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Author Topic: Cthulhu's Clues: Why failure is not an option  (Read 11612 times)
b_bankhead
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« on: October 27, 2003, 10:00:51 AM »

Failure is not an option

As 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.

Soon after starting to play CoC it became abundantly obvious that the reason that we did this is that the flow of information in the game is like the flow of the blood in the body.  Stop it and the whole works dies.  Your heart doesn't pump when it makes a 'cardiac skill roll' the thing has to work ALL the time, and for a CoC scenario to stay alive the information HAS to flow all the time.  It's not a bonus for good dice rolling. Which is why you have to give it out whether they roll good or bad.


Quote from: Ian Charvill


For 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.



I think this is surpassingly poor advice for several reasons, first this approach inherently causes another ratcheting down of player effectiveness in a game which hardly needs this, secondly if you drop an anvil on your players every time they whiff a skill roll, they'll want to stop making them (!), finally the primary reason this is an issue is that whiffing rolls in CoC is very common, play this way and you'll waste half the party before they ahve a chance to meet the 'big bad'!

After all whats the point for punishing them when you do something you are going to have to do anyway?

Since the information must flow, the only issue remaining is doing so in an interesting and entertaining fashion. The bost interesting way is to role play it out. And since the Keeper is dispenser of secrets rather than keeper of secrets (maybe we should call him a dispenser!)  First the Keeper must make a careful list of what information is relevant to the scenario and the skills relevant to iunraveling them. When information is relevant, the keeper announces what skills can be used.  Then the players spend from a pool of points for the right to request a 'revealation' scene in which the discovery of the information is roleplayed out.

In 'forgeish'  this would translate (approxiamately) as 'Karma based scene framing' rather than 'fortune based rewarding' as the model for dispensing information

Some information could be doled out only as the result of effort, that is to say time spent on a particular activity, whether slaving over a stack of newspapers in a library or a cadaver in a morgue.

Every piece of relevant info could be given profile formated like this (effort)(skills) (content) for instance

(2 hours)(fast talk, letter of reference,Library use) ( Unpublished feature story ).

Now this is where it gets tricky.  Lets assume a player doesn't have the requisite skill. He could spend extra points to purchase a scene where a skill that he does have for example , Fast talk or even credit rating.
For example the Doctor player might spend a point to purchase an autopsy scene, while the conman might spend 2 points to purchase a scene where he worms the facts out of a doctor who performed the autopsy.

   This model is not only applicable to Call of Cthulhu.  Any game with strong investigative component that uses a fortune model for information will be beset by the sam inherent problem as Call of Cthulhu. Now as an exercise for the student, consider what a drama mechanic solution for the sam issue would look like.....

....and stay tuned for my next essay 'Chtulhubabe and darkest secret of Call of Cthulhu'.
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Ian Charvill
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2003, 11:39:25 AM »

Hey,

I think you may have read to much into my suggestion, in terms of punishing the players, but that's neither here nor there.  I do have a question though:

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?
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Ian Charvill
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2003, 11:43:36 AM »

Quote
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?


Burn SAN to learn what you need the hard way?

For a non Mythos game this could even be burn Hit Points (or whatever).  I mean how many "detective" shows have the investigator learning what he needs to know as the result of some fist fight (beating it out them, or getting an earful of gloating after being defeated).
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b_bankhead
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2003, 12:54:34 PM »

Quote from: Ian Charvill
Hey,

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?


Question 1#: Bingo!  You're right, the only function of the investigative phase   is to generate color.  You could roleplay 'Adversarial' scenes as part of the roleplay of the investigation, but the only actual outcome is to generate more color.

Question2#: This is harder to answer, at first  in my conception the only way the situation you define could crop up was if the players were actually trying to sabotage their own effectiveness since the whole idea was that ALL use of investigation points would generate relevant information.  The purpose of points was not to limit the information gathered by the party but to keep individual players from hogging all the revealation scenes.
But reading the rules for the 'Persona' game with its concept of 'just in time' character definition, makes be think that  the form that the information is given out should be defined in a 'just in time fashion'.
  Put in more detail , you have your situation to be explored and the  form that the information about that situation should be given out should be SOLEY based on what skill is being used at the time and ALL  information gathering skills should be useful.  In this model the nature of the information, (library clipping, autopsies, hanging out in bars buying drinks, whatever) are defined by the kind of scene.  This requires the keeper be good at scene framing, but it has the advantage that all information gathering skills are essentially of equal value.  It also reduces the amouth of preprep the Keeper must make.  All you need to know is what the situation is, let the players determine how the 'horror revealed'(sorry I couldn't resist) actually occurs.
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jdagna
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2003, 02:44:14 PM »

In the original thread, I'd thrown out this suggestion:

Quote
However, 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).


