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Shimmin Bloeg


Los Diablos: Keeping prep and session 1

Posted by Shimmin Beg , 28 October 2011 · 189 views

Generating plot hooks and developing one.

Note for players: this post contains massive dock-off spoilers that give away huge chunks of plot for both the Cowan case and the overall setting. I strongly advise against reading any of it.

In preparation for the game, I’d thought about the types of characters that might be likely to crop up, as well as th...


Los Diablos: character generation

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Keeping, scenario 27 October 2011 · 371 views

Note to players: No spoilers in this post, though it takes a bit of a look under the bonnet of things.

As the previous post shows, I ran our first game of Los Diablos a fortnight ago.

Some players were keen to roll up characters beforehand, to save time. I’m absolutely fine with that (they have rulebooks and know what they’re doing) so agreed. I sent t...


Los Diablos: the Cowan case, chapter 1

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in actual play, Call of Cthulhu 15 October 2011 · 311 views

Five-forty on a warm spring evening. Outside, pigeons strut and cough on the roof of the Ingham Court offices, and a lackadaisical sun peters through the grimy windows of a first-floor room. It glints off an empty bottle of moonshine on a cheap desk, and throws into shadow the dozing figure in the chair. The door outside once read “BRUCE BANE , Private In...


Los Diablos: improvised gaming

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in design, Keeping, scenario 13 October 2011 · 439 views

(Does contain spoilers, but they're carefully locked away; players may read on)

Officially, I'm working on the Snowbound scenario as my major Cthulhu (and indeed roleplaying) activity. Some people are very kindly providing advice on that. However, it's still going to be a fair while before it's finished. Also, due to busyness at work and general shortage...


Tomes and times 5: more spells

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, tomes, mechanics 10 October 2011 · 515 views

Since my last post, I've been number-crunching. I've created a spreadsheet of all the spells from the rulebook, plus a few others. The Spells by Tome and Type PDF from the Downloads section was fantastic, and I've incoporated the classifications into my spreadsheet in case it comes in handy. At some point I also plan to add brief blurb for the spells (as...


Tomes and times 4: spells again

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, tomes, mechanics 07 October 2011 · 599 views

When last we saw our hero, he was trying to work out a consistent way to calculate spell-learning times using properties of the spells themselves. Having gone through some crunchy stat-based approaches, I think it's time to try something fluffier and more intuitive.

This scheme is based on a much looser approach to things, but may turn out mo...


Setting the scene: at home

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in design, Keeping 18 September 2011 · 314 views

As usual, to avoid spoilers, details of the actual scenario are vague and any examples given are probably made up.

Another interesting feature of the Snowbound scenario has just swum into focus. This is the fact that the scenario unfolds somewhere extremely familiar to the investigators: the school they attend.

There must be existing scenarios where th...


Tomes and times 3: spells

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, tomes, mechanics 26 August 2011 · 710 views

Quick summary: I've been working on a set of guidelines for working out reading times, intended mostly for designing scenarios and allocating rough figures, but might have a secondary use for players or Keepers unsatisfied with the core rules.

So far, I've examined the existing reading time rules (looking especially at problems for design and consistenc...


Where did they go? 3: Should you bring them back?

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Keeping 29 July 2011 · 379 views

So I’ve talked about why investigators might leave an investigation, and ways of reigniting the investigation. But is it a good idea?

Let’s look back at OlderNick’s scenario for a minute. The investigators had fled the town of Dewsbury after an encounter with a Dark Young. Some of the suggestions for getting them involved again were (in roughly the same...


Where did they go? 2: The Long Arm of the Mythos

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Keeping 28 July 2011 · 292 views

Okay, so once your investigators have fled the scene or dropped the investigation, how do you get them involved again?

I’m only going to talk about tactics for the third and fourth options from my last post. In other words, situations where either a) the investigators (and/or players) just don’t know how to proceed or have managed to wander away from the...


Where did they go?

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Keeping 27 July 2011 · 341 views

OlderNick on the forums recently posted about a game where the investigators fled the scenario altogether after discovering the secret of the village. He was interested in ways to do a sequel investigation, and the assumption seemed to be that this would mean getting the same investigators back into the mystery. Now this doesn't sound like just a Keeper t...


Setting the scene: not London

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in design 13 July 2011 · 470 views

This post will be slightly evasive to avoid giving away anything significant about the scenario. You can easily track down the forum thread where all that information shows up.

Having slapped together the basics of the scenario, things have slowed down a lot. I notice a sort of pyramid effect in terms of time and ideas. To begin with, I was only sorting...


Tomes and times 2

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, tomes, mechanics 07 July 2011 · 690 views

I’ve come up with a list of factors that affect how long it takes to read and study something, which include properties of the book, properties of the text, and the reader’s abilities.

How well do you understand the language it's written in?
How good are you at grasping complex or allegorical ideas?
How much experience do you have of reading simi...


Tomes and times

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in tomes, Call of Cthulhu, mechanics 07 July 2011 · 555 views

I’ve been thinking about books and texts while working on Snowbound, especially in terms of time. There’s quite a few posts on this topic on the site, which suggests it’s a common issue. The usual problem seems to be that you can’t read fast enough. The rules for reading books seem (to me) to derive from the actual Lovecraft stories, where characters ofte...


Snowbound development: quick summary

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, design, scenario 02 July 2011 · 307 views

For a while now - in fact, pretty much since I started playing Call of Cthulhu - I've been knocking about an idea for a scenario based in a boarding school. I liked the possibilities it seemed to offer for something different - not that I have a problem with existing CoC adventures. For one thing, running a game with all child investigators should be inte...