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Cthulhu Dark

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#21 zygomar

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 07:17 AM

I read your Harm rules on storygames forum (where I discovered CD), and I primarily thought it was too soft a cushion for my players. But, actually my savage worldsy damage rules don't sound quite right. For the next adventure (given it's goodman games again) I'll try the Harm thing.
Thanks again for your work. I'll spread the word to my fellow gallic gamers.

I hope to play Blackguard too.

Edited by zygomar, 08 March 2011 - 07:30 AM.



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#22 discoukulele

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 08:12 PM

I'm so stoked about this system. I can't wait to try it out.

#23 GrahamW

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 09:24 PM

Thank you for the compliments. I meant to reply to Steve's suggestion of defining characters with a qualifier and occupation: "Thuggish gardener".

The first thing is: go ahead, try it, hack away.

The second thing is: I have a broad idea that the Occupation Die doesn't really reflect your occupation. It reflects, in a broad way, the thing that's essential to your character. So, if the most important thing about your Investigators is his thuggery, even though he works as a gardener, then take the Occupation Die when you're a thug.

That said...

There are two good things about taking that die, strictly, for Occupational Expertise. Firstly, it's simple to understand: anyone can pick an occupation.

Secondly, it's focussed. It's often easy to decide whether something is within your occupational expertise. Widen that and it becomes harder. It runs, quickly, into the classic indie game problem, that you can use your attributes for anything.

Imagine my Investigator is trying to get information out of a librarian. If he's just a "doctor", he doesn't get the Occupational Die: after all, he's clearly not doing anything medical. If he's a "sympathetic doctor", I can argue for that Occupational Expertise die, because he's being sympathetic. In fact, I can get that die for almost anything. I'll be sympathetic all the time.

So I personally like just having an occupation. But do try the expanded option and see how it works.

#24 OlderNick

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:44 PM

I guess I'll post it here to:

http://nodwick.humor...date=2011-03-15

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#25 StuartB

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 03:55 PM

Very cool! But what disturbs me is just how much I resemble the cartoon keeper!

#26 GrahamW

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:27 PM

I'm delighted by this (although mildly aggrieved that he explained my rules more succintly than I did).

#27 lordingrey

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 06:57 PM

Have I got it right that this system works for small groups of players or larger groups who split up?

Another way of saying some of the tension goes out of investigation rolls if there are several players helping at once.

Otherwise, say 4 or 5 players all "rolling together" at once will come up 5's and 6's lots on investigation rolls and those "extra good" outcomes will seem "less special".

Or perhaps one needs to limit helping (only so many people can usefully ask around for information in the bar at once really).

I admit to feeling that for investigative/roleplay scenarios that give some emphasis to screen time and dialogue that generally 3 is the best number of players.

Rob

#28 GBSteve

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:09 PM

Tonight we played Cthulhu Stark, for those modern day conspiracy settings. Here are my rules changes with some comments on how things worked in practice.

There is a new rule for Cthulhu stark which involves the use of another die to be used to measure something. There is only one of these for the whole group, and not everyone is allowed to roll it. Only those who have clearance can do so. If it gets to 6, very bad things happen, to everyone. This dice can be used for some out of the ordinary things (such as having the software upgrade that makes your phone into a taser. Only one player was cleared at the start of the session and it was never made exactly clear what clearance means).

We will use the optional rule for character generation in which you can add an epithet to your occupation. For example a sporty journalist also gets the occupation die on athletic rolls. The epithet has to be fairly limited, no "Lucky" or "Ominpotent" and given this is Cthulhu Stark, there will be no argument when I arbitrarily limit things (We had Matronly, Sporty and Well-connected). You are still limited to three dice.

I might include a damage dice too. If you get hit in combat, you increase by the number rolled to hit you, to the maximum of that weapon, fist=1, knife=2, gun=3, BFG9000 =6. Armor reduces damage (to a minimum of 1), leathers=1, kevlar=3. (We didn't quite use this).

I'm also thinking about changing the availability of weirdness in some way but am still pondering how to do it. The weirdness came very thick and fast in the Gaslight game and in Stark, it needs to be a bit more measured to stay stark (I didn't change the rule but changed the emphasis, for example when interviewing an old man, the weirdness indicated to one character that she realised that she would be this old one day).
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#29 GrahamW

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 12:35 AM

Rob, in practice, it hasn't been a problem: we've played with seven players and they simply didn't cooperate that much. Certainly not all at once, for every roll.

