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(Chthonian) Dilemma - Skill Scores & Character Effective

Started by Zak Arntson, July 31, 2002, 12:55:53 AM

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Any thoughts on campaign structure?  It seems brilliantly suited for one-shots....but what about something more long term?  The TV model works pretty well (with source material abounding- Buffy, Angel, X-Files, Kolchack TNS, Melinium, The Others ect)- a group of characters (for whatever reason) have bizare, terrifying, and disturbing adventures every week, with certain threads which tie each "Season" together into a semi-coherent whole.

But campaign play calls into question such things as Advancement... any thoughts thereabouts?

Also, this highlights another way to do your disorders.  One bad turn grants an can tap this only during the current adventure, and once the you work it through (by shooting the zombies that terrify you or kicking the crap out of a possessed cop in uniform) then they disipate into the psychic ether of your mind.  Basicly Temporary disorders.  Get hit with an especialy bad whammy, and you pick up a Disorder- basicly Permenant psychic damage that will be with you until you can get some therepy (but imagine the trouble you'll get into in the sort of mental hospital you might find in the Cthonic World....).

I'm all about the possibility for campaign play... I like evolving a character through play... and as I suggested HELLBOY, the sort of paranormal agency thing is a great stchick for putting every one in the right place at the right itme with the right toys fighting the right Nazi occultists...  

And as for Supernatural characters... basing all their special stuff off a Weird trait would work great... perhaps with a variable number of descriptors...

Weird 4: Huge Demonic Musclature; Invulnerable Stone Hand; Absurdly Hard to KIll; Wisecracking Superhuman Cool

With some generic catagories of descriptors:

Enhancement- represents a supernatural enhancement to a mundane ability.  Subtract your Weird score from the difficulty target number for related tasks.  Hellboy is really really strong.

Attack- dish out especial punishing damage with one kind of attack.  Subtract Weird from the difficulty target.  Hellboy's stone hand can punch through concrete with ease.

Defense- resist certain kinds of damage more easily.  Reduce the severity of the dmaage you suffer by a number equal to half your weird (round up).  Defense can be mental or physical. Hellboy is really really hard to hurt. Hellboy is also really really hard to freak out with supernatural horror...though his personal life is a different matter.

FX- do something impossible for a human... simply roll your Weird to see how well you do.  Mind control; shape changing; flight; teleportation; precognition etc.  If the GM rules the ability to be overpowered, you must Burn something to use it (generaly either Safety or Sanity).

Perhaps with a Catch trait... one Catch for each Weird descriptor...

Catch: Weak Floors;  Techo-jinx; Protect the Innocent; Gnarly

Catches can also be based on some generic templates.

Situation- you find yourself in a certain situation surprisingly often.  If you ever roll all 1's the situation occors immediatly or as soon as possible.  Hellboy falls through the floor with remarkable ease.

Hinderance- your difficulties are increased in some situations.  You must add 2 to all target numbers in some circumstances.  Hellboy's gear is always breaking, blowing up, or simply failing to get the job done.  Also, his demonic mug sets him aside- he can't sneak, wear disguises, or blend in worth two shakes.

Compulsion- when confronted with a situation in which might trigger your compulsion, you must burn Sanity not to act on it- 1 point per scene.  Hellboy can't let an innocent be victimized.

Bane- something normally harmless hurts you.  It either inflicts 2 damage steps more damage against you or it makes all your actions Stressful while it is affecting you.

Anywho...goooooood stuff

Zak Arntson

I'm tackling campaign structure in another thread, so you can see it there.

If I do go the Weird Character route, there won't be much change. If you play Hellboy, well, you just happen to big and red and the harbinger of the apocalypse. I mean, a roll of 3 successes against a 10-success monster can mean anything. If you're Joe Blow, it probably means you dodged a sweeping talon and popped a good shot in its face. Hellboy, on the other hand, would have thrown the thing through the floor.

For Chthonian, I'm not keen on laying out specific advantages and disadvantages. Yeah, Hellboy falls through floors a lot. That's what 1 success is for: "You dodge the falling minotaur, but go crashing through the floor of the colliseum!"

Possibly the only change would be in Color, now that I look at it. And Safety = 0 wouldn't mean death. It would mean the monster has you in its giant hands and is squishing you and pontificating.

But then, once I'm done with this thing, I'm opening it up to Supplements using the Ron Edwards method.


Groovy.... I'll just squidge off to that other thread...