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[Interest/Recruitment]Trail of Cthulhu: Arkham Detective Tales [PBP]

NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
200px-TrailofCthulhucover.jpg
It is 1934, the global economy is in Depression and the people are reeling from the Great War and the Spanish Flu. Fascism and Communism are on the rise in Europe and America’s breadbasket is turning into a desert but at least you can finally get a drink again. The world is becoming stranger, and there is a sense of dread everywhere. In New York City the rise of strange cults and weird events hasn’t gone unnoticed by the police. Certain officers end up getting reputations as being go-tos when weird shit happens. It’s not the kind of stuff they teach at the academy though, so a loose network of civilian consultants, experts in the occult, science, history, have come about to assist the police in their investigations.

Two people have both been brutally murdered and their bodies discovered today. You have all been brought in to investigate the crime due to your past experience or expertise in odd matters like this. Bring the perpetrator to justice, or at least stop more murders, and try not to die or go insane in the process.

Trail of Cthulhu
Trail of Cthulhu is an investigation based game taking place in the world of H.P Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. While similar to the Call of Cthulhu RPG it uses the Gumshoe roleplaying system.
If you are not familiar with Trail of Cthulhu a condensed version of the rules is available at the publisher's website along with a helpful guide. If you do have the game note that the condensed rules incorporate some elements from the 2nd edition of The Esoterrorists that we will be using when applicable. It is possible to create a character and play with just these resources. Let me know if you do not have the rulebook though, so I can fill you in on things as they come up.

Character Creation
We’ll be using one the campaign from Arkham City Detective Files, which actually takes place in New York City. Characters should be residents of the city and have a connection with the police. This could be as a police officer, another employee of the city, or as a civilian consultant. It’s assumed that all the characters run in the same circles and know each other at the start of play and have a reputation for dealing with weird stuff. I’d prefer if at least one person plays a police officer and one civilian consultant.

I am hoping to have a relatively fast moving game for a pbp so I would prefer if you could post at least five times per week. In order to avoid things getting bogged down as well I also am only looking for three players, so you will each have 18 Build Points in Investigative Abilities. We will also be using the Sources of Stability optional rule, for each 3 ratings points in Stability create an NPC who your character has a relationship with. A quick one sentence description like “My Mother who I have lunch with every Sunday” is enough but more is good to. At least one of these Sources should be a backup character in case your starting character dies.
Stability, Sanity, and are capped at a rating of 12, as per the Purist optional rule.

If you are playing from the Condensed Rules you will not be able to see the unique ability each background has. These are relatively minor and I will tell you the ability from your chosen background.

Game Tone: Trail of Cthulhu distinguishes between Pulp and Purist adventures, and this will be more on the Purist end of things, though using a mix of the optional rules. Even minor Mythos creatures are a grave threat to your health and sanity and a real victory may not be possible. That said a resolution to the mysteries is always going to be possible, and investigators can make the world a safer place.

A note on Player Death. I think this is an important topic to make sure everyone is on the same page with. Death will be a very real possibility in the game. Even a relatively simple fight could end with a character dying. Characters may also be driven insane by their exposure to the Mythos and be unable to continue their investigation. If this happens one of your Sources of Stability can be brought in as a replacement character.

So that's the lay of the land detective. You can back out now if you want, no one will think the less of you. Or you can keep going, try to figure out what's really going on in this city, stop some murders, and maybe even save the world. What'll it be?

Posts

  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    I want to go to there.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    I may be interested. I'm looking at a long weekend of no time, though.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • am0nam0n Registered User regular
    How experienced of players are you looking for? Also, your link in the CF Post is incorrect; it says forums-arcade instead of forums.penny-arcade.

  • ChrysisChrysis Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    I'm interested, looking through the rules now.

    Edit: Is there anyway to start with spells? The condensed rules cover casting, but not much acquiring. I'm thinking Hobo wizard.

    Chrysis on
    Tri-Optimum reminds you that there are only one-hundred-sixty-three shopping days until Christmas. Just 1 extra work cycle twice a week will give you the spending money you need to make this holiday a very special one.
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited September 2016
    I'm interested in playing, and I'm thinking I'd like to grab the Cop, if that's okay.

    Never played before but the rules seem simple enough... Here's a short bio of the character:
    Jack Lawson has been a cop for a long time, just like his father and grandfather before him. He's been around the block a few times, and he's pretty much seen it all. At least, he thought so up until a year ago, when he'd stumbled on a bunch of crazies dressed in weird, kinda shimmering robes who had abducted a woman and tried to stuff a knife through her heart.

