The Crypt Keeper's page

35 posts. Alias of Auxmaulous.


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The Crypt Keeper strongly recommends some overlooked (or underrated) flicks...

Night of the Demon (1957)
The Fog (Original 1980)
The Changeling (1980)
Quatermass and the Pit (aka Five Million Years to Earth) (1967)(great movie for horror gamers - CoC, Chill).

On a bizzaro side note - there is a very odd interpretation of the story "Who goes there?" (influence for the Thing From Another World/The Thing (JC) called Horror Express.
A crappy/lovely film staring Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee on the Trans-Siberian Express circa 1906. On the train is a fossil of some ape-like humanoid that actually houses an ancient evil alien mind that awakens and causes havoc on the train. It can take over individuals and transfer body-to-body while reanimating the corpses of prior victims.

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Skeeter Green wrote:

It needes more....

"send ...more... adventurers...."

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I hope we get a Jack the Ripper like character wandering the Blight...and if not that, then at least a whole cult comprised of them.

I do need to work on my understanding of the phrase "and if not that..."

Not a bad deal actually - for 95 bucks you get the adventure and scenario book (300-325 pages) and a book of Lost Spells (200 pages) + pdfs + free shipping US.

I backed this one early on but I still need to add the book of Lost Spells.

Well - looking at my 5.6 char sheet (I have my 6th ed at home)

Magic Points on 7th ed only goes up to 24 on the sheet
There are some small changes to hp (dead and unconscious markers)
There is a huge tracker for a new luck resource (goes from 99 to "out of luck")
Skills have their default values listed, few new skills (per 5.6, some of these feel familiar to me so I think they showed up in 6th or in one of the expansion books/keeper guides)

Appraise (05%)

Art changed to Art/Craft

Astronomy, bargain and Biology not default skills (not on char sheet) (now sub listed under Science - old skills there, just not on default list in specific heading)

Charm (15%)
Conceal is dropped

Fight(Brawl) (25%) replaces the old melee values (grapple, fist, head, kick)
Firearms (Hand Gun) (20%)
Firearms (Rifle/Shotgun) (25%)

Geology and Hide are dropped

Intimidate (15%)
Lang (Other) (01%)
Martial Arts (01%) (need to read up on the logic of this one)

Natural History changed to Natural World

Pharmacy and Photography dropped (Pharm is under Science, photography is under Art/Craft as a subheading (with its own paragraph))

Science (01%) - this replaces the Biology/Geology et al

Sneak is dropped
Slight of Hand (10%) (replaces conceal - from the read)

Stealth (20%) (replaces sneak and hide - assuming, haven't read all the rules yet)

Survival (10%)

There is also an option to "Push" skills - a player justified 2nd check on a failed roll with dire consequence if a pushed check is failed.

Tensor wrote:
The Crypt Keeper wrote:

Ok, back from the Crypt...

If you have specific questions ask away

If I use a 6th edition character sheet for a 7th edition character, will I have to add anything to the layout/design of the sheet?

Since both sheets have slots for missing skills it would be very easy to write in anything - though you would need to cross out a few older skills (hide, Astronomy, etc) due to the skill re-org.

Overall the Luck tracker is the biggest change.

Ok, back from the Crypt...and as promised (if not delayed)

Core Rulebook Proof clocks in at 438 pages
Investigator Handbook Proof clocks in at 271 pages

Core Rulebook (full color inside)
- Introduction
- HP Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos
- Creating Investigators
- Skills
- Game System
Skill Rolls
Bonus/Penalty Dice
Investigator Development Phase
- Combat
- Chases
- Sanity
- Magic
- Playing the game
- Tomes of Eldritch Lore
- Grimoire (Spells)
- Artifacts and Alien Devices
- Monsters, Beasts and Alien Gods
- Scenarios
Amidst the Ancient Trees
Crimson Letters
- References
- Index

Investigator Handbook (full color inside)
- Introduction
- The Dunwitch Horror (full story, should be read by prospective players) (20 pages)
- Creating Investigators
- Occupations (much expanded from Keepers Core book)
- Skills (repeat of core rules entries)
- Investigator Organizations
- Life as and Investigator
- The Roaring 20's
- Advice for players
- Reference

If you have specific questions ask away - mechanically it feels the same, looks good overall and would recommend for any group considering CoC.

The fact that their is some repetition between books is good, this may be the 1st instance where Call of Cthulhu has a fully functional and separate Players Handbook - so this is a good thing.

Tensor wrote:
The Crypt Keeper wrote:

I just received the proofs of the 7th ed the other day. Looks beautiful (as far as books go), but the rulebook plus players guide are what - 600 pages?

I need to sit down tonight and read the pdf and see what changes they made to the game overall.

Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!

Beautiful books - maybe too much on the graphics overlay and layout (vs. say the B&W text of 5th or 6th ed books). Color and massive - the largest set of core CoC material out there to date (combining both books).

