Good starting points for Cthulhu?
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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:40 am 
 

megnelwil wrote:Then again, $65 with 2 days to go.

** expired eBay auction **

relisted from:

** expired eBay auction **




senorcoo has his own special prices for Cthulhu though.  Sometimes I wonder how many of his CoC items he actually sells, given that I constantly see him relisting them at slightly lower prices.



And the bidder is the one I mentioned a few posts back, who seems to have a "want it NOW" mentality.  Wish I had some spare Cthulhu stuff to offer him. :lol:


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:49 am 
 

I'm having fun reading through the Monographs I purchased....just for reference, here are some keepers I have found so far:

Undying Leaders (Jason, so far this is definitely one of the best I've paged through)
Cthulhu Invictus
The Abbey
The Pastores
The Big Book of Cults
The Casting Call of Cthulhu
The Gaslight Equipment Catalog
Ramblings of a Twisted Mind

Some I've disliked or couldn't use:
First Book of Things
End Time
Strange Tales of Dread & Wonder #2
Raising Up
Caligo Accedendum Tournament
Terror
Christmas in Kingsport
Mysteries of Hungary
Mythos Magic

Still a huge pile to sort through.....lots of fun to have this much CoC material to read, it's getting me interested in running a game again for the first time in over 10 years!  

For the most part, the monos are a good deal....sure, the production values are low, but I think that lends a very cool authenticity to the item, as the construction of the item itself (even the taped spine versions) is very sturdy, and the "look" of the items is about as good as some of the cheaper 3rd party CoC items out there.  Some of the worst of the monos are terribly edited and put together; some feature scenarios that aren't even good for use in a tournament.  Some of the best have very useful information or scenarios that can easily be placed into a campaign.  

My only problem would be, if you were buying these blindly, there is about a 50/50 chance you get a keeper or a stinker.  Now, the stinkers you can easily resell on the secondary market (I've listed the ones I didn't like on Ebay at a markup, and already sold a couple), but if I paid full price for some of these (instead of getting them for a discount on the April 1st sale) I would be heartily disappointed.  

I think some of these could be highly collectible in the future, when/if Chaosium ever stops reprinting them.  The are as good (or better, in the case of my list of keepers) as a lot of the 3rd party stuff that came out the last 25 years.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:49 am 
 

Thanks Mike! :D Hope you have a chance to read through the scenarios in Undying Leaders. My regular group of players found them quite interesting (of course they could just be saying that to avoid another TPK).

On the most recent Chaosium newsletter they announced that the Mysteries of Monaco is being released as one of their full version "Secrets of" supplements. Not sure if down the road that will increase the value of the original Monaco monograph, but it has potential.


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:17 am 
 

Trail of Cthulhu written by Kenneth Hite and published by Pelgrane Press

First impressions by Jason Williams

The book itself is a very solid, well bound hardcover that looks sturdy enough to last through many gaming session. The spine is well constructed and unlike some other recent hardcovers for Call of Cthulhu I would not be afraid to open this one up to place it on a photocopier/scanner. (edit: to copy character sheets and handouts).

The layout and artwork is very impressive and with a well laid out table of contents and excellent index it is very easy to locate information quickly.

Probably the most exciting thing about this system is that it directly addresses two of the main weaknesses in the BRP Call of Cthulhu system. The first of which is the problem where if an investigator misses a roll for a clue, the adventure is stalled until the keeper can figure out another way to present the clue. The Gumshoe rules that this game is based on places the emphasis on figuring out the clues and how to apply them, rather than locating the clues. The mechanics for this is very well detailed. The second weakness that is addressed is the recurring questions from players of "why would I keep looking for these monsters/cultists?" ToC introduces what they call "Drives" for the investigators with each explained in enough detail that a player can decide what direction to take their character. Some of the Drives listed are Thirst for Knowledge, Revenge, Antiquarianism, Duty, Curiosity, etc. A total of fourteen Drives are listed covering any motivation that the players might want to give their investigators.

Each entry in the book uses small symbols with optional rules for keeper if they want to use either a traditional setting or ramp it up to a more "pulp" version of the game. An example of this is in the skills section is where the Physics skill in a pulp version of the game can be used to figure out advanced alien technology. In the career section an investigator with the Clergy profession in a pulp game can perform what they term psychological triage, bless holy water, turn vampires with a cross, exorcise demons (but not mythos entities).

Another mechanic that is addressed is the issue of uneven starting skills for players. In BRP it is tied into how well you roll on your EDU and INT but with the ToC system, each player receives the same amount of starting points to apply to their skills. At the end of an adventure, there is no roll to see if skills increase, instead a flat number of points are awarded that the player can apply. There are also mechanics for a player to redistribute skill points in a logical manner (My photography skill went down since I have been spending so much time in the library, but my library use went up).

Trail of Cthulhu also introduces a mechanic that differentiates between long term sanity and what they call stability. During an adventure stability fluctuates depending on events and critters sighted. There is a box on the character sheet to track this from -12 to +15. I have not completely read this section yet.

I am still figuring out the combat system and other mechanics of ToC, but it looks like everything is based on a type of resistance roll of player vs. npc/monster using a D6.

