MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

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Keeper Dan
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MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

Post by Keeper Dan » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:35 pm

ImageThis week, we're starting to sift through the sands of time to explore particular eras that are available for Call of Cthulhu -- we start with Invictus: Lovecraftian tales in the age of the Roman Empire. We also cover 7th Edition's proposed changes to the skill list, some thoughts about using the Mythos skill, and another show-and-tell from Monterey Jack, with an invention to help with watery escapes.

Campus Crier

• Voting is underway right now for the Build an Elder God contest!

The entries are posted, and the community is currently able to vote on them to determine the winner. The voting will be open until January 22, 2013. That’s only two days after this episode drops, so get over there if you haven’t already!

• 1D4 Con 2013: James from the 1D4Cast (known as amvteknoboy on our forum) has announced a new gaming convention in northern Virginia coming up in April. April 26-28, a 3-day pass is $20 for pre-registration, $25 at the door, and a $10 discount for anyone who runs three games while table slots are still available. More details on the convention website or on the forum thread here.

• In response to some discussion of the Fate system in our pulp episode, FNH emailed a link to a document he created on how to incorporate insanity into that system.

By the way, the Kickstarter for a Fate system core rule book still has a few days left!

• We get another excellent voicemail from Brian Courtemanche in Massachusetts, in which he responded to Pulp Up the Volume with a little background on the as-yet unpublished Pulp Cthulhu supplement. He also mentions:

BRP Astounding Adventures, a pulp source book that could easily inform a pulp-style Call of Cthulhu campaign.

Blood Brothers Book II features a Lucha Libre adventure just like the one we mused about in MUP Episode 21. Bret Kramer also mentioned that scenario in our YSDC thread a couple of weeks back. Looks to be an excellent book, with lots of great B-Movie scenarios.

• By the way, Bret also mentioned that he didn’t know of any scenarios with Gugs in them, but that you could easily fit them into an adventure called “His Wildest Dreams" from The Unbound Book #0. Oh, and the cheese that you eat with live maggots in it is from Sardinia, not Corsica. It’s called Cazu Marsu.

• Trevlix mentioned Hollow Earth Expedition (HEX) on our forum as an awesome Pulp RPG, with an adventure called "Frozen City of Terror" that seems similar to Mountains of Madness. Oh, and he mentions the intriguing Pulpfest in Columbus, OH coming up this summer.

• Going back a bit, Eibon rightfully called Keeper Chad out for saying Lovecraft was unfamiliar with Theosophy before Lumley pushed it on him, and offered a really excellent article from Bob Price about HPL’s relationship with Theosophy that you can read here.

• We also mention Koakai’s amazing posts in National History Honors Society about his archaeology work in Ecuador, with awesome photos of bone-inlaid floorsand tombstone staircases, as well as all kinds of great posts about creepy history.

History Lecture

There's no lecture from Doctor Gerard this week, but here's a list of excellent history podcasts to tide you over.

Hardcore History with Dan Carlin

Stuff you Missed in History Class

The History of the World in 100 Objects

The Military History podcast

BBC History Magazine

BBC 4's In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg

The History of Rome

History According to Bob

Jon mentions his tour with Bob at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City.

Monterey Jack: The Klepper Jack

This week brings another visit from our intrepid professor, and a seminar on his souped-up portable battle kayak for navigating the world's treacherous rivers.

7th Edition Playtest

This week we cover proposed changes to the skill list, including consolidations,

Note: We’re planning to wrap up our coverage of the 7e playtest soon. We’re months on from when the version we have was shared, and there have likely been many changes by now.

How to Use the Mythos Skill

For our side topic, we talk about how to handle players' requests for a Mythos skill check. The topic was suggested by Gladius,who is running an actual play game that you can listen to Signals from Celaeno - The Legacy of Arrius Lurco Live Play.

Main Topic: Roman era - AKA: Invictus!

We mention Invictus campaign materials like The Legacy Of Arrius Lurco by Oscar Rios from Miskatonic River Press.

Here's a list of other books to support the Invictus setting:

Cthulhu Invictus Companion - a fully laid out and edited setting companion book from Chaosium.

Cthulhu Invictus Bestiae - an Invictus bestiary.

Cthulhu Invictus Patrocinium - notes on Roman patronage.