I should have brought it on my thumb drive - I will post some details when I get back to the Crypt.

I just received the proofs of the 7th ed the other day. Looks beautiful (as far as books go), but the rulebook plus players guide are what - 600 pages?

I need to sit down tonight and read the pdf and see what changes they made to the game overall.

I once sold a bridge to a guy...

Told him - "It's a great investment, and if things don't work out for you financially you can always jump off of it."

Turns out - owning a bridge isn't such a great investment.

Odraude wrote:
At least, any more living gulls.

Ah yes, the "Circle of Death".

I won't go over the game tricks to make a scenario or encounter scary (since that has already been covered), but instead I'm going to focus on the actual rules and changes that may be needed.

I think horror is mechanically difficult under the d20/PF system and I personally would not try to run a campaign unless I radically re-worked the rules.

Mechanical changes that I would make if you were going to make a PF based horror game or campaign. You can use some, a few or even none of these changes, but adopt and adapt the focus of my intent with these 5 points.

Here they are:

1) Frequency of encounters and number of encounters:

- I would take the quality over quantity approach when it comes to encounter generation (unless using an encounter that is based off of high numbers - re:swarm). This means that you would have to consider re-stating encounters to be a little bit tougher/unique but much less frequent than the game is designed to handle. With that in mind, even tougher creatures (see following) may be vulnerable to character novas - since they know encounters are going to be less frequent.
Ex: Zombies have considerably more hp and flat DR (critical hit to avoid DR) that makes them very hard to fight. Add in some kind of limited regeneration when they reach 0 hp and you will see the PCs trying to brain or destroy the corpses while they are down - or run like hell if there are too many of them. So even if the party casters were to nova it really wouldn't much matter -since each encounter is built with the nova in mind. Insane - yes, it is insane. No chump encounters, no spell burning encounters. When they meet up with something - it should be overwhelming, deadly and scary.
- CR would have to be adjusted accordingly. Individual encounters are reduced in number and frequency, but encounters are tougher = worth more in XP to make up for the difference.

2) Rules (Creatures):

Creatures need new rules under a dedicated horror game.

- Creatures do not follow PC/NPC character standard build rules. Focus on encounter design/assigning powers/abilities more on desired need and effect vs. the standard "build" guidelines given for making encounters or creatures. Balance out CR after - but focus should be on effect or need of ability, not so much on "making it all add up".
- Creatures should have powers outside the realm of those controlled by the characters. Now, that doesn't mean make up stuff as you go along. Establish powers and abilities, and rules governing them and then follow those as structured rules for the creature.
Ex: You want Ghouls to be tougher/solo threat monsters vs. the fodder roll that they currently occupy in the game. New ghouls can now animate dead, take only 1/4 damage from all attacks and are X harder to turn. You have changed the way ghouls work in your game = up the CR.
- You can break certain rules as long as you follow the break consistently. Ex: For our up-powered Zombies we have increased their hp and DR,+ regeneration ability, but we keep their to-hits and damage within a level appropriate range (whatever that may be). So they can pound and attack the party (with low-to hit numbers) while taking tremendous amount of damage - slowly whittling down the party via attrition.
- Creatures of this nature should be used sparingly. Standard dungeon design sort of goes out the window in horror gaming.
- Partial XP rewards. Repeat threats that are not defeated (BBEG or main henchman/creature/minion) should yield some xp to progress both the story and characters when they are encounter but one side or the other flees. It builds both tension and a sense of accomplishment if you give the PCs something for surviving an "encounter", even if the monster isn't defeated at the time the encounter concludes.

3) Rules (Characters):

- Players should have low stat arrays
- PC classes should be the exception and not the rule. In other words, in the small town the PCs Paladin may be the only Paladin. Eliminating PC classes in the NPC pool - in addition to reducing the number of higher level NPCs puts the weight on the player’s heads. I would prefer a Points of Light style campaign world over High Fantasy to get this accomplished. Hell, the PCs Paladin may not just be the only Paladin in town, but also in the surrounding area. When dealing with horror most NPCs will be ignorant, superstitious, fearful and powerless. Considering my variation on non-divine magic (see following), it wouldn’t be a surprise that people would turn to the church or faith as the only way to deal with the darkness and the things that reside inside.
- Limit resources: Now coupled with increased individual creature power/encounters this can be incredibly deadly. That’s the point. The lethality of a horror based campaign or game should be a tick higher than standard RPG fare. Limiting resources can include:
-Dumping WBL
-No magic mart
-limited magic weapons and items available
-No item creation, or if it exists it comes with great risks and at great price.

- Cap HPs. Hit points could start at x3 normal, and only go up 1 or 2 points per level thereafter (if Full BAB class). Everyone has a similar range of hp with exceptions for higher levels.

So PCs should have lower PB for stats, and maybe higher starting (but nearly fixed) hit points.

