Friday, December 9, 2011

How did it work? Combining the Cthulhu game rules

So, now I have run to sessions of my Trail of Cthulhu infused Call of Cthulhu hack. How did it go?

To begin with, I think more sessions are needed to really expose the dark corners of the system. But, I think I some impressions would be fun to share.

How about the most talked about feature of ToC? Well, I have said before that I think having a scenario stall because somebody missed their Spot Hidden roll is just shoddy game mastering. Having rules that hinder that just feels like the wrong way to fix the problem. That being said, I always liked the way how Unknown Armies handled skill percentages. In that game you are really good with a skill of 50%. That doesn't mean that you fail every second time you try to do what you do to earn your living. If you have 50%, you can earn your living, without rolling! That way of handling skills is a way to fuse ToC with the regular BRP system. You don't roll your Spot Hidden to notice that clue, and fail. If you are a guy who needs to be perceptive to make a living, you just spot things. That's what that 50% means. It turned out quite well in real play. You roll your dice anyway and if you succeed I give some extra info or colour. I think that worked fine.

The part of ToC that I personally feel is most interesting is the Drive, Pillars of Sanity and Sources of Stability. I implemented the Drive and the Pillars. The former I actually turned to once, just checking if it was time for a soft driver. The player in fact used the Drive to justify the roleplay, and the Driver thus worked, without actually turning into a game mechanic. Would that roleplay have happened without the Drive? Maybe, but the signpost and guide for roleplay was there. I think that worked fine.

After the scenario I realized that I had totally failed to ask for SAN rolls at quite a few opportunities when it would have been applicable. Thus, the concept of the Pillars needs further play testing.

I will probably make a follow up post on this topic after some more sessions of play. Sadly, it seems like the great game killer season is upon us, and now people will be travelling to be with friends and family. Probably we will have to wait until January until the next session.

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