Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by b_bankhead, October 27, 2003, 01:00:51 PM
Quote from: Ian CharvillFor example, the players fail their Library Use rolls and don't know to go looking at the Old Marley House. But the Inhabitant of the House knows the investigators are on the trail and sends one of its minions to firebomb one of the character's houses and leave a warning to Stay Away From the Old Marley House. The character's failed roll doesn't deprive them of the information - it puts them in a worse situation. The cars gone, and Jimmy's got third degree burns all up his left arm is no one's definition of success but the game won't stall out.
QuoteHypothetical: no one's using their skills wisely and they've almost run out of investigation points. The final parts of the investigation will cost more than the points they have left: what the system call in this situation?
Quote from: Ian CharvillHey,Where does the adversity come from in the investigation phase: I take it that you're saying that it doesn't. That is to say that the only function of the investigation phase is to generate colour? The investigators have to be succesful in their investigation for everyone to have fun, sems to be your starting point.Hypothetical: no one's using their skills wisely and they've almost run out of investigation points. The final parts of the investigation will cost more than the points they have left: what the system call in this situation?
QuoteHowever, there are simple ways around it. For example, a trip to the library might automatically reveal the plot-necessary info (the old Jones Manor is haunted), but useful details can be obtained through successful skill checks (you might learn any of the following: the monster hates sunlight, the monster can be banished with a certain spell and the monster attacks with poison).
Quote from: Rob MacDougall"If the players don't get clue a, make sure they get clue b. Or move clue a so they do get it." -- That's time-honored Illusionism. I believe it's known around here as All Roads Lead to Rome. It works, it's not an invalid way to play, but it is exactly what the original essay and the original post in this thread said: failure in the investigative phase is not really an option.
Quote from: Ben LehmanBL> I never said anything close to All Roads Lead to Rome. In fact, I tried very specifically to point out the differences between my suggestions and this type of play.Say, to keep the zombie book example from above, the players miss all the clues about the Dark Tomb in which the Book is Contained. Do they get thrown any bones? Nope. Do they "find it anyway?" Nope. Does the book auto-locate to some place that it is easier to find? Nope.All that you need to assume is that there is a world outside of the PCs -- a world full of people who might be interested in such a book. All it needs to do is (quite reasonably) fall into their hands. Bang. Adventure starts again. Is the road still going to "Rome" (a big showdown in the tomb with Unspeakable Horrors.) Nope. Now its going to Carthage (a showdown with mad cultists in their secret encampment.) Perhaps it will even take a right turn to Damascus.--Ben
QuoteAs for Mr. Lehmans post , I must confess to simply not understanding it. The whole point of dispensing the information is that unless you do so nobody will know that they are supposed to go to Rome, Carthage or anywhere else, or how to get there.
QuoteSo suppose some other NPC group gets the book. You've just moved the same problem to a different place. Now they need to find information about this new group, what they are doing and so forth, BANG! back to square one in the investigation.....so you make the book 'fall into their hands' , laboratory reagent grade illusionism at work.
Quote from: b_bankheadAs I stated in my essay 'Drifting to R'lyeh' most skill rolls in CoC don't matter much. The design of the prototypical CoC scenario makes play grind to a halt if the player's can't make their skill rolls, this forces the Keeper to hand the information out anyway, thus devaluating the whole conept of information gathering skills.
Quote from: Ben LehmanBL> Okay, when one person doesn't understand what I'm talking about, I can take offense. When too people don't, it's my fault for not explaining things clearly.
QuoteWhat I read in this thread is essentially looks, to me, like this:"In all mystery stories, the investigator moves along a string of clues until he reaches a final showdown. Since any success / failure RPG (and, I would say further, any RPG where players have decision making power over most of their character's actions) will clearly fail at generating this exact plotline, we should just admit that the whole thing is a set up, speed through it in some fashion to get to the real meat of the game, which is the final showdown."
QuoteBut there is a problem here. While I agree that the standard RPG will fail to produce exactly this plotline, I think that the investigation, the tension, the Not Knowing What Is Going On is the heart of a good mystery story. So the above solution is unsatisfying to my tastes. Further, I run investigative stories quite often without running into above mentioned problems in any way. So what am I doing that's different?
QuoteBL> You seem to assume that any investigation roll will, absolutely and completely, fail. Okay, let's work from that assumption.
QuoteNonetheless, the game continues to progress interestingly. In the beginning (Book buried in Tomb), there are whiffs of some ancient Evil, but the PCs can't find out much about it. Then (Antagonist Evil Cult finds Book), they begin to see evidence of cult activity, but can't track it to its source. Then (Antagonist Evil Cult Starts Using Book), their dead relatives start to come back, but they can't figure out why. Finally (Squamous Horror Contained In Book Is Unleashed), all the dead are rising, the sun has gone black, and they are fighting to survive in an post-apocolyptic, zombie filled wasteland. If they fail to notice that this last part is happening, this is because they are all playing characters who have no sensory perception whatsoever, in which case there isn't much that the GM can do.