After a winter hiatus, Keepers Dan, Murph and Chad are back for Episode 93 to chat about ways to handle players using social skills against each other in Call of Cthulhu. Jon’s excuse for missing this episode: “Sorry guys, I’m elbow deep in chickens.” This episode was recorded on January 4, 2016.
Check out this interesting new RPG called Shadows over Sol.
Cthulhu Tales is a new storytelling card game from Cubicle 7.
“Players use the symbols on the cards to determine whether a card can be played, and its effect on the Narrator’s tale. A die introduces an element of luck into the proceedings – perhaps that Viscous Black Slime was merely a passing detail, or perhaps its arrival was the precursor to something far more sinister and madness inducing…”
New from Golden Goblin Press: Goblin on Bourbon Street – A stand-alone scenario by Oscar Rios.
Four people are dead of an apparent wild animal attack in the French Quarter of New Orleans the police are quick to close this case. If that weren’t strange enough one of the dead is reported to be a Mordechai Whateley of Massachusetts.
Fred Lubnow has delivered on the successful Journal of Lovecraftian Science Kickstarter before Christmas.
Badger fulfilled the Feed the Shoggoth orders.
Shadows of Atlantis for Achtung! Cthulhu – looks good.
“From Modiphius Entertainment comes Shadows of Atlantis, a campaign for their Achtung! Cthulhu setting. Currently released as a 330 page PDF, the campaign takes place during the early days of World War II, promising to take “your investigators to the four corners of the earth and beyond”. Dual-statted for both the Call of Cthulhu and Savage Worlds systems.”
What Have We Been Playing Lately?
After building a new computer, Dan has been playing a little Starcraft 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. Chad played a game of Dread with non-gamer family during a holiday break, using a modified version of Bryson Springs, a CoC scenario from No Security by RPPR host Caleb Stokes. Chad also played a round of Arkham Horror (vs. Azathoth). Murph got a Playstation 3 for Christmas has been devouring Skyrim and The Last of Us.
Bob, a founding member of Murph’s AP group, Arseholes, passed away after a long battle with multiple myeloma. Bob, we miss you.
This episode we revisit the Ambient Sound Mixer site, which has exploded since last time we covered it. So much audio awesomeness!
The The February edition of the Parcel of Terror will be “A Nightmare on Elm Street” themed box!
Show Topic: Using Social Skills Against Another Player
We talk about ways to handle player-versus-player use of social skills like Persuade, Fast Talk, Charm and Intimidate.
(From MU forum regular Wordcraftian) The situation that was being discussed involved a player who wanted to roll his persuade skill to convince another player to do something they did not want to do. The GM did not allow it because he claimed it would rob the other player of his character’s free will. I would like to hear this topic discussed from a Call of Cthulhu perspective. Do you think the GM made the right call in disallowing the roll? Or should the persuade skill be interpreted differently to avoid allowing a player with an aptitude for persuasion becoming a puppet master of sorts?
The three hosts arrive at a “best practice” consensus during the show, though we’d still love to hear listener’s approaches to this issue and would love to revise based on feedback.
Here’s the method we discussed:
Offer a choice among options. Both characters should be in agreement about how to resolve the PvP skills before the scene starts.
- No dice rolls are involved. The influencing player-character simply tries to convince / charm / fast talk / intimidate another player-character using dialogue. Let the scene play out for a bit, and then ask the target player to make a decision based on the influencing player’s performance. The influencing player might mention the level of the skill that their character is using to help with context. Note: it’s good to make it about the characters’ interaction instead of about a player’s social skills. E.g “Does your character find this argument to be compelling?”
- Roll the bones. Both players must agree to the terms before any dice hit the table, and agree to live by the result. Let the dialogue play out for a bit, and then ask the players to make an opposed die roll. The influencing character uses an appropriate social skill (in 7E, Fast Talk, Charm, Persuade or Intimidate), and the defending character uses a skill or stat that works best for the situation. Intelligence is a good default. Fast Talk vs. Psychology would also work well, for example. If the character has appropriate expertise in the topic of discussion (Biology, Tracking, Accounting, etc.), that skill could also be used to defend.
Reviewing how to use opposed rolls:
In 6th Edition or below, use the Resistance Table (in 6th Edition, pg. 55). The influencing player divides their skill by 5 to arrive at the Active Characteristic. The defending character uses their Intelligence attribute as the Passive Characteristic, or divides an appropriate defense skill by 5. The influencing player then must roll under the number indicated on the table. This is not truly an opposed roll.
In 7th Edition, each player rolls against the appropriate skill. Whoever achieves the highest level of success wins. Ties go to the player with the highest skill or attribute.
- Fumble: the roll is 100. If the roll required for success is less than 50, a roll of 96 or over is a fumble.
- Failure: the roll is above the character’s skill or characteristic (but not a fumble).
- Regular success: the roll is equal to or below the character’s skill or characteristic.
- Hard success: the roll is equal to or below a half of the character’s skill or characteristic.
- Extreme success (a.k.a. an Impale): the roll is equal to or below a fifth of the character’s skill or characteristic.
- Critical success: a roll of 01.
In the new Delta Green rules, whoever rolls highest without exceeding their skill threshold wins the opposed roll.
Discuss this episode on the Campus Forum