detailed Strike Rank master document, it is clear that the answer is: "because that's the rule."
  9. I know what you're referring to. In DND, for example, AC boosts. I've always viewed damage reduction to have a very clear implication that is fairly universally applied across many games. Damage reduction subtracted from damage. And in that case, stacking DR for armor worn on completely separate parts of the body seems completely strange to me.
  10. I also did not mean to imply that you aren't proud of all your work. My apologies if I unintentionally implied that. I was just trying to suss out in my brain reasons why there is "suddenly" a leatherette for a setting book.
  11. Hey @MOB, I'm just curious. Would you be willing to share with us what kind of decision-making goes into what gets a Leatherette and what doesn't? Not everything gets a leatherette. Is the leatherette pictured just for staff, or will it be made available to the public? If public, is the group particularly proud of Berlin, hence investment in a leatherette?
  12. I'm just curious as to how you see that going. Someone puts on a helmet... And then puts a helmet on top of the first helmet? Why would a helmet on your head stack with armor on your body? What games do you know of where a head piece stacks with a body piece?
  13. Thanks. He seemed to really enjoy it! I did my part in asking him what he wanted to do whenever he hadn't suggested a course of action for a while. But he was a natural. He was absolutely delighted to sacrifice himself at the end for the good of the party. I could imagine him being at other tables and being told "No" over and over again whenever he was actually creative. I think we did a good job of modelling for him what "giving" RPing is all about.
  14. Here’s my report! Note that it gets progressively more positive as the day goes on, so stick with it! My Free RPG Day began by going to my FLGS to find that they didn’t get in any product. So, off to a rough start. The worker told me that that they tried to order but weren’t allowed to use a credit card this year because the endeavor is under new management. So, by the time they got to doing Paypal, the FRPG people were out of boxes. So, kind of a sour start, but I had plans for later in the day and I’m fortunate that Omaha has a ton of game stores, so I knew that somebody had to have gotten a shipment. Perusing online I found that, sure enough, another FLGS got product. So, I went in and found that they were giving away any two choice items for free. I got what I came for: The Kids On Bikes Mini-Campaign. Yay! I thought about taking a second item, since it was allowed at this store, but I just wasn’t keen on any of the other offerings (even the dice). This Day was pretty Paizo-heavy, and I don’t play Starfinder or Pathfinder. So, I just decided to leave a second item to a gamer who’d really get some use out of it. I will say that the scenario on the table for Starfinder did look cool. Nice production, art, and a funny alien. Now to the Main Event (cue arena music). The sibling store of the first store I mentioned had a person running Call of Cthulhu in the evening! The store policy (and rightly so, in my opinion) is that priority is given to new players. So, I figured I’d show up, and if it was full I’d just watch/help with rules questions. I wore the arcane symbol Cthulhu-themed shirt one of my players gave me last year. OBVIOUSLY. I arrived on time and found an experienced gamer (Len-Keeper) and a much younger guy (Brandon) at the back table. Plenty of open slots. Honestly, for this area, I was excited that we got to play. The area is dominated by combat RPGs (no offense intended) but that just isn’t my thing. Well, here was an older gent who it wasn’t his thing (he was very interested when I mentioned Runequest) and a younger kid who was “sick of” Adventurer’s League-style DND and wanted to try something new. Bless his heart, and as soon as we heard that, Len and I were extra determined to give him a great experience with Call of Cthulhu! We chatted for a bit about how Call of Cthulhu is a different style of game than DND and that getting into combat is generally a bad idea. Brandon understood this immediately (some people don’t). He picked Nevada Jones from the Starter as his character and I picked Jessie Williams. She seemed to be a good compliment to Nevada. Len ran Deadlight. I hadn’t read it in a long time and the opening scene kind of reminded me of it, but I couldn’t remember any of the particulars. So, it was just like I was playing it fresh. Len was a good Keeper. He was especially good at description and evoking mood, which is something I’m continually working on as a Keeper. So, he was a good Keeper for me to learn from. *Deadlight spoilers from here on-skip to after three asterisks for summary* * * * We were driving along the road on our way back to Arkham when we saw a shape on the road. Nevada clipped the figure with the car and nearly crashed it. Jessie ran out into the rain to see if the figure was ok to find a woman in a white dress raving about “the light” and how it had “taken my grandfather.” I got her back into the car and out of the elements while Nevada checked the car and found it to be ok, just a bit stuck. He pushed while I hit the gas and the three of us headed down the ride, driving much more slowly this time. I asked the woman her name (Amelia Bell) and about what