I prepared this little document for our games. These are house rules that we use and I wanted to have them collected in one place. Use if you like.
The Crit and Fumble rules are borrowed from Delta Green. Then I use the Crit & Fumble tables from the BRP Big Gold Book (BGB). Pushing skill tests are from CoC 7e. Skill difficulties are from MRQ2/Legend. The Major Damage rules are from Targets of Opportunity (DG) and finally the movement rules are an amalgam of BRP BGB, 7e and some home brew.
Aside running Masks of Nyarlahotep using the CoC 6e rules, I’m also reading up on the new CoC 7e rules as well as re-reading my old Delta Green books as well as the new DG materials from Arc Dream.
And I must say I’m most eager to run some Delta Green soon. It will be the playtest version of a DG/CoC adventure called Longpig that I’ve been planning to write for a long time now.
The big news here are that I contacted the author of the KULT fan adventure Longpig a while back, to discuss the possibility of a conversion from Kult to Delta Green. He was very positive, and even volunteered to help out!
Longpig is 130-ish pages and in French (not my strongest language, I’d say about 15-20% skill) and translation has taken a while. Now I will re-write it to fit the DG/CoC universe better as Kult and DG are set in very different universes.
The plan further up the road is to release it as a free PDF for all you DG and CoC fans! I’ll probably use the new DG rules for this, as I think that they fit the subject best.
Work has begun. Wish me luck. This is a huge project for a for-fun home publisher like me…
Yesterday I was checking out Chaosium’s site for some info on the fate of the BRP rule set when I happened to notice that the kickstarter slipcase edition of CoC 7e is actually available directly from them.
I have been planning to get the core books and the screen from my trusty FLGS, but some quick math convinced me that the slipcase set was actually easilly the best value. In that kit, you get the Keeper’s and Investigator’s hardbacks as well as the Keeper’s screen, all enclosed in a pretty slipcase. Furthermore, Chaosium adds all the PDFs for those products as a bonus, further adding to the value.
As Chaosium has an EU shipping point in the UK, the shipping was ok and consequently I don’t have to pay import tax either.
So I ordered the set as a birthday gift to myself as I will get one year older next week 🙂 – [Yeah, rationalization, I know…]
This morning I have perused the PDFs of the books and I must say that I’m mostly positive. Pretty hardcover books (although some of the art is not-so-great). Some neat rules changes. Some unnecessary or unnecessarily complicated rule changes.
Some people have complained that the books have swelled out too much and that they´re too wordy, and I can understand that to a point, especially for veteran players and GMs. However, if I came to CoC 7e with no previous playing experience I think that 7e would be easier to grasp than the older editions. Maybe.
At the same time I feel a bit conflicted about the break between 6th ed (and previous) and 7th ed. I mean, the rules have been the same since my first CoC games back in 1987-88! And for me, that consistency has been one of the things that I really liked about CoC. This game was never about the rules, but about the adventures.
I started with a borrowed copy of the 1st or 2nd ed thin box (I remember there were no magic points back then, you used POW instead). When I had to return it I bought the Games Workshop 3rd ed hardcover which we used for a long time. Then, when 5th edition came out as a major rules revision I got that book instead and we used it for many adventures, among them the major part of Horror on the Orient Express. In my years as a non-playing “RPG voyeur” I bought the 5.6 edition just for reading and then when we started active playing again back in 2010, I got the 30th Anniversary 6th ed rulebook and the new gorgeous Keeper Screen because I wanted a sturdy hardback as my 5th ed book was starting to fall apart.
As much as I like the new shiny books (well, PDFs at least) I also feel a wee bit worried that the game might feel different from before. One example that I noticed today is that the benefit of choosing to play an older professor-type isn’t nearly as attractive as adding years to the character won’t result in as many bonus skill points as before.
We’ll see. The only way is to play. I will definetely give 7th ed a spin and even if we decide to stay with 6th ed, there will be things that I will cannibalize from 7th ed. Most probably, we’ll play some of both in the future.
