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Videopete

Before I buy 7th edition

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So Im looking at the 7th edition and have yet to make the plunge and Im curious about how it is different. From what I gather is that the rules are essentailly the same and the revolutionary upgrades and math reductions are... that all the math is still there its just been moved to character creation and done before the game and conveniently recorded.  Oh and the book and art is gorgeous i have noticed that.

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I downloaded the free quickstart rules and the differences are basically minor. Major diff? The Resistance Table is no more. Not needed, now that the stats are all percentile.  LUCK is its own stat now, as is SAN IIRC.  And since all the stats are d100, no more "derived" rolls (Idea, Know, etc.) The game engine is basically just a bit more...streamlined.

To be honest I was struck by how similar it was to the old FASA Star Trek game engine.

So the changes are essentially very minor. For me, its simpler to just stick with 6th edition.

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6 hours ago, Videopete said:

So Im looking at the 7th edition and have yet to make the plunge and Im curious about how it is different. From what I gather is that the rules are essentailly the same and the revolutionary upgrades and math reductions are... that all the math is still there its just been moved to character creation and done before the game and conveniently recorded.  Oh and the book and art is gorgeous i have noticed that.

I'd probably rank as one of the more critical people about 7E, but you have my recommendation on getting it neverthess. It's a great game to get into, and has lots of support both in terms of supplements and scenarios, copious fiction to read, and also when finding players. Aside from D&D, CoC is one of the most played RPGs out there. The current edition has excellent production values, looks handsome on the table or shelf and is very readable.

The issues I had with this edition of the game were: 

  • Certain parts of the atmospheric 'fluff' were removed from the game, largely to make space for more rules, or more rules explanations. The most notable for me were the original Call of Cthulhu short story (which I thought was a classy addition in the previous edition) and also De Rerum Supernatura - an in-character discussion of how Mythos elements are integrated in ancient language. 5th Edition actually had a brilliant chapter on forensics. I miss these pieces, because they really set the tone of the game for me, much more than 'how to run' advice chapters.    
  • The game has a slight, but noticeable, slant towards 'pulp' action as the core element of the game over investigation. Combat and Chases get their own chapters, the Luck rules tend to be more forgiving of heroic action, and the scenarios are just a bit more geared towards action over investigation too. Call of Cthulhu, historically, was often percieved as an antidote for the high action heroics prevailant in other RPGs, but this edition shifts it closer to the norm. Sanity is based on cinematic principles rather than the highly qualified research explaining aspects of mental health in the previous edition also.
  • Rules, rules and more rules. Lots of rules seem to have been added to the new edition as opposed to streamlining and clarifying what they already had. So, even though we had a Size stat before, now we also have Build. Rather than find more uses for Magic points to be spent on, we have an additional stat for Luck. We have a bonus/penalty dice system to integrate. Some of the changes are clumsily delivered - for example you roll 3D6 for your Power stat, then multiply it by five, only to be told to divide it by five again to calculate Magic points. Some changes are contentious - Luck points actually change how a game is played, and are no longer connected to Power. There are a lot more stats on your character sheet than there used to be to accomodate the percentile/half/fifth notation of the game. The idea that the percentile system is so simple as to be a 'silhouette' in the background when running the game isn't really a design feature anymore. The previous editions used to fit almost the entire system into about 100 pages - leaving lots of room for 'fluff' again. Now it's got lots more rules, and is a 'crunchier' system to use.

So that's it. My big list of issues, explained. 

Don't let it put you off though! It's one of the best games you can buy on the market, regardless. 

 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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I disagree that it is crunchy.  The major changes are simply a move to percentile stats, pushed rolls, penalty/bonus dice and new Chase rules.  Minor clarifications to how tomes work.  All of these things are designed to make the rules make more sense, not less.  And yes, there are aspects of prior editions that don't make sense, whether people are willing to admit that or not. To call this "all kinds of new rules" is a bit dramatic and sensitive, in my opinion.  I think we need to mind our biases. If you actually take the time with the Chase rules and give them a serious chance, they very elegantly set up some mechanics around chases that give players choices without being overly complex.  It is basically a number line with hazards.  7th is easily converted into 6th.  Just like in any game, no one is "forcing" anyone to use any of the rules.  Given that, why NOT get into 7th?  That is where all the new content is. The production values of the books are superb and CoC is finally getting the publishing level that it deserves.  I think part of the role-playing zeitgeist that nobody seems to want to talk about is the hobby attitude that if you buy an edition, you "HAVE TO" use the rules.  Do you have money to buy CoC products?  Have you liked call of Cthulhu products in the past?  If the answer to those are "yes," the absolute WORST that can happen is that you have beautiful books with great ideas and you simply ignore the 7th rules you don't like.

