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Cthulhu Dark

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#41 Skyman

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:46 AM

Played it today and it was fun. Rules were soo easy for everyone. It felt like a very stripped down Trail of Cthulhu. I let my group pick the era (1950s) and they alll collectively chose to be employed at the same high school (teachers and a guidance counselor). Simplicity of the rules was fun and yet made for great complications
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#42 lordingrey

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 11:53 PM

My group just finished an adventure we started in Trail of Cthulhu rules flipping over to Cthulhu Dark, and it worked great.

http://www.yog-sotho...th-Cthulhu-Dark!

More focus on events and mystery and story. One player specifically said he preferred this to worrying about how much to spend on something etc.

No knock against Trail, it was a step forward from earlier in my view. But Cthulhu Dark reigns - we're pretty sure we will be using it from now on for Cthulhu gaming.

Thank you Graham

And I'm sorry the list of "checks" for blog entries doesn't have a "Cthulhu Dark" box

Rob

#43 GrahamW

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 11:01 AM

This is great. I'm delighted. Do keep posting this sort of stuff.

#44 Taavi

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 01:07 AM

Graham, I'm interested to know why you reversed the standard CoC insanity spiral by making it easier rather than harder to pass insanity tests as the investigator goes more insane (and I like the "destroying mythos knowledge" option a lot!).
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#45 Skyman

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 03:03 AM

Graham....I like the "destroying mythos knowledge" option a lot!.

During the game I ran I allowed drinking yourself into oblivion as an option, but I only allowed it once.
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#46 zygomar

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 06:49 AM

Graham, I'm interested to know why you reversed the standard CoC insanity spiral by making it easier rather than harder to pass insanity tests as the investigator goes more insane (and I like the "destroying mythos knowledge" option a lot!).


The character gets jaded. Figure Cpt Willard in Apocalypse Now. The real horror is that one gets accustomed to the horror. Hence "the horror".

#47 GrahamW

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:02 AM

Graham, I'm interested to know why you reversed the standard CoC insanity spiral by making it easier rather than harder to pass insanity tests as the investigator goes more insane (and I like the "destroying mythos knowledge" option a lot!).


It's a good question. You'd expect it to be the other way round: when you go a little mad, it becomes easier to get even madder. It's a slippery slope. And, in fact, I could have done this easily: for Insanity rolls, you'd simply roll over your Insanity to succeed, rather than under.

But the way it works is really fun to play. At the beginning, everyone shoots up quickly to high Insanity. By halfway through the game, everyone will be on 4 or 5 Insanity.

Then, at the end of the game, everyone sits on the brink of total insanity. That is, they're on 5 Insanity. They succeed most Insanity rolls, but if they ever roll a 6, they're gone. It's really fun and tense.

(I also like Zygomar's "jaded" explanation. That's a good fictional reason. I'll go with that.)

#48 GrahamW

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:09 AM

During the game I ran I allowed drinking yourself into oblivion as an option, but I only allowed it once.


This is nice. The general rule is: you can get your Insanity down, but you must screw yourself or the other Investigators over to do it. (Personally, I'd keep it focussed on destroying Mythos knowledge, but if you want to expand it, that's the rule of thumb.)

Interestingly, the rule as written causes problems in Delta Green-style games. The problem is that, in those sorts of games, destroying knowledge is part of the mission: you want to hide what's going on from others. So I need a new rule for these games. I'm not sure what. (I should start a new thread on it.)

#49 lordingrey

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 02:12 PM

re the less slippery slope, I like it too, for the "lets get people at least half way nuts most of the time" factor.

in terms of drinking to lower insanity, yes it should be more than just drank myself into stupor - what then happened. In my game (on blog) for example, in a night of drinking the investigator burned that cursed book, the very valuable (in $ and game terms) Namless Cults. I explained that it would be something you could consult rolling red insanity die only to get clues etc.

#50 weenog42

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 01:25 AM

I may convert to this. I was going to use the Over the Edge system, which is similarly a rules-lite d6 system (except for ranged combat, for no discernible reason), but I really like the sanity system proposed here. I like risking insanity to get an extra die, and I really like that once they start getting on the brink, the Investigators become their own worst enemy.

The changes I intend to make are:

Core Traits & Side Traits. Instead of a profession, characters have a Core Trait and Side Trait. Side traits add a die (as professions did). Core traits add a die as well, but also allow the reroll of a single die. [EDIT] Okay, this doesn't really work. A reroll is functionally the same as just adding a die, since you only count the highest anyway. Looking for a tweak that is smaller than adding a full die.

Bonus/Penalty system to adjust for circumstance. Putting this in the players hands makes them feel rewarded for clever tactics. A favorable circumstance allows the reroll of a single die. An unfavorable circumstance forces a reroll of the best die, and the result can not be better than the original roll.

Character Advancement. I'm playing a longer campaign in a more pulp style, so if they can survive, they should advance. I'm thinking that each completed chapter grants them one side trait, or upgrades a side trait to a core trait.

Magick. For this particular game, magick use is more or less required and expected, so I'm going to soften the sanity blow. Any spell will have an Insanity Rating. If your insanity rating is already higher than the spells's rating, then you consider it "within human possibility," and thus don't have to risk an insanity die (although you can if you want to give it some extra juice).

Combat. Might need some combat rules for combat with mortal foes.

Looking forward to any further thoughts, and I'll report on how it goes!

Edited by weenog42, 13 April 2011 - 06:55 PM.


#51 GrahamW

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 01:14 AM

Neat. Feel free to hack the system however you want. A general guide is to keep it simple: simply add dice and take them away. Here are some thoughts.