And I will definitely come back with a little review in the future. Heavily biased of course 🙂
Dramatis personae H.P Rennfarth | Forensics specialist | 27 yrs | Mats Justin Case | NYPD Detective | 32 yrs | Djuro Ulla Bengtsson | Professor (Chemistry) Columbia Uni | 48 yrs | Berndt Carl Blackwater | Foreign correspondant | 31 yrs | Martin
Background H.P Rennfarth works at the budding Forensics Department at NYPD. He recently inherited an antiques shop in Greenwich Village from his father who passed away recently. He has no idea of what to do with it at this point. He officially knows Justin Case from police work but also because the two of them has been involved in some highly suspicious activity concerning evidence (drugs) missing from the evidence department. He thinks that Justin Case holds the key to some secret/treasure/knowledge (drugs maybe?) that he covets.
After lunch today, I had some time over and decided to pay a visit to my favourite FLGS in town. They recently moved to new expanded premises and I wanted to check out the new store. And wow. There they were – the new shiny editions of my long time favourites Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green.
I have only seen these books in pictures, so it was nice to feel them physically and browse the contents. Very colorful, very shiny and very heavy full color hardcover books. Top quality, and very desirable. Sadly, they didn’t have the 7e Keeper book for CoC, but they did have the screens for both games.
Standing there in the shop, I almost whipped up my card to buy it all, despite having promised myself to buy fewer games and play more of the ones I have instead. The joy of finding such cool games, and in an actual shop – I mean, I haven’t bought an RPG book in shop since the early 2000s. However, I also got to think about some things and decided to write this blog post.
As a side observation, it seems that in last 5-8 years or so, the trend in the RPG publishing world is to publish fancy new editions of core rules. This is true for both the d20 (D&D) as well as the d100 (BRP) worlds. I mean, how many versions or variants of D&D exist at this time? Old school, new school, variant school…the list goes on.
And in the BRP world, the Mongoose RuneQuest (and Legend) SRDs have given rise to a plethora of very similar variants of the same game: OpenQuest, Legend, Renaissance, RuneQuest 6, Mythras and now Delta Green. So while Chaosium keep their original d100/BRP rules under tight check, the Mongoose SRD is open for others, thus opening up for new or variant game iterations using the d100 engine.
OK, now we move back to Call of Cthulhu…
I have followed the long creation and publication process of Call of Cthulhu 7e since it first was announced. And now when it’s here I’m on the fence about getting it. Why? Well, firstly I was utterly unimpressed with the free CoC 7e Quickstart rules as I felt much more connected to the older rules and also I didn’t feel that the changes were all that necessary. And don’t get me started on what they did to my beloved The Haunting… Another thing is that with my trusty old rules (I use a 5.6 rulebook for the players and a 30th Anniversary 6th ed rulebook for myself) we can in reality play in a wide range of settings using the same core rules:
Modern (Cthulhu Now)
Ancient times (Invictus)
Medieval (Dark Ages)
Modern conspiracy variant (Delta Green)
And that’s only the ones that I have on my shelf!
If I should move over to CoC 7e, there’s always that little conversion thing that isn’t very hard, but it’s there nevertheless. And it’s annoying. And I’m not going to buy the same books one more time – I did that with RuneQuest, which basically made me so annoyed that in the end, I decided to scrap the game altogether.
The new Delta Green rules make more sense for me however. The old rules were basically a thing to bolt onto the existing CoC rules, which are at their core and feel very 1920s Lovecraftian, and sometimes the CoC/DG concept felt less than optimal. The new rules seem slicker and more adapted to the setting. I also hope that the game master’s book (Case Officer’s Handbook) will update the DG setting to account for all the things that has happened in the real world since the first DG book was published back in 1997.
I guess I’ll buy both of these games eventually, but I also see some problems with this. I mean – I can play them both already, using the old CoC rules. As I see it now, I will probably mine CoC 7e for ideas to use in my 6e games. And maybe, I’ll play some dedicated 7e games further up the road, and…
*die roll*….failed SAN check… Bookathouggha the Magnificent just ordered his puny minion to buy books… Must resist, the other deity Wifeathoggua will be furious…
…who am I fooling here, really? I know where I’ll go today after work… *whips out credit card, drooling*…
Tomorrow we launch our foray into Masks of Nyarlahotep.
