Call of Cthulhu: Divine Fire at Gencon 2010

You made this possible: Aaron’s first convention game of Call of Cthulhu. He’s ran Tom’s Divine Fire scenario. Prisoners stuck in a remote Nazi science camp are forced to work together to survive the winter weather and inhuman monsters. Can the boy scout Aaron give the scenario a proper run? Listen to find out!

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  1. Holy hell – half an hour or so into listening to this: what did you guys do to Aaron? He’s…dare I say it, rather confident.

    This is intriguing. I’ll listen on.

  2. “It’s Like” Pretty cool.

  3. My face when this actually starts off well.
    I’m okay with this.

    Aaron, I’m tempted to make a meme template with your face in the center, It’s Like on the top, and some random third thing on the bottom.

  4. I think the the it’s liking got much better later.

  5. Aaron, you did a great job! That was alot better than I had expected! IΒ΄m looking forward to an other actual play with you as GM.

    This is a great scenario. Very well done Mr. Tom!

  6. Its like I’m writing this post its like uh its like I’m writing this post while its like uh its like an hour and its like uh forty-five minutes into this actual play and um its like its like I find myself distracted its like its like I find myself its like distracted by uh its like um its like the numerous times Aaron its like its like um Aaron prefaces his sentences with um its like uh its like…

    Aaron, I like you and think you’re a good guy, but dude, for chrissakes man, you’ve got to settle down when running future con games.

    You’re not a bad keeper, but I wonder if your group of players weren’t distracted by the whole “its like” thing. I actually found myself counting how many times you could say “its like” in a three second span and I counted seven times. Dude, seven times in a three second period… anyone would find that distracting!

    I commend the courage it took to run a game in a high pressure setting like GenCon and I think you did a good job, but I really found the number of “its likes” very distracting and immersion breaking. I hope you can work on that and run a killer Con game next year!

  7. Aaron’s might be a more distracting verbal tick, but you can actually count Tom’s pauses, or Ross’s ‘umms’, in stressful or fast-paced games aswell and find the actual count similar.

    I’ve noticed ben Baugh’s delivery in the posted MAOCT game was pretty slow, and yet he’s pretty captivating in that AP. I think pausing and slowing down the GM pace is acceptable if the ticks get distracting for players.

  8. I think Aaron did an incredible job! How many people out there have ever played in a Con game, much less run one? For those of you that can’t handle a little nervous issue, I think you should try to walk into a room filled with strangers and run a game.

    I say bravo good sir, and keep doing it! You have a flair for this, and I look forward to hearing another one of your sessions.

  9. Well I gave this particular AP a few days after getting about an hour and forty-five minutes into the session.

    I found the “it’s likes” so distracting that I couldn’t finish it…

    The upside to this AP was hearing Tom in the background, running his game and it sounded like fun!

  10. So, in essence, I managed to reduce Patricks sanity to the point that his mind could no longer take it and had to stop the AP. I’m counting that as an additional permanent insanity to Keeper casualty list!

  11. Aaron I give you major props for having the balls to run the game… I hope that you don’t think I’m picking on you. If I were in your shoes, I would have extremely nervous as well and yes, you drove me insane. Another notch on your Keeper list.

    I hope you aren’t so nervous next GenCon and run another kick ass game!

  12. I don’t post that often, and I know I’m the least mentioned of the RPPR regulars, but Patrick I feel you’re being especially hard on Aaron. I know we give him a rough time of it, but he knows it’s all in good fun. Your comments, however, on this thread are quite brutal, and I must say a little aggravating. Yes, Aaron has an annoying verbal tick, and it’s like (sorry, Aaron) hard not to notice and squint in pain when it takes over the brunt of his speech. Others have mentioned that Ross and Tom have ticks of their own (I do too–God, do I have them), but who doesn’t? Even professional orators slip up every now and then while speaking. And we in no way claim to be professional orators. We’re geeks, which naturally grant us the predisposition of being less confident and more apt to stumble over our tongues more often than our non-geek counterparts.

    Our games are meant to be a time to kick back and relax after the stress of a long and arduous work-week…and/or school. I find it hard sometimes to think or stay on task most of the time because I’m spent. I’m pretty sure that’s why we behave like a bunch of ADHD children at times. We curse, tell dirty jokes, or make snide remarks at the GM or one another because it’s fun and a way to let go.

