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WaynePeters

De Profundis: Am I missing something?

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WaynePeters

After hearing about De Profundis on News from Pnakotus (ep4 I think) the other day, I was fascinated. Play Call of Cthulhu by writing letters to each other (and not in a PBM sort of way). Very interesting. I rushed over to Drivethru to grab a PDF.

 

I've had a read through and I have to say I'm a tad dissapointed. It's 110 pages of flowery purple prose that can essentially be summed up in one sentence: 'Why don't we write to each other as if we were characters in a Lovecraft story?'

It's just pen-palling in character. You're essentially writing Lovecraft fan fic but instead of doing the decent thing and consigning it to the back of the filing cabinet for all eternity, you're inflicting it on your friends one chapter at a time, and they in turn are doing the same to you.

 

There's no game here, beyond the sense that children playing Doctors and Nurses are playing a 'game'. There are no rules or structure.

 

Instead the vast majority of the 'rule' book is made up of pages and pages of vague pseudo-letters (which ironically for me, actually fail to feel Lovecraftian) that give overly padded-out advice on how to capture the feel of the genre, what to write about, how to write it, how to create a character. The trouble is, if you have half a brain and/or have read any Lovecraft and/or have played Call of Cthulhu it's really just stating the bleedin' obvious.

 

I would have liked to have seen some actual rules or game mechanics - even as an optional extra. How about advice on how you can incorporate a GM who can have an actual story structure with a beginning, middle and end. Someone who can generate and instigate events for the correspondants to write to each other about? Maybe even running short solitaire adventures for individual players etc?

 

I still really like the idea of De Profundis. I still think it's fascinating and I'm still up for giving it a go, but I can pen-pal in character. I really don't need a 110 page 'rule' book to tell me how.

 

Crow

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IndustrialOkie

I second this 100% it's cool in theory and that's about it. Check into tremulus if you Want a great Lovecraftian RPG that is lighter than CoC.

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Devoid

I did much the same with De Profundis seemed a great idea but there's not all that much more than "Lets write each other letters " too it.

 

Great concept but I expetced a little more from the rule book.

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WiseWolf

As a player for more than a year, with other members of YSDC, I would say that it provides more than a narrative way to describe the rules of the game. I think it helps you to understand the mood, and to set the rules of the world that you are going to be writing in. We use it as a guideline to provide a frame for our small campaign. We almost make it to the end. We are just missing the last letter, but the trip was a truly great experience.

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BeachRubble

I would second the Wise Wolf's words, and add just this to them:

 

What the De Profundis book also gives is a shared vocabulary and series of methods for setting up "network" games. This gives the ability to play De Profundis with people you have never met. The role-playing equivalent of postcrossing perhaps, or really a gate towards the same experience Lovecraft had, both in real life and in such fictional exchanges as that which forms the bulk of "The Whisperer in Darkness."

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Lost Sojourner

I'm going to go on and agree that DP is pretty hard to keep up. Very easy to get excited about but tough to keep going since real life keeps getting in the way. Also, based on experience, it is probably better if all of the participants know each other, otherwise it is difficult to keep a dialog between members if one stops responding to letters. Another thing to consider is real world time. A group that I have been involved with has taken a long break due to inactivity and may have sparked life again with an unexpected letter. With the long passage in time since last contact, things have to option to suddenly take a different tone.

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Cooperator

I've played (and finished :)) several games in DP and however it's true that is hard to keep the game up, it's not impossible :P In my opinion, the keys of success are: rather small group (2-3, max 4 players' society), writting the traditional paper letters (except the case, when players don't live in the same country, of course :P) and concept of our Investigator's story. When we improvise most of our letters, we'd create rather soap opera than lovecraftian horror. ;)

 

Recently I've read fan rules to 1-person game and it's quite interesting idea. Generally, you choose the challenge to achieve during the game, there are some tables that contain random events and obstacles. Before each letter roll for increasing Danger, you've got also several Luck Points which allow you to repeat any roll. I'm going to test these rules and I'll let you know how they work. :)

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Arenhart

I just read the De Profundis rule book, and expect to give the game a try soon enough.

 

I share the idea that the "rules" are too superficial, but I have the 28 page first edition, so, this is as much as I have expected. Perhaps this 110 pages edition simply failed to add anything relevant compared to the first one?

 

I'm struggling a little on how to start the game, even though there are several sugestions, I think it could be more helpful on that part, and also on how to make and maintain an interesting plot overall.

 

So, I wanted to ask for those who played if you have any tips? Specially on the first letter...

 

(Does this thread deserves a reanimator badge? I'm ressurecting it for the fourth time apparently)

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Maccabeus
On 04/07/2014 at 01:43, Arenhart said:

(Does this thread deserves a reanimator badge? I'm ressurecting it for the fourth time apparently)

 

At the fifth resurrection, and after a lapse as long as all previous postings combined, I'd say this thread certainly does deserve a Reanimator badge--or something...

 

After reading this thread, I concur with many of the points raised previously. For a game to attain any sort of longevity (or even a satisfactory resolution) it needs a GM of some sort: a designated personality who provides structure and direction. Still, if any of you are interested, 2:12AM is trying to get a game going here: A Certain De Profundis Game

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Arenhart

This is so odd, Maccabeus, just Sunday I was actually talking with a prospective player about starting a De Profundis game. And I haven't even thought about the game since my last post, as that game didn't actually take off.

And thank you for the link, I think it will be quite handy.

 

Such synchronicities always amaze me...

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Maccabeus
2 hours ago, Arenhart said:

Such synchronicities always amaze me...

 

G.K. Chesterton maintained that coincidences are puns from the Almighty.

 

On the other hand, one aspect of Ludwig von Bertalanffy's General Systems Theory maintains that since there are only so many ways to skin a cat (figuratively speaking), and since humans are generally predictable creatures couched in a social context, we shouldn't be at all surprised when someone else comes up with the same idea as we do or says something that's been on our minds. 

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