Keeping unaligned magic in check
As a variant - you could tie magic = corruption.
For each non-divine/non-good spell used the character will tally up corruption points. There could be a way to atone for some of these (reducing the bank) by doing good deeds/fighting horror, but the idea is that people who use magic are going to eventually be turned over to evil.

4) General rules:

- Change the chase/fleeing rules. When I go over the Nemesis section this will also help.
Characters should be able to escape/flee encounters easier. No more AoO when fleeing and maybe even allow dice challenges and round-by-round initiative to conduct chases/PCs fleeing. So they can try to get away, get some bonus points to escape by putting objects or barriers between the "thing" that is chasing them. running from the encounter before they are prepared to fight it should be rewarded, not punished.

- Fear or sanity rules. These can be tough - telling a player that they are scared is one thing, having a mechanic that gives the players some drawbacks and simultaneous boons while being terrified can make for some interesting gaming. Sanity rules: similar to corruption - over a long enough timeline fighting horror should take its toll on PCs. Sanity and corruption rules can help track and manage that.

5) Nemesis:

- BBEG should be handled as a nemesis that can make more interactions with the PCs than the standard "throne room battle". Under these rules the BBEG should be pretty damn hard to kill (considering that each encounter/minion is already beefed up) and using the chase/escape rules plus combined with unique powers allows the DM to make the main "horror" appear and even fight the party a few times before the final showdown.
- Having some horror themed base abilities/SLAs gives the main nemesis the fighting power to deal with multiple foes. High hp, DR and SLAs/inherent abilities that affect or disrupt spells all work to make a single foe battle very possible. Having a "special" way to kill the BBEG is even better – think of how difficult it is to kill a vampire, well each BBEG should be on that level of special need and attention to destroy. It should never be a case of "buff up and mash buttons" and hope for the best. That should lead to failure. The Players are going to need to gather intel to find the hidden threat, and then find the means to stop the threat (who won’t be so hidden at that point).
It should never be about the BBEG reaching 0 hit points or failing a SOD save.

These are radical departures for what is being put out there by everyone else, but I figure I would throw mine in.
Again, I would go with another system, but these are the changes I would propose to Faylon or any other DM who wants to run a horror game using the D20 system. Running a module under the current rules is one thing – a whole horror campaign is another –and imo, the current rules do not support the latter.

I love that State, go there every year if I can and have considered moving out there for good on a few occasions.

On the Cthulhu side - maybe have a swamp village of natives who the other villagers avoid and shun. Basically a village of human/deep one hybrids who worship the Great Old One. The villagers often trade their children or women to the Deep Ones on the coast/edge of the swamp in exchange for lost treasures, increased bounty when fishing and helpful magic to provide boons or to curse their neighbors.

I suppose the issue would be what time period are you attempting to replicate?
Is this the early days of the settlement? Under French or Spanish control, pre- or post- Civil War (the South in decline) era? Will the history be similar to ours, with just with fantasy equivalents (bringing in non-native creatures to the region, slavery, changing foreign allegiance/sponsorship)? Are their stately manors and plantations at their peak of production or have things gone on the decline with many of them in ruins (or maybe a mix)?

Once you get that pegged down you can decide a little more on the creatures that would fit. The more urbane it is the less "large" and "wild" monsters you would have running around - there would be more insidious and cryptic threats: Dopplegangers, vampires, werewolves, axe wielding serial killers (lol), cults, etc.

I think once you understand the mixes of ethnicities and cultures that came to make up Louisiana/NOLA and if you can replicate that, then you will be able to get the "proper" feeling going. I suppose you could substitute fantasy races for RL human distinctions - not sure how that would work.

I miss me some gumbo shop.

Some of the nicest people and best tasting food.

Maybe I got that last part mixed up?

Kthulhu wrote:
The only question is: Will the extra day allow RA to reclaim the crown?

Both the Crown and Rod Kthulhu, maybe even the Orb.

F. Wesley Schneider wrote:

Very cool all, and lots of food for thought. Keep it coming.

So, to drill down a bit, say we did another book on... (I'll be selfish here) devils. With all in Book of the Damned 1 about the layers of Hell and Hell's big bosses, there's really NOT a ton on gelugons and barbazus and imps and pit fiends. Should there be? Or are fiendish leaders intrinsically more interesting than their infinite mooks? Would you be interested in getting a "Devils Revisited" book that covers the highest profile devils, but would knowing that we could only do 10 devils in that format (when there's more than 20 out there) be a deal breaker? Or if we created a new format for such a "Devil Henchmen" book, what would you want to see in it?

I don't think this is what you are looking for (since you seem to be asking about types of specific NPC types) but since the topic is up...

I would love to see a book covering more Satani....err..Diabolical henchmen (types), cults and cult organization, the infernal go-betweens (low to mid CR petitioners or servants/assassins/executioners), magic, pacts and evil tomes/items. In other words - the aspects the Diabolical as it directly affects the game world from level 1-16. Not specific NPCs per se, but types, examples templates, etc.

