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tendentious

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  1. Finished running Masks on the weekend after 42 sessions. Each session was about 5 hours, for a total of more than 200 hours! So the total time is not much different from your estimated 77 3-hour sessions. The players went most places in the campaign. They didn't do the side missions in Shanghai and in Australia. They also skipped investigating the Clive Expedition in Egypt, no matter how many times I mentioned it.
  2. I'm curious about the changes that people have made when running this campaign. I've made several, but I think the biggest one is probably this: M'Weru is an ancient crone lying insensible on a slab at the Mountain of the Black Wind. She does, however, make extensive use of a version of the Mind Exchange spell. Her version of the spell allows her to switch minds with subjects who have been specially prepared with a mystic tattoo. Larkin wasn't possessed by Nyarlathotep - it was M'Weru who was manifesting through Larkin. This seemed more appropriate to me, as I didn't see N
  3. By the rules I'd say that, while Temporary Insanity (TI) begins at the same time as a Bout of Madness (BoM), Temporary Insanity is not a requirement for a Bout of Madness. In the case of a BoM that lasts 1d10 hours, at the end of the bout the character may or may not be suffering TI depending on the duration of the TI. If they're lucky, once the BoM ends they have recovered and suffer no further effects: ie, the TI duration was equal to or less than the BoM duration. Otherwise, after the BoM, they are still vulnerable to a further BoM from a single point of SAN loss: ie the TI d
  4. Exactly! I think they just used the one example to demonstrate how the two different ways of ameliorating SAN loss work: double LUCK to halve SAN, and Resilient's one-for-one LUCK for SAN. It doesn't make any sense to do it that way, but you certainly could. It might have raised fewer questions if they had mentioned Dirk's friend, Kirk, who also happened to lose 20 SAN, but lacked the Resilient trait and had to spend the 40 LUCK to halve the SAN loss. Unlike Dirk, who spent (let's say) 15 LUCK to cut the SAN loss to 5. Why doesn't Dirk spend 16 LUCK to avoid the Bout of Mad
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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"
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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