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Defeating Extraordinary Opponents


Vile Traveller

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This post was brought on by one of Nikolas Lloyd's "lindybeige" videos, specifically this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CfyU1mOZ1E. The current debate about composite bows on these boards also has something to do with it.

It always bugged me that, in D&D, all you needed was enough "to hit" bonuses (and possibly a magic weapon with a certain number of pluses) and you could hurt and kill pretty much anything. BRP, despite its more simulationist combat system, still suffers from the fact that RuneQuest was written by members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, with an emphasis on man-to-man melee combat. It's great when slugging it out with other humans or more-or-less humans, but I've often thought that the armour points attributed to truly huge creatures like giants, dragons, and the like, is not scaled very well. In other words, even in BRP, you can still take out these superhuman beings with ordinary weapons made for human conflict. The upshot of this, at least in my experience, is that players don't tend to think of alternative means of dealing with big bad guys, means that even primitive man might have used such as pit traps or using natural terrain to trap or hinder very large animals, or Siegfried's method of digging a foxhole in the path of the dragon so he could slit its belly when it passed overhead (not that he thought of that one himself).

Have you come across innovative methods employed by players (or used them yourselves) in your games?

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I kinda know what you mean, but it's a two edged blade.

In legends, giants, dragons, and the like were usually slain by one person. And that fits with the "you can kill it" school.

Likewise, in the real world, you can kill a big critter like an elephant or even a dinosaur with hand held weaponry. Pistols and arrows can, and have, killed elephants.

So there is some justification for keeping the values in the "killable" range. Plus you don't really need to do a lot of damage to kill a big critter, just do what damage you can to something really important. Matter of fact, I'd say the big critters are more resilient to weaponry in BRP that they are or probably would be (for the fictional beasties) in reality.

As for innovative methods, I've occasionally seen them, but more often than not, I've seen stupidity, masquerading as "fun" or :bravery". I once ran an adventure where a rogue bear war terrorizing an area. The PCs managed to hunt it down, and could have peppered it with arrows from a distance, and brought it down without much risk of injury. Instead, they rushed into melee where they could "do more damage" and quickly discovered that in melee they could "take' more damage as well.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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The player characters of my fantasy campaigns usually are members of a community,

and the players normally learn soon that their characters can use the accumulated

experience of their community ("How did others deal with that kind of problem?") and

that their characters are vital survival assets of their community ("We need you, co-

me back alive and well."). As a result stupid "heroism" is very rare, in most cases the

characters plan well and use all means available to them, like ranged weapons, terrain,

prepared positions, traps, fire, poison or whatever else gives them the necessary ad-

vantage to survive the encounter. And they usually realize that a fight to the death is

not always necessary, that it is often sufficient to be able to make life so unpleasant

for the "problem" that it decides to behave (e.g. leave the community alone) or to go

away.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Never been a D&D-er. Unfortunately, even in other genres my players have tended to be "charge the bear" types. Why negotiate with the galactic smugglers when you can start a space bar fight?

In fantasy literature, however, things are quite different. Jack the Giant Killer used trickery, traps, magic items, and lots of fast talk to defeat his numerous foes. Reed Richards (Mister Fantastic) actually talked Galactus into not eating the Earth. (Try that tactic in your next Call of Cthulhu game!) The heroes of countless giant critter films managed to figure out said critter's weakness (they always have one) in time to exploit it and defeat the monster before the movie's end (but not before countless National Guardsmen have been eaten first).

Somehow, my players rarely think that way. They've taken out a few pirates/goblins/wolves/Klingons and have become cocky, eager for a direct physical confrontation with the biggest of Big Bads. Wicked witches routinely get bested by pre-teenage girls. Tiny hobbits and cowardly robots defeat evil empires. Why should they be afraid?

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Call of Cthulhu is a very good teacher here. Just try to charge a monster and you will rapidly have to create a new character!

Call of Cthulhu players quickly learn to search for knowledge before acting (what are the monster's weaknesses? how can we beat it without fighting it?) and this habit tends to be used in other genre after that - each time there is a big monster (or a more ordinary but still powerful foe).

Call of Cthulhu really teach to think before acting.

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I'd say that is only partially true about CoC. Some of the menaces in CoC are simply not beatable by the PCs, no matter how clever they are. For instance, if Chtulhu wakes up, there is really nothing a PC can do about it. By the rules even if the PCs manage to nuke Cthulhu, his body will reform in a bit. About the only possibility would be to try and summon another Mythos being to pit against Cthu;hu. Nodens if the PCs can swing it.

