Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Gaslight Occupations

Gaslight

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 SquibblyDibbly

SquibblyDibbly

    Son of Yog-Sothoth

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 607 posts
  • LocationLondon

Posted 28 August 2017 - 07:42 PM

Have not posted on here for ages, and I'm sure this must have come up before, but I was doing some planning on a Cthulhu By Gaslight game and there seems to be only a very small number of occupations to choose from. For the 1920's the excellent Investigators Companion detailed a whole array of occupations for Jazz era investigators, but has there ever been anything similar for the 1890's?

If anyone knows of any articles or supplements with additional 1890's occupations (beyond the basic sourcebook) please could you let me know. Alternatively if you have any suggestions which might make good Victorian investigator occupations shout them out.*

*I should say by good occupations I mean one's which would actually provide a useful background and set of skills for an investigator. There are lots of working class occupations like costermonger and night soil man but are these really much use in a party?
"You forget, I was present at an undersea, unexplained, mass sponge migration"


Log in to remove this video.

#2 JeffErwin

JeffErwin

    Son of Yog-Sothoth

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 634 posts
  • LocationMonterey, California

Posted 28 August 2017 - 09:04 PM

Have not posted on here for ages, and I'm sure this must have come up before, but I was doing some planning on a Cthulhu By Gaslight game and there seems to be only a very small number of occupations to choose from. For the 1920's the excellent Investigators Companion detailed a whole array of occupations for Jazz era investigators, but has there ever been anything similar for the 1890's?

If anyone knows of any articles or supplements with additional 1890's occupations (beyond the basic sourcebook) please could you let me know. Alternatively if you have any suggestions which might make good Victorian investigator occupations shout them out.*

*I should say by good occupations I mean one's which would actually provide a useful background and set of skills for an investigator. There are lots of working class occupations like costermonger and night soil man but are these really much use in a party?


I'd like to mention that an entirely "downstairs" party of working class people and servants could be a very interesting game, in opposition to the usual assortment of nobs and bourgeois. Most of those occupations won't change in any real way from the 1920s: the main differences would be in starting cash and access to technical skills. Wild West occupations are covered in the new book "Down Darker Trails" and another attempt at the same thing was in Worlds of Cthulhu #2.

#3 rylehNC

rylehNC

    Lesser Servitor

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,870 posts

Posted 29 August 2017 - 11:20 AM

There's like two dozen in the latest edition. I think you answer your other question in that the more specific the options get, the harder it is to have exceedingly useful packages without a lot of overlap.


Happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes.

-Ibn Schacabao

#4 SquibblyDibbly

SquibblyDibbly

    Son of Yog-Sothoth

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 607 posts
  • LocationLondon

Posted 02 September 2017 - 01:01 PM

Here are some ideas I have come up with so far.....

 

Governess

Big Game Hunter

Actor/Actress

Prostitute

Magician

Spiritualist

Alienist

Boxer (the sportsman, not the Chinese revolutionary)

Civil Servant

 

I did start writing a Gaslight campaign specifically for working class characters some time ago. The trouble is that many of them realistically would be lucky to get one days holiday a week.This makes them much more limited as to how involved they can get in investigating the Mythos. It can work, but it's often better with a group of characters all from the same social class.


"You forget, I was present at an undersea, unexplained, mass sponge migration"

#5 JeffErwin

JeffErwin

    Son of Yog-Sothoth

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 634 posts
  • LocationMonterey, California

Posted 02 September 2017 - 07:27 PM

I did start writing a Gaslight campaign specifically for working class characters some time ago. The trouble is that many of them realistically would be lucky to get one days holiday a week.This makes them much more limited as to how involved they can get in investigating the Mythos. It can work, but it's often better with a group of characters all from the same social class.

 

This is very true. If the PCs are the servants of an NPC, however, they might accompany him or her to a country house, and be forced into an investigation...

 

The other way round is to set the adventure and campaign entirely in a single town or borough, where investigations could happen in the off hours, possibly involving the deaths or disappearances of loved ones. Bobbies, also, are working class, and could get involved/be relatives of other PCs rather easily.

 

The difficulty is in using any prewritten scenario, as there's a clear assumption of middle or upper-class PCs.

 

I did play an African American mechanic in a 20s game set in Arkham, but the adventures were slanted by the GM towards ordinary people and marginalised groups. One benefit of this approach is that instead of rich interlopers investigating country degenerates and paranoid farmers, we were ordinary people investigating rich (and locally powerful) degenerates. A bit of how this might work can be seen in the novel Lovecraft Country.



#6 skaye

skaye

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 292 posts

Posted 02 September 2017 - 09:15 PM

When I was toying with the idea of a U.S. Gaslight companion, telegrapher and trance medium were two occupations I was looking at. I can't speak to the UK or the Continent, but in the US telegraphy was open to women, it could involve travel.

http://www.telegraph...ler_review.html is a book I've been meaning to pick up. Trance mediumship allowed women to circulate and to have people listen to their expertise (as long as the idea that it came from 'the spirits' was respected).

