MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

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Keeper Dan
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MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

Post by Keeper Dan » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:22 pm

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In episode 52 Chad, Jon and Dan talk about the pros and cons of pre-generated characters and how they can be integrated into Call of Cthulhu stories in a way that players will have buy-in, and then we cover the bottomless topic of house rules. Where we like them, dislike them, or didn't even know we were using them.

Campus Crier
  • Dan was away on a trip when the Crier was recorded on the 23rd, so it features Chad, Jon and Murf.
  • Video auditions are currently being accepted for a Lovecraftian short film project based on stories from the Lovecraft eZine!
  • Just in time for the MUP 2-year anniversary, we're announcing the upcoming release of Cephalaphobia! Check out articles on bribery, new monsters, an Invictus era side adventure, a transatlantic steamship scenario, with game material by Brian Sammons and reprinted fiction by Shane Ivey -- it’s a pretty amazing yearbook. Keeper Murph and Scriven deserve huge thanks for putting this together.
  • Cthulhu Apocalypse: Slaves of the Mother from Pelgrane Press has been released. This is the final chapter of Graham Walmsley's Cthulhu Apocalypse campaign for Trail of Cthulhu. -- written by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.
  • Graphic novel Kickstarter: Prospero's Price; A Lovecraft and Shakespeare Tale -- funded on the day this show dropped! (Sunday, 3-23-14)
  • Lovecraft for kids (sort of) Kickstarter: The Littlest Lovecraft: The Dunwich Horror, a children's book-style adaptation of the Lovecraft story. They’re 3 times past their funding goal, with one week still left.
  • Chad talks about getting to attend a special brunch at the Bourbon Street cafe in Queens to celebrate the successful funding of the Tales of the Crescent City book. He met up with Oscar Rios, Dan Harms and none other than Jason McKittrick from Cryptocurium. He also connected with Will from the New Orleans Mythos cadre, who had a hand in the scenario in the Kickstarter package.
  • GAMA Trade Show 2014: Twilight Creations Display ‘Cthulhu!!!’
From Twilight Creations: The idyllic seaside town of Kingsport has always been a bit sleepy but tonight’s dreams may just become tomorrow’s nightmares. The stars are finally right, and the ruthless Cult of Hastur is making a bid to summon an avatar of its dark god! All that stands in the way… is one small group of investigators, the only people smart enough to figure out what’s happening and dumb enough to think they can stop it.



Feedback
Brady lets us know about a pretty cool table mapping tool.
Hi guys, I know you are all olde-skoole gamers and I ran across this kickstarter project: Blue Dungeon Tiles! It uses the faded blue from the inner cover of the world's oldest RPG of days gone by. Thanks for all your great work. -Brady

Ethan writes in to give us an encyclopedia of digital Lovecraft gaming material. We'll post the list in a separate article, which you can find here.
Hi guys, I'm getting caught up on some of your recent episodes, and recently listened to Episode 49 where you talk about Lovecraftian video games. There are actually quite a lot of these, and I keep inflicting them on myself so others don't have to, so I thought I'd give a partial chronology along with my thoughts on the ones I've played. Cheers, -Ethan



Sponsor News
We’ve had a flurry of amazing supporters lately. Here are the generous sponsors that have offered their support: Shannon Mac, Hastur, Mr john marc hughes, Gladius, and SamS!!
Thank you all so much!


Card Catalog


Tabletop Audio is a site that provides 10 minute tracks of ambiance audio for a wide range of genre gaming. You can even loop them if your scene in that environment lasts a while.
Jacek linked to this from G+. Thank you very much for sharing this resource!



History Lecture
This week, Dr Gerard is back with an MU History Department Lecture on: Saint Patrick, Keymaster of Hell


Cryptocurium Spotlight
There is a new story-accurate version of The Horror in Clay to replace the discontinued version!


Side Topic
We discuss the best use of pre-gen characters for specific scenarios or for general use.

Jon mentions The Big Hoodoo, a scenario for Trail of Cthulhu where you play famous science fiction authors.
The Nerdbound podcast has a 2-part AP of Big Hoodoo run by the author, Bill White. Jon remembers it as being RPPR, but I couldn't find any reference to this scenario on the site.
Nerdbound Actual Play Part 1
Nerdbound Actual Play Part 2

It is available in the Trail of Cthulhu book Out of Time.

It is also available solo in PDF.


Main Topic
Jacek on G+ asked whether anyone had discovered new rules in CoC they they didn't know about after playing for years, or using a house rule that they thought was in the book.
Here is a thread on YSDC where the topic has also been discussed.