I guess for me my big influences were the great movies of the 70's - from the Omen (BBEG) to the Exorcist (Possession,albeit demonic) to the more exploitative witch hunter stuff: The Witch Finder General, Blood on Satan's Claw, et al. A book covering the effects of the Diabolical on society, communities and politics would be cool. Maybe a separate "Fiend Hunters guide" would also be nice.

And more fiendish templates! Fiends of all sorts corrupt the prime material plane in more ways than co-mingling blood. Their very presence would cause create all sorts of malignancy on the local environment - from animal/human mutations and defects to the dead being unquiet, to other ominous effects on nature.

I would love to be able to repeat these tropes with some extra Crypt Keeper tools:

The Evil Scion (the Omen)
The Possessed Villager (the Exorcist)
The Secret Cabal/Coven/Cult (the original Wicker Man, et al)
The Cult/Fiend Fighter (too many to name)

This may shift the infernal over to straight horror but I always felt the two went hand and claw anyway.

The Sound of Music
Peter Pan
It's a Wonderfull Life
Mary Poppins
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Forrest Gump
Miracle on 34th Street
The Wizard of Oz

....all scare the hell out of me

Now for some good family viewing -

The Exorcist
The Omen (1976)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
The Changeling
The Exorcist III (everything but the last 10 min)*
The Legend of Hell House
The Wicker Man (original)
Halloween (JC version)
The Shining

Honorable Mention -
Twilight Zone/Night Gallery TV shows - Selected Episodes (Not a movie,
I know)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Zombie (Lucio Fulchi)
Night Of the Demon (1957)

and too many others to mention here...


That or a Bard (Detective APG) with a tremendous ability to BS his way out of problems.

Bruno Kristensen wrote:

Actually, looked around a bit more: PG/rules/belladonnaWolfsbaneLycanthropyCure

Apparently, in 3.5 Belladonna and Wolfsbane were the same, which probably caused my confusion...and the verdict is still out...oh well...putting the DM's hat on and trying to find some in game solution.

Well, breaking with the rules you can always go authentic (as authentic as it gets with lycanthropes) and go full on exorcism. A long drawn out ritual of sorts (which may still kill the PC) which purges the body of the evil spirit.

Of course if the guy was sort of evil or very neutral from the start forget it, the Shift will start even faster.

Just an out, with a historic (earth) precedent. Considering the time which has alread passed I would not make it too easy.

That is the whole fear/danger aspect of fighting lycanthropes.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Would not remove curse work?

Magical disease and curses are not cleared by Raise Dead.

Best bet, put a silver blade/arrowhead/bolt into him (take your pick) and make sure you bury him deep.

It would be interesting to see if this turns violent.

I think that there are two sides in this country that hate/despise each other and they need to work things out - even if it goes all 1861.

This country is way overdue for a reset.

...or a shut off.

Either one would be good - anything less means a co-opted movement and someone got paid off.

Jeremiziah wrote:

I would like to hear more about why Hama feels the players have no business seeing the rolls - I agree that they have no business seeing the statblocks, but I use Combat Manager for those, so that's not a real concern for me. I don't think "they have no business" is really a reason, and would be curious to hear what the reason is.

I am curious to hear other's opinions on the matter as well. Engage. Please?

IMO, they have no business if their knowledge gained from die rolls would affect their game - i.e. meta play. That is the data their PCs are trying to figure out through trial and error (or experience – I’ll give them a roll to asses an enemy).

If for example a die roll would reveal an assumed number for a targets AC - no big deal, if it is a tough/special/boss foe, then yeah - I don't want my players doing the quick math to figure out the exact number they need to hit, they'll figure it out quickly enough.
When they are getting attacked there is no reason for them to know what the incoming attack value is, none besides there being a trust issue with the DM. If that is the case you have bigger issues in your game than "hidden rolls".

When it comes to save DCs they get to roll their own die, even if I keep the number hidden (same effect as the hidden "to hit"). Through trial and error, and comparing rolls they will figure it out - it's just usually not given to them up front.
They don't get to see the opponent's rolls because it isn't in their sphere of control. Again, this is for new foes, new creatures, etc. I don't make the effort if they have a few levels and it's their 3rd encounter with a squad of orcs. They don't get to see the stat blocks but all the die rolls are out in the open unless there is a hidden foe (sneaking enemy assassin), unknown/third threat, etc - aspect to the fight…that stays hidden.

Same applies for perception checks - I usually have that plus a bunch of other relevant information PC information on a cheat sheet (when I am organized) so I can make secret perception and applicable skill checks (passive).

As their knowledge of the situation changes so does the hiding of die rolls. The first opening salvos against the BBEG are hidden, after a few rounds the enemy die rolls (and calculated info by the players) come out in the open. It could be a couple of rounds of hit & miss, or several rounds if fighting a very detailed and flexible foe.

