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Mograg

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A member registered Jan 07, 2020 · View creator page →

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I concur!  Thanks Lyme!

Hi Lyme - can a player add points to Unspeakable Knowledge at character creation, if they lower Stability by a corresponding amount?

Liminal Horror Deluxe Edition and the Liminal Horror Society magazine most grab my attention, but all the future plans look most exciting!  So pleased to learn of these developments!

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That is wonderful news!  I look forward to seeing what dark designs manifest …  Thank you for your terrific creations!

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This is great.  Ever think of doing a Cthulhu/cosmic horror themed hack with these rules?  Jazz-era 1920s supernatural adventures with these rules would be very cool.  Thanks for considering!

Another exceptionally excellent addition to the Cthork Borg oeuvre, adding a new layer of richness and texture to the protagonists' lived experiences in-game.  Cthork Borg is a dark gem of a game, like a Shining Trapezohedron glimmering in the shadows of a cobwebbed church steeple.  This latest addition to the Cthork Borg universe, like its predecessors, is simply wonderful.

Glad to hear it!  Thanks!  

This looks pretty neat.  I know it says based on World of Dungeons, but the couple of freebie pages on view here look more like Into the Odd.  Would this be based on Into the Odd (I hope so...I love Into the Odd).  

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Hello there, friend!  You missed Cthork Borg - Cthulhu with Mork Borg rules!  https://kumada1.itch.io/cthork-borg

Also, Pirate Borg is on the way!  See this Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/limithron/pirate-borg

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Hi Lyme - please don' t shoot me, but I have another rules question...

When adding the 250 points at character creation, and “all skills start at 10,” does this include the Unspeakable Knowledge skill?

If I add skill points at character creation to Unspeakable Knowledge, do I lower my starting Stability on a point-for-point basis?

 If I don’t add any points to a skill (including Unspeakable Knowledge), do I still have it at default 10%?

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Thank you sir!  (and thank you for your patience with me in asking in several places online...it's a wonderful game and I'm excited about it, and this question was nagging at me...so I'm happy to have this clarification/affirmation that I'd read it right).  The Lurking Fear is wonderful!

Excellent!  Thank you!  (and also thank you for your forbearance in seeing my question here, and on YSDC...I am excited about The Lurking Fear and am nothing if not a persistent investigator when I've got a question in my head).  It's a wonderful game you have created!

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Hi Lyme - I love what you're getting at here.  Can you help me with a Lurking Fear rules question?  I asked it over at the game's main itch page, but figured I'd cover all my bases by asking it here, too (apologies for the cross-posting).  Here's the question:  

In a combat turn, does a character (or non-player character or monster, for that matter) get to roll a Dodge skill test before their Agility score is arrived at in the countdown?  

For example: in the first round of combat, if a monster with Agility 16 swipes a claw at an investigator with Agility 12, can that investigator  declare a defend/dodge on the spot, even though it's not yet their point in the Agility score countdown to do anything?  Or does the character with a 12 Agility have to hope that the monster with 16 Agility misses with its claw attack (investigator cannot attempt to defend/dodge) because they can't act - including a dodge - until the Agility countdown reaches 12.   

Since the rules as written say "the next attack against that character before their next turn is an opposed test against their dodge skill" it leads me to assume that having a high Agility score is a boon because - in the first turn of combat - slower opponents can't hope to defend/dodge against the attack until it's their point in the Agility countdown to act.   

In other words, do I have to wait "until it's my turn during the turn" to initiate a defend/dodge action, or can I defend/dodge an attack that first round as an immediate/interrupt response to an attacker who goes before my character in that first turn?

Thank you for helping with this question.


I look forward to your response, and really am liking what I see with The Lurking Fear!

Cheers and thanks,

Brian C., Chelmsford Massachusetts

mograg@hotmail.com

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Rules question: in a combat turn, does a character (or non-player character or monster, for that matter) get to roll a Dodge skill test before their Agility score is arrived at in the countdown?  

For example: in the first round of combat, if a monster with Agility 16 swipes a claw at an investigator with Agility 12, can that investigator  declare a defend/dodge on the spot, even though it's not yet their point in the Agility score countdown to do anything?  Or does the character with a 12 Agility have to hope that the monster with 16 Agility misses with its claw attack (investigator cannot attempt to defend/dodge) because they can't act - including a dodge - until the Agility countdown reaches 12.   

Since the rules as written say "the next attack against that character before their next turn is an opposed test against their dodge skill" it leads me to assume that having a high Agility score is a boon because - in the first turn of combat - slower opponents can't hope to defend/dodge against the attack until it's their point in the Agility countdown to act.   

In other words, do I have to wait "until it's my turn during the turn" to initiate a defend/dodge action, or can I defend/dodge an attack that first round as an immediate/interrupt response to an attacker who goes before my character in that first turn?