    The woman didn't make it, but he tracked down a bunch of the cult's members, and with a lot of luck found their boss, a crook who had somehow convinced a local politician to fund his night-time activities and cover for him. The politician swears he didn't remember any of it and seemed to have lost a marble or two in the transaction, but 'cause of the girl dying he was behind bars for a long while.

    Problem is, now anytime a girl goes missing or some wacko sees a flying saucer, Jack gets a call. 'Cause he's an expert. 18 months till retirement, and suddenly everyone wants to talk to Jack about weird shit, All he wants to do is get out on the streets and make sure that his little piece of heaven is safe and orderly. Good thing Chief Conway is a good friend, so he can tell most of the people calling on his 'expertise' to piss off and figure out their own shit.

    Unlike his son Jack Jr. (who is in Library school, of all things!), his daughter Sam has decided to follow in his footsteps, and she's down at the 9th precinct... But at least she's behind a desk and safe. She's always had strong 'ideas' about how life was supposed to work and demanded (loudly) to be on the streets doing men's work... keeping her behind a desk where it was safe was a daily challenge, even with all his connections.

    God, Jack missed the old days when the streets were quiet and everyone knew their place; when he'd have to toss Bob in the drunk tank once a week and he could just take a fiver from Crooked Billy because he'd nearly got caught selling stolen furniture again. When everyone knew everyone and nobody stepped outta line. When everything made sense. These days things were hectic and chaotic and confused, and a lot of the fellas he'd respected and admired as he moved up in the force were retiring, making way for a new band of goof-offs and know-nothings who he spent way too much time drilling sense into so they wouldn't end up as smears on the street. And God knew they didn't thank him for that... but at least they were respectful, and that was all he needed from them.

    In a word, life was exciting these days... and he didn't like that one bit.

    Numbers and stuff:
    Name: Jack Lawson
    Occupation: Police Investigator
    Age: 59
    Appearance: Solidly built and imposing white man with a solid jaw and normally an expression that says "don't patronize me, I don't have time for bullshit"

    Sources of Stability: Sam (Daughter), Jack JR. (Son), Chief Conway
    Pillars of Sanity: 1) Order- The streets are safe, 2) Respect- People act according to their station, 3) Love of America and its values,


    Credit Rating: 3

    Abilities:

    Investigative abilities (18 pts):

    Interpersonal Abilities:
    *Assess Honesty: 2 (1 pt)
    *Cop Talk: 2 (1 pt)
    Bureaucracy: 2 (2 pts)
    Streetwise: 2 (2 pts)

    Academic Abilities:
    *Law: 4 (2 pts)
    Occult: 1 (1 pt)
    Theology: 1 (1 pt)

    Technical Abilities:
    *Evidence Collection: 4 (2 pts)
    *Interrogation: 6 (3 pts)
    Locksmith: 2 (2 pts)

    General Abilities (65 pts):
    *Athletics: 8 (4 pts)
    *Driving: 6 (3 pts)
    *Firearms: 6 (3 pts)
    Conceal: 3 (3 pts)
    First Aid: 2 (2 pts)
    Health: 6 (6 pts)
    Mechanical Repair: 3 (3 pts)
    Preparedness: 4 (4 pts)
    Sanity: 9 (9 pts)
    Scuffling: 5 (5 pts)
    Sense Trouble: 5 (5 pts)
    Shadowing: 5 (5 pts)
    Stability: 9 (9 pts)
    Stealth: 4 (4 pts)

    El Skid on
    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    Floyd Danville, Roving Reporter for the New York World-Telegram

    Background:
    The worst day of his life was when he saw his older brother die during The Great War. Floyd wasn't sure what he saw out on the battlefield that day, but he sure as hell knows it wasn't a German who killed his brother. After the war, he's gone out of his way to watch out for his sister-in-law, Imogene, and his teenage niece, Opal. His boss usual throws the "weird" stories his way; hobos making weird symbols in Central Park, large swarms of rats congregating around abandoned buildings.

    Other than chasing lights in the night sky, Floyd is no-nonsense, especially when it comes to chasing down a lead. He'll do anything it takes to get a story; he's not above flattery or bribery to get a scoop.

