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Son-of-the-Furies

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About Son-of-the-Furies

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  • RPG Biography
    1980-1998 AD&D DM & player, 1990-1995 4th Ed. CoC player, 1995-2010 WHF RPG player, 2005 WHF RPG playtester, now getting back into CoC after a long RPG break
  • Current games
    CoC 7th Ed. Keeper
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    Scientist, Artist (oil painter, digital artist), RPG enthusiast (usually the DM, GM, Keeper and sometimes a player), miniatures collector & painter
  1. I agree, insanity should be worked into the game narratively, but...which insanity? Of course, Keepers can fabricate their own insanity-type as they go along (noting that each time a Keeper does so, they are in effect defining the insanity - so, in any case, they are working toward something similar to what I have done above), or they can use a foundation around which to base that narration right from the start, to avoid later self-contradiction (or detailed record-keeping of what effects this undefined insanity type has exhibited in the past). Both approaches work. But if the Keeper needs to narrate the effects of the insanity for an ongoing period of time because it is undefined, that tends to depower the player - the Keeper is playing their investigator for them. At some point (sooner rather than later), the player needs to 'take over' the task of role playing the insanity themself - afterall, this is a role playing game and not just for the Keeper - portraying the effects of the insanity shouldn't be left as an ongoing burden on the Keeper. And for this to happen, the Keeper will need to define the boundaries of the insanity anyway, so the player knows how far they can take it....
  2. Hello fellow CoC gamers, What follows is one Keeper's view and discussion on the subjects of Insanity (sanity), Bouts of Madness, Delusions, Hallucinations, Phobias and Manias. Although this discussion is related to the official Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Keeper's Guide rules, it is not a reflection of them, but an adaptation I have developed and applied in my Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition campaign. Let's start with insanity, or types of insanity as applied in the game. By this I don't mean "temporary", "indefinite" or "permanent insanity". Furthermore, I'm not talking about phobias or manias here either, because these are treated differently and separately to the underlying insanity, for example, it might be possible to cure an investigator of the underlying insanity with psychotherapy while the phobias and manias remain in game effect - so let's just put phobias and manias to the side for a brief moment and address insanity. What I'm discussing here are real world types of mental illness or disorders. When addressing each subject I will begin with a basic definition around which much of this discussion and my house rules are based upon: Insanity: Mental illness or derangement (derangement = disorder). (n.b. the term "insanity" is no longer in scientific use) Keeping in mind the exceptions I made above, the Keeper's Guide does not specify any types of real world metal illness or disorder (i.e. insanity types) that manifest as the underlying insanity when a character "goes insane" - it's simply applied as ... "underlying insanity". To me, that looked like a great opportunity to expand and enhance the in-game possibilities when a character goes insane. Consequently, I developed a table that lists a variety of real-word mental illness and disorder types. When an investigator becomes temporarily or indefinitely insane, I roll on that table to see what category the insanity falls within, then refer to that category table to determine the specific type of mental illness or disorder. The insanity can take many forms and the tables were compiled from real-world online sources. So, for Keepers that wish to add a specific flavour to the underlying insanity they apply in the game, and be capable of providing their players with more direction on how it should be role-played for an afflicted character, it is suggested that they apply a real-world mental illness or disorder type as the underlying insanity. Next, the Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Keeper's Guide includes content involving "delusions" and "hallucinations", usually as a symptom of insanity. The Keeper's Guide appears to use these terms interchangeably when in fact, these are two distinct phenomena. Again, just to be clear from the outset, here are the definitions: Delusion: A false belief or opinion (in other words, a mistake, based on something that does exist in reality) Hallucination: Perception of visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or gustatory experiences without an external stimulus and with a compelling sense of their reality, usually resulting from a mental disorder or as a response to a drug (in other words, perceiving something that does not exist in reality) Even the definition of Delusion provided in Ch. 16 Appendix I: Glossary (p.387) of the Keeper's Guide specifically states the investigator will "...be subject to hallucinations...". One body-text example of the merging of these two phenomena can be seen in the Keeper's Guide page 162 - "...an investigator suffering underlying insanity with delusional sensory information. The only way for the player to sure of what his or her insane investigator is seeing, hearing, touching, or smelling is to make a "Reality Check"." with this notion being carried forward in the next paragraph where the provided example delusion is an investigator's late spouse calling on the telephone. Now, if a Keeper chooses to apply a distinction between the two, it would make a big in-game difference. If the telephone call was really taking place, it would be a delusion if the investigator mistakes the voice on the other end of the line for that of his late spouse, but it would be a hallucination if