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New cthulhu rpg ?

Tue 27 Oct 2020, 00:21

Has anyone heard anything about fria ligans take on the cthulhu rpg ?
 
Byrax
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Re: New cthulhu rpg ?

Tue 27 Oct 2020, 07:41

In the latest Free L showcase in September, they said the ‘Old Ones’ was planned for 2022.
 
Byrax
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Re: New cthulhu rpg ?

Tue 27 Oct 2020, 15:51

One could easily hack the Vaesen system to a Cthulhuesque setting in the meantime, however.
 
SaFe
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Re: New cthulhu rpg ?

Wed 28 Oct 2020, 10:08

I'm really interested in this project. Sadly there are no news or something official in written form.
 
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Vader
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Re: New cthulhu rpg ?

Wed 28 Oct 2020, 12:28

I'm really interested in this project. Sadly there are no news or something official in written form.

With a projected release date two years from now, there wouldn't be. We'll just have to be patient — I'd guess that when we do get around to it, it'll be run as its own Kickstarter.


Personally though, I'd be disinclined to presume that Fria Ligan would be extremely keen on this project — at least, were I in their shoes, I certainly wouldn't be.

It made perfect sense as a stretch goal "in the heat of the moment", to drive the Baranger art book Kickstarter along; especially given the experience from how the RPG stretch goal in the 2015 Tales From the Loop art book Kickstarter basically took on a life of its own and, to all appearances at least, drove Fria Ligan's business development along quite nicely for a while. I'd say they're still reaping the benefits from the ripple effects.

But from a cooler, strictly business perspective ... does a new Cthulhu RPG really make sense?

Lovecraft's works are in the public domain. The upside of this is that there is a highly popular, all but ready-made world and bestiary of creatures and entities that won't cost a penny to use, in license fees. All license money can be invested into Baranger's artwork.

The downside is that there certainly is no dearth of Lovecraftian role-playing games on the market already! There are crunchy ones, there are lightweight ones ... there are variations on mechanics and gameplay and period settings ... there's even a LARP game. And of course, one of the world's best selling RPG's of all time is one of them.

Meaning, there is also a potential minefield of previously established IP to navigate.

But above all — meaning there is a real risk that the market already is well and truly saturated.

If you're to launch yet another Cthulhu Mythos RPG, you would need to offer a product with something really new and unique; something that enables it to carve its own niche. I doubt that merely appealing to the existing YZE fan base and using Baranger's fantastic artwork to illustrate it will alone suffice to make it a commercially viable product — it will need something substantially more than that to stick out, I think.
Fria Ligan's market position is of course likely to go a long way towards providing the kind of exposure it would need; the game is already all but guaranteed to feature prominently in the Ennies, for instance.
And all that might be enough for the game to pay for itself, and perhaps even make a decent profit ... but there's still a bit more risk involved than I myself, at least, would be entirely comfortable with.

To minimise that risk, the game would still need something to make it really pop against the background of competing products. And I'm not sure one more clever twist on gameplay mechanics is going to cut it ... it would need to be something truly innovative. I mean, as in Invisible Sun degree of innovative.

Could Baranger's artwork be made into something more than merely nice illustrations — after all, Baranger is the real USP here? Could it be integrated into, not only the physical products, but into the gameplay itself — in a way that it really is constantly in your face on the players?
Could the physical product itself be made into a truly inescapable presence at the game table, festooned with Baranger's visions — a rule book the size of the art book, or bigger; a GM screen on a R'lyeh scale, with hidden secrets and functionalities?
Could ... [insert ideas] ...?

So ... yeah. It's a simple idea to launch, but far from an easy project to actually enter into — and Fria Ligan has their hands full for some time to come already, so ... let's just be patient, and see what happens.
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Byrax
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Re: New cthulhu rpg ?

Wed 28 Oct 2020, 15:11

Good thoughts there, Vader. Agree with them.
I think Free L stated somewhere they are considering specific one-offs, no campaign for this game. I do hope for Baranger illustrations, and it could mean that we will see "Call of Cthulhu" as a one-off adventure, followed by "Mountains" in the same way etc. Probably expanded/adapted, with twists maybe, but still the core vision from Lovecraft. This would be fine with me, but maybe not unique enough. That way, it will be possible to avoid copyright troubles from later (derivative) sources and other games.

Personally, I am a bit tired of Cthulhu rpg:ing/IPs atm, and like Vaesen's fresher quirky take on historical investigative horror much better. If I would run a Cthulhu game now, I would use the Vaesen rules, however.
 
SaFe
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Re: New cthulhu rpg ?

Wed 28 Oct 2020, 16:35

I really like the Vaesen approach with a loge as base for the PC's. Remind of something Rippers from Savage Worlds had done a few years ago.
But to be honest i simply have not the time (children and job) to convert the Vaesen material to a 1920 setting. As i dislike the Cthulhu d100 rules, also i'm also no fan of the Trail of Cthulhu approach and my group likes the YZE rules i had high hopes for this project.

And Vader - i really like your ideas.
 
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Vader
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Re: New cthulhu rpg ?

Mon 02 Nov 2020, 13:08

Let's be brutally honest about it — François Baranger has the very real potential to be for Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos what Alan Lee and John Howe together have been for Tolkien's Middle Earth.

In everything that yet another Lovecraftian RPG could offer to the world, for it not to be just one more "me too"-product ... taking Baranger's visions and bringing them dead front-and-centre of the game and gameplay; enabling the players to really visualise Lovecraft's world in an unprecedented way would be infinitely more impactful than just offering another tweak to how sanity and madness is handled mechanically.

One of the consistent and enduring elements in the sites and entities of the Mythos, yet trickiest to visualise properly, is their sheer scale. R'lyeh, the ruins in Antarctica, most of the otherworldly locations ... Azathoth, Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep themselves ... all are vast on a scale that just by itself has an adverse effect on the viewer's sanity.
And this is something that Baranger is actually able to convey ... and a very good reason to only print his artwork in a larger-than-life size book — such as the original The Call of Cthulhu artbook.

Therefore, I very strongly believe a Fria Ligan Mythos RPG must place Baranger's art in a very prominent position!
Equally strongly, I believe one part of this needs to be taking the physical scale and running away with it.

Making the book an "impractically" large size, and then some; the GM Screen likewise ... possibly making it a standing, "portrait" format, just because ... make a dinner-table size playmat with stunning artwork ... but making the character sheets extra small (A5 or A6 — still profusely festooned with decorative elements by Baranger), just to emphasise the contrast ... generally, taking the kind of work done on building atmosphere and immersion with graphics and layout that FL started off in ALIEN, but really cranking it up to eleven.

IMO, this could be a formula for a new Lovecraftian RPG that actually could make it not merely successful, but popular.


Don't get me wrong — I do believe the game also needs to be mechanically innovative; preferably even brilliant ... however, I do not believe that alone will be able to make it pop.
In this instance, I believe a physically compelling product actually will trump a mechanically compelling one.
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Byrax
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Re: New cthulhu rpg ?

Mon 02 Nov 2020, 13:32

Agree on all accounts, Vader.
 
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Vader
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Re: New cthulhu rpg ?

Tue 03 Nov 2020, 22:18

And now ... to really drive the very point I was making all the way home, FL are releasing At the Mountains of Madness as a two-volume Baranger artbook, to match The Call of Cthulhu...
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