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Duck of Death

optional/house rules

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I  use a house rule (based on an optional rule in Gaslight) for character generation:

Female investigators subtract one point each from STR and SIZ. They add two points to APP.

 

I am considering whether to use any of the following options presented in KEEPER'S COMPENDIUM 1:

Feverish Study p. 37

Brainstorming  p. 202

Books and Sanity: Alternate Rules p. 204

 

Does anybody here use optional, alternate, or house rules?

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I use the Sanity rules that were presented in, I think, Unspeakable Oath some years back.  A little more logical than "classic" COC SAN rules.

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I've used a number of house rules over the years. Some I've played around for a while and discarded, and others I've kept.

  • Alternate Aging rules that were based off of Mongoose's RuneQuest II. More detailed than standard CoC but nowhere near as punishing as CoC7e.
  • Roll-and-assign characteristics (with characteristics of the same die type, 3d6, 2d6+6).
  • Combining Occupation Skill points and Personal Interest Skill points together into one lump total. (Which was something suggested in the core or a supplement for Delta Green).
  • Keeper rolls all social, perception, and stealth skills for the investigator and describes the result.
  • Ditching the 'reaching 90% in a skill results in a sanity point gain' rule.
  • Combining Fist, Headbutt, and Kick into a single Brawling skill that deals d3 damage.

There have been others that have included optional rules from the BRP Gold book. I've also done serious kit-bashing of systems like MRQII and CoC for some campaigns.

Edited by K Peterson

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37 minutes ago, Aycorn said:

I use the Sanity rules that were presented in, I think, Unspeakable Oath some years back.  A little more logical than "classic" COC SAN rules.

I have issues # 12 and 13, but this rule isn't in those issues. I did find some optional injury rules.

 

RE K Peterson's input:

 

aging--

I haven't seen 7E, so I cannot compare the aging rules between editions. I use 5th Edition (and earlier materials, natch).

 

characteristics-- I use random roll, in order, for PCs. In my games players very often create the concepts (including occupations) for their investigators after looking at the rolls. ''This guy looks like he would make a pretty good journalist."

But if you do it the other way around, assigning the generated scores might make more sense.

Similar considerations may come into play in other games with random chargen elements, IME.

 

 

 

 

 

As ever, YMMV

 

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

 

:)

 

 

ps- I do use/will playtest  a fair chunk of the stuff from the 1920s Investigators' books, now that I have those. I suppose some of that counts as optional rules.

 

 

Edited by Duck of Death

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Unortunately, I don't remember exactly where I encountered the alternate Sanity rules.  I kind of wrote up my own adaptation but I think it's 99% similar, so I don't feel right posting it.

The gist of it was, instead of getting an arbitrary mental illness assigned to you, at a certain level your character is rattled and skills are effected.  And then it escalated from there into getting a mental illness.  Maybe someone else recalls where this came from.  And I apologize to the author for not having a better memory.

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1 hour ago, Duck of Death said:

characteristics-- I use random roll, in order, for PCs. In my games players very often create the concepts (including occupations) for their investigators after looking at the rolls. ''This guy looks like he would make a pretty good journalist."

But if you do it the other way around, assigning the generated scores might make more sense.

I'm open to whatever my players prefer. Whether they want to generate characteristics before coming up with a concept, or assign characteristics to fit a pre-conceived concept, it's all good for me, as Keeper. I like random generation as well, but I tend to be a Keeper more than a player.

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4 hours ago, Duck of Death said:

Female investigators subtract one point each from STR and SIZ. They add two points to APP.

 

Seems to me that the APP advantage is because you are male and find women more attractive. A woman would be more likely to see men as having an APP advantage. 

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I think that women ted to manipulate their appearance more with make-up and so on, but I also think you're always going to heading for rocky waters if you start imposing sex-based adjustments on Characteristic scores. Personally, I prefer a simple points buy method to let players but characteristics where they want.

Oh, and Luck would be still based on POW in my game, while Sanity is uncoupled to make it's own stat. Beyond that, it's more a case of ignoring certain rules rather than making new ones.

 

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1 hour ago, Baulderstone said:

Seems to me that the APP advantage is because you are male and find women more attractive. A woman would be more likely to see men as having an APP advantage. 

Haha, good one!;) 

It isn't that, though.

 

The way I run, APP might as well stand for Appeal. And, indeed, personality and social intelligence seem to be components in the core rules version, too. So it is not only looks. T

(I believe the characteristic was actually Charisma in the first edition, but I could be wrong on that count.)

The APP bonus represents the relatively higher social and (some aspects of) emotional intelligence/ability typical to human females. It is not simply about looks, although the greater importance placed on appearance for females of the species could be considered a factor. I don't think a long essay on evolutionary biology, reproductive fitness, advertising trends, and so on is needed here, so I won't bore you with all that. If the interpretation of APP and the modifier I use makes sense to you, cool. If not, also cool.

;)

 

 

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, TrippyHippy said:

I think that women ted to manipulate their appearance more with make-up and so on, but I also think you're always going to heading for rocky waters if you start imposing sex-based adjustments on Characteristic scores. Personally, I prefer a simple points buy method to let players but characteristics where they want.

Oh, and Luck would be still based on POW in my game, while Sanity is uncoupled to make it's own stat. Beyond that, it's more a case of ignoring certain rules rather than making new ones.

