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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #325 am: 7.07.2017 | 11:03 »
#86 HORROR ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
              BOOK IV:
       CONSTANTINOPLE & CONSEQUENCES


AUTOR
→ Richard Watts
Repossession, 12 Seiten
→ Geoff Gillian
By the Skin of the Teeth, 23 Seiten
→ Geoff Gillian
Blue Train, Black Night, 20 Seiten
→ Geoff Gillian
The Fog Lifts, 5 Seiten

VERÖFFENTLICHUNG
→ 1st Edition (Box Set)
Band 4: Constantinople & Consequences, 62 Seiten
Chaosium, 1991
→ Horror im Orient-Express
Band 4: Über den Balkan nach Konstantinopel, 162 Seiten
Pegasus, 2004/2005
→ 2nd Edition (Box Set)
Book 4: Constantinople And Consequences, 192 Seiten
Chaosium, 2014

ZUSATZSZENARIEN
→ 2nd Edition
The Simulacrum Unbound (Band 4, Istanbul - Modern)

ÄNDERUNGSVORSCHLÄGE
→ Ein Problem dieser Kampagne ist ihr irreführender Titel. Es gibt eigentlich keinen Horror, der sich im Orient Express abspielen würde. Man hätte den Titel der Kampagne vielleicht besser dem Kleinen Hobbit entlehnen und das Ganze 'There And Back Again.' nennen sollen.
→ Die vier dt. Bände bestehen zur Hälfte aus Zusatzmaterialen (auch viele zeitgenössische Fotos von Städten, Landschaften und Personen). Diese Regionalien werden sehr atmosphärisch dargestellt und geben dem SL viele Möglichkeiten an die Hand, um schöne Nebenhandlungen zu gestalten. Das ist ein echter Zugewinn, da die Zusatzinformationen nicht im Original enthalten sind.
→ Viele Inhalte wirken sehr konstruiert und künstlich. Auch die Reihung der Szenarien und der extrem Kampf-betonte Plot wirken verkrampft und gezwungen; abmildern. Bsp.; "Forty Brothers wait in the darkness beyond [...] spring from hiding and seize the trespassers. They rise from behind stones on all sides; [...] it seems as if the dead have risen everywhere."
→ Obwohl die Kampagne bislang bereits schon Kampf-betont war, schafft der 4. Band es dennoch sich in diesem Bereich absurd steigern zu können. Ähnlich wie in einem D&D Dungeon Brawl entsteht die Spannung in diesen Szenarien fast ausschliesslich über eine Konfrontationen mit teils ungewissem, teils vorgegebenem Ausgang. Jedes Mal, wenn man glaubt, dass dies jetzt der Endgegner war, wird noch eins drauf gesetzt; weniger wäre mehr.
→ Verstümmelungen der Chars bringen nur Frust und schlechte Stimmung. Das heraus gerissene Auge ist nur ein Mechanismus, um den Plot voranzutreiben, indem dem Char Infos 'wie zufällig' zugespielt werden; weglassen.
→ Die Auseinandersetzung mit dem rastlosen und getriebenen Grafen / Vampir hat ein Potential epischen Ausmasses. Allerdings wird ein Kampf 'with a +2d6 damage bonus and a STR of 32' sehr schnell zu vielen Ausfällen auf Seiten der Chars führen. In dieser Hinsicht ist es besser, auf die subtilen Fähigkeiten des Vampirs zu setzen. Haben die Chars das Paris-Szenario richtig interpretiert und sich vorbereitet, haben sie eine Chance zu bestehen.
→ Der Kultist, der sich wieder und wieder und dann abermals und erneut eine fremde Haut überstreift, um die Chars zu täuschen oder sie in eine Falle zu locken, nervt; ändern.
→ Der Plot ist ein Katz-und-Maus-Spiel mit den Chars, die nie auch nur den Ansatz einer Chance haben werden, die Katze sein zu können; wenn möglich, ändern.
→ Der neue Anführer der Bruderschaft verfolgt einen Plan. Er tritt als Schaffner der ersten Klasse auf und beabsichtigt im Laufe der Fahrt weitere Mitglieder der Bruderschaft an Bord zu nehmen, die als weiteres Personal fungieren werden. Sinnvoller wäre es, den Kultisten unterschiedliche Persönlichkeiten annehmen zu lassen, in welche er von Mal zu Mal schlüpft; beispielsweise drei NSCs, die nie gleichzeitig am selben Ort anzutreffen sind, z.B. Speise- oder Salonwagen. Dies ist zwar etwas anstrengender für den SL, aber absolut lohnenswert.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)
→ Die Kampagne bricht mit zwei absoluten NO GOs des Rollenspiels - FREMDBESTIMMUNG und WILLKÜR. Lediglich der Plot (nicht die Spieler) bestimmt was geschieht - d.h. es kommt zu Gefangennahme, Verstümmelung oder Tötung der Chars.
Die Chars werden entmündigt und zum Spielball des Plots (zumeist sind sie die Opfer, mal auch blosse Statisten) und sie haben keinerlei Möglichkeiten (weder auf der Meta-Ebene noch auf der Charakter-Ebene) ihr Schicksal abzuwenden. Gegen diese ungeschriebenen Regeln verstösst der Plot wiederholt und überschreitet damit eine dicke, rote Linie. So etwas bringt nur böses Blut in die Gruppe.

KREATUREN
Vampir, Skin Beast, Flesh Creeper, Apparition, The Skinless One

HANDOUTS
Sofia: 0 - Konstantinopel: 2 - Quer durch Europa: 0 - London: 0

STIMMIGKEIT
→ Bedauerlich ist, dass der Ausgang vieler Szenarien im Vorhinein bereits festgeschrieben wurde. Die Chars geraten, zumeist schuldlos, in Situationen, die sie weder beeinflussen, noch deren Ausgang sie (mit)bestimmen können. Entweder ist diese Situation schier verloren und ausweglos oder die Chars tappen im Dunklen und wissen nicht, wie es weiter gehen könnte.
Aber es geht weiter, denn... 'Immer wenn du glaubst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein Lichtlein her.' So ein Deus ex Machina (lat. der Gott aus der Maschine) nervt, denn er präsentiert, völlig unmotiviert, die plötzliche Lösung eines Problems oder eines Konflikts, der gar nicht erst hätte entstehen müssen. Dieser Ausweg kann ein zufälliges Ereignis, ein bislang unsichtbarer Fluchtweg oder hilfreiche Personen sein. Das kann man mögen, muss man aber nicht.
→ Die Handlungsmöglichkeiten der Chars sind dünn, verdammt dünn. Oft wirkt der Ausgang der Szenarien monoton und fantasielos, da keinerlei alternative Enden aufgezeigt werden. Selbst Erfolge fühlen sich wie Niederlagen an. Das ist langweilig und immer wieder gleich. Häufig sind die Chars entweder Opfer oder Statisten. Das lässt beim SL und den Spielern einen recht schalen Beigeschmack zurück. Hier hätten ein paar Ideen wirklich gut getan.
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→ Die Chars/Spieler werden in dieser Kampagne an der Nase herum geführt, aufs Kreuz geleg und hinters Licht geführt. Wer so etwas mag, wird hier aber mal sowas von gut bedient.
→ Die Dauer der Kampagne wird bei YSDC mit etwa 100 Stunden beziffert.

NSCs
Sofia: 2 (+1 7er Team) - Konstantinopel: 8 (+1 12er & 3er Team) - Quer durch Europa: 14 (+1 12er Team) - London: 1

BEWERTUNG IM NETZ
HORROR ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS wird im Netz zumeist als sehr gelungen angesehen. In  diesem Zusammenhang wird auch das Adjektiv 'unvergesslich' bemüht, was sich allerdings sehr unterschiedlich auslegen lässt...
Es gibt Betrachtungen, welche die Kampagne als hoch investigativ einstufen, da die Chars primär den ausgelegten Spuren folgen. Nun ja. Wenn die Spieler nur einen einzigen Ansatz für den Fortgang der Geschichte haben, dann können die Chars schlicht nicht anders, als dieser einen Spur zu folgen.
MASKS OF NYARLATHOTEP wird im Gegensatz dazu als Kampf-betont eingestuft und BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS als primär auf Erforschung ausgelegt.
→ rpggeek.com / 2017
Horror on the Orient Express (1991)
Avg Rating 8.08/10 - Voters 106
Horror on the Orient Express 2nd Ed
Avg Rating 8.39/10 - Voters 31
→ rpg.net / 2017
Rating: 6.95/10 - Ranking: 9
→ White Wolf #30 / 1992
Rating: 5/5
→ Dragon #185 / 1992
5/5 stars. '...a start to finish knockout, a dazzling and intoxicating Call of Cthulhu campaign with the scope and richness of an epic novel.'
→ The Unspeakable Oath #4 / 1991
'Had the campaign been consolidated into a regular-sized Chaosium supplement, with emphasis on the contents of the final book it would have been much better.'

