Thursday, June 13, 2013

Say what you like about Mussolini; he made the trains run on time.

This is a week of printable props, eh!

Today: two different ways to make a train schedule.

1) print this .PDF Printable Schedule out on a "Legal" sized sheet of paper, trim the excess and give it to your players as a handout  (then trim the excess and give it to your players as a handout).

2) decompress the .ZIP Train Schedule Folder, and adjust the times/locations to fit your needs, then print it out on an "Legal" sized of paper (then trim the excess and give it to your players as a handout).

In making this prop/handout, I started with this 1939 schedule as an example.  I'll admit, I pretty much just copied it.
I modified some of the locations to better fit with my view of the Horror on the Orient Express Campaign, and left other destinations intact, to show some of the alternative destinations that players could elect to visit for whatever reason. Some of the locations I just plain and simply couldn't read, so I used my best guess and a healthy dose of Google to try to figure it out.

Now why is this schedule interesting and worthy of your attention?

The last time I played Horror on the Orient Express was the mid 1990s, and I was a player.  The keeper didn't want to deal with the issues of time keeping, so the train was always just there waiting for us to board.  For that group, it worked.

For my campaign, I’m planning on assuming that the players bring their belongings with them when they exit the train, and I’ll have a clock on hand that I can adjust the time easily on to show the players what time it is in the game so they have to plan to make it back to the train.  Perhaps they’re being pursued by cultists and the trains not due for another couple hours so they cant just disappear onto the train with a wave and a cat call of "au revoir...." as cultists shake their fists at the rapidly departing players, instead they have to play a cat-and-mouse game of hide and go seek in a town that the cultists are intimately familiar with…. Or perhaps they’re hiding from cultists on one side of town, and the trains just about to leave on the other side of town….  The tension of watching the clock tick.

Oh, and that bit about Mussolini and the trains....  
....Snopes says its a bunch of hooey

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