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Running Masks for the first time, tonight! Advice?

CoC 7e Pulp Jazz Age

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#1 KnygathinZhaum

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 03:18 PM

Hello, all! Tonight will be session #1 of my first time running Masks of Nyarlathotep. I'm running it for 7 people, all people from my regular homegroups, so no worries there. I prepared notes, dialogue, hand-outs and NPC mini-sheets (I keep an NPC moleskine) for the entire first chapter (NYC). I'm feeling pretty good and pretty well-prepped. That said, the best laid plans...you know how it goes.

 

Any advice, tips or fun things that you've encountered, employed or thought of that might be helpful...please post if ya like! :D




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#2 Travern

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 06:59 PM

Just a few:

  1. With MoN's well-deserved reputation as a meat grinder, ask your players to create backup characters or, at the very least, come up with bios for their PCs that can furnish rationales for replacements.
  2. Although MoN is advertised as a global adventure, ensure that your players don't neglect languages—French is generally helpful, being something of a lingua franca even in the 20s, but you may have to drop some extra hints to convince a player to pick up Arabic or Cantonese.
  3. If you don't already own the MoN Companion, it's available in PDF from Chaosium.  It's the gold standard of campaign supplements.


#3 littleo

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 02:08 AM

How did it go? I love the lead in for this campaign.

 

M



#4 KnygathinZhaum

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 01:06 PM

How did it go? I love the lead in for this campaign.

 

M

 

It went great!

Right away things kicked off in high gear as the players accosted the bellboy at the Chelsea and found all three of the Bloody Tongue cultists in the room, pre-exodus. I gave them a bit of a luck roll so one of the cultists was on the john in the bathroom (which I wrote an explanation-via-flashback for, in the form of a fortune-reading, as a prologue to the second session). 

 

A favorite moment was when one of my player's characters, 'Ernst von Loplop' - Dadaist, starting charging at one of the cultists while loudly reciting the English alphabet backwards (said character also showed up to Erica Carlyle's party dressed a bit...wrong, in session 2. I had to capture this moment the following day, see attached pic).

 

Session 1 involved, post-Chelsea: A visit to Professor Cowle's lecture and a subsequent chat and a trip to Emerson Imports wherein I introduced the name of the 'Ju Ju House' to the players (which I would terribly regret come session 2).

 

Session 2 began with the players chomping at the Ju Ju bit, so I had to artificially rail-road them away from the building (Under Repairs, Opening Soon!) though they crept around the tenements, adjacent shops and the abandoned pawn shop getting little bits of clues along the way. More importantly though, session 2 involved the introduction of Jonah Kensington into the campaign with a little late night chop suey dinner and a raincheck to Prospero House the following morning followed by a late night attendance of Erica Carlyle's birthday gala at the Carlyle Estate (wherein one player's hypnotism skills sold Erica on the idea of a seance as a sort of "fabulous" party trick, meanwhile the sneaky characters managed to locate the safe and Roger's books.

 

We've had a bit of delay in getting session 3 started as I'm on vacation in the US Virgin Islands for my 40th birthday right now, ha! But I did actually (much to my girlfriend's dismay, I'm sure) bring my writing materials along with me because the players seem hell-bent on hitting up Kenya or Cairo (and while I do want to give them as much sandbox as I can, I barely have anything for Cairo written, nothing for Kenya and nearly all of London written). I'm thinking that Jonah may give them a call and alert them to a package held by his secretary at Prospero, wherein he has gifted the players with a bit of money and tickets to London. I know it's a bit cheap and forced, but such is life.

 

loplop.jpg


Edited by KnygathinZhaum, 31 August 2017 - 01:18 PM.


#5 gabrielconnor

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 02:02 PM

If you want my advice, don't railroad em to London, let them make up their own path! Makes for a much more interesting experience.



#6 KnygathinZhaum

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 04:09 PM

If you want my advice, don't railroad em to London, let them make up their own path! Makes for a much more interesting experience.

 

Point taken and appreciated! That's good. I think I just needed a mental push one way or the other. Luckily I think the next session will keep them in NYC so I can at least get an idea of where they want to go and start writing my notes and dialogue for wherever that may be.



#7 KnygathinZhaum

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 02:12 PM

Hey, hey. Working on my notes for Kenya here and I'm fairly confused by the way the 'Nairobi Star' bit is laid out. On one hand, it seems the campaign is almost telling me that a fire *must* start at the newspaper (11 minutes after arriving) if players decide to go there straight away. And on the other, the campaign seems to me to be saying if this happens...the players become ostracized and expelled and the only way to avoid this is to go straight to the Mountain of Black Wind, skipping a TON of investigative preparation and gaming.

 

Can anybody shed a little clarity to this, or perhaps just tell me in what ways you approached this bit of Tandoor Singh's revenge?


Edited by KnygathinZhaum, 02 September 2017 - 02:13 PM.


#8 WinstonP

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 10:40 PM

If the campaign says something that would negatively effect your game, disregard it.

You could have the fire start while the investigators are visiting The Star, allowing them a chance to heroically kill the fire vampires... err..: stop the fire and save the staff.
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#9 KnygathinZhaum

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 10:56 PM

Sure, sure. I guess I was mostly just concerned about whether or not I was reading/interpreting it correctly since it just seemed organized or laid out so conspicuously. I think, in the end, what you describe is a good compromise though. Thanks!







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