ABFOLGE
Repossession (dt. Enteignung) - Sofia / Kopf
By the Skin of the Teeth (dt. Die auf der faulen Haut liegen) - Konstantinopel
Blue Train, Black Night (dt. Blauer Zug in schwarzer Nacht) - Quer durch Europa / 3x Schriftrolle
The Fog Lifts (dt. Der Nebel lichtet sich) - London / Schriftrolle

FILME ZUM THEMA
Eine Dame verschwindet von 1938, Der Fremde im Zug von 1951, Liebesgrüsse aus Moskau von 1963, Vier Frauen und ein Mord von 1964, Horror-Express von 1972, Wenn die Gondeln Trauer tragen von 1973, Mord im Orient-Express von 1974, Nevada Pass von 1975, Casanova von 1976, Das Ding aus einer anderen Welt von 1982, Das Phantom der Oper von 1989 und Sherlock Holmes: Spiel im Schatten von 2011

ACHTUNG SPOILER
In Sofia (Zarentum Bulgarien) steigt ein Kultist in den Zug. Er soll der Bruderschaft seinen Wert bewiesen - er hat Zeit, ein Ziel - und er versucht sich als Kopfjäger.
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In der Tageszeitung ist ein Foto zu sehen, auf dem ein Bauer mit dem Kopf des Artefakts abgebildet ist. Das Stück soll der Universität übergeben werden. Aber dort angekommen sind die Chars zu spät - die Bruderschaft war schneller. Obwohl sie Waffen-mässig bestens ausgestattet ist, wird sie blutig niedergemacht. Fortan pflastern Leichen den Weg der Chars und sie müssen feststellen, dass noch eine dritte Partei hinter dem Artefakt her ist.
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Mit Konstantinopel (Republik Türkei) haben die Chars die Endstation erreicht und müssen aufpassen, dass ihnen keine Gepäckstücke abhanden kommen. Dann schreiten sie zur Tat.
In den Zeitungen sind beunruhigende Berichte über Kinder zu lesen, die vermisst werden.
Nachdem die Chars das vollständige Artefakt zusammen haben, sind sie ihrem Ziel sehr nahe.
Sie benötigen jetzt nur noch die restlichen Schriftrollen und müssen den Standort der gemiedenen Moschee herausfinden, um das Ritual vollführen zu können, welches das Artefakt ein für allemal vernichten wird.
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Nach Besuchen im Topkapi Palast und dem Museum, sowie dem Basar haben die Chars vage Informatiomen. Im Hamam treffen die Chars einen Informanten, der von der Bruderschaft auf groteske Art und Weise durch ihre Fleisch-Magie getötet wird, nur um einem wahrhaft ekeligen Gegner gegenüber stehen zu müssen.
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Nachdem sich die Chars aus der Gefangenschaft in Konstantinopel befreien konnten, sind sie nun in eine Art Wettrennen, mit dem neuen Oberhaupt der Bruderschaft, verstrickt. Erneut besteigen sie, zusammen mit dem Kultisten, den Orient Express, nur dieses Mal in entgegengesetzter Richtung.
Die Rückreise quer durch Europa beginnt. Es ist eine drei-tägige Reise zurück nach London. Die Chars müssen das Schicksal, das ihnen bevor steht, abwenden - und dafür bleiben ihnen nur gut vier Tage Zeit.
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Die Chars müssen den Kultisten demaskieren, der jedwede Gestalt angenommen haben könnte. Den falschen Verdächtigen in eine Konfrontation zu zwingen oder gar zu erledigen, könnte weitreichende Konsequenzen nach sich ziehen, sollte die Polizei die Chars festsetzen und die Zeit inzwischen verstreichen.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)
Zurück in London unternimmt der Kultist alle Anstrengungen, um das Ritual der Reinigung zu vollziehen und sich das Artefakt nutzbar zu machen. Der Kreis hat sich geschlossen.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)
Im Geschäft des Kultisten müssen sich die Chars einer erneuten Bedrohung stellen, um an die Schriftrolle der Reinigung zu gelangen und den körperlichen Verfall aufzuhalten. Wieder einmal ist dies jedoch eine Falle. Die Schriftrolle dient nicht der Reinigung sondern der Wiedererweckung des Kultisten, sollte er denn zuvor ums Leben gekommen sein.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)


Oberflächlich betrachtet ist das Machwerk eine stümperhafte Reihung (zumeist) grauenhafter Szenarien.
Im Detail sieht das dann noch verheerender aus. Finger weg.

GROTTIG / Note 5
« Letzte Änderung: 15.07.2017 | 13:59 von Der Läuterer »
Don't touch anything! Don't attack anything! Don't screw around or get curious!
GARY GYGAX 'TOMB OF HORRORS'

We don't go anywhere! We don't inherit anything! And we definitely don't read any books!
CTHULHU INVESTIGATOR

Offline Der Läuterer

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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #326 am: 9.07.2017 | 18:36 »
Interview durch YSDC mit SANDY PETERSEN, dem Entwickler von CALL OF CTHULHU, Autor von SHADOWS OF YOG-SOTHOTH, GATSBY AND THE GREAT RACE u.v.a.m.

Carl Sanford Joslyn Petersen was born on September 16, 1955 in St. Louis, Missouri. His now famous interest in H.P. Lovecraft came through reading a World War II Armed Services edition of The Dunwich Horror and other Weird Tales found in his father's library. Sandy attended UC-Berkeley undertaking graduate work majoring in Zoology. His introduction to role-playing came in 1974 with Dungeons & Dragons and his first work for Chaosium (The Gateway Bestiary) appeared in 1980. Sandy Petersen is the author of Call of Cthulhu.


What inspired you to write Call of Cthulhu?

Sandy Petersen: I originally proposed a Dreamlands expansion pack for the RuneQuest game. Greg Stafford told me that they were already working on a full Lovecraft game, and I asked if I could help in any way, as a fanatical adherent of Lovecraft. His response was to throw the whole project in my lap.


How long did it take you to write the original game?

Sandy Petersen: Almost exactly a year.


Why do you think CoC has been so successful?

Sandy Petersen: The fundamental principle behind the Cthulhu Mythos is that when humans start messing with the Outside, it's terrifying to the point of madness. Many people like the topic of horror, and CoC lets them experience it undiluted. Most other horror-oriented games violate or soften the rules of horror; for example, by making the hero an action star. Call of Cthulhu pits you against the terrors of darkness without any backup or any hope if you should fail. It goes for the throat, instead of the heart.


Do you have a favourite CoC supplement/scenario?

Sandy Petersen: Shadows of Yog-Sothoth.


Why did you decide to leave Chaosium?

Sandy Petersen: The pay.


Do you still play, if so what edition, any house rules?

Sandy Petersen: Yes I still play, using the 4th edition, my favourite because it still has my picture on the back cover. House rules? Probably every game I play has some rule changed.


Do you think you would write again for CoC?

Sandy Petersen: I've developed several scenarios since leaving Chaosium but so far I've only used them to run at conventions for my own amusement.


What is your favourite era (& why)?

Sandy Petersen: Modern times. Lovecraft wrote his tales in what was, to him, the "modern" era. M. R. James says that the best ghost stories are placed in a setting in which the reader could plausibly imagine himself to be. Finally, the modern setting lets the keeper take more for granted about the world and not get caught up in details such as "Were there trans-Atlantic flights in the early 1920s?".


What do think of other eras not officially licensed by Chaosium (Dark Ages, Elizabethan etc)?

Sandy Petersen: Nothing wrong with that. Two of the scenarios I've put together and run with great success at conventions are Unit 731 which takes place in 1947 and We Will Still Be Monkeys which takes place in the future (2100 or so).


What are your views on Delta Green? Have you played?

Sandy Petersen: I think it's fine. I've played a bit of it.


Do you still receive correspondence over CoC?

Sandy Petersen: Yes.


What are your feelings on the way CoC has developed since you left Chaosium?

Sandy Petersen: I think that Lynn Willis has a more optimistic view than myself about the way horror should be constructed. i.e., he presents his players as more powerful and his villains as weaker than I would do. I don't say I'd do a better job - just different.


Do you have a copy of the 20th anniversary edition? What are your feelings about it compared to the Designer's Edition (1982)?

Sandy Petersen: Yes I do have a copy. I think it's real nice, but I get a smaller royalty off it.


What would you like to see for CoC that has yet to be done?

Sandy Petersen: Movie tie-ins.


While you're also famous for co-writing DOOM & QUAKE, do you still try & slip in Lovecraftian references in the computer games you create?

Sandy Petersen: Yep. Watch this space.


What are your feelings about WotC's d20 Call of Cthulhu?

Sandy Petersen: I thought it was very amusing.


What are your favourite films?

Sandy Petersen: Wow. I am a major movie buff, at least for horror films. Instead of listing my best I think I'll list a subset:

THE BEST VAMPIRE MOVIE: The Last Man on Earth (1964) 
There exists a fairly simple mathematical proof that there has never been any vampires. You see, if it took a week for one vampire to create another vampire, then by the end of the second week there would be four, then eight, and so forth until before the year was out, everybody in the world would be vampires. Hence, there couldn't ever have been one. Well, this film is based on such a nightmare universe - everyone in the world IS a vampire except for the hero (Vincent Price), whose hellish existence is shown day by day. It's very thoughtful, well-done, and quite creepy. I recommend it without reservations.

THE BEST ZOMBIE MOVIE: Dellamorte Dellamore (aka Cemetery Man) 1994. Well, maybe it's not the best zombie movie, but wow it's in the running. The hero is a cemetery's caretaker. Unfortunately, the corpses in this cemetery periodically rise from the grave, so the cemetery man, as part of his job, has to shoot them in the head. He doesn't know why it happens. That's not his concern. Then he falls in love with a beautiful mourner who dies, and his obese imbecile assistant falls in love with a severed head, and he starts losing touch with reality, and wonders if maybe he should shoot living people in the head, and save himself a step and ... you get the picture. Possibly the funniest and most romantic zombie movie ever made.

BEST HORROR MOVIE: Suspiria (1977) 
If you haven't seen it, I envy you. A new world of horror is about to open for you. Go out and rent or buy it at once. The new DVD version is terrific.


What advice would you give aspiring CoC authors?

Sandy Petersen: Don't wimp out. Work on great images and visuals and let the storyline take care of itself.


What would a typical day be like for you?

Sandy Petersen: It's mostly full of meetings & typing at my computer.


What would you like your epitaph to read?

Sandy Petersen: "He has Risen".


Sandy Petersen, thank you.
« Letzte Änderung: 18.07.2017 | 01:04 von Der Läuterer »
Don't touch anything! Don't attack anything! Don't screw around or get curious!
GARY GYGAX 'TOMB OF HORRORS'

We don't go anywhere! We don't inherit anything! And we definitely don't read any books!
CTHULHU INVESTIGATOR

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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #327 am: 10.07.2017 | 09:34 »
Der hatte so gar keine Lust auf das Interview, oder?
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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #328 am: 10.07.2017 | 09:55 »
Der hatte so gar keine Lust auf das Interview, oder?

Den Eindruck hatte ich auch. Der ist ja nur gesprächig geworden, als er über seine Lieblingsfilme reden durfte.

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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #329 am: 10.07.2017 | 13:03 »
Absolut. Das ist wohl ein Mann weniger Worte.
Aber in punkto Film Geschmack ist er m.M.n. ziemlich weit vorne.
Don't touch anything! Don't attack anything! Don't screw around or get curious!
GARY GYGAX 'TOMB OF HORRORS'

We don't go anywhere! We don't inherit anything! And we definitely don't read any books!
CTHULHU INVESTIGATOR

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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #330 am: 11.07.2017 | 07:47 »
Interview durch YSDC mit SCOTT DAVID ANIOLOWSKI, Call of Cthulhu Autor.

