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House rules for 7th Ed SAN my keeper is using.


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I have been playing (gasp) CoC rather than keeping recently.  My friend the Keeper (Ralph Lowe), has done something quite interesting with the SAN rules.  Quite apart from Sanity, and Luck, he has also added Bravery, and Humanity as indices that can be damaged by events.  He has also incorporated rules for relative levels at which various behaviors become (or are no longer) a cause for a check.  I think this has been a response to his time playing my game, where over the course of time the players began to make increasingly horrible and desperate moral choices that impacted their SAN, when the consequences of those choices became apparent.  Thus Zero SAN means becoming a madman, zero Humanity means becoming a ruthless sociopath, and zero bravery means becoming a quivering bundle of urine soaked laundry.  He seems to have been using Humanity as a means of measuring psychic sensitivity too ( I think).  As far as house rules go, this is a nice novel one that draws  a bit upon Unknown Armies and Vampire to give your character a bit of a grading as to how their characters are mentally collapsing. 

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This a very interesting choice bringing Humanity and Bravery as a counter. It clearly state the player how their brain gonna be eaten...

As for my self, I play in Occults adventures mode and use a mix of SANity x Cthulhu Myth Skill because The Cthulhu skill is not a knowledge (which I understand at the third scenario) but a scale of your affinity/link to the Myth (Madness) : Player are given the choice to cross the gap of 50% and 90% in Cthulhu M. Skill :

  • 0-49% : You are an occultist at best. Reaching SAN 0 mean Madness. (Magic start to corrupt you. You can use spells from/with only one Grimoire)
  • at 50% :  Mean you choose to lose a bit of your humanity become a sorcerer. Reaching SAN 0 mean becoming Psychopath / Cultist. (Magic as corrupt you, you don't need a Grimoire...you're a living one)
  • at 90% : Mean you lost all humanity and became a Magic God. Reaching SAN 0 mean you lose all consciousness of yourself. (Like Cthul'ga Fire vampires)

In SAN rules, I prefer let player get more SAN back between adventures by using vitals tie and spending a bit money to go in a Sanitorium for some week-ends (The luxurious ones, cause they all becoming rich -I play in 1920-).

From my point of view, Your master solution is elegant and clean. A very good and simple way to play in Mythos type scenarii without much work/stress on  the master. To make an analogy, he transform the Black and White Green SAN to a tricolor world : You see something horrible SAN loss, You do something horrible HUM loss, you don't do something at all BRA loss. And You can use the standard sheet with a bit of coloring the SAN countdown for HUManity and BRAvery.

And as usual, not really for Pulp-play-style game...

As for my player, I prefer use detailed background : Each Player Sanity start with a Dark secret that will unfold in the scenarii, I gave them, a secret based on one of the seven sin and at the start, they are given a history with check list choice, some give SAN loss (Murder, patricide) other magic (make you a bit less humanity) and lastly they choose how or why they act (reaction to their sin choice : failing to temptation, voluntary choose it or failing to it after a breakdown). The Dark Secret is mean to evolve (from a natural hiding a supernatural explanation too a mythos ones).

It's a lot more work for the GM, not easy to include in much scenarii but I like the Damocles Sword secret... your past is haunting you, monster want to eat you and cultist to recruit you : choose your poison !

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That is an entertaining system and a nice interpretation of how to use the various indices of normality.  As to dark secrets, I never had any problems with players coming up with multiple dark secrets within play on their own.  Introducing a new character became a complete minefield as the longer term characters were all so ashamed of or incriminated by their past deeds that they often lied to the new characters.  As to your mythos index, it is good.  I did something similar with Aklo to provide a bit more meat as to how spell creation could work.  Here is the file of my Aklo house rules.

Aklo.pdf

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The use of "Humanity" as a measure of psychic sensitivity is interesting.

In the original story CoC artists were more sensitive to the call than doctors, lawyers or scientists. So it is understandable that artists who spend all their time exploring feeling and sensation would be expected to be more "in tune" with the cosmic ummah.

But in many of the stories, such as "The Dreams of the Witch House", increasing exposure to mythos elements is the driver of psychic sensitivity, of greater awareness of events occurring beneath the surface of reality, many of which could be considered psychic in nature.

In addition, there is no suggestion in CoC that had Cthulhu remained at large, psychically sensitive people driven into performing barbaric acts of insane bloodletting, which would surely have shredded any humanity in them, would have somehow lost their ability to hear his call.

So I suggest that mythos skill should surely be the dominant determinant of "psychic sensitivity". A "humanity" skill might well provide an initial measure of predisposition to sensitivity to psychic events, but as soon as some mythos skill is acquired, surely that would dominate?

Edited by EricW
Cthulhu did escape, but he was trapped again
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On 10/21/2016 at 11:37 AM, EricW said:

So I suggest that mythos skill should surely be the dominant determinant of "psychic sensitivity". A "humanity" skill might well provide an initial measure of predisposition to sensitivity to psychic events, but as soon as some mythos skill is acquired, surely that would dominate?

Actually Eric W my friend the Keeper is a Vegan.  I think he is using psychic sensitivity based on a humanity as a vegan super power without telling us, as the more sensitive you are to suffering the more sensitive you are to the world at large, or so it seems within the game.  I hope he doesn't see this, and I hope he laughs if he does.  Interestingly he made us roll our SAN, HUM, and BRA separately, and it was not based on POW as it usually is.  I don't know all of the inner working he has planned of course, nor what our adversaries are using, but your point regarding cultists stripped of their humanity is something I agree with.  I think it should be tied to POW, not some arbitrary human moral overlay.

Edited by Darius West
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