A Letter to Frater Nikolai

Nikolai,

I trust this letter finds you well and that you have found what you needed during your time spent in contemplation. I wish that I could say that that I am sorry to be writing you, and in one way I am for I would not bother you unless there was the direst need for both your dedication and your skills. At the same time, I must admit that I happy that you will be actively bringing the Light to the world once again.

A situation in the Kingdom of Llyr has come up that requires your special insights as I am sure the following letter will explain.

You may have heard, even in your isolation of the young Lord Devin Tresendar? Well, the rumors are true, he is Touched by the Lord Sc. Michael and has been blessed with a series of miracles as he brings Light in Darkness. He and his companions have even travelled to the Shadowlands in the pursuit of a series of threads regarding a prophecy of an upcoming Age of Worms – I have arranged to have more details gathered and awaiting for you upon your arrival and this is perhaps the greatest reason for choosing you to attend to this matter.

Fighting against the Vanguard of Sertrous which seeks to bring about this coming Age, Tresendar confronted them and thwarted their plan to summon forth their long-dead commander. If this was not miracle enough he recovered the great sword Merthuvial, the Kingmaker, and confirmed as its rightful wielder.

Returning home, it became become apparent that there is old rot within the lands of his family and Tresendar discovered a cult deeply entrenched in fabric of Diamond Lake, a prominent mining town of the kingdom, and one that was part of his family lands for generations – though mismanagement and misfortune had passed control to the Consortium in his grandfather’s time. Investigating and striking quickly, Tresendar and his companions discovered a long buried fane – one older than anything that you can imagine or even guess.

Our aid was requested by Tresendar to deal with the guardianship of the fane, so I have arranged for a company of troops to be at your disposal, under your good Watch and Judgement. I also think that Lord Tresendar would benefit from some advice and counsel, as well as he has done so far he is surrounded by a curious set of companions – please see the attached letter for details.

But, the Community of the town has not only lost its leader, it has seemingly lost its way as well. The former Lightbringer of the town, one Jierian Wierus, was a fanatic and by all reports unhinged. Perhaps it was the dire influence of the cult or the close proximity of the fane, or perhaps he was simply weak, but in any case he has left the community there in dire straits with his death in the fane. While many in the town are of the Faith, the recent events have shaken them and it is important that they know that the Church has not forgotten them.

Also, given the chaos involved in the discovery of the cult, the entire leadership of the town itself is uncertain. I have dispatched this letter before word has come from the King as to how he is handling the disposal of the town.

I will commit no more to paper on this subject my friend. You must witness it for yourself. Grace in Light, Strength in Darkness.

 

Sancta Loren

The Most Reverend Gregorius Sc. Thiede, by the Lords of Light and Proclamation of the Sarim under the Lord Sc. Metatron, Lord High Archon and Primate of the Rite of the Congregation of Loren.

Categories: Campaign, Campaign Development, Fiction, Game Play | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Green Box – Storage Unit 13D

Sparked by the recent discussion – and an example of all sorts of things that can get a group into trouble, as well as an example of a “Green Box Gone Bad” – Originally Posted on Dec 14th, 2005 on the DGML. Personally, I tend to like to fill Green Boxes with all sorts of things that the players would love to use – but that will cause all sorts of trouble if they actually do.

Have Fun!

——

Typical in many ways, and highly untypical in another, this Green Box (Unit 13D) is found at Eagle Storage, in Aurora IL (Just off Rt. 88). It’s a 10×30 unit located on the ground level of a three-story, open-air structure. Padlocked, the key is kept in military surplus soapbox cached in the nearby Herrick Lake forest preserve in Naperville (also just off Rt. 88). Standard practice calls for the agents to be given the GPS coordinates of the key cache along with the name and location of the Storage Unit when requested. When done with the Green Box the key is to be cached in a new location (though often in a nearby location) and GPS coordinates to be communicated to A-Cell immediately.

To someone passing by the open door, the contents of the unit are innocuous. A number of boxes, some 55-Gallon drums in the back, a number of bags of various building materials. It looks rather like a building contractors storage unit (with some “personal stuff”). Everything is stacked somewhat neatly on itself, and there are number of empty wooden packing crates waiting to be filled by the investigators.