It seems to be a better solution to the problem than either of the ideas suggested here (at least for my play styles).  You give out the information necessary to continue, but keep investigation from being mere color by giving the players advantages in the form of more information.   Thus, you're rewarding good investigation instead of punishing bad investigation.

Is there a reason why this isn't satisfactory?
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2003, 03:03:47 PM »

This is a post on investigative games in general, but I think it applies to the thread, as CoC is simply the most common investigative RPG.

Caveat:  I love to run investigative games.  I cannot remember the last game that I ran that was not an investigative game in some variety (that's not actually true, but it was a damn long time ago.)

I do not think that there need be radical, Karma based investigation techniques (although those who enjoy them can do so.)  I think that this problem is entirely one of scenario design, and the illusion that prose fiction is at all like gaming.

In HP Lovecraft, the (lone) protagonist follows a single trail of clues to his doom, possibly saving the world and/or going mad in the process.  It seems that this is the only possible way that the information could have been uncovered, and if it had not been the scenario would have dudded out (the world ends or nothing happens -- either is dull.)

This is doomed as an RPG design, because an RPG is not authored by one person, and often includes fortune-based success/failure mechanics.  The following are very important mystery design scenarios:

1) No single piece of information is vital.
  In other words, no Old Tome in the library that Must Be Found.  Perhaps similar tidbits can be extracted from the Creepy Old Groundskeeper, the Kidnapped Cult Victim, or even the Reclusive Author.  Perhaps it is Inscribed on the Ancient Stone that Can Only Be Seen in Dreams.  This is not necessarily illusionism -- these don't need to be the same pieces of information, they merely need to all be information which can advance the plot.

2) There is never a single path to any piece of information.  This is similar to the previous, and really more of an extrapolation thereon.

3) Even if the scenario is not progressed by the PCs, it continues to progress on its own such that more information is revealed.  In short "make sure things stay interesting."  An example might be a hideous book which tells you how to make zombies..  This has many possibilities
a) If the PCs find the tome and burn it, it becomes "thank heavens no unscrupulous scientist found that."  But what if one did...
b) If the PCs find the scientist and stop him, it is "Thank heavens we stopped that madman before he unleashed Unspeakable Horror Unto the World.  But what if they fail / can't find him...
c)  It become "investigate the creepy claims of dead relatives returning and track them to their source."  But what if the PCs are dense / inept and can't do this.
d)  It becomes "night of the living dead" survival horror, trying to stop the source of all the hordes of dead rising up from their graves.  If they fail here, they probably die.  But it's still been a long strange trip.

All of these are fun games.  Moving from one to another is not a "failure" as a play group or as a GM.

So, in short, I think the whole thing comes down to the wild, screaming differences between plotting a prose story and plotting an RPG.  I do both on a semi-regular basis, so I can at least claim experience on my side.

yrs--
--Ben
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Comte
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2003, 12:07:47 AM »

You know I bumped into this problem with another game I was running in a similar vein.  Essentialy the players missed a major clue and all the sudden my campain was dead in the water.  Fortunaly it happened towrds the end of the night so I was able to save face and give myself time to think.  First of all I realized a couple of things, there is a whole bloody world circulating around the PCs.  My NPC is this really cool badass and he dose not need the PC's in order to do something.  Thier presense is unessisary for his actions.  So the bad guy wins.  It happens and it just gives the players something more painful to deal with later.  After all more people than just the PC's can possibly have a vested interest in the outcome.  For example other cultists might need a book that is being used...or materials, or even the location.  Someone might of noticed something odd and the police could of been called and the whole group could of been arrested.  In fact all the sudden it can turn into a mad dash by serveal interested forces to get ahold of the book in question.  Then there could be the added problem of a police station gone insane.  

