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AirborneXO

Eternal Lies Handouts - SPOILERS GMs only

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AirborneXO

It's being edited and ill have to check with my players as they are a touch camera shy :)

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Lisa

Fair enough.

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AirborneXO

Sent you a PM Lisa :)

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Epimetreus

"REE-ah" or "ree-AH"?

REE-ah. Sorry, should have put that in. There's an accent mark on the "i" when spelled in Spanish - it's Echevarría. Though I think the name is originally Basque, and spelled very differently in that language.

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AirborneXO

Thanks for that Epimetreus - I was wondering how to say it right :)

 

So after session 1 my players failed to access the joy grove files, they cant learn much here (but I made some handouts which would be a shame to waste) - I am going to equip the Thai thugs with an additional note from their boss SS! I've not yet printed it up, but it is another little word puzzle (my players like meta puzzles that they have to work out, not their investigators):

 

m. Ybru; tes, be(su) r-eto (kee) paclo see yeon hen (slow) ean djo bth. Eyareh, elda tjoyg rove insav (anna) hbe su!

 

Reth atan. Yone wh oatt empts tocon. Tactt hem iswar neda:

 

Wa yifp (oss)i bl-esee wh att.

Heir doc torha swrit tena bou tthe minhi snot esd onot.

Failus!!! S

 

As I said this is a farily simple word puzzle roll over for the acutal text:

 

My Brutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on Henslowe and Job. They are held at Joy grove in Savannah. Be sure that anyone who attempts to contact them is warned away. If possible see what their doctor has written about them in his notes. Do not fail us! S

 

Simply remove all the spaces and punctuation and replace them once you have the continuous text :)

 

 

Cheers, Hal

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Lisa

Thanks for that Epimetreus - I was wondering how to say it right :)

 

So after session 1 my players failed to access the joy grove files, they cant learn much here (but I made some handouts which would be a shame to waste) - I am going to equip the Thai thugs with an additional note from their boss SS! I've not yet printed it up, but it is another little word puzzle (my players like meta puzzles that they have to work out, not their investigators):

 

Cool. I'm thinking of having her send her thugs to Martin's sisters or to his brother with an offer to buy Trammel's library, and escalate things from there.

 

Will post 6th write up when I have a chance. Am working on 7th, where we had all players (one via hangout) and Josh playing Martin's sisters, and one of Lillian's pillars got shattered. Boom.

 

Meanwhile, am pondering what Captain Walker will make of her two telegrams sent during the 6th session. In the first she tries to hire him to get a letter from one of Martin's sources of stability (nicely first) so she can give it to Martin and not read it, and gives him bank account information, trusting, not unreasonably, that the man smart enough to sell Trammel out won't just empty her bank account.

 

The second telegram tells him never mind, as the situations has been resolved, but adds that he should feel free to take out any reasonable compensation from her account.

 

I'm trying to figure out what, if anything, he's done, and what he thinks.

 

He's not going to the local mafia. He's currently an independent agent, and he has no reason to risk that changing.

Five days have passed between the two telegrams.

The man with the letter, Samuel Jenner, simply wasn't in LA at whatever point Walker got the first telegram, but making his way to Mexico City. So, Walker hadn't had any opportunity to locate him.

Samuel Jenner is a) Martin's on again off again lover, b ) nominally his boss, and c) a rich legitimate New York businessman, as his family owns a chain of discount department stores (which was a business that did well during the Depression). I've been told that, in general, the mafia isn't about to pick on legitimate businesses run by rich folks, but I've no idea whether that is / was true.

Lillian Avery is also rich (Credit Rating 5) (Dilettante, rich heiress).

 

So, I don't know if he started to do research (or had his people do that), stopped when the telegram came, and took compensation for expenses; if he started to do research, stopped when the telegram came, and took no money; started to do research and stopped when he learned who Jenner was (he already knows who Lillian is); or if he never started in the first place.