Contained in the Green Box in open sight are:

  • 3-1/2 50lb bags of Fast-set Quikrete
  • 6-1/4 80lb Bags of Salt (With a surprising amount of salt scattered around the floor of the unit.)
  • A gasoline powered, 16″ Chainsaw (stabiled and ready to start) in its case. There’s no other gas in the unit however. There are blood and bone traces in the teeth of the saw.
  • 8′ Fiberglass Ladder
  • 20′ Aluminum Extension Ladder
  • 2 Sledgehammers
  • 2 Shovels
  • 1 Pickaxe
  • 1 Woodsman Axe (with blood traces)
  • 1 Hatchet (with blood traces)
  • Folding Pruning Saw
  • 1 22″ Pruning Sheer (with blood traces)
  • 4-1/2 20lb bags of Charcoal Briquettes
  • Weber “Smoky Joe” charcoal grill (evidence of burned papers inside)
  • 4 cases of lighter fluid
  • 1 Full Bottle of Jack Daniel’s Black Label with a scrawled note attached – “Buy a new one before you leave.” There are 11 empty bottles scattered about the unit, including one that has been used as an ashtray.
  • A spare tire for a late model Ford Mercury
  • 3 Road flares
  • A Bundle of 30 stakes – examination reveals that they are made of White Ash
  • An unopened carton of Gauloises
  • 1 Prybar
  • A single man Battering Ram – well used.
  • 3 20′ lengths of Grade 80 Chain
  • Half-a-dozen padlocks with keys
  • 1.5 Ton Auto Jack
  • 3 30-lb Propane tanks (filled)
  • 2 5-lb bags of soda lye
  • 1 5-gallon Tub of Roofing tar

In the storage crates (Generally under the empty crates);

  • 2 Model 37 Ithaca Stakeout Shotguns (12-Gauge) – unloaded
  • .50 Desert Eagle Pistol with two clips – unloaded
  • .455 Webley Revolver (Not in great shape but still useable, obvious antique)
  • 4 Daewoo USAS-12 Selective Fire Shotguns – each with 2 clips and 1 drum – unloaded
  • 2 Ingram Mac-10’s, each with an extra clip. (These need to be cleaned before use or there is x4 the normal chance for an accident)
  • Reloading equipment for 12-Gauge Shotgun shells. Unfortunately there’s no powder or primers left. Otherwise enough gear to do about 20 shells or so.
  • 17 12-Gauge Shells – Loaded with Sea Salt, Silver, and Cold Iron.
  • 20 Boxes 12-Gauge Shotgun (lead shot) (25 rounds each box)
  • 10 Boxes of 9mm Ammunition (50 rounds each box)
  • 10 Boxes of .50 Caliber Ammunition (20 rounds each box)
  • 5 Cases of .45 Caliber Ammunition (500 rounds each case)
  • 2 empty clips for a Colt 1911A1 .45
  • 5 lb. bag of Sea Salt
  • A 1-lb Block of Semtex – but no other detonating hardware.
  • An old Latin Bible with a blessed Silver and Ivory Rosary marking the start of Revelations – as an antique worth over $200 – It’s also a Magic Point Storage device with 3 points (out of a possible 10) only usable by a baptized Catholic who is in good standing (e.g. Regular confession, penance, etc). The bible itself has numerous notes in the margins throughout with various sections underlined, crossed out, etc. The various annotations provides the reader with a (3 weeks, +0/+1 Unnatural, +1 Occult, 1d3 San cost – Mythos Rating: 3 – Must Read Latin, French, and German – No spells)
  • An old set of Tibetan Buddhist religious objects. A phurba (ritual knife, three bladed knife), mala (prayer beads) of miniature bone skulls (108 “carved” skulls, close examination suggests that these are actually skulls that have been shrunken somehow; 0/1 San), a kangling (bone trumpet made from a human thigh bone which has been tightly fitted with leather, and the metal encasing has been enhanced by a turquoise), and kapala (A cup made from the top of human skull and lined with silver, and fitted with a ruby in the base of the cup). Antique and worth thousands, these are piled in a bottom crate. No obvious special abilities, save perhaps in the hands of a Tibetan priest or servant of one of the Dharmapalas. As long as they remain unclaimed and remain here in storage they are safe and relatively innocuous, but if a player character takes them without the proper magical “credentials” then they will be plagued by bad dreams and worse luck until they are returned to the proper Tibetan caretakers.
  • A small canvas bank-bag filled with some number of soft and flat things that appear to be scraps of fabric. In the crate next to it is skinning knife/gut hook that has traces of blood on it. Scrawled in marker on the bag is “Don’t Fucking Look!!” (Inside are 39 scraps of human skin, each tattooed with the Yellow Sign – there is evidence that attempts have been made to burn them with no success. They are indestructible, and this fact will net an additional 1/1-2 San loss in addition to seeing any of the various Yellow Signs)
  • 2 6×6 “Bomb Blankets” – Level III-A in Black
  • 3 Class II Tactical Armor Vests (2 Medium, 1 Large) in Black – shot to hell, the large is scored by huge claw marks and blood stains.
  • 1 Class II Concealable Vest with Level IV Rifle Plates (Woman’s Medium) – shot to hell
  • 4 400 Ft. lengths of 2000lb test Nylon climbing rope.
  • 4 sets of rappelling gear, each with harness
  • 1 Roll of 60′ of Nylon Webbing, plus nylon thread and needle
  • 7 MREs, and a case of C-Rations (12) – the canned fruit has been removed from all the C-Rats.
  • 3 Garbage bags, each filled with a mostly shattered human skeleton
  • Collection of 37 dried human ears (all left) on a string necklace
  • Human skull with elongated canines – Red marker on the side says “Van Helsing was here” with a smiley face next to it.
  • 3 sets of cast iron manacles (ankle, wrist, and neck) – these are quite old and somewhat rusty. There are layers upon layers of blood and old skin on the inside of all of them.
  • 40 or so different adult magazines – all from September 2001. These have all been annotated in an unknown code (actually it’s Hyperborean Tsath-Yo) – the notes are all detailing out the suitability of the various models (male and female) as breeding and host material (0/1 San if understood)

