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Dethstrok9

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Posts posted by Dethstrok9

  1. Welcome back everyone, this is Dethstrok9! Today, we have a very special guest! Dennis Detwiller is a writer, designer, and illustrator for some of your favorite games like Magic the Gathering and Delta Green.

    We're going to interview him and see what he has to say about a number of topics, including MtG, DG, the Video Game industry, working for Wizards of the Coast, co-founding and running Arc Dream Publishing, why KickStarter revolutionized the industry, Call of Cthulhu and its impact, and valuable advice for game designers just starting out in the industry!

    Dennis is the four-time winner of the Origins Award for game design, and the thirteen-time winner of the ENnie Award for RPG excellence. His books Delta Green and Delta Green COUNTDOWN are the highest rated RPG products ever, according to RPGnet and RPGgeek, and he has 9 products in the top 100 RPG products of all time.

    I encourage you to check out the interview. This far exceeded my own expectations, as Dennis' answers were extremely thought-provoking and filled with useful industry information. It's also pretty short, just over 30 minutes:)

    Thanks for reading, I hope you find this interesting!

    • Like 1
  2. Welcome back everyone, this is Dethstrok9! Today, we have a very special guest! Dennis Detwiller is a writer, designer, and illustrator for some of your favorite games like Magic the Gathering and Delta Green.

    We're going to interview him and see what he has to say about a number of topics, including MtG, DG, the Video Game industry, working for Wizards of the Coast, co-founding and running Arc Dream Publishing, why KickStarter revolutionized the industry, Call of Cthulhu and its impact, and valuable advice for game designers just starting out in the industry!

    Dennis is the four-time winner of the Origins Award for game design, and the thirteen-time winner of the ENnie Award for RPG excellence. His books Delta Green and Delta Green COUNTDOWN are the highest rated RPG products ever, according to RPGnet and RPGgeek, and he has 9 products in the top 100 RPG products of all time.

    I encourage you to check out the interview. This far exceeded my own expectations, as Dennis' answers were extremely thought-provoking and filled with useful industry information. It's also pretty short, just over 30 minutes:)

    Thanks for reading, I hope you find this interesting! Link below.

     

    • Like 2
  3. Welcome back everyone, this is Dethstrok9! Today, we have a very special guest! Dennis Detwiller is a writer, designer, and illustrator for some of your favorite games like Magic the Gathering and Delta Green.

    We're going to interview him and see what he has to say about a number of topics, including MtG, DG, the Video Game industry, working for Wizards of the Coast, co-founding and running Arc Dream Publishing, why KickStarter revolutionized the industry, Call of Cthulhu and its impact, and valuable advice for game designers just starting out in the industry!

    Dennis is the four-time winner of the Origins Award for game design, and the thirteen-time winner of the ENnie Award for RPG excellence. His books Delta Green and Delta Green COUNTDOWN are the highest rated RPG products ever, according to RPGnet and RPGgeek, and he has 9 products in the top 100 RPG products of all time.

    I encourage you to check out the interview. This far exceeded my own expectations, as Dennis' answers were extremely thought-provoking and filled with useful industry information. It's also pretty short, just over 30 minutes:)

    Thanks for reading, I hope you find this interesting! Link below.

     

     

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  4.  

    As a few of you already know, we had some problems during the stream when someone (falsely) reported the video for "inappropriate" content. As a result, the stream was stopped, and we had to pick up where we left off with a second stream. This one lasted 15 minutes before also being reported and shut down. Our solution was to both submit an appeal to YouTube, and to try recording the remainder of the session.

     YouTube has just put the streams back and unblocked them, and the recorded ending is up as well. They are currently uploaded out of order because of all this, but I am working on adding them to the Call of Cthulhu LIVE playlist in the correct order. Each chapter is numbered if you want to watch correctly.

    Call of Cthulhu LIVE: The Whisperer in Darkness 2: https://youtu.be/8ZVNS7b8Pxo

    Call of Cthulhu LIVE: The Whisperer in Darkness 3 (this one only lasted 15 minutes): https://youtu.be/RhbAa9WFdHQ

    The FINAL CHAPTER Whisperer in Darkness (Call of Cthulhu Actual Play) 4 (the recording): 

     

    Thanks for joining us for the Whisperer in Darkness. The ending was worth it:)

  5. I just got a dm trying to tell me a giveaway of a I Phone 11

    If anyone else got this please let me know. I'm pretty sure it's a scam, it was enacted by user @Zeldass who has no posts...

    The DMed message was sent to more than one user and included a suspicious site.

  6. 3 hours ago, Michael said:

    Does anyone know if Chaosium plans on making their new podcast available outside of Spotify? I couldn’t find an RSS link on the podcasts page so I could add it to my podcast player.

    Did they announce a podcast recently?

  7. 3 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

    GUMSHOE goes with the premise that if a particular bit of information or item is absolutely vital to the players being able to solve an adventure, then they shouldn't roll for it. That way they can't blow the whole thing due to something outside of their control, one bad die roll. 