 

Would he think of this as a business matter, regardless of the situation? Would he think of it as too risky when he found out who Jenner was? Would he think of it as a rich girl / young woman being a ditz between hiring him for this and then calling it off? Would he think of it as a future opportunity, and if so, what kind of opportunity?

 

I'm pondering this, but would be grateful for other people's ideas.

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WatsonSE

In my preparations to run Eternal Lies in a few weeks I printed and prepared the letters from Henslow (from this thread). But then I added some markings on the first two, to represent Mr. Winstons attempts to "decipher" them.

 

Some of the markings are just nonsense, but I also circled letters so that when added one letter after the other forms the words "losangeles" and "eccavarria". Thought that it could be cool for other Keepers to know and perhaps copy.

 

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Lisa

In my preparations to run Eternal Lies in a few weeks I printed and prepared the letters from Henslow (from this thread). But then I added some markings on the first two, to represent Mr. Winstons attempts to "decipher" them. Some of the markings are just nonsense, but I also circled letters so that when added one letter after the other forms the words "losangeles" and "eccavarria". Thought that it could be cool for other Keepers to know and perhaps copy.

Absolutely. The thing to make sure of is that, if you want the investigators to hit every lead in Savannah, you don't give them anything that would make them think they had enough information to skip something, but I think your idea walks the line well.

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KnaveRupe

Here's a link to a flowcharty-diagrammy thing I made for tracking the possible investigative paths in the Los Angeles spine. I'm working on the other locations and will post the links as edits to this entry as I get them done.

Hopefully someone else might find these useful.

 

Act 1: Los Angeles

 

Act 2: Bangkok

 

Act 2: Ethiopia

 

Act 2: Malta

 

Act 2: Mexico City

 

Act 2: The Yucatan

 

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WatsonSE

Absolutely. The thing to make sure of is that, if you want the investigators to hit every lead in Savannah, you don't give them anything that would make them think they had enough information to skip something, but I think your idea walks the line well.

The idea is to both have some kind of scribbling on the actual handouts (as it is on the "real letters") and to let the players that decipher the two words feel cool. It is intentional that the words do not help them (they get Eccavarrias name from Job and get the lead to Los Angeles at the end of the chapter anyways).

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Lisa

 

Here's a link to a flowcharty-diagrammy thing I made for tracking the possible investigative paths in the Los Angeles spine. I'm working on the other locations and will post the links as edits to this entry as I get them done.

 

Hopefully someone else might find these useful.

 

Act 1: Los Angeles

 

Act 2: Bangkok

 

Act 2: Ethiopia

 

Act 2: Malta

 

Act 2: Mexico City

 

Act 2: The Yucatan

 

 

Cool, thanks!

 

Note that the likely order of locals in Act 2 is: Mexico City to Yucatan to Malta to Ethiopia to Bangkok.

 

That's the sanest route by plane. Even with variations, from Los Angeles, Mexico City is the most logical place to go, and the Yucatan locale is a big core clue for Mexico City. This means the investigators will be close enough to the Yucatan that it makes sense to go there next.

 

Now, at that point, if they research or know where Kailash is, they might try to skip ahead to Tibet. I consider this a problem, as I think I've said before, because it means skipping 60% of Act II, which I prefer not to do (skipping a single locale is different). Sure, you can have them go and hit a dead end because they don't know enough, but that means you're playing through a lot of material twice, likely using up the guide and a certain amount of good will in the country if they get caught climbing Kailash, and you get a lot of player frustration. My attempted solution is the visitation from the dead explaining pretty much what the authors said in the faq / errata in progress (i.e., that it's like knowing a house, but not the room, or, as I had the dead woman put it, like knowing which apartment building it is, but not whose apartment, let alone which room, and it's a huge building with many apartments).

 

I don't yet know how my solution will go. I've done the visitation, but

 

a) The person visited has not yet mentioned this in character, I think

B) The PCs have not yet gone to the Yucatan (we ended on a bit of a cliffhanger in the cellar beneath the hacienda)

c) The PCs have not so much as tried to research "Kailash" (understandable, really -- they've been busy)

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KnaveRupe

Lisa - 

 

Are your PC's still keeping in contact with Janet Winston Rogers?