And often the PCs don't really have any idea of just what they are up against or what options are available to them until they are already committed in some fashion. It's not like in a FRPG where everybody knows about the dragon that lives in the mountain that overlooks the pass. With CoC, everything is a secret, and the PCs have to hope that they can stay on the frings of events and keep a low profile long enough to find a weak leak to exploit. Usually some deranged, but killable cultist.

But for the most part, I'd say CoC does as much to discourage clever thinking as it does toe ncoruage it, as there aren't many options for defeating the real nasties. Hiding in a pit and stabbing the belley won't be effective against a Dhole, and setting up steel cables as a trip line, will hardly defeat Cthulhu, even if damage taken from the fall could be considerable.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I'd say that is only partially true about CoC. Some of the menaces in CoC are simply not beatable by the PCs, no matter how clever they are. For instance, if Chtulhu wakes up, there is really nothing a PC can do about it. By the rules even if the PCs manage to nuke Cthulhu, his body will reform in a bit. About the only possibility would be to try and summon another Mythos being to pit against Cthu;hu. Nodens if the PCs can swing it.

And often the PCs don't really have any idea of just what they are up against or what options are available to them until they are already committed in some fashion. It's not like in a FRPG where everybody knows about the dragon that lives in the mountain that overlooks the pass. With CoC, everything is a secret, and the PCs have to hope that they can stay on the frings of events and keep a low profile long enough to find a weak leak to exploit. Usually some deranged, but killable cultist.

But for the most part, I'd say CoC does as much to discourage clever thinking as it does toe ncoruage it, as there aren't many options for defeating the real nasties. Hiding in a pit and stabbing the belley won't be effective against a Dhole, and setting up steel cables as a trip line, will hardly defeat Cthulhu, even if damage taken from the fall could be considerable.

I don't know with which kind of Game Master you played Call of Cthulhu but I'm beginning to understand why you don't like it!

In the adventures I run, there is always an important investigation part in which the player characters learn enough to know what kind of danger they will meet and what to do (and fleeing far away as quick as possible can sometimes be the only good option - especially in front of Cthulhu itself).

And yes, there are to many nasties to defeat and some of them are impossible to kill... But surviving (as in a lot of other horror genres) and defeating a creature or several cultists from time to time is the main goal of the campaign.

You know, there are a lot of horror stories where the heroes never win. Almost all, actually. The monsters always come back. Even when the players believe that they won... This is a main feature of the genre.

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I'd say that is only partially true about CoC. Some of the menaces in CoC are simply not beatable by the PCs, no matter how clever they are. For instance, if Chtulhu wakes up, there is really nothing a PC can do about it. By the rules even if the PCs manage to nuke Cthulhu, his body will reform in a bit. About the only possibility would be to try and summon another Mythos being to pit against Cthu;hu. Nodens if the PCs can swing it.

And often the PCs don't really have any idea of just what they are up against or what options are available to them until they are already committed in some fashion. It's not like in a FRPG where everybody knows about the dragon that lives in the mountain that overlooks the pass. With CoC, everything is a secret, and the PCs have to hope that they can stay on the frings of events and keep a low profile long enough to find a weak leak to exploit. Usually some deranged, but killable cultist.

But for the most part, I'd say CoC does as much to discourage clever thinking as it does toe ncoruage it, as there aren't many options for defeating the real nasties. Hiding in a pit and stabbing the belley won't be effective against a Dhole, and setting up steel cables as a trip line, will hardly defeat Cthulhu, even if damage taken from the fall could be considerable.

I've never really considered anyone actually making PCs face major mythos beings like Cthulhu. I always looked at the incusion of stats as more of a threat, kind of like including stats for a nuclear bomb in a spy game. If you can't stop the ritual being used to summon an elder god, then it is kind of like cutting the wrong wire when defusing the nuke, [Hudson voice]"game over man"[/Hudson voice]. ;D

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I've never really considered anyone actually making PCs face major mythos beings like Cthulhu. I always looked at the incusion of stats as more of a threat, kind of like including stats for a nuclear bomb in a spy game. If you can't stop the ritual being used to summon an elder god, then it is kind of like cutting the wrong wire when defusing the nuke, [Hudson voice]"game over man"[/Hudson voice]. ;D

That's why I think the stats are pretty much meaningless in CoC. At least with a nuke you can come up with blast radii, radiaton exposure and such. With The Mythos nasties,yopu really can't. The GM can look at game stats, but the PCs shoudln't. They don't know just how strong a Spawn of Cthulu is. They might get some rough clues in some text, or painting, or, if they are unlucky, personal experience, but they can't know.

