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ToC 2nd Edition Rulebook?


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#41 Ephemeer

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:36 PM

You can work out the loss by counting the likely number of Stability checks and their severity. Most players don't spend on small loses but spend big on large ones. So'd I go for an average of 1/2 the amount for small loses and 4 for large loses (the amount need to guarentee success).

 
Yes, that works for experienced keepers, but for first-timers I think it would be good to already have in the book.




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#42 Justin F

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:31 PM

Something else I'd like to see is Psychoanalysis added to the list of 'abilities that can be used as investigative or general abilities'. I feel that as an equivalent of Call of Cthulhu's Psychology, Assess Honesty doesn't quite go deep enough in some cases. And what other ability would grant insight into the mind of the creator of a sculture for example. I saw that Psychoanalysis was used in this way in 'Arkham Detective Tales' and I think it works.
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#43 Sid

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:31 PM

Reposting this message from the Backgrounds vs. Occupations thread

Let's imagine that the stars went all wrong and in a fit of eldritch madness you decided to commission me for a hypothetical 2nd ed. One of the first things I'd try is this.

1) Remove occupations as they exist now

2) Increase General build points to 75, and Investigative build points by 4 as you've suggested

3) Add a catalogue of optional Lovecraftian Backgrounds

4) Add Occupations back in but only with Credit Rating restrictions and occupational benefits. These new Occupations would have "entry requirements", meaning that you would need points in certain Investigative abilities to select a given Occupation. Selecting an Occupation would be mandatory.

5) Done.

I use and enjoy the ToC rules as written and will continue to do so. I just thought I'd see if other ToC fans are thinking along the same lines after trying the very excellent NBA.



#44 roguelettuce

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:44 PM

Since there are already a few General abilities that are used as Investigative abilities (Explosives, Mechanical and Electrical Repair) why not just include Locksmith with those? That way we keep all the "dual" abilities on one side of the fence.


Although I appreciate a lot of the reasons for creating the distinction, I'd suggest abolishing the binary of investigative vs general altogether. There are too many things that would most logically be handled via an investigative application of a general ability or vice versa. I know that under the current system this would create problems with character creation, and possibly replenishing pool points and various other things, and that it may well change the relative value of investigative and general spends (I would much prefer to spend a point on a major benefit in story/investigative terms than a +1 to one roll!) and so forth. But some of these changes make sense in their own rights anyway (cf: my comments in this thread about character creation, for instance).

For some concrete examples:
Using chemistry to actually make something (that isn't necessary to advance the plot, and thus wouldn't come under 'core clue' adjudication - at present this would presumably require a spend, but even that is misappropriating the investigative framework to apply to a general use imho);
Using medicine to carry out some kind of relatively complex (non first-aid) medical procedure, such as surgery (as above);
Using firearms to identify the likely skill of a marksman, calibre of bullet used, etc;
Using riding to identify a breed of horse or to notice something unusual about someone's riding style, etc.

I've actually gone through all the existing abilities and found only a handful that definitely couldn't be put to the opposite use than the one intended (that is, general abilities that can't be put to investigative uses and vice versa) - most notably, health/sanity/stability (which don't operate like other general abilities anyway), preparedness and fleeing. There are a few others that could theoretically have two uses but which could prove to be hugely unbalanced or could merge with other abilities as a result (first aid/medicine, sense trouble, etc)...

#45 GBSteve

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:15 PM

These things can be handled by the benefit system with freebies for the less complex and spends for the more. In NBA and Ashen Stars this idea is more developed although it is there in ToC, and we use it a lot.
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#46 roguelettuce

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:38 AM

1. That only addresses using investigative abilities as general ones, not general ones as investigative ones;
2. That isn't consistent with the rationale for the two different systems (die vs no-die depending on whether it is dramatic to fail or boring to fail);
3. It *can* be done that way, but that doesn't by any means mean it's the most logical or effective way of handling it. Maybe I should look into NBA and AS...

As I've said before, I think Gumshoe is a wonderful and impressive exercise in creative and original game design and I respect the contribution it's made to the RPG community and so on. However, I also think that it's only half-formed and operates at half capacity as a result. I want to play through the rules as written to get a feel for the system and so on, but eventually I want to substantially alter the system in my own games to address the areas that I think could do with being handled differently.

#47 GBSteve

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:23 AM

NBA or AS don't make any radical alterations although NBA does introduce tactical fact finding and tag team benefits which are ways of generating general pools from investigative spends. I'm not saying you shouldn't change things if they don't quite fit how you play them game. I'm sure I've done some minor alterations along the way.
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#48 Justin F

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:32 AM

...I'd suggest abolishing the binary of investigative vs general altogether. There are too many things that would most logically be handled via an investigative application of a general ability or vice versa.


An interesting idea. Mechanically this could perhaps be handled by giving Investigative spends a higher value than General ones, say, at a ratio of 2:1. It strikes me that what makes something and Investigative spend vs a General ability test is not the field of expertise but the manner in which it is used. But this would impact on quite a lot, especially character creation and would mean that the rules were not backward compatible with existing published material.

Edited by Justin F, 23 May 2012 - 12:23 PM.
"2:1" not "1:1"

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#49 roguelettuce

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:59 AM

But this would impact on quite a lot, especially character creation and would mean that the rules were not backward compatible with existing published material.


That's true, but I'm of the opinion (perhaps a minority one) that if you're releasing a new edition of a game and it's easily backwards compatible, you might as well have not bothered making it a new edition at all, and could have just released the changes as errata or optional rules, etc (witness the great D&D 3.0 to 3.5 change, where almost nothing of consequence was changed as far as I could tell, except the Ranger class, yet all of the core books were updated and a whole series of new supplements were released which updated older supplements - that just struck me as pointless).