Cthulhu Invictus Populus - full of NPCs for your Invictus campaign.

Cthulhu Invictus Fabulae - scenario seeds.

Malum Umbra - Chaosium's first monograph companion for the setting.

Extrico Tabula - "Expanding Borders," the second monograph companion from Chaosium.

Lux in Tenebras - a kind of Invictus starter kit from Miskatonic River Press.

Rome: The Life and Death of the Republic -- a non-mythos BRP Sourcebook for historical setting details.

Good sources of inspiration include the HBO series Rome, and Spartacus, 300- graphic novel, & movie. You can even see what lies beneath modern day Rome.
And if all that serious stuff gets old, let Mel Brooks and Monty Python remind you that sweaty men with swords wearing sheets are hilarious.
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MikeM
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Re: MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

Post by MikeM » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:43 pm

Great show guys

7E section - skills - I think we caused you undue confusion! The way you describe skill specialties is incorrect. We have now addressed this to avoid confusion - obviously our wording in the play test went awry!

You simply spend points on a skill. If that skill requires specialisation then you spend points on the specialisation/s you want (e.g. firearms - you have 100 points you want to put in guns, so you could spend it as Firearms (Handgun) 45%, Firearms (Shotgun/Rifle) 45% and Firearms (SMG) 10% (then add the base values to these as normal). and so on.

cheers

Mike
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Re: MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

Post by Dr. Gerard » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:32 pm

MikeM wrote:Great show guys

7E section - skills - I think we caused you undue confusion! The way you describe skill specialties is incorrect. We have now addressed this to avoid confusion - obviously our wording in the play test went awry!

You simply spend points on a skill. If that skill requires specialisation then you spend points on the specialisation/s you want (e.g. firearms - you have 100 points you want to put in guns, so you could spend it as Firearms (Handgun) 45%, Firearms (Shotgun/Rifle) 45% and Firearms (SMG) 10% (then add the base values to these as normal). and so on.

cheers

Mike
What? We got it wrong? That doesn't sound like us.

Seriously, sorry for misrepresenting.

Mike, could I ask you directly if you are concerned about us continuing to cover this? I think we're going to wrap up soon anyway, but it would be interesting to hear your take on it. Have you been wincing during each of our 7E segments? Just curious. It's been really fun for us.
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Re: MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

Post by MikeM » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:35 pm

Dr. Gerard wrote: What? We got it wrong? That doesn't sound like us.

Seriously, sorry for misrepresenting.

Mike, could I ask you directly if you are concerned about us continuing to cover this? I think we're going to wrap up soon anyway, but it would be interesting to hear your take on it. Have you been wincing during each of our 7E segments? Just curious. It's been really fun for us.
its been fun listening! Yes the odd wince - but mainly due to the fact that we obviously hadn't explained things clearly enough (which is a key point of play testing - so good to find out!)

You righty say in the podcast that the rules you are looking at may be old by now - indeed following the playtest we've been able to review everything and revise to makes things as simple as possible, stepping some stuff back and making some stuff optional.

Mike
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Re: MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

Post by Keeper Dan » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:56 am

Oh, good. There's been the thought that you guys were too polite to tell us to shut up about it already. ;)
Should I assume it would be NDA-breaking to use some of these as house rules that are released on the podcast feed? We've been wondering about that in a game I'm currently running. Push and Bonus/Penalty dies in particular. Maybe the chase rules if it comes up in play.
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Re: MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

Post by trevlix » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:28 am

Great podcast as well. You guys kept me company as I drove through a winter storm today.

Couple things - I agree on Oscar Rios. One of the best writers for Call of Cthulhu around.

Murph mentioned the Fate Core Kickstarter and how they were about to sell out of books. I had backed this and was confused by this as well. I asked in the forum and the explanation was that initially there was only one level for just the main corebook. When the KS exploded, they decided that it was going to be too difficult to keep track of where they went and it was easier to separate out US and international shipping into their own categories. You can still get the Core book for $30 (in the US) or $40 (international).

In any case, awesome about going through the different eras. I can't wait to hear the rest!
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Re: MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

Post by Gladius » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:02 am

Another good show covering a lot of topics in depth.

