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9:00 PM
I'm always looking for games that play with existential horror without grandfathering in one particular guy's paranoid bigotry.
@NautArch I mean, if that was the interaction they were worried about, I definitely get it.
The numbers definitely show it is powerful.
@Yuuki At this point I've started excising HLP-specific language from my conversations about the genre as much as possible, and I'm thinking about making a Manly Wade Wellman game myself.
The genre is so much more than one guy, but he's got a stranglehold on that space's popular culture awareness. That would be unhealthy even if he didn't have... those issues.
And I think writers like Wellman are better, honestly, at dealing with the instinctive human push-back against the idea that we aren't the most important thing around and in control of our surroundings.
Instead of framing the "I am not the center of the universe" revelation as utterly destructive of self, Wellman sees something positive beyond it, if we can get there.
I did always think the premise of "big space aliens could kill you at any moment but they just don't notice you" was a bit unrelatable.
Even Peter Clines, for all the problems in 14 and The Fold, has this idea that being forced to see that our context isn't central to all reality won't automatically destroy us.
@goodguy5 Now that's funny, I don't care who you are
9:16 PM
@Yuuki There's definitely a miffed sense of denied privilege in HPL's work, which derives from the scientific paradigm-shift from a human-centric worldview to a dispersed worldview, and also from HPL's own paranoid delusions about a diverse population decentralizing his particular version of humanity.
It's interesting, culturally and psychologically, but not the kind of fear I'd want to see an entire horror genre built on.
@Yuuki I liked what Victor LaValle did with it, by taking one of HPL's most explicitly racist stories and re-writing it from the black antagonist's perspective. But for my games I don't want to even confront or subvert HPL's paradigm, I just want to ignore him completely.
Games like LCQ... are still playing in his sandbox, they've just washed the sand.
Cthulhu Dark and Cthulhu Confidential are much more better for my purposes. Still need to read Evil Hat's Horror Toolkit all the way through.
@BESW Out of curiosity, which story is that referring to?
9:31 PM
@GreySage LaValle's "The Ballad of Black Tom" is a re-telling of "The Horror at Red Hook."
Maybe it's me, but I just feel like "death [from massive space alien] could happen at any moment completely without your will" isn't really that scary of a concept.
@Yuuki Yeah, that's not really the fear. Existential fear is about the human ego being forced to confront our relative insignificance.
Maybe horror is just the wrong word, but existential concepts (like how small or insignificant we are in comparison to the vastness of the universe) have never felt scary to me. It's a different feeling but it's not really fear.
HPL's specific brand is, in many ways, weaponized white fragility.
The Horror at Red Hook, for example, is a not-very-well-veiled not-really-a-metaphor for the idea that black people are ruining New York for white people.
There's an early 2000s film based on "Shadow Over Innsmouth" where the protagonist is gay, and the horror elements are a thin metaphor for the common experience of gay people whose family and friends simply ignore a significant part of their identity and wish it could be erased completely.
@BESW I remember talking about that somewhere.
It might even have been here.
9:42 PM
[ SmokeDetector | MS ] Bad keyword in body, bad keyword with email in body, pattern-matching email in body, potentially bad keyword in body (237): How i get my job back by Robert casandra on rpg.SE
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@BESW specifically New York even?
@SmokeDetector Somebody's automated system got hijacked. O_o
@BESW Was this the 2015 film with a predominantly female cast?
I'm looking through the Wikipedia article and the other 2000s-ish ones don't seem to match.
And there's very little info in the article on the 2015 film.
10:18 PM
@trogdor Very specifically.
@Yuuki [rummages through Internet] The 2007 film CTHULHU.
... how did I miss that second paragraph in the Wikipedia article?
HBomberguy did an interesting video on it a while back, which helped me in thinking about what the genre can do to retain its essence without being beholden to outdated modes of expressing them.
The old existential "maybe humanity isn't the center of the universe" dread seems old-fashioned today, but there are other kinds of existential dread to mine, which are more personally resonant today.
Ben
Ben
Morning all
10:35 PM
[wave]
Ben
Ben
How's things
did you change your avatar? That's not allowed
Ben
Ben
It's part of hatmas
@BESW Up until the advent of social media and everything being online, "no one will have direct memories of you after X years" was one of my favorites.
Ben
Ben
Or, well... If you're referring to BESW, it's for Hatmas… for me it's just cos mine is linked to my facebook page. Lol
10:39 PM
Who, me? Every Winterbash I put the same hat ona different icon every day.
hmm
okay, that's permitted
5
A: The Large Hatron Collider Woolly Hatastrophe 2018: Winterbash Photo Album

BESWRetro Fan: Originals In 2015 I put doctors in the Fourth Doctor's hat and scarf. In 2016, famously awful fathers got to wear Darth Vader's mask. In 2017 detectives wore Sherlock Holmes's hat. This year I'll be putting the Retro Fan glasses on original versions of characters with multiple iterat...

