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Nikoli

New Horizon RPG (Cthulhu Rising on steroids?).

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Hi Guys,

I was reading a review of an older Cthulhu Rising monograph that I bought (I could only source the 62 pg one, rather than the updated one), when I discovered a comment beneath the review linking to what the commentator said was a kind of new incarnation of Cthulhu Rising. I took a look. I very nearly didn’t, then I very nearly didn’t hang around to download as there was a little delay. I’m so glad I did.

I would suggest looking at the core product and sourcebook asap, as you’ll find an incredible amount of work solely made for play (not commercial use), which I assume is okay. The core book is over 500 pages and has some wonderful ideas that I haven’t seen before. The sourcebook also has starship rules, though admittedly I’m not entirely sure if one fires all the weapons on the firing phase, or just one, with depleting ammunition. Check it out.

Anyways, if you like Cthulhu Rising, M-Space, or any sci-fi setting, you absolutely should check this out. I feel like I’ve hit the motherlode. It’s like Cthulhu Rising on steroids. It’s obviously a compilation of many rules, even demons feature, but it really shows what BRP can do for sci-fi. I love the expertise levels and how they were used to gain further specialisations in some skills.

https://gitlab.com/NHcthulhu/NewHorizon

Any comments, I’d love to hear them. Note that I’m not in any way associated with this product. I just stumbled upon it by sheer chance. I’m so glad I did.

Edited by Nikoli
Changed ‘Horizons’ to ‘Horizon’.
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16 hours ago, rsanford said:

Would you be interested in doing a WIR? I bet a lot of us would appreciate it!

Hey,

I’m not sure what a WIR is! 🙂 But I imagine it’s a review.
 

I’m currently still reading M-Space, and ordered The Companion, received Cthulhu Rising (the older edition) and Worlds Beyond (disappointing), and ironically am having trouble with my eyes lately - I think from too much screen watching in lockdown. So pdfs are giving me trouble. I’ve tried filters and all sorts, to no avail. I might just need rest!
 

But from what I can tell New Horizon seems to essentially have the Cthulhu Rising chassis with some additional aspects, like demons and luck points, and a separate characteristic - Bravery - which means that one can have low POW, but be brave. I like that POW x 5 is now an intuition roll. I really like it. It’s little touches like that which give me a new sense of how the basic BRP system can be used to greater narrative effect. (I’m not aware if the intuition roll mechanic is from another BRP variant ruleset.)
 

My first port of call is the character sheet, and as I’m on a Star Trek buzz lately I’m constantly looking for a game that can emulate that. I like the New Horizon character sheet - just enough detail to reflect various Star Trekky careers (and so relevant to sci-fi and starships generally) but still elegant, with an integrated approach based on primary and secondary characteristics as per RQ3. I find it very appealing and it instantly gets me thinking of characters and adventures; and the New Horizon banner heading is sufficiently vague that one can project any kind of setting into it. (I’m personally NOT a fan of character sheets that say ‘Basic’ on it. Who wants to play basic roleplaying? I love the system, but the brand needs updating.) 

Some people may find the RQ3 skill modifiers niggly, and while I do like the simpler Magic World approach, I don’t mind this either - it’s just for generation and it’s nice to feel that everything on the sheet is significant and integrated. I think the classic CoC approach was always too two dimensional; this yields, admittedly via mechanics, more of a sense of depth. 
 

There are no occupations with skills: instead, you have career classes, of sorts, which determine the characteristics you use to generate skill points. You seem to select the skills you then find appropriate.
 

The starship combat looked, upon glancing at it, somewhat like the Star Wars 1st ed approach. But it seems a weakness of the book is the lack of examples, so I’m not sure if all ship weapons are fired on the firing phase or just one. But my first brief read through liked it. However it wasn’t a focused read, as I found it by accident and was already reading some other material and trying to judge that. There are no rules for aliens, as the setting is centred on humans vs horrors, but there are rules for being born on worlds with different gravity, which affects your characteristics. So it’s rather like The Expanse.
 

