Sunday, September 22, 2013

Notes from My Campaign - Session 2

Thursday night we met again, to continue the intro adventure.

When we left them last, there were 5 dead military police soldiers in the house.  One of our "gentlemen", a Turkish soldier with a very klingon code of conduct, ensured that they were dead.  Then disposed of their bodies (he slit open their stomachs, poured rocks in, then bound them up and tossed them over a cliff into the ocean) and destroyed their armoured car (poured liquor around in the cab, smashed a couple bottles, lit it on fire, and then rolled it off the cliff where the bodies were tossed).

Meanwhile, the other half of the party traveled to a nearby University where they hired an archeology student to take them to a nearby dig site.

When the entire party arrived at the dig site, they found a platoon of Military Police soldiers on guard - and by a miracle of dice work talked their way past (with only a 5% chance of fast talking their way past, they rolled 01), and lowered themselves down into a tunnel complex - the "Hyperborean" outpost.

They found the tunnel complex covered in the same carvings that are on the stone that started the mystery.  And down one tunnel, a 2 meter stone globe, floating above the floor, covered in a Pangaean map - implying that the globe is 200-300 million years old.  They correctly deduced that the carvings on the wall in this room were a starchart - but without any astronomy or astrology skills, they were unable to decipher any of it.

In another room on the other side of the complex, they found a similar room, with a similar globe - but with impossibly tall mountains, and impossibly deep canyons.  Some kind of alien world.

And then they found a sand-packed tunnel leading into the ocean.  Wandering around in the darkness more, a room that shocked and horrified them - a couple bodies of students, torn asunder and cast to rot.

They went back to the sand-packed tunnel, this time looking for footprints, which they found.  Large, clawed footprints - footprints of the Deep Ones that were using the abandoned Elder Thing outpost that has been mistaken for a Hyperborean outpost.

And with that, a feeling of revulsion, horror and "lets get out of here" overcame the group and they exited, sneaking past the MP's and back to their car.  Where we paused the game waiting for next session.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Train station

While this is really "January 1943. "Freight operations on the Chicago & North Western R.R. between Chicago and Clinton, Iowa. The journey ended, conductor John M. Wolfsmith walks to the little passenger station to wait for a suburban train to take him home to Chicago." ", for my purposes, it can be just about any small train station, almost anywhere.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Armoured cars and a light tank

Milovice, Czechoslovakia

While the above photo is from Czechoslovakia, the french made FT-17 tank shown was exported widely and adopted by many countrys across the world after the first world war.  And the Armoured Cars could easily be in the service of the Italian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Greek or Turkish military or police.

Just in case your players start thinking about causing some trouble....

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Swiss Border

Just a little view of a Swiss Border crossing for automobiles.

While the Campaign "Horror on the Orient Express" is primarily a train-based campaign, I plan on giving my players a little latitude with regards to getting from town-to-town, especially if they 'cause a scene' in a city and have to escape overland to the next train station.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bulgarian "Bandits"

I dont know for sure that these guys are bandits - but for the purposes of my campaign, I'm planning on using this photo as bandits, or cultists.

The Madsen was a popular light machine gun from before the first world war, and served in various capacities around the world.  They've been seen still in use in modern times in Brazil, however they fell out of use for the most part, after the second world war.  Im using a format adopted from Investigator Weapons, vol. 1 PDF available from Chaosium.

Madsen Light Machine Gun – 8mm Mauser
$730 – very rare
Base Chance
Base Range
Hit Points
Machine Gun
140 ‡
‡ - Double if fired off a vehicle mount, or from the bipod, or a tripod

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Some Greek Soldiers

Just a photo of some Greek Soldiers, fighting between Turkey and Greece.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A few fonts

Working on a Scroll of the Head prop, I've been keeping my eyes on fonts - Propnomicon ran an article a couple days ago about the Mexlar Font.  It looks like a pretty good one to me.  CoastConFan suggested Cuneiform Fonts as well.

I'm somewhat tempted to use a mix of Mexlar and something like Longbow to give the feeling of a scroll penned by someone medieval who was educated, like a monk, who was also losing their cool and slipping into insanity.

I've had some good luck in the past with Dark Arts as a font.

I'm  more than somewhat tempted to make a couple more scrolls to lead the players on a couple wild goose chases.

Works gotten kinda crazy again, so I haven't had a chance to write a good update.  *sigh*

Oh!  And part two of the introduction adventure starts on the 19th.  Trying to figure out what to serve for dinner that night, any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Links to help you make magical scrolls

Theres a couple points in the campaign where the players will get their hands on scrolls - like the Scroll of the Head - right?

Now, Chaosium might revamp the scroll of the head prop - but just in case it doesn't meet your standards, you might want to check out The Esoteric Archives.  Another good source for "Alchemical/Magical" circle drawings would be looking up various Transmutation Circles from Full Metal Alchemist.

