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Author Topic: Cthulhutech D20  (Read 776 times)

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Offline TairisTopic starter

Cthulhutech D20
« on: April 30, 2016, 11:24:06 PM »
So here's the deal.

If you've never played Cthulhutech this is the cliffnotes version: Call of Cthulhu meets Anime. (1d4 chan has a nice no BS summary: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/CthulhuTech). Eldritch horrors and sanity crushing things from beyond. Mecha. Symbiotic organic battle suits. Psychic powers and ritual magic. It's a setting that drips in dark themes, violence, and sex that is both dark and despairing, yet gives opportunities for epic heroics. Thing is, the system that Wildfire came up with is the retarded love child of World of Darkness and someone that hates math. It was clunky and poorly made so that you ended up with three different 'half games' shoved into one book where half the content wasn't usable unless you played a specific type of game.

Being the crazy person that I am I've been trying to do a total conversion of this into a D20 based system heavily based around the structure of Star Wars Saga Edition. It's still not complete (because I'm well into the 100+ page area now), but I'm working on it.

What this means is that at some point... I gotta find out if I did a good job at this conversation. That means running a game. With its very heavy themes Elliquiy seemed the most logical place to do that.

So my question is: would anyone actually be interested in playing in this setting?

This wouldn't be a 'sex all the time game', the themes would be dark and somewhat serious though I'm always a fan of lightening the mood when its appropriate. On the flipside, though, the world of Cthulhutech is very sexual. Human and Nazzadi have both become very sexually progressive, while many of the things that go bump in the night use sex as a weapon. The Esoteric Order of Dagon is more than willing to use rape to breed their army of half-breeds, while Shub-Niggurath's servants will use primal lust to lure others into their worship.

The player characters would represent individuals from any walk of life that have been drawn in to try and turn the tide the Aeon War. Scientists, criminals, soldiers, eldritch warriors...

Edit: Link to a very rough beta version of the rules

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6cbQRW4m17kSzdBeGdnTFpWdDA
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 06:43:24 PM by Tairis »

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Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2016, 11:43:40 PM »
Hm... 

I've honestly yet to have any issues with the basic system, but I'd enjoy playing.  :)

Offline TairisTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2016, 11:49:03 PM »
I've tried running it multiple times and always ran into two major issues:

1) Tagers, mortals, and mecha are all completely incompatible with each other
2) The 'Dice Poker' and crit system creates a really really skewed curve for character success. There were certain break points where you ran into the issue that while you made yourself technically better at something you actually increased your chances of critically failing.

The 2nd one isnt too hard to fix with a house rule or two. The first one is the big flaw for me. There are so many great options in the setting but you end up having to cut them off because the combat systems aren't compatible.

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Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2016, 01:35:41 AM »
*blinks* 

So you're trying to make a game where tagers, mecha and normal peopel are on the same power level and having the same adventures? 

Kinda wierd, honestly.  The story seems to me pretty well set up for 2-3 diferent games in the same setting. 

Offline TairisTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2016, 01:37:37 AM »
That will be the idea. The Mecha side of things will fall into the same realm as most Star Wars and Shadowrun games: the pilot type is probably going to want at least some other skills.

But I see no reason you shouldn't be able to have a team of mortal operators, tagers, para-pyschics, and sorcerers working together without one of them instantly dying as soon as they get into a fight.

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Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2016, 02:36:40 AM »
*nods*  :)  all right.  I'll keep that theme in mind. 

Offline TairisTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 10:04:24 AM »
I'll try to get a link up with a pdf of the rules as I have them so far in the next week or so if there's enough interest.

Offline Hexed

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 10:25:26 AM »
Sounds pretty neat!

But how are you planning on getting the various organizations to work well together? If i remember right most of the groups have a heavy dislike of each other do to different methods right? I seem to recall something about how the organic mechs tend to snatch up and eat or attack anything that isn't pure human or another mech for instance.

Offline wigglebiscuit

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2016, 12:00:40 PM »
What can you tell us about the setting? If I play a norm, for example, what are my options? I know nothing about cthuhlutech, btw.

Offline ChaoticSky

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2016, 01:33:01 PM »
Cthulhutech is a near-future setting where we discover magic, real magic (of the lovecrtaftian bent), and proceed to science the shit out of it. Magic, and the Arcanotechnology born of it, gives rise to a whole new era of progress, advancement and medicine. Society advances at a rapid pace, and for a while, it pretty much looks like we are on the cusp of utopia, with only the tiny little downside that our tech will actually drive you nuts if you understand it too well, but dont worry! We have therapists!

