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Stormkhan Cogg of Pavis

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About Stormkhan Cogg of Pavis

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  • RPG Biography
    Started 'back in the day' with AD&D, was introduced to an excellent campaign of RQ (Pavis/Valley of Cradles), delved deeper into all RPGs. Became founder member of a games club which, over time, developed into one of the largest in the UK (branches all over the place). While the club grew, I developed a second job - that of freelance RPG/board game reviewer for several UK magazines. Loads of conventions, loads of different games, loads of drinking, socialising, magazines ... yadda yadda yadda.
    After a decade, the club changed, I left to persue other interests - both professionally and developing my writing.
    Still got my games though.
    Now, getting back into things - "old school" games such as RQ, Call of Cthulhu (of which I've had a couple of published bits ages past), Paranoia, MegaTraveller.
    I'm getting my mojo back!
  • Current games
    I live in an area where gamers are scarce. Looking to gingering up some players ... though being in my 50s, it's tough to find contemporaries.
  • Location
    Filey, N.Yorkshire, UK.
  • Blurb
    Middle aged, married, kids, pets, my own business, bills to pay ... but still holding out for 'old school' TTRPG being better than computer-based games. :-D

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  1. Wow, has this discussion taken a turn. The way I see it now, after taking in all the above input, is ... In the initial character creation, the skill of Occult might be considered to be 'Mythos Lite' i.e. some knowledge but flawed and vague. It also can act as a lead-in for a good Keeper. Let's not forget that it can be used to create a red herring for characters leading them into the direction of non-Mythos realms of thought but, advisedly, it can help. After all, the skill Occult can 'remind' investigators that certain days of the year (e.g. Walpurgisnacht) has 'always been associated with the Otherworld and the dead, especially the harmful spirits. And in HPL's own writings, such 'celebrations' figure large, vide The Dunwich Horror, The Festival. If you don't use a skill then, apart from the initial point investment, it won't develop. If the investigator you envisage holds Occult in contempt but in character template needs to allocate points to it, then allocate none or the minimum indicated. In game terms, it can't be taken as Mythos-lite, i.e. SAN loss avoiding knowledge gain because use of Occult doesn't really, directly, involve Mythos subjects. Occult relates to non-Mythos ... er ... myths. Should there be a connection then it will be vague. E.G. Occult studies have recorded the idea of ghouls as spirits or even people who thrive in cemeteries, living off of corpses, but it doesn't arm you with the Mythos concept of the ghoul. The nature of The Occult has changed since the days of HPL, as has the concept of horror. What was, at the time of writing, psychologically terrifying may no longer be. All writing, especially set in a time past of the readers, must be taken within context of its setting. What was scary then isn't now. That said, if we play investigators of the 1920s/30s then we must play them as being scared of things in that time. It's called role playing. Many will have experience of the horrors of Great War trenches - and losing SAN (!) in the process. Hardened to gore, they'd still freak out at seeing a corpse rise! We, on the other hand, mayn't have experienced real warfare but have seen too many zombie movies so might approach animated corpses with a little more stoicism. All in all, I see BRP as being a realistic mechanics-wise, game system but in a fictional world. The SAN rules may not be realistic as in real life but they (mostly) work in the fictional ... er ... real world.
  2. Remastered, perhaps, but it's just as easy - and free - to watch on You Tube.
  3. Point taken, Numinti, but ... Er. The characters in the game CoC are meant to reflect 'real life' characters or professions. The Occult literally means hidden knowledge. Some characters will have this 'hidden knowledge' e.g. a professor in anthropology might know a bit, someone interested in ghosts might know a bit, a fringe journalist might know a bit. Frankly, the title of the skill might be "paranormal knowledge". The thing is, a player might consider "Occult" as a waste of points - so be it. But this skill is useful for the player character to get some hint or insight from the Keeper. " If there's no obvious use for a skill or the uses are too niche or watered down so there's no value for points (ie, the athletics skills) then in the real world, nobody takes them." Um. People pick up skills as we grow, learn, experience. I, myself, am not expert or qualified occultist but after over 40 years of reading stuff, experiencing some very weird events, listening to accounts and attending conferences, I might be justified in having 'occult' as a skill. I didn't chose it as part of my academic career. Thing is, people play role-playing games not to win but to have fun. As you said. There is fun in being a fully fleshed out character, not a Grimm-style Mythos hunter. And having the skill Occult is part of that character potential. Does it 'waste' points? Well, that all depends on your approach to character creation. Arts/Crafts (photography) in the creation of a Private Investigator character makes sense (for a divorce-chasing gumshoe perhaps) but you don't have to add buckets of points in this and, with Keeper consent, you can change the skill emphasis.
