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Myghell

Cthulhu Dark Ages Question - Taking Investigators to "Level 10"?

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Myghell

Greetings all,

 

If this is in the wrong place please forgive me.

 

I am being invited to play Cthulhu - Dark Ages, and I have not played this version before. The group I have been invited to join has played this only one other time, so we are all fairly new. The storyteller is telling us to make our investigators level 10. because she wants to let us go up against some "big boys". I do not know how I would go about elevating my investigator. Does anyone know how to do this? 

 

Thanks in advance for any help

 

Myghell

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nclarke

Sounds like either the D20 version of CoC which is IIRC out of print or the Keeper is using something other than standard Call of Cthulhu. You probably need to check and find out what is actually being played as a system.

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wombat1

Yes, in the standard, non d20 rules, if one wishes to increase the power of an investigator, one would add more skill points to the two skill point pools, either by increasing the multipliers used, or just assigning some arbitrary number of points, which would be determined by the Keeper.  Is there a formal d20 version of Cthulhu Dark Ages?

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PoC

Is there a formal d20 version of Cthulhu Dark Ages?

 

No, just the core book and Gamemaster's Pack and a few re-issued supplements with d20 stats (like Lovecraft Country Kingsport and Dunwich). Delta Green was also re-issued with d20 stats back in the day - but nothing for Dark Ages.

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yronimoswhateley

The version of "Cthulhu: Dark Ages" I'm familiar with doesn't use levels, and I'd be surprised if the new version is much different in that respect.

 

"D20 Call of Cthulhu" does use levels, and could probably be converted to "Cthulhu Dark Ages" easily enough with a little home-brew work and some 3rd Edition D&D reference books.  However, D20 CoC, and especially a home-brew D20 Cthulhu: Dark Ages, are weird enough that I'd have to think that the RPG group would have surely mentioned that's what they were doing.

 

The "Pathfinder" variety of D20 D&D could in some ways be considered a sort of "Cthulhu: Dark Ages", in that it's a D&D variant with Lovecraft references heavily built into the setting, though it's far more a D&D standard-issue-sword-and-sorcery-fantasy setting than it is a Dark Ages setting by default, and would probably require some extensive home-brewing to be properly called "Cthulhu: Dark Ages", and I don't think most "Pathfinder" groups would call their game "Cthulhu: Dark Ages" in any event.

 

I would definitely get some clarification from the GM and the group about what's really going on with the rules set.  I'm suspecting either some sort of home-brew thing that you've somehow been left out of, or there's some sort of bizarre misunderstanding going on.

 

When you get the clarification, I would be very interested in hearing more about exactly what this group is using for its rules set, just to satisfy my own curiosity.  Do let us know what's going on!

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Myghell

Thanks everyone for the help. I finally got a chance to sit down with the storyteller. What I was told me was this, she said that the group had only played Call of Cthulhu, 2 other times and that this was the first time any of them had played dark ages. She said that she wanted to start our investigators at level 10, because she wanted us to be able to enjoy the game, and not have investigators that “would crap their pants and die, the first time a real villain showed upâ€. She has said that she will talk to the others once some others get their investigators setup and would most likely take the advice that was given about just giving us some “bonus†points to use. 

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

That still doesn't explain what she means by 'level 10'!

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wombat1

Exactly--the printed version of the Cthulhu Dark Ages rules has no levels, it is based on a different engine from Dungeons and Dragons and the rest of the d20 tribe, hence the confusion.

 

If someone (not me) has the big gold book to hand, please remind me of what suggestions are made for increased skill points for different levels of super-hero play.

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yronimoswhateley

My 2004 edition of "Cthulhu: Dark Ages" doesn't have any special rules for super-heroic play.

 

The BRP book suggests:

 

 

The game master will modify your Character Point Bud get based on the campaign power level, using these guidelines:

Normal: Your character begins with 1/2 his or her highest initial unmodified characteristic as the initial Character Point Budget.

Heroic: Your character begins with his or her highest initial unmodified characteristic as the initial Character Point Budget.

Epic: Your character begins with double his or her highest initial unmodified characteristic as the initial Character Point Budget.

