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Shimmin Bloeg


Fractal Skills in Call of Cthulhu

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, mechanics, Keeping 08 January 2017 · 887 views

I had some thoughts about Mythos skill while listening to some podcast or other - I can't remember which one now. Possibly RPPR. You can read a tome about Hastur and suddenly know about Ithaqqua. Or you can sometimes know about byakhees, and sometimes not. It's weird.

An idea came to me that you could introduce a fractal approach to Mythos skills (and i...


Passing realisations on summoning

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, mechanics 15 July 2016 · 846 views

So I was reading up on monster summoning spells... for no reason (ahem)... and just noticed this in the sidebar: If a success, one being appears per spell, 2d10 game minutes after the chant concludes . 2d10 game minutes. Not "immediately". I'm pretty sure it's been immediate in most of the games I've heard feature summoning spells, because sum...


Professional skills

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in mechanics, Keeping 28 February 2016 · 895 views

How skills work is of course a much-chewed-over topic here on Yoggie. The BRP system is inclined to be somewhat swingy, and while usually more or less fine for the rules-light game I want, it sometimes produces results that feel unsatisfying. The most common of these are when characters who are skilled professionals nevertheless fail to do something tha...


I accidentally wrote a horror game

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in mechanics, design 03 December 2014 · 566 views

I'm posting this just in case anyone's interested.

During a series of discussions on between my other blog and a couple of friends, I ended up writing a lot of blog comments about mechanics in horror games, with a lot of focus on maintaining tension, darkness and light. After a while I realised that between all these ideas I had quite a large chunk of a...


Monster balance

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, mechanics, Keeping 10 July 2013 · 642 views

For some reason, I a) posted this on my other blog, and B) forgot to link it at the time. I talk a bit about what balance means in a game like CoC , and waffle vaguely about narrative monster roles.

Cthulhu monster balance


Attributes: Keeping APP Appearances

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, mechanics, Keeping 01 October 2012 · 633 views

Today I’m looking at the APP(earance) stat. As with my previous post, while I argue about the way people tend to use APP it isn’t meant to be a rebuke to people who play things differently. I just think it’s interesting to think about.

APP seems to be the black sheep of the Attribute family. For one thing, it’s not as immediately useful as most of the ot...


Attributes: on stat distributions

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, mechanics, Keeping 27 September 2012 · 455 views

So I’m quite opinionated, it turns out. A few forum threads, a couple of real-life discussions, and some things that have come up on podcasts (notably the Miskatonic University Podcast, episode 3) have left me thinking about some of the more oddball aspects of investigator characteristics. I’ve talked a bit about them here and there, but I thought I might...


Tomes and times 11: overview

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, tomes, mechanics 11 July 2012 · 900 views

So, another long break from Tomes and Times . Sorry, life intervened.

I feel like I’ve covered everything I wanted to, and barring a sudden outburst of commenting there’s not much more I can add. I promised a wrap-up post to summarise what’s gone on, and there are also several changes that’ve cropped up as I worked through my ideas. So in what will proba...


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...


Tomes and times 3: spells

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, tomes, mechanics 26 August 2011 · 711 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...


Tomes and times 2

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, tomes, mechanics 07 July 2011 · 691 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...