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Thread: Modern day, local flavor

  1. #1
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    Modern day, local flavor

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    I am trying a new angle with my CoC.
    After a 1920's game that ended in a near complete party wipe and excessive anachronisms, I decided to try going completely modern with the adventure.
    I found a famous local site that had a well-known supernatural event occur and sent the investigators there as a paranormal investigation team.

    I am working on a write up of the adventure information to share with anyone interested, but I was also curious; have you guys done fully modern CoC games before?
    Any breakthoughs or road bumps?
    Google is a great source of red herrings if nothing else.

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    CoC, no. But I've done a game set locally and used current events before. It seemed to help bring the players in and made it more real, I think. Before you start using current events, though, make sure you are versed in the historical context of the events so that the PCs can discover them (a la Supernatural, the tv series). I had a lot of fun having my player (it was a one on one) play as himself.
    Games: Exalted 2e pre-errata (hiatus), Recruiting for a Sci-Fi/Fantasy game (System TBD) in SF south bay area
    The Dolling Blogs (1, 2, 3 & 4)

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    There is DELTA GREEN, never tried ....
    Saluti
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    The two biggest problems with modern CoC are related issues.
    1 - Difficulty in isolating the investigators and 2 - allowing technology to overpower the game.

    1 - One of the "hallmarks" of a good horror game is the sense of helplessness and isolation the investigators feel in their pursuit of the "thinge that shoulde not be". With access to wireless technology the mysterious field that disrupts all cell communication may be workable for a one off scenario, but becomes cliche VERY quickly in an ongoing campaign. The keeper needs to become very creative in how he goes about isolating his players; the horror aspect diminishes greatly when you can call 911 and get bailed out.

    2 - Anything the investigators have access to - information, weaponry, research equipment, and the like must also be available to your general cannon fodder cultist. This can quickly degenerate into a CoC version of the Cold War, which stops being a horror game and starts being about the toys each side can bring to the confrontation.

  5. #5
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    I've done a modern CoC game before and made it work. There are some delicate balances to be considered as Minipainter mentions but one of the most amusing things about CoC when run well is that all the resources in the world don't matter much in the face of the Mythos.

    If your players are resorting to rocket launchers to solve their problems, chances are that they've already failed or that they're about to make things much worse. The old joke was that the elephant gun was the most worthless item in CoC because all it did was draw more attention to yourself which you do not want.

    Cell phones and internet can seem like potential issues (and can be if the GM isn't mindful), but there are many ways to allow them without ruining the game. The most powerful contrast in a modern CoC game is that while the PCs may not be as physically isolated as they would be in an earlier era game, they are still as socially and intellectually isolated. Just remember that when the PCs cry to the police that they've just been attacked by zombies with tentacles coming out of their ears, they are probably going to be incarcerated and sent to the nearest rubber room.

    Likewise, there just isn't going to be much use for the internet (other than as a way to help the PCs figure out where to visit next) when you're coming up against forces that defy conventional concepts of "reality". The only people that could speak any insights of the Mythos would be the insane and to understand the ramblings of the insane generally requires a similarly unstable mind. In short, Mythos ramblings will mean very little to a "sane" person until they open their minds to the maddening truths therein, which consequently drives one insane.

    So it can be done and even opens certain adventure opportunities that don't exist in other CoC eras. But the GM just needs to be aware that the PCs will try to make use of different types of resources and be prepared to handle those situations appropriately.
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    The game has been progressing fairly well and I think I might post some of the highlights from the adventure I generated (typed, it has swolle past 10 pages).
    Coming into it I knew that research would be vital for the adventure, so I put copious amounts into the planning of this adventure.

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