    It can be a somewhat polarizing view, as it can make the actual abilities of the player characters less important. If a player knows that they will get that vital clue no matter what they do or hoe well they do it, there is less incentive to improve in the areas that improve information gathering.

    Harkens back to a previous conversation we all had awhile ago actually. 

    I believe if the Keeper decided information is vital, then they should give it to the players regardless of success or failure. As the examples I mentioned previously tell, the difference is how they get the information, not whether they get it. At least to me:)

  8. 1 minute ago, klecser said:

    I'm not referring to rules. I'm referring to narrative structure. Narrative structure is system-agnostic, in my eyes.

    And to clarify what I meant, some may take the system over narrative, and that's just the way they want to roll:)

     

    2 minutes ago, klecser said:

    Now, remember, I study learning and the psychology of learning for a living. I recognize that things that jump out to me like this might not be things that others spend time considering. Through no fault of their own. We all have lenses informed by our training and experience.

    I actually did not know that, that's a very interesting profession, study of learning. 

    • Like 1
  9. 23 minutes ago, klecser said:

    More good examples of how to do it from Dethstrok9! "It takes more time." and "You get clues on a sliding continuum."

    I appreciate it, but those are (I think) taken from the Keeper Rulebook (or at least the take more time one is). Which is my point that, CoC does not in any way tell readers that the built in mechanic of the game is that of "If you fail, nothing happens." 

    With the exception of the Grand Grimoire which actually does mention stuff about if you fail nothing happens, which might server the plot 1% of the time, but in the majority of situations would be a pretty lackluster and boring outcome (imo). Far better to instead say the purple lighting you call down does not (as you intended) hit the cultists, but instead hits you and lighting shoot from your finger tips as you body is electrocuted. Make a pow role (or luck role, whichever is higher) to see if you manage to point your fingers at the cultist. In this way, you take a bunch of damage from the lighting, but you still could hit and maybe kill the cultist with the lightning, and never a dull moment as never did "nothing" happen from failure.

     (Then you factor in the other players action and reactions, the cultists curse on them which is passed onto the one who kills them, the enviroment of being on a hilltop in the middle of the night in the pouring rain, and you've got yourself a memorable and likely scary scene. Then, you could also make it so if you fail the pow or luck role, the lighting coming out of your fingertips hits a fellow investigator...) ect ect ect.

  10. 4 minutes ago, klecser said:

    There is this strange psychology in the hobby that "if it is in the text, it is sacred." And that attitude is hamstringing the ability of Keepers to be better.

    This right here is (at least to me) simple a different playstyle. Those who play RAW often enjoy learning systems, powergaming or maxing characters, wargaming style play, or just the challenge of mastering a system. Then if someone else comes along who doesn't care to learn the rules like they do, or completely disregards them, then they (rightly in their own playstyle) get bothered or feel like what they love is being blatantly pushed aside ect.

     I personally do not play RAW ever, and even my first game of D&D after the first hour of combat we changed some stuff up to move it along faster. I (and I'm assuming you as well) take the games rules as suggestions and the plot is the main thing aside from everybody having fun. So in essence, the "if it's in the text it's sacred" mindset is just a different playstyle, and that's alright (I could go on about this for awhile, but this topic is not on topic so I'll leave it at that. Also, everything I just said (and pretty much everything I say) is simply my opinion, take as thou wilt:))

     

    9 minutes ago, Tranquillitas Ordinis said:

    Dear Dethstrok9,

    I do not agree at all with klecser in his description of the GUMSHOE, so let me give you a different view. To be as precise as possible, I will just write here, what I find in my "Cthulhu Confidential" book on page 7:

    "Your character solves the mystery driving the scenario by moving from scene to scene gathering information. You, the player, solve the mystery by figuring out what the information means. As you piece together the narrative and sort relevant facts from evocative side detail, you work out who did what to whom, and why. (...)

    When a scene starts the GM describes what your character can sense about it right off the bat. What does the place look like? What mood does it conjure? What objects or furnishings does it contain, and what do they tell you? Who, if anyone, is present, and what do they do or say in response to your arrival?

    You then respond by posing questions. You might ask them directly to the GM, or, through in-character dialogue, to the supporting characters present at the scene. (...)

    Some facts appear in plain sight, right in front of you. (...) In key instances, tough, you'll have to ask about the scene in a particular way to get the clues you need. Describe how you're gathering information and what Investigative Abilities, if any, you're using to get it. (...) If your character looks for the information in the right place, and has a credible way to get it, you get the clue, simple as that.

    Some roleplayers might be used to games where they have to roll dice, scoring a successful result of some kind, to get information. GUMSHOE works exactly like that, except without the roll, removing the chance of failure that doesn't advance the story.

    In order to obtain clues, you always have to describe your character interacting with the contents of the scene. You never just read the names of your abilities off your character card and wait for more description. (...)"

    I think ragr explained it well. From the practical point of view, for me the main difference is not about providing the clues/ avoiding failure in getting the clues. It is about forcing players to think for themselves, rather than relying on their skills and luck. They have all the tools they need, it is only up to them if they make a proper use of them. For example, if they find a weird drawing, they must realize that it is not the picture that is suspicious (using "Art" skill or something similar) but its smell (using "Biology" or "Pharmacy") and that the poison that killed the mansion owner was in the painting. This also makes "clues" multi-dimensional, i.e. every clue might contain very different information, and it is up to the players to find the substantial ones.

