Character immersion in Trail of Cthulhu

I am part way through running Eternal Lies, a large campaign that uses the Trail of Cthulhu system. I have three players in the group, and we are generally running into an issue with the flow of the game.

Trail of Cthulhu (and to an extent other Gumshoe based games) places a great deal of emphasis on the interpretation of the clues that the PCs find during the investigation, rather than the effort of finding the clues themselves. In this particular campaign, the majority of the clues they find are paper based such as telegrams, letters, diaries etc.

During the reading and interpretation of these clues players are largely out of character. I give them a prop, they read it and discuss it.

In addition, we are finding the mechanical way refreshes work to be immersion breaking, as the limits and circumstances in which different general abilities refresh seem very artificial. For example,the way First Aid works is that you need to pass a check to see if you are successful, but even if you are then you need to spend points from your pool to actually do any healing. This means that after a certain point, you can’t use first aid at all until after a refresh, which doesn’t happen until the end of the current locale.

These two things is making it extremely difficult for players to become properly immersed in their characters, and this has a number of knock on effects.

  • I am making a real effort to introduce time pressure into the investigation, but the lack of character immersion means this isn’t working, and players are making decisions on a meta level as players rather than considering how their characters would react. For example, they know one of the evil guys is onto their friends and families. I have played out a number of scenes with these characters to establish them and their relationships to the PCs, and this has worked really well. The evil guys are likely to be doing horrible things whilst they are away from New York. This knowledge was intended to keep them focused on dealing with Bangkok as quickly as they could. However, they are taking their time, with no feeling of urgency at all. Bad things that happen don’t seem to have impact on character decisions.

  • It is leading to risk averse play. Decisions about what to do are coloured by what players would do in those circumstances rather than protagonists. They tiptoe around things rather than get stuck into dealing with stuff. The effect of this is that nothing is getting properly resolved, and if I follow through with ‘realistic’ reactions to their actions, the evil guys would be becoming so prepared for them, the difficulty in them achieving their goals would be so high as to become extremely unlikely.

It is worth noting the near the beginning of the campaign there was an issue where, despite the characters having drives that gave reasons to want to continue to get involved in the story, the players were talking about letting them just go back to work and effectively ignoring what had already started to happen. It was almost as if they’d created their characters in such a way as to not want to get involved in Cthulhuesque adventures at all. After raising this with them and reminding them that the point of us playing was for them to have proactive characters who would want to get involved, things settled a little.

The players are aware there is an issue here. We all know each other very well and openly discuss things as they come up at the table.

How have other GMs avoided or addressed these problems? I am mainly interested in those who have run Trail of Cthulhu or other Gumshoe games.

A shortest trail problem

I am currently learning stuff about networks and I saw this shortest trail problem given in the book, yet left with no answers and I have no idea about. Say have a graph $ G(V,E)$ as a directed graph with a distinguished source node $ s$ and sink node $ t$ . For every edge $ e\in E$ has a possibly negative length $ l(e)$ . show that a shortest trail(a walk without repeating edges) from $ s$ to $ t$ can be found in polynomial time

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I have not concentrated on monetization I just used ouo.io link shorter for the download link. You may use popup ads, or some other monetization techniques to earn more

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(Leetcode) Freedom Trail

This is a Leetcode problem –

In the video game Fallout 4, the quest “Road to Freedom” requires players to reach a metal dial called the “Freedom Trail Ring”, and use the dial to spell a specific keyword in order to open the door.

Given a string ring, which represents the code engraved on the outer ring and another string key, which represents the keyword needs to be spelled. You need to find the minimum number of steps in order to spell all the characters in the keyword.

Initially, the first character of the ring is aligned at the 12:00 direction. You need to spell all the characters in the string key one by one by rotating the ring clockwise or anticlockwise to make each character of the string key aligned at the 12:00 direction and then by pressing the center button.

At the stage of rotating the ring to spell the key character key[i]

  • You can rotate the ring clockwise or anticlockwise one place, which counts as 1 step. The final purpose of the rotation is to align one of the string ring’s characters at the 12:00 direction, where this character must equal to the character key[i].

  • If the character key[i] has been aligned at the 12:00 direction, you need to press the center button to spell, which also counts as 1 step. After the pressing, you could begin to spell the next character in the key (next stage), otherwise, you’ve finished all the spelling.