Finally there are the 7 55-gallon drums up on pallets in the back. This when things go seriously wrong with a Green Box, perhaps not as bad as possible, but bad enough. The two front drums are empty, and easy to move around. The other five have been crudely sealed with duct tape and roofing tar, and a sheet of plywood laid across their top. Spray-painted across the sheet is “Human Waste Disposal – Don’t Open!!”

No it’s not that kind of waste – it’s the kind that you’ve chopped up (or chainsawed, pruned, etc) and then dumped in a drum with some lye. Is it perfect? No. Is it even a good idea? Probably not.

But somebody did it, actually a couple of different Cells have done it.

The big problem is that one of the bodies wasn’t really dead yet. The first one as a matter of fact – one that wasn’t actually chopped up, just stuck in a drum and forgotten about. Sure the heart had stopped beating, the brain activity was gone, but the spirit hadn’t quite left yet (those damn Mythos sorcerers – life and death aren’t quite the same for them). As each subsequent body has been “interred” here it’s gained strength (1 point of Power per body in case the Agents add a couple themselves – though that takes about 6 months – 5 points in CoC 7E) Since the last mission, the Spirit has been waiting for someone to open one of the drums in which its various remains have been stored. Then it will come roaring out of all five drums in all its gory glory, a mass of dissolved and rotting arms, heads and teeth stinking of lye and bile…

 

Delta Green RPG Statistics:

Unquiet Spirit:

STR:12, CON:12, SIZ:30, INT:10, POW:9, DEX:15

HP:21 WP: 9

Damage Bonus: +2d6, Move:4

Gets 5 Attacks each round:

Strike (50%)- Does 2d6 + 1d6 Acidic damage.

Grapple (80%)- Can attack 1-2 Opponents per round, though it only does 1d6 Acidic Damage.

Envelope (100%)- Only after a successful grapple, it draws the Agent into itself doing 2d6 (Damage Bonus) + 2d6 (Lye and Biting/Grinding).

Spit (70%)- Does 1d6 Caustic Lye damage.

Immune to physical weapons, fire, electricity, and most chemical compounds.

Takes 1d6 damage per pound of salt. Shotgun loads of salt will do 1HP of damage.

In all cases there is a 1% cumulative chance per point of Acidic/Lye damage that the creature struck will lose a point of APP.

Sanity Loss: 1d2/1d10

At 10 Pow the Spirit will be able to start contacting nearby creatures and infecting their dreams, slowly corrupting them into the worship of the Mythos. At a Pow of 20 it will be able to possess creatures.

 

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Statistics:

Unquiet Spirit:

STR:60, CON:60, SIZ:150, INT:50, POW:45, DEX:75

Hit Points:21

Damage Bonus: +2d6, Move:4

Gets 5 Attacks each round:

Strike (50%)- Does 2d6 + 1d6 Acidic damage.

