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Author Topic: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting  (Read 734 times)

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Offline wanderTopic starter

Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« on: September 15, 2015, 04:13:52 PM »
Imagine a near-future world, one with the appearance of the very best cyberpunk anime... Where mankind is warring with Cthulhu mythos beasts both openly, in giant mecha, and in the shadows of the arcology streets they hide within...

Cthulhutech is a near future anime-inspired mash-up of Cthulhu and biopunk, a setting where the world is at war with the alien Migou and cults are running rampant, both across the battlefields and within the arcology cities that mankind is trying to protect... It's a setting where in the shadows, one of the biggest corporations is headed by the god of atrophy itself, Nyarlathotep.

In this Shadow War, his corporation is kept at bay by a small secret society that have gained a secret, special rite to create warriors infused by eldritch symbiotes that can fight on even terms the monsters that are growing in our very midst.



Version 2 of the Shadow War
Cthulhutech has had a bit of a tumultuous history before now, though now the developers at Wildfire have opened playtesting to version 2 of Cthulhutech... This time the game is streamlined, user friendly and controversial elements have been left at the door. The V2 book atm is a slim take on the Shadow War, a war played out in secret in arcology streets... A shadow war between Nyarlathotep's Chrysalis Corporation and those who have chosen to bond to symbionts, known as 'Tagers' (see above for the four types available to play so far) for those who have defected from Nyarlathotep, a group known as the Eldritch Society.

There is a rather large feel of the classic anime/manga 'Guyver' to the game, with 'Tagers' (Guyvers) being people bonded to a symbiote that gives them powers... Chrysalis in Cthulhutech is very similar to Guyver's antagonistic company, Chronos; Chrysalis makes Dhoahanoids, Chronos makes Zoanoids.
In the game itself the players will be playing a team of Tagers out to battle Chrysalis and work against the plans of Nyarlathotep to bring the Great Old Ones back to Earth. It is a game about being an occult superhero, fighting evil monsters and trying to hold off the end days planned by the Big Bad, one plan at a time.

The Cthulhutech V2 beta playtest can be found over at drivethrurpg for free... I'm looking for some others to make a group to play these rules with and a GM to pull a story together. I could GM, though I get flaky, I'd much prefer to make a character for this and play what story someone else makes.

Also if anyone has the beta playtest pdf already, I'm open to discussion on thoughts about it. Thanks for reading, if any of this sounds interesting to yourself, please let me know below!

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2015, 07:14:47 PM »
Huh! I had almost completely written CT off, youd think they would have made a bigger deal about a new edition, but instead they just kinda went 'oh by the way... 2E'

Personally, i love the setting, but i hated the fuck out of the pokerdice and general system weridness. Did they fix most of that stuff? If they did this could go right up with BC and EP as my favourite games.

Offline wanderTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 07:30:13 PM »
I've only read character generation at the moment, which is similar in some regards but has cool additions, such as Talents, which were ported over from The Void. Characters also have the Wealth Codes from The Void too, though the gear in the beta still has terranote prices listed instead of the Wealth codes like The Void has. I expect that will be remedied though.

The actual corebook seems to be aimed to come out for Halloween or just after in early November. The devs are taking comments onboard, so we'll see. Apparently the system has been looked over and mathematically analysed to not be so odd this time around. I'll have more to say when I read it though. Either way, I didn't think Ctech had that bad of a system, though I'm all up for improvements... Character generation for sure is very much improved, though they could have made it clearer how many skill points you get (Its 25).

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Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 08:30:23 PM »
  You totaly have my attention! 

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2015, 08:35:45 PM »
Basically, CT's success (or pointedly, the lackthereof) can be directly compared to another RPG that was released around the same time: Eclipse Phase.

EP is a game of transhuman horror where post-death and post-scarcity humanity battles a multifaceted shadow-war for its survival against singularity based theats. The books are free, the system is a fairly common D% system, and its 100% original. CT is a game about a multifaceted war for mankind's survival against cosmic horrors, xenocidal aliens, apocalyptic Outsider cults, and our own dark natures. It uses a original system, the books cost money, and its based off a IP beloved by millions.

Between the two, EP made buckets more money despite being free, was more acclaimed and while neither game is exactly 'common', EP is still played widely while CT is not. In fact, they basically ground to a halt and now seem to be trying to pick themselves up out of the hole they dug with a new edition that promises to fix the old problems, while EP is still happily churning out new books for their original game.