Years ago, one of the best ways our CoC group came up with for handling the waked cultists was to use a summon spell to call up something that we sicked on the cultist. Chances are, we could call up something that the baddies couldn't defend against fairly easily, and the Mythos critter didn't leave a trail of clues back to us. And we could ususally do it with something fairly modest.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Years ago, one of the best ways our CoC group came up with for handling the waked cultists was to use a summon spell to call up something that we sicked on the cultist. Chances are, we could call up something that the baddies couldn't defend against fairly easily, and the Mythos critter didn't leave a trail of clues back to us. And we could ususally do it with something fairly modest.

Quite strange, in my humble opinion... Calling something in Call of Cthulhu is one thing... Controlling it is another, much more hazardous... And doing it, especially letting this thing killing people without loosing enough sanity to become a cultist is even stranger...

My player won't ever try that! Or they will remeber it for a long while...

Now, to come back to the main topic of this thread, Dragons, in a lot of stories, are exactly like what you described here... They killed dozens of knight before and when you attack them, you absolutely don't know how exactly powerful they are (except that it is terrible) and what are their specific strengths or weaknesses... Players shouldn't know their stats more than Call of Cthulhu players should know those of Cthulhu entities. Unfortunately, in most fantasy role playing games, experimented players know by heart the stats of dozens of creatures... Even when their character didn't meet them yet. The problem is exactly the same...

And that's why a good GM can change monster's stats! Especially their weakness.

Sorry guy, but this vampire doesn't sound too fear garlic...

Edited by Gollum
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The situation in that CoC campaign was a strange and tough one. It was a 1920s campaign and some mob boss had gotten into the Mythos and was using the Mythos beings to do his dirty work for him. Not the really powerful baddies, but still Mythos nasties. It's hard to pin a murder on the guy if the DA dies under mysterious circumstances and the witnesses are either incoherent or babbling on about flying nightmares. For example, just try to prove that a Treasury agent was murdered by Deep Ones because he was disrupting Capone's booze shipments from Canada. It just worked out that it was actually safer for us to try and call up a Mythos horror that it would haven been for the group to get at the mob boss any other way.

Changing stats, and/or keeping them secret if fine. But...

Unleashing a monster on a group of PCs isn't fair play either. Especially if the monster is immune to the player's attacks or is so powerful than it will waste the group or a good portion of it regardless. In D&D, with escalating hit points, and encounters that are "balanced" (read fixed),a given monster can only be so much of a threat. In BRP with Dragons doing enough damage to kill most PCs with a single hit, regardless of armor or parring, it's a whole different game.

One of the reasons (not the only one, but a major valid one) why players often memeorize the monster stats and weaknesses is becuase the way many D&D adventuers and ZGMs just spring things on the PCs with no warning or clue. Let's face it, wih the way the monsters are taken out of context and culture, the odds of a adventuerer finding a monster's wekness is practically nil if he is from a different culture.

What facts the PCs might "know", could easily be wrong. The Vampire's vulnerability to sunlight and the werewolf's vulnerability to silver are both inventions of the cinema, and either could prove to be a disastrous revelation in a RPG. Especially one that is an unforgiving as BRP.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I have to admit to having a more that one of my investigators die screaming with a Tommygun in one hand and a fistful of dynamite in the other as they are drawn into the gullet of some indescribable horror. Even in Call of Cthulhu many problems can be solved with the right quantity of explosives. ;D

The ganster game actually sounds kind of fun. Sounds like it may not have been the best run game, but neat idea.

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I have to admit to having a more that one of my investigators die screaming with a Tommygun in one hand and a fistful of dynamite in the other as they are drawn into the gullet of some indescribable horror. Even in Call of Cthulhu many problems can be solved with the right quantity of explosives. ;D

Two of my favorite gaming situations went alone those lines. The first had my Tommy Gun wielding character talk another PC into "holding off" a shoggoth for a few rounds while I went "upstairs for help". This was after I had fired a few busrts into the thing for no (good) effect. Running upstairs did he;p me greatly. Didn't do my shotgun toting friend much good.

