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Pestigor

7th edition rules for Masks of Nyarlathotep

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I am definately going to upgrade to CoC 7E for my MoN campaign.

Characteritics get converted to x5% on the fly; that should not be an issue. Most Skills are the same or have analogies, so the NPC blocks work just as good.

The Push Rolls and the Spending Luck rules would be essiential, not optional.

The Pulp Cthulhu supplement book will have a choice of other options that may be of assistance as well. It will be published reasonably soon I think.

Edited by Mankcam

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Being a CoC 7E kickstarter backer, I have just received the first version of the Pulp Cthulhu pdf (unsure if it is the final version yet).

I can see it has a number of optional rules that you can plug into play to adjust for the level of pulp you want. Mainly stuff like expanded rules for Spending Luck and it also has rules for Pulp Talents. A few other dials here and there, it looks like it will be a good supplement.

I don't think I should explain the actual rules mechanics of an unpublished supplement, but I can say that it likely will be of interest for you if you are running a campaign like MoN or HotOE. I would probably add about half of the options to my MoN campaign to run it at the low to moderate level of Pulp that I like. If you really take it up a few notches then you can play it at Doc Savage level or even pulpier. The rules also have character Archetypes which streamline char gen a bit. Most of the other stuff is narrative content like 1930s background and advice on the pulp genre and how to run a pulp game.

But if you are looking at kicking things off now then just run CoC 7E with the Push and Luck options. Perhaps allow the characters some trademark abilities that enable them to cheapen the cost for Luck expenditure in particular situations. You could easily replace these with the official Pulp Talents rules once the supplement is released, or just continue with it, whichever works best for you.

I think one of the big things with MoN is to keep the threats at human level as much as possible, especially in the first few chapters, just revealing the true mythos bit by bit. The main thing with pulp adventure games is probably allowing very broad definitions with what can be achieved through skill use, and having a tongue in cheek approach rather than a purist creeping horror and simulationist flavour. As with any immersive setting, use online images to really evoke things.  For instance, Google Images makes it so easy to find pics from 1920s Cairo.

I dont think there are any major concerns running MoN with the 7E rules, it all ports almost seamlessly. This kind of compatibility is a hallmark of BRP games, and another reason the system is a sound investment.

MoN is a great campaign if you want more 'Indy Jones meets the Mythos' kind of thing. Other GMs may see some pitfalls that I haven't seen, so the collective knowledge of these forums may offer you some other insights.

Have fun with it

Edited by Mankcam
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17 hours ago, Pestigor said:

Has anyone run Masks of Nyarlathotep with the 7th Edition rules, and if so are there any problem areas I should be ready to deal with?

I've run it a few times with 7e and did not encounter problems.

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Spoiler Alert ! Nothing too blatant but dont read this if you are going to be a PC in MoN.

I am currently running MoN in 7e and have found a few things that need some translation more than anything.

Poison. I gave up and went back to the resistance chart. It works just fine. You do need to role play it out, of course but the basic functionality of whether the poison works or not needs to be there.

POW  vs POW against artifacts. Similar to poison, this is preferential. It just makes more sense to me to roll against the chart. SPOILER ALERT ! The best example is the Demon Cat in Shanghai against all the various defenses. In the module they slowly increase in strength. 

Spells. This was a big one. I am disappointed with the spells of 7e . They are poorly defined and squishy. I ended up making a spreadsheet each common spell with its relevant specs for easy access. A whole slew of the spells in MoN simply don't exist anymore which is weak. They made spells easier by throwing a bunch away instead of streamlining the existing ones. After having to wing it a few times, I really started avoiding the spells. 

Dont get me wrong. I like the majority of the changes in 7e. I just had to do some tweaking to make the campaign more enjoyable.

A couple other things I did which I have seen mentioned in other places which I think really helped.

1) Fate points. Every time you gain skills points , you add them to a running tally. When you get 100 pts you have a Fate point which can be cashed in for extra char pts or held for later use.This is later use is typically Divine intervention which keeps the PC from becoming Polyp food out in the desert. Also, you can only carry two so you might as well burn them. This is sort of like leveling up and gives a way to make the characters better or tougher since they can be spent on things like HP as well. It is a balance against the constant drain of sanity.

2) Double the HP for characters. x1.5 for everything else. I really jack up the HP for the Polyps too. Lightning guns do a lot of damage. Otherwise your combat events are over in minutes and half the party is dead. Even with this, there is a steady trail of corpses, the group keeps to Meat shield grunts on retainer at all times , and at least two main line NPCs. (Maybe I am just too bloodthirsty ? )

3) More artifacts. I put in three versions of the lightning gun (pistol, yithian long gun and manmade shotgun), Yithian healing cubes (which are particularly unsympathetic and can be a great source of entertainment as they need raw material to work with and will use whatever they can reach to repair people with absolutely NO regard for fine tuning or aesthetics) (they are also large and cumbersome), Masks , yes more fucking masks, the campaign is supposed to be about masks isnt it ? and a couple other things. The trick here is to be sure that the PCs never truly know exactly what the thing is and to have the benefit cost what it is worth.

