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JamesT

Stuck in a loop with my PC

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Hi all

(First post) 

The Problem im having at the moment is that my PC is a new character in group that was previously five (Now six) experienced call of Cthulhu players (Of which I am not). The main issue is that I’m still a deer in the headlights in the sense that my character gets a lot of sanity checks whenever anything remotely interesting happens while the other characters can just brush it off ,  i’m starting to make my character come to terms with some things but obviously some things I can’t just glance aside. I have no idea what the best way to further evolve said Character is.

Advice?

Apologies for the bad grammar, I have to use dictation

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Does your character have any sort of niche, that is is there some area that he can cover that the others cannot, or at least cannot cover as well as he does? 

IMO what you need is some way to make/keep your character effective. Typically that means being able to do something better than most of the other characters. It tough because you're character is new, and thus not as experienced or probably as skilled as the other investigators. So if you can find something that they failed to cover very well, you can focus your attention on that, and become their resident expert in that field. As your character isn't as "Mythos resistant" as the other characters. you might want to focus on some area that won't involve confronting Mythos beings. As you get better, you can branch out and learn other things. 

 

So you could become the groups Pilot, or Computer expert, or mechanic or whatever. 

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On 11/14/2018 at 2:26 AM, Apache6Actual said:

And always make sure you are the fastest runner in the group.

Remember, you don't have to outrun the monster, just everybody else....

Or the best Con Artist. Once, we ran into what turned out to be a Shoggoth. I emptied a Tommy Gun into it, with no effect, and then told the guy carrying a shotgun behind me to "Hold the doorway while I get more ammo!". Needless to say the shotgun wasn't any more effective than the Tommy Gun, and I heard his screams as I reached the top of the stairs. True to my word I got more ammo...in a different state!

Edited by Atgxtg

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On 11/13/2018 at 2:52 PM, JamesT said:

The Problem im having at the moment is that my PC is a new character in group that was previously five (Now six) experienced call of Cthulhu players (Of which I am not). The main issue is that I’m still a deer in the headlights in the sense that my character gets a lot of sanity checks whenever anything remotely interesting happens while the other characters can just brush it off ,  i’m starting to make my character come to terms with some things but obviously some things I can’t just glance aside. I have no idea what the best way to further evolve said Character is.

Advice?

Personally I would have a talk with the Keeper and ask him how long it will take for your investigator to "toughen up". If you don't find it enjoyable to continuously lose sanity for trivial things while the rest of the team is acting like total bad-asses then you should tell your Keeper.

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2 hours ago, Merudo said:

Personally I would have a talk with the Keeper and ask him how long it will take for your investigator to "toughen up". If you don't find it enjoyable to continuously lose sanity for trivial things while the rest of the team is acting like total bad-asses then you should tell your Keeper.

Yes I agree. If the OP is doing SAN rolls for dead and mangled bodies then in game they should soon get accustomed to it and no longer make rolls.  Same for things like Deep Ones, Serpent Men and ghouls and the like. I tend to have an informal (and unstated) max loss of X (depends on the source) for the lower level sanity threats.  After you discover 2 mutilated bodies the third probably isn't such a big shock (unless it is someone you know).

Although losing SAN is a major part of the game and you should be taking some losses somewhere.  Even playing with an insanity for a while can be a fun thing for all at the table if done well.

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IIRC once you make a SAN check (successful..or not...) after seeing a Mythos Horror, the effects are basically supposed to lessen due to you becoming 'hardened'. While this obviously wouldn't apply to the Major Threats (Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, etc), after you see (and gun down...) a few dozen Deep Ones/Ghouls, SAN loss, if any should be minimal at best.

 

Unknown Armies , IMO, actually has better sanity rules, and models this perfectly.

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On 11/13/2018 at 7:52 PM, JamesT said:

The Problem im having at the moment is that my PC is a new character in group that was previously five (Now six) experienced call of Cthulhu players (Of which I am not). The main issue is that I’m still a deer in the headlights in the sense that my character gets a lot of sanity checks whenever anything remotely interesting happens while the other characters can just brush it off ,  i’m starting to make my character come to terms with some things but obviously some things I can’t just glance aside. I have no idea what the best way to further evolve said Character is.

Advice?

Wait until the PC goes mad or dies and then roll up another PC.

I have only had one PC survive a scenario in Call of Cthulhu, and he was Withered so could not use one arm and one leg.

For me, Call of Cthulhu is a game of one-shots, not a campaign game, where you have the same PC for ten or one hundred scenarios.

Obviously, other people's experience of Cal of Cthulhu will vary.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

For me, Call of Cthulhu is a game of one-shots, not a campaign game, where you have the same PC for ten or one hundred scenarios.

Obviously, other people's experience of Cal of Cthulhu will vary.

Given the fame & popularity of campaigns such as Masks of Nyarlathotep and Horror on the Orient Express, (and now, an Organized Play campaign!) I'd say that the broadest assumption is campaign-oriented play.  That said... I too think more of CoC as more suited to short-arc & one-shot stories.