The second was when my British Aristocrat blew a Byakee to bits using a H&H .600 Nitro Express (both barrels). It was just so sastifying to be on the other end of the slaughter for a change.

The ganster game actually sounds kind of fun. Sounds like it may not have been the best run game, but neat idea.

It wasn't all the GM's fault. A lot of it was the player's fault. They all kinda went into it expecting monsters behind every door, and so when it turned into a ganster advenure we were caught flat footed. With the odd mix of investigators we had, we were no really suited for going up against a grop of gangsters. Deep Ones we could handle but tommy gun toting killers doing drive by shootings? No way.

There were some wonderfully comic moments in that campaign.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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The situation in that CoC campaign was a strange and tough one. It was a 1920s campaign and some mob boss had gotten into the Mythos and was using the Mythos beings to do his dirty work for him. Not the really powerful baddies, but still Mythos nasties. It's hard to pin a murder on the guy if the DA dies under mysterious circumstances and the witnesses are either incoherent or babbling on about flying nightmares. For example, just try to prove that a Treasury agent was murdered by Deep Ones because he was disrupting Capone's booze shipments from Canada. It just worked out that it was actually safer for us to try and call up a Mythos horror that it would haven been for the group to get at the mob boss any other way.

From a law enforcement point of view, of course, it is safer... But from a Sanity point of view, it is surely not...

Changing stats, and/or keeping them secret if fine. But...

Unleashing a monster on a group of PCs isn't fair play either. Especially if the monster is immune to the player's attacks or is so powerful than it will waste the group or a good portion of it regardless.

Of course. Which is why I never do that with my player, no matter the campaign genre... Players must have the possibility to find hints about the monster before encountering it. Otherwise, it is not anymore a game; it becomes a slaughter. And players don't stay very long with slaugthering GM.

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Now, to come back to the main topic of this thread, Dragons, in a lot of stories, are exactly like what you described here... They killed dozens of knight before and when you attack them, you absolutely don't know how exactly powerful they are (except that it is terrible) and what are their specific strengths or weaknesses... Players shouldn't know their stats more than Call of Cthulhu players should know those of Cthulhu entities. Unfortunately, in most fantasy role playing games, experimented players know by heart the stats of dozens of creatures... Even when their character didn't meet them yet. The problem is exactly the same...

This is why I like Tolkien's take on dragons. In a lot of games, stories and movies, dragons are merely huge, dangerous beasts, like Godzilla. In The Hobbit and Farmer Giles of Ham, however, they are also sentient beings that heroes can talk to, bargain with, and (maybe) outwit. Bilbo manages to discover Smaug's weakness and pass the info along to someone who can use it to advantage. Farmer Giles -- with a mixture of bravado, luck, hard bargaining, and a magic sword -- manages to not only stop the dragon's attacks but gets it to become an (unwilling) ally against a greedy king. This opens up a whole new range of adventure possibilities. What if, instead of trying to poke the dragon, the PCs persuade it to invest venture capital in their latest trading enterprise? The Good: They now have (within limits) vast resources and credit to launch world-spanning enterprises. The Bad: If the deal goes sour, if the investment doesn't deliver a profit, or a sufficient profit, their "silent business partner" gets noisy real quick. If they thought having the thieves' guild after them was bad .... On the other hand, the dragon might save their butts from the guild or from another monster at the last minute in order to protect its business interests. Maybe they can bribe the dragon not to eat the princess or the whole castle -- "Sure, I'll hold off this time, for an exclusive royal monopoly on (valuable commodity). Deposit the profits in my Swiss bank account." What? You don't think a dragon would take logical provisions to protect its fortune, increase its net worth, and avoid income taxes?

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From a law enforcement point of view, of course, it is safer... But from a Sanity point of view, it is surely not...

Wanna bet. Technically speaking there is a potential SAN loss for things like seeing a dead body, or witnessing a friends death. Had we tried some sort of assault on the gangsters we'd have seen more dead bodies and dead friends than we'd have lost in the summon spell. Especially since not everybody was involved in the summoning.

Of course. Which is why I never do that with my player, no matter the campaign genre... Players must have the possibility to find hints about the monster before encountering it. Otherwise, it is not anymore a game; it becomes a slaughter. And players don't stay very long with slaughtering GM.