 

In my game, since she's still bankrolling the whole thing, I'm going to require that they check in with her periodically before jetting off to other locations, and if they haven't gotten necessary clues or are headed to a dead end, she will ask them questions that they don't yet have the answers to (thus hopefully inspiring them to get out and find those answers.)

 

At least, that's my plan for keeping them kind of "on track" - they are just about at the end of Act 1 in my game.

 

I'm also going to have them fly home and spend some time making international travel arrangements and (regaining stability from their sources) before going off to Act 2, so the "Mexico City is so close to LA" won't be quite as big a factor.

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Lisa

Lisa - 

 

Are your PC's still keeping in contact with Janet Winston Rogers?

 

In my game, since she's still bankrolling the whole thing, I'm going to require that they check in with her periodically before jetting off to other locations, and if they haven't gotten necessary clues or are headed to a dead end, she will ask them questions that they don't yet have the answers to (thus hopefully inspiring them to get out and find those answers.)

 

They are keeping in contact with her. One of them has Douglas Henslow as a Source of Stability now, and is writing to him (and still hasn't let on that Walter Winston is dead).

 

Part is that one PC is a pilot and has her own plane. But, the PCs are actually based on the east coast, so, while Janet did fly out to Los Angeles (as her plane is not being used by the PCs), I can push for an east coast face to face meeting. Also, some Sources of Stability are based there.

 

I'm still expecting Yucatan after Mexico City, and am prepping with that in mind. Frankly, so long as they don't charge to Tibet too early, I'm good. And I'd planned to do the visitation from the dead regardless, so this just gave me a place to go with it.

 

But, all that said, Janet can read a map. If the PCs tell her, "Hey, look, we can totally check in with you in person on the east coast, but this is our optimal flight plan," I don't want to make this version of her unreasonably dictatorial. Then again, I've had Trammel mention the (Nectar) artist in New York, and the PCs probably do want to do something about that. And Savitree's team is responsible for a pre-game murder of one PC's lover and Really Wants to get Trammel's library...

 

What do folks think is the optimal path? What do you think is the likely path?

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KnaveRupe

I think that if I were a player, I would also probably vote to hit Mexico City first - it's the logical first step, geography-wise. 

 

After reading your analysis, I'm also concerned that running Mexico City first might result in the undesirable Mexico City - Yucatan - Tibet path you identified. A concerned GM COULD withhold the Mexico City part of the Testament until later. The Testament (as I see it anyways) is an enormous, disorganized collection of writings, ramblings, research, correspondence, sketches, etc. The Sidebar indicates that the campaign clues cannot be gleaned at a skim, so one could, theoretically, withhold the Mexico City letters until the PC's have gone somewhere else first. Tell them that it will take days or even weeks to sort through all of the stuff that's in there, and drop the Campaign clues in a more favorable order.

 

That's maybe a little railroadish, and against the free-sandboxy spirit of Act 2, but it would probably work.

 

Of course, if the PCs found a copy of the Luz recording in LA (my players haven't yet; they are just starting to stake out Trammel's estate), and they say that they are searching the Testament for anything related to that, then it's not really fair to withhold it.

 

I was also thinking that even if they DO go LA -> Mexico City -> Yucatan, Janet could discourage them from going off to Tibet without enough information. A simple "What are you planning to accomplish in Tibet, and how do you plan to accomplish it" might focus them on the fact that they are still missing huge bits of the puzzle, and that they should maybe follow up some other leads first.

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WatsonSE

I am also worried that my players eventually will go to Tibet 'too early'. One idea that I am pondering is to reveal the location of the Devouring Mountain as the final clue (of the three campaign level clues) - regardless of where they are found.

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AirborneXO

Yup I too scribbled on pencil on the letters, well about half of them before I got fed up (and then foolishly put them back in the wrong order, telling my players yes they are all in order - doh!)