no telephone call was taking place at all. It is easy to see what a difference this would make for other investigators observing the event taking place. Although the game still works great without needing to distinguish between the delusions and hallucinations, and the "Reality Check" rule is equally applicable for both, I believe that a Keeper who acknowledges the distinction has better direction in what game effect they should be relating to the affected investigator, and also has a broader range of possible effects to draw upon, enhancing the game playing experience for their players. Just as a side note - there are a number of real-world mental illnesses or disorders that only exhibit delusions. The only mental illness type that may exhibit both delusions and hallucinations is schizophrenia. Now, back to phobias and manias. Again, let's start with some definitions: Phobia: A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous. (i.e. a phobia is a type of delusion - discussed above) Mania: An excessively intense enthusiasm, interest, or desire. Phobias usually only have an in-game effect when the afflicted investigator is confronted with the real (in-game) object of their phobia, or they hallucinate that object (in which case the investigator would need to have an underlying insanity type, and further, being a type of schizophrenia that exhibits both delusions and hallucinations - in other words, comparatively rare). The in-game effect of manias on the other hand tend to be more perpetual. And just briefly on Bouts of Madness, I just thought a little expansion and re-jigging of the table would help avoid repetition in in-game effects. Some effects I dropped from the table because I didn't think they played too well in a pre-combat situation (for example, amnesia - the investigator might have forgotten how they got where they are, but when confronted by a monster they will still try to run, fight or defend them self, so it might usually be inconsequential to game play) or merged into a similar effect under a different name. With those foundations for the house rules out of the way, how can a Keeper introduce these considerations into Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition without rewriting the Keeper's Guide? With some new tables of course! Minor changes to interpreting the Keeper's Guide: All the Keeper's Guide content remains valid, with these exceptions: when the Keeper reads "delusion" in the Keeper's Guide, it should be interpreted as delusion or hallucination, or possibly both in the case of a relevant type of schizophrenia. And the Keeper's Guide-defined "Delusions" shouldn't be universally applied whenever a character has underlying insanity, rather, the game effects of "Delusions" are only applied when the character has an underlying insanity of a type that includes the word 'delusions' in it's description (refer to the tables in the attachment). Phobias and Manias remain largely unchanged; however, you will note that on the new tables (attachment), if a phobia or mania is stated (in brackets), then it is an integral component of the underlying insanity type - it is one and the same with that underlying insanity - curing the underlying insanity also cures the integral phobia or mania associated with it. Note: Some phobias, mania, or other mental illnesses (only a few) don't appear in the Keeper's Guide - if this is the case for one that pops up for you, just look it up online for a definition. But all the new underlying insanity types are defined within the tables. Each underlying insanity type has its own unique 3 or 4 letter code that the Keeper should have the players record on their character sheet - a simple electronic search using that code will bring you straight to where you need to go (for future referencing). So, I've compiled an alternative Table VII - Bouts of Madness, a new table for Underlying Insanity types, and 11 new category tables each listing the specific types of real-world insanity within that category. P.S. I realise core rule game expansions like this are not for everyone so please - no hater comments! Otherwise, remark, adopt or ignore this post at your pleasure. For anyone that uses these adaptations in their game, please return and post some feedback. The tables are a work in progress but I think have been developed far enough to share - make any alterations as you see fit. However, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! And as a final disclaimer, I'm not a mental health professional or anything like that, what I have compiled is the result of 2 days internet searching/reading. This content is only intended as an optional gaming aid. I intend on writing some more in the tables, e.g. on the in-game related effects (duration of drug effects, effects on die rolls, credit rating, if any, etc) and will post an update in the future depending on the response. Thanks. Bouts of Madness & Underlying Insanity Tables.docx
  3. From my understanding of the rules, the short answer is no. Fighting back is permitted in melee combat as a result of the opponent moving close enough to the target to strike them, allowing the target an opportunity to strike back (fight back). When the opponent is using a fire arm to shoot, they would not be moving in, so that opportunity does not present itself to the target. If on the other hand the opponent was using a firearm as a melee weapon (e.g. pistol whipping, bayonet strike etc) the answer would be yes because this situation counts as melee combat, not ranged combat.
  4. That's true [Numtini], creating extra skill divisions does spread the PC's OS & PI points out, especially if the player wants greater than average proficiency in both motorcycle and automobile... However, another way to look at it [being niche] is, when it's time to run, no-body else is going to take your motorbike when there are cars around! And in this case, bikes are faster in certain situations, if not always... And can get through tighter gaps... And they are a lot cheaper... Perhaps worth throwing a few points at...
