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Gol-Goroth

The Legacy of Arrius Lurco - updates

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Gol-Goroth
And does Casca's wife have a name?

 

She does. Page 48, 2nd paragraph - Her name is Menia Tutella.

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Gol-Goroth
...and probably for his wife Drusila. ;)

 

Who's Drusila? He's married to Menia Tutella.;)

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wombat1

Aw but he should have eloped with Drusila when he had the chance

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ShadowDenizen

First off, THANKS to MRP for the awesome PDF download; it'll come in handy in the next few weeks! And thanks to Oscar for a stunning Invictus campaign; I"m looking forward to springing it on the players! (Though I think we'll start with "Naufractus" first to get people "in the mood".)

 

On a plot question, [sorry if it's tangential to this thread], can I ask a question of peoples opinions on Arrius Melito from this campaign? (And Oscar, if you want to chime in on your intents with the character, that would be great, too, since I know you lurk here in the forums!!)

 

And please note, no offense is intended!!; this is all based on my interpretation of the text.

 

When reading the opening bits of the campaign (and to a lesser extent when reading "Naufractus" from the "Lux in Tenbras" PDF), I really got the impression that Melito seemed kinda fey? (Maybe it's my own perception of the text, since I do have several gay players in my gaming group, but I felt that alot of Melito's defining characteristics were things that may be [stereotypically] considered "gay".)

 

I know that in the epilogue (again from "Lux in Tenebras"), he does get married, but that seems more like a catalyst for the epilogue than an organic part of the story, IMO.

 

Regardless of the intent (that's just a curiousity factor), I think I'll plan to play Melito up as a potential love-interest for one of the PC's, and just adapt the catalyst for the epilogue accordingly....

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Pookie
When reading the opening bits of the campaign (and to a lesser extent when reading "Naufractus" from the "Lux in Tenbras" PDF), I really got the impression that Melito seemed kinda fey? (Maybe it's my own perception of the text, since I do have several gay players in my gaming group, but I felt that alot of Melito's defining characteristics were things that may be [stereotypically] considered "gay".)

 

I know that in the epilogue (again from ""), he does get married, but that seems more like a catalyst for the epilogue than an organic part of the story, IMO.

 

Regardless of the intent (that's just a curiousity factor), I think I'll plan to play Melito up as a potential love-interest for one of the PC's, and just adapt the catalyst for the epilogue accordingly....

 

From what I recall of the campaign, I believe that you are correct. One of the aims in creating the House of Aufidius for Lux in Tenebras was to have one investigator who would possess various traits in common with Arrius Melito and thus place that investigator and his colleagues in a stronger position to be of use to the House of Arrius when the campaign begins.

 

As an aside, our Monday night group just started playing "Naufractus" from Lux in Tenebras. Hope to post the recordings soon.

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Gol-Goroth

Ah... Arrius Melito... Well...

 

I think you should take a good look at the classical period with reguards to sexuality and sexual orientation. Heterosexuality and homosexuality weren't as concrete things as they seem to be today. The lines were blurred, if they were there at all.

 

As the author I am not going to come out and say that YES, he's gay, or NO, he's not. Even today, gay men with powerful wealthy families DO get married, and even have children, for the sake of appearances and to give into pressure from soceity and to fulfill familiar obligations. Even today sometimes a woman will marry a man she knows to be gay in order to gain for herself a lifestyle she desires, or also to fullfill certain expectations placed upon her. In the classical period, the daughter of a wealthy man and the younger brother of a pater familias wouldn't have a lot of choice when it came to who they married, or even if they married at all.

 

If I recall, one of the reasons Arrius Melito was so mad at his brother Casca was because Casca was pushing him into a marriage, when apparently he had a certain arrangement with his father Lurco that he wouldn't have to marry.

 

Curious, don't you think?

 

Yeah... I think I may have spent one too many evenings hanging out with the members of the house of Arrius.

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ShadowDenizen

That, or you've been watching too much "Spartacus". ;)

 

Thanks for the enlightening tidbit; it's always interesting to get the authors opinions on his creations. And how that creation morphs and takes on a life of it's own from game to game.

 

But this helps me solidify some of plans for Naufractus and the opening parts of Legacy.

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revnye

Even if he were gay, I seem to recall that as a Roman he would be duty bound to marry and have children to continue the family.