 

I can't open the flow chart on my phone but would look forward to looking at it - next session due this weekend conclude savannah and onto LA :)

 

Cheers, Hal

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Lisa

I am also worried that my players eventually will go to Tibet 'too early'. One idea that I am pondering is to reveal the location of the Devouring Mountain as the final clue (of the three campaign level clues) - regardless of where they are found.

That could totally work.

 

Mind, one of the reasons I'm using the visitation from the dead is an odd metagaming thing. It seems to me likely that the characters would be aware that climbing a mountain without some sort of route to an unknown destination is foolish. But, because of how older scenarios and campaigns did things, the players might not be aware of this. (This isn't to say the older pieces messed up. The corresponding location in Masks of Nyarlathotep is a very different situation.)

 

So, I could absolutely say out of character, "Okay, one thing you guys would know is that you could wander around this Kailash mountain place for days, maybe weeks, and never find -- well, whatever it is you think you'll find there." But, as I was doing the visitation anyway (the set up of the campaign with these particular players made it a bit of a Chekhov's Gun), and as all the players know about the visitation, even if most of the characters don't, if they think their characters would recognize that "Mount Kailash" is not enough information, they can do a sort of quiet metagame and play as if they always knew that their PCs would know this, if you see what I mean.

 

Again, though, currently no one has tried to research Kailash. I'm kind of hoping to have them drop this one in the lap of the NPC who's cataloguing Trammel's library for them, as I control the pacing there. I'm pondering having him get kidnapped by Savitree's team anyway.

 

If the players decide on Mexico City first, and you want the mountain's location to be the last thing revealed in Act 2, just make one very small change. Cut the word "Kailash" from the letter to S.S. That's all it takes.

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AirborneXO

Sounds like the campaign gets confusing beyond LA - I really should read ahead!! Thanks Lisa and other yoggies you input is really valuable in informing my own tale on the campaign :)

 

Cheers, Hal

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Lisa

I was also thinking that even if they DO go LA -> Mexico City -> Yucatan, Janet could discourage them from going off to Tibet without enough information. A simple "What are you planning to accomplish in Tibet, and how do you plan to accomplish it" might focus them on the fact that they are still missing huge bits of the puzzle, and that they should maybe follow up some other leads first.

That makes sense. The PCs in my game do have a plane that isn't Janet's, but she can totally push for meetings after each locale (though I may well have her still be in Los Angeles for the pre-Yucatan meeting, as Trammel is alive, in a California jail, and playing head games with one of the PCs) and point out details like that.

 

Oh, speaking of planes, the pilot's player notes she hasn't made a piloting roll all game. I've figured out how Brooks might know where her plane is (thanks to the birds) if I want to use some of the between locale ideas, which I do. But, she's also talking about doing a flyover of the Yucatan ruins. I was panicked about that, as it seemed to me that a) the plane really won't pick up much, even if she knows where to look, which she doesn't, but b ) I might not be able to convince the player of this. (Or I might, but it feels like stomping on an idea, even if I look at that idea and say, "Tactically, that just doesn't work.")

 

Well, a and b are still true, but I've reread the chapter. Let her fly that plane over the ruins, if she can figure out where they are. I'm unsure about springing the Beast on the PCs, but springing it on the plane? Absolutely! (It's not likely to be the primary plane, and at this point, I get confused about DC 10s and DC 3s and the like, but this is stuff the player's researching, so she can fill me in.)

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AirborneXO

You could have the plane run afoul of poor weather or mechanical failure if they are desperate for piloting rolls :) in terms of the Yucatan could the pilot skill be combined with photography for some recon shits that once developed hint at the ruins?

 

Cheers,Hal

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WatsonSE

That could totally work.

The three clues are the map, the real name and the date (i.e. window of opportunity), and I can see that the two last ones can 'change place', but I have some difficulties in finding a reason why the map is found in Malta or Mexico City...

 

Maybe it's just me, maybe the players might not find anything strange with it...