Grapple (80%)- Can attack 1-2 Opponents per round, though it only does 1d6 Acidic Damage.

Envelope (100%)- Only after a successful grapple, it draws the Agent into itself doing 2d6 (Damage Bonus) + 2d6 (Lye and Biting/Grinding).

Spit (70%)- Does 1d6 Caustic Lye damage.

Immune to physical weapons, fire, electricity, and most chemical compounds.

Takes 1d6 damage per pound of salt. Shotgun loads of salt will do 1HP of damage.

In all cases there is a 1% cumulative chance per point of Acidic/Lye damage that the creature struck will lose a 1d10 points of APP.

Sanity Loss: 1d2/1d10

At 50 Pow the Spirit will be able to start contacting nearby creatures and infecting their dreams, slowly corrupting them into the worship of the Mythos. At a Pow of 20 it will be able to possess creatures.

 

Have fun!

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Insanity = New Backstory

So, in the new, 7E, rules for Call of Cthulhu, when an Investigator goes insane the Keeper is allowed to add or tweak existing Backstory entries save for their Key/Favored Connection which is “safe.” This is supposed to represent the world slowly spinning out of control for the Investigators and them having to increasingly question the reality that they knew once but have now had shaken considerably.

So last game session we had three characters go insane, two temporarily and one indefinitely (which is not nearly as bad as it used to be but is still pretty crippling). Let’s look at what I did with these three characters.

All of the characters went insane as a result of aftermath of a fight with what Ophelia later determined to be an “Opener of the Ways” after reading Walter Corbitt’s diaries. None were particularly bothered by the Opener itself, but seeing (or experiencing) what happened to Helen was evidently quite traumatic. I wanted to tie this to some off-screen character background/development that I have in mind for all of them if possible, and I think it went pretty well.

For Luigi, as an honorable man, I merely noted that Henry was now an Important Person because he saved Luigi’s life. There is a debt there now of a sort, and it gives Luigi a reason to keep working with the group when the initial mystery is resolved. Watching Helen almost die was a clear reminder of how dangerous things are, and how things could have gone if Henry hadn’t been there – as well as how effective Henry had been while he had been able to do little.

In Henry’s case, there is something much more mysterious. Looking at what happened to Helen (or almost happened), he is now unable to ignore the large Y-shaped scar that dominates and view of his uncovered chest. He is really unable to remember where it comes from, that’s how much he doesn’t like to think about it, but he guesses that it happened in France during the Great War.

For Helen, she would have likely died if she hadn’t spent all of her Luck in order to prevent this (ala the Pulp Cthulhu rules). With horrific wounds in her torso, the viscera and ichor of the Opener of the Ways covered her and mingled with her own blood and viscera. In her Encounters with Strange Entities the following entry was added – “The Opener of the Way, it killed me, but I passed through it, and it through me, and I did not die.”

Waking shortly after surviving she went indefinitely insane to the feeling of fraying from the inside out, and the party was forced to hold her down before she ripped open her out abdomen in order to reach inside her own body to hold herself together.

All in all, three quite well thought through effects on the various character’s backstory. None are crippling, and all lead to further questions or investigations.

TTFN!

D.

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Pushing Rolls in 7E

So I was listening to the Chaosium Call of Cthulhu panel from GenCon and they had a really interesting insight into the “pushing rolls” mechanic from 7E.

Mechanically, for non-combat rolls only, players have the option to “push a roll” when they fail the initial attempt. The player has to justify how they either continue the first attempt or get a second try, but the penalty is that if the pushed attempt fails then something bad happens.

The panel pointed out that the “something bad” was a method to “increase the horror” not merely inflict a failure or a fumble.

I really like this as it actually makes it even easier to understand the mechanic, and gives me (the Keeper) an easier tool to make this specific to individual Investigators.

D.

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Delta Green the RPG

So, I took some time over the last couple of days to look over the new Delta Green RPG (as opposed to the old Delta Green setting for Call of Cthulhu). It is important to note that the rules are backwards compatible with the BRP engine of Call of Cthulhu 6E and previous and probably adaptable to 7E with a minimum of fuss.

(In other news, it looks like at least one of the old Pagan Pubishing campaigns, Coming Full Circle, is going to finally be coming to PDF and POD, good for them! I have my own dead tree copy, but it is a fantastic campaign and well worth picking up. It’s good that they finally convinced Crowe to relax about electronic media, and maybe wel” see some more back catalog content in the future.)