Edited by klecser
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7 hours ago, Videopete said:

How did the most rules light system become crunchy?

People noticed that there were only two sides to the same coin, and wanted the granularity of three results that Rock, Paper, Scissors afforded.

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39 minutes ago, tedopon said:

People noticed that there were only two sides to the same coin, and wanted the granularity of three results that Rock, Paper, Scissors afforded.

If anything, this tongue-in-cheek comment illustrates perfectly how 7th Edition got even more intuitive.  Prior products are rife with rolls like:  "Make a DEX X5" or a "Dex X2" roll.  I find defining three clear levels of success to be far more intuitive.  Now that all scores are based off 100, it is easy to compare to "below, half or fifth" values to determine success.  I'm prepared to call early editions a bit too THACO for my tastes. "POWX3" for difficulty is inherently less intuitive than just basing everything off 100.  If someone likes THACO, more power to them. I will tell you that THACO-like rules limited the accessibility of the hobby. Skill X[Integer] "difficulties" were far more crunch.

I'm sure people will call this splitting hairs, but my area of expertise is learning and "Roll your skill, did you get under, half or fifth?" is far more intuitive for most people than "Multiply your skill times a number that is different every time and try to roll under that new number." There is one less mental step, and that makes a big difference for people.  Whether or not someone thinks that "they should be able to do the math" needs to spend less time judging others and more time thinking of how to make things accessible, in my opinion.  This is supposed to be fun.  Doing a bunch of mental math isn't FUN for a lot of people. And nobody should ever tell someone how to feel about anything.  Do we want a bigger hobby?  7th opens it up for a more accessible, less intellectually cliquey hobby.

Edited by klecser
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I have 3rd edition (hardback), 5th, and 6th editions. The main thing stopping me from getting 7th is the price point. Even with the starter box set coming out soon at around $50 I'm pretty much holding off.

The reason is pretty much the fact I have 3 bloody copies of the rules (for beauty?  3rd edition wins, hands down...) and Ghu knows how many adventures, etc.  Now if I was JUST NOW getting into CoC yeah, 7th would be the way to go....but I'm not.

 

Also, I've found over the years the fact that the stats were very D&D-like made it possible to lure in unsuspecting victims.....er...players.....from D&D. For scientific reasons, of course..:)

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2 hours ago, klecser said:

If anything, this tongue-in-cheek comment illustrates perfectly how 7th Edition got even more intuitive.  Prior products are rife with rolls like:  "Make a DEX X5" or a "Dex X2" roll.  I find defining three clear levels of success to be far more intuitive.  Now that all scores are based off 100, it is easy to compare to "below, half or fifth" values to determine success.  I'm prepared to call early editions a bit too THACO for my tastes. "POWX3" for difficulty is inherently less intuitive than just basing everything off 100.  If someone likes THACO, more power to them. I will tell you that THACO-like rules limited the accessibility of the hobby. Skill X[Integer] "difficulties" were far more crunch.

I'm sure people will call this splitting hairs, but my area of expertise is learning and "Roll your skill, did you get under, half or fifth?" is far more intuitive for most people than "Multiply your skill times a number that is different every time and try to roll under that new number." There is one less mental step, and that makes a big difference for people.  Whether or not someone thinks that "they should be able to do the math" needs to spend less time judging others and more time thinking of how to make things accessible, in my opinion.  This is supposed to be fun.  Doing a bunch of mental math isn't FUN for a lot of people. And nobody should ever tell someone how to feel about anything.  Do we want a bigger hobby?  7th opens it up for a more accessible, less intellectually cliquey hobby.