 

On another note I was shocked by the low SAN loss of the scene ending the first Act.

 

In the Pale God, from the Great Old Ones book (by Kevin Ross), the SAN Loss for seeing the brood emerge from a victim is 1d3/2d6. Why is it only 1/1d6 here?

 

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Xipuloxx
She does. Page 48, 2nd paragraph - Her name is Menia Tutella.

Ah, thanks Oscar! I was expecting her to be named in the intro or in part 1 of the campaign, whereas in fact it's in part 2. That's why I failed my spot hidden roll!

 

Unfortunately my campaign has been on hold since the last time I posted in this thread due mainly to illness -- not mine; the SO of one of the players has been seriously ill, though he's better now. We felt it best to pause the game till things settled down, and we'll hopefully be returning to it next week. I'll let you all know how it goes! (Unless you beg me not to...)

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Xipuloxx
Even if he were gay, I seem to recall that as a Roman he would be duty bound to marry and have children to continue the family.

Just what I was thinking. I'd also add that not being into "macho" things is not necessarily an indication of gayness! In fact, if my players jump to the conclusion that Melito is gay (they may be thinking that already but haven't said so) I might just decide that he isn't, just to shake up the stereotype. There are plenty of people who don't fit the stereotypical "het" mould but aren't gay. Some of them just aren't that interested in sexuality at all.

 

It's obvious what Oscar is hinting at, and I think he's wise not to make too firm a statement; it's probably best left up to the individual Keeper if it's not essential to the plot.

 

On another note I was shocked by the low SAN loss of the scene ending the first Act.

 

In the Pale God, from the Great Old Ones book (by Kevin Ross), the SAN Loss for seeing the brood emerge from a victim is 1d3/2d6. Why is it only 1/1d6 here?

I've noticed a trend in recent(ish) scenarios to have higher SAN rewards than used to be the case, sometimes to the point where the investigators are likely to gain more san than they lose! Now it seems lower san losses are creeping in too... :(

 

Seriously, I guess Oscar can answer you better, but maybe it's because he didn't want the investigators to go indefinitely insane too early in the campaign. 2d6 could easily drive a character with a POW of 10 or 11 insane. Note also that there are smaller SAN losses for seeing both the beginning and the aftermath of this event (though I wouldn't give all three to one character, I think two of the three is reasonable)...

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wombat1

The crucial point for the Romans, I suspect, is not the concept of 'sexuality', an identity, and a concept that is not really described in those terms until Victorian times, but the role one plays in the act itself. The Roman political class had great fun mocking Julius Caesar for his embassy to Nicomedes, not because of the allegations of intercourse, but because the title 'Queen of Bithynia' stuck to Caesar. Also, by putting aside the concept of sexuality, one enters into a series of gradations, as 'Gol-Goroth' points out. It would be quite in keeping with the ancient mindset that one could derive satisfaction from a variety of possibilities.

 

What would have been less well tolerated in the ancient period, I suspect, was debauchery, the carrying on of things too often and too far. This is what seems to draw particular condemnation in the ancient historians.

 

In many ways, Melito is the most sympathetic character of the House of Arrius. He behaves with proper filial piety, and a certain amount of courage, charisma and dash in a crisis situation, as a proper Roman elite ought.

 

One might also think of his story, if one wishes, as a sort of tragedy, understood in the original meaning of the word. Tragedy is not merely a sad story, but a story that unfolds from the irreconcilable conflict of two equally important duties, that can only end badly. Melito has a duty to obey the pater familias, marry and carry forward the gens. He also has a duty (to the modern mind, perhaps not so important to the Romans) to his own destiny and fulfillment and happiness. That may not make for relevant play during a Call of Cthulhu game, but a Keeper with a penchant for roleplay ought to be able to get some mileage of it. And, given that the Romans are more flexible on this than modern minds, it needn't end altogether badly either.

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Gol-Goroth
Seriously, I guess Oscar can answer you better, but maybe it's because he didn't want the investigators to go indefinitely insane too early in the campaign. 2d6 could easily drive a character with a POW of 10 or 11 insane. Note also that there are smaller SAN losses for seeing both the beginning and the aftermath of this event (though I wouldn't give all three to one character, I think two of the three is reasonable)...