We mention the Keeper’s Toolkit, which we went over in episode 13.

Dan mentions his tome reading formula. Here it is:
Each book has a number of weeks to read listed with it. It’s not uncommon to have a tome listed as taking from 6 months to a year or more to read and make use of. This formula redefines what a week is, using the skill in the language and the condition of the book.

Skill level in the language the book is written it-
1-10% 50 hours
11-20% 40 hours
21-35% 30 hours
36-50% 20 hours
51-65% 15 hours
66-70% 10 hours
71-80% 9 hours
81-90% 8 hours
91-95% 6 hours
95-99% 4 hours

The following book condition modifiers can lower the language roll, which increases the reading time.

Good 0% modifier
All pages are intact, and text is clearly visible.

Moderate -20% modifier
Some minor amount of page or text damage.
Ex- Burned (1/3 page damage)

Poor -60% modifier
A good deal of text is illegible due to page damage or text distortion. Professional restoration can move to Moderate level.
Ex- Smudged/water damage
Ex- Burned (1/2 page damage)

Destroyed -90% modifier
Book will need extensive restoration before more than 1d8 words per page can be read.
Ex- Worm/rodent/insect damage
Ex- Burned (3/4 or more page damage)
Ex- Pages missing

If each "week" came to 20 hours using this formula (skill of 40%), then: a 36 week book=720 hours, or 60 continuous days of 12 hour reading. This is assuming the book is in good condition.
That took a book from over 8 months to read to 2 months. It’s still a time commitment, but one more manageable within the construct of a campaign.
Keeper Dan of the Miskatonic University Podcast

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Re: MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

Post by Benjamin.wenham » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:21 am

I almost exlusively use some variant of pre-gen characters. It gives me hooks into the Investigators. It forces my players to broaden their horizons. It lets me get the scenario set up to avoid those horrible little "so your all in a pub" moments early on in a campaign. Oh and I can set up inter-party conflicts and back story too.

I ran the red tower by caleb stokes, recently and got a great ending of murder, madness and godhood.

Sent from Carcosa

Keeper Jon
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Re: MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

Post by Keeper Jon » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:51 pm

You're right, Dan. That Big Hoodoo AP was on the Nerdbound, not RPPR. Thanks for finding that.

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Re: MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

Post by fox01313 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:42 pm

Downloading this now to listen to when I get back from dinner but did look at the first issue of the MUP magazine & looks great. Everyone who worked on it did a great job on that one :rock: .
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Re: MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

Post by Dr. Gerard » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:11 pm

I think I was the one who brought up RPPR, just to clear Jon's good name here. :FallOnSword:
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Re: MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

Post by Graham » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:44 pm

I've not listened to the whole thing yet, but the discussion of Kickstaters caused me to remember a story from 2012 about Kickstarter to allow a visit to the Congo to find:

Our first expedition will be dubbed The Newmac Expedition. It will be a preliminary three month (or as long as our health allows) four man venture. We’ll launch on June 26th and we anticipate discovering hundreds of new insect, plant, and fish species during the course of our research and work in the area. There is also the legitimate hope of discovering many reptile and mammalian species as well. We have received reports from week to two week expeditions in the region of eye witnesses seeing canine sized tarantulas, large river dwelling sauropods, and a species of man eating fish (which was recently discovered on river monsters).


(Emphasis mine)

Doubtful News: Cryptozoology expedition to Congo is on Kickstarter

As to the results, see: Original Kickstarter page, Doubtful News: Whatever happened to the trip to the Congo to look for Mokele-mbembe? & So what happened to the Newmac Expedition?

Another modern day (Non Delta Green) adventure in the making...
"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad, you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.

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Re: MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

Post by SamS » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:43 pm

Another great show guys!!!!!!!
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Re: MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

Post by Shannon Mac » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:43 am

Hey! That's my voice at the beginning.

Another great podcast!
My gaming blog with pretty pictures: http://www.storytellersjem.blogspot.com/

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Re: MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

Post by Dr. Gerard » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:41 am

It is! I mean-- your voice. Thanks for the nice words!
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Re: MU Podcast 052 - Ruling the House of the Pre-Generates

Post by Dr. Gerard » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:46 am

SamS wrote:Another great show guys!!!!!!!

Keeper Chad likes this.
Keeper of the Cthulhu Dark "Secret Everest Expedition" PbP scenario
Rip Wheeler in the Call of Cthulhu "No Man's Land" scenario
Plays for Keepers

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