That's not how the published CoC adventures are written though. Players are often brought into and adventure with some idea of supernatural involvement but little knowledge of just what that menace is or how to deal with it, Basically to be a good investigator a PC needs a good Mythos skill and that also lowers their SAN. To get any sort of decent campaign probablyrequires the players to act with far better knowledge of the Mythos than thier characters should have. Especially at the start of a campaign.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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This is why I like Tolkien's take on dragons. In a lot of games, stories and movies, dragons are merely huge, dangerous beasts, like Godzilla. In The Hobbit and Farmer Giles of Ham, however, they are also sentient beings that heroes can talk to, bargain with, and (maybe) outwit. Bilbo manages to discover Smaug's weakness and pass the info along to someone who can use it to advantage. Farmer Giles -- with a mixture of bravado, luck, hard bargaining, and a magic sword -- manages to not only stop the dragon's attacks but gets it to become an (unwilling) ally against a greedy king. This opens up a whole new range of adventure possibilities. What if, instead of trying to poke the dragon, the PCs persuade it to invest venture capital in their latest trading enterprise? The Good: They now have (within limits) vast resources and credit to launch world-spanning enterprises. The Bad: If the deal goes sour, if the investment doesn't deliver a profit, or a sufficient profit, their "silent business partner" gets noisy real quick. If they thought having the thieves' guild after them was bad .... On the other hand, the dragon might save their butts from the guild or from another monster at the last minute in order to protect its business interests. Maybe they can bribe the dragon not to eat the princess or the whole castle -- "Sure, I'll hold off this time, for an exclusive royal monopoly on (valuable commodity). Deposit the profits in my Swiss bank account." What? You don't think a dragon would take logical provisions to protect its fortune, increase its net worth, and avoid income taxes?

Now THAT I've seen happen! In once case in particular a PC had a good sized fortune and just gotten a new fief. He talked a dragon into living underneath the manor and acting a guard and treasurer for the PC Knight. When it was explained to him that he could sit in the treasure room and people would come and bring more treasure due to a process called taxation, it completely revised the dragon's evaluation of humans. The whole feudal system seemed like a work of genius.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Wanna bet. Technically speaking there is a potential SAN loss for things like seeing a dead body, or witnessing a friends death. Had we tried some sort of assault on the gangsters we'd have seen more dead bodies and dead friends than we'd have lost in the summon spell. Especially since not everybody was involved in the summoning.
I don't remember exactly where, but there is a rule which says that when you see a lot of monsters of the same kind, you just loose the maximum roll of the sanity loss die and not a new roll for each creature. Seeing dozens of zombies (1/1D8) will make the character loose 8 sanity points at maximum and not 1D8 for each zombie, for instance.

So, seing a lot of dead bodies won't make you loose too much sanity points. Furthermore, for dead bodies, the rules say that you loose sanity points when the bodies were unexpected. Which is not what happens in this example. For the violent death of your friends, the maximum is 6 points.

Now, summoning a monster, knowing for sure that it will kill a lot of people (and certainly some innocents) and also knowing for sure that you will be responsible of all these horrible and insane murders is surely worse than that... For a Byakhee, it could make something like 1D3 (the invocation spell) + 1D6 (the Byakhee appearing) + 1D6 (realizing what you have done), which makes 9 sanity points on average.

That's not how the published CoC adventures are written though.

Yes. A lot of Call of Cthulhu adventures are designed to be slaughters. I don't found that funny for the players. That is why, in my humble opinion, they have to be adapted, which is always what I do.

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Somehow this reminds me of the "Mark 13" robot in the movie Hardware. The thing could repair itself if it was near any source of power that could be turned to electricity by it's components, which included solar and direct electricity within the examples the movie used. it had a near endless variety of killing tools, including a drug that would cause death within seconds and make the victim enjoy it even if he or she was being turned into giblets at the time. The only real weakness the robot had was water falling on it's circuitry, which was either ironed out or ignored by the gov't when it began mass manufacture at the end of the film.

The whole purpose of the robot was euthanasia for all life- basically it was supposed to kill anything it came across that was living because the world had turned into some post-apocalyptic scum bucket.

As for stats for such a creature, I'd think that I'd give a medium amount of health, good armor, and very good weapon skills in each weapon type it has, lots of sense skills (it has infrared heat vision and others after all), high damage dealing potential, a low dex rank total and move speed, and it's signature abilities to repair itself in sunlight and near electrical outlets and arcs as well as it's poison injectors.