#7 ReydeAmarillo

ReydeAmarillo

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 393 posts
  • LocationScotland, UK

Posted 03 September 2017 - 09:44 AM

The other way round is to set the adventure and campaign entirely in a single town or borough, where investigations could happen in the off hours, possibly involving the deaths or disappearances of loved ones. Bobbies, also, are working class, and could get involved/be relatives of other PCs rather easily.


I wrote a Jack the Ripper Mythos campaign where all the PC's were Whitechapel "bobbies" drawn into investigating the murders. Semi illiterate, working class and very unlikely to use Libraries, Latin and sciences, the campaign is very hands on investigative, but with police records from 50 years earlier acting as their "tome". I rewrote some of the rules around EDU and Know to reflect simpler Investigators.

I have often been intrigued at the thought of having a Tosher/Mudlark team of Investigators on the banks of the Thames & sewers of London.
Maybe one day ???

#8 JeffErwin

JeffErwin

    Son of Yog-Sothoth

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 634 posts
  • LocationMonterey, California

Posted 03 September 2017 - 05:00 PM

EDU and Know rolls are of course one of the structural reasons - that is, embedded in the rules - that CoC favours middle-upper class investigators.

 

My 16th century campaign (aka Cthulhu: Astraea) required a substantial rejiggering to make it work in terms of those very rules. ToC might work better for mixed or predominately working class campaigns, as it distinguishes from "academic" skills and other forms of knowledge.



#9 ReydeAmarillo

ReydeAmarillo

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 393 posts
  • LocationScotland, UK

Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:16 AM

EDU and Know rolls are of course one of the structural reasons - that is, embedded in the rules - that CoC favours middle-upper class investigators.

My 16th century campaign (aka Cthulhu: Astraea) required a substantial rejiggering to make it work in terms of those very rules. ToC might work better for mixed or predominately working class campaigns, as it distinguishes from "academic" skills and other forms of knowledge.

 

Totally. For my 1888 working class campaign I moved the +3 from EDU to CON and allowed Players to roll four times for EDU & CON and give the best to CON and worst to EDU(to reflect greater endurance than education) and Know became general local knowledge and the limited schooling of the day, which was just "reading, writing & arithmetic" and some Bible stories.

 

I then used handouts of archived police interviews from a related event 50 years ago as my "Mythos Tome". This created a simpler but less involved "Library Use", linked together by certain keywords and phrases. And so the Players did the Library Use not the Investigators skill rolls.
But most of the clues arose from the crime scene and autopsies not any writings.



#10 HJ

HJ

    Breakfast Clubber

  • Patron
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 521 posts
  • LocationMaidenhead, UK

Posted 04 September 2017 - 11:22 AM

Surely the obvious job would be a gaslight lighter?

 

Re a servants party - they could be investigating the strange activities of the upstairs people. How far would loyalty to employers go?



#11 ReydeAmarillo

ReydeAmarillo

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 393 posts
  • LocationScotland, UK

Posted 04 September 2017 - 12:02 PM

Surely the obvious job would be a gaslight lighter?

Re a servants party - they could be investigating the strange activities of the upstairs people. How far would loyalty to employers go?


And I think that some would go with their employer to social events at other stately homes, so giving an ongoing campaign and different threats.If I am right then I think coachmen and valets etc might travel??

Edited by ReydeAmarillo, 04 September 2017 - 12:03 PM.


#12 Gaffer

Gaffer

    Lesser Independent

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,423 posts
  • LocationOrlando FL USA

Posted 04 September 2017 - 08:01 PM

Wealthy women always traveled with their lady's maid and men with their valet (and chauffeur, of course, if they were being driven).

 

Gosford Park (2002) gives a great background for the servant situation.


"Two in the head, you know he's dead." <heh-heh>

#13 Dabbler

Dabbler

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts
  • LocationThe mist-shrouded gardens of Zaïs, Where blossoms the white nephalotë, The redolent herald of midnight.

Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:57 PM

My great-great-aunt (Miss Eliza Thompson) was a ''lady's companion'' in the late nineteenth century, an interesting possible position that is neither servant nor master, roughly described here:

 

https://en.wikipedia...ady's_companion

 

An interesting little piece of detail that when her lady, Mrs Balfour, visited the gaming-tables at Monte Carlo, Miss Thompson was allowed to play roulette -- it is not recorded if she profited from the game, but it is interesting.

 

There is always the ''commercial traveller'' -- there is a charming Victorian ''advertisement'' of sorts mounted in a frame at the Station Hotel in Inverness that alludes to ''a large room being provided for commercial gentlemen''. 


Edited by Dabbler, 04 September 2017 - 10:01 PM.

''In theory, I am an agnostic, but pending the appearance of radical evidence I must be classed, practically and provisionally, as an atheist.''


#14 carpocratian

carpocratian

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Patron
  • PipPipPip
  • 190 posts

Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:52 AM

Are you looking for 1890s occupations in Great Britain, or in the U.S.?  Though there is a lot of overlap, obviously, there were some that were pretty specific to the region.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Gaslight