As a source for ideas, or a base for a sci-fi game, along with a skill list, it seems excellent. At 570 pages, for just the core book, it’s a lot of content. Then a 170 page sourcebook. I have’t gotten through it all. Not by a long shot. The android stuff seems like Cthulhu Rising but with extra Bioroids, too. I’m not convinced of the distinction, but it’s synthetics versus biological replicants. The bioroids in this sound a lot like lab-grown and genetically engineered humans; I guess I never saw replicants quite like that, though they did have flesh and blood. I haven’t looked at the cybernetics, yet.

What I will say is the inclusion of Forbidden Science as a skill (like Cthulhu Mythos) and the inclusion of magic, along with psychics, has made New Horizon a rather unique compilation that seems to fit very well together. I think one would likely choose whether to use demons OR the mythos (if either; both together seem tricky to integrate), but the compilation presents a very workable system, with all the extra subsystems one might need, along with some additions (I like the Luck stat - it regenerates and you spend it 1 for 1 to alter percentile die rolls).

My first impression, and still my impression, is that New Horizon is the kind of fully fleshed sci-fi horror game that BRP could produce if the will or market was there. We have seen great indications, like Cthulhu Rising, oddly vanish, so I’m thankful that some fans got together to compile such an impressive tome for any GM looking to run a sci-fi BRP game. At the same time I’m surprised that it takes fans to do this, rather than having such a book for sale. Then again, because material is perhaps sourced from many places, maybe it takes the best of all worlds. I might personally use the M-Space ship rules if I did use NH, partly because I can design my own ships (New Horizons doesn’t seem to have design rules), but the rest of game looks excellent. Whether one plays it exactly as is, it’s a fine repository of BRP-based rules to use as a toolbox for sci-fi gaming.

I’d definitely pay for a hard copy. I wish it was a real product, because I’d love to present that bad boy at a table.

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I found it too.....
Using tidbit of it for inspiration! :)

Initially I thought it was just a scifi thing.. and then one day I realise there are sorcery, demonology, chthulhu mythos section at the end of the book! 😮

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9 hours ago, Nikoli said:

Hey,

I’m not sure what a WIR is! 🙂 But I imagine it’s a review.
 

I’m currently still reading M-Space, and ordered The Companion, received Cthulhu Rising (the older edition) and Worlds Beyond (disappointing), and ironically am having trouble with my eyes lately - I think from too much screen watching in lockdown. So pdfs are giving me trouble. I’ve tried filters and all sorts, to no avail. I might just need rest!
 

But from what I can tell New Horizon seems to essentially have the Cthulhu Rising chassis with some additional aspects, like demons and luck points, and a separate characteristic - Bravery - which means that one can have low POW, but be brave. I like that POW x 5 is now an intuition roll. I really like it. It’s little touches like that which give me a new sense of how the basic BRP system can be used to greater narrative effect. (I’m not aware if the intuition roll mechanic is from another BRP variant ruleset.)
 

My first port of call is the character sheet, and as I’m on a Star Trek buzz lately I’m constantly looking for a game that can emulate that. I like the New Horizon character sheet - just enough detail to reflect various Star Trekky careers (and so relevant to sci-fi and starships generally) but still elegant, with an integrated approach based on primary and secondary characteristics as per RQ3. I find it very appealing and it instantly gets me thinking of characters and adventures; and the New Horizon banner heading is sufficiently vague that one can project any kind of setting into it. (I’m personally NOT a fan of character sheets that say ‘Basic’ on it. Who wants to play basic roleplaying? I love the system, but the brand needs updating.) 

Some people may find the RQ3 skill modifiers niggly, and while I do like the simpler Magic World approach, I don’t mind this either - it’s just for generation and it’s nice to feel that everything on the sheet is significant and integrated. I think the classic CoC approach was always too two dimensional; this yields, admittedly via mechanics, more of a sense of depth. 
 

There are no occupations with skills: instead, you have career classes, of sorts, which determine the characteristics you use to generate skill points. You seem to select the skills you then find appropriate.
 