    Stats:
    Name: Floyd Danville
    Occupation: Newspaper Reporter/Photographer (New York World-Telegram)
    Age: 42

    Appearance:
    H_V_Morton.jpg

    Sources of stability:
    My 15 year old niece, Opal
    Imogene, my deceased brother's wife
    Hank Beaumont, a gumshoe I served with in the war

    Pillars of Sanity:
    Family
    Pride in my city

    Hit Threshold: 4

    Skills:
    Interpersonal
    * Assess Honesty 4
    Bureaucracy 1
    * Cop Talk 2
    Credit Rating 3
    * Flattery 2
    * Oral History 2
    * Reassurance 2
    Streetwise 2

    Technical
    * Evidence Collection 2
    Forensics 1
    * Photography 4

    Academic
    Cryptography 1
    History 1
    Intimidation 0
    Law 1
    Library Use 1

    General
    Athletics 8
    Conceal 2
    * Disguise 6
    Driving 1
    Electrical Repair 0
    Explosives 0
    Filch 2
    Firearms 2
    First Aid 2
    Fleeing 5
    Health 12
    Hypnosis 0
    Magic 0
    Mechanical Repair 0
    Piloting 0
    Preparedness 0
    Psychoanalysis 0
    Riding 0
    Sanity 8
    Scuffling 4
    Sense Trouble 4
    * Shadowing 6
    Stability 11
    Stealth 4
    Weapons 0

    dresdenphile on
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  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I may be interested. I'm looking at a long weekend of no time, though.
    That's fine, I figured I'd use the weekend to start with the recruitment.
    am0n wrote: »
    How experienced of players are you looking for? Also, your link in the CF Post is incorrect; it says forums-arcade instead of forums.penny-arcade.
    Sorry I'll fix that No experience is necessary, though if you've never played an RPG before that would make things more complicated. If you've played CoC or have familiarity with Lovecraft's fiction it'll give you a jump start, but the base of the game is pretty simple. Just make sure to let me know your experience level so I can adjust explanations and stuff.
    Chrysis wrote: »
    I'm interested, looking through the rules now.

    Edit: Is there anyway to start with spells? The condensed rules cover casting, but not much acquiring. I'm thinking Hobo wizard.
    No, your characters are assumed to basically know something weird if out there, but no specifics (hence you can't put any points into Cthulhu Mythos) which includes spells. Even when you can learn them, understanding and casting spells isn't healthy for your sanity and continued ability to function in society.
    El Skid wrote: »
    I'm interested in playing, and I'm thinking I'd like to grab the Cop, if that's okay.

    Never played before but the rules seem simple enough... Here's a short bio of the character:
    *SNIP*

    Looks good.
    Floyd Danville, Roving Reporter for the New York World-Telegram

    Background: TBD
    *SNIP*

    Also looks good.

    So interest has been high, but unfortunately I really want to stick to just three players for better play. I also don't want to just operate off a first-come-first-serve basis so I'll keep accepting application until the 6th. At that point I'll just try to pick a balanced and interesting group and use a die as a tie-breaker.

  • ChrysisChrysis Registered User regular
    OK, I'm looking at the numbers, but I'm not understanding the relationship between Fleeing and Athletics that well. The higher a characters Athletics is, the more expensive it is to increase fleeing? How does that work?

    Tri-Optimum reminds you that there are only one-hundred-sixty-three shopping days until Christmas. Just 1 extra work cycle twice a week will give you the spending money you need to make this holiday a very special one.
  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    edited September 2016
    My understanding is you can do an athletics or fleeing roll to run away...

    If you have a high athletics you dont bother buying fleeing, but if you don't it means you can have for example 1 point of athletics and 5 points in fleeing for 4 build points total, allowing you to run away without being athletic

    El Skid on
    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    Doesn't look like you need people , but if you happen to By the time pax is over - I'd be interested

  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    Yeah basically athletics can do everything that fleeing can do, so to compensate fleeing is cheaper. This allows for everyone to run away when the shoggoth shows up.

  • ChrysisChrysis Registered User regular
    Sorry, I haven't really had time to do the hard math on building a character. I'm interested, but I would really like more info on what skills govern so I'm going to look into getting more of that.

    Tri-Optimum reminds you that there are only one-hundred-sixty-three shopping days until Christmas. Just 1 extra work cycle twice a week will give you the spending money you need to make this holiday a very special one.
  • MrTLiciousMrTLicious Registered User regular
    Jozsef Andris, Doctor of Some Renown

    Bio:
    Joszef Andris was born outside Budapest in 1886. His upbringing was comfortable but by no means extravagant. Like most people, he worked a farm, but his parents placed high value on educating their sons. Jozsef was never a particularly strong man, so his usefulness on the farm was noticeably less than his brothers or sisters, though he did enjoy slaughtering the animals when the opportunity arose, and he was more than proficient. From a young age he was fascinated by the concepts of death and mortality, as well as its physical manifestation - the blood coursing through all animals' veins.

