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About andyl

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  • RPG Biography
    Started playing rpgs in 1982 with D&D, went on to college and moved to Call of Cthulhu, Rolemaster, Runequest and lots of other games which continues to this day.
  • Current games
    Play games over short run mini-seasons, so get to play a lot and even run a bit. Currently planning a Cthulhu in 1920s London game.
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    Member of Regional Peterborough Gaming Society (note the abbreviation). See http://peterboroughrpg.com/ for more details.
  1. Stopping the horror may be finding and dealing with the cultists before they complete the ritual to bring the really bad monsters to the party. It may be finding and destroying (or hiding) some ancient artifact. As well as cultists there are a number of things that a group of investigators could possibly survive attacking and killing (although nothing is ever safe or easy), but there are a lot that they cannot. Knowing which is which is key. Remember as Keeper you are in control of them and one of the key things is to intensify the horror and not just to kill the investigators as quickly as possible. One final option is that the investigators do not 'stop the horror'. I have played in a number of scenarios where we confront a cosmic horror and go utterly blissfully insane as the end-scene. I know you said that you don't really want to kill or drive your players' characters insane, but if done at the climax of the adventure it can be effective. I am sure that your players will get temporary insanities and these should add into the roleplaying - I remember one game where I was afraid of trees (any trees) for a few weeks and I was constantly trying to draw five-pointed stars or make them with twigs (I had seen one be effective when we faced a walking tree; but I didn't know what it was or how it worked).
  2. Yep. The character concept is OK "witch student of the occult" - although witches tend to go to the bad side doing magic and making pact with things that should be shunned. Which should be pointed out to the player (although of course you can run your games with 'white witches' if you want). However the skill of 80% does not tally with being a student. 80% is expert level knowledge of the subject (see the table on page 54).
  3. I play CoC. ISTR Build is for fighting maneuvers. It shouldn't change the attack roll for ranged weapons or even proper weapons like swords. It is more for things like grappling, and throws, and pinning - basically something other than inflicting damage. In Call of Cthulhu fighting maneuvers can give you (or your buddies) a bonus on their next action, or might push/throw the monster/cultist off a cliff or something like that. The combat flow can go a bit like you say - PC attacks NPC. NPC then decides to fight back or dodge. The difference is that if both PC and NPC get the same success level (normal, hard, extreme) then the PC wins if the NPC fights back, the NPC wins if dodging. Later in the round the NPC might attack the PC and the positions would be reversed. For Cthulhu you don't get people with skills > 100% and cannot split your attacks up like that. So it isn't a concern in that game. But generally I think that attacking (or defending) with 120% skill is still better for you because in that case hard is 60, extreme is 30 - and so you are more likely to get a better success level than your opponent with a skill of 90 (hard 45, extreme 22). When you get your skill up to even higher you may want to split it when fighting minions. However this mechanism also changes games in other ways. In Call of Cthulhu if you face more than 1 attack per round you can still respond to each attack at your full skill (although if there are multiple opponents they get bonus dice for attacking) even if attacked 5 times. So obviously being able to react to each attack gives a different feel to a game - it works in Cthulhu because combat isn't really the core of the game, I am not sure it would work in a more combat focused game.
  4. No. If the creature attacks the head you only have 5 points of armour. If it attacks the body you have 12 points. Yep it is still a lot of armour - but then I don't run military campaigns (this sort of stuff isn't available to civvies, or if it is it isn't stuff you walk around in - the cops get nervous). If you know you are going to have a military campaign then you choose your mythos creatures accordingly. Don't go for frontal assaults but use spells and special attacks. A Byakhee draining your blood doesn't care about armour. A Fire Vampire doesn't care about your guns and its damage ignores armour and so on. Plus if the investigators feel invulnerable the more likely they are to stand and fight and suffer SAN loss and go insane.
  5. World of Cthulhu has a rpggeek page - https://rpggeek.com/rpgitem/97659/world-cthulhu and it can also be found at http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/fanbooks.html
  6. On Realms of Cthulhu I think you also need the Savage Worlds core rules (and there are a number of different varieties of those) as well. But my copy of the rulebook is buried in a pile of others and not to hand. Another game that might be mentioned is De Profundis - which is a strange beast, it is GMless and epistolary, but definitely fits as a Lovecraftian game. Also The Laundry by Cubicle 7 is obviously based in the Mythos (as the early novels were) and uses the BRP system. Finally Achtung! Cthulhu is being republished (2nd edition?) using Modiphius's 2d20 sytems. A beta version is available to playtesters.
