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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eryndur View Post
    Can those who've played ToC tell me their opinion on running classic CoC adventures using the new rule set? I've had a yen to run Masks of Nyarlathotep and/or Horror on the Orient Express, but I was never a huge BRP fan. Would conversion to Gumshoe be a chore?
    Some example sites that talk about converting CoC to ToC

    Dreams in the Lich House: Converting Call of Cthulhu to Trail, an Example

    Pelgrane Press Ltd Trail of Cthulhu (look down near the bottom - includes full notes for Masks...)
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  • #22
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    I've just bought the PDF adventure 'the watchers in the sky' - a pretty creepy 'Lovecraft meets The Birds'. I particularly like the NPC characterisation notes and the way that the adventure attacks the PCs sources of stability and leaves many things unexplained.

    I look forward to running it, although it might have to be for a singleton adventurer rather than a group.

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  • #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plane Sailing View Post
    Some example sites that talk about converting CoC to ToC

    Dreams in the Lich House: Converting Call of Cthulhu to Trail, an Example

    Pelgrane Press Ltd Trail of Cthulhu (look down near the bottom - includes full notes for Masks...)
    Awesome! This is just what I was looking for, thanks!

  • #24
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    I've run Trail of Cthulhu with a couple of groups, with mixed reactions. Mechanics like stability/sanity, pillars, drives and the simplified weapon combat I could get behind. However, one of the main difficulties I had as a GM was trying to maintain a sense of mystery with the skill system. The players rarely had to make a decision in the investigative section of the game that led to anything more than gaining more clues. Yes, sometimes I could offer spends for more/better clues, but there was never any risk in taking a decision to go to one location or another. Perhaps there are better structured adventures for this.

    An example that I ended up twisting the rules a little to support was when the party interrogated a suspect. Since one character plainly had enough points in the relevant social skills, any interesting lies that might lead them in the wrong direction were instantly spotted, and any interesting reluctance on the part of the NPC was overcome just as swiftly. I ended up deciding that a point *had* to be spent in order to see through a lie, or get another clue, as then it entailed a risk (you might need those points later). I understand that the system is designed to ensure that you get the critical clues and keep the story running, but I much prefer the style of adventure where there are multiple routes to the plot revelation and you might fail to follow some threads (but then later you'll get that Aha! moment when you put two and two together).

    I love Call of Cthulhu, but in all honesty I play such a heavily modified version of the rules these days that it's not the same game (and Chaosium will never attempt to update the mechanics to something more friendly, yet still game-focused rather than story-focused). Trail of Cthulhu is fun, but I wouldn't want to run a long campaign with it. Masks of Nyarlathotep, for instance, is awesome because you can fail at several of the adventures and still win, and almost no clues are given to you for being laid back and just letting things happen.
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  • #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Nightwing View Post
    However, one of the main difficulties I had as a GM was trying to maintain a sense of mystery with the skill system. The players rarely had to make a decision in the investigative section of the game that led to anything more than gaining more clues. Yes, sometimes I could offer spends for more/better clues, but there was never any risk in taking a decision to go to one location or another. Perhaps there are better structured adventures for this.
    When I was running the game the player had a sense of unfolding mystery, if that makes sense - the clues he was chasing down kept opening up additional interesting avenues. There were several routes to get to the finale, and there was one avenue which he didn't investigate at all, and another that he completely skipped over because he made an intuitive leap combining various clues he had come across before to get straight to the endgame.

    He found that a satisfying experience, the sense of risk was associated with damage to his stability rather than the risk of not finding out more about the mystery - which also made the adventure a less frustrating affair for him than it would otherwise tend to be.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Nightwing View Post
    An example that I ended up twisting the rules a little to support was when the party interrogated a suspect. Since one character plainly had enough points in the relevant social skills, any interesting lies that might lead them in the wrong direction were instantly spotted, and any interesting reluctance on the part of the NPC was overcome just as swiftly.
    That is an interesting problem. I wonder how the authors expected something like interrogation to go, because that is one area which is ripe for misdirection. Perhaps as a ref the interogatee might have their version of the truth which isn't necessarily the whole truth but which contains red herrings amongst the leads? I really don't know about that one though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Nightwing View Post
    I love Call of Cthulhu, but in all honesty I play such a heavily modified version of the rules these days that it's not the same game (and Chaosium will never attempt to update the mechanics to something more friendly, yet still game-focused rather than story-focused).
    I've heard some rumours that CoC 7th edition is looking at some pretty radical changes. I've got no idea how they match up to your variants, but it might be worth looking out for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Nightwing View Post
    Trail of Cthulhu is fun, but I wouldn't want to run a long campaign with it. Masks of Nyarlathotep, for instance, is awesome because you can fail at several of the adventures and still win, and almost no clues are given to you for being laid back and just letting things happen.
    I'd love to run a long campaign with ToC because of the opportunity to gradually mess with sources of stability and pillars of sanity for the poor adventurers - I think it would handle a gradual spiral into madness better than other game systems. I don't think the gumshoe system mandates that there will be success at every scenario - after all, Cthulhu games are the one setting where finding out too much information is literally bad news for you!