    At age 18, he was conscripted into the common army, but was allowed a deferment in order to go to Medical School at Semmelweis. Upon graduation he returned to serve. He was never any good with a firearm but did fairly well with small melee weapons. He frequently engaged in secret sparring matches with other soldiers, and gained a reputation as a fair fencer. In one of these engagements, his opponent neglected to place the safety tip on his sabre, which resulted in a serious injury to Joszef's left (non-dominant) hand, resulting in his discharge and a permanent inability to use it in dexterous motion.

    After his discharge he began working in the lab of the Austrian, Karl Landsteiner. There, he led to one of the major breakthroughs in medical technology: The existence of blood groupings. During the war, his notoriety allowed him to stay out of combat and in some fairly high social circles. Though the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire left him in a politically tenuous situation, causing him to return to Budapest to begin his own research. Karl and others received a Nobel Prize in 1930 for what was largely Jozsef's work. It is widely known that Jozsef was snubbed for political reasons.

    In 1921, he diagnosed his wife, Zsofia, with Leukemia, and frantically began research into the disease. While always staying inside ethical boundaries, he still drew criticism from elite society for the taboo nature of his work. In 1926, Zsofia passed, and many believed that Jozsef had caused her death through bizarre experimental treatments. Retreating from his life in Hungary, he left for New York shortly after this with his only child, Levente.

    In New York, he made the acquaintance of a strange dilettante by the name of Arthur Smythe that was fascinated by his work in Hungary. The two became fast friends and Arthur had soon set Jozsef up with a lab and assistants. He continued the research he began in Hungary but with fewer restraints and more secrecy. Arthur had introduced him to a strange underbelly in the city that fascinated Jozsef, inspiring him to broaden his classical medical training into seemingly unrelated areas such as Astronomy, and to use these in his research.

    Jozsef was frequently a guest of honor at Mr. Smythe's galas. It was at one of these galas in 1932 that Jozsef met the Chief of Police (Conway?), who asked him to take a look at a strange corpse. Jozsef agreed, and his superb work landed him a frequent position as a consulting pathologist and, more recently, forensic expert.

    Points:
    Drive: Thirst for Knowledge

    Health: 6
    Sanity: 9
    Stability: 9

    Sources of Stability: Levente Andris (Son), Arthur Smythe (Rich Dilettante and Patron), Margaret Carrington (Young Archaeology Professor at NYU)
    Pillars of Sanity: The absolute truth of the physical laws of the universe and scientific knowledge, Man can be relied upon to act in his best interest, The beauty of discovering the unknown

    Investigative Skills
    Credit Rating: 6(+2)
    *Accounting: 2
    *Biology: 2
    *Forensics: 4
    *Languages (Latin): 2
    *Medicine: 4
    *Pharmacy: 2
    *Assess Honesty: 2
    *Reassurance: 2
    Chemistry: 2
    Astronomy: 2
    Physics: 1
    Craft: 1

    General Skills
    Conceal: 2
    Disguise: 2
    Electrical Repair: 4
    Explosives: 2
    Filch: 1
    *First Aid: 8
    Fleeing: 8 (+4)
    Hypnosis: 2
    Mechanical Repair: 4
    Preparedness: 4
    Scuffling: 2
    Sense Trouble: 6
    Stealth: 4
    Weapons: 6

    Personal Game Experience:
    I don't have a copy of the reference book, so am playing from the condensed. Never played in a GUMSHOE game, though know a bit about Cthulhu stuff and TTRPG in general (mostly D&D-style stuff with occasional indie games like Dread/Everyone is John).

  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    @Neanden Any idea when this will start? I'm trying to contain my excitement and failing a bit :P

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    I wanted to give a little more time for the people who said they were interested but I think it's been enough time and we have three characters that I think will work well together. I can get the op for the game up tonight.

  • El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    Yay! :D

    mrpaku wrote: »
    my name is precisionk and i'm ten tanks

    wrath God fear traitor evil
  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    IC Thread is up here. I don't know how to @ you El Skid.

  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    Neaden wrote: »
    IC Thread is up here. I don't know how to @ you El Skid.

    I think you put his name in quotes, @ "El Skid" (without the space after the ampersand.

    dresdenphile on
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  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    Also, @Neaden, do we need to make a Stability check for seeing a messed up body?

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  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    In this instance I'm going to say no, it would be a 1 point stability test but you were forewarned, had time to mentally prepare yourself, and encountered the corpse in a controlled condition. Same reason morticians don't all go horribly insane. If you find a fresh corpose unexpectidly during the investigation that will be a stability test though.
    @El Skid test

  • MrTLiciousMrTLicious Registered User regular
    Did you mean to at me and not Chrysis?

  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    MrTLicious wrote: »
    Did you mean to at me and not Chrysis?

    Yeah sorry to both of you.

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