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Everything posted by ragr

  1. You'll be best off by guiding the player to create a "field agent" type character and suggest that they invest in skills that will help with the front line of investigation; things like Spot Hidden, Stealth for the physical acquisition of clues but also Persuade and Fast Talk/Charm for dealing with npcs. They will probably also need a fair amount of physical skills in case the fieldwork gets dirty and violent. The character can then have a small network of support npcs who deal with the more technical side of things when the investigator brings the clues to them for adding detail, things like Astronomy, Science, Occult etc. Those npcs don't decide what the clue means they just reveal what they are as you don't want the player to use the npc as a safety blanket; you don't want the investigator to keep coming back to the npc throughout the scenario. You could also consider using some of the Pulp Cthulhu rules, especially the Luck rules, which can provide a measure of outcome control for the player without erasing the danger as they still have to make choices about when to use them. At the table it's really just a matter of ensuring that when something potentially investigator killing is close that you signal it so the player has options. My experience of 1-1 indicates that the biggest difference from a "party" game is that you're looking to make the one investigator be and feel competent to investigate rather than blundering about like a fish out of water. If you're using existing scenarios then check the SAN losses; if the scenario has sudden, heavy losses then avoid using it; if it has a few low and slow drip losses then it's the kind of creepy or odd scenario that'll probably work well 1-1. That's what works for me.
  2. For sheer lunacy it has to be Jack Nicholson in The Shining. For bouncing back and forth it would be Toni Collette in Hereditary.
  3. It's only come up in a minor way so far in the Masks campaign I'm running. As we go forward I think it will become more prominent and may, as you allude to, make that particular investigator all but immunised against the effects of Sanity loss; the player wants to take some time out in the journey to Egypt to learn one of the spells picked up in London so the Talent will have obvious benefits when wielding magic. There may be some balancing factors that are more outside of the purview of mechanics so it'll be interesting to see if and how those develop; I'm not going to restrict the Talent now as it was chosen in good faith by the player and there is still the threat of death rather than insanity and it's possible that a perceived immunity to the latter may precipitate exposure to the former. If you asked me outright though I would say that I do think it's OP.
  4. A part of me wonders whether there was an intention to slap a pre-condition or a restriction on Resilient and that assumption made it through to the example but was missed from the talent description. Resilient seems a little strong when compared to a lot of the other Talents, which is what piqued my interest; not to mention the fact that one of my player's investigators has selected it for MoN.
  5. I may be missing something obvious here but; On Page 25 of Pulp Cthulhu it lists Resilient as; may spend Luck points to shrug off points of Sanity loss on a 1 for 1 basis. Under Luck spends on page 61 the example for Halving Sanity Loss states: Dirk sees an awful monster and fails his Sanity roll. The Keeper rolls and gets the maximum Sanity loss of 20 points. Dirk’s player decides that now is not a good time for Dirk to lose it, and so states he is spending 40 Luck to halve the Sanity loss to 10 points. Dirk also has the Resilient Talent; his player decides to spend 5 further Luck to reduce the Sanity loss by 5. Dirk is now losing only 5 Sanity points but has spent 45 Luck points in doing so. (Note that this is the wording form the errata update.) My question is: Why doesn't Dirk just spend 20 points of Luck from having Resilient rather than spending 40 on halving the loss and then another 5?
  6. Thank you for the kind words, Ronnie; it was a pleasure having you on-board. Are you still okay for this run too?
  7. I'm going to be running the above DG scenario on the dates below using Google Hangouts; roll dice however you see fit, video essential. It will use self generated pcs not pre-gens.The tone is mature, gritty and realistic.The dates I've put aside for it are all Mondays and I've gone for 4 which should be the maximum needed. It’s planned this far ahead due to my needing to fit work in around gaming.December 14th & 21stJanuary 11th & 25th.7:45-10:15 (GMT)I have one spare seat at the table and if anyone is interested or wants to know more than feel free to post below. Rich
  8. Personally I'd just use a Language roll for the language being faked and the same with trying to work out a regional identity. The result of the roll might pinpoint things more accurately. I tend to the simple though.