  5. If you are running a campaign with the players in an organisation, I suggest passing this responsibility onto the players. When I was a player, we kept a running journal of adventures (we had a volunteer for this, but if there isn't a willing volunteer, perhaps a different player each session would keep 'events and movements' notes?), so the dead PC's achievements were 'preserved for prosterity', so to speak. This gave the PCs a sense of immortality which helped soften the blow to the player. Also, dead or permanently insane PC's would end up in file (with DECEASED or INSANE writted in red texta across the front, as a record and keep-sake) again as a legacy... New players coming into the group would find this resource quite amusing, especially when the means of death was colourful (which they usually are in this game). And finally, we always had a second PC for each player...in this way, an untimely death wouldn't mean that the player was left with nothing during a playing session...and in a longer gaming session, the back-up PC could be introduced and join in. This also helps soften the blow of a PC loss because the players eggs are never all in the same basket! Oh, and at the front of the journal, space was left for a list: PC's names, date of loss, type of loss (death/insanity), means of loss (brief comment e.g. went insane at sight of a dark young)...
  6. I've played plenty of cricket too so I know what you mean, but, I'd call that a fumble, not a 'fail'! 😉
  7. My interpretation goes like this: (Preamble: The RAW clearly state that ranged attacks are not made as opposed rolls, so "levels of success" are irrelevant and do not come into consideration. Therefore, avoid using terms like 'hard success' and the like when discussing ranged attacks because that terminology should only be used when discussing opposed rolls, and using such terms only add to potential confusion. Although it is true that in order to determine the attackers' probability of hitting at different ranges, we use the regular, hard and extreme difficulty level numbers, the regular, hard and extreme levels of success categories don't apply - they are called "difficulty levels".) Attacker: The ranged attack difficulty level is determined by distance when it is made at Regular, Long or Extreme range (with any other factors, like soft cover, etc. being applied as bonus or penalty die) Defender: Target may Dodge missiles they are aware of when fired upon at Regular, Long and Extreme Range My interpretation of this situation: The missile is on target, or it isn't, regardless of range - if on target, the Dodge roll needs to be made, if not on target, the Dodge roll doesn't, but is still performed in case of a Fumble. With longer distance [long/extreme] there may be 'more time to react', but that argument is 'cancelled out' by the 'more difficult to see/judge' factor, and vise versa for shorter [regular] range attacks). And regardless of whether or not a Dodge roll was successful, the defender was committed to that action, but may act normally on the next round (possible exception - Fumble - Keeper's decision) Attacker: The ranged attack made at Point Blank range is made at Regular difficulty level, with one bonus die. Defender: Target may not Dodge missiles they are aware of when fired upon at Point Blank range, but they can Dive For Cover My interpretation of this situation: The Dodge roll (Dive) needs to be made first because if successful, the attacker must apply one penalty dice (which means the attacker loses the bonus die they would have otherwise gained for shooting at Point Blank range). If the Dodge roll (Dive) was failed, the attacker's bonus die still applies. But in both cases, the diver has committed to the dive, forfeiting their attack for this round, or if they have already attacked this round, for the next round (during which time they can only dodge other blows/shots, or dive again, with the same limitation of actions being applied for a fresh dive). If the Dodge roll (Dive) was a Fumbled, the repercussions would be worse (than as for a failed dive - Keeper's decision)
  8. Haha svensson, I was just in the middle of typing pretty much the same thing... I agree... One shoe does not fit all...!
  9. My first comment is that I think you were a bit quick to move away from the official RAW - they state "If the fleeing character is significantly faster than his or her opponent...", but in your case the difference was only 1 MOV, so IMO the chase was on. Further considering potential hazards, taking corners, etc. would mean the ground-based flee-er (there's some quality grammar for you) is at a disadvantage to the flyer, which means again, the chase was on. Further, I'm not a big fan of the short-cut e.g. 'flying over buildings', woods etc. because realistically, it means intentionally losing sight of the quarry AND possibly making an assumption as to which way they are heading, which in the city, or woods, could be disasterous. I'd only do this to my players if the hunter was on home ground or otherwise knew the terrain so well they are sure to know where they need to fly to in order to ambush/catch-up with their quarry.
  10. I agree with your logic regarding the irrelevance of STR when being shot at... One rough'n'ready compromise would be to simply drop STR out of the equation and halve the Build scores in the existing rules (i.e. Build -1 = 1 penalty die, Build +2 = 1 bonus die on the assumption STR contributed 50% of the Build score). Alternatively, make your own table based on SIZ alone (this table assumes target is not fleeing or actively evading shots). SIZ Nominal Penalty(-) description Bonus (+) Die 1 to 5 (baby - Chucky size) -3 6 to 32 (child) -2 33 to 42 (teen-slim adult) -1 43 to 62 (average adult) 0 63 to 82 (large adult) +1 83 to 102 (Andre the Giant) +2 >102 (Big-ass MF) +3 Or, more realistically, one could also drop the equivalent rule for Fast Moving Targets (MOV-based) and devise a new table based on SIZ and their apparent lateral MOV rate (i.e. if using a flat-trajectory missile like a firearms bullet, MOV has little bearing on a shooters' 'to hit' modifiers when the target is moving directly toward or away from the shooter, so use the table above). But if the target has significant lateral/left-right/strafe speed, this would have an effect on hit probability for a flat-trajectory shot (bullet, bolt), and also for a lobbed-shot** (arrow, molotov cocktail) even when the target is not moving laterally. To remain consistent with the existing rules, let's assume a full MOV 8 equivalent lateral** movement = 1 penalty die: MOV<=8 MOV>8 MOV>=16 SIZ Nominal Penalty(-) Penalty(-) Penalty(-) description Bonus (+) Bonus (+) Bonus (+) Die Die Die 1 to 5 (baby - Chucky size) -3 -4* -5* 6 to 32 (child) -2 -3 -4* 33 to 42 (teen-slim adult) -1 -2 -3 43 to 62 (average adult) 0 -1 -2 63 to 82 (large adult) +1 0 -1 83 to 102 (Andre the Giant) +2 +1 0 >102 (Big-ass MF) +3 +2 +1 * (Alternatively, can't be shot unless other bonus die apply) Feel free to tweak SIZ bands or number of bonus/penalty die to your heart's content.