Scott David Aniolowski is a well known name to many Call of Cthulhu Keepers, his work spans dozens of publications for the likes of Chaosium, Pagan Publishing and Triad Entertainments. Besides Scott's series of monster tomes, various scenarios and rules additions he has also edited some of Chaosium's Cthulhu fiction anthologies (Made in Goatswood and Singers of Strange Songs). Here Scott serves up a feast of information for Yog-Sothoth about his involvement and love of the game.


How were you introduced to Call of Cthulhu?

Scott David Aniolowski: I was introduced to the game by longtime friend Michael Szymanski. We'd been gaming together for a couple years when The Call of Cthulhu RPG came out. Those were the early days of gaming, way back then - the Dark Ages! We were into AD&D mostly back then. We soon learned that there was a whole wide world of games out there, and we introduced a couple other RPGs to our group. Ultimately, Call of Cthulhu became our main game. I think in all I ended up playing CoC for about ten years with the same group. We had a very detailed history and world. It was great fun - everyone loved it.



Why do you think the game has been so successful?

Scott David Aniolowski: Well, I think there are a number of reasons. First of all, I think it is a very well-written and produced game. It looks nice, and it reads well. I think the whole "Cthulhu Mythos" has a LOT to do with it. That's one of the things that drew me to it (and indeed, Lovecraft's work) in the first place - that whole artificial and colourful mythology. There is also a cohesiveness to the game - scenarios and campaigns play off each other and fit to form this whole secret history. I know during Keith Herber's time as line editor, especially, there was great effort to keep everything in perspective, as to what other writers/game designers had done and were doing. Many of us enjoyed taking vague little tidbits from other scenarios or stories and including and expanding upon them in our own scenarios.


What is your favourite era (& why)?

Scott David Aniolowski: That's a tough one. It would be between the 1920s and 1890s. Definitely not the modern/Delta Green era. I think the 20s just because it is the standard in the game, and the era that we've all worked the most in. There's almost a nostalgia to it, even though none of us has actually lived through that time period. But the whole gaslight era is just so atmospherically wonderful. That probably would be my favourite time-period for the game. Although cliched, you can't help but think of fog, damp cobblestone roads, gaslamps, and coaches when you think of the 1890s. Of course, there is so much more to it than that, but these are some of the staples of period horror films and stories that we can all associate with. Don't get me wrong - I do like the modern era and Delta Green, but I like the others better. And as far as Dreamlands goes, well I've never quite gotten my head round that one - not to the point where I'm really comfortable running extended campaigns.


Do you have any memorable moments from play?

Scott David Aniolowski: Probably hundreds. The line "there's NOTHING in the library" still haunts me (said by someone after being attacked by something invisible in the library). In a Dreamlands game I ran many years ago (the one and only, in fact!) one of the investigators ended up changing into a ghoul... so he killed and ATE the villain! A scenario I was running at some convention or other ended with Y'golonac in human form walking slowly down the cellar stairs to the waiting, unarmed investigator -- the last survivor of his group. We ended it right there, without going into the whole confrontation. I thought that was the best way to leave it. At another convention (at a Gen Con, in fact) I ran an Ithaqua scenario in my hotel room. To set the mood I'd put the room's air conditioner on HIGH the night before and left it blowing all night and morning during the game. We all played bundled in blankets and coats. All for the mood, man, all for the mood.

Every Halloween for years I ran a special Call of Cthulhu game. One year I ran the inspiration for what would later become my I Dream of Wires story about all sorts of strangeness and man-machines (see Made in Goatswood - Ed.). Anyway, here we are in someone's cobwebbed basement, lit only by candles and jack o'lanterns, and with appropriate mood music playing. At one point I say something like "and suddenly all of the power goes off" and right at that EXACT second the tape player just stopped! I couldn't have planned it any better. But I honestly had nothing to do with it. That put a scare into everyone, and creeped me out a little bit, too. Great fun!

At the very first NecronomiCon I was supposed to run a game for Gahan Wilson and Robert Bloch, and a couple of other guys. That one would have been AMAZING, but scheduling kept us from all getting together at the same time. Too bad. At the last NecronomiCon I attended Kevin Ross, Fred Behrendt, and I ran four or five players through a scenario by Gary Sumpter! Sort of an all-star thingy - we three taking turns as Keeper, whispering ideas back and forth!


Do you still play Call of Cthulhu?

Scott David Aniolowski: No, I haven't played the game in a couple years. My group eventually broke up and most of them moved out of state. Careers and homeownership and various responsibilities start to creep in, and there just isn't as much time for such things as there once was. I'd LOVE to get back to it, though, and have tried a couple times to assemble a new group.


Do you have a favourite CoC supplement/scenario?

Scott David Aniolowski: My all-time favorite Call of Cthulhu supplement is Kevin Ross' Kingsport, The City in the Mists sourcebook, followed closely by Sacraments of Evil and the Escape from Innsmouth sourcebook/campaign (both also, oddly enough, edited/co-written by Kevin Ross). Have always loved those books. Favourite scenario is a bit harder to nail down. There are a lot of outstanding ones, but to pick a favourite...


What inspired you to write for CoC?

Scott David Aniolowski: Well, I'd wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I'd submitted a couple things here and there, but never really pursued it. Then Call of Cthulhu came along. Our group had just finished playing Michael Szymanski's The Temple of the Moon scenario. Afterwards, we were talking and I said something like "you know, we could do this" [referring to writing game scenarios]. Mike and I decided that Temple of the Moon seemed the obviously place to start, so we split the adventure up and each wrote half. We consolidated our efforts, sent the thing off to Chaosium, and Sandy Petersen bought it, just like that! We were elated. Of course, we needed to do a little work on the original manuscript, but about a year later Chaosium published Terror from the Stars with our scenario. That's how it all started.


How long have you been writing for the game?

Scott David Aniolowski: I began writing Call of Cthulhu adventures and articles back in 1985, so what's that... about 16 years?


How do you find working with Chaosium & Pagan Publishing?

Scott David Aniolowski: Ah, well... it has its ups and downs. There, was that tactful enough? I've worked for Chaosium long enough now that I have a pretty free reign as to what I write. Of course this works both ways - certainly, I know the sorts of things they like and don't like -- what they'll publish and what they won't publish. I know the process well, though, through the "pitch" to the delivery of the manuscript. Over the years I have worked for/with Sandy Petersen, Lynn Willis, Keith Herber, and then Lynn Willis again (as well as Kevin Ross freelance editing). Each editor had/has his own ideas and style, and I think each looked/looks for something a little different from the others. Knowing each editor and what he's shooting for helps when pitching an idea. From a strictly business point of view, Chaosium has had its own financial woes for a very long time, so payments are generally very slow in coming, when they come at all. Its sad to say, but you get "used" to this.

As for Pagan, well, they're a completely different bunch. They don't produce as many products as Chaosium, and do the bulk of the writing in-house. I was pretty active in the earlier days of their Unspeakable Oath magazine, though. And Pagan published my solo scenario Alone on Halloween and a couple others over the years. I've known John (Tynes) since the days of the first issue of the Oath, and have watched him and his company come a long way. If anything, though, Pagan has an even stricter idea of what they are looking for, and are harder to "break into" than Chaosium. I like what they've done with the whole Delta Green thing, but that really isn't my cup of tea, so I haven't even tried doing anything for it.


Which of your own work do you like best?

Scott David Aniolowski: I'm very proud of a couple of my scenarios. In particular, I like Fade to Grey and The Eyes of a Stranger. Fade to Grey was one of my convention pieces several years back, and I think once I figured that I'd run that one for like 50 different people! Funny, each time the scenario was played out to a completely different ending. The Eyes of a Stranger is probably my all-time favourite. That one is a Gaslight era piece, and sort of an homage to H.G. Well's War of the Worlds, Jack the Ripper, and Dr. Who.


What would you like to see for CoC that has yet to be done?

Scott David Aniolowski: Well, from the sounds of things, Chaosium is starting to explore a few different settings now (the "pulp" 1930s, for example). I think the Gaslight era really needs supporting. There was talk of a Cthulhu Wild West book by Kevin Ross once, that I thought would be perfect (even though I am no fan of westerns), but that one isn't likely to become a reality unless someone else picks up the idea. I'm also no real fan of sci-fi, but I can see the appeal of a Cthulhu in Space or some-such. I think the Lovecraft Country books desperately need reprinting. In fact, I'd like to see the source material from the four volumes put together under one cover as a deluxe edition. I'd also like to see the return of the good anthology-type books, like The Asylum and Others. A book of short, unconnected scenarios. The books lately have been these mastodonic things and mighty campaigns - I don't think they all need to be. There's nothing wrong with a shorter book of one-night scenarios.


What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Scott David Aniolowski: First off, don't expect to get rich doing this! Be glad if/when you get paid at all. Know your subject. Familiarize yourself with the rules and the scenarios that have come before. Remember that this is Call of Cthulhu, not AD&D -- subtle, low-key approaches usually work better than Mythos hoe-downs and dungeon crawls! Be mindful of those who have paved the way, building each one on the one before him or her. I'm seeing a trend these days of either disregarding everything that has been done before, or trivializing it. This seems like a real lack of respect for the past twenty years worth of scenarios AND writers. Be professional. Even though you might be writing for a game, be professional in your attitude and your approach. Do what your editor suggests, research your subject, stay in contact with your editor, submit your material on time and in a professional style. And expect to be asked for rewrites, or to have material rejected outright.


Do you consider yourself more of a Lovecraftian or a (Call of) Cthulhian?

Scott David Aniolowski: Me, I'm definitely a "Lovecraftian". In my younger days I was a rabid Cthulhu Mythos fanboy, but I've learned to really dislike a LOT of that stuff over the years. Not that there's NOT a place for it. I just don't happen to like it.


What are your feelings about d20 CoC?

Scott David Aniolowski: Well, its a nice looking book. The interior art is pretty good for the most part, although I thought they missed the boat on a lot of the monster and deity paintings. When I first began to see the cover image on the web I hated it -- thought it was just horrible. But now that I have a copy and can really see it, it isn't really bad. Works for me. As for the meat of the thing -- the whole d20 game mechanics -- I must confess ignorance. I haven't had a chance to really read the book yet, and to me it looks confusing... but then I'm just used to the classic CoC d100 system. It does seem to me, however, that this version concentrates more on the action and combat than on investigation. I see some investigatorial skills missing, yet there are pages of stats and information on different kinds of guns! I mean, this might be the perfect bridge for the faithful AD&Ders (more action-oriented and less investigation-oriented game) to get into Cthulhu. It doesn't really bother me, but I did notice it. I also found it interesting what was included in the Mythos section and what wasn't. There were gods and monsters from the CoC rulebook that were left out (a matter of space, I imagine), while some from my Creature Companion were added, as well as one or two new ones. And the choices for what was included and what was left out seemed odd, in some cases. But I suppose its all a matter of personal taste (I definitely could see John's (Tynes) hand in a lot of it, just knowing as I do the Mythos elements he loves so well!).