Thanks for addressing my thread about the Mythos skill. Chad really hit it on the head in his description of why I think the skill is problematic. You don't want to give away the plot, or send the players on a wild goose chase off the topic of the current adventure. But I don't like the idea of a skill that can't be used, so I'm still searching for additional suggestions about what it can be used for. The idea about using the skill as a "What is the monster's weakness?" is a nice one. Although if the players are experienced, they'll know that it probably doesn't matter, and if they're not, it may give them some false hope :) The 6e book also contains a suggestion that I like: identify a spell as it is being cast - although again, by the time this happens, it's usually too late to do anything about it.

In regards to the Invictus stuff, here's a list of all of the Invictus scenarios that I put together a while back - you covered most of them in your list but there are a few additional ones in here:
http://www.yog-sothoth.com/threads/2315 ... -Materials

Another resource for Invictus, since it's podcast related: There's a podcast call The History of Rome, which has ~180 episodes, each around 25 minutes long, covering Rome's history from the beginning through the fall of the Empire. Nice background listening if you're looking for information about the era you're setting your game in.

Keep up the good work - the production value of the show is really good.

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Re: MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

Post by MikeM » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Keeper Dan wrote:Oh, good. There's been the thought that you guys were too polite to tell us to shut up about it already. ;)
Should I assume it would be NDA-breaking to use some of these as house rules that are released on the podcast feed? We've been wondering about that in a game I'm currently running. Push and Bonus/Penalty dies in particular. Maybe the chase rules if it comes up in play.
err - difficult to advise, so best to err on the side of caution and say give pushing a try (the rule is pretty common knowledge) - just make sure the players have to justify the pushed roll (no free second goes!) and I guess a bonus/penalty die probably falls in to the same scope - so should be no issues there either.

I'd refrain from using the chase rules as these are being revised and probably the rules you have will be far out of date.

Mike
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Re: MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

Post by WiseWolf » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:27 pm

I jumped to the Invictus part (gigle gigle) . I will be able to share my opinion on the rest of the show once I finish it.

I am so glad you are discussing Invictus, I hope this is not the last show on the topic and that it will be covered during several shows. In my experience, at the very beginning I was a bit stressed by my lack of knowledge on the daily life of the common roman. The Rome book for BRP actually provided a good insight expanding on what was detailed in the Invictus book. There are things that I usually let pass or ignore just to be able to play the game more smoothly, I tend not to abuse of the classes clash for instance. The mentioned shows like Rome and Spartacus give you a better idea as well, they are a must for any keeper wanting to run Invictus. For those keepers out there that fear to jump into the setting, I say fear not. The good Legacy of Arrius Lurco is so well researched and has so many information in it to immerse the players in so much era detail that by running that campaign you will learn about the setting and about the daily life of a roman. I recommend this campaign for any new keeper new to Invictus.

Can you guys discuss Invictus rules in following shows? In general terms, character creation and other rules are pretty much the same as your standard CoC, but things like combat changes a lot, plus we got armor, and things like that might be confusing for the first time Invictus keepers (it was for me). It would be great if you guys can save the trouble to new comers.

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Re: MUP 23 - Do You Like Movies About Gladiators?

Post by WiseWolf » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:29 pm

I jumped to the Invictus part (gigle gigle) . I will be able to share my opinion on the rest of the show once I finish it.

I am so glad you are discussing Invictus, I hope this is not the last show on the topic and that it will be covered during several shows. In my experience, at the very beginning I was a bit stressed by my lack of knowledge on the daily life of the common roman. The Rome book for BRP actually provided a good insight expanding on what was detailed in the Invictus book. There are things that I usually let pass or ignore just to be able to play the game more smoothly, I tend not to abuse of the classes clash for instance. The mentioned shows like Rome and Spartacus give you a better idea as well, they are a must for any keeper wanting to run Invictus. For those keepers out there that fear to jump into the setting, I say fear not. The good Legacy of Arrius Lurco is so well researched and has so many information in it to immerse the players in so much era detail that by running that campaign you will learn about the setting and about the daily life of a roman. I recommend this campaign for any new keeper new to Invictus.

Can you guys discuss Invictus rules in following shows? In general terms, character creation and other rules are pretty much the same as your standard CoC, but things like combat changes a lot, plus we got armor, and things like that might be confusing for the first time Invictus keepers (it was for me). It would be great if you guys can save the trouble to new comers.

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