While CT's problems are many (but lets be honest, the same can be said of most systems), the reason for CT's original failure is threefold: The Framewerk system that uses poorly scaling and wildly unstable poker-like mechanics instead of normal rolls vs targets, the weirdly separated HP scales that made tackling bigger classes of foes impossible and smaller ones hilarious, and the metaplot; people wanted to create their own stories in a persistent world, not be slaved to someone else's story.

Between these 'the problem' was about 80% the dice, 15% the plot and 5% the scale.

And their shiny new edition is still using the same stupid system as the first one (I just found this while reading through it). So its already doomed to failure. No matter how much they might pretty up chargen or improve customizability, if the game is almost unplayable, then people will not play it.

So i am sad to say that my interest in this game has re-died.  First Beast and now CT, im really on a roll here.  :-\

Offline TFcommando

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2015, 01:12:05 AM »
I've always wanted to play a Tager and some of the rules improvements look promising.

Offline wanderTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2015, 03:50:00 PM »
Sorry to hear that, ChaoticSky, though I believe that whilst the system had a problem with the two types of damage (personal and mech scale), it's not too big considering Mongoose Traveller has the same and the system is fairly easy to learn for Cthulhutech compared to other RPGs out there. Framewerk adds a nice bit of randomness to the proceedings whilst still rewarding characters with higher levels in their stats and skills. Also the metaplot cooled off a lot in the 2087 book 'Burning Horizons', Ctech is learning it's lessons as it goes.

To Muse and TFCommando, that's great to hear! I have some pregens, so if noone steps up to GM I can do so whilst also playing a GMPC to fill numbers. Ideally I'd like for us to number four, so we all play one of the four Tagers available in the beta playtest.

So... If interested, let me know what Tagers you like the sound of more. :)

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2015, 07:54:19 PM »
Quote
Framewerk adds a nice bit of randomness to the proceedings whilst still rewarding characters with higher levels in their stats and skills.
Like giving you higher odds of success with one die rather than two? If you get stuck with 2 in a skill its literally more likely to work out in your favour if you go pants-on-head with it to aim for a -1 challenging penalty than if you did something easier.

Offline TFcommando

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2015, 09:17:55 PM »
Making my own character is half the fun, and I already have the beta.  I'm thinking of a Phantom.

Offline wanderTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2015, 10:45:48 PM »
Making my own character is half the fun, and I already have the beta.  I'm thinking of a Phantom.

Cool and by pregens, I meant adventures to play... ^^ Though really it's just the Shub-Niggurath Pacific Northwest arc. If a GM steps up with something better, that'd be all good in my eyes.

One thing I like in V2 is the SDP (skill points) allowing packages for race background and also specific Tager training to be bought. Seems like for other game types Tager training will be replaced with other more fitting occupations.

On the negative, cheat points are gone and Drawback max is reduced from 10 to 8, so I find converting my characters from 1st edition to V2 they have a few less skill points, although... They do now have less Drawbacks and a shiny new Talent (taken from The Void), so not all bad and I suppose it comes down to the way one builds a character and if they want to port over a 1st edition character to begin with.

One other good thing is a Team Talent. A specific game bonus which the party chooses before play and everyone shares for teamwork actions. So characters feel a lil less skilled, but they get benefits in other ways.

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Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2015, 01:40:45 AM »
  Sounds like  neat stuff.  I should go locate the free edition. (Do they have parapsychics  yet by the way?) 

Offline TFcommando

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2015, 04:17:12 AM »
  Sounds like  neat stuff.  I should go locate the free edition. (Do they have parapsychics  yet by the way?)

Not yet.  Since the original game had a number of mutually incompatible sub-genres, they're splitting things up.  This is the-Tager book.  I'd imagine they'll do one for mecha and Engels, one for sorcery and para-psychics...

Offline wanderTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2015, 01:04:10 PM »
@Muse; You can find the zip of the beta for free on drivethrurpg's site.



I believe Mecha and Engels will be detailed more in the 'Aeon War' book, which details the military side of the setting. This may get a beta playtest too.