Anyway besides, so the players screw up.  Is it the end of the world?  If so just don't make it instant.  Since the players are gonna go insane and die they can watch the planet go with it.  It could be a new unexplored avenue of play.  Eitherway, world events do not start or stop with the players.  Presumably the earth still turns without their presense so just because they screw up dosn't mean that someone else won't.  Even Indiana Jones needs lucky break sometimes.
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The Benj
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2003, 05:19:36 AM »

Another possibility is to get people to make such rolls, then award the information to whosoever made the best success. Makes that person worthwhile for (presumably) having invested in Library Use (to use a Cthulu example) or Spot (to use a D&D one) and means the game can keep going.

If the rolls are all so crap that you just can't justify this, mitigate it to partial success, meaning they take some extra time or do extra legwork or something.

If you need things to go in a certain direction for things to work, this is a good way to get them to do so.
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Rob MacDougall
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2003, 06:26:47 AM »

Hi all:

Let me preface this by saying I love CoC - for many years it was pretty much my only game. But I also loved b_bankhead's essay and thought much of it was spot on. And I think that people's natural desire to stick up for a game they love might be leading some to miss the point of what that first post said.

There is some good advice in this thread for GMs (or Keepers) who want to play CoC better without changing it. But I wonder if people see that the advice being given here in many ways goes directly to prove b_bankhead's original point.

He said that CoC games tend towards Illusionism, in particular because Investigation rolls don't really matter; the need to keep play moving forces the Keeper to dispense all the necessary clues anyway.

Much (not all) of the advice that people have offered to correct this problem has amounted to: various ways for the Keeper to dispense the necessary clues. (!)

"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.

"Award the clue to the person who rolled best." Another variation on the above, one that makes it even more obvious that the players don't have real power to affect things. So all clues are always given out, and all we're really rolling for is bragging rights.

I'm really intrigued by the idea of letting players trade Sanity for knowledge--a resource-based investigative mechanic--it seems to me like it would be supported by the genre, it would keep attention on what we love about CoC (and the original essay was dead on here, too--it's all that great great mythos color), and I think it would be hella fun to play.

There are probably other ways to breathe new life into the investigative RPG--but to me, honing the Keeper's Illusionism skills is not the way to go. (Your Madness, of course, May Vary.)

Rob
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2003, 09:47:57 AM »

Hi, Rob.  On the whole, a good post.  But I take personal issue with it, because I don't think my advice is particularly illusionist.  Not stopping the game because of problems is not Illusionism, it is the opposite thereof.

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.


BL>  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.

My point was that fiction is inherently railroaded -- there is a predestined state from the beginning of the piece.  Often, it is written "End first, beginning second, middle third" (I write this way a lot, and Lovecraft's writing shows signs of it as well.)  Role-playing games, at least interesting ones, are NOT.

I think that the problems here are ones of construction -- that mystery gaming GMs expect construct their games they way that they read mystery novels, because they don't understand the fundamental difference of medium.

yrs--
--Ben

edit: stretching my metaphors to the breaking point
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b_bankhead
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2003, 11:31:25 AM »

Quote from: Ben Lehman

BL>  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


Thanx Mr. Dougall for saving me the typing. Yes most of the responses to my idea do seem to be different ways of dispensing information. And most of them do seem to have missed the point.

As 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.

So 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.

Again failure is not an option. Most of these 'solutions' to the problem essentially turn CoC into a diceless game, or make rolling succcessfully just a bonus onto what is essentially a diceless success model.
Unless of course you want to take Comte's advice which is essentially 'so they missed the roll? ,Screw em!', hardly good advice unless flushing your scenario down the toilet because of a few whiffs (and whiffs are common in CoC) is what you consider a viable option...
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Ian Charvill
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2003, 12:02:07 PM »

I'm going to just sound a brief note of incredulity: of all the solution's suggested the original one - especially with the modification that the skill used doesn't matter - is probably the most illusionist facilitating.

I would suspect the way to avoid this would be to make it out in the open: everybody at the table knows that it they're just contributing colour to a fixed end-result:

That they discover the clue or clues that they are meant to.

Which merely exchanges a participationist technique for an illusionist one.

Now, my guess is what everyone is actually saying is that if you set up an adventure to have a specific clue train that people need to ride to get to the end, then there are a variety of techniques that can be used to make that fun.  Most people have suggested illusionist techniques.  Suggesting participationism instead is not a revolution it's a half-turn at best.