Thank you for helping with this question.

Best,

Brian Courtemanche, Chelmsford, Massachusetts

mograg@hotmail.com

I really like these rules.

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My local crew played through The Mall and we had a good time.  The concept of the Whisper Cards eluded us so I simply excised them from the adventure; there were enough thrills and surprises with monsters run amok, negotiating with NPCs, Stress Fallout effects, etc. that we did not need the Whisper Cards.  Also, I'd recommend having a list of 20 or so defunct mall store brands, so when your character says, "I follow the kid into the store on the left," you can quickly say "OK! It's a Sam Goody music store!" rather than simply "the store on the left."  This immediately adds flavor and gives the players a mental picture of where they are.   Overall we had a lot of fun surviving the Mall gone crazy and then getting to the root of the madness.  We ended The Mall by A) getting to the heart of the madness and shutting it down, and B) having The Mall swarmed by agents from The Bureau (another Liminal Horror adventure).  Our characters from The Mall will now be recruited into the Bureau.

This is great - thank you!  I was thinking about the Omens overnight, and am reminded by way of your response about Luck Points in Call of Cthulhu.  In that game, investigators get to cannibalize their Luck scores to directly influence dice rolls, thus working in intent and manner very akin to Omen spending in Cthork Borg.  And your point about playing the opposition as craftily and mean as possible is well taken, since Cthork Borg players can attempt to mitigate disaster with Omen spends.  In my last Cthork Borg game, my players were slinging a bunch of Omens around to defeat the opposition at the finale of the adventure and keep their own fat out of the fryer.  Thank you sir for a) a great game like Cthork Borg; and b) a speedy and thoughtful reply to my observation.  I love this game!

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Hello!  Question/thought about Omens in Cthork Borg: if the player-characters get around 4 or 5 Omens each, and you've got four players at the table...isn't that roughly 16 to 20 re-rolls or Difficulty Number reductions, etc. per scenario?  Is there a concern that so many Omens being available to the party per investigation/scenario that the player-characters will steamroll the opposition with that many 'bennies' available to the group?  Thus lessening the horror feeling of it all?  Would be eager to hear your thoughts...thank you!

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Hello!  While I eagerly await the English version, I put the Portuguese version through Google Translate so I could give the game a read.  Some observations:

There do not appear to be any rules for healing from physical injuries or recovering lost sanity points.

The ever-popular 'Spot Hidden' skill does not appear to be present.

There is no rule for how to engage in an opposed skill contest (for example: my investigator tries to notice the cultist sneaking up behind him, or my investigator tries to dodge the swing of a cultist's machete blow).

These are just some observations as I read the document.  I am looking forward to the English version!  

Cheers and best,

Brian C.

Wonderful!  I will be on the lookout for the English language version.  

Is there an English language version of this fine game?

Existe uma versão em inglês deste belo jogo?

Thank you/Obrigada,

Brian C.

Thank you for making this digest available!  Bill King's One Sheet Rules and Old Ones, Shoggoths, and R'lyeh are big fun in small packages!

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Currently playing through "Whispers in the Mountains" and having a blast!  Cthork Borg is terrific!!!  We have two players as investigators and myself as keeper of the mysteries.  One investigator is an Innocent class character from the main book, whose occupation is a veterinarian.  The other investigator is Hanged Man class character from the Seven Strangers sourcebook, whose concept is something of a drifter seeking eventual retribution.  Both investigators are friends, and both have been haunted by dreams of their mutual friend Agatha in desperate trouble.  Our heroes have traveled to a little mountain town in hopes of finding her.  Things are starting to get weird, and it's delicious.  Great stuff!!!  Wonderful game!!!

Wonderful!  Thank you!

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Hello!  Quick question on converting d100 NPC/monster percentage values: how does this work in play?  

For example, if I have a night watchman with 65% Spot Hidden, this becomes 13 in Cthork Borg (1 DR per 5% skill rating).  Subtracting 13 from 20 is DR7.  So the night watchman has a Spot Hidden DR7...IF the night watchman NPC is the one doing the rolling.

However...

Since in Cthork Borg, the player-characters are typically doing the dice rolling most of the time, DR7 seems awfully low for them to elude the night watchman with Spot Hidden 65%.  By the same logic, a night watchman with Spot Hidden 75% would have a DR5, and be even easier for the player-characters to elude, if we're subtracting the watchman's value from 20.

In other words, why subtract from 20?  Why not just take the NPC or monster's percentage value and divide it by 5 to get the Cthork Borg DR value?

If the NPC or monster is making the roll, then yes, subtracting from 20 makes sense. 

