THE UNDERGROUND | adepts | avatars | rituals | artifacts | dukes | cabals | rumors | unexplained | unnatural | misc | scenarios | mods | fiction | THE OVERGROUND | news | forum | submit! | search | links | downloads | ua-ml | NEWEST SUBMISSIONS | Thin Black Line | Dance of the Red Spiral Part 2: Collateral Damage | Shrekomancy | Ablutomancy |
Sanity damage, a new paradigm for the Paradigm skill, pregenerated Stress Checks, and deterministic initiative.
The tweaks I made to the UA/Delta Green game I ran focused on four elements from Call of Cthulhu:
Gradual sanity loss
Grizzled veterans of the long war against the Unspeakable
Chaosium-style fixed initiative
I kept track of Sanity damage in the same way one kept track of Body damage, except I let players know how much Sanity damage their characters had taken. Whenever somebody blew a Mind roll due to a Stress check, I would subtract the lowest die facing from future Mind checks against Stress. An investigator with a Mind of 70 who failed a roll with an 87 would take 7 points of sanity damage, and would only have a 63% chance of passing future Stress checks.
Players could see the erosion of their mental bulwarks against future calamities- one of the best features of Call of Cthulhu. Sometimes, if the Stress was large enough (rank 4 and up), I would hit them with a point or two of Sanity damage even if they succeeded.
I divided the Paradigm Skills (Mind) into a Mind Skill called Justification and a Soul Skill called Higher Purpose.
Justification worked as Paradigm did: it let you 'do-over' a failed Stress check, using Justify instead of Mind. The twist was, you always had to roll Justify, even if you passed the Mind check and got a Hardened Notch. Justification could prevent the accumulation of Failed notches, but it also acted to prevent the accumulation of Hardened notches too.
Higher Purpose let you temporarily ignore the fight/flight/foetal response of a failed stress check. You had to roll it each round to retain control of your character's instincts, and if you botched, you lost points from the skill rating.
During character gen, I let players decide how 'experienced' their investigators were with the occult and human suffering. Basically, I let them make anywhere from zero to ten Stress checks (no more than 4 attempts in any one madness meter), with the chance of racking up Failed Notches (and starting out with Sanity damage) or coming out with a mental armor of multiple Hardened Notches.
One character came out with 1 hardened and 3 failed notches in the Unnatural - the player had a great time detailing the useless rituals, fetishes, and superstitions the character used in order to get through his day, and ended up making contact with the local Freemason's Lodge as part of his research. Logical & entertaining.
Initiative was directly and determinalistically linked to Speed for physical actions and Soul for mental/magical actions. Your initiative was equal to your Speed stat, no way around it, no dice rolling.
I let characters buy a 'Fast Draw' or 'Combat Reflexes' speed skill that raised their effective Speed by the skill rating for initiative purposes only. (Speed 60 + Greased Lighting 25 = Initiative 75).
Alternately, I would let the characters draw and fire a weapon with one action, using an effective initiative rating of the Fast Draw skill only. It would be low, but everyone else would still be drawing their shooting irons during that first round, so it was fast enough for the would-be gunslingers.
Angle | profile | Feb 15, 07 | 3:23 pm
stange_person | profile | Feb 15, 07 | 7:53 pm
procrastinating before work + running out door = bad math!
Angle | profile | Feb 15, 07 | 8:38 pm