To nail my own colours to the flag: I'd tend much more towards Comte's view.  Cthulhu is a horror game: player failure is not the same as deprotagonization because in the source material failure, madness and death are part of the protagonist's role.
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Ian Charvill
Ben Lehman
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2003, 01:18:08 PM »

Quote

As 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.


BL>  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.

What 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."

But 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?

I think that there is a mental disconnect here -- the idea that an RPG can, in any reasonable way, be plotted like a novel is, in my view, fundamentally flawed.  I believe that an RPG, given that it has both a resolution system and a group of participants, is infinitely more chaotic than a novel, and that RPG plotting must take this into account, requiring much a more robust scenario style than a novel.

There are multiple ways to do this.  One of these is "All Roads Lead to Rome."  If the PCs fail to find the clues and take the "proper path," the game's world rearranges itself to match the PCs are still headed the "right way."  This is a perfectly feasible way to play, but it is not one that I like, largely because I am a flaming supporter of both heavy simulationism and player empowerment (by which I mean that player choices and rolls are meaningful) and I believe that it violates both of these goals.

Another way of solving this problem is the one that I am talk about, which might be called "This Road Doesn't Go to Rome, but There's Nice Scenery Anyway."  This is, essentially, to make the plot of the game a dynamic web of people and organizations that can react to each other and the situation at hand.  In this case, a particular missed McGuffin, NPC that the PCs decide not to care about, or "gain a clue roll" botched does not derail the game because the setting itself -- what one might call the "situation as a whole" is interesting, and continues to develop in the absence of PC action.  A particularly useful Horror version of this is what I was talking about above -- a scenario which will "naturally" play itself out in a certain manner, provided that the PCs don't interfere.  If the PCs interfere, they game resolves itself around that interference.  But, if they choose to not interfere or are unable to (through fortune whiffs) the setting continues to change in ways that are continually interesting, and allow them new avenues of exploration.

Quote

So 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.


BL>  You seem to assume that any investigation roll will, absolutely and completely, fail.  Okay, let's work from that assumption.
  Nonetheless, 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.

This is a scenario in which the PCs, essentially, have failed every avenue of investigation.  It is in no way similar to the "initial scenario," which might have had them tracking the book to its place Sealed Beneath the Earth, but that doesn't matter at all, because it is still interesting.  Failure is plainly, clearly, and completely an option.  Further, the investigatory skills are "meaningful" in that they change the course of the plot and the outcome of the game.  I cannot think of a more "meaningful" sort of character ability.

I'm not trying to say that this is The Only Way To Do Things.  I'm not trying to say that most "investigative" and "horror" scenarios written for RPGs aren't terribly written.  I'm just trying to say that this is a very useful technique for generating good investigative games.

yrs--
--Ben
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2003, 02:38:22 PM »

Quote from: b_bankhead
As 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.

Just for the record, I want to pose another sort of CoC play that contradicts this. Really Gamist CoC. In that sort of play, the monsters are just D&D monsters, and if you fail to find the clue, then the scenario is over, you lose. I'm not inventing this style, I've played in such games. That's right, the big bad doesn't ever appear unless you're good enough to look in the right places. This works "best" with a locational scenario, where it's not really up to the luck of the player rolls, but physical investigation.

Mike
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b_bankhead
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2003, 05:00:11 PM »

Quote from: Ben Lehman

BL>  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.


And why would you take offense at an honest misuderstanding?

Quote
What 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."


Well actually I think the meat of Call of Cthulhu is the color, everbody playing the game knows the structure of the typical scenario.  I don't think there is very much dramatic tension there.

Quote
But 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?


In my karmic model for revealing information the tension of not knowing is not removed.  Until the investigative phase is over they still don't know what's going on.  



Quote
BL>  You seem to assume that any investigation roll will, absolutely and completely, fail.  Okay, let's work from that assumption.
 
Please do, since it wouldn't be an issue if the rolls didn't fail...

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Nonetheless, 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.


Of course this is always an option, just most people don't want to trash their campaign world because of bugs in how the investigation mechanic works.  Indeed my whole feeling is that the progression you describe is not the result of player choices, but bad rolls, which is a different thing. There are still plenty of player choices to be botched in the the final confrontation which need not  necessarily go the way the players want.
Likewise most of us design scenarios so that player mistakes won't be so catastrophic. Most of us don't want to change an investigative game into survival horror....
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