As far as player entitlement goes - my players are smart guys, they don't get handouts and anything they do find out they have to gain - nothing is handed over to them. They would actually be disappointed if they knew the AC of an enemy after a single roll, or if it was blurted out. They like the challenge of figuring out their foes - keep in mind this is for special NPCs, new creatures they have never fought, etc. I don't make the effort for foes they have fought on more than one occasion (say trolls) if they are all 7th level unless there a unconventional aspect to the troll. It comes down to what would be open knowledge for their chracters at their level.
I am more flexible with newer players, or those with less game insight/mastery, but as far as I'm concerned - experienced players: tough s@&$, figure it out.

Everyone is different, it works for my group.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
There where those that had managed to hide items of value of course and some did well, especially on the black market but the state had siezed all the means of production and had broken up all the large land holding by the time Stalin was in complete control (roughly 1929). Most that could, and where likely to be targets of the state, had already fled either east or west. China was crawling with White Russians during this period and the Germans raised several divisions of White Russian troops but these where no longer wealthy. Once the state seized the means of production is was nearly impossible to really amass wealth outside of the black market. Even those in the government did not really have much wealth - they just had access to more and better perks.

I don't want to sound insulting but I have to question your sources.

My family had money (yes, it was hidden in portable cash -jewelry, etc) an they (and many others with money) had stuck around the SU long after 1929, as a matter of fact they stuck around till the actual invasion of the SU and they ended up in occupied territory (it was in the Ukraine).

They used that money (I would assess lower upper or upper middle class) to bribe Red Army Officials to get a few of my uncles out of continued service and the rest of their money (and leaving their homes behind) to get the hell out of that country.

And yeah, better perks is right - such as having retarded men accused of being Nazi spies and subsequently deported never to be seen again, or accusing people of disloyalty to the almighty Soviet State so you can take ownership of their home. Maybe less perks and more pull?


It was not the wealthy that where rising up to fight the Russians after the German invasion but specific ethnic groups, like Ukrainian for example, hoping to throw of the Russian yoke. Hence we don't see many actual Rus turn on the regime but we do see a lot of Estonians etc. do so.

I agree with you that if the Germans had instead provided the Ukrainians etc. with promises of independence and armed them, instead of trying to starve them to death to make room for hypothetical German colonists the Germans would probably have been able to at least Stale mate the Soviet Union and maybe would have been able to defeat them.

Well not just promises but actually not burning people alive in their homes would have helped. I do believe that the Russians would have turned on their commie masters but for all the horror stories from the advancing front and free propaganda provide by those atrocities. Hitler was right about the "kick the door" comment, that is if they were only attacking the Communist infrastructure, but they didn't leave it at that - they wanted to get at the millions of Jews living in the SU and they let the dog off the leash. If they engaged in nation building/restoration instead of scorched earth tactics the SU would have collapsed on itself.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I don't really see any evidence that Hitler was particularly anti-capitalist. He turned on the left wing of the National Socialist Party and purged it during the Night of Long Knives more or less the moment large German business interests which where finally lining up to get into bed with Hitler. Hitler was anti big business only so long as big business was anti-Hitler. It seems likely that he craved the attention and respect of powerful mean of industry and was willing to sacrifice the left wing part of his political party to get it.

Didn't get a chance to respond to this earlier but I wanted to comment. Hitler was staunchly anti-capitalist, primarily because much like Communism he saw this as another tool of control from Jews. Did he use big industry to fund and supply his war machine, yeah - but he merely tolerated them as a necessary evil and means to an end (just like he did Christianity). And those companies did NOT get to choose what they produced - they produced for the State and for the war or their assets were seized. Not exactly freedom to produce what you want or even close free market capitalism. He utilized aspects of socialism and state control far more than any western notion of Capitalism or free-market thinking.

Too bad you deleted your earlier post about the Night of the Long Knives purge, some interesting views (didn't wholly agree) but it had some good observations about the "leftist" purges within the SA/SS and party.

Anyway, sorry for the derail, I'll let everyone get back to discussing how brilliant Bill Maher is with his college level of political discourse and easy insights into the debt ceiling problem.

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
The Crypt Keeper wrote:
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Hudax wrote:

Just take it all. All of it. For ONE year. Say thanks and point them to the line for 2nd mortgages (on their multiple homes) and remind them they'll be just fine in 12 months. We've left a much higher percentage of poor/homeless people out to dry for as long as anyone can remember, what's the deal with this 2%?

Yes! Yes!

That's what I'm talking about!

...but why only for 12 months?

Stalin would be proud...

...the ghost of my relatives murdered by his socialist/communist regime...not so much.

Rich Russians where long gone by the time Stalin really had the levers of power. It was mainly poor agricultural peasants that died under Stalin's regime.

There were people who still had personal wealth and property, many actually. Some were hoping that the incoming Germans would save them, alleviate the situation (as it was). Had they been nice to the citizens instead of executing them with their Einsatzgruppen they (3rd Reich) would have actually defeated the Soviet Union.

