O otimismo do rpg Call of Cthulhu

Apesar de já ter jogado o rpg Call of Cthulhu (CoC), baseado na mitologia criada pelo escritor norte-americano H.P. Lovecraft, devo confessar que não sou muito fã do jogo. Um dos grandes atrativos do rpg, para mim, é a evolução dos personagens. Gosto de ver meu bardo/super-herói/oficial de nave estelar crescendo e mudando ao longo do tempo. Em CoC, isso é pouco provável de acontecer devido à notória alta letalidade do jogo. O único crescimento possível é dentro do espaço de tempo da campanha, que pode não durar muito. Além disso, um mesmo personagem de CoC participar de mais de uma aventura parece incongruente com o material que serve de fonte para o jogo. A história deveria ser a aventura da vida do personagem, aquela que ele contará a seus netos — se sobreviver.

Já para outras pessoas, o problema do jogo é o caráter depressivo da ambientação, onde a humanidade está fadada a ser destruída por horrores cósmicos que não tem capacidade de compreender. No entanto, há gente que considera o jogo otimista, como Balbinus, da RPG.net. Reproduzo abaixo a primeira mensagem (em inglês) do tópico que ele abriu lá sobre o assunto.

On the fundamental optimism of CoC

Adapted from an email sent out to the group I’m in, about the issue of failure in CoC.

I have run CoC campaigns where the party ultimately failed (and one where the world was plunged into madness and terror, oops), but the majority of them I’ve run they did actually defeat the forces of entropy and chaos at least for the time being.

I always saw CoC as in some senses quite an optimistic game. Yes, we’re doomed in the long run and all that. But in the long run we’re all dead as the saying goes. For now, despite the prospect of madness, disfigurement, death or worse (most of which can produce a fair bit of black comedy) a small band are prepared ill-equipped as they are to risk themselves for the greater good. It’s profoundly heroic really, at least that’s how I always saw it.

Played with selfish PCs, CoC flatly fails. If the PCs aren’t basically heroic, in choices if not in attributes, then after their first encounter with the mythos they realise how dangerous it is and all sod off home. There’s only a game if the PCs decide “someone has to do something about this” and then appoint themselves to be that someone.

Last time I ran CoC for any length of time it ended with several characters dead and two lost through a gate, due to another character’s random act of stupidity. Bit of a downer ending in some ways, but before going down they did defeat the bad guys, so although they didn’t make it back (in play anyway, there was a theoretical chance they might offscreen), they still basically won. Just not without cost. Last time I ran it at all, the PCs weren’t really that altruistic, so the game sort of fizzled. It needs that optimistic note, if it’s all hopeless then there isn’t really a game.

CoC is an optimistic game, because it assumes the PCs care enough to put their lives and sanity on the line for strangers, and I think that’s a profoundly optimistic assumption in what it says about human nature. The whole meatgrinder angle, it’s a side issue, a product of convention and tournament games, it’s not really I think where the game’s heart is.

Thoughts?

True Blood voltou

Começou a segunda temporada de True Blood na HBO americana. O primeiro episódio já está disponível no EzTV. Para quem não sabe, True Blood é uma série de TV baseada nos romances da escritora norte-americana Charlaine Harris sobre vampiros no sul dos Estados Unidos (The Southern Vampire Mysteries). O legal da ambientação é que os mortos-vivos vieram a público depois da invenção de um sangue sintético que consegue alimentá-los. A partir daí, eles começam a fazer campanha por direitos civis para a sua espécie. Mas isso é só o pano d efundo da série, tem muito mais coisa acontecendo na pequena cidade de Bons Temps, na Louisiania. Confira! :]

The Demon of War

Este é um pequeno conto que fiz sobre um personagem de um jogo de fórum do rpg de Amber.  Eu a adaptei para um novo jogo.

This is a short history about a character I created for an Amber rpg play-by-post game. I adapted it for a new game.

King Throyden and his advisors gathered around the map. “Yes, it’ll be a swift victory. My name will live on in legend as the greatest strategist of all time”, Throyden said proudly. However, he noticed his advisors had gone pale after hearing his words. Seeing they looked past him, towards the door, the king realized his mistake. Turning, he saw Ambroskh The Accursed, Demon of War, step into the room. For the first time in a long while, Throyden was at a loss for words. Fear gripped his tongue as he tried to mouth an apology.