    Great to hear about your experiences and considerations with ToC though, thanks!

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  • #26
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    A little bit of necromancy

    I've run a few sessions using TOC and found it excellent. Some of the best gaming I've ever ran. Lots of good feedback from my gamers.

    But I'm having a small issue with General point spends. When I'm running creatures or enemies they seem to have a decent amount of points. I could do a maximum 3 point spend each round for a few rounds and always win, either hitting with firearms or in vs via scuffling. It just seems a little off.

    Has anyone else encountered this issue?
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  • #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by vagabundo View Post
    A little bit of necromancy

    I've run a few sessions using TOC and found it excellent. Some of the best gaming I've ever ran. Lots of good feedback from my gamers.

    But I'm having a small issue with General point spends. When I'm running creatures or enemies they seem to have a decent amount of points. I could do a maximum 3 point spend each round for a few rounds and always win, either hitting with firearms or in vs via scuffling. It just seems a little off.

    Has anyone else encountered this issue?
    I'm sure that I recently read an article or blog post about this very issue. I think the suggestion was for bad guys to use the minimum spend on a general ability unless that proved unsuccessful, in which case increase the spend (for an example in combat, say). In other situations like a chase, I'd probably go with what seems dramatically appropriate in the moment.

    By contrast, I've seen a similar recommendation (in a NBA post) that PCs are well advised to try to make everything certain, and don't hoard general ability points in case you need them later, but trust in refreshes. Now, NBA probably has more refresh opportunities than ToC, but still worth thinking about.

    I'm not sure that I've really got the refresh rules down pat yet - and while NBA is about being badass agents, ToC is perhaps a little more about the last fading of the light before eternal night, thus lending itself more to the ultimate decaying of resources and increased tension in the end game.
    Cheers!
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  • #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plane Sailing View Post
    I'm sure that I recently read an article or blog post about this very issue. I think the suggestion was for bad guys to use the minimum spend on a general ability unless that proved unsuccessful, in which case increase the spend (for an example in combat, say). In other situations like a chase, I'd probably go with what seems dramatically appropriate in the moment.
    By minimum I assume you mean 1 point? Maybe increasing it by 1 point per round if unsuccessful. Seems like a workable solution.

    I might be having this problem because point spends are so abstract. I'd consider General spends as applications of effort and, sure, during combat or chases I'd assume a full amount of effort by the bad guys or beasts, but that doesn't make for an entertaining game.


    By contrast, I've seen a similar recommendation (in a NBA post) that PCs are well advised to try to make everything certain, and don't hoard general ability points in case you need them later, but trust in refreshes. Now, NBA probably has more refresh opportunities than ToC, but still worth thinking about.
    My players have taken to the point spends like ducks to water. they generally take this approach. I think for the players the system is quite intuitive.

    I'm not sure that I've really got the refresh rules down pat yet - and while NBA is about being badass agents, ToC is perhaps a little more about the last fading of the light before eternal night, thus lending itself more to the ultimate decaying of resources and increased tension in the end game.
    Cheers!
    I've been running it in pulp mode and haven't been trying to challenge the players too much, as we're still in learning mode, but I'm going to prep a larger scenario soon, maybe get my hands on Masks of Nyarlathotep.
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  • #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by vagabundo View Post
    By minimum I assume you mean 1 point? Maybe increasing it by 1 point per round if unsuccessful. Seems like a workable solution.

    I might be having this problem because point spends are so abstract. I'd consider General spends as applications of effort and, sure, during combat or chases I'd assume a full amount of effort by the bad guys or beasts, but that doesn't make for an entertaining game.
    I think that general spends for NPC's should probably be considered not so much as their effort as it is 'plot relevance' (hoping that doesn't sound like a dirty word to you!)

    So they don't do a maximum spend to ensure success each time. Maybe they are husbanding their resources for the rest of their day because they might want to put in more effort later. Perhaps they are not too committed to a particular chase or combat, and are quite prepared to quit or retreat.

    I think that's the principle they are aiming for.

    Cheers!
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