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About foolcat

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    Disorganized Disciples of ERIS

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  • Location
    Germania Magna, as so dubbed by the ancient Romans


  • RPG Biography
    Bio: Das Schwarze Auge (The Dark Eye, 1st Ed.) - 1984; Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game (2nd Ed.), Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st Ed.) - 1992+; Call of Cthulhu (5th Ed.), Nephilim, RuneQuest (3rd Ed. AH) - 1994+; GURPS (3.5 Ed.) - 1996+.
    Form 2000 onwards in no particular order: GURPS (4th Ed.), WFRP (2nd. Ed.), Savage Worlds (Explorer's Ed.), Mythras, Star Wars REUP, Call of Cthulhu (6th Ed.), Warhammer 40K Deathwatch, Shadowrun (3.01D), Pathfinder.
  • Current games
    Cypher System - Bill Coffin's Septimus (in development); Savage Worlds - Sundered Skies, Deadlands, Hellfrost, Saga of the Goblin Horde; Noir: The Film Noir Role-Playing Game (self-made settings playing in 1940s and 70s).
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    Player, master, writer, inhabitant of fantastic worlds. Wrestling Windows for food, but preferring *nix-like work environments. My preference for writing/developing with LaTeX probably tells a lot, but \relax, I'm just a geek like you.

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  1. Nope, not at all. Still looking for my sweet spot as well, preferably macOS based—as long as “rudimentary, but quick and costing next to nothing because it’s already there” suffices, there’s always page layout mode of Pages. But pretty, it is not.
  2. Soooooo... (running up to confess my complete ignorance on the subject at hand) ... Cubicle 7 didn’t hold the LOTR RPG license itself in the first place? It was my understanding that a license holder (Tolkien/Middle Earth Enterprises of the Saul Zaentz fold) gives a license to a licensee on the grounds that said licensee does something immediate with it, like, produce a game. What was C7’s role in this? I always was under the impression that they are more than just publishers or distributors, because TOR and the buzz around the upcoming TOR2 always seemed to happen exclusively with C7. I had no idea that a third party, which is the actual licensee to boot, was involved. Is that even legal? (last question is tongue-in-cheek, because obviously the arrangement existed, and a LOTR license is nothing to be trifled with) What the balrog is going on?
  3. This is extremely good news! My guess is that this move will enrich and invigorate the “venerable” BRP system as a whole. Just look at what the Mythras Gateway License did for, well, Mythras; it gave us M-Space, which is a very fine example for the quality and creativity that the broad(er) D100 community can bring to fruition. There’s just one caveat, which should totally be quoted in the actual license text as well: “If you believe you’ve come up with a clever mechanic, Greg Stafford already did it.” 😄
  4. Assuming that handheld magnetic rail guns sport some kind of high density energy cell (with enough juice for, say, 20-50 shots), depending on tech level some sort of projectile magazine with a feeding system, either separate from, or integrated with the energy source, depending whether small caliber flechettes (perhaps 40-80/mag) or more massive projectiles (ibidem 20-50) are used high temperature super conductors (HTSC) possible malfunctions could include: failure to accelerate and/or eject projectile (“jam”): HTSC and/or controlling electronics are busted, resulting in no magnetic fields at all, or projectile gets stopped in the barrel as a worst case scenario (.0001% perhaps), this could result in a spectacular barrel burst with high velocity shrapnel failure to feed firing channel (“dud round”): magazine/feeder busted energy cell failure: depending on reliability, cell overheats, ruptures, or even explodes
  5. Contrary to what certain movies would want to make us believe, the right kind of amour can be quite effective against the destructive energy of projectiles[1]. Especially in a SciFi setting in which much advanced materials exist, or even energetic shields that protect against either kinetic and/or other forms of energy. For characters who are not usually wearing armor, automated personal defense systems might be available, capable of momentarily detecting and deterring rapidly approaching lethal forces (for a predetermined number of times before recharging, perhaps), either entirely or to a degree. In a SciFi setting, medical advances might be capable of stabilizing otherwise lethally injured individuals nearly indefinitely, until replacement organs are grown or cybernetic prosthetics are fitted. Depending on the the degree of Transhumanism of the setting, it might even be possible to transfer consciousness from dying or recently dead bodies into synthetic or cloned targets. There could even be offline backups, which get activated on the death of the current instance of an individual (cf. Altered Carbon). In any sufficiently advanced, bright future, death may have become merely a minor setback, so ambush away. —— [1] Stormtrooper armour is the obvious exception. So far, it has been proven to be abysmally inefficient against small, furry arboreal abominations armed with nothing but sticks and stones, single pot shots from handheld sidearms, and wrist-mounted flame-throwers (which, apparently, are hot enough to burn said armour into a crisp within the fraction of a second, but leave the wielder‘s arm and hand completely unharmed). This seems to indicate that it is nothing but white painted cardboard, which must have been a bargain for the Empire.
