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Author Topic: Call of Cthulhu BRP Question  (Read 140 times)

Arthesul

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Call of Cthulhu BRP Question
« on: September 13, 2017, 02:48:59 pm »

Ooh, hey, it's me again. This time I have no idea what to do with the Call of Cthulhu system.

Quickstart says to put your stats in 80, 70, 60, 60, 50, 50, 50, and 40 if you don't want to bother with rolling, but when I  put stuff into an autocalc sheet and looked for practical examples of what an "80 SIZ" person would look like, I came across forum threads saying it would be nucking futs for a person to be over like, 12 size unless they're immobily obese, and one GM tries not to let people put their education that far above 30 or 40 before things get "out of hand". Is there another system that people call 'Cthulhu'? Does Cthulhu seriously overhaul their numbers with every edition? Is the Quickstart supposed to just make your character a superhuman badass so you'll buy the full game, kinda like how CoD allegedly gives you hidden stats the first time you play the game so you win all the time? Or were they actually quoting from the size chart in terms of half/fifths for the sake of brevity?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 07:15:16 pm by BerkaZerka »
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Call of Cthulhu BPR Question
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 07:15:01 pm »

I can't say I've had to deal with that, as I only run d20 Call of Cthulhu games, and generally use pregens for the classic rules games I play in. I think keeping humans within a 'human' size limit is a good idea for any GM worth his salt.

As for Superhuman Scores, they must have changed the system recently to reflect gravitating away from 'slim chance to not fail' toward 'decent chance to actually succeed'.

I always thought it rather ridiculous that my "expert" shooter had only a 20% chance to actually hit something back in the original game.
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Arthesul

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Re: Call of Cthulhu BRP Question
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2017, 01:49:27 am »

Okay, I guess it's kind of a false alarm. Quickstart is in 7E and all the references for physical parameters are in 6E and stuff. 7E runs on 1d100, so I guess instead of limitting characters by giving them poor efficacy, it gives them pretty good efficacy with high chance to succeed, but puts a pretty hard limit on what you're doing by giving you the option of anything from 1-99% of possible mortal effectiveness at something. (I've yet to see a monster manual, or much stuff dealing with 7E monsters at all, so I have no idea what sort of stats you're supposed to deal with for actual superhumans. But I'm sure there's a metric for that somewhere.)

Seems to be a good game system for GMs who're godawful at remembering the more intricate rules when they're on the spot in real life. Being able to judge success and probability out of a hundred just makes me feel more willing to say "Y'know what? Damn the charts on door-kicking, gimme a strength roll and let's see where this plan goes."
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 01:52:36 am by Arthesul »
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Call of Cthulhu BRP Question
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2017, 11:34:47 am »

I do like that about percentile based games. It's why BHB is really a d100 game in disguise (percentile based in increments of 5)  8)
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Arthesul

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Re: Call of Cthulhu BRP Question
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2017, 12:57:27 am »

As an aside, how should I simulate characters being moderately badass, and establish something that clearly has superhuman stats rather than various percentiles of human efficacy? I mean I guess there's kind of an answer to that in adding difficulty penalties to rolls for humans that a superhuman wouldn't have, but for my first sort of three-shot, I'm worried about mismatching the badassness of humans and monsters.

One thing I've been considering is just making big monsters sort of nebulous in power and ability, not tell players how many hitpoints rhey should take off it before it dies, and making Boss Fights mostly puzzles and/or skill checks with a bunch of very clearly defined mooks/the big nasty trying to smack the players as they do this. This way if the players start spiraling into a situation where I made something unintentionally deadlier than I thought it would be, I can bullshit the boss to death/retreat during their last stand and none would be the wiser. If it turns out to be underpowered, I can also make things that, by stats alone, wouldn't normally be all that scary seem overwhelming by narrating it differently and not giving the players full knowledge of what's happening behind the curtain. That has the added benefit of, if they solve the riddle and kill the thing the special way that it should have been killed when it was allegedly too tough, it still seems like they overcame a very powerful opponent through clever roleplaying rather than something that they would've just ganked from the beginning.

As always with stuff like this I'm not particularly sure if it's kosher to sort of use a monster's stats as it's in the games as guidelines like that rather than parameters. From a general standpoint are there any pitfalls to this and things I should avoid doing?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 01:00:15 am by Arthesul »
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Call of Cthulhu BRP Question
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2017, 07:06:46 pm »

Big Bads in Call of Cthulhu generally cannot be killed by modern methods. Zombies or mutant fish men on the other hand can, but I wouldn't worry so much about balancing stats as making an entertaining game for your players.
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Forge

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Re: Call of Cthulhu BRP Question
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2017, 08:25:52 pm »

Far as I could always tell Cthulhu was never as much about the balanced stats as about the creeping fear and knowledge that you are likely to go insane before you ever get killed and once you go insane... it gets even freekier and more fun.
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Arthesul

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Re: Call of Cthulhu BRP Question
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 02:18:21 pm »

Big Bads in Call of Cthulhu generally cannot be killed by modern methods. Zombies or mutant fish men on the other hand can, but I wouldn't worry so much about balancing stats as making an entertaining game for your players.

Well, the group I'm playing with happens to be people who are very used to Pathfinder and 5E Dungeons and Dragons, 2 of the three big bads are going to be creepier, more powered-up versions of traditional fantasy monsters. (The middle one is a potential ally, and, if they make enemies he's powerful enough that it would take eldritch macguffins to seal him away much like a regular Cthulhu villain.) Since I don't want to beat the shit out of them for resorting to "traditional" methods, I've designed everything with both an investigatory approach and a combat approach in mind. I just want to know what sort of skill/power people should have that combat is dangerous without being overly punishing for people who technically haven't done anything wrong from a Dungeon-crawling standpoint. I'd like people to be able to kick ass but also be thoroughly open to having their asses kicked if they start going in expecting to win wit out a plan. The eldritch segments definitely shouldn't end up looking like Doom Guy came storming through Sea World on a bad day.

Far as I could always tell Cthulhu was never as much about the balanced stats as about the creeping fear and knowledge that you are likely to go insane before you ever get killed and once you go insane... it gets even freekier and more fun.

In that case, should I not extend the sanity meter by adding a separate "Child Tolerance" meter? There's a lot of bewitched kids in the beginning that aren't nearly as creepy as they are annoying in their attempts to prank the players to death and/or injury, so I figured having people roll to avoid losing control and smacking these kids upside the head would be more memorable and fun than chipping these guys' carefully chosen sanity stats down in the early game, when there's meat monsters and animated skins later on that would've had the same effect.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 01:06:03 am by Arthesul »
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