MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

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Keeper Dan
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MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

Post by Keeper Dan » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:21 pm

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This episode, Jon and Chad talk to Max (a.k.a. Mahaffa on the forums), a regular Keeper and player on Skype of Cthulhu who also serves as President of Promethean Games Inc. We discuss a mélange of topics, including Chaosium's new licensing structure, thoughts on Call of Cthulhu sanity mechanics, and the search for new ways to get investigators involved in scenarios. This episode was recorded on, June 12, 2017.

Campus Crier
Chaosium launches new licensing policies.

The licenses fall into three tiers:
  • Fan-generated material for non-commercial use.
  • A Limited License, which allows small publishers and individuals to sell fanzines, convention scenarios, and one-off books if the gross sales revenue does not exceed $2,000 per year. Significant: “You cannot crowdfund (e.g. Kickstarter) products covered under the Small Publisher Limited License.”
  • Commercial License. This is for established companies with a proven track record, and is "very rarely" given to individuals. A change was made to the posted language for clarity: In general, Chaosium collects a percentage of gross sales as a royalty, and under certain circumstances may also require an advance on royalties. The exact percentage and dollar amounts are only negotiated after we have seen what a company is proposing to do,” the text now reads (bold added to emphasize what's new). And a further clarification was made on YSDC and sent to us to share: “We have the advance on royalties as an option for licensees we haven't worked with before, and for foreign language translations, particularly fiction. For crowdfunding e.g. Kickstarter, we require our royalties to be paid 10 days after the projects funds come through."
Some people we spoke with mentioned that Chaosium’s licensing specifications are more stringent than other publishers, and this could mean projects are taken to other companies. Some have also said that these conditions seem fair and appreciate the clarity. Not allowing small creators to do Kickstarters could mean less commercial experimentation in Call of Cthulhu, but also more control over quality.

Dean Englehardt of [url=http://Dean’s post: https://cthulhureborn.wordpress.com/]Cthulhu Reborn[/url] has been vocal in airing concerns about how the new rules affect small publishers who would not qualify for a commercial license. In a YSDC thread, Dean argued:
"The reason I find this an unusual policy decision is that it somewhat goes against the entire reason that Kickstarter and similar platforms exist -- which is to allow people who don't have a lot of starting capital to get a start. By taking that option off the table for people starting out in publishing, Chaosium are basically making people put up their own starting capital, get established as a company, and get a few titles out. After they are already established, KS is an option -- but by that stage, the company should already *have* capital, so would have less need of it."
In the discussion, Chaosium President Rick Meints made this statement:
"Most solicitations for licenses are simple emails that basically say "hey, I want too publish X, can I get your permission (or do I need your permission). They are mainly from individuals we have never heard of, nor worked with before. A few have good ideas, and many don't. Chaosium only has so much time and resource to spend on licensing those sorts of things. We're fine with individuals who want to do very limited things for little money, like a low priced PDF on DTRPG, or something they want to share for free. We make it simple for them to get a license. For more commercial efforts, we are investing our time and resources, mainly because we want our commercial licensees to be a success, and we have to pick and choose those more carefully."
You can watch Jeff Richards discussing the point about not allowing Kickstarters for small publishing license during his recent interview on 'Legends of Tabletop'.

Cthulhu Dark update:

New stretch goals:: a Cthulhu Dark mini-campaign in London 1851, by Scott Dorward, one of the writers for Call of Cthulhu Seventh Edition. It's called Now We Are The Sons of God and it has three parts, all exploring different parts of Victorian London.

Between Twilight and Dawn - did not fund.
A post-script from Oscar on the updates thread: “What will happen to this collection? At the moment we're not entirely sure. We're taking two weeks to step back, work on other projects, and let the dust settle before making any decisions about the collection. We have every confidence that this is a great collection and one that deserves a moment in the sun, but the fates have spoken and that time is not now. Maybe one day, when the stars are right. To those who really wanted to see this book produced, we're sorry it didn't work out that way.”
More Chaosium News, from Michael O'Brien:
"Chaosium is working on a new Miskatonic University board game with German design legend Reiner Knizia. We had fun putting the prototype through its paces at the Chaosium booth at UK Games Expo last weekend. Highly positive reactions all round ("very Call of Cthulhu" was the unanimous consensus), and some useful feedback—our board games editor Susan is now working through some tweaks with Call of Cthulhu line editor Mike, and the designer himself Reiner Knizia. We'll be Kickstarting this game later in the year..."

Listener Feedback
Matt Martinez on G+:
Lamentations of the Flame Princess was mentioned in the "Sanecdotes" episode of the podcast, but it does not actually have sanity mechanics. In fact, creator/designer James Raggi has some particular feelings about them. "If you have any sort of sanity or fright mechanic that applies to player characters, your idea is already very bad. Throw it away and start over."
Trevor Hirst on G+
Roll sanity first! Gah! That is so smart. Great show today....
I don't know if I heard it on a podcast, saw it in the rules, or what, but a cool thing to use the d100 random sanity table for is character creation. You pre roll insanity ( like eating dirt, or obsessive nose picking). The player has to describe what thing happened in his backstory that will make him want to eat dirt when he gets unhinged later during the game. Fun!