The starship combat looked, upon glancing at it, somewhat like the Star Wars 1st ed approach. But it seems a weakness of the book is the lack of examples, so I’m not sure if all ship weapons are fired on the firing phase or just one. But my first brief read through liked it. However it wasn’t a focused read, as I found it by accident and was already reading some other material and trying to judge that. There are no rules for aliens, as the setting is centred on humans vs horrors, but there are rules for being born on worlds with different gravity, which affects your characteristics. So it’s rather like The Expanse.
 

As a source for ideas, or a base for a sci-fi game, along with a skill list, it seems excellent. At 570 pages, for just the core book, it’s a lot of content. Then a 170 page sourcebook. I have’t gotten through it all. Not by a long shot. The android stuff seems like Cthulhu Rising but with extra Bioroids, too. I’m not convinced of the distinction, but it’s synthetics versus biological replicants. The bioroids in this sound a lot like lab-grown and genetically engineered humans; I guess I never saw replicants quite like that, though they did have flesh and blood. I haven’t looked at the cybernetics, yet.

What I will say is the inclusion of Forbidden Science as a skill (like Cthulhu Mythos) and the inclusion of magic, along with psychics, has made New Horizon a rather unique compilation that seems to fit very well together. I think one would likely choose whether to use demons OR the mythos (if either; both together seem tricky to integrate), but the compilation presents a very workable system, with all the extra subsystems one might need, along with some additions (I like the Luck stat - it regenerates and you spend it 1 for 1 to alter percentile die rolls).

My first impression, and still my impression, is that New Horizon is the kind of fully fleshed sci-fi horror game that BRP could produce if the will or market was there. We have seen great indications, like Cthulhu Rising, oddly vanish, so I’m thankful that some fans got together to compile such an impressive tome for any GM looking to run a sci-fi BRP game. At the same time I’m surprised that it takes fans to do this, rather than having such a book for sale. Then again, because material is perhaps sourced from many places, maybe it takes the best of all worlds. I might personally use the M-Space ship rules if I did use NH, partly because I can design my own ships (New Horizons doesn’t seem to have design rules), but the rest of game looks excellent. Whether one plays it exactly as is, it’s a fine repository of BRP-based rules to use as a toolbox for sci-fi gaming.

I’d definitely pay for a hard copy. I wish it was a real product, because I’d love to present that bad boy at a table.

WIR stands for "Where I read". It's just a summary of each chapter. Still it can be a lot of work. A review is great too!  Chaosium has been planning to do a Science FIction game maybe New Horizons ould be the start of that.

 

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I came across NH when I was looking for a fleshed out universe to run Punktown in. 

As well as using Cthulhu Rising as its base, the background directly includes Alien, Predator and Blade Runner with a dash of Halo and probably other stuff I have missed. Rules-wise each chapter does give credit to the authors of whichever system it was borrowed from without mentioning what the systems were. 

If you dig deeply unsurprisingly there are some anomalies from trying to pull from so many sources (in the timeline for instance) but it is obvious that a lot of work has gone into it. With all the various IP involved there is no way Chaosium would go anywhere near it, but as a fan thing it is great.

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21 hours ago, Pseudopod said:

I came across NH when I was looking for a fleshed out universe to run Punktown in. 

As well as using Cthulhu Rising as its base, the background directly includes Alien, Predator and Blade Runner with a dash of Halo and probably other stuff I have missed. Rules-wise each chapter does give credit to the authors of whichever system it was borrowed from without mentioning what the systems were. 

If you dig deeply unsurprisingly there are some anomalies from trying to pull from so many sources (in the timeline for instance) but it is obvious that a lot of work has gone into it. With all the various IP involved there is no way Chaosium would go anywhere near it, but as a fan thing it is great.

I agree; it’s great. It seems to have fleshed out more background detail relative to Cthulhu Rising, such as extra info on psionics as well as making them rarer (and the rules allow for more than one power, so there are changes too; I think extra powers as well). It also has interesting rules for personality restructuring in case people go permanently insane. One may not use them, but it’s nice to see these mechanics as they can be used in futuristic settings to simulate various procedures. 
 

