Hit Dice as Resource
House Rules / July 24, 2017

I put a very short section on Hit Dice as a Resource into the new v1.5 core book. It’s very short. And just today – I realised, too short. The Hit Die What’s in the core book is a fairly abstract and underdeveloped idea – so, use it at your own risk. When you’re hit by something, instead of deducting hit points you roll your Hit Die like a Resource. If you roll a 1 or 2, the Hit Die drops a step. If you’re a Ruffian, you start with D6. Someone shoots you. Roll 3-6, you get a graze or something. Roll 1-2, you drop to a D4. Healing restores a Die step. It works OK between fairly similar opponents, but when you start using big guns or monsters it makes less sense. If you battle a Shoggoth, something has to give because that Crush attack is not small beans. Big Damage, Big Disadvantage Therefore, I offer this suggestion as a general system – more damage has a greater chance of forcing a drop. When hit with damage, compare the amount against the Hit Die of the character. The player then rolls the Hit Die with appropriate adjustment. A…

Double Features
House Rules / August 2, 2016

I freely admit that I have been ruminating on expanding Special Features for a while, but I haven’t had the chances to playtest that I’d hoped for. Therefore, it seems a better idea to start posting those thoughts here and let someone else give them a go! In the current version of The Cthulhu Hack rules, at 3rd level and every odd level thereafter, you can increase one of your investigation resources by a single step. In this alternate version, you can still choose to do that OR you can select a Special Feature to add to your arsenal instead. On top of that, you may choose to spend a later advance to get an Improved version. Admittedly, you could do both – offer an extra die and a Special Feature. That will make the game way pulpier and characters will buff up faster as both investigators and worthy protagonists. Really, The Cthulhu Hack isn’t about that sort of thing. Alternatively, you could let a character swap out an existing Special Feature for one of the new ones. Maybe you want a Ruffian safecracker who can turn his hand to any lock and do away with the ‘assassin’-esque backstab ability?…

House Rules / August 1, 2016

The current version of the Sanity rules in The Cthulhu Hack aims to turn the slow slide into insanity into a source of stress. All Usage DiceĀ use challenges the ability of the player and the group to manage their personal and joint resources. If they push too hard, too early — they may find they lack the faculties and facility to get the job done. In a Lovecraftian sense, that works. Characters start strong and then they begin to struggle as the revelations grind away, wearing them down. However, the danger of insanity might be too extreme and you may prefer something more like a short sharp Shock. Most of the results below last for a Moment (rather like when you Miss a Turn in a boardgame). Take a counter and drop it on your character sheet to remind you. Or take two, or whatever the result indicates. When your turn comes around, discard a counter (or use a six-sided dice and spin it down a number). If you forget, keep the counters (or don’t move the die) until next time you have a fight or face a Test that challenges the attribute listed – and face the listed modifier….