Topics
"THE SOUNDING BOARD," with Max
  • CORRECTION: Temporary Insanity results in CoC are not only about random tables. Sorry for misrepresenting at :53, :58, and 1:03 of Episode 124!
WRONG! :53 “CHILL is kind of like Call of Cthulhu where you go with a random result.” WRONG!
WRONGish! :58 “instead of eating dirt or random phobias that we see in Call of Cthulhu as a table, you’ll see things like random acts of aggression..." WRONGish!
WRONGish! 1:03 “Makes more sense than someone encountering a monster and something unrelated happens off of a random table.” WRONGish!
Keeper Dan of the Miskatonic University Podcast

GreatmanKing
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Re: MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

Post by GreatmanKing » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:22 pm

With the small publishers license, there is some interesting possibilities. One being that with Chaosium bowing out of the monograph market, this would be an possible chance of keeping that old chestnut going if someone can get the money's together or something?

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Re: MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

Post by Danial79 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:27 am

I actually have an anecdote which parallels this episode pretty well. When I was about 16-ish we went to the Great Barrier Reef. We were snorkelling in this area that was maybe 3m deep—that's 10ft for you guys ;)—and I was all relaxed, enjoying looking at all the colourful, pretty fish and corals. Anyway, I pass over this one bright blue fish that would have only been about a foot long. It looked up at me... and opened its mouth to reveal HUGE fangs! I was back on the beach before I even realised I was swimming. The fact that I can remember this so vividly after 20 years means I obviously took a pretty big SAN hit that day.

Also, thanks for the shout-out. Don't worry about the name confusion either, I get it all the time. It's actually just pronounced the same as Daniel :)

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Re: MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

Post by Danial79 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:04 am

In regards to inciting incidents, there's ultimately only two—internal and external. Either the character chooses to seek out the adventure, or the adventure comes to them. Or in your terms, investigation vs happenstance. If you think about it that way, even "inheritance" is a happenstance hook because the story has been brought to them—they just happen to have a crazy grandfather who was a Mythos investigator. The only difference is, it's an external force that requires an internal one to move on.

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Re: MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

Post by Dr. Gerard » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:01 am

Danial79 wrote:In regards to inciting incidents, there's ultimately only two—internal and external. Either the character chooses to seek out the adventure, or the adventure comes to them. Or in your terms, investigation vs happenstance. If you think about it that way, even "inheritance" is a happenstance hook because the story has been brought to them—they just happen to have a crazy grandfather who was a Mythos investigator. The only difference is, it's an external force that requires an internal one to move on.
That's a fair point. I was trying to suggest that the inheritance in some way comes from the inside, which is not terribly accurate and as you say is really just another species of the "happen to" type. Even possession, in a way, is a kind of external. Still, the excercise of scenario taxonomy is useful for inspiration.

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Re: MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

Post by Dr. Gerard » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:05 am

Danial79 wrote:I actually have an anecdote which parallels this episode pretty well. When I was about 16-ish we went to the Great Barrier Reef. We were snorkelling in this area that was maybe 3m deep—that's 10ft for you guys ;)—and I was all relaxed, enjoying looking at all the colourful, pretty fish and corals. Anyway, I pass over this one bright blue fish that would have only been about a foot long. It looked up at me... and opened its mouth to reveal HUGE fangs! I was back on the beach before I even realised I was swimming. The fact that I can remember this so vividly after 20 years means I obviously took a pretty big SAN hit that day.

Also, thanks for the shout-out. Don't worry about the name confusion either, I get it all the time. It's actually just pronounced the same as Daniel :)
Thanks for the comments. Yes, sea creatures can actually cause legitimate freakouts. I snorkeled off of Sumatra once in a place that was suddenly infested with large purple box jellyfish. Space between creatures was maybe 15 feet, which is nothing when trying to navigate with fins on. No one stung, but it still gives me chills and I remember the cloud of alien beings very vividly.

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Re: MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

Post by Dr. Gerard » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:08 am

GreatmanKing wrote:With the small publishers license, there is some interesting possibilities. One being that with Chaosium bowing out of the monograph market, this would be an possible chance of keeping that old chestnut going if someone can get the money's together or something?
I'd like to see some kind of better version of the monograph farm system back in place that would be independently operated. It lacked good editing, peer review and promotion. But these things could be fixed under the right model. A collective, perhaps, that starts with DTRPG and then goes for a commercial license when ready?

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Re: MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

Post by Danial79 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:54 am

One other off-handed comment I was mulling over today was that a creature with 200 SIZ is twice as big as a human. I don't think such a scale works, however, or it would mean Cthulhu is only 10x the size of a human, which just doesn't work at all.

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Re: MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

Post by Dr. Gerard » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Danial79 wrote:One other off-handed comment I was mulling over today was that a creature with 200 SIZ is twice as big as a human. I don't think such a scale works, however, or it would mean Cthulhu is only 10x the size of a human, which just doesn't work at all.
Good point. But seems relevant at smaller scales. Also 3x is volume, not height. So a Yithian is 300% or 3x human size, but not 6'×3=18'.

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Re: MUP 125 - Maximum Sanity

Post by Morthrai » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:38 pm

Hey folks, once again a big thankyou for mentioning Protodimension and Dark Times in this episode. We are getting a trickle of new submissions, but the more we get the better so if people would keep on sending us anything related to horror-conspiracy-weird gaming that would be highly cool! I know it's taking us a while to get DTF off the ground, particularly as I am having to learn InDesign from scratch for layout but we'll get there while it's still summer in the northern hemisphere - I swear it :twisted:
Lee Williams.
The Dark Times Fanzine
"There is more to darkness than the sun going down."

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