I’ve had the PDF for awhile now, but I have found that reading and digesting rules for me really requires a physical book for me to hold in my hands. I just find it easy to navigate and flip back and forth.

I like the lethality rating for powerful weapons, it seems like an elegant solution. I also like Breakpoints and Sanity rather than old BRP method of having to figure out 20% on a semi-regular basis. I like the idea of Bonds, and suspect that it will work well, but that is something I’ll have to see in practice during play. Similar to CoC 7E I really like the more abstracted method for handling money and equipment.

I really like the rules for experience. Fail a roll, make a check, then at the noted time increase the skill by one. Much, much less fiddly than the classic BRP method. I wonder if it doesn’t lead to inflated skill levels but I expect that it doesn’t – or that characters aren’t meant to survive long enough for it to matter. That particular attitude is one that I wince at, but I understand that the Paganistas have a definitive vision of how DG is supposed to be played.

Honestly, probably my biggest complaint is that the release schedule is such that I really have no idea when I can expect to see the Case Officer’s Handbook – the matching GM’s book to the current Agent’s (aka Investigator) Handbook. Yes, it’s kind of a whiny complaint, but currently I have no idea of how magic has changed, what sort of stats a creature should have (other than some extrapolation forward from 6E and some of that seems iffy), and well, I hate running games without the GM’s guide.

I really hope that this doesn’t hurt sales, but given that most people buying this are probably already DG fans, they can probably make it work. Since I’m running 7E right now it’s less of an issue, but I look forward to running it at some point in the future.

D.

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And, in a more modern vein…

IMAG0194

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Sanity Loss in a Pulp Game

One of the biggest threats, existential or otherwise, when playing Call of Cthulhu is the ever-present and slow draining away of Sanity. The lower it gets, the faster it goes. While the 7e rules have introduced some methods for alleviating this (Getting Used to the Awfulness and Mythos Hardening) I had always had a couple of tweaked methods for dropping Sanity loss a bit further but keeping “big things bad” while allowing those players who wanted to become sorcerers some additional buffer against the inevitable.

Keeping with the simplified skills listing of 7e, I’ve actually simplified this a great deal and I like it even more. It is based on three skills, one of which I use in conjunction with the Mystical Talents. So as follows:

  • Cthulhu Mythos or Unnatural: Divide the skill level by ten, round down, and apply this as a modifier to all Sanity loss. E.g. Cthulhu Mythos skill level of 34 becomes 3.4, rounded to 3, the character has a -3 to all Sanity losses.
  • Occult: Divide the skill level by twenty, round down, and apply this as a modifier to all Sanity loss. E.g. Occult skill level of 82 becomes 4.1, rounded to 4, the character has a -4 to all Sanity losses.
  • Meditation: Divide the skill level by thirty, round down, and apply this as a modifier to all Sanity loss. E.g. Meditation skill level of 69 becomes 2.3, rounded to 2, the character has a -2 to all Sanity losses.

A character with all of those skills would have a -9 to all Sanity losses, meaning that they could interact with most minor Mythos creatures and toss off a great many of the spells with no effect. That said, they still have the potential lose Sanity from the greater threats, and in an interesting statistical twist are (when they do lose Sanity from those threats) are actually a little bit more likely to go temporarily insane as a result.

The Meditation skill is basically combination of “mental fortitude” skill as well as what I tend to use as a “psychic powers” skill use skill. In the Old Delta Green supplement Countdown the psychic powers were all individual skills for the most part, I actually like the Pulp Cthulhu version of them as abilities instead. It is less mess in the skill section of the character sheet and allows me as the Keeper to play more fast and lose with how much any use will cost or how it works.

Clearly this sort of rule doesn’t for everyone or for all sorts of campaigns, but I’ve found that it really isn’t that unbalancing and does a good job of allowing people to play the sorts of characters that they are trying to.

TTFN!

D.

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Revised Pulp Cthulhu Talents and Traits

So, I had mentioned that I was not entirely sure about how Pulp Cthulhu handled Talents and Traits. While some of them were ok, some of them weren’t – most often because they seemed very dedicated to limiting the power of the PC’s (which, honestly, seems pointless in Call of Cthuhu for obvious reasons). In any case I took the list, reorganized it some, and reworked it, adding a selection of things from my previous Pulp homebrew. I also ncluded the effects of both Wartime Service and Medical Career (Detached), Criminal History (Callous), and Mythos Hardened (Hardened) as Mental Traits.