They weren't rich, but there were still many well off - many who had to hide their money and more who had to leave behind their accumulated wealth from their work/businesses and also their family homes, etc, just to get the hell out of the SU.

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:


Nonsense, Marx created the seed idea for socialism and subsequent next step - communism.
No, he didn't. There were many socialist theorizers (Charles Fourier and Robert Owen, for example) before Marx.

Yeah, I understand that, communism as a practice/idea (at least on a tribal level) goes back way further in time than when it was popularized in the last few centuries. Marx/Engles just put it in a nice package for popular consumption.

ciretose wrote:
CunningMongoose wrote:
The Crypt Keeper wrote:

Stalin would be proud...

...the ghost of my relatives murdered by his socialist/communist regime...not so much.

Blaming Marx for Stalin is like blaming Einstein for Hiroshima.
Or Adam Smith for Hitler...

No, that just shows your ignorance. Seems like you guys (marxist) will go to any length/depth to defend your leader.

Wealth of Nations does not equal Mein Kampf nor does the Invisible Hand correlate with National Socialism, you guys are actually closer to owning that one.

Hitler was an anti-capitalist and even though he hated Marxism they (as a party) did espouse socialist ideology - instead of it being based on workers/owners of production it was based on race, same garbage.

Still pretty pathetic with the Adam Smith reach.

CunningMongoose wrote:
The Crypt Keeper wrote:

Stalin would be proud...

...the ghost of my relatives murdered by his socialist/communist regime...not so much.

Blaming Marx for Stalin is like blaming Einstein for Hiroshima.

Nonsense, Marx created the seed idea for socialism and subsequent next step - communism. Stop trying to paint him as a misunderstood genius.

No different than Eugenics garbage pushed by Rüdin.

A violent ideology (marxism) that necessitates revolution and theft for it to function properly.

And yes, Einstein (and men like him) were at least partially responsible for Hiroshima. Einstein admitted culpability and regret on many occasions after the war - that he suggested that the bomb be made in the first place and that the bomb was actually used.

Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Hudax wrote:

Just take it all. All of it. For ONE year. Say thanks and point them to the line for 2nd mortgages (on their multiple homes) and remind them they'll be just fine in 12 months. We've left a much higher percentage of poor/homeless people out to dry for as long as anyone can remember, what's the deal with this 2%?

Yes! Yes!

That's what I'm talking about!

...but why only for 12 months?

Stalin would be proud...

...the ghost of my relatives murdered by his socialist/communist regime...not so much.

James Jacobs wrote:
While the ghoul is indeed from folklore, the way they behave in RPGs owes an AWFUL lot to Lovecraft. And the ghast as a tougher version of a ghoul owes pretty much 100% to Lovecraft.

I can agree on the way Ghouls were depicted in AD&D as being HPL inspired, Ghasts were described as totally different creatures in Dream-quest of Unknown Kadath. In that story they were more animal/bestial than humans (in shape) and considerably larger than ghouls. I don't think it meshes with what has been accepted as the D&D presentation of a ghast which is just a super-ghoul.

Here are a few minor things off the top of my head that I have used in the past-

Of course no mechanical value unless you decide to attach one or make them part of a haunt.

-Far off faint screaming or moaning
-Far off sound of children crying or laughing
-Far of sound of baby crying (or could it be some kind of animal?)
-Far off Chime or bell ringing
-Far off low-frequency sound (steady drone, or pulse). Sounds like...silence but very perceptive characters may detect it (and "feel it")
-Close and abrupt and very loud: crash, slam, or scream in ear (only one player in party hears it)
-Close and slow: building or structure shifting/moving/rumbling/making noise
-Close growling, scratching or whimpering (animal). Source cannot be found.
-Far off or close: foot falls - slow footsteps ahead/behind party, sound of running ahead/behind party.
-Far off or close: Thumps, sound of dragging, sound of something hitting the ground hard (like a sack). If in a building sounds could be coming from above/below.

Olfactory/Smells (One or more people may detect these but it is nice if it is just one person is singled out):
-Faint/Strong odor of something burnt (meat, wood, other strange burnt smell)
-Faint/Strong odor of incense
-Faint/Strong odor musk
-Faint/Strong odor rot/decay
-Faint/Strong odor blood/metallic scent

-Figure in distance/corner of eye: Solid white figure/solid black figure
-Figure in distance/corner of eye: Old man or old woman (w/black dog, holding hand of small child, holding something in arms close to chest)
-Disappearing dead body(s) - This is best used for the forward guy (alone) to spot and in combination with other things to distract his focus. Dead body: fresh bloody kill, mutilated, animal, child, multiple bodies. Once attention is removed it (they) disappear.
-Corpse: fresh bloody kill, mutilated, animal, child, multiple bodies.
-Fresh/Old grave(s): marked/unmarked, holy/unholy symbol marker, old/fresh flowers, child’s toy on top, empty (dug up/freshly made) grave(s), skeletal hand clawed out of top, ruptured grave and coffin
-Wall scratches: claw marks (with blood, with blood and broken fingernails), strange writing (dead tongue, warning, characters name), incomplete spell or ritual
-Footprints (boot, bare humanoid (adult, child), bare humanoid skeletal, deformed humanoid, dragging foot, dragging heavy weight): Wet, muddy, bloody, dust/stain