  6. A bonus to hit is, as @Gundamentalist has correctly pointed out, warranted in your scenario. With a sneaky contact shot the target is completely oblivious of, I‘d go as far as ruling it as an automatic hit, with a dice roll only necessary to determine a possible weapon malfunction. As for a damage bonus due to distance (zero): projectiles shot from firearms have a fixed muzzle velocity, depending mostly on the projectile’s mass and the size of the bullet’s propellant charge, and thus a fixed momentum (= the projectile’s kinetic energy). Once the projectile is fired, this momentum can only deteriorate; it starts to decrease as soon as the bullet exits the muzzle due to drag, the resistance that air offers to the projectile travel. So, the amount of damage a firearm can do decreases with distance, but the RAW forego such technicalities for the sake of simplification and ease/speed of play. Things are harder to hit at greater distances anyway. As for a damage bonus due to the specific hit location (head): well, the CoC 7th edition RAW use hit locations only optionally to determine whether armor might be deducted from damage or not (unlike other flavors of the BRP/D100 family)—a ballistic vest doesn’t protect when being shot in a leg, for example. Again, this is done for the sake of simplification and ease/speed of play. Most Mythos creatures don’t care about being shot, anyway (and are usually not in the habit of wearing ballistic vests). So, GM/Keeper handwaving is, as @Gundamentalist has aptly pointed out, totally appropriate if it serves to further development of the story. I’d go as far as ruling a headshot (especially to an unsuspecting target, i.e. a person not in “combat mode” and thus being without the benefits of an adrenaline rush) as an automatic Major Wound regardless of the actual damage done, so the target would fall prone and fall unconscious on a failed CON check—if it were important enough to me to determine such specifics in the first place. Reading your follow-up description of the situation, it seems to me that there were different expectations between you and your Keeper on how the scene should have played out. I found that when there’s a conflict between what the rules do say (it’s often the lack thereof that sparks misunderstandings) and common sense, the latter should trump the former, and a combined effort should be made to make the former comply to the latter in a satisfactory way for both sides (a.k.a. making house rules). It’s either this, or playing everything with GURPS[1]. And I wouldn’t want to play anything even remotely resembling Call of Cthulhu with GURPS. — [1] The saying goes “GURPS is not a roleplaying game, it’s a simulation.” Given your specific situation, it’s very unlikely that it would’ve played out in the same way that you’ve described it while using GURPS—still possible, but very unlikely. But it would have also taken a lot more time to resolve, only to arrive at an outcome that common sense would have prompted and resolved in a flash.
  7. I’d buy the s**t out of an updated BRP BGB line of books. 😊 Yes, it’d be GM crunch mostly, but as a GM I like having a consolidated, comprehensive rules reference at my fingertips. Especially when mixing and matching rules options to a specific setting. Which I practically do all the time. So what if I decided to use, say, M-Space (based on Mythras Imperative) with the CoC 7th Ed Advantage/Disadvantage rule? To the players, it still looks like the same old basic d100 dice roll mechanics they know well, but with an added twist; two play sessions in, they will have taken to it like ducks take to water. If an updated BRP Rules Companion is ever going to happen, please make sure to get Hans-Christian Vortisch (of Investigator Weapons vol. 1 & 2 and GURPS Tactical Shooting fame) on board to write the chapter on historical, modern, and near-future ballistic firearms. The guy has literally written the book already.
  8. “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.” — Yoda As @Baron said, handle it as an Information Roll, so a secret roll by the Keeper is warranted. Plus, it’s unreliable by its very nature, so even a skill value of 80+% cannot tell anything with absolute certainty. Divination is looking at a probability-space (or quantum superstate) that contains all possible developments, and which gets exponentially larger with every second further away. Like trying to illuminate a pitch-black, growing room with the narrow beam of a flashlight: you can only see small, incoherent spots at a time, and the stuff you see might not even be relevant to you. The experience alone can be straining, if not outright grueling... Additionally, this being a Cthulhu setting: the Key and the Guardian of the Gate YOG-SOTHOTH sees all and knows all. Try emulating it too often, dare treading on its domain uninvited one time too many, you may attract its attention, and inevitably, incur its wrath.
