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  2. Gaffer

    Space Travel in the 1920s?

    To me, it seems highly unlikely, in the vast, near-infinite emptiness of the universe, that your spaceship and some traveling Mi-Go would randomly encounter one another.
  3. Gaffer

    Player Mages

    Ditto Klecser's comment. What they want just isn't CoC.
  4. Should Climb and Jump be capped by STR? Should Ride and Pilot and Dodge and Firearm skills be capped by DEX? Should Charm be capped by APP? Mind you, I'm not necessarily opposed to Characteristics boosting or capping Skills, but why just Spot Hidden and Listen. I agree with mvincent however that high SH/L make a Keeper's planning easier by making players more reliable recipients of clues. I'm not sure why the OPPORTUNITY wants to make things tougher on himself and his players.
  5. Further shipping news about TERROR AUSTRALIS: —OOCL MEMPHIS is due at Longbeach CA by 22 Feb —MOL TRIBUTE is due at Southhampton on 7 March (same ship as RQG!) —XIN CHI WAN - arrival date at Botany Bay (Sydney) is 25 Feb (also same ship as RQG) This means (customs and drayage willing) we should have Terror Australis in hardback available by mid-late March.
  6. Today
  7. I understand why there is an optional rule for a skill cap, but you seemed to imply that there was a game mechanic making improvement roll harder after that cap is reached. You are just referring to the fact that it becomes harder to roll over as your skill gets higher, right? Also, could you tell me where that rule about automatic improvement is? I missed that.
  8. klecser

    Should Spot Hidden and Listen be capped by INT?

    It is built into the system not to allow players to start with skills too high. A 90 in something may make it hard to roll above it at the development phase, but odds are also fairly good that you'd roll a 22 for an Extreme success and an automatic improvement.
  9. It from from the updated version of the Fungi from Yuggoth supplement, the "Day of the Beast", the second scenario was "Black Hills, Black Secrets". I have the original Fungi but didn't initially have the expanded version with this scenario and a few others. I'll need to give it a solid read but it looked intriguing at a glance.
  10. AkronTony

    The Essential Call of Cthulhu supplements?

    I have always been a fan of Cthulhu Dark Ages. Not in 7e yet, hopefully soon.
  11. Graham

    Online Resources

    Two articles and two videos discussing material that those of 'Modern Sensitivities' may find profoundly disturbing. You have been warned. But the concept that autonomous algorithms are forcing the evolution of weird, NSFW material aimed specifically at children, along with the other deeper implications of this with other uses of autonomous algorithms, is one that is too pregnant with possibilities of a Hasturian nature to not make available to Keepers. Use these ideas at your own risk. Article: Something is wrong on the internet (James Bridle) Wikipedia Article: Elsagate Video (YouTube): The Nightmare Videos of Childrens Youtube and What's Wrong with the Internet (TEDx Talk by James Bridle) Video (YouTube): Weird Kids' Videos and Gaming the Algorithm
  12. As soon as I hit on the phrase "Black Hills" I figured it out. Getting older can really suck in terms of remembering! I found it.
  13. I recall something about Black Hills?
  14. I know I recently read (part of) a scenario, set in the northern mid-west US (perhaps one of the Dakotas). It involved the Insects from Shaggai, a mining operation, rules for one of the PC's to get 'infected'. There were some First Nations ("Indians") involved [Lakotas and one other group], including some Elder who could cast a spell that would cast out a Shan from inside you. There was a story about a First Nation tribe that was wiped out by two other tribes for their 'rituals' (they had gotten together with the Shan). The Shan had crashed nearby, over a century earlier. That is what I recall - I was wondering if anyone knew the NAME of this scenario???
  15. I don't understand what you mean by that.
  16. mvincent

    Should Spot Hidden and Listen be capped by INT?

    Wouldn't an INT cap make actual eagles near-sighted? (as well as giving other animals poor hearing). fwiw: my players almost always give their PC's high Spot Hidden skills, allowing me to assume that a least one of them will succeed if the roll is called for. If there is something I don't want them to see, I just do not give it as an option to be seen. So if I want an actual ambush (which is rare), I have the monster(s) start out of sight (around a corner or other barrier).
  17. Yesterday
  18. GBSteve