-Metallic/bloody taste
-Bad taste in mouth
-Dry mouth

(Hardcore Mode: Warning on use, do not overuse):

-Nausea/vomiting: Food with maggots, broken glass, strange food/animal parts, blood

You can great creative but best only used with players who will want to go this far and will play up the part.

Touch/General Perception:
-Unexpectedly icy cold or very hot (no damage) to the touch.
-Temperature gets very cold or hot as party moves from one spot to another (and back)
-One player gets very cold or hot
-Temperature suddenly gets very cold or hot (stays, or just passes)
-Pressure increases in area (feel constrained)
-Pressure decreases in area (feel light headed)
-Feel things on skin (on or more players): hand/face/neck/up leg - Crawling things, slime
-Sleeping (could all be part of dreams): Pressure on chest (something sitting on chest, constraining pressure), Sleep paralysis, Loud noise waking character (no noise), Sensation of being touched on hand, feet, face or hand or legs being pulled.
-Sensation of: being watched, unease, nausea (passing), foreboding/something very bad about to happen (may or may not be true)
-Minor ailment: headaches, pressure in ears, aches and pains. May be associated with an area and passes as soon as area is left or even occurs.

As a general warning to any and all DMs who use these tricks be careful

First Warning: Some mechanically oriented players will want to know the hows and whys of what is going on. They may want to defeat these effects or features since they may feel that they are tied to an evil source. These are dressings, not red herrings (unless you want them to serve as a set of distraction) but they can also be tied to greater evils or parts of haunts so they can (as a bag of effects as you assign them) be defeated. Even if some of the effects don't follow the rules a good idea would still give them a chance to put this stuff to rest - one way or another.

Second warning: Know your players; do not use these on the most vulnerable players but on those willing to go along and who want to play along. Some of these are very invasive, personal and unheroic – you need to know your players and how far they are willing to go. Be prepared to reward them for their tolerance and diligence.
Do not use these as toolsto embarrass or humiliate people; these ideas are not here to punish players but to illustrate moods and associate their environment with the evil they are dealing with. Do not abuse these ideas in overuse and do not use them as an invasive tool to punish or affect behavior.

Your third and final warning: do not use these randomly. Players want answers and while answers are not always forthcoming there still should be some sense of cohesive reason, even if not evident at first. Here are a few examples of combined choices:

Sample set-up:
-Visual: Old man and small child, old man helping stooped over or injured person (blood from mouth and on chest). Seen out of corner of eye or up ahead in distance (disappears)
-Faint/Strong odor blood/metallic scent
-Close and slow: structure shifting
-Metallic/bloody taste
-Bad taste in mouth
-Nausea/vomiting: blood
-Minor ailment: stomach pains
-Cold spots

So we have a series of evens occurring as the party explores a ruined tower in an abandoned part of town. The figure of the old man is seen, at first it is very fleeting (corner of eye, etc) but as the party investigates more they see him more clearly, then with other figures (usually leading small children or aiding injured bloody figures)
Periodically various party members will have a bad taste in their mouth, develop stomach pains and one may even vomit blood (again, depends on how long this runs and how far you want to push it).
The cold spots, the structure shifting are tied to other things in the background :

As the party finds out (from their explorations) the old tower was used by the town wizard and sanctioned defender. When it was later found out that the wizard was practicing the black arts and was poisoning people (symptoms would include stomach pains, vomiting blood) for unknown reasons. His preferred victim of choice would be children from the nearby orphanage but he would also occasionally snatch up a drunk townsperson or guardsman. After some time and more than a few witnesses he was charged and convicted for his crimes. His tongue was removed he was also was maimed and then walled away inside his tower. After this disgrace and several years the section of town that housed his tower fell upon ill rumor and disrepair. After many more decades stories begin to surface that when they originally sealed up the wizard and confiscated his goods he had a secret cache of treasure which was never found. So hidden treasure in spooky tower, no one wants to even hit that part of town let alone the closed off tower chasing after rumors.

So as our heroes explore the breached tower some of these events can occur or they can be aspects of Haunts tied to the tower (victims, the wizard).

With mood effects the idea is to start small and not give away too much early on, maybe not even till the end.