“Shush, my dear king,” the demon said. “I care not if you claim credit for my feats. My only concern is the battle tomorrow”, he completed. Reaching the table upon which sat the map of the borderland between Throyden’s kingdom, Modral, and his rival’s, Sedonia, Ambroskh peered intently at the chart. “No, no, no, that won’t do. We’ll move in through the Pass of Kirtaine”, he finally said. Throyden looked incredulous, but carefully measured his words. “The pass? But it’s a… dangerous place. I mean, we might be ambushed”.

Ambroskh gave the monarch a stern look. “Are you questioning me, Throyden? Have I ever led you to defeat?” he asked in a serious tone. The king gulped – a very strange thing to see one of royal blood do. “The Sedonians will think exactly that and will have only a light garrison at the pass end. You will go through them as a knife through soft baby skin”, the demon explained. “Tomorrow night, we’ll drink to victory at the gates of the Sedonian capital,” Ambroskh finished with a smile. Before anyone could say anything, he turned and walked out of the room, leaving a dread silence in his wake.

***

Thoyden kneeled in the bloody soil. The weight of his armor and wounds forcing his body down. Only his mighty two-handed sword prevented him from collapsing. The king coughed and spat blood. He looked up and saw a figure walking calmly towards him, as if the scene of turmoil and carnage around him was a sunny meadow. It was Ambroskh the Accursed. The demon who had betrayed his pact with Throyden. He approached the monarch and stopped. His plate mail – the helmet a stylized wolf head — glistened under the few sunbeams that made it through the layer of smoke that enveloped the field outside the Pass of Kirtaine.

“Why… Why have you betrayed me? We… we… had a… pact”, Throyden painfully said. “Was it… my pride… yesterday? I… I… apolo.. forgive… me, my lord,” the king poured on, tears streaming down his weathered face.

“Oh, please, Throy! Do you really think one such as me would even care about that little faux pas of yours? The truth is, initially, I didn’t care which side won. I was testing a scenario. That’s it. Unfortunately, for you, I got tired of your little kingdom,” Ambroskh told the fallen monarch.

“But… then… Sedonia… they will… They’ve won?” Throyden asked.

“Of course not. My, even my cousin Fintain, who has the tactical brilliance of an ox, could see what I was getting at here! Your army outnumbers the Sedonian’s five to one. The pass equalized the situation and you both annihilated each other.” It seemed the demon found that tidbit of information amusing. Seeing that the king didn’t understand what was going on, he continued. “You are both a shadow of your former glorious past. Which is a good thing to the Mordavians — you know, the people you have been oppressing for two centuries –, who will grow to fill the void left by you. In a hundred years, Modral and Sedonia will be faded memories. But don’t worry, Throy, as you wished, you will become immortal. People will always remember you as the foolish king who made a pact with the Demon of War and paid a bitter price for it”, Ambroskh finished with a laughter. As if on cue, a black horse emerged from the smoke. Its eyes were red and its saddle, bit and bridle matched the demon’s armor. He mounted and trotted away from the battlefield into shadow.

Dia da criação do universo

39 anos, 11 meses e trinta dias, às 20:55 (horário de Brasília), o universo finalmente se consolidou, assumindo seu aspecto majestoso e incomensurável. A existência era antes um mero fiapo tênue e frágil, e a realidade ilusória e fugidia. Tudo isso mudou no dia 4 de junho de 1969.

Não por acaso, nasci nesse dia. 😉

Apesar do meu nascimento ser obviamente o evento mais marcante dessa data, outros acontecimentos menores também recheiam esse dia, como o registro do primeiro eclipse solar, a morte do Casanova, o nascimento do Lampião , o Dia Internacional das Crianças Vítimas Inocentes de Agressão e o massacre da Praça Celestial e . O ano de 1969 também é bem movimentado.

Assim, comemorem o dia de hoje. De poreferência, mandando presentes para mim. 🙂