Y'see when we've had Pendragon rules for the last 30+ years showing us that the most elegant system can be done without table referencing or any calculations, simply by reading the dice as rolled…then the intuitiveness you are arguing for is a lot more crunchy than other systems in use. 

Moreover, the increase in page count dedicated to rulesand systems in 7E, compared to previous editions, is inarguable. It's added rules and rules discussions to the game - making it a pretty mid-level crunchy game compared to many other RPGs around now - including other games that are also about the Cthulhu mythos. 

 

Edited by TrippyHippy
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I’ll start this by saying I don’t have a ton of experience with previous editions, mainly a few scenarios at conventions. I really like 7th edition a lot, particularly a few of the things that were introduced in the new edition. If I have any of this wrong feel free to correct me. 

 

1. Pushed rolls- I love this addition, it’s a way to give the player more rope to hang themselves with :) 

 

2. Luck spends- another way to let the players hang themselves. Sure, they get to make a few skill checks successfully but when I get to hear the collective moan from the players when I ask for a group luck roll, can’t help but smile. 

 

3. Degrees of success- having ordinary, hard, and extreme successes give you three levels to work with when giving out information. It also helps with the combat system , allowing the fight back option which moves combat along quicker.

 

4. Adjusting an investigator’s back story after an episode of insanity. To me this signifies an investigator’s life deteriorating while the player watches it happen. You have the liberty to change their history however best fits their story. 

 

5. Chase rules- I’m probably in the minority but I like them. I used them when running the Escape from Innsmouth and they worked really well. I’ll admit I read them through a few times to make sure I had them down but once I did they were fairly easy to use.

 

6. Mythos tomes- using a mythos tome as a reference fits really well. I don’t know if this was in previous editions but I noticed the stats for tomes are different in 7th edition.

 

I’m sure there are other things I’m forgetting, hopefully my information above is accurate. In addition to the list above the new edition’s books are awesome! I just received the news Masks campaign, can’t say enough about how sweet it is! I have many of the new books, all of them are pretty sweet. I started keeping for my group about 15 months ago, I’m very glad I went with the newest edition, highly recommended!

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2 hours ago, TrippyHippy said:

Moreover, the increase in page count dedicated to rulesand systems in 7E, compared to previous editions, is inarguable. It's added rules and rules discussions to the game - making it a pretty mid-level crunchy game compared to many other RPGs around now - including other games that are also about the Cthulhu mythos. 

Page count doesn't make something crunchy.  Execution does.  Maybe we should clarify what we're talking about when we say "crunch."  When gamers use "crunch" as a criticism, they are implying that a game runs slower when there are more mechanics.  Right?  That is the concern?  How fast are our games?  We prefer faster games not "bogged down" by mechanics, right? And less a resistance table, I'd say the game still runs faster than most role-playing systems out there.  You may want faster.  Great.  Ditch what you don't want, right? None of the things you mention as "crunch" concerns make 7E run any slower in the hands of a quality Keeper.  If someone's 7th games are running slower than their 6th games, that isn't mechanics doing that.  That's Keeper execution and table management.

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I have always understood "crunchy" to be the number of rules a game had but not necessarily the page count. I don't have 7th edition but I would have considered 6th edition to be light to medium crunch.

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To me, 7th edition is a step forward. It has a some more rules, but they are easy to grasp and memorize, and above all, covers many holes previous editions had. It's easier to handle opposed rolls, combat is swifter... the only thing that makes me itch are the percentile charateristics, but is mainly because of familiarity with the 3-18 range.

 

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3 hours ago, klecser said:

Page count doesn't make something crunchy.  Execution does.  Maybe we should clarify what we're talking about when we say "crunch."  When gamers use "crunch" as a criticism, they are implying that a game runs slower when there are more mechanics.  Right?  That is the concern?  How fast are our games?  We prefer faster games not "bogged down" by mechanics, right? And less a resistance table, I'd say the game still runs faster than most role-playing systems out there.  You may want faster.  Great.  Ditch what you don't want, right? None of the things you mention as "crunch" concerns make 7E run any slower in the hands of a quality Keeper.  If someone's 7th games are running slower than their 6th games, that isn't mechanics doing that.  That's Keeper execution and table management.

