Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chaosium posted an important update

Well, theres been a little bit of an unfortunate update from Chaosium, but to me at least, its not entirely unexpected.

This really is a HUGE project, and its doubled in size.  While I'm somewhat disapointed that its being delayed.....  I'll survive.  And I'll keep posting printable props, articles, and photographs.  My campaign is starting in a couple weeks - going to have an adventure thats un-attached to the campaign to bring all the characters together, and give the players (particularly the inexperienced players) some familiarity with the game and how things work.

What Happens When 123,000 Words Becomes 345,000 Words?

Update #82 · Jul 10, 2013 · 27 comments
What Happens When 123,000 Words Becomes 345,000 Words?
The Horror on the Orient Express of 1991 was made up of four small scenario books, each taking the investigators further into the horrors that awaited them on the Orient Express route. The new edition will be comprised of four thick content-rich books that improve and expand on the classic campaign.
While everyone here at Chaosium is diligently working on Horror on the Orient Express, we feel it is time to inform you, our awesome backers, that we will unfortunately not be able to release Horror on the Orient Express by Gen Con. Much to our disappointment, the release will end up being a couple months late.
However, with this unfortunate news comes some grand news, as the books are looking better than ever. We have scores of amazing maps by Steff Worthington, exciting art by Stefano Marinetti, Caleb Cleveland, Alberto Bontempi, Michele Johnson, and Dean Engelhardt. In addition, we have, through Campaign Coins, created two amazing pieces: a the Croix D'Orient Express and the Medallion of Ithaqua. We are very pleased with the fine quality of our props, including the placemats, postcards, and postcards.
We have Andrew Leman on board working hard on creating astounding handouts.
This monumental process has surprised us not only with the sheer volume of work, but also with the excellent quality of the new text, artwork, and handouts.
While delays are not always easy to swallow, in the end we believe that creating a top-quality book (set of books!) is more important in the long run than the exact release date.
A note about Gen Con:
For our loyal backers that will be at Gen Con, we will have an Orient Express Museum set up at our booth, where you will be able to see some of our progress thus far. We will have a plethora of handouts and props for you to see, and a print on demand sample of one of the books for you to view at our booth.
Thank you for understanding,
The Chaosium Crew

From the editor:

The delay for the project is on my shoulders. Despite the authors making their deadlines, I have failed to make mine, and apologize to everyone.
The delay is due to me underestimating the task and spending too long in playtesting and pre-production. I started final editorial too late, and discovered there was a lot more to do on each scenario than I thought. The text is now fully edited and with Chaosium.
The 1991 book was 123,000 words, with 13 scenarios and background for the 1920s train. The 2013 manuscript is 345,000 words, with 19 scenarios and background for the 1920s, 1890s, modern and Dreamlands trains, as well as new 1920s articles and a standalone booklet for players only.
All of the existing scenarios have been expanded with new scenes, more player options, new information flow, new Keeper advice, expanded 1923 historical background and superb new city maps from Steff Worthington (in both player and Keeper versions). The brand-new scenarios enhance the campaign back story, necessitating further editorial. Partway through we confirmed that we would publish in 7th edition. I think is the right decision as it means the campaign need not be revised again in the future, but it took time to convert the existing material. I thank Phil Anderson, Paul Fricker, Geoff Gillan and Mike Mason for their assistance.
I am sorry that you will not have the book sooner, but I hope it will be worth the wait.
 - Mark


  1. Will you write about the adventure, characters you'll play? I'm eager to hear about it.

    Recently we are playing Trail of Cthulhu, I don't know if you play the d100 system, but I would highly recommend ToC. :)

    1. I'm absolutely planning to write about the adventure and characters (in large part because while finding articles and photographs and making printable props is fun.... I've been struggling to find materials to post lately, and writing about the campaign would help solve that little problem - and it might lead to other keepers offering helpful ideas. It also might help future keepers so they can benefit from my experiences).

      We're doing the last day of Character Generation tonight.
      So far the group consists of
      1) A Former British Soldier (Engineer) who's a little down on his luck
      2) The son of a wealthy British Farmer who is looking for some adventure and excitement
      3) The daughter of a wealthy American Horse trainer/racer (who might also be involved in bootlegged whiskey)
      4) An American Jeweler with connections to organized crime who is starting the campaign hiding in England
      5) A Gypsy mystic

      I'm expecting 3 more people tonight for character generation, and we're going to start playing in Early August. We'd tried to time this so that the new edition of Horror on the Orient Express would come out right as we started, but.... well.... I still have my old version.

      Planning on having an initial adventure thats only semi-connected to the Campaign. Might be able to stretch that out over a couple sessions until the campaign is released... althought I might have to start using the original edition (and then adjust things a little bit when the new edition arrives.

      Either way, Im excited. We're planning on using Call of Cthulhu 6th Edition. I almost went for 7th edition, but that would have required holding things off for a few months.