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[Reborn] Convicts & Cthulhu: Australia in the 18th Century

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#61 nclarke

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 08:15 AM

I'm guessing that some of  the scenarios could be transposed into any situation where you have a big prison, say the 1930's USSR or current North Korea or some future similar situation where the inmates have voted themselves into setting up the prison i.e. 1984.

 

Nigel


Edited by nclarke, 05 May 2017 - 08:16 AM.



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#62 dce

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:38 AM

I'm guessing that some of  the scenarios could be transposed into any situation where you have a big prison, say the 1930's USSR or current North Korea or some future similar situation where the inmates have voted themselves into setting up the prison i.e. 1984.

 

There is definitely potential for doing this kind of thing -- a few people have even suggested to me more radical "reimaginings" of the convicts material, for example transposing the material to a future space-faring setting where some kind of alien world serves as an isolated "space penal colony" (come to think of it, the first few episodes of Blakes 7 featured exactly this kind of thing).

 

What can I say, gamers are creative kinds of people. And that's a good thing.

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)


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#63 dce

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 12:45 AM

Those who have been following the (rapidly-expanding) Convicts & Cthulhu product line that Cthulhu Reborn has been publishing, might be interested to hear that we've just released the sixth supplement in the "Ticket of Leave" series. Ticket of Leave #6: Night of the Convict Dead is available right now over on RPGNow.

 

cr3005f-convicts-cthulhu-ticket-of-leave

 

This supplement differs slightly in format from some of the previous "Ticket of Leave" titles in that it devotes most of its 15 pages to a somewhat-ready-to-run scenario (the eponymous "Night of the Convict Dead"). This is supported by some historical source material which can be extrapolated by Keepers for other purposes. It also featurs some awesome new artwork from Reuben Dodd (see above).

 

The subject matter of this supplement is simple: it's about death in the early penal colonies of Australia. Because of a combination of rampant disease, poor hygiene, horrific and barbaric punishments, and the occasional hanging, Death is a pretty frequent visitor to the colonies. This creates some practical problems, mostly relating to the sanitary disposal of so many corpses. Remarkably, the early colonies seem to have approached this in an entirely haphazard way -- while there were allocated burying grounds, the arrangement of graves within those spaces was pretty random, and no official records were kept of who was buried where. Because gravedigging was a job given to convicts -- who hardly had an incentive to do a good job -- many graves were dug much shallower than is ideal. This created noxious odours whenever the weather got hot, and attracted pigs and goats from neighbouring farmlands, who sometimes dug at graves.

 

All of this adds up to a setting where there is an ample supply of corpses, and not too much care taken in keeping track of them ... and in the worlds of the Cthulhu Mythos, that can only spell trouble. After all, how much easier would the "researches" of young Herbert West have been if he had a ready and limitless supply of source materials sitting right at his doorstep?

 

The scenario component of this "Ticket of Leave" explores a detailed investigation where an unlucky bunch of investigators are given the task of getting to the bottom of a sudden rash of dead bodies discovered in several places around the colony. In each case, two corpses were discovered in close proximity -- one a recent victim of violence, but the other ... well those all look to have been dead for a considerable time. Do your plucky investigators dare to plumb the depths of this macabre mystery -- and, more importantly, can they act fast enough to stop -- The Night of the Convict Dead?!

 

As a side-note, this release also marks a special occasion for "Convicts & Cthulhu" -- it's one year ago today that the core C&C book was first released. As we described over on this blog post, since that time that book and its supplements have sold around 3,600 PDFs and softcover books -- which is an amazing achievement for a tiny publisher like Cthulhu Reborn. We are heartily indebted to the many, many people who've grabbed our book, whether as free downloads or accompanied by an ever-helpful donation. We hope that Convicts & Cthulhu has brought some quirky fun to your gaming table!

 

Ticket of Leave #6: Night of the Convict Dead is downloadable right now via RPGNow -- as with other larger titles we have made this a "Pay-What-You-Want" title. Of course we are more than happy if folks (particular readers of this forum) want to grab it free of charge -- but equally, if you'd like to chip in a small donation to help keeping the C&C line going, everything that you're able to contribute is very, very much appreciated.

 

We hope you enjoy the "Night of the Convict Dead" ... and trust that you will put on a suitably creepy-sounding voice when you declare "They're Coming To Get You, Convicts!" :)

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)


Edited by dce, 01 June 2017 - 12:47 AM.

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#64 andreroy

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 06:15 PM

I've had it for a bit, but just finished reading through Convicts & Cthulhu as well as the 6 Tickets of Leave. Great material and can't wait for the future ToL (especially the Gentlemen Convict one hinted in #5).

 

Now I need to find a way to combine Cakebread and Walton's Dark Street (1749 London) and Convict's and Cthulhu  :twisted:



#65 dce

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 10:42 PM

Over on the Cthulhu Reborn blog, we've recently announced the release of the seventh in our "Ticket of Leave" line of supplements to Convicts & Cthulhu. Ticket of Leave #7 is subtitled "Seams of Gold" and takes as its starting point a rather obscure (but true) tale of brazen convict mendacity.