  4. This sounds to me, from personal, real experience to be fair. IN REAL LIFE I've experienced huge physical pain but i haven't - and cannot - experience the pain of childbirth. I can sympathise but I cannot experience. I LOVE the concept of 'cuvade'.
  5. Points taken. YOU may be able to move 8m but that's expecting your opponent to let you! I still hold by my questioning: if you are engaged in combat - your opponent being active - you may physically be able to move 8 yards. But your opponent might delay you. If your opponent wants to delay you i.e. swinging at you with a broom handle for instance or tripping you up, or just tipping over a chair in your way, then your full 8 MOV mightn't be possible. Even running to block you from getting to the door (not a chase, mind) affects your ability to move 8 yards! It's not so unreasonable: While engaged in physical, hand-to-hand combat - all characters MOV represent the feet distance they can move, as an addition to their body moves 'used' in combat. They can use this distance to engage or disengage in combat. If they disengage (MOV vs MOV contest win), then their MOV becomes yards.
  6. Aaaaaand that's the whole point of playing the game? We struggle, stay alive, we sneak and snoop - we test what evil can do so that we can find ways of negating it.
  7. Never heard of them. I am enlightened - I shall find them!
  8. Great GIF (what is that from?) but it displays my point. We can move 8 yards ... as long as we are not engaged in other actions such as looking at an opponent's moves, preparing for a response or action, or having the crud beaten out of us! 8 feet allows us a 'response' movement - after all, we're not going to stand there and watch our opponent wind up for a haymaker! Just because we can physically move 8 yards, doesn't mean our opponent will let us. And we might want to run 8 yards but we're not going to turn our back on the thug, to see if he's impressed with our running skills. Let me stress: my point is movement within engaged combat.
  9. The Occult skill could be considered, in game terms, as a general acceptance of something 'out there' but no real knowledge of the Mythos. And let's not discount that the Mythos' existence doesn't preclude the existence of other mythical beings. While the game is sourced on Lovecraftian creations, it can't be forced to make every paranormal event relate to the Mythos. Sometimes a ghost is just a ghost.
  10. In a detective/murder mystery setting, many authors liked well-off investigators: there was no limit on travel, hiring minions to do the 'leg work', bribes, influence with the authorities and so on. Lord Peter Wimsey, by Dorothy L. Sayers, is a prime example. However, even in this paragon of the virtue of wealth, Sayers introduced the loss of the anonymity which is useful to investigators (vide "Clouds of Witness", "Have His Carcass"). Bottom line is, the more the money you have - to divert attention or take part in anti-Cultist investigations - the more the media will watch you. Even in the 1920's, the "bright young things" had a lot of press attention, to supply the salacious stories that titillated the less well-off members of public. They may not have the photographic or computer resources our modern papparazzi or journalists have available now, but even in the 20s-30s, the "gutter press" were ever vigilant to report on the actions of the wealthy.
  11. Beware the temptation of considering what skills are "useful" to players. You select characters, mold them, train them but really, at the core, they should be realistic. (Well, in CoC anyhow. Bets are off for Pulp Cthulhu. ) We all create characters to be "realistic" but knowing what hideous struggles await, we select skills and powers which may help them survive the ordeal. To create a character with "optimum" stats and skills, interests and flaws; that smacks of creating a "winner". And as we all know, at the end, there is no winner 'cause there's no competition. Our characters can achieve goals, gain successes ... but our characters can always just miss personal (to them) success. Part of the fun of any role-playing game is to play a character that isn't perfect or optimum or equipped with skills that allow them to succeed or 'win'. While games lawyers exist, aint no such thing as a cheat mode in table-top RPGS ... or is there?
  12. Incredibly collectible nowadays. Even with the scorching and dodgy smell from being used as a skin-up station.
  13. Hahahahaha. Ahm so old now that I not only have the vinyl LP but I've the VHS of "Up In Smoke"!
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