    It does not mean that you can not do the same thing in CoC, you can, and it usually makes the game even better. But in GUMSHOE it is a rule, and in CoC it is not. That makes them different, not worse/ better. 

    I definitely like the idea of clues being up to interpretation, and while I may have unwittingly used it in the past, I am going to make an effort to integrate this crucial idea into my own games.

     And yes that is the main difference, in Gumshoe (as I understand it) that is the rule where in CoC it is not (likely why I've started mixing systems sometimes, there's just so many cool concepts to try out and see how they work together, although my own preference is rules-light and the things I end up using are always to streamline it more until eventually aeons down the line I ascend and just LARP all the time:)

  11. 6 minutes ago, klecser said:

    There is hyperbole there. And I'm using it because I really dislike the way GUMSHOE coyly assumes a lack of adaptability by GMs and players as the push for it's marketing. As NickMiddleton describes, they're purposely acting like it's a bigger deal than it is to have a gimmick to market their system. And you can interpret that as shrewd marketing. Or, like some of us, you can interpret it as smacking of a used car salesperson that is telling you what you need to hear, even if it isn't the whole truth.

    People were altering clue acquisition, whether actually advised in earlier CoC scenarios or not, before Trail was published.

    None of this makes Trail inherently bad or wrong. Kudos to them for engaging on an issue in investigative role-playing. But the tone of that engagement is snide, IMO. It makes inaccurate assumptions about table execution. In short, their marketing gimmick is based upon a deliberately cherry-picked lie that does not accurately reflect experienced investigative Keeping. 

    Heheh, like my first attempt at creating a scenario:)

     

    But all that aside, I think it is a good marketing move to play up what you have to offer, and that just sounds like they have an approach to try and change Keeper perspective, which is good. If they are doing it in an extremely offensive or as you put it a "We know everything" snide way, that would be grating to me.

    It sounds as though any Keeper could just use what they propose and integrate it into Call of Cthulhu.

    7 minutes ago, ragr said:

    With Gumshoe, when you use an Investigative Ability you automatically get any clue that is considered "core" and there is no dice roll involved. For instance, your character walks into a crime scene and you as a player announce that the character is using Evidence Collection to search the scene. No dice roll, you automatically find that bullet casing that the amateur killer left behind. Or was he a professional hitman that was disturbed and had to rush? Did the casing roll out of sight and into a vent? With Gumshoe you get the clue but interpreting it is up to you. What the "core" clue does is get you to the next scene - presumably the ballistics lab or maybe the local firing range if you have an established contact.

    You can Spend a point of Evidence Collection for additional information but this isn't the core clue it's the cherry on top - maybe you're idea about the killer being hurried is confirmed because there's additional tell tale signs of a rushed search for the casing.

    In some other games, possibly including Coc, the Keeper might have you make a Spot Hidden roll to get that information. What this is a debate about is what if that roll fails and how do you handle it in a game like CoC.  Core clue? It's not too difficult. 

    That actually makes a ton of sense, but only if you think of failure as a block or end to an activity. If my players fail spot hidden, they still find stuff, just maybe not all the stuff. So they still progress and get the clues they need, but they have only part of the information which leads to assumptions and more horror in the end. If they fumble, they still get the necessary information, only they take too long and the cultists find them, or something similar.

     Idk, to me personally it seems like a moot point since in my eyes you can do the same thing in both systems. Gumshoe (if I've interpreted correctly) just tries to build it into the system itself and really let the Keepers know its there.

     So my answer to the OPs question (keeping in mind that I'm going by what's been said thus far) your friend must have simply had a bad experience. They played with the a different kind of Keeper not suited for their own playstyle (one who did not use the technique of failing forward and allowing failure to move the story forward) then read Gumshoe and their message and it stuck with them. Perhaps try to tell them how it's more of a Game Master mentality difference as opposed to a system difference? Or just let it be, if they love Gumshoe then great for them:)

    And ideally one should just try both and see which one they enjoy more.

    • Like 1
  12. Hmm... Perhaps my knowledge on the topic is too limited to add much to the conversation (in fact I'm likely just going to be asking questions) but here it goes.

    What does gumshoe claim to be able to solve differently than CoC? I've never played Gumshoe, and I know next to nothing about it. Am I correct in my assumption that it tries to tell the reader that CoC specifically uses a "You must succeed to obtain the clues" mentality, where they tell you to do something other than skill checks to get clues?

  13. I believe there is a CoC supplement (for an earlier edition) for games in space, then you could also look in the stand along TTRPG Alien (which is supposedly the quintessential sci-fi horror system).

    Alternatively, I think we'd be glad to help you out with creating specific skills/occupations or recommending good ones. What type of game are you planning on running? What is the setting like? For example, are the players going to all live on a spaceship or be astronauts? Or do you plan for them to take on the roles of aliens themselves?

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