Jump to content

Question about Lethality in BRP


Avalon

Recommended Posts

Hello there everyone!

I am new to these forums and have been playing CoC 5.6 for quite some time and absolutely

love it and the system. However I have a question concerning how lethal of a game it is.I personally have no problem with this aspect of the game and find it rather realistic. However on of my friends I game with was curious if it was possible to make character life expectancy a bit lengthier. Just so everyone is aware... no I am not complaining. This is not an issue I have with the game. It really isn't an issue. Just curious how to do it if possible. He raised the point that when some people make a character, they really like to go all out with a character concept, background and really flesh out the character and he is afraid that some people may feel that the characters for CoC and the BRP system in general ultimately doesn't really support that. Perhaps I am wrong on that point and it is only a CoC issue. Either way, and information or advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you for your time! :happy:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello there everyone!

I am new to these forums and have been playing CoC 5.6 for quite some time and absolutely

love it and the system.

That's good.

However I have a question concerning how lethal of a game it is.I personally have no problem with this aspect of the game and find it rather realistic. However on of my friends I game with was curious if it was possible to make character life expectancy a bit lengthier.

To be honest, that's one of the reasons I don't like playing CoC. I prefer long campaigns with the same character and CoC just isn't geared up to that style of play.

First of all, CoC tends to be very episodic, although I haven't played a lot of it, and most scenarios seem to be one-offs. If there are CoC campaigns that obviously I am incorrect in my assumptions.

Secondly, CoC has nasty scary creatures that send you mad just by thinking about them. Going mad doesn't lend itself to a long campaign.

Thirdly, CoC has very little in the way of armour and a lot in the way of weapons that can kill you. This means that if you have a lot of combat in CoC then you will probably die fairly quickly.

Just so everyone is aware... no I am not complaining. This is not an issue I have with the game. It really isn't an issue. Just curious how to do it if possible. He raised the point that when some people make a character, they really like to go all out with a character concept, background and really flesh out the character and he is afraid that some people may feel that the characters for CoC and the BRP system in general ultimately doesn't really support that. Perhaps I am wrong on that point and it is only a CoC issue. Either way, and information or advice would be much appreciated.

Don't introduce a lot of combat. Don't introduce scary, sanity-zapping creatures. However, my favourite way is - don't play CoC :)

You could introduce a rule that someone does not die for CON in rounds, that way they can be treated with First Aid or receive medical aid of one of the PCs is a doctor if they have been hurt and then can go to hospital for treatment. Another issue with CoC is that generally it doesn't have much in the way of healing.

Also, you could introduce some intersting styles of play. Look at James Bond - the villain famously puts James Bond into a tight spot but never kills him and so James Bond escapes. The Hammer House of Horror films often had a villain who ties up the hero, prepares him or his girlfriend for a sacrifice and then allows them to escape.

Don't give all cultists shotguns, don't assume that capture means death, don't play cultists as killing machines - give them low skills and lousy equipment. Don't use the impaling rules, that way even bullets won't kill you with a single shot. Allow the PCs/Investigators to escape. After all, you don't see Scooby Doo and Shaggy being filled full of lead when they uncover the bad guy.

In a general Fantasy BRP game you would have armour and healing magic. In a Sci-Fi game you might have armour of some kind and advanced medical skills. In a SuperHero game you could have lots of armour and regeneration or healing powers. In a mutants game you have regeneration and healing. But in CoC you tend to go mad or get killed.

I hope this helps a bit and doesn't show my truly rabid anti-CoC bias :)

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you play CoC fairly 'straight' then your characters shouldn't die too quickly - well, not until they get to the end of the campaign and meet some mythos critters, anyway. ;)

I don't like the mythos at all, pretty much for the reasons mentioned by Simon above. Howvever, I do have a soft spot for the between-the-wars era and Biggles-style adventures. I've played and run many such games, and character death has never really been worse than in any fantasy game. It's just a question of balance - some people say that D&D characters are tough, but relative to D&D monsters they are not. In a RW 1920s or 30s game, characters aren't going up against anything tougher than themselves, unless they take on somebody's army. Sure, nobody wears armour, but not that many people carry guns, either - and even fewer know how to use them.

That said, guns (and especially handguns) are overrated in CoC. In reality, you have to be pretty lucky to kill someone instantly with a 9mm P08, and hospital treatment makes the majority of gunshot wounds survivable. But if you download my BRP weapons tables for Striker, you should be ok. :)

Dreamscape Design: Crafters of the Finest Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Dreamscape Design: My Corner of BRP Central ... Mine, All Mine! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate the suggestions. I tend to run my campaigns combat-light so that isnt so much of a problem all that often. As for Sanity, I like that aspect of the game, but I was thinking doing something I found while browsing these forums. I am considering using the BRP system for CoC, but using the Madness Meter from UA. I really like it, and would add a little more dimension to the effects of running into the horrible things involved with the Mythos.

BTW... I am a massive Lovecraft fan, so not playing CoC is just not possible. Especially since I actually love the game weather or not anything gets changed.

And Vile, thank you kindly for the link to the weapons table.

Again, thank you for the feedback!

Edited by Avalon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, if the game is combat-light then why is there a low survival/high death rate?

Is it just PCs going insane? Or is it a hypothetical question? It looks as thoug you are trying to make the game more survivable by making it combat-light, anyway.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason why I ask is because even though I do go combat-light, the combat that is there can have the tendency to wipe people out in a heart beat. I know that CoC is not meant to really focus on combat so it should be IMO a shock to players when they do get in combat... but I was just trying to see if others had a way of making it not so drastic.

Actually the Sanity as-is has never been a "problem" for me or the players at all. The reason why I mention using the Madness Meter is not due to some inherent flaw with the mechanics, it is only something to add to the RP of the game. I feel the Madness Meter would give the characters' mental-stability (for better or worse) more depth and make it more fulfilling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obe nice thing about other BRP games vs. CoC is that the PCs aren't quite as helpless, so life expectancy is longer.

I7d suggest using the optional Hero Points rule to help reduce the mortality rate a little more. Dependning on what option you pick it can have quite an impact, and help eliminate some PC deaths from bad die breaks, like when the GM gets the "hot hand" and a supposedly minor threat manages to roll 5 criticals in a row.

Oh, also, when I wrote the alternate wounding rules, BRP had not been released yet, so I used the old multiplier system for handling the rolls. My orginal notes used an Easy (x2) and Hard (x1/2) modifier instead, and since BRP has that, it would make the rule a bit simpler.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...