I've started working on a printable Scroll of the Head prop, just in case, and should have it for release in the next couple days.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A little bit of shelter from the snow

January 1943. "A Chicago, Milwaukee, Saint Paul & Pacific Railroad train just arrived at Chicago Union Station." 
Medium format nitrate negative by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information

Another view that could be just about any train station in the world - while this one is really Chicago Union Station, it could be substituted in as a station somewhere in Europe.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Repairing a train car

November 1942. "Chicago, Illinois. Jacking up a car on the repair tracks at an 
Illinois Central Railroad yard." 
Medium-format negative by Jack Delano, Office of War Information

Its a timeless view, that could be seen anywhere around the world in a train yard.  A maintenance mechanic repairing some worn out equipment.  Perhaps the players train is delayed because of a maintenance issue?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Game Resource - Names

So, coming up with names 'on the fly' can be challenging, right?

So heres a couple random name charts - British, French, and German names.  I don't remember where I got these charts from (I saved them on my portable drive a couple years ago).  Apologies that I don't have female names on the chart - although this name Generator at Atlanta Gamer might help.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Belgrade, again

A ferry crossing/landing in Belgrade

Hotel Moscow in Belgrade

The interior of the Belgrade train station

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

a few views of Belgrade

The Belgrade Credit Bank

The Belgrade train station

another view of the Belgrade train station

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Theres something beautiful about Milan

Central Station, from the street

Another view of Central Station, from the street

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Just a few more views of Calais

Theres something about fishermen that I think is interesting.  Perhaps they're Dagon or Cthulhu Cultists.  Or maybe they're in league with the Deep Ones.  Who knows.  They're just interesting people.

And the light house.  I'd love to live in a light house.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Notes from the Intro Game Session

Last night was Game Session 1.

Heres a prop document I used - Newspaper

And my initial scenario/adventure notes - they're far from complete.

As the group has a couple people who are completely new to role playing games, and call of cthulhu in particular, this session was intended to get people introduced to the game system and some of the ideas.

I have one of these, the "Elder Artifact", from Cryptocurium (On a side note, I have a number of 'artifacts' from Cryptocurium, and have found them to be pleasent to do business with, and pretty fun props, in my opinion, Cryptocurium is 'one of the good guys in the prop business').  Things get 'weird' for the players when one of them found it inside a book that was concealed inside their luggage along with a note that said "Please give this to Professor Julian Smith".

In the "Newspaper" theres an article about a Hyperborean outpost.  The idea is that something was found by students, and the government has stepped in kinda ruthlessly.  One of the students managed to smuggle something out, and wants the players to give it to Professor Smith.  Its not a Hyperorean Outpost - its an Elder Thing outpost that was abandoned millions of years ago, and later used by Deep Ones.  Since nobody "knows" about the Elder Things, or the Deep Ones, they're assuming its "Hyperborean".  The Elder Things are long gone from the outpost and have forgotten about it.  The Deep Ones use it rarely.  The adventure isn't about the outpost.  I haven't even bothered detailing it at all, figuring that its completely in the hands of the military, and its a no-players-allowed-zone.  I suppose somebody could be motivated enough to find a way in, but.......  whatever.  The Adventure is really to get the players to know eachother a little, figure out their character a little, and introduce Professor Julian Smith (who will motivate them to go on the Orient Express on a quest to save the world from the Brotherhood of the Skin)

I also printed these out, on a paperboard backing and had them as the super-expensive paintings that are on special expo talked about in the news paper.  I kind of intended for them to distract players by making them think they were 'something'.  Partially to let them know that not all of the props have a meaning.

In the game notes, theres a couple letters - I printed those out to give to two of my players to give them a reason to be at The Manor - hired security.

After getting the characters together at The Manor, there was a lot of awkwardness looking at art and trying to figure out whats going on.  Then the artifact was found, and alot of curiosity - but when it didn't "Do Something", some interest faded.  They called a university, and the university said they'd send someone - and they did - Military Police, seeking the artifact.

Those turned out to be uncooperative MP's who refused to answer questions, and demanded that the artifact be handed over.  And just as that was happening, a drunken character threw a bottle at a Military Police man.  Well, she pegged him square in the back of the head and got a knock-out.  That startled another MP, who fired a shot.  That resulted in pandemonium as the hired security characters, and one of the goons proceeded to lay waste to the MP's, while protecting simultaneously trying to protect Lord Afbalder.

We ended the night with the combat just ending, and everybody trying to figure out what to do next.  All the Military Police are dead.  Their armoured car is out front of The Manor.  Lord Afbalder is in shock.  The Artifact is mysterious, but kinda...... blah.  Its a rock.  Hah.

And on the menu for the night -
  • 1) Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • 2) Scotch Eggs
  • 4) Sparkling cider relabeled as expensive wine from France.