The situation in the sample scenario could be from 60 years prior, with the reputation of wizard at the time of his charges all the sensitive information may not have been released (due to the embarrassment to the king, etc). So the common perception could be that the wizard was charged with treason and sent to prison -not actually walled up in the tower. Also the abductions may have been wholly forgotten and not associated with the wizard and his treason to the crown. All these details would be revealed as the party explores the prison/tomb finding documents and being exposed to the effects of the haunting. There may even be people alive who don't want them going in for fear of exposing the truth (and subsequent embarrassment to the royal line) and may make efforts to discourage the PCs from undertaking their exploration of the tower.

Looks very interesting, are you planning on getting the all of the Gothic AP plug-in material out by GenCon?

The picture on pg 37 just warms my gray ghoul heart.

He's like "oh hello miss, I wanted to ask you you a question"
and she's like "yeah, what do you wa..."


Azazyll wrote:

The short story "Nyarlathotep" is rather bizarre, even for Lovecraft, and belongs to the dream cycle. I believe I read that it was actually unfinished. Anyway, it's not surprising it's not more read.

Nyarlathotep's real role is in the culmination of the dream cycle, the Dream Quest. I always preferred him and that story to squidface and tCoC in terms of literary appeal.

That short story is one of the greatest depictions of the end of the world, far more apocalyptic than anything he wrote later on.

On the issue of the short story Nyarlathotep:
"I screamed aloud that I was not afraid; that I never could be afraid; and others screamed with me for solace. We swore to one another that the city was exactly the same, and still alive; and when the electric lights began to fade we cursed the company over and over again, and laughed at the queer faces we made."

Ninety years ago, and yet it seems like whenever there is a disaster (in an increasing stream of disasters) all we can do is laugh at the queer faces we make. For all the criticism he gets if he can tap into the human condition with this story then he hits the mark. Even with all the fantastic elements of the short story, I always think of current times and fears whenever I read it.

My best guesses would be the Masque of the Red Death or the Fall of the House of Usher - both being grand enough for module treatment.

Sir Jolt wrote:

The problem is that the suppositions of Golarion don't match up well with Lovecraft, IMO. In the books, Cthulhu rises, gets hit in the head with a ship, end of story. Lovecraft was more about the helplessness of humanity as it was about the power of the Old Ones. By the time you take Lovecraft's work (which I enjoy very much) and run it through the system/world blender, you've got something that, apart from the name and appearance, bear little resemblance to the source material. Humans in Lovecraft were basically a universal joke living in the sheltered backwater of the galaxy. That doesn't really translate to heroic fantasy.


I disagree, it actually it does translate to heroic fantasy.

In many of his stories there are references to ancient cultures and powers that existed before the modern age. And those great ancient cultures were not as shy or as vulnerable as modern man with all his phobias. They had ancient wizards who both worshipped and fought the Great Old Ones, I can imagine more than a few non-caster (think Conan) types who would have done much to sack and destroy temples of those dark gods.

And guess what you get to play in Pathfinder? It isn't a frail historian with deep-rooted childhood traumas with a skeptical mind. You get to play the wizard who can send back the monster or the warrior with the blade that was designed and forged to cut through its servants and end its hold on the land. To send it back the horror and taint one way or another.

In CoC (the game) the characters are using tools, spells and weapons all from another age, an age when man and other races went toe-to-tentacle with the Great Old Ones. In CoC you are just picking up the pieces of lost magic just to compete.

This should cover issues on the flesh golem

"Note that creating a flesh golem requires casting a spell with the evil descriptor."

So an evil act. Is it a "crossover" act - I don't know and that would be up to a GM to decide, but it's still an evil one.

Ashiel wrote:
Also, for a fun laugh, read the creation of the mummy. They're bodies are filled with herbs and flowers, anointed with sacred oils, and wrapped in blessed linens, then BAM, evil undead monstrosity!

That's because the AD&D/PF mummy and most all undead were based off of the original Karloff mummy (1932), or going back further to pulp sources (ex: Entombed with the Pharaohs by HPL - 1924) and not as much on the burial procedure which was used by Egyptians, South Americans, etc.

In those stories and movies the mummies were depicted as monsters, just as animated skeletons were the tools of evil wizards and priests - Jason and the Argonauts/7th Voyage of Sinbad.

I can't remember where I read it regarding vodou or some other aspect of animation of the dead/zombification - in any case they described the body as being controlled by the soul, but also having a corporeal animus lesser spirit, making a souless body similar to a PC without a hard drive or a stripped down car.

So when the soul departs, the body retains this lesser animating force/aspect - the part that controlled the movement, etc, when controlled by the soul but inert without one.
I would guess (and there is some evidence to support this) that D&D takes some of this into consideration with regard to the dead/animated dead. For example, the case of Speak with Dead - you are not talking to the actual soul on its new plane of residence, you are talking to an old imprint - rewinding a tape of what it saw and maybe even what it thought while it had a soul housed in the body.

I would think that animating undead would be disruptive on many levels, namely funerary rites, interring the dead, death riuals and the afterlife, desecration of the dead, etc.

Anyway, thats just my input on the issue.


In Gothik Ustalav, the dead Animate you!