'Shadow War' is detailing the street level stuff. I've heard eventually more options for characters in the Shadow War will become available down the line. The devs have stated that a seperate book for sorceror characters and another for parapsychics will come out soon after the Shadow War book (including a Tager book that details everything from 1st edition, so the other Tagers will be playable for those who get it). I hope the Parapsychic book will give the Whites as a racial option again, as they were pretty awesome. I had one as a Nephilim Handler and they were a great character. ^^

All the Tagers of 1st edition;


In Aeon War I've also heard that Engels are going to be expanded in a similar way to the Tagers, so that should be fun. There is however for those who have 1st edition characters a page in the current beta playtest to convert them over. I'm in the midst of doing so for my ES parapsychic Operator character. :)

Dead Gods, the finale for the metaplot of 1st edition will be released for V2 now, in three seperate books. Disciples of the Death Shadows is for 'Shadow War' and Rapine Storm will be covered in 'Aeon War', both are Hastur's cult, though detail street level and the China front sides of his worshippers. Esoteric Order of Dagon get their own book which covers both sides of the War, as they have street level fronts and main military mecha fronts.

I expect the books will cheaper than previous also when they finally get released, as they're splitting things up now, instead of having everything thrown in together. I believe the reasoning for this was to avoid the confusion some players had in 1st edition where they were unsure how to do a campaign because of the two types of game on offer; street level and mecha military.

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2015, 05:08:11 PM »
Ah, memories. I used to lovingly keep track of how many people my Echo had eaten... Metamorphosis, one day~  ;D

Offline wanderTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2015, 05:22:13 PM »
The Widow was my fave, for how agile it was. It could end fights before they even began. :)

Atm in beta, I think I'd like to try the Nightmare, though play it as a geeky awkward Amlati who gets the power. A bit Tetsuo-like, he'll still be short and skinny though you can tell something's up through their dead eyes and resting bitchface expression. :)

And then they shift... ^^

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2015, 06:02:44 PM »
*nod* i had two long term Tager games, i was a Echo in one and a Widow in the other. Primal ragemonster vs cunnin killer. Widow was neat in that i always found that it was less.... about the power you had, and more about how you used it. With Echo i went full on violence+intimidation, Bob and Moe dont do so well when your eating Curly (alive and screaming). But Leeroying with a Widow is such a waste, half the time i didnt even directly participate in the opening of battle. If we were initiating it, i would skitter off to strike from behind (or above, people never look up), ghost people without their allies ever noticing, take out the paras or other back-row support. If we were attacked, id bolt, make like i was fleeing and leaving my team to die... then circle back around and repeat the above. Used to creep the people i was playing with right out that i was so good at being a horror-movie monster like that.  ;D

Offline wanderTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2015, 06:16:46 PM »
I Leeroyed often with the Widow, it's high agility and customising it using the Ancient Enemies rules for doing so made it near impossible to hit half the time. Course when it does get hit it gets f'd up fairly easily, though it was and is a fun Tager.

The Shadow is a great one for stealthing and doing a bit of recon too. For pure awesome though, the Bloodgod (Vampire's metamorphosis) is a playground if you have the imagination for it. ^^

I'd love to see metamorphosis become easier to achieve, it was near endgame for a campaign by time it was reached, if games got that far.

Online Crash

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2015, 10:58:54 PM »
A lot of people I know played Cthulhutech using Eclipse Phase rules.

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Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2015, 02:06:05 PM »
   Any word on a GM to just play it?  :) 

Offline wanderTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2015, 03:51:27 PM »
A lot of people I know played Cthulhutech using Eclipse Phase rules.

I find whilst Eclipse Phase has a fairly simple percentage system (it is very good!), character generation can be a royal pain down to how cheap the gear is and the starting money given making someone spoiled for choice on what to get... It's like Shadowrun in that respect, at least the 4th edition (haven't played 5th).

No word on a GM at this point. Kinda sad some people have reacted negatively to this, tbh.

Offline Nowherewoman

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2015, 07:57:43 PM »
I might possibly be interested- I used to enjoy playing CoC, though I'm not familiar with this 'mashup' version.  Sounds a bit like X-Com Apocalypse. :D

Offline deadmanshand

Re: Cthulhutech V2: The Shadow War Playtesting
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2015, 12:49:33 AM »
As much as I normally avoid the group games here on Elliquiy I am huge Ctech fan (even with some rules wonky-ness) and I have always wanted to play a real Tager game. So I'm downloading the 2e book now. If anyone is interested in running I am interested in playing.