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Lisa

Sounds like the campaign gets confusing beyond LA - I really should read ahead!! Thanks Lisa and other yoggies you input is really valuable in informing my own tale on the campaign :)

It isn't complicated, not exactly. LA points in four directions, and the PCs can pick any, just as in Masks of Nyarlathotep. But, one of these locations (Mexico City) has a campaign clue showing a firth location (Yucatan).

 

And, there are three clues that combine to make the "how to find the body of the GOO" clue. The problem is that these three look an awful lot like two. One deals with when / how to find the body. One identifies the mountain. One is a picture of the mountain with the route indicated, but doesn't actually name the mountain. (this is never actually shown in the book).

 

Now, the way the chapters are presented is alphabetical:

 

Bangkok (the picture showing the route)

Ethiopia (nothing core, but Really Useful material to help the PCs survive)

Malta (the where / when)

Mexico City (the name of the mountain -- and the existence of the Yucatan locale)

Yucatan (nothing core... maybe. The PCs can find out the name of the GOO and get an ally who can deal with it once the PCs have everything else in place, IF the PCs are willing to do it this way, which they need not be)

 

(Act 3 is where Tibet shows up.)

 

Now, in terms of gathering the clues, that alphabetical order is actually the best, from a Keeper's point of view. Certainly, ending with Mexico-Yucatan is useful. But, the PCs start off in Los Angeles. They can drive to Mexico City from there. And, that's where they learn about this other place, which is as close to them as it's ever going to be.

 

This means, if you change nothing, the PCs get the name of the mountain, and then the name of the GOO and the potential ally. If you're a player, and you have the Kailash name, why wouldn't you choose to research it? If you've got the location, why would you, as a player, not believe that Tibet is the obvious next place to go?

 

That's the tricky part. There are, as you've seen upthread, plenty of potential solutions. Janet. Savitree's people. Sources of Stability. The question is how much you're willing to let the players have the PCs go where they will and how much you want to make sure they don't miss the fun of the whole campaign. As I said, if it were a matter of missing a single locale, so be it. But, we're talking 60% of Act 2, which is the heart of the campaign. Hence, my patch job.

You could have the plane run afoul of poor weather or mechanical failure if they are desperate for piloting rolls :) in terms of the Yucatan could the pilot skill be combined with photography for some recon shits that once developed hint at the ruins?

Fun fact about my group: No one took Photography. (They do have some points they can put into it, if anyone wants to.)

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Lemming23

Oh, speaking of planes, the pilot's player notes she hasn't made a piloting roll all game. I've figured out how Brooks might know where her plane is (thanks to the birds) if I want to use some of the between locale ideas, which I do. But, she's also talking about doing a flyover of the Yucatan ruins. I was panicked about that, as it seemed to me that a) the plane really won't pick up much, even if she knows where to look, which she doesn't, but b ) I might not be able to convince the player of this. (Or I might, but it feels like stomping on an idea, even if I look at that idea and say, "Tactically, that just doesn't work.")

 

One of the sections refers to sabotage attempts by the cultists - have her plane sabotaged making her need to make piloting rolls to get the plane to a decent landing area so she can bring it down safely. Maybe a further piloting roll to see if she can deal with the sabotage / check the plane out for further sabotage too.

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KnaveRupe

Here's what I'm playing for my players as the Luz Recording. Enjoy. 

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx0ESvZhV7R3MDcwM283VDJvUnc/edit?usp=sharing

 

I think it's acceptably creepy. I did some processing on Lila Downs' recording of Xquenda from her awesome album Tree of Life. - just basically reversed some of it and played it at lower gain, and added in the vinyl pops and hisses.

 

It's not in Spanish, it's in Mixtec, so Spanish-speaking players shouldn't be able to decipher the lyrics and tell you that it has nothing to do with mouths or Cthulhus or anything else.

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AirborneXO

@knaverupe that sir is absolutely brilliant I am definitely using that creepy, haunting and era correct as far as I'm concerned!!! Good job dude :)

 

Cheers, Hal

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