Core Traits & Side Traits. Instead of a profession, characters have a Core Trait and Side Trait. Side traits add a die (as professions did). Core traits add a die as well, but also allow the reroll of a single die. [EDIT] Okay, this doesn't really work. A reroll is functionally the same as just adding a die, since you only count the highest anyway. Looking for a tweak that is smaller than adding a full die.


It might be worth trying occupations first and seeing if they work for your group. When I wrote this game, I thought I'd need to add dice for specific skills, but in play, nobody seems to want them. The occupations work fine.

That said...that's a neat hack. Perhaps Core Traits could win ties.

Bonus/Penalty system to adjust for circumstance. Putting this in the players hands makes them feel rewarded for clever tactics. A favorable circumstance allows the reroll of a single die. An unfavorable circumstance forces a reroll of the best die, and the result can not be better than the original roll.


Yes, that's fair enough. I'd be tempted to say that an unfavourable circumstance simply subtracts a die.

Character Advancement. I'm playing a longer campaign in a more pulp style, so if they can survive, they should advance. I'm thinking that each completed chapter grants them one side trait, or upgrades a side trait to a core trait.


If you're doing Core Traits and Side Traits, then this is pretty neat.

Again, it's probably worth trying it as written. I'm playing a Cthulhu Dark campaign at the moment, without advancement, and we don't miss it.

Magick. For this particular game, magick use is more or less required and expected, so I'm going to soften the sanity blow. Any spell will have an Insanity Rating. If your insanity rating is already higher than the spells's rating, then you consider it "within human possibility," and thus don't have to risk an insanity die (although you can if you want to give it some extra juice).


Yes, that's good.

Combat. Might need some combat rules for combat with mortal foes.


The simplest and easiest way is just to do a contested roll. You want to shoot him, he wants to shoot you, both roll and see who gets higher. Honestly, in games, I use this method more than any other.

If you want to get more complex, you can have a Harm die, which works like the Insanity die. It starts at 1. Every time you take an injury, roll it: if you get above your current Harm, your Harm goes up.

#52 GrahamW

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 01:20 AM

Here's an Insanity rule I've been using for campaigns. It works pretty well.

Underlying Insanity

Your Underlying Insanity starts at 1.

At the end of each scenario within the campaign, roll your Insanity Die. If you get more than your Underlying Insanity, increase your Underlying Insanity by 1.

At the beginning of each scenario, reset your Insanity to your Underlying Insanity.

(You know how, before, your Insanity started at 1? Now it starts at your Underlying Insanity instead. At first, that'll be 1. Later, it'll be higher. And the longer you play the character, the closer you start to total insanity.)

#53 Skyman

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 06:36 AM

This is nice. The general rule is: you can get your Insanity down, but you must screw yourself or the other Investigators over to do it. (Personally, I'd keep it focussed on destroying Mythos knowledge, but if you want to expand it, that's the rule of thumb.)

Interestingly, the rule as written causes problems in Delta Green-style games. The problem is that, in those sorts of games, destroying knowledge is part of the mission: you want to hide what's going on from others. So I need a new rule for these games. I'm not sure what. (I should start a new thread on it.)


Yes in my situation the rationale was that the players drinking were trying to forget or erase the image of what they saw. If successful the player got the SAN back but had to tag his guy as drunk and would not be able to recall the incident/have certain skeptism as to it really happening.
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#54 FNH

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 02:13 PM

...

Edited by FNH, 22 April 2011 - 02:26 PM.


#55 Krypter

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:34 PM

I recently ran the first Monophobia adventure with Cthulhu Dark and it was great. I've never been so relieved to play a system wherein I didn't have to remember anything, did not have to reference any thick tomes, nor did I need to consult any charts or detailed character sheets. It's brilliant. The game was 99% roleplaying. This is the way it should be.

I'm not sure how well such a system would work for other genres given that 1920s CoC is probably the ideal period to have a simple "profession" stat. No superpowers, no fancy equipment, no magic, no feats, just regular people doing jobs we can all understand (unlike today's User Experience Designers and such).

#56 SneakyRANGER

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:35 PM

I loved this I played last weekend in 5 games we ran 1 without a keeper we Kept swaping who set up the story they were all fairly humorous pearodys of a run of the mill Cthulhu game but I find the system lends itself well to humorous pearodys.

#57 GrahamW

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 02:23 PM

I'm glad it's working out so well.

Krypter, I always thought it would work well with Monophobia. I sort of agree about professions. Cthulhu Dark works well for Gaslight, for example, where professions are important. For Delta Green, things get slightly more difficult, because everyone seems to have a similar function. I'm still trying to work that one out.

Sneaky, that's great. Interestingly, I use Cthulhu Dark for bleak, horrific games, so it's nice to know it does the other end of the spectrum too.

#58 MonsterMash

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 11:37 AM

Finally got around to downloading this. Looks good - particularly for PBP games where it is hard using a crunchy system like CoC can slow stuff down to the detriment of the game.

That was what I liked. I'd probably tweak it for combats with cultists but the idea that if you fight a critter you die seems to me more in genre than wasting shoggoths.

Of course, HPL might not agree with me seeing as how mi-go are taken down by dogs in Whisperer...


Or Wilbur in Dunwich Horror. Dogs the new Lovecraftian superweapon.

#59 GrahamW

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 01:05 PM

You know, I could talk about this subject all day. (I've written a book, called Stealing Cthulhu, which, among other things, discusses fights and harm in Lovecraft).

There is some combat in Lovecraft: another example might be the backstreet cultist assassination in The Call of Cthulhu. But they almost always happen off screen and to someone other than the protagonists. Protagonists run.

Edited by GrahamW, 29 May 2011 - 01:37 PM.


#60 konsumterra

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 03:15 PM

99% rule free!





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