But yes. If the players don't limit themselves, then limit them. If more than two players cooperate often, it'll get less fun.

Steve: we played! It was fun!

#30 Pickman

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 10:48 AM

Played Cthulhu Dark at Concrete Cow this weekend and have to say was very impressed. Really enjoyed the scenario and the lite (Dark) rules worked well.

The scenario was an excellant. Graham I have to applaud you on that and for the first time in a long time I have been really shocked and made to feel uncomftable (which is a good thing) in a Cthulhu game.

Keep up the good work

Matt AKA Dr Dibden
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#31 GrahamW

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 11:39 AM

Thanks, Matt, I really appreciate that. The scenario turned very dark. (I ran it again in the evening and it went in a similar direction.)

#32 WiseWolf

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:37 PM

What's the name of the scenario?
"For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack”

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#33 GrahamW

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 03:47 PM

It is called Screams of the Children. It's Gaslighty, set in 1851.

#34 WiseWolf

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 03:49 PM

Oh! So it hasn't been published yet, right?
"For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack”

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#35 GrahamW

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 03:57 PM

Not yet! But soon.

#36 WiseWolf

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 04:01 PM

Thanks, Graham. Any chances of you recording and uploading a session of CD to "see" how is it played?
"For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack”

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#37 Tigger_MK4

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 04:20 PM

Played Cthulhu Dark at Concrete Cow this weekend and have to say was very impressed. Really enjoyed the scenario and the lite (Dark) rules worked well.
The scenario was an excellant. Graham I have to applaud you on that and for the first time in a long time I have been really shocked and made to feel uncomftable (which is a good thing) in a Cthulhu game.
Keep up the good work

Matt AKA Dr Dibden


I agree entirely ; an excellent story & a fun session.
A definite genuinely creepy hit to the emotions that I've only really seen/felt a few times in ANY scenario in 30 years
(most recently when I read 'Reeling Midnight' for the first time, but not often before or since ..... sadly when I ran RM at MK I had to neuter the ending somewhat as we had an under 15 playing).

My only disappointment was we players got so into interacting with the characters, we could have done with a longer slot...but that was our fault -- otherwise, excellent all round.

For those who (like me) already have a number of Grahams scenarios, I think this was (IMO) the best yet.
Given the title is "The Screams of the Children" *, I think I can get away with saying it'll be likely more affecting on those gamers with young families (than gamers without such)....but either way, an excellent story.


Also, a big double thumbs up for Cthulhu Dark.

* A title I only found out halfway through the game. I think I startled Graham by signing up before he had even finished filling the ad out....your wicked and sinister reputation proceeds you Mr W....

Edited by Tigger_MK4, 21 March 2011 - 04:51 PM.

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#38 Braininajar

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:56 PM

We had a couple of people bail on our weekly game last night. I'd been dying to try out my new Laundry Files RPG, but didn't want to spend the limited time we had with character Generation (we're not a terribly focused group at the best of times). We decided to run a randomly generated Laundry mission using the Cthulhu Dark rules. We had an excellent time with it. The game had a pulp tone, due I think to a lot of 6's in the skill rolls early on, but players picked up on the failure roll mechanic a it did a great job ramping up the tension. The final scene featured an PC OCCULOUS agent hanging on for dear life on the back of a Fiat, aiming a targeting laser at a rampaging, house sized tentacled horror. All while the little car sped down a country road evading the thing. And then a back seat passenger that had begun to sprout tiny tentacles all over his skin. Good times.
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#39 GrahamW

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 10:37 PM

That's wonderful. The Laundry with Cthulhu Dark. That makes me happy.

Cheers, Tigger, much appreciated.

WiseWolf, I would probably do that if I knew how. I might give it a go.

Edited by GrahamW, 22 March 2011 - 11:53 PM.


#40 AlHazred

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 07:28 PM

Perhaps there's a solution for too tightly constrained occupations, for those who like some sort of "experience" mechanic. At the beginning all you have is your generic occupation: "librarian," "student of metaphysics," "doctor," "dilettante." After each session in which you survive, you get to pick up a hobby skill, but it's far more specific than any occupation: "truncheon-swinging," "Language: Portuguese," "Fifteenth-Century German mystics," and so on; there might or might not be constraints on your selections based on your stated actions during the scenario.

As stated in the RPG.net thread, I really think there's good overlap of Cthulhu Dark with the One-Page Dungeon concept. Some horror-genre scenarios already exist in the format: The Horror of Leatherbury House and Time for Tea spring to mind.





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