What can we expect to see from you next?

Scott David Aniolowski: I've been working on a revised edition of Chaosium's old classic The Shadows of Yog-Sothoth campaign. I'm really trying to make the existing material fit together better while adding a bunch of really good new material. Beyond that, who knows? I'm "mostly retired" from game design these days, so there are no real plans for anything beyond Shadows. Gary Sumpter has been talking to me about new Severn Valley material for a sort of follow-up to our Goatswood and Less Pleasant Places. And I have a couple modern-era Ithaqua scenarios here that need a good home, so I've been toying with the idea of either a Great Old Ones 2 sort of thing or a shortish campaign set in North America wilderness. I don't know. We'll see.


What are your favourite films?

Scott David Aniolowski: Another tough one. Among them Jaws, Silence of the Lambs, John Carpenter's The Prince of Darkness. There are loads more - those were just the couple that popped immediately into my head.


What would a typical day be like for you?

Scott David Aniolowski: I get up between 8-10 AM. Go on-line for about an hour, and check out my usual sites, read e-mail, etc. Get ready for the day. Go out to lunch. Watch a couple Britcoms on my local PBS. Head for work between 1-2 PM. Get the restaurant set up (I'm an executive chef). Work. Come home between 9-11 PM. Clean up and change. Read my mail. Then watch a little television or read. Go on-line for about an hour, and check out my usual sites, read e-mail, etc. Read some more, or write. Head to bed between midnight and 2 AM. Days off are taken up with grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning the house, working in the yard, reading, playing on the computer, etc. That's about it, really. Pretty dull stuff!


What would you like your Epitaph to read?

Scott David Aniolowski: Long live the King!?


Scott David Aniolowski, thank you.
« Letzte Änderung: 18.07.2017 | 12:21 von Der Läuterer »
Don't touch anything! Don't attack anything! Don't screw around or get curious!
GARY GYGAX 'TOMB OF HORRORS'

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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #331 am: 15.07.2017 | 14:37 »
#87 SHADOWS OF YOG-SOTHOTH


Autor
→ Marc Hutchison
The Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight, 10 / 21 Seiten
→ Sandy Petersen
Look to the Future, 5 / 12 Seiten
→ John Scott Clegg
The Coven of Cannich, 15 / 36 Seiten
→ John Carnahan
Devil's Canyon, 7 / 15 Seiten
→ Sandy Petersen
The Worm that Walks, 6 / 13 Seiten
→ Randy McCall
The Watchers of Easter Island, 12 / 21 Seiten
→ Sandy Petersen
The Rise of R'lyeh, 6 / 10 Seiten

VERÖFFENTLICHUNG
→ 1st Edition (2nd Printing), 72 Seiten
Chaosium, 1982 (1983)
→ Cthulhu Classics, 152 Seiten
Chaosium, 1989
→ 2nd Edition, 176 Seiten
Chaosium, 2004

ZUSATZSZENARIEN
→ Ted Shelton
The People of the Monolith, 4 Seiten (Shadows of Yog-Sothoth)
→ Ed Gore
The Warren, 8 Seiten (Shadows of Yog-Sothoth & Cthulhu Classics)
→ Doug Lyons
The Pits of Bendal-Dolum, 16 Seiten (Terror from the Stars & Cthulhu Classics)
→ Michael Szymanski, Scott Aniolowski
The Temple of the Moon, 23 Seiten (Terror from the Stars & Cthulhu Classics)
→ David A. Hargrave
Dark Carnival, 19 Seiten (Curse of the Chthonians & Cthulhu Classics)
→ Sandy Petersen, Mark Pettigrew
The Secret of Castronegro, 14 Seiten (Cthulhu Companion & Cthulhu Classics)

SETTING
KLASSISCH 1920er - Boston, New York, Schottland, Kalifornien, Maine, die Oster Insel, R’lyeh im Süd-Pazifik - 1928

PLOT EINSTIEG
In der Stadt gibt es einen interessanten, neuen Herrenclub.

UNERKLÄRLICHES
Eine globale Verschwörung zur Vernichtung der Welt.

HISTORISCHER HINTERGRUND
Der Herrenklub entspricht in etwa den Freimaurern oder der Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn - privat, diskret, abgeschottet, geheimnisumwittert. Nach aussen hin verrichten die Mitglieder viel gemeinnützige, soziale und wohltätige Arbeit. Ein neues Mitglied muss einem Leumund aus dem Kreis der Loge habe, um vorgeschlagen zu werden. Der Neuling wird überprüft, befragt, getestet und einem Initiationsritus unterzogen.

ANPASSBARKEIT
UNNÖTIG

ATMOSPHÄRE
Die Kampagne hat keinen einheitlichen Fluss. Der Stil und die Stimmung der einzelnen Szenarien weicht stark voneinander ab. Insofern ist für fast jeden Geschmack etwas dabei.

AUSRICHTUNG
ACTION

KREATUREN
Nyarlathotep, Serpent People, Spectral Hunter, Putrefied Horror, Mi Go, Shoggoth, Dimensional Shambler, Deep One, Crawling One, Messenger of the Old Ones

ORIGINALITÄT
HOCH
Die Kampagne war 1982 die erste Cthulhu Kampagne überhaupt, und trotz der Überarbeitung im Re-Release 2004, ist ihr das Alter sehr wohl anzumerken.

PLOT ENTWICKLUNG
→ Das Boston und das New York Szenario legen nahe, dass die Chars Mitglieder der Loge werden und innerhalb der Hierarchie aufsteigen, um mehr über deren Machenschaften herauszufinden. Dies stellt jedoch einen langwierigen Prozess dar, der vermutlich Jahre andauern wird. Wenn sich die Chars als vertrauenswürdig erweisen sollten, dann wird ihnen die Loge in der Zukunft ihre Unterstützung anbieten. Es ist somit empfehlenswert die Chars, irgendwann im Laufe einer anderen Kampagne, mit dieser Loge zusammen zu bringen, um später auf diese Kampagne zurück zu greifen.
→ Die meisten Mitglieder der Loge sind entweder uninteressiert an den Verschwörungstheorien und Monster Geschichten der Chars oder innerlich bereits so verroht und böse, dass sie nicht zu helfen bereit sind.
→ Das Schottland Szenario ist recht kompliziert und soll die Chars verwirren. Ein Ermittler des Yard wird verdächtigt, den Kultisten anzugehören, während sich tatsächliche Kultisten mit den Chars zusammen tun, um ihnen falsche Informationen zuzuspielen, bzw. an das Artefakt zu gelangen, und sie schlussendlich zu entsorgen. "The keeper should not make it easy for the investigators to figure out whom they can or cannot trust."
→ Zum Kalifornien Szenario findet sich eine detailliertere Rezension unter #63 'Devil's Canyon'.
→ Das Maine Szenario ist sehr gelungen, auch wenn es nur eine bitterböse Aneinanderreihung von Todesfallen ist. Das Ganze lässt sich problemlos in jede Kampagne einfügen.
Die Hinterwäldler können zur grotesk-abstossenden Familie aus der 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Reihe' gemacht werden.
→ Das Osterinsel Szenario ist als Stolperstein konzipiert, an dessen Ende eine Reihe von Kämpfen stehen.
→ Das R’lyeh Szenario ist sehr einfallslos und schlicht gehalten. Das Ganze ist so nichts sagend und langweilig, dass da sehr viel nachgebessert werden muss.
 
SPIELER EINFLUSS
GERING
Die Chars müssen vorsichtig und behutsam vorgehen, können jedoch nicht viel anderes machen, als dem vorgegebenen schwachen Roten Faden, der sie in Form von Briefen erreicht, zu folgen.

SPIELLEITER SKILL
HOCH
→ Für eine gute Kampagne sind die einzelnen Szenarien viel zu lose miteinander verknüpft und bieten kaum Möglichkeiten das Ganze flüssig zu gestalten. Die Verbindungen zw. den Szenarien ist äusserst dünn, gehaltlos und recht ermüdend.
→ Der Anfangs Plot sollte als Parallel Szenario zu einer anderen Kampagne laufen.
→ Leider lässt die Kampagne den SL viel zu oft sträflich allein.

HANDOUTS
The Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight: 9 - Look to the Future: 4 - The Coven of Cannich: 14 - Devil's Canyon: 4 - The Worm that Walk: 4 - The Watchers of Easter Island: 4 - The Rise of R'lyeh: 1

STIMMIGKEIT
Das Szenario ist in sich stimmig.

NSCs
5 / 2 (+1x 10) / 24 / 4 / 3 / 4 / 100+
Zum Glück wurde nicht für jedes Mitglied der Loge ein NSC erstellt.

KAMPAGNEN TAUGLICHKEIT
Kampagne, mit recht lose zusammenhängende Szenarien

PREGENS
KEINE

STERBLICHKEITSRATE
TPK

BEWERTUNG IM NETZ
→ rpggeek.com / 2017
Shadows of Yog-Sothoth (1st Edition) (1982)
Rating: 7.85/10
Shadows of Yog-Sothoth (2nd Edition) (2004)
Rating: 7.04/10
→ rpg.net / 2017
Rating: 6.24/10 - Ranking: 70
Ärgerlich ist mal wieder, dass Chaosium die Kampagne zwar überarbeitet und sogar verbessert, die Fehler aber nicht ausgemerzt hat, so dass die Kampagne für den SL immer noch fordernd ist. Ein leider häufiges Problem bei einem Re-Release.