  9. I didn't put anything in the gap between Peru and New York. I asked the players to explain whether and how they'd stayed in touch with JE in the intervening period and what they'd be up to in respect of their various professions. I then asked them to use the Training rules on pg98 of the Keeper's Book to mechanise any improvements they'd been working on. It worked out okay and when they met up again prior to the fateful meeting with JE it felt like things had changed a little with them but the shared experience of Peru remained; we staged a reunion dinner scene.
  10. We had the dropped gun situation in my Masks game on Saturday. A cultist had felled an investigator with a spell and the gun was lying next to their prone body. Another investigator, now in mortal peril, wanted to grab the gun from the floor and desperately shoot the cultist. It didn't feel dramatically significant to just let them grab the gun as an action, but allowing them to pick the gun up and fire felt too pulpy. In the end I offered them the choice to either grab the gun and fire off shots with a penalty die or to grab the gun as an action and then be free to fire next round without the penalty. In the end they took the option of the penalty die, added a further penalty die by shooting three shots but received one bonus die for being at point blank range. This added a lovely range of dramatic choices for both myself and the player. The game doesn't need complex actions listed that cover every eventuality, just a touch of negotiation to go with some relatively simple mechanical risks and benefits.
  11. It doesn't have to be that way with DG. It's a simple task to tone down the horror aspects, with the associated SAN loss risk, and turn it into a less military and more investigative process. The whole go insane and/or die scenario process is usually a result on player/keeper expectations in a one-shot scenario and it's an easily fixed problem if you think it is a problem.
  12. The only one that stands out as being completely unsuitable to a simple conversion would be Grease Monkey - even then I guess a tinkerer of mechanical devices would work, ex-military using ballistae, onagers or scorpios. I don't think using any of the others will cause many headaches.
  13. Adapt the ones from Pulp or have your players do it and get some investment. But then I like an easy life.
  14. What might ease your workload is to get hold of Cthulhu Invictus, either version, which contains a wide variety of suitable Occupations.
  15. In terms of plausibility and realism you can't go far wrong with Michael Connolly; as a former crime reporter with a lot of connections his books drip authenticity. Checking out either his Harry Bosch series of books or the just as superb Amazon tv series will have you covered for anything US based, and LA in particular. For something set earlier it has to be Raymond Chandler for the 30s or Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series which goes from the 50s onwards.
  16. It depends a lot on whether or not we intend to continue with the same characters or not. If it's a one-shot I'm happy to reveal a little more about what was going on although, as klecser stated so well, the game was more about what the players did in it than what was going on. As an aside, I remember running a convention game with a player who I knew from previous experience was a well known "picker of faults". This guy approached me after the game and asked loads of questions along the lines of "what was going on with x, y and z?" I donned my cape of maximum stoicism and answered each question with "what did you think was happening there?" Wasn't asked about things again, strangely; although that's 20 minutes of my life I'll not get back. Spend to gain. If it's a campaign game with ongoing characters then the answer is usually no because knowing what was going on will have an impact upon what goes on next, even in a different scenario. What I might do is encourage a player with such concerns to investigate those questions and loose ends in character - I can then turn that into a future scenario and one that is very personal to that investigator, a real opportunity. Missed plot threads aren't biodegradable so they always return in a different guise at some point, so they never get given away; they're a precious resource. There is no difference between a planned npc and one made up on the spot. If someone was important enough to the players that they had to be instantly created then they were important enough to have been planned. The only absolute truth I've found is not to have a group debrief where you'll reveal something because not everyone in the group wants the same things and some players want to know what was happening and others are happier walking away with mysteries. A private chat or an email/PM serves better for this. I am happy for players to shoot the breeze as a group but I can neither confirm nor deny their speculations.
