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Get a grip!

I really believe that there's some misunderstanding about how Trail of Cthulhu works, and a lot of it seems to be along the lines of "Well, I already do that in my Call games". To this I say, undoubtedly, but it's not actually in the Call rules. If the worst crime that Trail has committed is to make explicit the way Call is actually played then that's probably not so bad, especially for new players.

And if you do already play Call of Cthulhu that way, then hurrah!, Ken Hite and Robin Laws applaud what you do. Could you have an greater justification? And what's more there's a whole squamous wodge of new eldritch doom to explore in the chapter on the Mythos, the supplements and scenarios.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 26th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
So what is this a reaction to?
Oct. 26th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
Nothing much really but I used some Stranglers lyrics which possibly made it seem worse than it is.
Oct. 26th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
What Heliograph said. Someone has obviously done something to upset Steve's usual cheeriness.

And "sqaumous wodge of new eldritch doom" - does that come with fries or salad?
Oct. 26th, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
Sqaumous wodge of new eldritch doom
I think that's the title of the next ToC release.
Oct. 27th, 2010 08:41 am (UTC)
IMHO i like Trail because as designed it takes the best of CoC - something like Masks of Nyarlathotep and makes it 'work' without the need for fudging when you bugger up a percentile roll.

As you say, if every Cthulhu game you run, runs like Masks does then good for you but Trail hits the spot for me and puts the accent on what I like about the setting and style of game i want to run and play.

Interestingly I am writing a new campaign for a small group half of whom have never played , and the other half last played CoC (or any other RPG) in the 1990s. So it is going to be interesting to see how Trail goes down with them.

Initially I plan to start in media res with pre-gen characters and my brother in a guest player slot as a super-npc to help everyone get into the spirit of how I like to run things.
Oct. 27th, 2010 11:54 am (UTC)
Perhaps it comes down to the difference between 'official' and 'house' rules and if a set of what people use as common house rules is justifiable as an actual publication or would be better as something integrated into official rules or just left as house ones.

I rather like Trail and I feel the presentation is superb and many of the points made valid and dont see anything 'wrong' with publishing something that incorporates the way many already play CoC. Having said that, my own group of players found some of Trail a bit clunky and unnecessary and really the only bit they were happy using was the approach to research rolls, so regardless of if we 'play' Trail or CoC we still end up using house rules anyway... so I view Trail more as an extra resource/setting than anything else. Good ideas and scenarios/approaches are always something groups take and adapt and use as suits them best and most game groups tend to modify and select.
Oct. 27th, 2010 12:37 pm (UTC)
It's more that I've been told that Trail is a terrible game because it has rules for things which all good Call groups do anyway, even though they aren't in the Call rules. Do these people feel that Trail is somehow mocking them and their love of (and investment in) Call of Cthulhu? This new game comes along which says it knows it all and then uses the same rules that they've been using since they realised that Call doesn't really work as written. And how dare they call attention to this issue! Perhaps these people still also use minidiscs.

Perhaps the fact that I've never liked BRP means it was an easier switch for me (which isn't to say I've stopped playing CoC, we've played it twice in the last 8 weeks).

The other thing I've found is that there is a lot less rolling of dice which, to me anyway, makes the game go more quickly and smoothly. There's less system and more playing of roles.

That said, for many gamers, dice rolling is a physical proxy for doing the action. So in AD&D, rolling the d20 is the same thing as swinging the sword and is pretty much a ritual. If the dice are important to a Mythos gamer, they could feel let down because they didn't have to roll the dice to get the clue. Perhaps if you've got 20% in Library Use, finding the naughty book seems somehow a greater victory than just being told that you've got it - even when the common house rule is used which says you always get the clue but a failed roll brings complications.

Edited at 2010-10-27 12:41 pm (UTC)
Oct. 28th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
I like it both ways, me:)
I'm prejudice, probably because I play ToC quite a lot. I like ToC. both. But I also like CoC.

Playing gung-ho characters in CoC games just feels a little odd. But then playing incompetent sissys that faint at the sight of a drop of blood in a ToC game is wierd. It is fun to let loose in ToC where you wouldn't in CoC.

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )