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Taavi

Scenarios suitable for Bookhounds of London

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Taavi

I'm running a Bookhounds of London game. I love the setting but don't have much time for prep, so I'm looking for published scenarios that can be adapted without too much alteration. Because my group only plays once a month, I'm also looking for shorter scenarios as lengthy multi-session ones will cause everyone to lose the thread.

 

There are a few I've found, which I thought I'd list here, and I'd welcome suggestions on others.

 

1) I already ran the Doom Train from Horror on the Orient Express, adjusted so that the Bookshop (which we have agreed also sells the odd antique or curio) sold the train set. After the mysterious disappearance, the Bookhounds were at first inclined to let well enough alone. I added some police and unfavourable press interest which inclined them towards solving the mystery, if only to clear their names. I did have to push a character to actually run the set using their Drive (In The Blood; they just felt a pull towards it) and no PCs had appropriate skills to get the hints around what was wrong with the visceral trainset. Amusingly, when the bookseller PC learned that Randolph Alexis was missing presumed dead, his first move was to write to Randolph's widow to ask if she had any of her late husband's books to sell; as Randolph survived the scenario and returned, he now has the bookshop's address, and I'm thinking of making him an incredibly alarming and unwelcome but lucrative regular client.

 

2) An obvious choice is The Book from Arkham Detective Tales, which features an Occult Bookshop and can be moved from New York to London without much difficulty. I'm thinking about how to bring them in from a bookseller angle, but as the scenario features a millionaire buying up copies of The Book at $2000 a pop, it's not hard.

 

3) Death In The Post from Green and Pleasant Land features a mailed curse similar to the Megapolisomancy working in Whitechapel Black Letter, and starts with the PCs being asked to value an allegedly ancient manuscript. A query for me is how to get the PCs, who have enthusiastically embraced the "greedy, cowardly rotters" side of Bookhounds life, to try to prevent the curse as opposed to running a mile. Maybe someone can offer a reward.

 

4) The Wodehouse-esque scenario The Resurrection Men from Kingdom of the Blind is an english society drama with a villain searching for a hidden library, but features some heavily armed antagonists who might overwhelm my bookhounds (who have stuck to character and not taken much in the way of shotgun or other combat skills). Also as it takes place on an isolated country estate, it would cut my PCs off from their special abilities (no Bookshop Stock or Squizs available). Any suggestions for workarounds?

 

5) Rum Island from Cthulhu Britannica: Scotland has similar themes and a library that needs finding and valuing, but also similar issues of isolation meaning Bookhounds are very out of their element.

 

Also looking for ways that PCs will be able to use their hard-allocated Forgery, Auction and Bibliography points.

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Tony Williams

You might be able to do something with The Auction from The Asylum and Other Tales ( reprinted in The Cthulhu Casebook )

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WinstonP

The Paper Chase
Lost in a Book
The Hobhouse Papers

Alternatives about 1/2 of MR James' ghost stories could be turned into Bookhounds scenarios.

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Taavi

The Paper Chase

Lost in a Book

The Hobhouse Papers

 

Alternatives about 1/2 of MR James' ghost stories could be turned into Bookhounds scenarios.

 

Where are Lost in a Book and The Hobhouse Papers from?

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WinstonP

Where are Lost in a Book and The Hobhouse Papers from?

"Lost in a Book" is in Arkham Now. The other scenario is actually called "Crimson Letters"; which is in the 7Th Ed CoC rule book. My apologies for the error. I meant to save this as a draft but posted it instead.

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JeffErwin

I believe that the scenario based on "The Hound" in House of R'lyeh might be appropriate.

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Taavi

Thank you everybody.

 

I have since realised that I subscribed to the Cthulhu Britannica: London Kickstarter for the PDF, and forgot about it. Anyway, of the three scenarios in Mythos Investigations (the adventures that come in the box set), one is a Bookhounds adventure though not branded as such concerning skullduggery between occult bookstores (I suspect the fell hand of the Dempseys is behind this), one is a lead-in to that one concerning book theft and John Dee's legacy, and one is a Y'Golonac cult; as Y'golonac is a lead villain/GOO for bookhounds that should be easy enough to work in as well. So that gives me quite a stack.

 

Another I thought would be good would be Head Over Heels from Cthulhu Britannica: Folklore, which has some degenerate aristos selling off their ancestral library to fund their partying and drug habits, just the sort of thing Bookhounds would go for.

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Taavi

More on this topic: The Surrey Enigma and The Trilogy of Terror from White Dwarf 69 and 97 are both very usable.

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FreddieF

(Shameless plug) Keepers of the Woods would probably work for a Bookhounds setting (I had Bookhounds in mind when I was writing it). You might have to tweak how the characters are hooked into the scenario, or have them introduced to Prof. Margaret Blackwood in an earlier adventure, in order to get them into the game. Or just replace her completely with another NPC the investigators have a relationship with. I'd also tone the ending down significantly, as it tends not to have a high survival rate - it was designed as a one shot, rather than campaign play.

 

Plus, it's free...

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Taavi

I'll check it out!

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GBSteve

(I suspect the fell hand of the Dempseys is behind this)

 

We didn't write any of the scenarios but there is a discussion of Dee's marginalia and the Book of Silvered Leaves for which I was responsible. Also the Cybele chap could easily be on the search for a key book.

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OlderNick

There's a CoC adventure from Challenge Magazine #58 called "Ghost Writer". I played it years ago, so my memories of it aren't exactly 100%, but it would probably need some tweaking to work for Book Hounds.

 

This is where I was going to say that it's probably impossible to find now, but a quick search revealed that it's available at drivethrurpg.

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Taavi

As part of "Death in the Post" I have introduced "Ny-har-rut-hotep" as a minor Egyptian god symbolised by black panthers; so the Cybele chap seems like a 'good' bloke to tie in.

 

There's a CoC adventure from Challenge Magazine #58 called "Ghost Writer". I played it years ago, so my memories of it aren't exactly 100%, but it would probably need some tweaking to work for Book Hounds.

 

This is where I was going to say that it's probably impossible to find now, but a quick search revealed that it's available at drivethrurpg.

 

Can you tell me a little more about it, before I buy it?

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OlderNick

From shaky memory: The investigators are asked to look for missing authors of horror novels. Investigation reveals that there are in fact only one author writing under two (or three?) names, and that the novels are suprisingly real. It also turns out that a cult of some sort has figured out that the novels are true stories, and are now using the contents for their own nefarious deeds.

 

I don't know how the scenario is supposed to end, as my minimum starting sanity character ran screaming at first sight of something unexplainable while we were infiltrating the cultists lair.

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Taavi

Sounds fun!

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SunlessNick

I don't know if it's too late to make suggestions, but The Night I Died and Dreams of Dracula from Shadows over Filmland could be relocated to London quite easily.  Neither is much about books, but they are about the kinds of people who'd make good clients.

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JustinAlexander

Tooting my own horn: The Severn Valley scenario I designed for my Eternal Lies campaign could very easily be adapted to a Bookhounds-appropriate scenario with a focus on the Revelations of Glaaki. All you'd really need to do is swap out the EL-related NPC rivals and replace them with rival bookhounds also seeking the Revelations.

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chicklewis

Another vote for 'Crimson Letters' from the 7th edition core book.  Could easily be moved to a university around London.  My group managed to get through it without any combat.  It is NOT, however, short, and unlikely to be completed in a single session.  

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Graham

This one is also a little late, but, provided you can find it, the first issue of Adventurer magazine has a scenario called White Fire that opens with the players taking part in a book auction and then being invited to a wedding party. There are issues with the scenario (Missing SAN scores and an undetailed curse.), but it could prove a nice starter.

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Taavi

Thank you again for all the suggestions! I found a copy of Adventurer at annarchive.com. The Severn Valley campaign looks great, especially as I was already bringing in the Revelations of Glaaki as a metaplot, but it might be too long/intense for my irregularly-meeting group. But I will definitely mine it for ideas; I love the core conceit of Glaaki creating Brichester.

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Graham

Glad to hear you were able to find a copy of the magazine. If you do make use of the scenario, please add your notes to the wiki for future players. I look forward to the campaign writeup if you do one.

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Bibbly

Where are the printed scenarios for Bookhounds of London. I could easily see myself buying a book of 5 curious tomes to hunt out at great personal risk :)

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Taavi

The biggest challenge I have found so far is placing a bookhounds spin on published scenarios: making sure it's about making a profit, not (necessarily) solving the mystery.

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