Thanks and best,

Brian C., avid Cthork Borg fan

I would LOVE to see a version of this game where you're investigating Cthulhu Mythos mysteries!  One Primary Investigator, others are consultants/compatriots on the telephone or wireless or what have you.  Like when Harley Warren goes down into the ghoul caves in the HPL story 'The Statement of Randolph Carter,' carrying a microphone and trailing a wire back to his friend Carter on the surface.

Ah...I understand now...the 'neutralize' a crit or fumble is essentially already included under the 'reroll a die' provision...meaning that a player can set down an Omen and declare that the crit or fumble they just rolled is to be re-rolled (neatly side-stepping the whole 'neutralize' question).  Thank you for helping me process this information - very helpful!

Hello!  In regular Mork Borg, Omens can be used to neutralize a crit or a fumble.  But that bit of text is missing in Cthork Borg (other uses for Omens are the same as in regular Mork Borg).  Is leaving out neutralizing crits & fumbles intentional here in Cthork Borg?  Thanks!

Umbra Actual Live-Play Report - April 20th, 2022

Today I got to run Umbra for the first time.  Several members of my rpg group and I were able to squeeze in a brief, two-hour gaming session today.  Since it was not our whole crew and we were sneaking in just two hours of gaming time on Zoom, the group wanted a game system that was extremely fast to set up and to play.  I’d prepared a Cthulhu Mythos mystery published for another Cthulhu-themed rpg (‘Whispers in the Mountains,’ featured in the ‘Cthork Borg’ rpg core book) a system with a more traditional character sheets and more dice mechanics.  Given our time constraints and that we had to make characters instantly on the spot, it seemed a situation tailor-made for Umbra to power our game.   Given Umbra's minimalist approach, virtually any adventure or scenario for any other game system can be utilized with it, with no stat block or dice mechanic conversion headaches.

I told the group (3 players and myself as Referee) that all they’d need to do is grab a single 6-sided die, that they begin with 5 Stability points representing both physical and mental toughness, and to pick an occupation and a name for their character.  I quickly gave them a rules-briefing: roll a 1 or 2 on the 6-sided die to succeed in a task, or roll 1-3 on the 6-sided die if the task fell within their occupational skill set.  Skill dice rolls would only be attempted during stressful moments, not for every little thing that a competent adult or professional could routinely accomplish.  The players seemed sold on the immediacy of character creation, swift ease of Skill Test rolling, and how characters rely on their Stability to stay in the game, both mentally and physically.

What follows below contains some mild spoilers for the first part of ‘Whispers in the Mountains,’ so if you intend to play through that Cthork Borg adventure, reader be advised, there be spoilers ahead!

The scenario starts in the 1920s, in Bangor, Maine.  The players immediately dreamed up appropriate characters:

‘Claire,’ a backwoods villager woman (hearty Maine type with a pick-up truck, tools, and lots of warm flannel and wool clothing)

‘Ashton,’ a troubled young man of means on the verge of going criminal out of boredom

‘William,’ a mild-mannered druggist who owns the town pharmacy.

Each character received an identical letter from the principal NPC – let’s call her Agatha – stating that if they were receiving this letter, she (Agatha) was in trouble, and could they essentially come rescue her from her current predicament. 

Each character invented a connection to Agatha, herself being a fit older woman who writes freelance journal and magazine articles for a living.  William declared himself to be a personal friend of Agatha’s as well as being her druggist.  Ashton became Agatha’s nephew; it would be adventurous to pull his aunt out of whatever trouble she’d fallen into.  Claire decided that Agatha was her neighbor and friend. 

The scenario hook set, the characters first checked with Agatha’s adult daughter to confirm that she was indeed missing, and what sort of activities Agatha was up to before her writing these 'help' letters.  Agatha’s daughter stated that her mother went up to a tiny village way up in the northern Maine woods – a former lumberjack camp and mining site – to research the peculiar folklore of the region.  She’d not been seen since.

The players drove Claire’s truck to the tiny village, deep in the expanse of northern forest.  They talked to the local police, who seemed friendly, and located Agatha’s rental cabin, which looked like Agatha had never been there.  Except she had!  Ashton discovered a tightly folded note in a ceiling nook, written in Agatha’s hand, that she felt the village was turning on her.  Ashton noticed that Agatha’s cabin had iron nails tapped into the earth in a ring around the cabin. 

The three investigators decided to spend the night in their own rental cabins on the same property.  That night, the wind was full of awful hoots, whispers, and gibbering from the woods, sounds unlike normal animals, and certainly not people.  Time to test Sanity!  Each investigator rolled their dice, hoping to get under their full 5 point Stability score.  Claire and Ashton passed; William failed, rolling exactly a 5, dropping his Stability to 4.  He had a terrible night pacing his cabin in between fitful bouts of nightmarish sleep, with something nameless and terrible chasing him through the woods in his dreams.

