Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stalking the Night Fantastic

Bureau 13. From the looks of the cover, and the general tone of the book, it would seem that this is a comedy horror game. From my experience, both comedy and horror rpg's have pretty light and loose rule sets.

Not this one, no way bub.

No table of contents, and the suggested number of players is a gm, plus 1-20 players. Nothing screams old school like a suggestion that you have up to twenty players. I don't know about everyone else, but when I get more than five people sitting at the table, it becomes more about building dice castles and doodling than about playing.

I'm not even gonna try character creation, because what I want to do is try out this unbelievable combat system. So I'm just going to pick one of the pre-gens. Escaped maniac, yup, if I ran this, no doubt someone would pick escaped maniac. How could they not, this puppy has a skill of six in act normal.

So I rolled on the Monstrous Encounter table, to see just what our intrepid maniac would be trying his knife wielding skill against. I think I'll name him Stabby McGoo.

A Harpy, and cross referencing the accompanying data key to read the information code that pertains to this encounter, Harpies live in Canada. They are also reclusive, insane, self-centered, evil, and violent. With their temper score of two, they are 98% to attack if provoked, 96% if reasoned with.

A fight it is then.

Round one, Stabby misses with his rambo knife, the Harpy claws him in the jaw, its talons scraping against his mandible. For real. Not just being descriptive. The hit location tables detail just how much flesh you have to get through to hit bone.

Round two, Harpy scrapes Stabby's neck with her talons. Stabby punches his knife right through the harpies femur. Didn't sever an artery though.

Round three, the Harpy whiffs, while Stabby punches his knife through her colon, severing an artery.

Round four, Stabby misses, while the Harpy, sick of getting the short end, picks up a giant tree branch. She bashes Stabby with it, breaking his rib, crushing his liver and causing him some internal bleeding.

Round five, the Harpy gets stabbed through the femur. Tried to find out whether or not this would sever her foot, couldn't find the rule for that. Besides, no mater how evil and violent she is, I doubt she would just hang out there and let this guy stab her a couple more times.

I don't get a chance to be a player very often, mostly do the GMing, but I'm thinking getting your liver split open in the back woods of Canada might piss me off. Especially with no ready walking hospital clerics hanging around. With this system you gotta trudge your way back into town, and spend a realistic amount of time in the hospital. If you make it that far, what with the internal bleeding and whatnot.


Infamous Jum said...

The one and only time I've had the chance to play Call of Cthulhu, one of the players got smashed through a second story window by a bed. An evil bed, I guess. He lived, but that was it for him, as he had a 6 month hospital stay to look forward to.

Though, honestly, I think I would put up with that sort of nonsense for the chance to, at random, shoot Bigfoot in the nuts.

skeleri said...

More than once have I heard that as the example of what it was like to play cthulhu. The adventure is called "The Haunting" and the encounter reads as follows... "He can impel the bed at good speed, fast enough to strike a strong blow against anything in the room." The broken glass and fall costs the victim 2d6 hit points. I know I have whacked at least two players with that bed.

I believe this sort of painful nonsense is supposed to force you to ponder every step and try to avoid combat? While also playing this game late at night and in candle light. Roll save against sleep.

In all seriousness I loved cthulhu.

Infamous Jum said...

It scares me a little that you know exactly which adventure that came from. Was that one particularly prominent, like the adventure in the D&D Red Box?

skeleri said...

The preface to it reads "More people have played this call of cthulhu scenario than any other". It's been included in every edition. I guess it kinda is like bargle's dungeon from the red box.