    Preparing to start reading some Clark Ashton Smith

    Also check out The Double Shadow podcast.
  19. Just bumping this to say I'm moving on to reviewing Clark Ashton Smith stories next. More details in my Yog Blog at
  20. After my recent read through of many Lovecraft stories, both better known and lesser known ones, I'm now looking ahead to my next foray into Weird fiction. And I've settled on Clark Ashton Smith, specifically the Robert Weinberg edited collection The Return of the Sorcerer, which is available in Kindle form. I chose this book because it looks to be a nice collection of some of his short stories and shorter novels. To see the contents listing look at the Kindle listing for the preview there. I did consider buying the S T Joshi edited The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies instead, also available on Kindle. But although it has the same approximate page length it has much poetry, that for now I have no interest in reading. I may get the Joshi collection later, to get more stories. But for now I'm happy with the Weinberg book. Aiming to start reading and reviewing them here next month. This should take me comfortably into 2020, at a leisurely pace. Looking forward to it.
  21. klecser

    In the end - making the call

    Bill gives some good advice and I agree with him. Reading your group (or asking them!) is a critical part of a GM's soft skills. I operate out of a few cardinal principles: 1) this is our game, and our story, and I am only one voice at a table of several people, and 2) what will make for the most interesting story? I think that "letting go" and surrendering control to the group is very difficult for a lot of GMs, yet I have never not been rewarded by trusting my players. In your example, what if they had just walked away? They walk away, but the threat isn't gone. They've just created a huge pile of narrative options for the future. People ask me: "How is tonight going to end?" and every time, quite confidently, I say: "I have no idea." Bill does make a good point that the experience of players does matter and people can get quite attached to their characters. I never allow characters to die randomly and without some warning. I know that cuts against some people's CoC style. At the same time, most people who I game with want stories that leave them satisfied to some extent, despite the nihilistic world of CoC. Sometimes character death is satisfying. Sometimes it isn't. It depends. Sometimes players back track. They seem cool with something during a session, but then when the shock wears off, they aren't as ok with something as they thought. People's feelings must be respected. Always. It isn't a GM's job to tell people how they should feel. This is why I lean towards low-death games.
  22. andreroy

    Space Travel in the 1920s?

    To be honest, It's been a while since I read it, and I just can't recall the exact differences (aside from system).
  23. klecser

    Should Spot Hidden and Listen be capped by INT?

    I think about this type of situation quite a bit and here are my musings on it: There is a starting skill cap for a reason. Once you hit that cap, it becomes harder to improve that skill. Yet, not impossible, since Extreme successes make for an automatic skill improvement at a development phase. I'm of the opinion that house rules where the auto-improvement can't happen once a skill reaches a certain level could be warranted for very stubborn players. I do think the base improvement mechanics are a tad biased against games where investigator death isn't as frequent. CoC text EXPECTS investigators to die/go insane frequently, but that isn't the style of all gamers. Call of Cthulhu skills are not directly linked to characteristics like in most games. This really messes with people's heads, I think. It certainly does with mine. I usually allow any character to attempt a Characteristic Roll in place of what I consider the relevant skill, but with a penalty die or at one difficulty higher, depending on the situation. I think it is also worth noting that there are plenty of ways in which just seeing or hearing things are not the only obstacles that players face. Social situations, tests of strength, specialized professional skills, etc, are perfectly fair obstacles for players that choose to put all their eggs in one basket. The other side to that coin is that players shouldn't be punished for doing what they want to do. At the end of the day, communication with players about expectations of a game is most important. In my current group, I didn't communicate effectively with a player about expectations up front and she made an Investigator with a very high Occult. I expressed concern, but let her do it. She learned very quickly about the variety of skill checks that can happen in a game, and why a high Occult can suck the mystery out of things. She was also absolute trash at anything else. She requested a re-spec, which was immediately granted. Brand new players of the game deserve re-specs as a table rule, in my opinion, because you can't truly understand what is "fun" in a mechanics system until you have played it for a while.
  24. mercwerk

    Should Spot Hidden and Listen be capped by INT?

    Well, everyone always puts tons of points into it. The eagle eye thing gets tiresome after a while and erodes the immersion. Isn't it shoggoths, not investigators, who are supposed to have millions of eyes in all directions?
  25. Well why complicate it? In that case I would probably remove the skills and default them as an INT roll. One of the few pleasures you have as a CoC character is to get better at your skills.
  26. Hypothesis: Spot Hidden and Listen should be capped at your character's Intelligence score, because you can't know that any random visual event is significant unless you have the brains to "notice something unusual about it". This constraint should prevent the common problem of the character who puts all his skill points into the audio-visual senses in order to get a leg up on the creepy crawlies and the cultists.
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