#50 Justin F

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:24 PM

(witness the great D&D 3.0 to 3.5 change, where almost nothing of consequence was changed as far as I could tell, except the Ranger class, yet all of the core books were updated and a whole series of new supplements were released which updated older supplements - that just struck me as pointless).


Yeah, but think of the money... ;)
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#51 Anselyn

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:26 PM

[...] NBA does introduce tactical fact finding and tag team benefits which are ways of generating general pools from investigative spends.


I think that's a good way to develop things. If an investigative spend is a chance to "buy some awesomeness" then converting an investigative point to a healthy general pool is consistent with this - especially if that's a way to spread the awesomeness around
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#52 GBSteve

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 03:45 PM

Benefits are the rule for buying some awesomeness. Players should always think that they are getting something worthwhile for each investigative point that they spend, be it on supplementary information or benefits. In the short demo, the players can get, as a benefit, a Mythos Tome with three spells and some pools of points, all for 1 point.
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#53 Anselyn

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 04:04 PM

Benefits are the rule for buying some awesomeness. Players should always think that they are getting something worthwhile for each investigative point that they spend, be it on supplementary information or benefits. In the short demo, the players can get, as a benefit, a Mythos Tome with three spells and some pools of points, all for 1 point.


Yes, p53 (ToC) gives the Example Benefits amd many of them are interesting and good. Your example from the short demo is an interesting one, some very concrete help, and not one I think you'd typically step to from the examples on p53.

p53 also gives an example benefit "A point spend might get you some dedicated pool points (see p. 54)" where p54 defines Dedicated Pool Points but doesn't give an idea of what the pool points from an investigative spend might be.

So, "generating general pools from investigative spends" has always been there. It would be nice if ToC2.0 could be a bit more explcit about this and pull on good examples that have worked - as in the demo game.

Edited by Anselyn, 24 May 2012 - 04:05 PM.
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#54 OlderNick

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:46 PM

0-point clues should perhaps be mentioned. They pop up in quite a few scenarios, but aren't mentioned in the ToC core book.

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#55 Arseny

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:06 PM

What I think 2nd edition would benefit from (arranged vaguely in order of importance):

1) Sanity/Stability rules rewritten for clarity (probably based on last chapter in Keeper Resource Book)

2) Extended description of skills, with sample spends and historical overview (also from Keeper Resource Book).

3) Extended Keeper Section with more focus how GUMSHOW works, how to avoid common pitfalls, how to design scenarios based on common complaints and misunderstandings (possibilities of failure, non-linear scenarios, etc.)

4) A different introductory adventure, more friendly to the first-time GUMSHOE Keeper. The current one has some neat ideas, but requires a lot of improvisation/additional work on the Keeper’s side and some real leaps of logic on the players’ side.

5) Some new rules, adapted from later iterations of GUMSHOE, like extended contents rules from NDA.

6) Overall rules rewritten for clarity and fitted with more examples.

7) New Mythos creatures illustrations (I absolutely adore Jerome’s faux-photo pictures, but I think that most images of Mythos creatures sort of fall flat).

8) Perhaps another adventure, specifically in Purist idiom.

This is, of course, the maximum mission and I realize that including ALL of these changes is not possible, but I hope to see at least some of them.

#56 Anselyn

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 01:10 PM

What I think 2nd edition would benefit from (arranged vaguely in order of importance): ....


There is a very good, as always, article by Robin Laws about "The Threefold Path of RPG Reading" in the June issue of See Page XX.

I think it's fair to say that most of the comments above* about the ToC book are saying that it could be more helpfully written for when it's going to be used used in reference document mode.

*Clarification: Above meaning the thread not Arseny's post.
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#57 Justin F

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:56 AM

There are some great rules in 'The Apocalypse Machine', which, although written for that particular sub-genre, I would like to see considered as changes or options for 2nd Edition. Specifically:

New 'Defense Mechanism' mental illnesses
Pillars of Sanity being 'hit' (3rd strike and you're out)
Rules for Sources of Stability who die
'Reserves' rules for ammo, torch batteries etc
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#58 The_Tatterdemalion_King

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 09:48 PM

There is a very good, as always, article by Robin Laws about "The Threefold Path of RPG Reading" in the June issue of See Page XX.

I think it's fair to say that most of the comments above* about the ToC book are saying that it could be more helpfully written for when it's going to be used used in reference document mode.


I think the simplest fix for that would simply be a cheat-sheet, like the one-page ToC summary on the site, in the back which acts as a condensed reminder of how things usually work.
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#59 Justin F

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:51 AM

There are some great rules in 'The Apocalypse Machine', which, although written for that particular sub-genre, I would like to see considered as changes or options for 2nd Edition. Specifically:

New 'Defense Mechanism' mental illnesses
Pillars of Sanity being 'hit' (3rd strike and you're out)
Rules for Sources of Stability who die
'Reserves' rules for ammo, torch batteries etc


Oh, one more I'd like to add is : Graham's suggestion to give the players the Stability Loss chart and let them decide their own Stability loss. This seems (so far) to be quite effective at building the atmosphere - because, I hypothesise, it encourages players to imagine what their characters are going through.
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#60 GBSteve

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:29 AM

Simon instigated giving the stability loss responsibility to players and we've been using it for a long time. I think it's a good thing too, but more of a sidebar than a rule.
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