she saw. She said that her grandfather was “attacked by the light” and that she had run away from the situation. All along the drive we saw a light in the woods a hundred or so yards off… Up the road we found a semi-truck jackknifed across the road. This made it completely impassable due to the mud on either side, but there was a nearby diner/gas station that we took shelter in. We walked in to hear two men arguing with each other and Doreen, our waitress got us all set up with coffee. Jake, a huge guy with a truckers logo on his hat was also speaking about seeing lights. In this case, they caused him to jackknife his truck. Jake was pretty heightened and at one point grabbed Nevada by the scruff and got real intense. We managed to talk him down and set out to find out what could be done to get back to Arkham. Jessie’s character sheet says she is religious, so I played it as if she was in a bit of denial about the weird happenings around us (resisting the Mythos). I nonchalantly asked Doreen if she knew the people who lived nearby and through that conversation learned about Dr. Bell living back up the road on Orchard Road in the direction we had come from. Doreen mentioned that the phone was down but I went to check on it to see if I could use Mechanical Repair to work on it. I failed my roll, but Pushed and got an Extreme success. There was nothing wrong with the phone and the wires leading out of the building seemed intact, so I resigned myself to the fact that there wasn’t anything I could do about that. Nevada suggested we go check Jake’s truck to see if there was anything that could be done. Forging out into the rain, there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with it, other than it being jack-knifed and in the mud. We asked about an adjacent repair bay since old gas stations frequently had repair stations attached. Sure enough, there was one, and we went out to see if we could find any tools or pulleys that could help us work on the truck, even though that seemed like a long shot. Jake went with us. The power went out when we were in there and Jake started to get agitated. He ran out into the rain desperate to get his truck going. We still hadn’t found any equipment so Brandon and I were very much in “what would our characters do?” moments. As players we knew the guy was probably doomed, but we both agreed that our characters would likely be focused on the task at hand so we just “waited for him to get back” (ha ha). We saw a light near the truck and assumed that Jake found a useful tool and headed out to investigate. I waited on the other side of the truck while Nevada peered around the corner. He saw Jake flat on his back on the ground with a flashlight spinning slowly nearby. He snagged the flashlight and noted that Jake’s face looked distorted. Not burned. More melted. Jake sat bolt upright and screamed. We made SAN checks and Brandon passed. I failed it, but took less SAN because I didn’t see the full details of what was transpiring. As Jake stood up, bright light was emitted from his mouth and eyes and his whole upper body seemed to liquify. We ran and the light seemed to retreat back into the woods. I tried to encourage everyone in the diner to get away from the windows and head into the back. Something was going on here and my religious upbringing caused my character to focus on keeping people safe. People were hesitant to follow such weird instructions but we did our best to explain and got people in the back. We searched for a fuse box and found all of the fuses intact! At this point, Mary the waitress started to get really agitated. I asked her why she was so upset and she pulled a gun on me! She said that she wasn’t going to wait any longer for her boyfriend to show up for the robbery they were committing. I gave a little speech to try to calm her down and the Keeper gave me a 10 percent bonus on a dismal Persuade skill level, given my speech. I critically failed and immediately requested a Push, leaning on how I just wanted to get all of us to safety and the future mattered more than her past. My Pushed roll succeeded, and I spent Luck to turn it into a Hard Success. This calmed Mary down and she put the gun away. Realizing that agitation seemed to attract “the light” I hatched a plan to get Doreen to get everyone some marshmallows to try to lighten the mood around the fire. While doing this, Mary disappeared. We saw her running out to a car behind the repair bay! Knowing that may be our only option for helping others escape, we ran out into the rain after her. When we arrived, Mary was being consumed by “the light” and both Nevada and I took SAN hits before we fled back. Piecing the bits of the puzzle together, Nevada and I agreed that we weren’t likely to make any headway at our current location. It wasn’t safe to be outside on foot and the power and phone options were dead ends. So, I made the audacious suggestion that we go try to help Amelia’s grandfather. We headed back up the road with the light trailing us the whole way. We found Amelia’s grandfather’s place. We brought her inside and immediately found a sitting room with a ghastly sight (in retrospect we could have done a better job of protecting her from any imagery). Amelia’s grandfather and her two robbers were laying dead on the floor in various stages of “melting.” There was also a metal box/chest that was opened in the room. It looked like the seam had been sealed with wax in the past. (Seems to be the source of an imprisoned entity of some kind? Hmm.) Amelia went catatonic. We found a working oil lamp and decided to explore the rest of the house. I stayed with her while Nevada explored the kitchen and an adjoining room. No clues. We switched off “custody” of Amelia and I found a crowbar and the study. Nevada searched the pockets of the grandfather and found a small key and a pocket watch. He also stoked the fire. The study was a Call of Cthulhu player’s DREAM! A bookcase! A desk! 