I’ve been wanting to play this campaign since I first heard of it some 25 years ago, but never had the chance. Then, in 2010, I got hold of the Complete MoN limited edition hardcover and now it is time to let the players loose in New York.
Six players will pit their bodies and minds against a god and try to save the world.
Wish me good luck. I’m not nearly as prepped as I should be, as work and life has been extra intense the last few weeks, but I will run it anyway.
In my CoC games the PCs have always been ordinary people who have accidentally stumbled upon evil and horror. For the coming MoN campaign however, I’ve decided to try to have a player organization going on in the background. I have used Prof. Wellcroft as a friendly NPC before along with jaded Private Eye Dan Zomb (both Mythos-savvy PCs from an old Shadows of Yog-Sothoth campaign).
A while back, inspired by Delta Green, I decided to sketch out a anti-Mythos organization for 1920s gaming and came up with the Wellcroft Foundation.
Here it is. Use if you like.
The Wellcroft Foundation (Ordo Venatores)
The Wellcroft Foundation was founded and is still headed by university professor Jonathon Wellcroft, heir to the Wellcroft fortune. Officially, the purpose is to support archaelogical and ethnographical research around the world and also to keep an archive of new archaelogical findings.
As a young scholar (before he aquired his wealth), Jonathon discovered the Mythos and investigated many weird cases of Mythos activity along with his trusty sidekick Daniel Zomb. Over time, the pair battled against human cults and their inhuman masters and gained both knowledge of the Mythos as well as an impressive collection of Mythos Tomes. With age, Wellcroft withdrew from active adventuring but continued his scholarly research on the Mythos as well as assisting newer colleagues in their investigations. When he became the sole inheritor of the family industrialist fortune, he founded the Wellcroft Foundation, the official purpose of which is to fund and support archaelogical research, especially in the far corners of the Earth. The real purpose however, is to uncover the Great Old Ones machinations and to combat them and their minions under the banner of Ordo Venatores (The Order of Hunters). The Order keep a network of national and international contacts and safe houses around the globe, and hidden under the Boston offices is a secret facility known only to mem- bers of the Order and a select few other trusted Mythos-fighters.
The organization is very secretive and seldom invite new recruits. Instead, they sponsor and help freelancer investigators in various ways, for example by providing contacts and know- ledge. This means that a lot of people working for the Order will never know about it. The Order has many collaborators working in law enforcement, higher education, media and other diverse areas
Wellcroft rarely leaves the Boston area. He is mainly responsible for leading the theoretical and research part and to build and keep the Mythos library. Daniel Zomb is head of the Field Operations branch, leading and recruiting new investigators into the Order. This is done through intermediary agents who may or may not be aware of the Order. In total, maybe 10–15 people are full members of the Order. The number of associated people are maybe 5–6 times as many.
You can use this organization as a way replace mad or deceased investigators or you can use it as a possible source of knowledge for the investigators. Maybe one of them is associated with the Order of Hunters and able to provide that connection. The Order might provide knowledge, contacts, illegal heavy weapons and financial support as well as some limited legal support in cases on trouble with the law. And most importantly the Order can provide conatct with other investigators in cases of dire need. The Order also monitors suspect occult and Mythos-related events around the world and so they can turn up as an unsuspected ally if needed.
A few years back I ran a separate Call of Cthulhu/d100 gaming blog called Liber Malum for about two years. I then decided to merge my then three blogs into one combined blog for all RPG systems and settings.
However, I’ve decided to keep a sepratate CoC blog again since (a) many D&D/OSR people aren’t interested in d100/CoC gaming and (b) vice versa.
The main purpose of this blog is to serve as a place to keep our game session recaps for my upcoming Masks of Nyarlahotep campaign with the Fistful of d20s crew, but also to share adventures and other home made CoC things for other CoC aficionados.
This will be a pure CoC blog, maybe with some occasional general BRP/d100 posts.