ACHTUNG SPOILER
In der Stadt gibt es eine neue Institution, die sich 'Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight' nennt. Es ist ein Ort der Zusammenkunft, aber nur für Leute von gesellschaftlichem Rang - exklusiv für die Reichen und die Mächtigen. Es ist ein Ort, wo Geheimnisse gehütet und die Verschwiegenheit Pflicht ist. Ein vornehmer, exklusiver Herrenclub, der sich durch viel wohltätige Arbeit einen Namen gemacht hat. Die Anzahl der Mitglieder steigt stetig.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)
Die Chars reisen weiter und stossen auf eine seltsame Unternehmung namens 'Look to the Future', in welcher Vorträge gehalten werden und die als eine Art Selbsthilfegruppe fungiert. Auch diese Organisation hat etwas zu verbergen. Wie der Name bereits aussagt, erlaubt die Unternehmung den Interessenten einen Blick in die Zukunft. Diese Einblicke in das Zukünftige erlauben es der Unternehmung künftigen Erfindungen zuvorzukommen und sich so zu finanzieren.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)
Ein Archäologe verschickt drei kryptische Briefe und verschwindet dann auf mysteriöse Weise. Sein Manuskript erwähnt eine römische Expedition zum Temple des Aesathog. Ausgrabungen förderten römische Rüstungen und menschliche Skelette zutage. Tonscherben datierten die Entstehung der Keramiken auf die Zeit der Pikten.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)
Die Chars begeben sich an ein verlassenes Filmset in der kalifornischen Wüste. Der Regisseur des Films beging Selbstmord, die Hauptdarstellerin kam zu Tode und der Hauptdarsteller verfiel dem Wahnsinn. Das alte Filmset befindet sich in der Nähe eines alten, verlassenen Dorfs der Ureinwohner.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)
Die Chars brauchen dringend eine Pause. Zu ihrem (Un)Glück wird ihnen eine Auszeit gewährt - ein unbekannter Wohltäter bietet seine Unterstützung an und will ihnen Einblicke in seine Unterlagen über die Loge gewähren.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)
Auf der Oster Insel ist eine Gruppe Archäologen verschwunden, kurz nachdem sie eine ungewöhnliche Entdeckung gemacht hatten. Auf all den ausgegrabenen Keramiken sind Motive von Fisch-Menschen.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)
Seebeben im Pazifik führen zu mancherlei Spekulationen; auch dass die seismischen Aktivitäten neues Festland entstehen lassen könnten. Die Chars ahnen was passieren wird und liefern sich mit den Kultisten ein Wettrennen zur emporgestiegenen Insel R’lyeh, was der Kult bereits lange herbei gesehnt hatte.
(Klicke zum Anzeigen/Verstecken)


Lose Reihung von Szenarien. Nichts Aussergewöhnliches.

DURCHSCHNITTLICH / Note 3-
« Letzte Änderung: 15.07.2017 | 18:43 von Der Läuterer »
Don't touch anything! Don't attack anything! Don't screw around or get curious!
GARY GYGAX 'TOMB OF HORRORS'

We don't go anywhere! We don't inherit anything! And we definitely don't read any books!
CTHULHU INVESTIGATOR

Offline Der Läuterer

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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #332 am: 16.07.2017 | 09:36 »
THE THREE CLUE RULE by Justin Alexander

Mystery scenarios for roleplaying games have earned a reputation for turning into unmitigated disasters: The PCs will end up veering wildly off-course or failing to find a particular clue and the entire scenario will grind to a screeching halt or go careening off the nearest cliff. The players will become unsure of what they should be doing. The GM will feel as if they’ve done something wrong. And the whole evening will probably end in either boredom or frustration or both.

Here’s a typical example: When the PCs approach a murder scene they don’t search outside the house, so they never find the wolf tracks which transform into the tracks of a human. They fail the Search check to find the hidden love letters, so they never realize that both women were being courted by the same man. They find the broken crate reading DANNER’S MEATS, but rather than going back to check on the local butcher they spoke to earlier they decide to go stake out the nearest meat processing plant instead.

As a result of problems like these, many people reach an erroneous conclusion:
Mystery scenarios in RPGs are a bad idea. In a typical murder mystery, for example, the protagonist is a brilliant detective. The players are probably not brilliant detectives. Therefore, mysteries are impossible.

Or, as someone else once put it to me: “The players are not Sherlock Holmes.”


Three Clue Rule - Sherlock Holmes

Although the conclusion is incorrect, there’s an element of truth in this. For example, in 'A Study in Scarlet', Sherlock Holmes is investigating the scene of a murder. He discovers a small pile of ashes in the corner of the room. He studies them carefully and is able to conclude that the ashes have come from a Trichinopoly cigar.

Now, let’s analyze how this relatively minor example of Holmesian deduction would play out at the game table:

(1) The players would need to successfully search the room.

(2) They would need to care enough about the ashes to examine them.

(3) They would need to succeed at a skill check to identify them.

(4) They would need to use that knowledge to reach the correct conclusion.

That’s four potential points of failure: The PCs could fail to search the room (either because the players don’t think to do it or because their skill checks were poor). The PCs could fail to examine the ashes (because they don’t think them important). The PCs could fail the skill check to identify them. The PCs could fail to make the correct deduction.

If correctly understanding this clue is, in fact, essential to the adventure proceeding — if, for example, the PCs need to go to the nearest specialty cigar shop and start asking questions — then the clue serves as chokepoint: Either the PCs understand the clue or the PCs slam into a wall.

Chokepoints in adventure design are always a big problem and need to be avoided, but we can see that when it comes to a mystery scenario the problem is much worse: Each clue is not just one chokepoint, it’s actually multiple chokepoints.

So the solution here is simple: Remove the chokepoints.


THE BREAD CRUMB TRAIL

GUMSHOE System - Robin D. Laws -
For the GUMSHOE system (used in The Esoterrorists, Fear Itself, and The Trail of Cthulhu), Robin D. Laws decided to get rid of the concept of needing to find clues. In each “scene” of an investigation scenario, there is a “clue”. It’s automatically assumed that the investigators will find this clue.

This removes three of our four chokepoints, leaving only the necessity of using the clue to make the correct deduction (i.e., the deduction which moves you onto the next “scene” where the next clue can be imparted). And, in the case of the GUMSHOE system, even this step can be tackled mechanically (with the players committing points from their character’s skills to receive increasingly accurate “deductions” from the GM).

This is a mechanical solution to the problem. But while it may result in a game session which superficially follows the structure of a mystery story, I think it fails because it doesn’t particularly feel as if you’re playing a mystery.

Laws’ fundamental mistake, I think, is in assuming that a mystery story is fundamentally about following a “bread crumb trail” of clues. Here’s a quote from a design essay on the subject:

I’d argue, first of all, that these fears are misplaced, and arise from a fundamental misperception. The trail of clues, or bread crumb plot, is not the story, and does not constitute a pre-scripted experience. What the PCs choose to do, and how they interact with each other as they solve the mystery, is the story. As mentioned in The Esoterrorist rules, we saw this at work during playtest, as all of the groups had very different experiences of the sample scenario, as each GM and player combo riffed in their own unique ways off the situations it suggested.

But, in point of fact, this type of simplistic “A leads to B leads to C leads to D” plotting is not typical of the mystery genre. For a relatively simplistic counter-example, let’s return to Sherlock Holmes in 'A Study in Scarlet':

WATSON: “That seems simple enough,” said I; “but how about the other man’s height?”

HOLMES: “Why, the height of a man, in nine cases out of ten, can be told from the length of his stride. It is a simple calculation enough, though there is no use my boring you with figures. I had this fellow’s stride both on the clay outside and on the dust within. Then I had a way of checking my calculation. When a man writes on a wall, his instinct leads him to write above the level of his own eyes. Now that writing was just over six feet from the ground. It was child’s play.”

This is just one small deduction in a much larger mystery, but you’ll note that Holmes has in fact gathered several clues, studied them, and then distilled a conclusion out of them. And this is, in fact, the typical structure of the mystery genre: The detective slowly gathers a body of evidence until, finally, a conclusion emerges. In the famous words of Holmes himself, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

What is true, however, is that in many cases it is necessary for many smaller deductions to be made in order for all of the evidence required to solve the mystery to be gathered. However, as the example from A Study in Scarlet demonstrates, even these smaller deductions can be based on a body of evidence and not just one clue in isolation.

This observation leads us, inexorably, to the solution we’ve been looking for.


THE THREE CLUE RULE

Whenever you’re designing a mystery scenario, you should invariably follow the Three Clue Rule:

For any conclusion you want the PCs to make, include at least three clues.

Why three? Because the PCs will probably miss the first; ignore the second; and misinterpret the third before making some incredible leap of logic that gets them where you wanted them to go all along.

I’m kidding, of course. But if you think of each clue as a plan (the PCs will find A, conclude B, and go to C), then when you have three clues you’ve not only got a plan — you’ve also got two backup plans. And when you realize that your plans never survive contact with the players, the need for those backup plans becomes clear.

In a best case scenario, of course, the players will find all three clues. There’s nothing wrong with that. They can use those clues to confirm their suspicions and reinforce their conclusions (just like Sherlock Holmes).

In a worst case scenario, they should be able to use at least one of these clues to reach the right conclusion and keep the adventure moving.

And here’s an important tip: There are no exceptions to the Three Clue Rule.

“But Justin!” I hear you say. “This clue is really obvious. There is no way the players won’t figure it out.”

In my experience, you’re probably wrong. For one thing, you’re the one designing the scenario. You already know what the solution to the mystery is. This makes it very difficult for you to objectively judge whether something is obvious or not.

And even if you’re right, so what? Having extra clues isn’t going to cause any problems. Why not be safe rather than sorry?


EXTENDING THE THREE CLUE RULE

If you think about it in a broader sense, the Three Clue Rule is actually a good idea to keep in mind when you’re designing any scenario.

Richard Garriott, the designer of the Ultima computer games and Tabula Rasa, once said that his job as a game designer was to make sure that at least one solution to a problem was possible without preventing the player from finding other solutions on their own. For example, if you find a locked door in an Ultima game then there will be a key for that door somewhere. But you could also hack your way through it; or pick the lock; or pull a cannon up to it and blow it away.

Deus Ex - Warren Spector, who started working with Garriott on Ultima VI, would later go on to design Deus Ex. He follows the same design philosophy and speaks glowingly of the thrill he would get watching someone play his game and thinking, “Wait… is that going to work?”

When designing an adventure, I actually try to take this design philosophy one step further: For any given problem, I make sure there’s at least one solution and remain completely open to any solutions the players might come up with on their own.

But, for any chokepoint problem, I make sure there’s at least three solutions.

By a chokepoint, I mean any problem that must be solved in order for the adventure to continue.