😜 With no Locksmith skill, I went to my Crudely Use Crowbar skill and forced open the desk drawer. Sorry Nevada, your key is useless now. 😉 My Spot Hidden roll was a fail. I Pushed it, with the aim of trying to categorize the desk material into piles to make it easier to search. I critically failed my Pushed roll (!) and my kind Keeper just made my light run out of oil (rather than setting the desk on fire). I resigned myself to being a failure in that room and traded off with Nevada again. Nevada found an accounting book (neither of us have Accounting), but more critically also an old leather-bound journal with strange writings (squeal). In perusing it he found references to a set of detailed steps related to the wax-sealed box. It explained how to imprison “the light” within the box with a sacrifice. Given that it was just Nevada, Amelia, and I, the “sacrifice” option was particularly maddening to consider. Thankfully, it also mentioned that extreme heat, electricity, or daylight could potentially “kill” the entity, but that if it hid during daylight it would just return the next night. Nevada gained 1 Cthulhu Mythos and took 3 SAN. Our last investigative push was to try to see if we could get the lights of the house back on. The Keeper mentioned that there were no wires that seemed to lead into the house. I suggested we try to find a basement. We found the door leading into the blackness and made our way down some dangerous steps, making our DEX rolls. Sure enough, there was a generator in the basement. We tried to pick it up to carry it upstairs with the intent of taking it to the people stranded at the diner. We failed our Strength rolls. Amelia screamed. I yelled to Nevada to get the generator running and I went to grab Amelia. “The Light” was moving through the house towards us. I succeeded on a Fighting Maneuver to grapple her and began to drag her to the basement door. Nevada got the generator running after several failed attempts. We got down into the basement and the entity followed us. Without a ground state, Nevada plunged the business ends of the generator wires into the entity, killing it, and himself, but saving Amelia and I. His hat rolled towards me and I put it on. Jessie will wear that hat every day from that moment on as a reminder of her friend, Nevada. * * * What a blast! I had been Keeping for so long that it had been years since I got to actually play Call of Cthulhu myself. I was fortunate to have enthusiastic people at the table and an experienced Keeper. We rounded out the evening with some “war stories” of our various gaming groups, the challenges of trying to bring Call of Cthulhu to a general audience very much focused on combat gaming, and some potential plans for future games! Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! Enjoy this? Consider subscribing to RPG Imaginings on YouTube. Lots of CoC unboxings, reviews, etc. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC9EqFqKBETCBse8JuOOYOg
  15. Here’s my report! Note that it gets progressively more positive as the day goes on, so stick with it! My Free RPG Day began by going to my FLGS to find that they didn’t get in any product. So, off to a rough start. The worker told me that that they tried to order but weren’t allowed to use a credit card this year because the endeavor is under new management. So, by the time they got to doing Paypal, the FRPG people were out of boxes. So, kind of a sour start, but I had plans for later in the day and I’m fortunate that Omaha has a ton of game stores, so I knew that somebody had to have gotten a shipment. Perusing online I found that, sure enough, another FLGS got product. So, I went in and found that they were giving away any two choice items for free. I got what I came for: The Kids On Bikes Mini-Campaign. Yay! I thought about taking a second item, since it was allowed at this store, but I just wasn’t keen on any of the other offerings (even the dice). This Day was pretty Paizo-heavy, and I don’t play Starfinder or Pathfinder. So, I just decided to leave a second item to a gamer who’d really get some use out of it. I will say that the scenario on the table for Starfinder did look cool. Nice production, art, and a funny alien. Now to the Main Event (cue arena music). The sibling store of the first store I mentioned had a person running Call of Cthulhu in the evening! The store policy (and rightly so, in my opinion) is that priority is given to new players. So, I figured I’d show up, and if it was full I’d just watch/help with rules questions. I wore the arcane symbol Cthulhu-themed shirt one of my players gave me last year. OBVIOUSLY. I arrived on time and found an experienced gamer (Len-Keeper) and a much younger guy (Brandon) at the back table. Plenty of open slots. Honestly, for this area, I was excited that we got to play. The area is dominated by combat RPGs (no offense