And I make them sepia, for continuity.
Ben
Ben
So it goes from fuzzy brown dot, to slightly different fuzzy brown dot. :P
[ SmokeDetector | MS ] Bad keyword in answer, bad keyword with email in answer, email in answer, pattern-matching email in answer, potentially bad keyword in answer, +1 more (416): What happens if a wizard uses Command Undead to command an undead to keep fighting even though it has been Turned by a Cleric by Robert casandra on rpg.SE
Ben
Ben
Ok, so calculating CR. I clearly don't understand the maths of it all. Lol
Using the table in the DMG is not very well explained. It just has the (I'm assuming) average stats of each CR.
10:53 PM
@ben: easiest way to do it without understanding is to use something like Kobold Fight Club: kobold.club
But essentially (before multipliers for numbers of creatures on each side), it's meant to represent that a creature of a certain CR is a good match for a party of 4 characters of that level
so CR 1 is theoretically a match for a party of 4 level 1 characters
or four CR 1/4 creatures are a match for the same party
@Xirema That's the most posts I've ever seen one of those spammers do at once.
Ben
Ben
Yeah, I understand how CR works. CR != player level
I'm just needing to work out how calculating CR for custom creatures works
ah, are you asking about calculating a monster's CR when creating a monster?
ah, ok
have you read the text around the table, not just the table itself?
Ben
Ben
Yeah... connecting the dots between it all is escaping me however.
basically, step 1 tells you to pick the CR you want your monster to be (roughly), then step 2 says to use the table to to determine the monster’s Armor Class, hit points, attack bonus, and damage output per round
so what you pick should ostensibly be somewhere in the given ranges (for the cells that give ranges)
then step 3 is to make the adjustments you want, and step 4 tells you how those changes affect the CR
Ben
Ben
11:01 PM
Yeah... That's what I'm having trouble with. I don't understand the table, and the instructions don't make sense to me. Lol
I want a CR 1/2-1 creature, with an AC of 15.
For example. Looking at the table, that jumps it up to CR5.
But I only want it to have ~20 hp, which is CR 1/8
So.… ¯_(ツ)_/¯
I'm now immediately lost
okay, so
alright, so first off, step 1 is to pick the CR. You've done that: let's settle on CR 1.
Step 2, you just enter in the corresponding stats for that row: prof bonus of +2, AC of 13, HP somewhere between 71 and 85 (let's say 78). (we'll ignore the exact offensive stats for now since you're not changing them.)
step 3: make the changes you want. you want AC of 15, HP of 20.
step 4: recalculate the CR. the offensive CR stays at 1 since you're not making changes.
defensive CR steps:
"Defensive Challenge Rating. Read down the Hit Points column of the Monster Statistics by Challenge Rating table until you find your monster’s hit points. Then look across and note the challenge rating suggested for a monster with those hit points.

Now look at the Armor Class suggested for a monster of that challenge rating. If your monster’s AC is at least two points higher or lower than that number, adjust the challenge rating suggested by its hit points up or down by 1 for every 2 points of difference."
yeah. 20 hp would be 1/8 but the AC is two points higher than a CR1/8 creature would have so you adjust the CR up by a point
so the CR suggested for a monster with 20 HP is 1/8. Then, you look at the AC suggested for a CR 1/8 monster, which is AC 13.
I don't know if that means you should add an entire point and round that to CR1 or go one step up on the table to CR1/4
challenge rating is very wibbly, anyway
11:08 PM
true. it does say "adjust it up by 1"
your monster's AC is 15, 2 points higher than suggested for that defensive CR. so you suggest the defensive CR up by 1, which leaves you at 1 and 1/8...
then to get the overall CR, you take the average of offensive (1) and defensive CR (1 and 1/8). here, it averages to slightly above 1, so it'd probably get rounded to 1.
As Carcer said, CR is very "wibbly"
my gut says that an AC 15 creature with 20hp is still defensively much worse off than the AC13 ~80HP example for a "normal" CR1 creature
the threat this monster poses mostly comes down to whether it's fighting you alone, or with other monsters
but perhaps moreso down to who goes first in initiative
Ben
Ben
Ok...
because that thing will basically go down in a few hits to even a low-level party
Ben
Ben
So the next step, how do you calculate "per round" damage?
11:11 PM
probably in two hits
if you read on to the next couple of pages the attack/damage stats are explored in somewhat more detail
Ben
Ben
I was talking to someone about it yesterday, and "average damage" isn't the same as "per round"
basically, you just want the average damage the monster would deal in a round of attacks to be in that range
@Ben In that case it tells you to total the first 3 rounds of combat, and divide by 3 to get DPR
Ben
Ben
@GreySage OK
@GreySage Wait... how does that work? Roll damage 3 times then divide by 3?
Cos I've been using the "average" die values. Eg. 2d4 = 5, 1d6 = 3
average tells you the average damage per round, the way you calculate affects the range and distribution
the more detailed monster creation guidelines say:
"If you want the damage output to vary slightly from round to round, you can translate the damage range into a single die expression (for a monster with one attack) or multiple die expressions (for a monster with multiple attacks)."
Ben
Ben
11:26 PM
Ugh.. So much math! I don't know why this is so confusing lol
maths r hard
Ben
Ben
I mean, I can do dice rolls calculations, no issue.
This on the other hand... lol
@BESW I guess I shouldn't find that weird considering how messed up in the head he was, especially if he lived there, so why wouldn't he focus even his racism on that area I guess
@Ben Pretend the monster is going to live for 3 rounds. If it has attacks it can only use once (like a dragon's breath weapon, or spells, or whatever), assume it will use it in one of the rounds, and it's normal attacks in the other rounds (depends on which monster). Use the average damage for each attack, total it all up (for all 3 rounds), and divide by 3 to get a Damage per Round.
Ben
Ben
Ah right. Cool
11:31 PM
@Carcer sorry not sorry
Ben
Ben
So, if I keep the offensive stats of a CR 1 creature, then boost is up to +4 atk bonus, would that boost it to CR 2? (Currently at CR 1 1/8)?
11:53 PM
hey there @alpha-tetramer, welcome to the RPG.SE lair :)

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