Author Topic: Trail of Cthulhu  (Read 22042 times)

Shallazar

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2011, 01:09:01 PM »
Thanks all! The game will eventually be posted on the community site, but not for at least a month.
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Herrigold

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2011, 11:06:45 PM »
So I picked up the Trail of Cthulhu rulebook, mostly because it's CoC but also because it got so many awards. I was surprised to find out that it's actually a bit difficult to read! They tell you how to make a character using build points, yes, but the amount of points you put into general abilities was only mentioned once in the middle of a paragraph in an obscure place so it was difficult to find again. They do that thing where they put framed sections of text that are an aside to the main read, but that means there can be very little of it to read on one page.

And when I did get that, it was difficult to understand the concept of spending pool points on checks. I'm still not sure I do understand that! Pool points are drawn from where you spend your build points? Yes, it makes sense I suppose (you get less focus on something if you use that skill a lot?), but it's just not very clear from the book.
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clockworkjoe

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2011, 12:24:33 AM »
you spend investigative skill points to gain additional information or benefits from a given clue or situation.

Herrigold

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2011, 10:24:11 PM »
Don't get me wrong, it's a good read, just requires a bit of backtracking every now and then. I guess most RPG books do.

So, just to make sure I understand, let's say I put 3 build points into the ability "Reassurance". During a story, I would automatically reassure some foxy dame enough to continue the story and gain a clue, just for having the ability.

But if I spend 1 of those 3 points, I could potentially (keeper allowing) make her think I'm a damned hero and she'll give me some money or tell me some more info, etc. Yes? I'd only get back up to 3 in that ability after the game finishes, and the abilities refresh.

I'll have to read some scenarios, see what they say.
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Shallazar

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2011, 10:25:44 AM »
Don't get me wrong, it's a good read, just requires a bit of backtracking every now and then. I guess most RPG books do.

So, just to make sure I understand, let's say I put 3 build points into the ability "Reassurance". During a story, I would automatically reassure some foxy dame enough to continue the story and gain a clue, just for having the ability.

But if I spend 1 of those 3 points, I could potentially (keeper allowing) make her think I'm a damned hero and she'll give me some money or tell me some more info, etc. Yes? I'd only get back up to 3 in that ability after the game finishes, and the abilities refresh.

I'll have to read some scenarios, see what they say.

That's my interpretation of the ability except i might make "recruiting" a two point spend and a one point would be like she gives you her car or lets you hide in her hotel (something of that nature).

Otherwise I've decided to treat investigative point spends like the use of the luck roll or just giving players more story shaping power. One of the other examples (in the Keeper's Resource book) is like you spend some points in Art and at the people around you are enamored by your mastery of Manet vs Monet that they trust you in other matters (you get a dedicated 2 point pool of reassurance, flattery, or some other social skill type deal).

I'm running my first game tonight and in about two weeks it'll be up on the Community Site if you want to check it out.
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Dom

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2011, 11:38:58 AM »
I think Trail of Cthulhu, and other GUMSHOE games as for as I've seen, have the mecanic of spending resources during the investigation for various reasons. The first is that it makes sure that no single player can steal the spotlight from the rest of the players since they are limited in what resources and skills they can use and how many times they can use it.

It also means that the strategies that the investigators take need to keep varying. For example, they will not always be able to talk their way out of everything- sometimes they will be forced to hide, use their contacts, fight, or run away.

The resource management is also a nod to horror games where you need to think ahead in regards to how many resourcfes you are willing to spend now, knowing that it might mean that in the future you will not have that resource to spend.

For one part, I like the GUMSHOE system in that it always makes sure that the PCs get the main clues, though then they need to spend skill points to analyze the clues. However, I much prefer to go the Masks of Nyarlathotep route in that it adds an overabundance of clues and makes the character roll for them to find them: as a player there is less of a sense of being railroaded since there is still a chance to succeed or fail in the clue-gathering aspect, and as a GM you know that players are still receiving a bunch of clues that will eventually lead the players in the same direction.

I also like to reuse clues- if the players for some reason or another manage to botch all their rolls to find a clue, I'll put the clue in another scene so they get another chance to find it. That way, if they miss an important clue they will eventually find it even if it is later in the investigation.

I'd reccomend reading this essay: http://www.thealexandrian.net/creations/misc/three-clue-rule.html Very informative and has great tips for GMs.

Herrigold

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2011, 04:29:10 PM »
Thanks to you two ^, that's a nice summary and some good info.
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Shallazar

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2011, 12:39:00 PM »
Just ran my first game of it last night. We began with the Australia chapter and made it to Buckley's ghost in three hours.

The players appreciate the system more than I thought they would and the point spends went alright. I'm letting everyone tweak their characters now that they know how it plays.

One thing I learned was to ALWAYS blow all the points for bad guys. There is no point in saving their scuffling, weapons, firearms, athletics, etc. points for later on, best to just whomp on the investigators right off the bat.
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Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2011, 02:13:15 PM »
Your players actually meet the badguys in combat? What a bunch of suicidal nuts. Know what my last Gumshoe group did at their climax? Locked several (probably) innoccent people in an abandoned basement, where they died horribly of starvation, dehydration, or killing one another, the players never found out. Step Two was gunning down the final member of the "enemy cult" in the streets of Edinburgh, three people with guns riddling an unarmed guy full of holes.

And it was the right move!

Shallazar

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2011, 03:43:50 PM »
The party is:
A Rear Admiral
A Swag-man
A Journalist
A Priest

Another player is also a priest but wasn't there last night. The players generally charge forward guns blazing, much more PULP than Purist.
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Tadanori Oyama

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2011, 04:25:41 PM »
Rear admiral I have not seen in a CoC game before. Hmm. I'm gonna have to listen to these games.

Shallazar

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2011, 04:49:06 PM »
Check the community in two weeks for the ToC game, if you're THAT excited for it.
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Herrigold

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2011, 10:05:51 PM »
Heya, when is this community game going up? I'm intrigued.
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Shallazar

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #43 on: March 21, 2011, 12:00:54 PM »
It is already up, Masks of Nyarlathotep Game 21: Enter Swagman

We played the New York, London, Cairo, Kenya chapters using regular BRP CoC and are switching over for Australia and Shanghai.
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Herrigold

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Re: Trail of Cthulhu
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2011, 11:46:01 PM »
Sweet, I'll check it out! Thanks!
It's too late to be clever. I'll try being adventurous.