But you know, the universe runs of murphyonics.

Turns out theres a alien colony on Pluto. The aliens are called the Migou, and consider us humans to be extreme aberrations because our sapience comes from a purely biological source, our brain. Every other species apparently uses its Soul to make up what biology lacks, but not us! This makes us non-people as far as they are concerned. Nazi level racism). Now, we were quite happily beneath their notice, until we began our gleeful embrace of magic. The threat we could one day pose, coupled with the fact that there are things sleeping on Earth that they would rather we didnt wake up, lead them to decide to kill us all.

But you know, smug superior aliens, didnt bother to do it themselves. They whipped up a whole new race based on us humans called the Nazzadi (jet black skin red eyes, night vision sharp teeth) and invented a history and culture for them. The Nazzadi happily went to war with us, but eventually the ones In The Know got sick of it and revealed the truth to everyone else. Peace was had, we gave them Cuba to make a homeland for themselves, and we all prepared for the coming of the Migou.

Who turned up right on schedule and began fucking our shit up, starting at the poles where its too fucking cold for us, and invading south and north there.

Meanwhile all this was happening, shadowy conspiracies dedicated to lovecraftian horrors had made a comeback with the rediscovery of magic and were setting about their own schemes.

One group that managed to take over a HUGE coporation dreams of turning humanity into a monstrous mythos race (subservient to them, naturally), these Dhoanoids can appear human at will and are only really detectable by genetic testing. Luckily they lost the real mojo before they could really get a firm grip on it, said mojo ended up in the hands of rebels who dedicated themselves to stopping said evil conspiracy by using the lore they stole to achieve symbiosis with extradimensional horrors and becoming a alltogether superior form of mythos being that is both more powerful and completely undetectable. Meanwhile, a entirely separate group lead by our favourite Order of Dagon have basically taken over the oceans and are looking very very hard for Ry'leh. They have basically become a threat to the entire planet's coastline and love to kidnap people for their unprotected sex rape parties. Its~Starting~Look~Alot~Like~Fishmen! And if that wasnt enough another evil cult managed to actually pull of a summon-the-eldrich-god ritual and they have kinda eaten most of asia. Leng is a bitch.

Of course, we are making our own strides, some humans are developing psychic powers entirely separate from magic (called Parapsychics) and those guys have all sorts of interesting abilities, provided we can get them pointed at the badguys instead of going on murdersprees. We also figured out how to make something distressingly like a Evangelion-by-way-of-lovecraft called a Engel that are a match for the Migou's technorganic mechas (as long as they dont go apeshit and start eating people Attack On Titan style). And so on.

Currently, most people live in massive enclosed fortress-cities called Archologies, and your average person lives a life of material plenty, ample entertainment, and extremely casual attitutes towards sex, drugs and rock n' roll. On the streets there is a neverending battle between militarized polices forces and criminal activities, special investigators who might as well be Inquisitors and the cults they hunt. In the shadows, Tagers weild monstrous power to fight a conspiracy intent on corrupting every level of human society. While on the battlefronts, we are kinda losing to the north and south, where our Mecha-based fighting forces are outmatched by the Migou's superior tech, and there are too few Engels yet to swing things in our favour. We are also losing to the East, where a elder god is kinda eating everything (including physics) and his Reaver(sec: firefly)-like minions push to widen their new land even further, overrunning us with sheer numbers. Also every beach and coastline except for a few heavily defended exceptions are basically open-game for the Dagonites.

But dont worry! We got this!



In terms of playing a muggle, your basic options are the FSB (Federal Security Bureau, think FBI) who are basically suped up mundane cops who go after criminals and the like, and the OIS (Office Of Internal Security, think CIA with no restrictions what so ever), who are basically Inquisitors/Spectres/insert-preferred-fictional-superlegal-investigators, who are charged with protecting humanity from 'monsters', and you basically have no rights unless they decide you do.

Offline wigglebiscuit

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2016, 02:57:28 PM »
Thanks for the synopsis, Chaotic! Wow, how would you fit all of that into one RP?

Offline wander

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2016, 03:28:29 PM »
Normally, you don't. ^^

Hia all, Ctech fan here and occasional GM/player. :)

Keeping an eye on this as I love the setting, even have it in my own request thread... Anyways, a street level person can have more options, depending. They can be Operators or take other roles in the Eldritch Society, a kinda 'defectors from decadence' of Nyarlathotep's Children of Chaos, who run the Chrysalis Corp. Mortals can also be a part of Ashford, the second largest megacorp in the world that does a lot of research into magitech and nanotech, which are the main technologies people use in the setting.