I really like the core mechanics; it will take me a while to survey all of them. All it’s missing are aliens and starship design, and some clearer (for me) starship combat examples. But I reckon the book is filled with many more useful nuggets to play as is or to use or adapt for other related systems. Even with Cthulhu Rising, one could use that at the table but keep NH as a compendium of extra info and options to add to CR, or as an alternative game of its own.

I think it’s a significant compilation either way, and definitely an unofficial big book of sci-fi for more classic BRP as opposed to, say, Mythras.

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I play CR for many years and I'm a big fan of the game.

NH definitively gets its roots and universe setting from CR. John Ossoway is mentioned as author in a large amount.

As far as I read, it contains all the stuff of CR with extra chapters (32!) that boost the game play!

It seems the game is still in devlopment (the actual rules are scored 4.1). It's an open and collaborative project. I wonder if John Ossoway is involved or how to join.

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There seemed to be bits and pieces from Eldritch Skies in there too.

Looks pretty good actually, all the grim sci-fi franchises together.

My curious thought is why do demons, or fallen angels from the God-Machine (CoD) like Lucifer have the same POW to Outer Gods?

EDIT: Unless it is using the power levels from Raiders.....

 

Edited by RogerDee

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Okay having had a quick read through, I can see a few problems such that the author tried to cram as much in as possible, without thinking about effects.

Now instead of using normal vampires, they would have been better using the Nioth Kiorgi - which were essentially the vampires from Lifeforce. Same too goes for the demons and angels etc, draw upon a more Babylon 5 approach as we see a supposed demon in one of the additional tales which would have worked better.

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An RPG with Mathilda May on the cover? I’d buy it!

PS - I like the idea of using Lifeforce vampires.

Edited by rsanford
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1 hour ago, rsanford said:

An RPG with Mathilda May on the cover? I’d buy it!

PS - I like the idea of using Lifeforce vampires.

Wouldn't we all lol

Yeah, LF vamps make more sense tbh, and fit better. 

Plus the physics is  bit screwy when talking about other universes.

Edited by RogerDee

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I've not read the whole document, so I might be off on my analysis.

But it strikes me as a huge labour of love work, very comprehensive and very kindly shared for one and all to look at.

I'm not convinced that I'd change much or any of the hodge podge of rules that I currently use. But the teenage me would have absolutely loved to have got his hands on this. It's very much the deluxe BRP book I wanted way back when. I suspect that (if word spreads far enough) this could be very useful to lots of GMs and players looking for something d100y which covers everything ready-to-use.

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1. Yeah, it is a good book, but unfortunately it is a mish-mash of stuff and needs to be brought under one umbrella / centralised theme. What I mean is this - we have the Black Oil from X-Files, the Engineers (and their black oil stuff), and Shoggoths. It would have made internal sense to tie them together in some way.

2. Say the Elder Things found a pool of black goo containing complex DNA & RNA strands that would be easy to modify. Say one hundred million years later the Engineers found it too,and experimented upon it. First thing they did was create weaponised servants (black oil X-Files aliens), and then found bespoke uses, and a way to seed planets with life.

3. What the Engineers, and let's use mythology here and call them the Nephilim, are the creation of an incorporeal species that suffered internal conflict creating angels and demons.

4. Perhaps the Old Ones are certain species that became bloated with magic (think Akira) that they gained massive powers.

5. One of Chaosium's major flaws, which Ken Hite gets, is statting everything, remove stats for the Other gods, they are pointless. Even if they send an avatar it requires a deus ex machina to beat, or a specific condition allowing PC victory.

6. Tachyon / Hyperspace universe refers to an FTL realm. For this you need to use brane cosmology to make it work.

7. Any references to between universes is either the Void, or call it the Bulk.

8. Allow ancients (likely 8 billions years old plus) to have various methods of immortality, such as cycling their death outside space/time, resulting in nigh unkillable, or quantum immortality. 

 

 

Edited by RogerDee

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