intended) but that just isn’t my thing. Well, here was an older gent who it wasn’t his thing (he was very interested when I mentioned Runequest) and a younger kid who was “sick of” Adventurer’s League-style DND and wanted to try something new. Bless his heart, and as soon as we heard that, Len and I were extra determined to give him a great experience with Call of Cthulhu! We chatted for a bit about how Call of Cthulhu is a different style of game than DND and that getting into combat is generally a bad idea. Brandon understood this immediately (some people don’t). He picked Nevada Jones from the Starter as his character and I picked Jessie Williams. She seemed to be a good compliment to Nevada. Len ran Deadlight. I hadn’t read it in a long time and the opening scene kind of reminded me of it, but I couldn’t remember any of the particulars. So, it was just like I was playing it fresh. Len was a good Keeper. He was especially good at description and evoking mood, which is something I’m continually working on as a Keeper. So, he was a good Keeper for me to learn from. *Deadlight spoilers from here on-skip to after three asterisks for summary* * * * We were driving along the road on our way back to Arkham when we saw a shape on the road. Nevada clipped the figure with the car and nearly crashed it. Jessie ran out into the rain to see if the figure was ok to find a woman in a white dress raving about “the light” and how it had “taken my grandfather.” I got her back into the car and out of the elements while Nevada checked the car and found it to be ok, just a bit stuck. He pushed while I hit the gas and the three of us headed down the ride, driving much more slowly this time. I asked the woman her name (Amelia Bell) and about what she saw. She said that her grandfather was “attacked by the light” and that she had run away from the situation. All along the drive we saw a light in the woods a hundred or so yards off… Up the road we found a semi-truck jackknifed across the road. This made it completely impassable due to the mud on either side, but there was a nearby diner/gas station that we took shelter in. We walked in to hear two men arguing with each other and Doreen, our waitress got us all set up with coffee. Jake, a huge guy with a truckers logo on his hat was also speaking about seeing lights. In this case, they caused him to jackknife his truck. Jake was pretty heightened and at one point grabbed Nevada by the scruff and got real intense. We managed to talk him down and set out to find out what could be done to get back to Arkham. Jessie’s character sheet says she is religious, so I played it as if she was in a bit of denial about the weird happenings around us (resisting the Mythos). I nonchalantly asked Doreen if she knew the people who lived nearby and through that conversation learned about Dr. Bell living back up the road on Orchard Road in the direction we had come from. Doreen mentioned that the phone was down but I went to check on it to see if I could use Mechanical Repair to work on it. I failed my roll, but Pushed and got an Extreme success. There was nothing wrong with the phone and the wires leading out of the building seemed intact, so I resigned myself to the fact that there wasn’t anything I could do about that. Nevada suggested we go check Jake’s truck to see if there was anything that could be done. Forging out into the rain, there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with it, other than it being jack-knifed and in the mud. We asked about an adjacent repair bay since old gas stations frequently had repair stations attached. Sure enough, there was one, and we went out to see if we could find any tools or pulleys that could help us work on the truck, even though that seemed like a long shot. Jake went with us. The power went out when we were in there and Jake started to get agitated. He ran out into the rain desperate to get his truck going. We still hadn’t found any equipment so Brandon and I were very much in “what would our characters do?” moments. As players we knew the guy was probably doomed, but we both agreed that our characters would likely be focused on the task at hand so we just “waited for him to get back” (ha ha). We saw a light near the truck and assumed that Jake found a useful tool and headed out to investigate. I waited on the other side of the truck while Nevada peered around the corner. He saw Jake flat on his back on the ground with a flashlight spinning slowly nearby. He snagged the flashlight and noted that Jake’s face looked distorted. Not burned. More melted. Jake sat bolt upright and screamed. We made SAN checks and Brandon passed. I failed it, but took less SAN because I didn’t see the full details of what was transpiring. As Jake stood up, bright light was emitted from his mouth and eyes and his whole upper body seemed to liquify. We ran and the light seemed to retreat back into the woods. I tried to encourage everyone in the diner to get away from the windows and head into the back. Something was going on here and my religious upbringing caused my character to focus on keeping people safe. People were hesitant to follow such weird instructions but we did our best to explain and got people in the back. We searched for a fuse box and found all of the fuses intact! At this point, Mary the waitress started to get really agitated. I asked her why she was so upset and she pulled a gun