The next morning, emerging into the light, the investigators were shocked to find that Claire’s truck had been disabled.  There were also raw, bleeding animal hides crudely tacked to nearby trees in a gruesome display.  At the sight of the damage and the weird carnage, each investigator made a second Sanity (Stability) roll.  As before, Claire and Ashton passed, while poor William the druggist rolled a 5 again and lost another Stability point, bringing him down to 3 Stability.  Umbra rules state that there’s an option to roll a Skill Test once per day to recover a single Stability point.  Since this was Day 2 of the investigation, William’s player rolled a Skill Test, but again rolled high, a failure.  William’s Stability remained at 3 on the second day of the investigation, the character still haunted by the ghastly sounds and sights of the cabin grounds. 

Realizing that something in this village was very, very wrong, the characters decided to hike a half hour into the village center, steal a car, and drive it back to the relative safety of their own homes…essentially abandoning Agatha to the forces of darkness.  I suspect this is because our two hours of real game session time was almost up, and the players wanted to see if they could get their characters out of the creepy village relatively unscathed in the short amount of remaining session time we had. 

Ashton was able to find a car downtown, and expertly hotwired it.  As a ‘troubled young man,’ stealing and hotwiring a car would be within his occupational abilities, so Ashton’s player got to roll 1-3 on that Skill Test, rather than the standard 1-2 result needed for success.  He had to roll the dice because there was some stress involved…stealing the car in broad daylight, people around who could see him, not a lot of time to retry if he initially failed.  Luckily, the roll was low, and Ashton got the car going.  He picked up the other two characters, and they beat a hasty retreat back to home.  Poor Agatha!

Overall I was very favorably impressed with Umbra’s simplicity and ease of use.  My players did not mind that their characters would not be receiving “mechanical boosts” or “character sheet improvements” … that it’s not that type of game.  The odds to pass/fail Skill Tests – and the infrequency of actually rolling the dice – both worked out fine, allowing the story to flow very quickly.  We only had two hours of real time to explore a mystery (well, the start of a mystery), with Umbra…yet we got in a few tense rolls and told a story together with ease. 

Should we play another time, William will be able to recover from his shock before a return to mystery, and all the characters will be steeled for what may be before them.  The players could even decide to swap out characters for more ‘action types’ in attempting a deep woods rescue.  A player decision to swap out characters in Umbra has no mechanical bearing on the game, other than occupations helping improve Skill Test chances.  No experience points or character sheet accountancy work to do, making it easy to swap in new characters.  Overall, Umbra delivered quite nicely in our moment of need: a fast, fun, simple yet elegant game system that could get us right into the story in a short window of time.  I think that Umbra as a game system would also work just as well for longer tales, with characters growing diegetically in the game world itself through shared experiences and knowledge, rather than skill marks and bonuses to scores on a character sheet.  Umbra delivers, and much fun was had.

This is very helpful - thank you!

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Hello!  Quick rules question: can multiple Omens be spent on a single dice action?  For example, can I spend an Omen to reduce the DR of a rolled task, and if I fail the task, immediately spend another Omen to re-roll?  And if the re-roll fails, assuming I have remaining Omens, can I drop a third Omen on that same task to re-roll yet again?  In a releated vein, can a player ally spend an Omen to drop the DR of a task, and then my own character spends an Omen on a re-roll on that same task?  Can Omens pile on to a single task so that characters "can't fail" when they really need to succeed?  Or is it only "one Omen per turn" for any given task?  Thanks!

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Je comprends.  Merci beaucoup!

Pardon...mais...un version anglais, si vous plait?  Mon francais est pas bien.  Je suis American et je lit anglais.  Merci beaucoup pour votre consideration.

Terrific - thank you!!!  It’s a wonderful game!

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Dear Kumda1, 

Is it permissible to create and publicly share our own Cthork Borg material? 

Purchased a print copy from DriveThru!

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Hi Henriique - I will share an actual-play report when I'm able to gather my friends together to play Umbra.  I'm very excited to introduce them to the game.  I intend to run my local crew through some of the Call of Cthulhu scenarios on my bookshelf using Umbra as our game engine...your work is a wonderful expression of the Lovecraftian genre in the Free Kriegsspiel style of play...thank you for creating this wonderful game!

Thanks Henriique!  I just sent you the lightly edited PDF of Umbra from my email: mograg@hotmail.com  

I'm looking forward to getting a game of Umbra going with my local crew in a couple of weeks.  Several of my gaming buddies are presently at GaryCon in Wisconsin.  When they return, we'll give Umbra some time at our gaming table.  I can't wait to share it with them!

All best,

Brian C.