  17. With Gumshoe, when you use an Investigative Ability you automatically get any clue that is considered "core" and there is no dice roll involved. For instance, your character walks into a crime scene and you as a player announce that the character is using Evidence Collection to search the scene. No dice roll, you automatically find that bullet casing that the amateur killer left behind. Or was he a professional hitman that was disturbed and had to rush? Did the casing roll out of sight and into a vent? With Gumshoe you get the clue but interpreting it is up to you. What the "core" clue does is get you to the next scene - presumably the ballistics lab or maybe the local firing range if you have an established contact. You can Spend a point of Evidence Collection for additional information but this isn't the core clue it's the cherry on top - maybe your idea about the killer being hurried is confirmed because there's additional tell tale signs of a rushed search for the casing. In some other games, possibly including Coc, the Keeper might have you make a Spot Hidden roll to get that information. What this is a debate about is what if that roll fails and how do you handle it in a game like CoC. Core clue? It's not too difficult if you give it some thought and never was. Not as easy as slating other games, of course.
  18. That's cool, would be delighted to have you on board. This will be the first time I've run this newer version of DG myself and I know two of the other players have yet to try it so there'll be a slight voyage of discovery in any case. The core rules are pretty simple in any case and are pretty much contained within pages 40-75 of the Agent's Handbook, so if you get a chance to read them great, if not, we'll cope. So far we have the following characters: Earl Kincaid, agent with the ATF Barry Rivera, investigator with the EPA. I'll drop you a PM with a little more information. Rich
  19. I'm going to run the above DG scenario on the dates below using Google Hangouts; roll dice however you see fit, video essential. This might be the beginning of an occasional series using various DG scenarios and will be for an official DG group. It will use self generated pcs not pre-gens.The tone is mature, gritty and realistic.The dates I've put aside for it are all Tuesdays and I've gone for 4 which should be the maximum needed. It’s planned this far ahead due to my needing to fit work in around gaming.July 21stAugust 4th & 18thSeptember 1st.7:45-10:15 (GMT)I have one spare seat at the table and if anyone is interested or wants to know more than feel free to post below. Rich
  20. The skill fail and follow up investigation stall was a problem in some games but not all. I think this really depended almost entirely upon the type of Keeper you had and I have heard some horror stories of sheer bloody mindedness by Keepers/GMs that led to the game stalling completely and them deriving a perverse pleasure from that. Fortunately, my experiences of this are limited to maybe two occasions and for the most part Keepers have facilitated forward movement either through fail forward style options and/or good scenario design with multiple scene entrances. It probably only takes one really bad experience to turn someone off. Gumshoe fixed a problem if you had that problem, for me it's just a good system on its own.
  21. Mechanically the balance is delivered by the SAN cost; the character will be aware that each time they cast these spells they're one step further towards a total collapse of their mind. One is also limited by the box as a conduit - how safe from harm is that box when unattended? Who knows about the box? That should play on the character's mind. Socially, and it's a brilliant touch having only one investigator able to cast these spells, this character could soon draw some unwanted resentment, suspicion and even envy from other pc investigators. Why is is you that can fly to safety on a whim? You left us to face the beast? What are you becoming? This could be the best balancing method of all. On a first glance, those look full of story possibilities.
  22. I think it's just a broad hint that repairing magical things can restore their power. It just puts a concept in place for the investigators/players to recall; probably the latter given long term survival probability.
  23. I would say that it reduces the use of Pushed rolls if there's Luck available, especially when Luck is at a high point; that's certainly been my experience of running MoN with the Pulp Luck rules albeit not in a pulp style. I suspect that when Luck begins to get low then we'll see the emergence of more Pushed rolls, which may mean that when things get desperate it will do so in a more pronounced way.
  24. I've just finished reading it through in preparation to start running in a couple of weeks - I've read previous versions as well - and the guys above have pretty much nailed the differences. The only additional thing I'd throw in is that the writers have cleaned up some of the uglier parts of the campaign in terms of societal attitudes and they've done it in a very light-handed way so as not to eradicate historical context completely if it's something your group is comfortable exploring.
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