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HotOE question

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#1 Severian21

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 06:00 PM

Greetings ppl. First post here. It’s been years since I ran my 1st Cthulhu campaign. It was The Thing at the Threshold. Since then I was always captivated by HotOE and wanted to play it. I think the time has come to attempt it. Found the right players.

Since I read it the first time I remember having a worry that it was not well explained. Maybe I am wrong and that’s why I need help. Those who have run these how did you handle the trips between the locations? How did you ensure the players would always choose the train for their transport? I remember scenarios in each locale could take days. How did you handle npcs? Other passengers? Disappearing and maybe appearing again in some of the next stops etc? I don’t remember the books having any tips for all these.

Thank you in advance.


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#2 noahghola

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 08:28 PM

Hi Severian,

 

I can't answer most of your questions, as I'm currently playing in a HotOE campaign and thus haven't read the books. However, as to your question about ensuring the characters always pick the train as their method of transport, I've found (again, as a player) that there are always good hooks to keep us rolling along (ha) the train. Early on an NPC provides tickets and cash, and frankly the train seems like the fastest mode of transport between each major location (it's called the "Express" for a reason). 

 

Anyway, hope this lessens some of your nerves about running the game. (Go for it!)


When Armageddon is included in the design, all paths lead to the same ill end . . . (Reckoning of the Dead [dot] com)


#3 nclarke

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 10:58 AM

The Orient Express is no different really from any other long distance train.

 

Look at the Wikipedia entry:for Orient Express

The train left Paris Gare de l'Est on Tuesday, October 10, 1882, just after 18:30 and arrived in Vienna the next day at 23:20. The return trip left Vienna on Friday, October 13, 1882, at 16:40 and, as planned, re-entered the Gare de Strasbourg at 20:00 on Saturday October 14, 1882.

The train was composed of:

  • Baggage car
  • Sleeping coach with 16 beds (with bogies)
  • Sleeping coach with 14 beds (3 axles)
  • Restaurant coach (nr. 107)
  • Sleeping coach with 14 beds (3 axles)
  • Sleeping coach with 14 beds (3 axles)
  • Baggage car (complete 101 ton)

A 1939 timetable that I found on-line shows that it ran daily from Paris to Istanbul and back so there is no reason for players not to catch the next train the following day or even in two or three days time.

 

So maximum 58 passengers on that first train but there's no reason for the train companies not to add more sleeping coaches if needed but seeing as the train ran daily the passengers could always take the next train as there was really no urgency in most cases.


Edited by nclarke, 25 December 2017 - 10:59 AM.


#4 mvincent

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 07:18 PM

how did you handle the trips between the locations? How did you ensure the players would always choose the train for their transport? I remember scenarios in each locale could take days. How did you handle npcs? Other passengers? Disappearing and maybe appearing again in some of the next stops etc?

 

- I railroaded the players, and they were completely ok with that. 

- I had a patron arrange for tickets and lodging at each location.

- The players just had to make sure to be on the train at the arranged time (even if they hadn't found all the clues), unless they made prior arrangements.

- I seldom had re-occurring fellow passengers, since they usually had different stops and schedules.


Edited by mvincent, 27 December 2017 - 07:20 PM.


#5 MarkMorrison

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 01:11 AM

Those are great questions.

 

The other NPCs on the train would certainly go on with their journeys.

 

If there are any you want to re-use, I would approach it in the same way as a TV series. They are recurring characters, they just happened to stay in town the same time; or, they travel frequently, so you meet them coming and going. Glimpsing them in the hotel lobby would get the idea across.

 

In the main though, they're all optional, and there's plenty to do either way!

 

Best,

Mark





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