4) Supporting peripheral groups. I put in a few shadow groups who would send shock troopers for specific raids or back up the party for ideological or political motives. These groups invariably would ask for too much information or fail the party in some way (IE Erica Carlyle pulled her support after they shot up Cairo) . The only long term supporter was Abner Wick from Arkham who just wanted them to send him cheap relics and was continuously itching for a way to screw them over. 

Sorry, I think I went a little off topic there.

 

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I believe that a 7e spell book is coming that includes all the spells (including Attract Fish) but the spells were reduced in the core book as they are mostly used by adversaries not players.

Based on your comments about HP and support 'gangs' I suspect that you run a game that resembles a western gunfight more than a horror game. I suggest Pulp Cthulhu would be a good buy for you to use with your players. Pulp Cthulhu has a Luck mechanism that will allow Luck spends that tally with your use of Fate type points.

BTW the Masks referenced are 'of Nyarlathotep' it says so in the tile. The various avatars of Nyalrthotep are the Masks referred to.

Edited by nclarke
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12 hours ago, Maddog said:

Spells. This was a big one. I am disappointed with the spells of 7e .

Since the spells 7e did cover were mostly unchanged, that made converting MoN easier for me: I just used the old versions of spells for any that 7e didn't cover.

A couple other things I did which I have seen mentioned in other places which I think really helped.

Nicely done. As mentioned: MoN is ideal for Pulp Cthulhu (which it seems like you've done here).

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I am currently running a weekly MoN campaign with 7e (via Roll20).  As @Mankcam stated above, keeping the threat at the 'human level' has been the key to our success thus far.  The Investigators are still in NYC and have only had 'glimpses' of the underlying Mythos.  In fact, we have not yet had one combat, however, I believe that will be rectified with tonight's session (potentially revisiting the Ju-Ju House for a closer inspection).

If I were to start a MoN campaign now, I'd allow the PCs to decide if they wanted Investigative Horror (core CoC 7e) or Adventure Horror (Pulp Cthulhu with core).  I can see where MoN fits either style quite nicely.

Finally, regarding MoN conversion, I have found there to zero issues running MoN with 7e rules.  Anything in MoN that doesn't seem to fit with 7e is simply adjudicated during my session prep or on-the-fly.  The Investigators are none the wiser.  Lastly, a bit of Keeper prep to plan out Chases is recommended.  It is worth your effort when the Investigators are knee-deep in the muck and quick wits are at a premium.  

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I'm running MoN using Pulp Cthulhu 7E rules, I cannot see any issues yet, nor do I expect to.

It constantly swings between Investigative-Horror and Action-Adventure, depending on what the characters are up to. So it's not all 'Two-Fisted Action' all the time, but when it is the pulp mechanics handle things pretty good. 

You certainly can notch things up quite a bit if using all the Pulp Cthulhu 7E options, but I think it runs best mainly around the lower end of Pulp, as some of that higher end use of Luck mechanics stuff is just a bit too 'splatty' for my tastes. Anything more than Low to Moderate Cinematics, and it would be getting into Wild Pulp territory. I don't think BRP hums well at that level; I certainly would prefer using HeroQuest in all it's hand-waving glory for that end of business!

I also enjoy the creeping horror american-gothic flavour when I'm running games set in 1920s Lovecraft Country New England, so I definitely prefer running these with the 'Purist' rules.

However I'm really enjoying pulping up MoN a little bit with the Pulp Cthulhu rules, it feels like these globe-trotting adventures was definitely meant to run this way. The campaign feels like a cross between Death On The Nile, The Ninth Gate, High Road To China, Raiders Of the Lost Ark, and The Mummy movies.

Great stuff :D

Edited by Mankcam
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I'm not really that inclined towards action-orientated Call of Cthulhu, but I think it must be only a matter of time before they redevelop Masks of Nyarlathotep for 7E. If they, say, make a big set like Horror on the Orient Express, with full colour production and good quality props, then it'll surely be a money spinner for them? Kickstarter material at least. 

For me, though, I actually prefer Beyond the Mountains of Madness as an epic campaign. Maybe I'm getting old.....

 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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I never got to read BtMoM, and the costs to acquire such on eBay have been pretty outlandish, so I'ld be happy to see it in print again.

And yes, any of these major 'grand campaigns' should be republished for CoC 7E to keep them a current product.

I could definitely see KS for both of these, complete with add-on handouts etc

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