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Just finished putting together my handouts for my Achtung Cthulhu Gamehole game. Given the OfficeMax bill I racked up, I might have to find another use for these after this weekend. Maybe Evercon?

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Gary Gygax was a certifiable badass:

Because the twitter feed does not seem to be loading, here's the short of it: somebody sent a FOIA request in and got the FBI's file on the originator of the hobby. It makes him sound like the original murder-hobo. I also need a Liberian bank account to store my dungeon loot.

After listening to the two social encounters episodes, I thought I'd share a simple system that I use to build social encounters. I make no claims as to originality--I'm sure I've stole this from other sources, which I'm too lazy to backtrack. Anyway, it comes down to three questions.

1. What is one unique / interesting about this NPC that is immediately apparent?

You really only need one thing to distinguish most NPCs. The "guard" is far less interesting than the guard with a cleft palate, or the guard with a squeaky high voice, or the guard with terrible flatulence. Major NPCs should get three things, tops.

2. What does the NPC want from the PCs and/or what do the PCs want from the NPC?

This can go either way or both ways, as long as someone wants something. Altruistic groups may jump at the first opportunity to help an NPC. Most other groups will be interested in some sort of bilateral exchange. You will know your players best.

3. What is the conflict?

This is what makes a social encounter important. Without it, you are just jawing meaninglessly with the NPCs. Note, by conflict I don't necessarily mean a combat (though that is certainly possible). Rather, there should be some obstacle as to someone getting what they want (see #2 above).

To apply to Fritz the mechanic, Sean's example from episode 127:

1. Interesting feature: Fritz is old and slow as hell.

2. The PCs want their car fixed.

3. There's a guy in the trunk that Fritz might discover.

Conversely, I am less certain about Brett's example with the baker, mainly because there's no conflict. Perhaps she's secretly spying for the thieves' guild and the PCs just marked themselves as outsiders by asking simple questions about the city.

You can tie another NPC to any of the goals or conflicts you identified above and then ask the three questions about that NPC. Pretty soon you have a web of social interactions that can take up a whole night, or at least until the PCs get sick of talking to people and start stabbing everything in sight.

Hope that's helpful. Let me know your thoughts!

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Prepare to make a sanity check: International Business Times: Doctors Succesfully Pull Out 'Large' Live Roach Out Of Woman's Skull.

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I was very happy to see interest for the session of Achtung!Cthulhu I plan to run under the Gaming and BS Banner at Gamehole Con. (You can find a description of the event on the Gamehole Con page at 2 p.m. on Friday.) I am considering adding a second session on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., but I need to know that there's interest because it would involve restructuring my schedule.

Please post if you're interested. Assuming the Gamehole Con Masters approve another session (the sacrifices are already lined up), I will send out an announcement here so you have a chance to sign up ahead of the general masses.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the best Con in the Midwest/World!

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