The execution is crunchy too. Character generation is more complex, and there are more rules to administer in the game. There are more rules to reference in the book. There's no resistance table, which is a moot point when it's been replaced by another table which calculates multiples of five also. You have stipulations in combat and chases that have to be managed. No, it doesn't run any faster. Nor does it run faster than the sort of systems it is trying to emulate - Savage Worlds and Fate, for example - which are designed from the ground up and have refined their game data by actually streamlining rather than bolting on new rules.

If an experienced Keeper is finding 7E more crunchy than previous editions, the variable is the edition not the Keeper. 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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5 hours ago, TrippyHippy said:

The execution is crunchy too. Character generation is more complex, and there are more rules to administer in the game. There are more rules to reference in the book. There's no resistance table, which is a moot point when it's been replaced by another table which calculates multiples of five also. You have stipulations in combat and chases that have to be managed. No, it doesn't run any faster. Nor does it run faster than the sort of systems it is trying to emulate - Savage Worlds and Fate, for example - which are designed from the ground up and have refined their game data by actually streamlining rather than bolting on new rules.

If an experienced Keeper is finding 7E more crunchy than previous editions, the variable is the edition not the Keeper.

I think it is a bit unfair to call the table that shows the fifths (and half) values a table that you use. If you are OK with numbers you don't refer to it at all. If you are not OK with numbers you refer to it at chargen and when your skills go up. It is never referred to in play like the resistance table was. 

I find it about the same level of crunch and speed to run. I very rarely have to refer to rules - and then mainly for exactly the same things I have always referred back to.

For me it does seem to run faster than Savage Worlds and Fate. Although that may be due to the type of games, and the setting in the case of SW, I run with those systems.

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1 hour ago, andyl said:

I think it is a bit unfair to call the table that shows the fifths (and half) values a table that you use. If you are OK with numbers you don't refer to it at all. If you are not OK with numbers you refer to it at chargen and when your skills go up. It is never referred to in play like the resistance table was. 

I find it about the same level of crunch and speed to run. I very rarely have to refer to rules - and then mainly for exactly the same things I have always referred back to.

For me it does seem to run faster than Savage Worlds and Fate. Although that may be due to the type of games, and the setting in the case of SW, I run with those systems.

Or it could be that you are more adept running games using BRP-based rules. 

Regarding the table, the point being that the old Resistance table could also be seen as intuitive enough to not refer to it much, but it was cited as something that was unnecessary. Yet it was replaced with another table, with similar mathematics involved, that you are also basically saying is unnecessary. So how was this an improvement?

Either way, I'm not trying to be entirely damning towards 7E, as I do recommend the overall product wholeheartedly (especially as my group are now gearing up to playing Masks over the next year). But if somebody asks for a critical opinion on it, well, there it is. I just think that certain things could have been done slightly better, but it is what it is now. 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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2 hours ago, TrippyHippy said:

Or it could be that you are more adept running games using BRP-based rules. 

And it could be that you are less adept at running BRP, right?  I'm getting a strong read from you that your perspectives are more personal than they are grounded in the actual facts of the scope and execution of game mechanics.  No offense intended, I'm just sensing a preconceived bias that you're intent on not liking 7.  And just so I'm clear, you can not like 7th and that's fine.  That's your opinion.  At the end of the day we seem to agree that people should play games and play whatever they enjoy.  Yay.  Go team.  And "team" is why I'm continuing this, just so we're clear.  Right now we're also giving advice to another gamer and I want that advice to be as accurate, broad and deep as possible.  And I don't think it is correct to advise people that CoC 7 is crunchy to run.  It could put people off, needlessly.  If a player has played 6th they are going to likely see very little difference. Now, your opinion should definitely be part of the conversation, of course.