 

I don't (and probably would not want to )  game with people who would have a " rocky" response to something like this. 

But your experience may be quite different. I respect that.

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16 minutes ago, Duck of Death said:

I don't (and probably would not want to )  game with people who would have a " rocky" response to something like this. 

But your experience may be quite different. I respect that.

Well, they did used to have adjustments such as these in AD&D (1st Edition). A number of people thought it was sexist and it was removed from subsequent editions. That's the rockiness I am referring to.

Edited by TrippyHippy

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AD&D?

:)

I am a fan, although I normally play or run the second edition. But I know the rule you mean. It is a by race limit on exception STR in AD&D First edition, not a 3D6 stat roll modifier. (This  means it only effects fighters and similar characters, by the way. Nobody else gets exceptional STR. Very few characters will be effected if randomly generated.)

But the idea that the strongest men are stronger than the strongest women does not seem to me to contain any element of " sexism." It appears to be an attempt to model the well established, real world fact that the strongest men are indeed stronger than the strongest women. This is biological and anthropological fact, not a political question.  

(And whether it should also be true of all the demihuman races is a different question, I suppose)

Now, I can understand why some gamers might dislike a Gygaxian stab at simulationist game designgetting  in the way of playing a She Hulk type with 18/00 STR.  And given how fantastical so much of AD&D is, this complaint doesn't seem so  very unreasonable to me. But that is not an objection on political grounds. 

For a game with " normal" human characters operating on historic/ contemporary  Earth-- like COC , I like to add in little extra verisimilitude. I won't say " realism" because that leads to endless wrangling about game mechanics, GNS theory, and all that. It isn't intended to be a close model of reality, which I do not consider attainable with any game system. Certainly not anything playable. 

 

Again, ymmv

 

 

Edited by Duck of Death

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Sanity is based on the POW score, while Luck has been uncoupled in the latest edition. I disagree with that, and think it should be the other way round. Luck to me, and when it was first introduced in RQ/BRP, represents a latent POW of sorts, while Sanity is somewhat different to magical power. So I think that Luck should still be based on POW and Sanity should be independent of POW.

With regards to the sexism issue, I actually run games for an all female gaming club (as an invited 'guest' referee) once every month or so.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1688492468050423/

Generally, I run Call of Cthulhu games and provide a bunch of pregens as required. Occasionally, someone wants to generate their own character. Personally, I wouldn't want to be the one that tells any of them that they have to take penalties to their Strength scores..... 

 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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One of previous groups was all female, but my current group is mixed.

My wife is playing a private detective (female) in 1920s Los Angeles. The other players, guys I know from undergrad days, will all be playing male investigators. We have a traveling salesman with really good fast talk and persuade skills. The detective rocks at spot hidden and library use. I' m looking forward to running. 

RE current edition

I don't know much about 7E. 5E (and earlier materials ) works so well for me that I am not in the market for a new version. But I might buy modules/ sourcebooks in the future. I have read that conversion is not too difficult. 

 

Edited by Duck of Death

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Depending on which edition one uses, the extra year of schooling option might be an optional rule. I use it as a standard rule, but I think it might actually be absent in my 5.6.1 rule book. It is in the Investigators 1920s book, though. 

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5 hours ago, Aycorn said:

Unortunately, I don't remember exactly where I encountered the alternate Sanity rules.  I kind of wrote up my own adaptation but I think it's 99% similar, so I don't feel right posting it.

The gist of it was, instead of getting an arbitrary mental illness assigned to you, at a certain level your character is rattled and skills are effected.  And then it escalated from there into getting a mental illness.  Maybe someone else recalls where this came from.  And I apologize to the author for not having a better memory.

Sounds cool.I imagine we will eventually find out which issue number it is, and the name of the article author. 

I wonder if an UO index/ list of articles by issue exists online? That would be legit content, yes? RPG.Net , maybe?

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TrippyHippy said:

Well, they did used to have adjustments such as these in AD&D (1st Edition). A number of people thought it was sexist and it was removed from subsequent editions. That's the rockiness I am referring to.

Even closer to 'home', RQ3 (Avalon Hill) had characteristic adjustments for human women in the Monsters book. The adjustments were intended for NPCs, and I recall a comment in the text that female PCs were considered to more heroic (or something like that) and had characteristics generated the same as a male. I don't recall if there was rockiness back then over those rules.

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25 minutes ago, Duck of Death said:

I wonder if an UO index/ list of articles by issue exists online? That would be legit content, yes? RPG.Net , maybe?

RpgGeek might be a good resource for that. I just stumbled upon it, and it looks like it provides some breakdown of articles based on issue.

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One still testing out with the newest version.

Persuasion & other social skills can be used on other player characters with the following. Someone uses persuasion or intimidation or other social skill son another player, roll skill to see how well it's done plus short minute or two pitch of what they are trying to go for or summary of persuasion/intimidation. From there Keeper interprets result, & tells the other player character (or notable GM player character usually helping the PCs so more akin to a player character) & then leaves it up to the receiver to still pick but now they know that in the game based off the roll, if the other character was successful/failure/crit fail or crit success. Players still have the choice but now their character knows if the attempt was really good or bad & can act on that instead of just mind controlling the other player characters to do the bidding without any choice in the matter.

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