 

cr3005g-convicts-cthulhu-ticket-of-leave

 

The historical tale: Chances are you have heard something about the great Gold Rushes that formed an important part of early Australian history (coming as they did at a similar time to the Californian gold rushes of the 1840s). But you will almost certainly never have heard about the first great "gold fever" that struck the penal colonies of Australia. Late in 1788 -- less than a year after the first white settlement at New South Wales -- a convict named Daley made a magnificent discovery, stumbling across some nuggets of gold-bearing rock while out working in a remote part of the colony. Not only that, but the man claimed to have discovered a 'gold mine' out in the remote mountains where lots of mineral wealth might be extracted. Excited by the evidence presented by Daley, the government of the penal colony despatched an expedition to the place nominated. And that's when they discovered that the whole thing was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the master forger and confidence man, Daley.

 

Ticket of Leave #7: Seams of Gold riffs on this weird little historical nugget, mixing it with generous doses of Lovecraftian themes, hopefully producing some intriguing versions of the tale for your horror roleplaying enjoyment. The 14-page fully-illustrated PDF is a free download, available right now. It features a replica of the original London news article describing the hoax, details of the historical event, and a scenario seed version with three different options for taking it in a Mythos-direction. Perhaps the gold nuggets manufactured by the untrustworthy convict contained elements of something otherworldly that in turn controls his actions? Or maybe he was in thrall to one of the unclean gods of the Cthulhu Mythos? Or maybe the whole thing is an "innocent scam" ... but the remote location chosen by the convict for his fakery is actually home to something much more ancient than he could ever know?

 

We hope that you and your gaming group enjoy getting to the bottom of this tale of gold, lies, and cosmic horror.

 

Note: this is the first PDF that we have released to fit with Chaosium's "Fan Use" policy -- this has occasioned a few small changes. In particular, it's meant that we have decided to produce two versions of this "Ticket of Leave #7 PDF". The version available direct from the Cthulhu Reborn blog (link) is a version complete with full game statistics for Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition. This is the version most folks will want. There is a separate generic/systemless version of the same material that is available via RPGNow (link).

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)


Edited by dce, 21 September 2017 - 10:46 PM.

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#66 dce

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:19 AM

Over on the Cthulhu Reborn blog, we've recently announced the release of the eighth in our "Ticket of Leave" line of supplements to Convicts & Cthulhu. Ticket of Leave #8 is subtitled "Gentlemen Convicts" and explores the curious social sub-class of wealthy men (and women) who were sentenced to transportation to Australia, either because of criminal acts or (more commonly) because of their political affiliations.

 

cr3005h-convicts-cthulhu-ticket-of-leave

 

Although the so-called "Gentlemen Convicts" were numerically few -- little more than a historical footnote -- the unique blend of privilege (borne by former wealth back in Britain) and dubious legal status (from being a convict) makes for characters with an unusually fertile story potential. Gentlemen Convicts would make for great NPCs in a Convicts & Cthulhu campaign or scenario, either serving as handy solo villains or joining together (as they did historically) into covert societies. Then, of course, there is the potential of having a Gentleman Convict as an investigator -- allowing one or more of your players to experience the strange position that these wealthy criminals occupied in society.

 

Ticket of Leave #8: Gentlemen Convicts includes historical information about the privileges and tribulations suffered by Gentlemen Convicts and provides capsule biographical summaries of five diverse historical examples (any of which would make great NPCs or inspiration for an investigator's background). The bulk of the supplement comprises a lengthy (11,500 word) scenario seed that plunges investigators into a blood-soaked murder spree which might, or might not, be supernatural in origin. A secret society of Gentlemen Convicts is the target for this violent stalker, yet nobody can say why his (its?) interests have fixed upon the group. It is up to the investigators to get to the bottom of the motives of this gruesome predator ... but can they solve the mystery in time? Or will the stalker's bloody trail of murder and dismemberment end with every member of the society dead and in pieces? (Cue horrible new art by the always-amazing Reuben Dodd, commissioned for this PDF).

 

tol8-blue-coat-sml.jpg

 

As always, we hope that this absolutely FREE 20 page PDF supplement assists you and your gaming group in creating an inspiring historical gaming experience steeped in gentlemanly manners, squalor, and cosmic horror.

 

Note: as with the previous PDF we released in the "Tickets of Leave" series, this one is released upon Chaosium's "Fan Use" policy -- this has meant that we've been obliged to create two slightly different versions of the PDF, one which contains Call of Cthulhu, 7th Edition statistics and one which is systemless/generic. The version that is downloadable direct from the Cthulhu Reborn blog (link here) is the complete STATTED version of the PDF and will be what most readers here will want. If you'd prefer the generic version, you can always grab it from RPGNow. When we first approached this way of releasing PDFs we feared that this two-version approach might be off-putting to people -- but download and sales statistics would seem to suggest that isn't the case at all (thankfully!)

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)


Also: another small milestone for the Convicts & Cthulhu line -- with this new "Ticket of Leave" release we have now published over 200 pages of material for the colonial convict setting, all of it professionally illustrated and produced.

 

And most importantly -- all of it available (in PDF) for FREE!

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)


Edited by dce, 15 November 2017 - 12:13 PM.

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#67 nclarke

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:05 PM

Thank you Dean for another great (and free) resource for gaming in the colonies.



#68 joe adams

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 02:34 AM

An amazing resource! Thanks for the great work.







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