There are those out there who are also psychic. These are usually at the level of a very underpowered X-Men mutant (my own character is a human psychic who works for the ES as an Operator, organising the Tagers basically over vidchat) and has psychometry, basically gets emotional vibes from touching things. Then you get Zoners, who are basically Tetsuo from Akira... But they're also kinda insane and tend to flare their powers about, so the military/law kinda wanna bag and tag them on sight. ^^;

Anyway, usually the game can be played three ways and is kind of meant to be; Mech pilot games should be seperate to mortal/Tager games. Tager games usually have any mortals as psychics to give them a bit of a power-boost to keep up, plus a heavy dose of the CoC that the ES face in the Shadow War going on in humanity's arcologies may not have become Dhoahanoids yet, so the mortals shouldn't be too outgunned usually.

And by the very nature of how they do things (the OIS would have a field day trying to bag and tag a Tager and bringing down the ES if they knew more about them, they don't know the difference between them and the CoC Dhoahanoids), the military/law enforcement peoples shouldn't really mix with the ES unless one side are NPCs.

That all said, I'm interested to see where this leads, as you can see above, I have a great love for the game and have been in more than a few games. I may port my aforementioned character over. :)

Offline TairisTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2016, 04:29:34 PM »
Chaotic that was actually a pretty fantastic summary, thanks :D

The rules I'm working on aren't meant to force a particular playstyle, they're mostly just meant to allow you to mix things more freely though. Think something like the TV show Grimm: the main character is in the mundane world as a cop, in the mystical world as a Grimm. The various characters in the show range from vanilla humans, non-humans, and high powered mystical types.

For the test run of this game the basic premise would be this:

The characters that are selected receive an communication from an anonymous source providing a lead or support regarding whatever that character's personal goals are. This will lead to an invitation into yet another secret society established within the Ashcroft Foundation with the stated goal of directly combating the threats that currently face humanity in the Aeon War. To do this they believe that it will require a level of cooperation and unified forces that the NEG, the Eldritch Society, or other groups will never be able to accomplish due to prejudice and fear.

It would be a game of divided loyalties and dangerous missions. Sometimes characters would have to find ways to complete missions in direct contradiction to their 'public' loyalties, decide whether or not they can trust beings or individuals they've been told are always dangerous, and make decisions that will influence whether or not the human race survives. It's also a game of 'how far will you go to make a difference... and when you do how long can you stay human?'. Will you sacrifice others? Innocents? Yourself?

On the flipside I do want to push the anime influences a little more. Part of the joy of fighting against the ultimate evil is that sometimes you get those moments of awesomeness where a character does something extraordinary in the face of the odds. Whether or not they survive that is of course another question.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 04:35:37 PM by Tairis »

Offline TairisTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2016, 04:58:00 PM »
Just so it doesn't get lost I'm making this its own post and adding it to my original post.

Here is a link to download a rough beta version of the rules I've worked up.

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=80779899551879262239

Things to keep in mind:

This only includes the environmental Para-psychic powers thus far and doesn't have the rules for Tagers included yet, I'm working on both of those now.

This is unedited and untested. Not everything is going to be balanced in the first pass.

One item to note is that this shares similar mechanics to Saga Edition and elements of 4th edition. If something is happening to your character tests are going to be made *against* a stat, rather than the character making a saving throw. This actually works out fairly well in PBP since it means most the time I'll be doing more dice rolling than the PCs.

Offline TairisTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2016, 06:44:51 PM »
Alright I've updated the rules with the 4 core book Tagers and the Tager rules, also fixed a few things I missed.

Also now viewable from my google drive for anyone interested, I'll try to keep the PDF updated as I make changes. Please point out any problems or ask any questions that come up.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6cbQRW4m17kSzdBeGdnTFpWdDA

Offline AndyZ

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2016, 03:59:14 PM »
I have the hardback for the core but haven't really gotten all that far into it.  Going to keep an eye on this though.

Offline TairisTopic starter

Re: Cthulhutech D20
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2016, 06:25:43 PM »
I have the hardback for the core but haven't really gotten all that far into it.  Going to keep an eye on this though.

Well in this case you'll only really need it for the fluff, mechanically this is a complete re-work.