For example, let’s say that there’s a secret door behind which is hidden some random but ultimately unimportant treasure. Finding the secret door is a problem, but it’s not a chokepoint, so I only need to come up with one solution. In D&D this solution is easy because it’s built right into the rules: The secret door can be found with a successful Search check.

But let’s say that, instead of some random treasure, there is something of absolutely vital importance behind that door. For the adventure to work, the PCs must find that secret door.

The secret door is now a chokepoint problem and so I’ll try to make sure that there are at least three solutions. The first solution remains the same: A successful Search check. To this we could add a note in a different location where a cultist is instructed to “hide the artifact behind the statue of Ra” (where the secret door is); a badly damaged journal written by the designer of the complex which refers to the door; a second secret door leading to the same location (this counts as a separate solution because it immediately introduces the possibility of a second Search check); a probable scenario in which the main villain will attempt to flee through the secret door; the ability to interrogate captured cultists; and so forth.

Once you identify a chokepoint like this, it actually becomes quite trivial to start adding solutions like this.

I’ve seen some GMs argue that this makes things “too easy”. But the reality is that alternative solutions like this tend to make the scenario more interesting, not less interesting. Look at our secret door, for example: Before we started adding alternative solutions, it was just a dice roll. Now it’s designed by a specific person; used by cultists; and potentially exploited as a get-away.

As you begin layering these Three Clue Rule techniques, you’ll find that your scenarios become even more robust. For example, let’s take a murder mystery in which the killer is a werewolf who seeks out his ex-lovers. We come up with three possible ways to identify the killer:

(1) Patrol the streets of the small town on the night of the full moon.

(2) Identify the victims as all being former lovers of the same man.

(3) Go to the local butcher shop where the killer works and find his confessions of nightmare and sin written in blood on the walls of the back room.

For each of these conclusions (he’s a werewolf; he’s a former lover; we should check out the butcher shop) we’ll need three clues.

HE’S A WEREWOLF: Tracks that turn from wolf paw prints to human footprints. Over-sized claw marks on the victims. One of the victims owned a handgun loaded with silver bullets.

HE’S A FORMER LOVER: Love letters written by the same guy. A diary written by one victim describing how he cheated on her with another victim. Pictures of the same guy either on the victims or kept in their houses somewhere.

CHECK OUT THE BUTCHER SHOP: A broken crate reading DANNER’S MEATS at one of the crime scenes. A note saying “meet me at the butcher shop” crumpled up and thrown in a wastepaper basket. A jotted entry saying “meet P at butcher shop” in the day planner of one of the victims.

And just like that you’ve created a scenario with nine different paths to success. And if you keep your mind open to the idea of “more clues are always better” as you’re designing the adventure, you’ll find even more opportunities. For example, how trivial would it be to drop a reference to the butcher shop into one of those love letters? Or to fill that diary with half-mad charcoal sketches of wolves?

The fun part of all this is, once you’ve given yourself permission to include lots of clues, you’ve given yourself the opportunity to include some really esoteric and subtle clues. If the players figure them out, then they’ll feel pretty awesome for having done so. If they don’t notice them or don’t understand them, that’s OK, too: You’ve got plenty of other clues for them to pursue (and once they do solve the mystery, they’ll really enjoy looking back at those esoteric clues and understanding what they meant).
« Letzte Änderung: 18.07.2017 | 11:54 von Der Läuterer »
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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #333 am: 16.07.2017 | 09:40 »
COROLLARY: PERMISSIVE CLUE-FINDING

The maxim “more clues are always better” is an important one. There is a natural impulse when designing a mystery, I think, to hold back information. This is logical inclination: After all, a mystery is essentially defined by a lack of information. And there’s a difference between having lots of clues and having the murderer write his home address in blood on the wall.

But the desire to hold back information does more harm than good, I think. Whenever you hold back a piece of information, you are essentially closing off a path towards potential success. This goes back to Garriott’s advice: Unless there’s some reason why the door should be cannon-proof, the player should be rewarded for their clever thinking. Or, to put it another way: Just because you shouldn’t leave the key to a locked door laying on the floor in front of the door, it doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be multiple ways to get past the locked door.

With that in mind, you should consciously open yourself to permissive clue-finding. By this I mean that, if the players come up with a clever approach to their investigation, you should be open to the idea of giving them useful information as a result.

Here’s another way of thinking about it: Don’t treat the list of clues you came up with during your prep time as a straitjacket. Instead, think of that prep work as your safety net.

I used to get really attached to a particularly clever solution when I would design it. I would emotionally invest in the idea of my players discovering this clever solution that I had designed. As a result, I would tend to veto other potential solutions the players came up with — after all, if those other solutions worked they would never discover the clever solution I had come up with.

Over time, I’ve learned that it’s actually a lot more fun when the players surprise me. It’s the same reason I avoid fudging dice rolls to preserve whatever dramatic conceit I came up with. As a result, I now tend to think of my predesigned solution as a worst case scenario — the safety net that snaps into place when my players fail to come up with anything more interesting.

In order to be open to permissive clue-finding you first have to understand the underlying situation. (Who is the werewolf? How did he kill this victim? Why did he kill them? When did he kill them?) Then embrace the unexpected ideas and approaches the PCs will have, and lean on the permissive side when deciding whether or not they can find a clue you had never thought about before.


COROLLARY: PROACTIVE CLUES

A.K.A. Bash Them On the Head With It.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the players will work themselves into a dead-end: They don’t know what the clues mean or they’re ignoring the clues or they’ve used the clues to reach an incorrect conclusion and are now heading in completely the wrong direction. (When I’m using the Three Clue Rule, I find this will most often happen when the PCs don’t realize that there’s actually a mystery that needs to be solved — not every mystery is as obvious as a dead body, after all.)

This is when having a backup plan is useful. The problem in this scenario is that the PCs are being too passive — either because they don’t have the information they need or because they’re using the information in the wrong way. The solution, therefore, is to have something active happen to them.

Raymond Chandler’s advice for this kind of impasse was, “Have a guy with a gun walk through the door.”

My typical fallback is in the same vein: The bad guy finds out they’re the ones investigating the crime and sends someone to kill them or bribe them.

Another good one is “somebody else dies”. Or, in a more general sense, “the next part of the bad guy’s plan happens”. This has the effect of proactively creating a new location or event for the PCs to interact with.

The idea with all of these, of course, is not simply “have something happen”. You specifically want to have the event give them a new clue (or, better yet, multiple clues) that they can follow up on.

In a worst case scenario, though, you can design a final “Get Out of Jail Free” card that you can use to bring the scenario to a satisfactory close no matter how badly the PCs get bolloxed up. For example, in our werewolf mystery — if the PCs get completely lost — you could simply have the werewolf show up and try to kill them (because he thinks they’re “getting too close”). This is usually less than satisfactory, but at least it gets you out of a bad situation. It’s the final backup when all other backups have failed.


COROLLARY: RED HERRINGS ARE OVERRATED

Red herrings are a classic element of the mystery genre: All the evidence points towards X, but its a red herring! The real murderer is Y!

When it comes to designing a scenario for an RPG, however, red herrings are overrated. I’m not going to go so far as to say that you should never use them, but I will go so far as to say that you should only use them with extreme caution.

There are two reasons for this:

Red HerringFirst, getting the players to make the deductions they’re supposed to make is hard enough. Throwing in a red herring just makes it all the harder. More importantly, however, once the players have reached a conclusion they’ll tend to latch onto it. It can be extremely difficult to convince them to let it go and re-assess the evidence. (One of the ways to make a red herring work is to make sure that there will be an absolutely incontrovertible refutation of it: For example, the murders continue even after the PCs arrest a suspect. Unfortunately, your concept of an “incontrovertible refutation” may hold just as much water as your concept of a “really obvious clue that cannot be missed.)

Second, there’s really no need for you to make up a red herring: The players are almost certainly going to take care of it for you. If you fill your adventure with nothing but clues pointing conclusively and decisively at the real killer, I can virtually guarantee you that the players will become suspicious of at least three other people before they figure out who’s really behind it all. They will become very attached to these suspicions and begin weaving complicated theories explaining how the evidence they have fits the suspect they want.

In other words, the big trick in designing a mystery scenario is to try to avoid a car wreck. Throwing red herrings into the mix is like boozing the players before putting them behind the wheel of the car.


COROLLARY: NOTHING IS FOOLPROOF

You’ve carefully laid out a scenario in which there are multiple paths to the solution with each step along each path supported by dozens of clues. You’ve even got a couple of proactive backup plans designed to get the PCs back on track if things should go awry.

Nothing could possibly go wrong!

… why do you even saying things like that?

The truth is that you are either a mouse or a man and, sooner or later, your plans are going to go awry. When that happens, you’re going to want to be prepared for the possibility of spinning out new backup plans on the fly.

Here’s a quote from an excellent essay by Ben Robbins:

Normal weapons can’t kill the zombies. MicroMan doesn’t trust Captain Fury. The lake monster is really Old Man Wiggins in a rubber mask.

These are Revelations. They are things you want the players to find out so that they can make good choices or just understand what is going on in the game. Revelations advance the plot and make the game dramatically interesting. If the players don’t find them out (or don’t find them out at the right time) they can mess up your game.

I recommend this essay highly. It says pretty much everything I was planning to include in my discussion of this final corollary, so I’m not going to waste my time rephrasing something that’s already been written so well. Instead, I’ll satisfy myself by just quoting this piece of advice from it:

Write Your Revelations: Writing out your revelations ahead of time shows you how the game is going to flow. Once play starts things can get a little hectic – you may accidentally have the evil mastermind show up and deliver his ultimatum and stomp off again without remembering to drop that one key hint that leads the heroes to his base. If you’re lucky you recognize the omission and can backtrack. If you’re unlucky you don’t notice it at all, and you spend the rest of the game wondering why the players have such a different idea of what is going on than you do.

As we’ve discussed, one way to avoid this type of problem is to avoid having “one key hint” on which the adventure hinges. But the advice of “writing out your revelations ahead of time” is an excellent one. As Robbins says, this “should be a checklist or a trigger, not the whole explanation”.

What I recommend is listing each conclusion you want the players to reach. Under each conclusion, list every clue that might lead them to that conclusion. (This can also serve as a good design checklist to make sure you’ve got enough clues supporting every conclusion.) As the PCs receive the clues, check them off. (This lets you see, at a glance, if there are areas where the PCs are missing too many clues.)