  7. John Wick's Curse of the Yellow Sign (at least the version he kickstarted) came with the Unspeakable system and you could play using that or CoC. You have (or had) Cthulhu Live for LARPers. Which had a fair bit of support. Also you have Cthulhu For President (the BEER Engine) - although I don't know if anyone has actually played that. I am not sure if you want to mention PDQ - Three Kings - the Achtung Cthulhu scenario came in a PDQ version (as well as CoC, Savage Worlds and I think FATE) but nothing else in that line, including the other adventures in that campaign, ever did AFAIK. Which comes to Fate. We do have FATE of Cthulhu coming out. But there was a game called Post-Cthulhu (published by Starbright Illustrations in 2016) which was a FATE Core game - I haven't seen it but it seems to be set after Cthulhu has risen. The same company also published Fantasy Cthulhu which involved a traditional fantasy setting being invaded by the usual Lovecraftian creatures and gods (also using FATE Core). Another game which I haven't seen is Cthulhu Abides by Jonathan Rowe which was self-published I think. There was also Cthulhu Pulp: Tales From Beyond Pulp for the Pulp Adventure RPG. If you are including free web published games (like Cthulhu Risus) you can also add in Cthulhu Grey and Cthulhu Grim. There was also World of Cthulhu for Worlds of Darkness.
  8. Fictive doesn't mean fictional. All the cities and towns described in MoN depart from the real world - sometimes in small ways, sometimes in larger ways - and so are fictive. Fictive here really just means the Nairobi as imagined by the authors. As the original edition of MoN was written around 1983 the real population for 'modern day' would have been around 950,000, so the figure is still wrong but not quite as bad. Why it wasn't updated for the latest version I don't know. Probably just overlooked as part of the revisions. As to why Nairobi was originally depicted as a smaller town I don't know, but I think in updating MoN there would have been a choice to keep it broadly as described in the previous editions, or go for a more historical Nairobi.
  9. So ride-on lawnmowers and quad-bikes are ride (although the skill to use them is totally unrelated to horses or animals)? Or are you breaking out your ride skill into Ride Animal and Ride Mechanical? For unusual modes of transport my players were using a punt the other night to escape from thralls of Cthulhu (in my reskinned Still Waters on the Blackwater Estuary in Essex). They were not very good at it - and only managed to make it to the bank of the creek because one person was throwing books at the thralls and one was firing a shotgun.
  10. I think it is a bit unfair to call the table that shows the fifths (and half) values a table that you use. If you are OK with numbers you don't refer to it at all. If you are not OK with numbers you refer to it at chargen and when your skills go up. It is never referred to in play like the resistance table was. I find it about the same level of crunch and speed to run. I very rarely have to refer to rules - and then mainly for exactly the same things I have always referred back to. For me it does seem to run faster than Savage Worlds and Fate. Although that may be due to the type of games, and the setting in the case of SW, I run with those systems.
  11. Some SAN loss is of that form. Some is due to seeing something like a ghoul or a deep one. Some is due to seeing horribly murdered people. Getting used to repeated minor monsters or mutliated corpses and such is RAW. It isn't even an optional rule. Reread the last few pages in the Sanity chapter.
  12. Yes I agree. If the OP is doing SAN rolls for dead and mangled bodies then in game they should soon get accustomed to it and no longer make rolls. Same for things like Deep Ones, Serpent Men and ghouls and the like. I tend to have an informal (and unstated) max loss of X (depends on the source) for the lower level sanity threats. After you discover 2 mutilated bodies the third probably isn't such a big shock (unless it is someone you know). Although losing SAN is a major part of the game and you should be taking some losses somewhere. Even playing with an insanity for a while can be a fun thing for all at the table if done well.
  13. Glad you had fun and are still playing. Investigators diving into the action before you (and they) are ready sounds par for the course.
  14. It doesn't work that way. Psychology is a perception skill - for example reading someone's body language. It should have been a Persuade (maybe with a bonus die if you thought their Medicine skill was pretty high and their roleplaying encouraged it - or maybe a combined Medicine/Persuade roll), or a Fast Talk (if they were just trying to bullshit their way in). Intimidate could also be used - especially as a pushed roll if the Persuade fails - "a sort of don't you know who I am, how dare you question me. I will have your job for this."
  15. I wouldn't include Rolemaster because the rolls are open-ended. If you roll 96 (or above) you roll again and add the values, if that is 96 or above you keep going. Similarly it is open-ended on the low end. I think that is a significant difference.
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