on me! She said that she wasn’t going to wait any longer for her boyfriend to show up for the robbery they were committing. I gave a little speech to try to calm her down and the Keeper gave me a 10 percent bonus on a dismal Persuade skill level, given my speech. I critically failed and immediately requested a Push, leaning on how I just wanted to get all of us to safety and the future mattered more than her past. My Pushed roll succeeded, and I spent Luck to turn it into a Hard Success. This calmed Mary down and she put the gun away. Realizing that agitation seemed to attract “the light” I hatched a plan to get Doreen to get everyone some marshmallows to try to lighten the mood around the fire. While doing this, Mary disappeared. We saw her running out to a car behind the repair bay! Knowing that may be our only option for helping others escape, we ran out into the rain after her. When we arrived, Mary was being consumed by “the light” and both Nevada and I took SAN hits before we fled back. Piecing the bits of the puzzle together, Nevada and I agreed that we weren’t likely to make any headway at our current location. It wasn’t safe to be outside on foot and the power and phone options were dead ends. So, I made the audacious suggestion that we go try to help Amelia’s grandfather. We headed back up the road with the light trailing us the whole way. We found Amelia’s grandfather’s place. We brought her inside and immediately found a sitting room with a ghastly sight (in retrospect we could have done a better job of protecting her from any imagery). Amelia’s grandfather and her two robbers were laying dead on the floor in various stages of “melting.” There was also a metal box/chest that was opened in the room. It looked like the seam had been sealed with wax in the past. (Seems to be the source of an imprisoned entity of some kind? Hmm.) Amelia went catatonic. We found a working oil lamp and decided to explore the rest of the house. I stayed with her while Nevada explored the kitchen and an adjoining room. No clues. We switched off “custody” of Amelia and I found a crowbar and the study. Nevada searched the pockets of the grandfather and found a small key and a pocket watch. He also stoked the fire. The study was a Call of Cthulhu player’s DREAM! A bookcase! A desk! 😜 With no Locksmith skill, I went to my Crudely Use Crowbar skill and forced open the desk drawer. Sorry Nevada, your key is useless now. 😉 My Spot Hidden roll was a fail. I Pushed it, with the aim of trying to categorize the desk material into piles to make it easier to search. I critically failed my Pushed roll (!) and my kind Keeper just made my light run out of oil (rather than setting the desk on fire). I resigned myself to being a failure in that room and traded off with Nevada again. Nevada found an accounting book (neither of us have Accounting), but more critically also an old leather-bound journal with strange writings (squeal). In perusing it he found references to a set of detailed steps related to the wax-sealed box. It explained how to imprison “the light” within the box with a sacrifice. Given that it was just Nevada, Amelia, and I, the “sacrifice” option was particularly maddening to consider. Thankfully, it also mentioned that extreme heat, electricity, or daylight could potentially “kill” the entity, but that if it hid during daylight it would just return the next night. Nevada gained 1 Cthulhu Mythos and took 3 SAN. Our last investigative push was to try to see if we could get the lights of the house back on. The Keeper mentioned that there were no wires that seemed to lead into the house. I suggested we try to find a basement. We found the door leading into the blackness and made our way down some dangerous steps, making our DEX rolls. Sure enough, there was a generator in the basement. We tried to pick it up to carry it upstairs with the intent of taking it to the people stranded at the diner. We failed our Strength rolls. Amelia screamed. I yelled to Nevada to get the generator running and I went to grab Amelia. “The Light” was moving through the house towards us. I succeeded on a Fighting Maneuver to grapple her and began to drag her to the basement door. Nevada got the generator running after several failed attempts. We got down into the basement and the entity followed us. Without a ground state, Nevada plunged the business ends of the generator wires into the entity, killing it, and himself, but saving Amelia and I. His hat rolled towards me and I put it on. Jessie will wear that hat every day from that moment on as a reminder of her friend, Nevada. * * * What a blast! I had been Keeping for so long that it had been years since I got to actually play Call of Cthulhu myself. I was fortunate to have enthusiastic people at the table and an experienced Keeper. We rounded out the evening with some “war stories” of our various gaming groups, the challenges of trying to bring Call of Cthulhu to a general audience very much focused on combat gaming, and some potential plans for future games! Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! Enjoy this? Consider subscribing to RPG Imaginings on YouTube. Lots of CoC unboxings, reviews, etc. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC9EqFqKBETCBse8JuOOYOg
  16. If I've learned anything in the few years I've been supporting Bud online, it is that he has integrity and it was completely a collaboration!