Finally, listen carefully to what the players are saying to each other. When they’ve actually reached a particular conclusion, you can check the whole conclusion off your list. (Be careful not to check it off as soon as they consider it as a possibility. Only check it off once they’ve actually concluded that it’s true.)

If you see that too many clues for a conclusion are being missed, or that all the clues have been found but the players still haven’t figured it out, then you’ll know it’s probably time to start thinking about new clues that can be worked into the adventure.


THE FINAL WORD

Basically, what all of this boils down to is simple: Plan multiple paths to success. Encourage player ingenuity. Give yourself a failsafe.

And remember the Three Clue Rule:

For any conclusion you want the PCs to make, include at least three clues.
« Letzte Änderung: 18.07.2017 | 11:50 von Der Läuterer »
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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #334 am: 17.07.2017 | 18:49 »
Interview durch YSDC mit KEITH HERBER, dem Autor von FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH, THE TRAIL OF TSATHOGGUA, SPAWN OF AZATHOTH, ARKHAM UNVEILED, RETURN TO DUNWICH u.v.a.m.


Keith Herber was born & raised in Detroit, Michigan. During an interesting and varied career, 'Doc' wound up free-lancing and eventually working for Chaosium, producing some of the most highly regarded Call of Cthulhu materials to date.

After ending his relationship with Chaosium in 1993, Doc free-lanced for other game companies including White Wolf.
[ Keith Donald 'Doc' Herber starb am 13.03.2009 ]


How were you introduced to Call of Cthulhu?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: I just discovered it on the store shelf. My wife and I, and two other couples, (all around 30 at the time) had been playing D&D once a week for the last three years, so I was a regular visitor at the local game store - it was just there on the shelf one Saturday. I'd discovered and read all of Lovecraft around the age of twelve, and then later re-read him when the Ballantine paperback editions appeared. I'd always been pretty fascinated by the work, and the idea of a game based on those stories seemed really intriguing. However, the only RPG's I was familiar with were D&D and other "heroic" based games and couldn't imagine how a game could capture anything Lovecraft. So I invested my $20 in a copy of Chaosium's Worlds of Wonder game, also just released, which I thought offered more promise.

Hehehe... Anyway, I caved in a couple weeks later and bought Call of Cthulhu. I read it through, but was still on the fence about it. I felt it had the right tone, and I liked the Chaosium Basic Roleplaying System it was built on, but it wasn't until I actually ran a session with the old Haunted House scenario that I became convinced a horror game could work. I put my son, Erik (who was around nine at the time) through the adventure by himself, one sunny afternoon at the kitchen table. I scared the living crap out of him and from that point on I was hooked on the game.


Why do you think the game has been so successful?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: The Quick Answer: Lots of great contributions from an extremely talented and devoted group of free lance writers and authors. It was often said around the office that Call of Cthulhu attracted the most consistently literate submissions anyone at Chaosium had ever seen. I'd name names, but I'd quickly run out of fingers and toes. But there's lots of other reasons. I think Call of Cthulhu offered the first viable alternative to the standard "heroic" styled games that RPG's had been ever since D&D first appeared. CoC promised a different kind of story telling, where not every story ended with a big battle scene, triumph, glory and treasure. The basic game design was true to Lovecraft (thank you, Sandy) in that the monsters were almost always more powerful than the players, and "run away" became a solid player tactic. This didn't necessarily appeal to the "power gamer" crowd but there was a sizeable audience out there that enjoyed a different kind of ride, and CoC provided.

A key feature that, in my opinion, helped CoC succeed while the horror games that followed enjoyed only moderate success, was the SAN rules. These rules brilliantly capture a sort of spiraling descent into madness, far better than the usual Fear Check, or saving throw. With CoC, the more sanity you lose, the more likely you are to lose more the next time, and so on. Add to that the fact you lose more sanity every time you read one of those intriguing books, or encounter some creature, or - heaven forbid - dabble with magic, and you really have a Lovecraftian feel of a hostile, and inevitable, universe. I don't know how the rules stand now, but I always argued vigorously against allowing players to gain more SAN than they began with. First, it encouraged power gaming where the more you killed, the more sanity you regained. Secondly it was illogical. How could any person who knew nothing of the Cthulhu Mythos suddenly be thrust into it, and walk away with more sanity than they started with? That would undermine the whole philosophy of that universe. Just learning of its existence has to cost you something.


What is your favourite era (& why)?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: I really liked the 1920s era. When the game was first introduced, the idea of roleplaying in "The Roaring Twenties" with bootleggers and flappers running all over the place seemed colorful and intriguing, but in the end really didn't see much use. Lovecraft's writing really doesn't reflect any sense of the time it was written, but I found that era acted as pleasant sort of governor on the action. Things take more time in that era, and players consequently seemed to plan their moves more carefully. Any gamemaster knows a bunch of players can get unruly and off-track, and guiding them back to the real matter can be difficult. In a contemporary era game they may decide the next clue is in Africa and, with charge cards and nearby airports, be off the ground before you can stop them. The same choice in a 1920s game - an era of cash and steamships - gets a lot more discussion before people go charging off pell mell. I like the idea you can't get everything off the internet, there's no cell phones or sometimes no phones at all, and that cars frequently break down on bad roads.

One of my favourite projects was putting together the 1920s Investigators Companion. It was before the internet was really rolling, even before publishers started putting out books for writers with information about firearms, forensics, and what not, so I had to dig up all that info from a variety of sources. I had planned a similar volume for Gaslight, probably working with Kevin Ross and Peter Jeffries, and to be written from a British perspective rather than the American, but I was terminated before it came to pass. An investigators book for Cthulhu Now players seemed inevitable but seeing everybody knows what it's like to live in today's world, it represented a different set of challenges. I think Chaosium has since published one, but I've never seen it.

I had plans to expand on these concepts. I had notes for a 1920s Investigators Companion to Europe, and a list of other possibilities.


Do you have any memorable moments from play?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: I seem to remember more memorable moments from other people's play. There's a woman in France who loved the game, but was so terrified by unfolding events in session based on the scary, dead children scenario in Arkham Unveiled that she had to give up playing. That seems an accomplishment of some sort.

I think my favourite memory is of a Cthulhu Masters final round back in the early 90s. Coming up on the final half-hour climax, while standing out on an island in the middle of the Miskatonic River, one of the players got snuffed by something or other. Seemingly out of the running for the trophy, this player managed to roleplay a corpse bobbing in the river, snagging on tree roots, rolling over in the water while fish swim out his mouth with such humor and creativity that at the end of the session he was unanimously voted the winner and awarded the coveted Mi-Go braincase. It was quite a feat and extremely entertaining.


Do you still play Call of Cthulhu?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: No.


Do you have a favourite CoC supplement or scenario?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: Excluding all works in which I had some sort of hand, I'd have to say that original Haunted House scenario that came with the first version of the game remains a standout. It was very short, and lacked a suitable climax, but it was a real eye-opener for me. The Haunted House scenario I published in Trail of Tsathogghua was a direct descendant of that earlier version.


What inspired you to write for CoC?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: Well, I began writing CoC right from the beginning. There were no supplements when the game first appeared so you had to write your own. What inspired me to prepare and submit my materials was the appearance of Shadows of Yog-Sothoth. I had been mulling over the idea of approaching Chaosium for a while but, knowing nothing about publishing, the game industry, or even writing, I hadn't made the move. The Yog-Sothoth book was much like the project I had in mind, so that's when I decided to take a gamble. I sent them a short scenario as a test, and Chaosium published it right away in Different Worlds magazine [The Wail of the Witch, DW#30, ed.]. Emboldened, I approached Sandy with my campaign idea. He didn't want to see an outline, just suggested I write the whole thing up and submit it. Seeing that up to that point in my life I'd probably never written anything longer than four pages, it seemed a pretty big challenge. But I bought a cheap typewriter and spent my summer putting the idea to paper. Tadashi Ehara accepted it immediately, published it (with a name change to Fungi from Yuggoth) and encouraged me to try more. Tadashi was undoubtedly the finest editor I ever worked with, anywhere, anytime. Insightful, encouraging, and very smart, I owe him huge thanks, and am very grateful I met this editor early in my career.


How long did you write for the game?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: A little over ten years. I submitted my first work in the spring of 1983. I turned in my last piece of work late fall 1993.


How did you find working with Chaosium?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: It had some good moments. As a free lancer I found that communications, after the departure of Tadashi Ehara, were pretty bad. Royalty payments stopped arriving, and Throne of Azathoth languished somewhere in editorial. Later, they hired me to work for them, and my wife and I moved to California. There were lots of good times but, like so many relationships, it ended badly. Heaven and hell would be the succinct answer.


Why did you decide to leave?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: Because they told me to, so staying seemed pointless, and probably illegal. Some years after they began telling people I quit, but that's untrue. I was fired, and my attempts to book free lance projects were rebuffed.


Has your relationship wih Chaosium changed over the years?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: Not lately. It's remained firmly non-existent for nearly a decade.


Which of your own work do you like best?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: I don't know. Like a father, I'm fond of all of them, even the ones that were accidentally born crippled or slightly brain-dead. :-) I think of all the books I wrote I like Arkham Unveiled the best. It was a different sort of challenge and, on the whole, it's the one that came closest to what I wanted it to be. Despite Lynn's contention to the contrary, it was delivered quite complete, and whatever small additions were made I judged mostly unnecessary if not downright out of step with the tone of the book.

On the whole, I think establishing the "Lovecraft Country" concept and series is a favourite thing. I wish I could have worked that territory longer. It seems to have gone nowhere since I left.I liked the concept of the Cthulhu Cycle fiction books. Unfortunately, the axe fell just about the time I had the series up and ready to go, so I never got to actually work with it as a whole. It seems to have gone in a direction I hadn't planned.


What would you like to see for CoC that has yet to be done?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: I'd like to see it do what it use to do. I haven't followed the publicatons in recent years, but it seemed to run off the tracks not long after I left. Consistency, theme, approach, long-range plans, seemed to all go out the window.


Are you likely to produce anything again for the game?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: Apparently not if Chaosium continues to control the license. As I said, they wouldn't entertain any projects from me, so opportunities are limited.


What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: Don't quit your day job?


