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tendentious

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  1. A simpler version that doesn't use Contact Points. - Contacts is a skill reflecting a character’s network of contacts. During character creation points are allocated to the Contacts skill. These points may be from either Occupational Skills or Personal Interests. Starting Contacts skill is 25% - a contact is a person with whom the player has an existing relationship. The contact is open to assisting the character, based on their own interests. - when a player wants to establish a contact they make a Contacts skill check; a contact from the same country and background requires a Reg
  2. I like the idea of a Contacts system for RPGs; a way of reflecting a character’s past life without having to describe everyone the character knows in advance. In CoC the Contacts system (roll the relevant skill to see if you have a contact) is simple, but leaves a few unanswered questions. While the skill check for professional contacts is usually obvious (Medicine, Science, Language, Archaeology, etc), the skill check required for other contacts is less clear. What is the skill check for a criminal contact? A street contact? Also, how often can one attempt to establish a contact? Th
  3. The spell as written seems unambiguous: "Reduces a corpse to its essential salts, a bluish-grey powder, or reverses the process to yield ultimately the form and soul of the deceased." So casting the spell on any corpse causes the body to break down into powder; a handy way of disposing of evidence if you ignore the SAN cost. Casting the spell again on the resultant powder causes the powder to coalesce into a body and brings the person back to life. Personally, I think it should work as it does in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, where the process of breaking a corpse down to its "essentia
  4. pp 431; map of The Great Temple. Map has "5" as the bone pile but the map key has bone pile as "4". Map has "4" as sacrificial pits but the map key has sacrificial pits as "5"
  5. This seemingly simply set-up hurt my brain. Faking an Accent. Is the speaker speaking language A but in the accent of language B? So speaking in English but with a German accent? Or are they speaking German and trying to mimic a German accent to hide their own? And is what is the speaker's native language or dialect? Is the listener an English speaker? A native English speaker? A German speaker? I'm assuming that the reason a roll is required is because the speaker can at least passably fake an accent, so it's not immediately obviously fake - like almost anyone attempting a fake
  6. As an extended skill check, handling SAN loss is a bit different. Instead of SAN loss as a single blast sustained upon reading the last word of a tome, the loss is gradual over the course of reading the book. This doesn't result in temporary insanity or a bout of madness, but it may result in indefinite insanity as described below. This is more of a creeping madness; an insidious change to the character's outlook rather than a dramatic breakdown (ie, bout of madness) Assume that you require 10 successes to complete reading a tome. On an initial reading roll SAN loss as normal at the start
  7. Thinking about it, I think one of the reasons I came up with these house rules is that CoC as written doesn't have a mechanic for Extended rolls: when performing a task that takes a long time the whole thing is not dependent on a single roll. Extended tasks require multiple rolls and are only accomplished when the requisite successes are achieved. This wouldn't be hard to introduce to CoC. Assume that a Regular success counts as one level of success, Hard counts as two levels, Extreme counts as three levels and Critical counts as four levels. A task requires a number of levels of success
  8. Not all skills are equivalent. I have no problem with the idea that a complete novice can pick up a gun and hit the bullseye with their first shot, however unlikely that might be. But when it comes to reading in an unfamiliar language, your high-school French lessons are not going to grant you a 10% chance of reading and understanding a la recherché du temps perdu. At least not without a lot of assistance. So here are a few house rules I've been toying with. Tome Quality – Fluency – each tome has a Fluency rating, representing the difficulty of the text. To read a tome, the character
  9. I hadn't really considered it. At this stage it's just speculation about what I might do if I were to run MoN again. One dark possibility; what if Masters learned the Mind Exchange spell? Perhaps learned from Nyarlathotep. Once Masters realised what was happening to her, and what was growing within her, she began using the spell to exchange her mind with a family member, such as a sibling, in order to escape her fate. So perhaps at the start of the campaign, Masters is actually back in New York in the body of her brother or sister. Maybe the PC with the relation with Masters was awar
  10. Being an investigation-focused, rather than a combat-focused game, CoC doesn't have an exhaustive list of things that are considered "actions", like some other games do. An attack or casting a spell is an action (depending on casting time); reloading more than a single shell/bullet is an action; everything else is negotiable. My own inclination is to say "yes" to whatever the player is trying to do., such as drawing a weapon or grabbing a weapon off the floor, unless what they're describing seems like a definite "no." If that same weapon on the floor has been kicked under the couch, and n
  11. Just thinking about a suggestion I saw in a Youtube video by dungeon craft, regarding the PCs motivation for chasing the Carlyle expedition in MoN. Instead of the PCs being friends of Jackson, each PC has a significant relation with one of the expedition members. At the start, each player has to define a relationship with the playboy, the socialite, the archaeologist, the psychiatrist or the soldier-of-fortune. The relationship should be close enough that the character has reason to pursue the possibility that their friend/colleague/school chum is still alive. The characters sta
  12. The skill as written can work well enough, essentially as you've described. I feel that the single gain with the system as written is simplicity: a single skill that covers everything in the Mythos. And simplicity in a game system is extremely valuable What I feel you lose is mystery. One loses mystery as the players can fall back on the CM skill to define in prosaic terms anything they encounter or discover. If the players encounter a new horror - a dark young, for example - they are going to ask for a CM check to discover what they know about this new menace. On a successful check the K
  13. Certainly that is how the skill is described in the Keeper's Handbook; that "it represents the opening and tuning of the human mind to the Cthulhu Mythos." Mind you, it then operates as a source of information: identifying creatures, identifying spells, identifying tomes, etc. Of what this "opening and tuning" consists is unclear. It seems like those who pen the tomes of the Mythos are possessed of this "tuning," which can be memetically transferred through written words, independent of the content of the words. Which, I guess, is kind of the point of "The King in Yellow." But given the way TK
  14. You have to do all of that. But after you've done your best to convey what the characters are experiencing - seeing, smelling, feeling - the players are going to ask to make a Cthulhu Mythos check to find out what they know about the creature they've encountered. And that's where it would be useful not to distill the contents of those worm-eaten books the characters have been studying and relate it in prosaic terms, but instead just to give them the excerpts that they read in those books, in the very words that were penned by a madman. That way the Cthulhu Mythos skill is not just another
  15. On a (sort of) related topic... Call of Cthulhu is a horror game, and resources geared towards facilitating an atmosphere of horror would seem to be a worthwhile investment. A common use of the Cthulhu Mythos skill by characters is when they encounter one of the many blasphemies that inhabit the universe. Yet, after the Keeper does their best to describe said creature, once the player makes a Cthulhu Mythos check to recognise the creature, the Keeper typically is forced to fall back on a prosaic run-down of whatever information seems appropriate. "These deep-sea dwelling humanoids se
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