Making a statement that Savage Worlds runs faster than BRP? That is a pretty unbelievable statement to me. The only game I've played as much as DND and CoC is Savage Worlds.  Savage Worlds is very much a much crunchier game than BRP at the very base.  There is WAY more to keep track of in combat.  There are far more modifiers that can affect combat. Heck, Savage Worlds IS a combat game.  CoC games are inherently not.  It is investigative.  When I think of the time spent dealing out initiative playing cards every round, counting exploding dice, spending of bennies, checking all the modifiers, reflecting stuns and wounds, shaking and unshaking, players who build characters that stack perks that all can influence a single game roll, etc.  And this is from playing Savage Worlds many times at the very heart of Savage Worlds Country: Tacticon in Denver.  Savage Saturday, baby.  For many years I was a member of Rocky Mountain Savages.  Did you know that Pinnacle has a document for "Quick" combat rules that ditches the dealing of the cards and streamlines some of the other mechanics?  Why even put that document out if the game runs "so fast?"  I don't see how you call BRP a slower in-game run.  Maybe if the Investigators are fighting heavy Mythos beasts with Armor?  Why are they doing that except rarely?  And if they are, isn't it likely to be a monumental event that players will feel good about trying to succeed at and find the time justified?  As pointed out by andyl, most of the time spent with the Fifths table happens BEFORE a game session.  Very rarely during.  People spend hours building characters in every single role-playing game. Its part of what we all love about the hobby.  The legitimate criticism that has been leveled at Savage Worlds is that it runs FASTER than DND (true), but rarely in execution does it run FAST (I challenge you to poll a wide breadth of gamers on this).  Savage Worlds combats are not 5-15 minutes long unless the threat is minimal and it is fluff combat.  It would be having combat to say that you got to play a combat.  I challenge anyone to actually clock a Savage Worlds combat encounter.  Rarely have I seen a Savage Worlds game with any more combat encounters in a three hour period than DND.  They are probably shorter.  People are PERCEIVING that it is fast, but those of us who actually pay attention note that combats can still take a ridiculous amount of time.  Maybe not DND 3.5 ridiculous.  Of course, some of that, once again, is table management, group pace, and how Keeper and players approach the structure of games.  Now, I love Savage Worlds.  But the intention of the game and the reality of it depend whole-heartedly on how and who is running it.

 Your comments just don't add up to me on how 7 runs.  Having run 6th and 7th, the adjustment to my Keeping that happens is pretty minimal and my players move rapidly through both investigation and conflict.  Mechanics are not even close to the most important factor for my prep and execution in either of those versions.

Edited by klecser

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5 hours ago, klecser said:

And it could be that you are less adept at running BRP, right?  I'm getting a strong read from you that your perspectives are more personal than they are grounded in the actual facts of the scope and execution of game mechanics.  No offense intended,

I think your just getting a little personal, full stop. Offense taken. 

Here's a review online for you to get to terms with from somebody else. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggeGSprlYr8&t=385s

And some more related discussion: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM6psmpNvx4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEAiBT2f7Vs

Enjoy.

 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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When I watched that Runeslinger video a year ago, I remember thinking:  "Wow, I couldn't disagree with this guy more." 

I don't need to "get to terms" with anything, my friend, because my games run just fine, with any of the systems we've discussed.

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1 minute ago, klecser said:

When I watched that Runeslinger video a year ago, I remember thinking:  "Wow, I couldn't disagree with this guy more." 

I don't need to "get to terms" with anything, my friend, because my games run just fine, with any of the systems we've discussed.

Your view isn't universal. This forum is for all views. 

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23 minutes ago, klecser said:

We agree on that. Expressing views invites critique of views.

Which is fine, but we don't need to personalise it. The criticisms raised are not made out of spite, but genunine personal experience. You may have different experiences but they don't invalidate mine or anybody else's. I don't go around trying to proselytise, but if people ask my honest opinion - as the OP did - then that's what they get. 

Edited by TrippyHippy
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So it took two things for me to make the jump. One was the fantastic Seth Skorkowski  9 part review, that goes very much into the weeds and depth for me to make that decision and the fact that I know that there is a Korean Call of Cthulhu edition I can get for my wife. 

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@Videopete Thanks for the mention of Seth Skorkowski review! I checked it out and it is very informative (and entertaining)! I'm definitively making the jump as well, although it is less of a jump in my case, since I do not have any prior edition.

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