Do you consider yourself more of a Lovecraftian or a (Call of) Cthulhuian?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: Both. I loved Lovecraft, and by the end of my Call of Cthulhu run was a fairly formidable Lovecraft scholar. My involvement with the game was too long and too deep to be dismissed as anything unimportant to me. I think the game did an admirable job of bringing some of Lovecraft to its players. A lot of people became Lovecraft fans after being introduced to him through the game.


What are your feelings about the d20 version of Call of Cthulhu?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: Don't have many. I'm not familiar with the d20 system. CoC seems a simple enough game that any set of linear mechanics should handle most gameplay without problem. The only thing really unique to the game are the SAN rules. If those are tampered with I fear the game would lose its feel.


What are your favourite films?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: These questions always stump me. As a kid? Of all time? Last decade? Last year? A quick smattering over the last five decades follows: Forbidden Planet, Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Lawrence of Arabia, Planet of the Apes, The Exorcist, Taxi Driver, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Herbert West: Re-Animator, Evil Dead, Casino, Fight Club, and probably a half-dozen more that don't immediately come to mind.


What would a typical day be like for you?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: Nothing typical these days, except for the fact that losing yet another job is a pretty typical occurence these last few years. My wife, Sharon, and I will soon be relocating to Florida. I have my eye on a part-time position bagging groceries at the Lakeland Piggly Wiggly, so hope to start drinking fairly early in the morning, ensuring the rest of the day to be some sort of Gaussian Blur haze.


What would you like your epitaph to read?

Keith 'Doc' Herber: And for my next trick...


[ Zusatz - zum besseren Verständnis ]
Posted 18 March 2004 by 'Doc' Herber on YSDC
It [ gemeint sind Nephren-Ka und Nophru-Ka ] was actually supposed to be one and the same person. Most of Fungi from Yuggoth (originally Voices Out of Time) was written for my own gaming group, and created long before there were any scenarios actually published for the game. Given that, I was not overly fussy about accurate names or dates because the material would be experienced by only a handful of my friends and would pertain only to my campaign. As years went by, and more and more material was published for the game, I became more anal about details (as in Lovecraft Country) and wished that earlier material had been more accurate, but...
Posted 12 November 2008 by 'Doc' Herber on YSDC
Same guy. It was the very early days of CoC, and no one was real sure who owned rights to what, so you made little changes to cover your a**.
Trail of Tsathogghua had an extra 'h' in it, because Chaosium was not sure of the status of these copyrights, either.
« Letzte Änderung: 18.07.2017 | 18:46 von Der Läuterer »
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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #335 am: 24.07.2017 | 21:56 »
Was wäre dein Vorschlag für ein Abenteuer um einen urbanen Kult, der sich auch in ein (Dark) Fantasy-Setting übertragen läßt?
Die Zwillingsseen: Der Tanelorn Hexcrawl
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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #336 am: 25.07.2017 | 08:10 »
Was wäre dein Vorschlag für ein Abenteuer um einen urbanen Kult, der sich auch in ein (Dark) Fantasy-Setting übertragen läßt?
LOVE'S LONELY CHILDREN & BEHOLD THE MOTHER solltest Du parallel spielen.
Beide Szenarien befeuern eine recht abstossende Grundidee. Sehr befruchtend diese zwei Plots ineinander fliessen zu lassen. Du wirst sicher Erfolg damit haben. Einen der Plot Stränge lösen die Spieler sicherlich, doch bleibt ja noch die Verwirrung durch den anderen Plot. Die Mischung macht das Ganze dann mal richtig giftig und sicher dunkel genug.
Hoffe, ich konnte helfen.
« Letzte Änderung: 25.07.2017 | 08:12 von Der Läuterer »
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We don't go anywhere! We don't inherit anything! And we definitely don't read any books!
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Re: geläuterte cthuloide HORROR Rezis
« Antwort #337 am: Heute um 14:43 »
#88 A TANGLED WEB


AUTOR
Mark Bruno

VERÖFFENTLICHUNG
Mean Streets - The RPG of Classic Film Noir
Deep7, 2002

LÄNGE
10 Seiten

SETTING
KLASSISCH 1940er - New York - 1943

PLOT EINSTIEG
Die Chars sind Polizeibeamte des NYPD, mglw. sogar interne Ermittler.

UNERKLÄRLICHES
Der Tod eines Polizisten.

WISSENSWERTES
Robert Sklar über das Film Noir Genre im Buch 'Movie-Made America':
Das Kennzeichen des Film Noir ist sein Sinn für, in eine Falle geratene, Menschen - gefangen in Netzen aus Verfolgungswahn und Angst, unfähig Schuld von Unschuld zu trennen und wahre Identität von falscher zu unterscheiden. Seine Schurken sind anziehend und sympathisch, doch sie verschleiern ihre Gier, ihren Menschenhass und ihre Niedertracht. Seine Helden und Heldinnen sind schwach, verwirrt und anfällig für falsche Eindrücke. Die Umwelt ist trüb und verschlossen, die Schauplätze leicht bedrückend. Am Ende offenbart sich das Böse, wenn auch kaum merklich. Das Gute kommt in Bedrängnis und sein Überdauern bleibt im Unklaren.

ANPASSBARKEIT
UNNÖTIG

ATMOSPHÄRE
Der Stil des Szenarios ist von starken Kontrasten geprägt. Licht - Schatten, Gut - Böse, Armut - Reichtum, Gewalt - Ohnmacht.
 
AUSRICHTUNG
ACTION
Der Plot versucht an packende Detektiv- und Gangster Filme der 40er Jahre anzuknüpfen, hat aber zu wenig Substanz, um mitreissen zu können oder wenigsten interessant zu sein. Für ein Szenario, bei dem eine Ermittlung im Vordergrund steht, ist der Inhalt viel zu flach und eindimensional, da er fast nur auf Konflikt und Gewalt reduziert wird.

KREATUREN
KEINE

PLOT ENTWICKLUNG
Das Szenario wirft die Chars sofort mitten ins Geschehen. Die Chars folgen dem Plot und sobald sie die Spur aufnehmen, geraten sie mehr und mehr in ein Bleigewitter der Handlanger eines skrupellosen Gangsters.

ORIGINALITÄT
GERING
Die Geschichte ist altbekannt, das Setting ist jedoch überaus ansprechend.

SPIELER EINFLUSS
GERING
→ Die Chars sind zynische und verbitterte, am Leben zerbrochene, Pessimisten, die moralisch fragwürdig und lasterhaft agieren.
→ Die Welt besteht aus einer düsteren und trostlosen Umgebung - vorzugsweise eine bei starkem Regen und/oder bei Nacht.
→ Eine direkte Konfrontation mit den Kriminellen wäre für die Chars ein Sprung in die Bratpfanne. Und sich auf einen Schusswechsel einzulassen wäre eine überaus schlechte Idee, denn die Kriminellen haben eine Vorliebe für Maschinenpistolen.
→ Der Unterboss selbst beschäftigt einen Haufen Personal - Informanten, Handlanger und sog. Soldaten; diese sind alle entbehrlich und alle sind absolut skrupellos.

SPIELLEITER SKILL
GERING
→ Der Titel verspricht viel mehr, als der Plot dann zu halten bereit ist. Von einem Verwirrspiel oder von einer Netzstruktur kann keine Rede sein. Es gibt nur einen Plot Strang.
→ Der Plot ist weniger ein grober Rahmen, ein Entwurf oder eine Skizze denn ein Szenario.
→ Der SL hat einiges an Arbeit vor sich, aber auch viele Gestaltungsmöglichkeiten.
→ Durch das Szenario werden die typischen Klischees bedient. Es gibt die Femme Fatale, den eleganten Unterweltboss und den korrupten Polizisten.
→ Es gibt vorherrschende Handlungstendenzen. Jeder gegen jeden. Alle auf ihren Vorteil bedacht. Wer anderen vertraut hat bereits verloren. Und nur die Starken triumphieren.
→ Das Szenario legt nahe, dass der SL Konflikt- und Kampf-betont leiten und das Geschehen mit kernigen Sprüchen garnieren soll.
→ Das Szenario bietet keinerlei Alternativen zu Plan A an, was das am Leben erhalten der Chars für den SL schwierig gestaltet.
→ Das Ganze versucht eine hardboiled, two-fisted Kriminalgeschichte zu sein, scheitert aber am eigenen Anspruch. An Geschichten mit Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon, 1930, von Dashiell Hammett), Philip Marlowe (The Big Sleep, 1939, von Raymond Chandler) oder Mike Hammer (I, the Jury, 1947, von Mickey Spillane) reicht der Plot nicht annähernd heran.

HANDOUTS
KEINE

STIMMIGKEIT
→ Bei dem Szenario hat man unwillkürlich den Eindruck, nur eine Skizze vor sich zu haben, bei der man viel nacharbeiten muss.
→ Gier und Eifersucht sind die Haupt-Triebfedern des Plots, der seine Stilblüten bis in die Niederungen der menschlichen Existent treibt und insofern den Nerv des Film Noir trifft.

NSCs
Einige; jedoch ohne Werten oder Fertigkeiten.

KAMPAGNEN TAUGLICHKEIT
Normales Szenario

PREGENS
KEINE

STERBLICHKEITSRATE
HOCH

FILME ZUM THEMA
Die Spur des Falken von 1941, Die Narbenhand von 1942, Im Schatten des Zweifels von 1943, Frau ohne Gewissen von 1944, Haben und Nichthaben von 1944, Laura von 1944, Ministerium der Angst von von 1944, Strasse der Versuchung von 1945, Berüchtigt von 1946, Rächer der Unterwelt von 1946, Tote schlafen fest von 1946, Die schwarze Natter von 1947, Vierzehn Jahre Sing-Sing von 1947, Du lebst noch 105 Minuten von 1948, Die Nacht hat tausend Augen von 1948, Sprung in den Tod von 1949, Asphalt-Dschungel von 1950, Die Ratte von Soho von 1950, Reporter des Satans von 1951 und Die Unbestechlichen (Serie) von 1959 bis 1963.

ACHTUNG SPOILER
Die Chars sollen im Fall des Todes eines Polizisten ermitteln. Er kam Zuhause durch einen Kopfschuss zu Tode. Was zuerst wie ein glasklarer Fall von Selbstmord erscheint, entpuppt sich zunehmend als ein ziemlich krummes Ding - es geht um Betrug, Erpressung und kaltblütigen Mord.
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Uninspirierter Plot, ohne Esprit und Originalität.

SCHWACH / Note 4
« Letzte Änderung: Heute um 15:06 von Der Läuterer »
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