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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. CoC 7th ed. has gone in the direction many other "modern" RPG systems have taken before it. I.e, with the introduction of meta-gaming mechanics (colloquially known as "brownie points"), players now have more rules-sanctioned influence over the (formerly more unforgiving) outcome of dice rolls, or may even to a degree influence/contradict narrative as determined by dice rolls (ultra-modern, even more "narrative" RPGs are taking this to extremes--pay a brownie point and narrate whatever outcome you want as a player). CoC7 uses Luck as an expendable resource to rectify dice rolls which failed by a small margin. The "Pushing" mechanic allows for re-rolling failed dice rolls once, at the cost of more dire consequences for failing again. And, as you said, Keepers may allow players to make rolls with Advantage, or impede them with Disadvantage. All methods are introduced to soften the traditional, somewhat binary "roll on or under value to succeed" success/failure qualification of BRP/D100 systems. Gone are the days of: Failed your perception roll by one percentile? Sorry, you failed to notice the Shoggoth drooling on your back. You die. (Which incidentally, would never had happened like this at the table of an experienced Keeper/GM. Information rolls should be rolled in secret by the Keeper, and may thus be handwaved into the desired direction at any time.) I certainly would welcome CoC's new player leniency as optional rules within the scope of a modernized BRP. As I would RQ4's mechanic of boosting skill percentiles with other skills (or runes, in this case).
  2. Will the discount code be applicable at the UK Aeon Games store as well? Just asking for us Europeans. 😎 There are definitely some books on that list I wouldn’t mind owning in print.
  3. Thank you for this bit of information. While diversity can be a good thing where it’s warranted, having options to choose from, especially the option to go with something more familiar, may even be better depending on the situation. Thanks for the URL, skimming through it was educational.
  4. Intriguing setting, thanks for the preview. I would like to inquire about the rationale behind using Gumshoe as the setting’s system, though. I’m not familiar with it, yet from what I could glean in the preview, it doesn’t look like anything which I’m currently accustomed to (like, you know, Mythras, BRP, and a plethora of others). From a GM’s perspective, not only do I have to get familiar with ”yet another system” (at least up to a functional level) in order to make it work at the table, I also have to take into account players who aren’t that eager to learn about new rules every time we start something new. I’m grateful for the existence of generic RPG rules, and I prefer to make use of them whenever possible (oh, I do count Mythras as one of them; exhibit A: M-Space). I choose to buy into wisdoms like “the right set of rules for the right setting”, and “ideally, rules shouldn’t get in the way of good, collaborative storytelling” when it’s convenient for me. Yet not having to learn about new rules and justify their use to my players may, sometimes, be even more convenient. What can Gumshoe do (for me, for the players, for the game) that Mythras can’t? Using a d100 rules variant for investigative kinds of RPGs does work, and there is ample proof in the form of CoC.
  5. „It ain’t d100 if you can’t lose a limb.“ Can‘t quite remember right now where that wisdom comes from, but it’s accurate. HP per location is not necessarily deadlier than an overall HP pool per se, but it can be much quicker to inconvenience and hamper characters, leading to potentially deadly situations faster. Case in point: a character that, through an unlucky crit, gets reduced to 0 HP in the groin hit location loses control over his legs (which might both be hale at the time) and falls prone, putting him at a severe disadvantage towards his opponent. So yeah, it’s a good idea to think about which system to use beforehand. 😉
  6. I really like how psionics are handled in M-SPACE (based on Mythras Imperative), and I‘m definitely going to use the whole shebang or parts thereof as I see fit for a sci-fi setting I‘m converting to M-SPACE. Powers, which unsurprisingly are handled as separate skills, are divided into the three domains of Sense, Mind, and Matter, with a total of 31 powers over all three Domains being described in the book. There’s a hint about forgotten domains/powers, e.g. Destruction (Pain), or Weaving (Teleportation). Characters may be restricted to using one domain, or are free to learn powers from all of them, depending on GM decision. Each domain may further be divided into three Power Arcs, with each arc representing a set of requirements that have to be met in order to learn or use powers from that arc, like having a POW of at least 16 to learn powers from the first arc, POW 18+ with one power at 90+% and the lowest at 60+% to learn powers from the second arc, etc. All in all I think this is an excellent and balanced foundation to start using psionics in a setting, with enough room for developing own ideas. Shoutout to @clarence for writing and releasing M-SPACE, I really enjoy it.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.” 😄
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. “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.
  15. 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!
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