Superhuman: This is the default starting level for a super powered campaign. Your character begins an initial Character Point Budget equal to the sum of all his initial unmodified characteristics added together.

 

 

 

I'm sure that Pulp Cthulhu could also be used as a model for creating superheroic characters, and some sort of Pulp Dark Ages hybrid should be easy to house-rule together with minimal effort and fuss (considering that Pulp Cthulhu is basically a set of optional rules that can be added to any BRP game)..

 

 

I have a bad feeling about this: it sounds like the GM doesn't have much experience with the BRP game system, and isn't interested enough in the system to do even basic homework about how it works, and is making D&D style assumptions about how it works while wanting to throw hordes of big monsters D&D-style at the players rather than relying on subtler atmosphere to do the work.  It's not a complaint about D&D - that system is great for running a system off D&D's genre expectations - rather, it's my feeling that the GM doesn't have a very good handle on the differences between the genres or their respective game systems.  Furthermore, I can't imagine the group are all on the same page with this:  we've suggested about a dozen different ways to simulate "level 10" without even trying, and that's more than the GM has bothered to do; every member of the group could easily independently create characters each using a completely different and incompatible home-brewed method based on the minimal guidance the GM seems to have offered.  I hope I'm wrong, but from my safe distance, it looks like this might be a slow-motion train-wreck in progress.

 

I'm still inclined to say that either the GM is running off a mistaken idea of how the rules work, or the GM is using some system other than BRP (say, D20 or GURPS or something), and nobody bothered to tell the original poster.

 

Good luck, in any case!

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wombat1

I have a bad feeling about it too, Yronimos, which is why I suggested looking in big gold book for other point valuation systems--super-heroic being the one that came to mind, even though there is no link to it in Cthulhu Dark Ages.  I cannot think of any other way to translate developing your characters as "Level 10" for Call of Cthulhu purposes.  One thing that one can do that might equate would be to give the players an extra skill point budget.

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yronimoswhateley

And, for any casual observers who aren't very familiar with the default rules system (Basic Role-Playing or "BRP") used by Call of Cthulhu and Cthulhu: Dark Ages:

 

 

 

  • BRP is a fairly nihilistic rules set, in which character development tends to revolve around loss and hardship, rather than increasing power, and rewards tend to come with strings attached.
  • there's no experience system
  • the system doesn't use "levels", and characters do not "level up"
  • there's very little practical difference between an experienced character and a complete novice, in terms of power and mechanical ability to survive
  • if a character uses a skill during the game, there's a small chance (dice roll) that it might improve; this chance gets lower the higher the skill gets
  • the closest thing to an XP reward for successfully completing an adventure that characters get are small gains of sanity; the amounts of sanity gained in this way are random, and won't necessarily recover all the sanity lost during the scenario
  • magic is a double-edged sword:  "experienced" characters can learn spells and do find powerful magical items, but using magic tends to cost characters heavily in sanity, power, and often in subtler ways

 

 

Also - a short-lived D20 version of Call of Cthulhu was made in the 1990s which used mostly the same rules set as 3rd Edition D&D and was more or less compatible with 3rd Edition D&D and thus did use levels, but D20 Call of Cthulhu is now defunct and abandoned by Chaosium.  Its default setting was the "modern" era of the time - 1980s-1990s - no official Dark Ages D20 content was ever produced, to my knowledge, though an industrious GM could probably make their own by borrowing the swords part of D&D's swords-and-sorcery default setting.  To my knowledge, no official Cthulhu: Dark Ages content was ever produced which used levels.  The "Super-heroic" optional rules from the generic BRP rules set, the Pulp Cthulhu optional rules, and a handful of other rules tweaks can simulate leveled-up characters by improving a character's power and chances of survival somewhat, however these are optional rules, and should require an alert and hands-on GM to outline and understand specifically which options are being used, and how, and what effect this will have on the game.  These are the closest equivalent BRP has to "Level 10", but it's not quite the same.

 

 

 

As Wombat hinted, "level 10" (or "level" anything) is an alien concept in BRP and in any Cthulhu: Dark Ages content I've ever heard of, and there's no real equivalent in the rules system for Cthulhu: Dark Ages for anything like a leveled-up D&D adventurer.

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