Example stats for a Deep One:
Abilities (on land/in water)
Athletics 8/12, Health 9, Scuffling 8/12, Weapons 6/4

Hit Threshold: 4/5
Alertness Modifier: +0/+1
Stealth Modifier: +0/+1
Weapon: +1 (claw), +1 (trident)
Armor: -1 vs any (scales and skin)
Stability Loss: +0

The listing for each monster also lists the evidence and clues that they tend to leave behind.

There is also some very useful, but brief, information on the 1930's with short write-ups about many countries that the investigators might travel to along with a paragraph of two to explain what relationship it has to the Cthulhu Mythos. In the Peru section there is information about a cult in the mountain gorges around Cuzco and Machu Picchu.

I am not sure if I will switch my current CoC campaign over to this system since the players and myself are so used to the Chaosim BRP system, but it does look like it addresses many of the complaints about the CoC game mechanics that have been debated over the years.

Over the next few weeks, when I have a chance, I may have the opportunity to provide more information.


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Last edited by jasonw1239 on Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:59 am 
 

Thanks, Jason.

Looks like I'll be picking this up, even if I only wind up using some of the extra details.  (I like the bit about describing standard clues for monsters to leave behind.)

On an unrelated note, I'm sure by now you've heard that there are going to be official third-party CoC supplements again.  I've had no experience with the publisher (Super Genius Games), but an interesting development.


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:30 am 
 

There was a post on yog-sothoth.com this morning by Keith Herber (doccthulhu).

He indicated that he has been talking with Charlie Krank and is exploring the idea of starting a small publishing house to print CoC related materials under license. For old-school fans the possibility of Keith Herber getting back into the CoC world is quite exciting!

http://www.yog-sothoth.com/modules.php? ... ic&t=12546


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:33 am 
 

I really need to register at Yog-Sothoth one of these days. :lol:

But I'll definitely echo Herber's "(!??!)" given that the animosity between Herber and Chaosium was practically legendary.


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:59 am 
 

Jason:  do you by chance also have Hite's Nightmares of Mine book on running horror games?  If so, any idea if there's any content overlap with ToC?


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:00 am 
 

Sorry Allan, ToC is the only thing from Hite that I have ever picked up.


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:49 pm 
 

Thanks for the review Jason, my copy of TOC arrived today and I've had a quick flick through. Nice production, miles beyond the usual HB offerings, up there with Eyes Only. I scored TOC, Dark Ages, Malleus, Japan, Secrets of LA and Gaslight Equipment mono all for $125 which meant free shipping too. And I didn't have to wait an age for it. Have to take my hat off to Chaosium for a super deal.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:10 pm 
 

Chaosium has started to release some of their titles in PDF format.

My Mysteries of Tibet monograph is one of the first four that they have selected for release in this format.  8)

http://catalog.chaosium.com/index.php?cPath=70

Of course they did not contact me first even though I am the copyright owner.  8O


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:10 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Chaosium has started to release some of their titles in PDF format.

My Mysteries of Tibet monograph is one of the first four that they have selected for release in this format.  8)

http://catalog.chaosium.com/index.php?cPath=70

Of course they did not contact me first even though I am the copyright owner.  8O


That is kind of odd.  

Didn't they have you sign some sort of contract where they had the right to reprint the monograph in various formats?  That seems like it would be standard procedure.

Still, there is common courtesy to consider.  Perhaps notification, if nothing else?

As far as I understand it, you stand to make a higher share of each sale than an author would normally get in the game industry.  That should still appy to pdf sales.  That would be a nice source of unexpected cash.

Thing is...since the electronic format costs Chaosium less, could you find a way to argue for an even higher percentage...especially since they didn't contact you first...?


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:28 pm 
 

Unfortunately there are no contracts for monographs.

They are produced under an open common agreement.

What they purchase from the copyright holder upon purchase of the manuscript is the right to distribute up to 500 copies.

If the full 500 is sold then they reserve the right to either print a further 500 or negotiate a deal to distribute copies to game stores.

I will have to wait and see what transpires but the good thing about this is their catalog listing for the pdf's includes a counter to show what has been sold.

Chaosium let me know in that just a little over a month after the release of Mysteries of Tibet that approximately 100 had already been sold through their online store.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:17 pm 
 

Update to the monograph PDF's.

I just received a nice email from Chaosium explaining the sales of PDF's.

They did confirm that any sales does count towards the overall total that they originally purchased the rights for.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:58 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Update to the monograph PDF's.

I just received a nice email from Chaosium explaining the sales of PDF's.

They did confirm that any sales does count towards the overall total that they originally purchased the rights for.


Nice!


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:10 pm 
 

if i can get a beyond the mountains of madness (complete) for $68 is that worth it?

thx

Al



  

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:14 pm 
 

The original softcover or the the newer hardcover print?

If the softcover, it usually sells for more on eBay, in the $80-$90 range (sometimes higher).

Danny deals with a lot of that stuff so he might be a better one to ask.

I'm not sure what the hardcover is selling for now. I bought mine at cost when it was released and have not been tracking them.

The Antarctic Expedition Kit usually sells for a decent price also. I have seen them go for $50+

Edit: Damn! Arctic...Antarctic


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:42 pm 
 

look...one thing at a time thanks :)



  
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