Example –

enter image description here

Input: ring = "godding", key = "gd" Output: 4  # Explanation: # For the first key character 'g', since it is already in place, we just need 1 step to spell this character.  # For the second key character 'd', we need to rotate the ring "godding" anticlockwise by two steps to make it become "ddinggo". # Also, we need 1 more step for spelling. # So the final output is 4. 

Note –

  • Length of both ring and key will be in range 1 to 100.

  • There are only lowercase letters in both strings and might be some duplicate characters in both strings.

  • It’s guaranteed that string key could always be spelled by rotating the string ring.

Here is my solution to this challenge –

# Uses dynamic programming  def find_rotate_steps(ring, key):     """     :type ring: str     :type key: str     :rtype: int     """     dp = [[min(i, len(ring) - i) for i in range(len(ring))]]     dp.extend([[float('inf')] * len(ring) for _ in range(len(key))])     for i in range(1, len(key) + 1):         for j in range(len(ring)):             if ring[j] != key[i - 1]:                 continue             min_step = float('inf')             for k in range(len(ring)):                 if dp[i - 1][k] == float('inf'):                     continue                 step = abs(k - j)                 step = min(step, len(ring) - step) + 1 + dp[i - 1][k]                 min_step = min(min_step, step)             dp[i][j] = min_step     return min(dp[-1]) 

Here is the time taken for the example output –

# %timeit find_rotate_steps("godding", "gd")  36.2 µs ± 1.33 µs per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 10000 loops each) 

Here is my Leetcode result for 302 test cases –

enter image description here

Therefore, I would like to know whether I could make this program shorter and more efficient.

map highlighting software trail highlight software [on hold]

i am distributing gospel pamphlet, area by area. i would like to have software that i can overlap the street and lane that i have bin (it is recorded by handphone thru gps location plotting, saved in GPX file format), so the lanes that i have bin i won’t be overlapping it.. is there simple free software that suitable for me ? it must have import gpx to be overlap onto map (maybe offline google map or online google map), it will have to able to let me import multiple gpx file so for me to keep track.

if anybody know such software, pls intro to me.

thx.

andrew

Peru: Inca Jungle Trail to Machu Picchu experiences

I am planning to go to Peru in May 2019 for 2 weeks and a half. My final step for the trip is the Machu Picchu Wonder. It is a too late to book the classic Inca Trail (which is limited) but as my girlfriend and I enjoy also adventure and thrill we were interested in the Inca Jungle Trail (which is mostly made of biking, rafting and zip-lining).

I have multiple questions about this trail and I list them below, if anyone can help on any point it would be appreciated:

  • Should I book it online or wait to be in Cuzco to do it on-site?

    • If it is online, do you know a safe online travel agency to book the trip? (www.incajungletrail.com says to be recommended by the Lonely Planet)
    • If it is on-site, do you know fair local agencies? Is this trail often sold out?
  • How long would you take to acclimate before starting the trail?

  • What is the average price for a 3 to 4 days Inca Jungle trail? (I saw price ranges from 150 to 400 USD).
  • If you have experienced it, would you recommend it? Could you give me some feedbacks?

Any other advice on this trail would be a plus!

breadcrumb trail design for mobile

I was trying to make my website mobile friendly. I have gone through many reviews about breadcrumbs in mobile websites. Some say it is good and some say it is bad. After going through the reviews, I was thinking of the following design approach.

(a) add location icon in menu
(b) on click of that direct users to a separate page
(c) the new page to show detailed navigation path from home till the page user is currently in
(d) also show all relative links in that page.

is this a good design approach from the point of user experience from mobile and desktops?

Move SKEmitterNode along with the trail that it creates

In Swift in SpriteKit, I have a SKEmitterNode that I have set up to make trails following the player. I have the target set to self, the scene so that it will make these trails when moved. I would like to be able to move the EmitterNode to another position without the trail following it, but instead moving with it, so that the sate of the trail that it makes is the same once it is moved to a new position. Is there any way to do this? I have tried experimenting many things like the target node, but I have not found a way to fix this yet. I can edit to show code if necessary. Thanks!

“Expand all menu links” Menu Block selection shows all menu items in block not just active trail items

I have a menu block that I have setup with Initial visibility level = 2 and Number of levels to display = Unlimited. When I check the “Expand all menu links” checkbox and view my menu block it is displaying ALL menu items at visibility level 2 VS the menu items in the active menu trail.

What’s the be way to display only the active trail menu items without going into each menu item and setting them as “Show as expanded” individually.

I’m using Drupal 8 and a customized Bootstrap theme