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my opinions, let me share them

1. +Scrap Princess said: those crazy story games people. Sometimes I think I want a system for social interaction, sometimes not.

I said: I’m coming around to thinking that anything you really care about in a game SHOULD NOT be systematized UNLESS you urgently want to make it into a little chess-like minigame that’s a holiday from the tactical infinity of just sitting there saying what your character is doing next.

Corollary to this: if you make something into a quick die roll it’s because you don’t really want to think about it or because in itself it bores you, but you can imagine there could be fun from having it go wackily wrong once in a while.

2. Magician’s Manse said: weapons should be a bit more differentiated than just small/med/big. Like slashing = d8 and piercing = exploding d6 and bashing = d6 but plate armour gets reduced by 2AC.

I want weapons to have some special effect, MtG card style, which the player has to remember. Like special crit/crit-miss effects, or “always strike first” for long spears – stuff like that. I’d even get players to suggest such effects for their own weapon of choice, with the proviso that I get to add caveats/trade-offs.

As DM though I’d just stick with some fixed die for monsters/NPCs (simpler is better) and weird crits as the fun-maximizing allows. The important thing is for players to have enjoyable options, not for the world to operate perfectly consistently.

3. Beedo is a genius. He blew my mind this morning with his gate/summoning machine/building. Right now I want to run a kind of Black City game full of alien magitech toys Seriously Considered. There would even be room for it in Carcosoid Turkestan.

His genius lies in laying the tools of a Cthulhuvian civilisation out, ready for PCs to fiddle with. And he totally outdoes a post I’ve been thinking about that presents similar temptations. Will the PCs ever figure out that a non-human sacrifice could work to power it? …and how disposable might goblins become, or stray colour-coded Carcosans, once they figure out they themselves don’t need to be sacrificed?

It occurs to me that a ritual-magic-tech civilisation probably has a lot of architecture involved in its machines, which brings implications – little mobile technology, lots of labour, especially if materials are important: no steel frame structures if it all needs to be volcanic rock, etc. Also certain stones, woods, crystals, bones etc could become as necessary to their tech as coal is to a steam age or neodymium to computing.

What if Yuggoth has the only known source of that particular fungus you need to levitate stuff? If there was extensive inter-world travel at some point in the past-future, there could also be ecology that works across those gates – what if something on Earth only sprouts if it’s pollenated by something on Celaeno? You’d probably want to wash the dust off your boots if you knew that. Or if pre-Permian Mass Extinction life had some strange effect on post- or visitors from the future wanted to mine the past or even seed it with the resources they needed (laying down a crop of fossil fuels for later harvesting).

4. Down at Story Games, there’s some complaining about how hard it is to run CoC. My pull quote: “the players never even thought to look in the cellar” – that’s your problem right there. Who doesn’t know that the cellar is trouble in a horror/haunting game?

I’m with Tony Dowler: it’s a specific genre piece and you really have to play it in or around its genre. Also this: The thing with CoC though is that if you don’t have the intuitions, it can just collapse. As an aside, some of the collapse states are pretty interesting games in themselves. Yes. And this: Graham Walmsley’s “Stealing Cthulu”…talks about… the difference between PCs and Lovecraft protagonists. The protagonists in Lovecraft don’t really investigate. For the most part they mystery is spoon fed to them until they hit the big horrible reveal at the end. PCs are not so accommodating. At least they shouldn’t be, dammit.

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