  11. There are some blank spaces on the PC Sheets - I get my players to use them in cases where skills don't fall neatly within the proverbial square. My approach in this case is to have the PC Sheet entry as Ride Auto (5%), just to acknowledge it is clearly a different skill to both Drive Auto and Ride, but the in-game rules are by and large as per Ride. The rule content for Ride can be translated so as to be more applicable to a 'mechanical mount' easily enough, with obviously Mechanical and Electrical Repair skills being more closely related than Animal Handling.
  12. Yeah, you got it... In your example, a 15 point loss in one sanity-loss event means the victim goes straight to Indefinite Insanity. (p. 156 Keepers Rulebook>Indefinite Insanity) "On losing a fifth or more of current Sanity points in one game “day,” the investigator becomes indefinitely insane."
  13. Yeah, that's a question that only comes up when you don't have the full rules. The full rules would point out that "Some Mythos entities can never be outnumbered by investigators." You would need to look up the entity itself to find out if this exception applies or not. But, assuming the opponent wasn't such a rare and enormous alien entity, just be sure you have noted that the rule states "...has either fought back or dodged..", meaning that this only applies when the character (PC) has already defended against an attack once (P.S. actually, there is another exception here too - if the PC has more than 1 attack, the outnumbering opponents only start getting their bonus die after the PC has been attacked more times than they themself have attacks, but since this is usually only ever 1 attack, it is a rarely applied exception). And also note that the phrase "the character is at a disadvantage" can be subjective to the situation. For instance, if there was a PC with really good fighting stats being outnumbered by (two NPCs) cultists with low fighting stats, the most likely outcomes to the dice rolls would be that the PC succeeds their opposed die rolls, and the NPCs fail their opposed dice rolls. And, because they are outnumbered, the PC gets the option to 'fight back' (or dodge) each time they are attacked, giving the PC 3 opportunities per round to attack with their superior fighting stats instead of only twice, which would have been the case if it was only a one-on-one fight. Sure, the extra NPC will get a bonus die when they attack, but being outnumbered has also meant that the PC has the opportunity to smack up the cultists all the more quickly!
  14. Thanks for the heads-up! For those who take advantage of this deal, for those who already own it, and to Chaosium (as a proposed errata for this scenario), you might be aware of an issue regarding "Walter the pump jockey" (p.7) as brought up by Seth Skorkowsky in his Youtube review of this scenario. I think I may have solved the mystery regarding Walter "the pump jockey" (why he appears to be an NPC but without any detail beyond his name). Walter is obviously the gas station pump attendant, but I think it is he, not Jake Burns [the farmer], who is "now passed out at one of the tables", presumably because he was just struck by Jake's pick-up as he "swerved to miss the gas pumps". This theory is supported by the fact that there is no mention of Jake recovering from unconsciousness anywhere else in the scenario, and that the "farmer [is] babbling incoherently about a "Dead Light" he saw" (meaning Jake is clearly still conscious). Therefore, it would be he [Jake] "sweating feverishly with Sam, the station's owner, fussing helplessly over him [Walter]". This would also explain why there is no NPC sheet/stats for Walter - he remains unconscious the whole time. If the above sounds feasible to you, consider replacing sentence 1 and 2 of the second-last paragraph (Keeper's Notes: Events So Far) with: Looking out into the storm between the flashes of lightning, a farmer’s truck has just swerved to avoid hitting the gas pumps, but in so doing has inadvertently struck the fleeing form of Walter, the pump jockey. Both the shaken farmer and the unconscious Walter are quickly assisted into the cafe. The farmer is sweating feverishly, babbling incoherently about a “Dead Light” he saw on the road, and Sam, the station’s owner, is fussing helplessly over the passed out form of Walter, now at one of the tables.
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