I’m sure I’ll think of others over time and add them, but here’s the start, and it’s what I’ve used with the current characters in the game.

Physical Talents and Traits:

  • Herculean – The character has a Bonus die for Strength tests.
  • Agile – The character has a Bonus die for Dex tests.
  • Eagle-Eyed – The character has a Bonus die for Spot Hidden tests.
  • Quick Healer – The characters Natural Healing in increased to +3 Hit Points per day.
  • Sneaky – Character gains a Bonus die for Stealth tests. They are also able to make two attacks when Hidden rather than one.
  • Night Vision – The character has reduces the difficulty level of Spot Hidden rolls in darkness and ignore penalty die for shooting in the dark.
  • Huge – The Character’s build is considered 1 greater for purposes of combat.
  • Hollow Leg – It takes triple the normal amount of alcohol or drugs to affect the character. They also gain a Bonus die to resist any effects.
  • Ambidextrous – Character has no penalties for two weapons.
  • Resilient – The character has a Bonus die for all Constitution tests
  • Survivor – The character Stabilizes on their own with no need for First Aid or Medicine.
  • Nimble – The character does not lose next action when “diving for cover” versus firearms and ignores differences in Build during Hand-to-Hand and Melee combat. They are never suffer from penalties when Outnumbered.
  • Greased Lightning – The character has a +50 Initiative and +1 Move bonus
  • Resilient – The character has a Bonus die for all Constitution tests

Mental Talents and Traits:

  • Genius – Character has a Bonus die for Science tests.
  • Linguist – The character has is always able to determine what human language is being spoken (or what is written); gains a Bonus die to Language tests.
  • Alert – The character has a bonus die on all Surprise tests.
  • Detached – No San loss from dead bodies or gross injury.
  • Callous – No San loss from killing or combat.
  • Hardened – Half San loss from exposure to the Unnatural
  • Photographic Memory – can remember many details; gains a bonus die when making Know rolls.
  • Speed Reader – Halve the time needed for both Initial and Full Reading of Mythos tomes and other books.
  • Handy – The character has a Bonus die for Mechanical Repair, Electrical Repair, and Operate Heavy Machinery tests

Combat Talents and Traits:

  • Dead-eye – Character has a Bonus die for Firearms & Throwing combat.
  • Gladiator – Character has a Bonus die for Fighting (Other) combat.
  • Brawler – Character has a Bonus die for Fighting (Brawl) combat.
  • Berserker – The character gains the Berserker skill which is checked simultaneously with other Combat skills. If successful, the character has double the normal effect as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • Martial Arts – The character gains the Martial Arts skill which is checked simultaneously with other Combat skills. If successful, the character has double the normal effect as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • Gunfighter – Does not need to have Firearm readied to gain the +50 DEX to Initiative, ignores penalty die for loading and firing in the same turn, and ignores penalty die for multiple shots per turn.
  • Sharpshooter – Does not suffer penalty die when for Small Targets or Cover/Concealment and may fire into combat without a penalty die.

Social Talents and Traits:

  • Caesar – Character has a Bonus die for tests involving leadership, morale, and similar situations.
  • Grifter – The character has a Bonus die with Charm, Fast-Talk, & Persuade rolls
  • Intimidating – The character has a Bonus die for Intimidation tests.
  • Empathic – The character has a Bonus die for Psychology, Psychoanalysis, and Anthropology tests.
  • Thespian – The character has a Bonus die for Acting and Disguise tests.

Mystical Talents and Traits:

  • Old Soul – The character has a Bonus die for all Pow tests, as well as History and Archeology tests.
  • Immortal – The character does not die as normal, will suffer an Injury/Scar and possibly other characteristic or skill loss depending upon circumstances.
  • Promethean – The character takes minimum damage from physical attacks, and is either immune or highly resistant to most poisons and diseases.
  • Iron-Willed – Character gains a Bonus die on all tests related to Insanity.
  • Resourceful – The character has always seems to have what they need at hand. They may spend 10 Luck points for any item within their daily spending limit.
  • Lucky – The character regains an additional +1D10 Luck points when Luck Recovery rolls are made.
  • True Faith – The character gains the True Faith skill which can be checked to allow immunity or resistance to Sanity loss, as well as be used o perform miracles in the same way that the Cthuhu Mythos skill can be used to perform magical acts.
  • Gnosis – The character gains the Gnosis skill which is checked simultaneously with other mental and social (non-magical) skills. If successful, the character has double the normal effect as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • Prana – The character gains the Prana skill which is checked simultaneously with other physical (non-combat) skills. If successful, the character has double the normal effect as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • True Will – The character gains the True Will skill which can be checked to allow minor manipulations of reality – bending bullets, landing in haystacks, etc. at a cost in Magic Points as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • Medium – The character may spend Magic Points to see, summon, and otherwise interact with the spirits of the dead as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • Telekinetic – The character may spend Magic Points to move objects through space by sheer force of will alone as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • Telepathic – The character may spend Magic Points to communicate by thought or emotion alone, as well as read the thoughts or emotions of others as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • Oracle – The character may spend Magic Points to predict the future, see into the past, or otherwise understand the connection between events as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • Seer – The character may spend Magic Points to extend their physical senses beyond their body as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • Second Sight – The character may spend Magic Points to see spirits, magical auras, and the like as adjudicated by the Keeper.
  • Dreamer – The Character has the Dreaming skill, and access to the Dreamlands.
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What’s happening!?!

So, we are on a bit of a break from the D&D 5e Siyahchal Campaign, the characters have liberated the town of Diamond Lake from it’s corrupt mayor and the worst of the mine owners as part of the process of dealing with the Cult of the Ebon Triad. Devin has been installed as a Baronet with responsibility for the town and much of the surrounding area. We’ll pick things up again in a couple of months “real-time” and a year or two “game time” when the stars shift again, threatening an Age of Worms…

In the meantime we are playing Call of Cthulhu 7e, and Pulp Cthulhu at that. One player is taking a break (Cthulhu really not being her thing) but everyone else jumped at the idea of this system. I’m setting the game in Chicago, starting it in 1920, and continuing on somewhat from where I left the small campaign set in wartime Paris that I was playing with MR and KT. I’ve combined the classic Haunting scenario and the more recent Edge of Darkness scenario into one larger, interlinked narrative.

We’ve played one session and everyone seemed to have fun, I’ll do what I can to keep people abreast with what is happening. You can follow thin links above and see what characters people have, and while I have modified the traits for Pulp Cthulhu somewhat (and I’ll post my changes here in the next week or so), the “double hit points” and extra rules for luck makes a good start to a more survivable game.

TTFN!

D.

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5e – Warlock Patron – The Shadow King

The Shadow King

You have made your pact with one of the Lords of Shadow, powerful, liminal beings who dwell in the Shadowlands and beyond. Wise and ancient, selfish and patient, the Shadow Kings work behind the scenes, neither of the Light or the Darkness, to survive against threats from across creation. None can say what their true motives are, but their subtle hand is feared by those that know of it.

Expanded Spell List

The Shadow King allows you to choose from an expanded spell list when you learn Warlock spells. The following spells are added to the Warlock spell list for you.

  • 1st Level: Shroud the Shadow, Debilitate
  • 2nd Level: Shadow Sight, Shadow Embrace
  • 3rd Level: Shadow Bolt, Blackout
  • 4th Level: Shadowform, Shadowbind
  • 5th Level: Devouring Darkness, Mantle of Dread

Embraced by Shadow

At 1st level your patron grants you a cloak of shadows when it is desired – enveloping the character Dim Light. This makes Charisma skill checks more difficult but lessens the difficult if Stealth and similar checks. The character is also now treated as a native of the Shadowlands when considering it’s negative effects.

Shadowstep

Starting at 6th level the character may teleport, as a Reaction, up to 120′ away as long as they end up in an area of shadow. This feature may not be used again until after a Short or Long rest.

Shadowstuff

At 10th Level the character has become infused with Shadow to such a degree that they are Resistant to Non-Magical weapons.

Spiritual Malaise

Upon reaching 14th Level the character can touch a target and inflict a number of levels of Exhaustion equal to their Proficiency Bonus. The target is allowed a Con save against the effect at the Spell Save DC of the character for half effects – creatures of the Shadowlands are Resistant to this effect. This feature cannot be used again until the character finishes a long rest.

 

Note: The Spells of the Expanded Spell List are from Necromancer Games Book of Lost Spells

Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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