  9. John Snead... that name rang a bell. So I looked at my bookshelf and there it was: Liber Ka, Authentic Western Ceremonial Sorcery for the Nephilim Roleplaying Game by John R. Snead, published in 1997 by Chaosium. It covers casual, ritual, and high magick, and practically reworked the original sorcery system of Nephilim’s core rules from scratch. I guess this book is as close as historical authentic sorcery gets applied to BRP/D100 rules. Might be a tad difficult to find by now, though*. Another favorite go-to book of mine back in the day was Authentic Thaumaturgy by Isaac Bonewits, published in 1998 by Steve Jackson Games. It’s rules agnostic (i.e. not related to GURPS in any way), covers a wide range of topics, and—that’s the good news—it’s still available in PDF. Alas, as for in-game experience using the Laws of Magic... I always found topics like Magick, Kabbalah and Sephiroth, or Tarot to be fascinating to use in a game, yet difficult to sell to players in their entirety. Even if the non-fiction occult stuff fulfills an important purpose in play (e.g., dramatically, narratively, historically, or mechanically), it’s easy for the „uninitiated“ to miss or don’t get the finer points and zone out. This kind of stuff is supposed to be subtle, after all. Except Alchemy. Alchemy is a solid, down to Earth (ha!) approach of manifesting magical principles. It might even lead to funny little side-quests like „hunt for the other kidney“ (channeling Pratchett here). In any way, Blesséd be! ————— *) It would be soooo cool to have all of the old Nephilim books be made available in PDF. I‘d surely kickstart it!
  10. You guys are generous. 😊 And being reminded about Reign of Terror, which has been sitting on my list of things to buy for a while now (alongside Shadows over Stillwater and Berlin the Wicked City): you guys are coming to SPIEL fair in Essen, Germany this year, are you, @MOB? Please? I always like to meet and chat with you, and pick up some books while doing it.
  11. Oh well, Nephilim, the occult heartbreaker. I still own every book published back in the day (the sigil formed by the spines glows in the night of a supermoon, I swear!), yet I never got around doing anything with it. But what a source of inspiration it has been for me, and still is. You‘d think that with today’s (renewed) interest in all things mystical and supernatural, a game like Nephilim would fall on fertile ground. Look at TV shows like, well, Supernatural (15 seasons!), Grimm, American Gods & Good Omens (excellent Gaiman weirdness, both of them), Warehouse 13, Travellers, and even Lucifer: hidden worlds galore! Popular shows like Westworld and Altered Carbon, while clearly being SciFi, ponder questions like „what is consciousness anyway, and can it be transferred?“ Alas, when I asked Jeff two years ago at Eternal Con about their plans for Nephilim, it was clear the game was on the back burner, if anything. Which, of course, is their prerogative, having two hot irons in the fire already with RQG and CoC. Concerning Nephilim incarnation and awakening in player characters, I‘d handle it less like a body snatching thingy, but more like an epiphany: while you clearly and presently remember living your life as John Doe so far, suddenly there‘s more; you can remember living as one Jane Doe in the 70‘s; and before her, another face in the mirror. Then there’s a whole chain of faces, fading back in time; all of them themselves, yet behind all of them, the true name of the ageless entity that is you. And you’re asking yourself the age-old question (again): „The breath of the flute player, does it belong to the flute?“ 😉
  12. This sounds like a lot of fun! Both in a professional and, well, fun way. I envy American students for the flexibility of their curricula. The same thing happening at a stuffy German university? Unthinkable!
  13. Read a thing a while ago, can’t remember it verbatim, but it said something to the effect of: whenever we read old books (or personal conversation for that matter), we are invited to visit past times with the author; we get a glimpse through the eyes of a writer at the world as it has looked for him and his contemporaries (no-one writes in a vacuum), and we should respect this. We may marvel at or be thankful for how the world has changed since then, but we shouldn’t take neither author nor his work out of their temporal context and judge either by our “modern” standards. But that’s just what people do these days. Omit context, ignore historical facts, and slander past world views, because seemingly modern sensitivities are surly the only ones that are right, are they not? Thing is, they really didn’t know better back then. In centuries to come (if they come at all) they will say the same about us.
  14. They must have done something right. 😎 Congrats, folks! You deserve this. Qualities like excellence and devotion are not out of style, as your work shows, and this is acknowledged and appreciated. @Jeff Lasst die Sektkorken knallen! 🎉😄
  15. Done and done. 👍
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