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Also +1 to the suggestion to discuss matters with the Keeper!

I might also discuss the issue with other players (if any) who you have experienced as being sympathetic to your circumstance and/or given good advice for advancing your PC's situation.

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On 11/16/2018 at 4:37 PM, soltakss said:

For me, Call of Cthulhu is a game of one-shots, not a campaign game, where you have the same PC for ten or one hundred scenarios.

Obviously, other people's experience of Cal of Cthulhu will vary.

I agree. While I'd prefer a campaign, what I've experienced with CoC has been a nightmare-and not the intended kind. By RAW, most groups don't survive very long once the Mythos nasties start to pop up, and most poeple who have experienced otherwise don't seem to follow RAW. Case in point:

On 11/15/2018 at 9:19 AM, Apache6Actual said:

IIRC once you make a SAN check (successful..or not...) after seeing a Mythos Horror, the effects are basically supposed to lessen due to you becoming 'hardened'. While this obviously wouldn't apply to the Major Threats (Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, etc), after you see (and gun down...) a few dozen Deep Ones/Ghouls, SAN loss, if any should be minimal at best.

I've never seen that in the RAW. From what I've read, both in the RPG, and elsewhere, the whole concept of SAN loss in the stories was that people were seeing something that they simply can't accept, not just simple fright or shock. 

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I've never seen that in the RAW. From what I've read, both in the RPG, and elsewhere, the whole concept of SAN loss in the stories was that people were seeing something that they simply can't accept, not just simple fright or shock. 

I believe its in The Keepers Companion; apparently someone basically had the same question and the author advanced this as a method for dealing with the 'lesser' horrors. Delta Green covers this as well, IIRC.

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1 hour ago, Apache6Actual said:

I believe its in The Keepers Companion; apparently someone basically had the same question and the author advanced this as a method for dealing with the 'lesser' horrors. Delta Green covers this as well, IIRC.

Okay. It certainly helps with Investigator longevity. For years it was a running gag that the the most successful character in our CoC campaigns was the one who never encountered any Mythos beings, or gained any Cthulhu Mythos skill. 

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I think the example the author used was that an elderly librarian that had never seen actual violence was going to be extremely traumatized by just finding a dead body, while a hardboiled homicide detective should barely bat an eye. Keeper's discretion, basically.

 

Delta Green, which has most of the players being former military combat veterans, and special operations at that, covered this topic in greater detail. Kinda hard to be shaken by fishmen when you fought at Bagdahd/Berlin/Stalingrad...……….or the Somme.

Edited by Apache6Actual

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10 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I've never seen that in the RAW. From what I've read, both in the RPG, and elsewhere, the whole concept of SAN loss in the stories was that people were seeing something that they simply can't accept, not just simple fright or shock. 

Some SAN loss is of that form.  Some is due to seeing something like a ghoul or a deep one.  Some is due to seeing horribly murdered people.

Getting used to repeated minor monsters or mutliated corpses and such is RAW.  It isn't even an optional rule.  Reread the last few pages in the Sanity chapter.

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2 hours ago, andyl said:

Some SAN loss is of that form.  Some is due to seeing something like a ghoul or a deep one.  Some is due to seeing horribly murdered people.

Getting used to repeated minor monsters or mutliated corpses and such is RAW.  It isn't even an optional rule.  Reread the last few pages in the Sanity chapter.

Okay, that's new. It wasn't in the older editions. 

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On 11/19/2018 at 11:55 AM, Apache6Actual said:

Delta Green, which has most of the players being former military combat veterans, and special operations at that, covered this topic in greater detail. Kinda hard to be shaken by fishmen when you fought at Bagdahd/Berlin/Stalingrad...……….or the Somme.

Except you then get PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or Shellshock, as it was sometimes known. Sure, you fought in the trenches and survived, so what can those fishmen do to you? Then you have a flashback, or hear a loud bang and it really affects you. Of course, in CoC, PTSD is just another form of insanity, so fits in pretty well.

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On 11/19/2018 at 6:55 AM, Apache6Actual said:

Delta Green, which has most of the players being former military combat veterans, and special operations at that, covered this topic in greater detail. Kinda hard to be shaken by fishmen when you fought at Bagdahd/Berlin/Stalingrad...……….or the Somme.

Yes and no. By Lovecraft's thinking, the Mythos beings shake people up because they are things that shouldn't be, and seeing them makes someone question reality as they know it.

Part of the problem I have with this is that it's probably more of case of what Lovecraft himself couldn't handle, as opposed to something mankind can't handle. Much of Lovecraft's attitudes were shaped by his sheltered upbringing. The Mythos takes those fears and insecurities and magnifies them. 

I'm not thrilled with the SAN mechanics.It always seemed odd to me that humans can't accept all these beings running around, but none of the beings have any problems.   

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