    Curbing an involuntary verbal tick is no easy task. I used to go to speech therapy in elementary for years because I had a bit of a lisp, and it can be heard pretty easily still if you’re listening for it. I say umm or uhh a great deal, or stutter, or pause for quite some time because my mind is working much faster than my motor functions and the words I need to illustrate my thoughts elude me. And of course, actual plays will demonstrate this more than a speech because we have not spent meticulous hours cultivating, reciting, and preparing ourselves to deliver a grand oral presentation; we are playing it off the cuff.

    Could Aaron limit his verbal tick? Sure, but not without great effort and restraint…and it most certainly wouldn’t feel natural. And if he were able to, it should not be for the benefit of others or RPPR, but for himself. In the end, Patrick, do as I do and try to ignore it, because continuing to focus on it and ridicule him for it will only make things worse in the long run.

    And Aaron, I’m proud of ya buddy for running a game at Gen-Con! I couldn’t have done it.

  13. Jason,

    As a child I struggled with a speech impediment as well and for the record I am a geek. If I wasn’t a geek I wouldn’t be here would I?

    I just want to clear the air and say that I respect each and every cast member of RPPR. I have nothing but respect for Aaron and the bravery it takes to run a game at a major convention.

    Jason, I know that your games are informal affairs and I know that you guys play for the enjoyment of playing and not necessarily to pander to an “audience”, but people (myself included) do listen to your APs.

    To be fair, Aaron ran a game at a paid event (GenCon) and I think that the players in his game deserved to be entertained. After all, they paid for it! Honestly I don’t think Aaron’s batch of players gave him much to work with. As I’ve said three separate times now, I have nothing but respect for Aaron’s courage for even running a game in the first place. I am 100% confident that he will do much better next time.

    I apologize to you, Jason and to Aaron and to anyone else who may have found my comments offensive, but I must respectfully suggest that it is my right to have an opinion and post my observations.

  14. Patrick,
    It’s not that you were overly offensive so much as it became tiring to read similar comments over and over. It was a little like beating a dead horse. But it came off a little rude, especially when you said that the best part of the AP was hearing Tom’s game in the background. Ouch!

  15. Jason,

    My intention wasn’t to be rude.

    I guess I really dig Tom’s games because I think he’s a great GM and it sounded like he was having a blast.

    Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Aaron’s players didn’t seem all that engaged, or perhaps they just weren’t as lively a bunch…

    I think Aaron really put a lot of effort into his game, it just didn’t pan out for whatever reason. I’m saying this with no disrespect, malice or intention to be rude.

    Jason, I am supremely confident that this game served as a learning experience for Aaron.

    This morning I recorded an audio journal entry and I noticed several verbal ticks in my speech. I couldn’t help thinking about this discussion. You are absolutely right in your assessment; getting rid of those ticks is very difficult (my particular tick is “uh” and “um”).

    I just want to respectfully reiterate what I had posted earlier and emphatically say that my intention was not to make fun of Aaron in anything but a good natured way.

  16. Have you listened to the end yet? He basically trimmed the fat to a few of the better players in the main plot (and in danger) and then did nasty things to them. Also, I liked how Aaron handled Grunwald.

    Infact, did you get to the horse combat? That was pretty intense and fun too.

  17. It’s cool, Patrick. Aaron did put forth quite a bit of effort for the game, and I’m glad you guys appreciate that. I do think he has learned quite a bit from this experience, and I figured you didn’t mean to come off rude. I guess mostly I was just getting tired of seeing too much emphasis on his verbal ticks.

  18. Its a big step in the right direction. Having myself run games at GenCon its a pretty sink or swim environment (having done both in the same day with the same game), and I felt that Aaron didn’t drown himself, so its pretty damn commendable. Verbal ticks aside, it was a well done game.
    I have listened to the other Divine Fire APs that are posted, and I felt that the fat trimming that was done was a little harsh (after all, no one really survived with their sanity in place on both other occasions), but then again they players went for a different angle as well, spending more time considering the airplanes. But it still made for an entertaining game, and out of the players most of them, or at least half of them, seemed to be engaged and having fun, and that is by far and away the best part.

  19. I read all the ancient comments about Aaron’s “It’s like” tic before listening, but I didn’t even notice that particular verbal white noise except for one instance. All the background chatter from the rest of the room was waaay more of an issue.

    Favorite parts were the guy playing Vladimir Alexandrov with his fake Russian accent and practical priorities of food and vodka, and Aaron when he was playing the mad Doctor Kempfler.

    It picked up more and more once they got past slowly cautiously rolling repeatedly to investigate their environment in various ways and went in and got warm SS uniforms and food.

    And man, just like “give me an Insight check” in D&D, “make an Idea check” is the CoC version of the awkward “need to explain something the player is mistaken about but don’t want to just point it out without a dice roll.”

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