  17. Thank you MOB. In all fairness to that commenter, I have an "educator mentality" when it comes to helping people learn games. We do more than the bare minimum that is needed to help someone. My expertise is NOT in gaming, even though I've been gaming for 27 years. It is in learning and cognition. That makes Keeping and teaching games more natural for me. And helping someone understand something means taking the time to help them navigate the nuances. It also means that I'm a bit more persnickety about holding people accountable for doing their best, and that sometimes gets me into trouble on online forums and Kickstarters. If you're interested, I also put my skills to use at Spielbound.org as Education Coordinator. I'm also a Michael. http://spielbound.org/education
  18. So here's my followup question: Do you find it harder, equally difficult, or easier to do sandbox with solo investigators?
  19. As I continue to think about this, I see a couple of big challenges for solo scenarios, but also still see great potential. I'm sure that you've already thought of these Jon, and I'll be the first to admit I haven't read far enough into the text of the scenario yet. So, if these bases are covered already, I wouldn't be surprised and I'm not trying to patronize you or anything like that. 1) An unwritten rule of investigative role-playing is that you do indeed split the party during some parts of the Investigation phase to save time. You can elucidate the results of "what happens at the cops," "what happens at the Hall of Records," and "what happens at the Library" really quickly if a set of teams divides and conquers. This option isn't inherently available to a solo investigator. So, I can see benefits in solo scenarios of the Keeper heavily suggesting clip files, hiring of flunkies and contact NPCs playing a bigger role. I think it would be useful to write this nuance of Keeping into solo scenarios. 2) The general style of a solo game is also going to be different. I see a solo investigator avoiding combat like the plague as a general rule. This potentially influences the style of threat that they can effectively face, how they face it, and whether certain threats are even on the table. It does set up the possibility of a LOT of chase (flee) scenes! I'm not saying don't challenge the player. 3) I think you did the absolute right thing by including three pre-gens to "write towards." A home-built solo investigator could find themselves completely useless in a particular scenario. Consider the "hireling" idea too, if it isn't already in there? Once again, not telling you how to do your professional work. Just giving a Keeper's/Player's perspective!
  20. Was gonna respond immediately, but I decided I probably shouldn't comment until I read it. So, I bought it. First Impressions: 1) You have a really good value going here. Having both a full color and print version of your scenario is greatly appreciated. The stat page and image of the threat will also save so much time. I can tell you think like a Keeper. Thank you. 2) The text is very well laid out, great selection of handouts and detailed investigation. It will take me some time to read through it. That's a compliment. Of course, neither of those things have anything to do with the 1-on-1, but they should definitely come first. I'd rather get a quality product of any type rather than a subpar one that happened to be 1-on-1. I just realized that you wrote a lot of the Age of Cthulhu products. I'm currently using both Starfall Over the Plateau of Leng AND Timeless Sands of India as background for my own take on Yithians for my players in the Dreamlands. (I have a Yithian Dreamer NPC using the Dreamlands to expand their research.) To your original question: I really like the option of two people being able to game together and the Keeper not having to spend copious amounts of time converting group scenarios to solo scenarios. It saves a lot of time. From a player standpoint, there is a reason why the saying goes: "It's dangerous to go alone." The fewer players there are, the greater the tension. It makes sense for someone to leverage interest for [insert name of other company's product] and bring it into CoC. So, the combination of the care you put into your scenarios in general Jon, plus the concept of 1-on-1 Cthulhu, is a must-have for me. Keep up the great work! Michael RPG Imaginings on YouTube
  21. Update: I just told one of my players who is playing a character born into an Italian family to add Own Language (Italian) to her character sheet.
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