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Falkenthulhu System

Page history last edited by Michael 10 years, 1 month ago

     We are using a system which converts Castle Falkenstein Ability ranks directly to a percentage number. These numbers are (for most Abilities) used as RuneQuest/Call of Cthulhu style skills, and allow easy conversion back and forth between our version of CF and the ‘official’ version. 

 

  Poor
Average
Good
Great
Exceptional
Extraordinary
skill percentage
5%
40%
65%
90%
110%
130%
special success
1%
8%
13%
18%
22%
26%
Physique damage bonus
-1d4
--
--
+1d4
+1d6
+2d6
actions per round
1
1 off, 1 def
1 off, 2 def
2 off, 2 def
2 off, 3 def
3 off, 3 def
equivalent RQ stat
1
8
13
18
22
26
base magic value
--
--
6
8
10
12
pull magic cards per
--
--
4 minutes
3 minutes
2 minutes
1 minute

 

The Abilities

 

Athletics
 
Charisma
 
Comeliness
 
Connections
 
Courage
 
Craftsmanship
 
Education
 
Etherealness (f)
 
Exchequer  
Fencing  
Fisticuffs  
Gambling  
Glamour (f)  
Gunslinging  
Helmsmanship  
Invention  
Kindred Powers (f)  
Leadership  
Marksmanship  
Mesmerism  
Motoring  
Natural Sciences  
Perception  
Performance  
Physician  
Physique  
Riding  
Social Graces  
Sorcery  
Stealth  
Tinkering  

 

Order of Combat


Order of attack is by skill (Fencing, Fisticuffs, or Marksmanship) in six steps, starting with Extraordinary levels and working down to Poor. If characters have equal skill, order is by skill in Athletics. If fighting and Athletics levels are equal, order is simultaneous or randomly decided, at referee’s discretion. Each second or third attack is made two steps later (ex: Great marksmen can shoot at Great and at Average). Defensive actions can be used up as needed, one per step.


Damage


On taking any wound of 1/2 HP or more, make a Courage roll to remain conscious. Characters are automatically unconscious if only 2 or less HP remain. Death normally occurs at the end of the turn after HPs drop to zero or less. No more than half of a character’s HP can be lost due to damage in a single limb.

 

Hit Points

 

Generally:  Castle Falkenstein Health x 2 = Call of Cthulhu hit points. Example:  our average Joe has an Average Health, and thus 16 Hit Points total.

 

Spot Combat Rules

 

  • Add only half of the damage bonus for thrown weapons.

  • Athletics skill can be used for dodge maneuvers.

  • Special success requires Special Dodge or Parry.

  • Characters may Parry and Dodge in the same round.

 

Movement in Combat


Humans move 8 yards per turn, or 16 with no other activities (including dodges). A large feline, such as a lion or tiger, might move 16 yards per turn in combat. Generic dogs and horses move 12 yards per turn in combat; elephants about 8 per turn. These animals also double their movement by moving “non-combat.”


Firearms

 

  • Guns at 12 feet (4 yds) or less, double chance to hit

  • Double normal range at half chance to hit

  • Triple normal range at quarter chance to hit

  • Quadruple range at one-eighth chance to hit, etc

  • Full round of aiming rifle or musket, double ranges

  • Telescopic scope used on rifles, double ranges

  • c&b or flintlock firearms malfunction on a 95+ roll

  • Most other firearms malfunction on a 99+ roll


Reloading Firearms


The number of turns which must be spent reloading an empty chamber is based on Marksmanship Ability:

 

 

Poor

Average

Good+

cap & ball rifle (Minie ball)

30

6

4

flintlock musket or pistol

40

8

5

flintlock rifle

60

12

8

cartridge weapon

2

1

1

 

Pistols and shotguns are reloaded at the same rate as the equivalent longarm. Persons with Great or better Gunslinging take about half of the time listed for Good Marksmanship.

 

Sorcery

 

     While the result of pulling a Joker might not be totally bad (all torturers in town disintegrated!), it just as easily might be vile ( ... and your friends in prison!). The magician also has to stop pulling cards when the Joker is pulled, so really large spells are limited by this also.

     And, after all, no one can really ever be killed in Castle Falkenstein by random chance ... even the mighty ‘Turn Them Into A Grease Spot’ spell won’t kill someone at High success -- unless you the player or referee tell it to.

     See also the discussion on pg. 90 of Comme il Faut of what spells a Good Ability magician might have. Note also the use of practiced spells and of magical foci.

 

How Many Thaums are Out There, Anyway?

 

     Per Comme il Faut, anyplace away from a “good” ley line region has only half the usual deck. In my campaign, large (European) cities in a spell region reduce the deck again by half (due to the Sorcerers at work therein), and lots of iron (like industry or extensive railway lines) reduces it by half again. So, there might be only 13 cards in the Sorcery deck in Birmingham (a grimy, unpleasant industrial town with no claim to ley line fame). And in special cases, like Greenland or Malaysia ...

 

Notes on Tinkering and Inventing

 

     I notice that only characters with Exceptional or Extraordinary Tinkering can actually invent anything new; so this will presumably limit Franz the stableboy from ever coming up with the atom bomb. The new skill of Invention, from Comme il Faut, allows Great and Exceptional inventors to have profitable ideas (Gadgets basically); again, though, only Extraordinary Ability can be used to create anything from the Amazing Vehicles, Infernal Devices, Astounding Engines and Formulations list. Note that the Invention Ability does not confer any mechanical aptitude -- you still need Tinkering, or a Tinker, to make you Invention.

     There are contradictions on this subject in the examples given in the main rule book, the Comme il Faut book, and the Steam Age book. Oh, well.

     The cost of inventions listed in Steam Age range from 2,000 to 20,000 coins, with a couple up near 40,000 coins. In Comme il Faut, a Great Exchequer has an income of 100 coins a week; Exceptional and Extraordinary Exchequers have essentially unlimited funds. We can sort of say, for the “amazing”, “astounding” and “infernal” inventions, that a Great Exchequer can scrimp, save, and economize his or her way to terrific creations -- or find a patron or backers with more funds. Above Great Exchequer, the money is no problem.

     Building inventions costs 100 coins a week -- or day, with the revision of invention times. The time listed on pg. 208 of the Castle Falkenstein rules (in weeks, now days) is the time to CONSTRUCT the first example of whatever it is. Research, deep thought, etc. takes as long as the referee desires.

     So, if you want to invent and build the Moon Rocket, or Time Machine, or whatever, in your basement with no help, start a character with an Exceptional or Extraordinary Tinkering and Great (or better) Exchequer. Tom Swift and other impoverished inventors need not apply!

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