 

This campaign is very tough on Sanity. Most of my players needed to take breaks, at resorts or religious festivals or at the games, to get additional sanity points to recover some of what they were losing. Towards the end most characters were still down a dangerous amount of sanity points, a lot of that from spells casting and learning too many things damaging to the human mind. So, the Sanity loss may initially seem mild in part one, but trust me, this is a marathon, not a foot race. Investigators have a long, dangerous and difficult road ahead of them.

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revnye

Then the players should make the sanity roll for witnessing this event! This is Call of Cthulhu, players should not be given a break.

 

Note: I was a player when I was shocked by the low SAN loss and I insisted that the Keeper use the higher one! If my character losses too much SAN along the way and is lost, then it will bring home to any survivors the horrible and uncaring nature of the universe.

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ShadowDenizen

This thread has brought up quite a few interesting thoughts and points, and about more than just “Arrius Lurco”.

 

Then the players should make the sanity roll for witnessing this event! This is Call of Cthulhu, players should not be given a break.

 

Note: I was a player when I was shocked by the low SAN loss and I insisted that the Keeper use the higher one! If my character losses too much SAN along the way and is lost, then it will bring home to any survivors the horrible and uncaring nature of the universe.

 

 

Revyne, I appreciate the hardcore dedication to the true Lovercraftian themes; I’m not sure I would have done the same if the situations were reversed. ;)

 

As a Keeper, I try to keep a balance between Death/Insantity, and peoples’ attachments to their characters. My players come from a background where CoC isn’t their PRIMARY game system, so they tend to want their characters to succeed, so I try to allow that, as much as the story and system will allow it.

 

 

This campaign is very tough on Sanity. Most of my players needed to take breaks, at resorts or religious festivals or at the games, to get additional sanity points to recover some of what they were losing. Towards the end most characters were still down a dangerous amount of sanity points, a lot of that from spells casting and learning too many things damaging to the human mind. So, the Sanity loss may initially seem mild in part one, but trust me, this is a marathon, not a foot race. Investigators have a long, dangerous and difficult road ahead of them.

 

I also have adopted this philosophy, and it’s served me well over the years as a Keeper. My rule of thumb is? “The longer you can keep a character alive, the more you can torture them later.” (To my intial susrpise many years ago, I’ve found that this creates a surprisingly effective bond between Player and Keeper.)

 

The crucial point for the Romans, I suspect, is not the concept of 'sexuality', an identity, and a concept that is not really described in those terms until Victorian times, but the role one plays in the act itself. In many ways, Melito is the most sympathetic character of the House of Arrius. He behaves with proper filial piety, and a certain amount of courage, charisma and dash in a crisis situation, as a proper Roman elite ought. One might also think of his story, if one wishes, as a sort of tragedy, understood in the original meaning of the word. Tragedy is not merely a sad story, but a story that unfolds from the irreconcilable conflict of two equally important duties, that can only end badly. Melito has a duty to obey the pater familias, marry and carry forward the gens. He also has a duty (to the modern mind, perhaps not so important to the Romans) to his own destiny and fulfillment and happiness. That may not make for relevant play during a Call of Cthulhu game, but a Keeper with a penchant for roleplay ought to be able to get some mileage of it. And, given that the Romans are more flexible on this than modern minds, it needn't end altogether badly either.

 

Well said.

 

I, of course, drew my initial thoughts from our modern-day mores and sensibilities. But now that I’ve taken a step back, and added some perspective on the setting, and the character of Melito, (He really is a sort of tragic figure, isn’t he?)

 

I think I’ve got a few more interesting ways to “twist” the scenario a bit, to make it more relevant to the Invictus setting and my group in particular.

 

Thanks, everyone for the insightful thoughts! :D

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WiseWolf

We just started playing the Scion of Vulcan, third scenario in Arrius Lurco. Here is the post.

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Cearlan

On another note I was shocked by the low SAN loss of the scene ending the first Act.

 

In the Pale God, from the Great Old Ones book (by Kevin Ross), the SAN Loss for seeing the brood emerge from a victim is 1d3/2d6. Why is it only 1/1d6 here?

 

This may have it's roots in the times. The Gods etc intervened much more in the affairs of mortal man back in these days and as a result, there may well have been less of a shock to say Arrius Melito as it would if it were to happen in front of you next time you wander into the local park (continuing the Pale God theme).

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