It's alpha version would be weak to water sources (which would damage it and prevent regen), but both alpha and completed versions would be hackable. Of course, things like explosions and being run over by tanks would instantly destroy it, and it would require intervention (coincidental, accidental, or otherwise) to repair itself after such a thing.

Edited by Link6746
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...A lot of Call of Cthulhu adventures are designed to be slaughters. I don't found that funny for the players. That is why, in my humble opinion, they have to be adapted, which is always what I do.
I always wanted to run BRP Call of Cthulhu, having collected numerous scenarios for years. My players wanted to play a Pulp Adventure campaign like White Wolf's 'Adventure', SW'Thrilling Tales', or FATE 'Spirit Of The Century'.

In the end I made up a few 'Pulp' rules and now we're running our own 'BRP Pulp Cthulhu'. Its being going great for a few months now, I'm going through heaps of previously unused CoC scenarios, and the characters are surviving due to the Pulp mechanics. We're onto the Masks Of Nylarthotep campaign, and its playing out more like an Indiana Jones adventure than a Lovecraft Horror. We'll keep playing this for a while (although some also want to alternate with a fantasy campaign), and the only reason we can keep playing these Cthulhu adventures is due to some Pulp mechanic adaptions for the PCs, there is no way I think the investigator party could have lasted the distance otherwise.

That's not to say that its all fedora hats and blazing guns. We have our academic type who specialises in Research, Knowledges, and the Occult; there would be only limited opportunities for the investigators to proceed in many situations otherwise. Some Cthulhu scenarios are the most well designed scenarios I have ever seen, and also the most deadly. The standard CoC rules are great for short scenarios with a focus on horror, but yes, our group has found that there is some benefit in rule adaptation for campaign play, especially if you prefer Investigation Adventure to that of the Investigation Horror genre.

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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This is why I like Tolkien's take on dragons. In a lot of games, stories and movies, dragons are merely huge, dangerous beasts, like Godzilla. In The Hobbit and Farmer Giles of Ham, however, they are also sentient beings that heroes can talk to, bargain with, and (maybe) outwit. Bilbo manages to discover Smaug's weakness and pass the info along to someone who can use it to advantage. Farmer Giles -- with a mixture of bravado, luck, hard bargaining, and a magic sword -- manages to not only stop the dragon's attacks but gets it to become an (unwilling) ally against a greedy king. This opens up a whole new range of adventure possibilities. What if, instead of trying to poke the dragon, the PCs persuade it to invest venture capital in their latest trading enterprise? The Good: They now have (within limits) vast resources and credit to launch world-spanning enterprises. The Bad: If the deal goes sour, if the investment doesn't deliver a profit, or a sufficient profit, their "silent business partner" gets noisy real quick. If they thought having the thieves' guild after them was bad .... On the other hand, the dragon might save their butts from the guild or from another monster at the last minute in order to protect its business interests. Maybe they can bribe the dragon not to eat the princess or the whole castle -- "Sure, I'll hold off this time, for an exclusive royal monopoly on (valuable commodity). Deposit the profits in my Swiss bank account." What? You don't think a dragon would take logical provisions to protect its fortune, increase its net worth, and avoid income taxes?

This is the plot of Jerome, a frog who becomes a prince. After a witch turns him into a prince (who still looks like a frog), he goes of to town to assume his duties. The villagers give his three tasks to complete, the first is a giant crow that eats all of the villagers corn, the second is to kill a dragon and the third is to deal with an evil wizard. Rather than killing his way to success he talks to the problems. He finds the crow is worried he will have no corn to eat so he eats it all. Jerome is able to work out an agreement where the crow will only eat some of the corn in exchange for the villagers leaving him some corn. He finds the dragon is just being a dragon which by its nature needs to burn things. He arranges to have the dragon burn the towns garbage (which as an added bonus to the dragon is a challenge to burn and smells quite bad). The wizard sort of takes care of himself. As Jerome talks to the wizard, the wizard realizes he really doesn't like being a wizard, but he really enjoyed being a child. He then inadvertantly wishes he was a child again and being a powerful wizard his wish is granted.

Despite looking like a frog, the viillagers agree he must really be a prince, so they build him a small castle beside a pond. ;D

Jerome: Philip Ressner: 9780819301741: Amazon.com: Books

Edited by Toadmaster
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