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SJE

Curse of Nineveh

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SJE

So I've started running Curse of Nineveh- since there are so many NPC's I've done index cards with their picture on them and some starting notes- players can then write their interactions with them on it to help remember in the future. We finished Ancient Echoes (Part 1) in 3 sessions- it turned quite noirish with a McGuffin put in their hands at the start, and then lots of morally grey choices to make and unknown forces following them. Whose side is everyone really on? We had a Chinatown ending in which some foriegners were arrested by the police, but perhaps the real villains escaped unidentified.

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GBSteve

Well, it looks like progress ... so it must be progress!

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SJE

There are about a million different police inspectors in this campaign- I feel the editors could have re-used a few rather than let each writer invent their own and let it creep up to 6-7 different cops.

 

FYI - I'm doing NPC cards - cutting out and sticking the NPC art onto index cards, adding their name, description and address to each. Then when the players meet them and interact with them, I'm encouraging them to write down their interactions, so we have some memory of who helped or hindered when, and flesh out the NPC's a bit more. I am now heartily sick of writing "Police Inspector - Scotland Yard" on index cards...!

 

Amusingly there a millions of newspaper cuttings handouts that our Journalist PC is hoovering up, but no actual journalist NPC's!

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Ganaud

You know, when I ran the steamboat adventure in Cthulhu Britannica London Box Set the scenario had like 30 NPCs, and I (and the players) had a devil of a time remembering who was who, even with one whole session devoted to socializing with them. If the same is true in Nineveh, maybe this is a trend to be wary of in this setting line. Too many NPCs makes it hard on everyone. So I would suggest thinning them out.

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nclarke

That sounds exactly like a Matt Sanderson adventure. I've noted that about his writing, he goes for a lot of NPCs and it often seems excessive to try and keep up.

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SJE

Mike Mason actually so far who has introduced 4 cops across 2 adventures (in fairness there are a lot of murders)

 

The NPC cards I made help.

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Ganaud

SJE can you talk more about how easy or difficult the adventure is to run? A well-laid out adventure, with clearly marked descriptive text to read to the players, is a huge help. If you have to flip back and forth, as I did in the above-mentioned steamboat adventure, or in  "Love and Death in Venice" in the new Horror on the Orient Express, it is a real hassle. And that kind of hassle makes me nervous when I should be focused on delivering good performances. In other words, if you are best off photocopying the scenario and rearranging it in a notebook, it was poorly laid out. How is Nineveh?

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MikeM

Mike Mason actually so far who has introduced 4 cops across 2 adventures (in fairness there are a lot of murders)

 

Or, to put it another way, scenario 1 has 2 detective in its (differing crimes). Scenario 2 has 1 detective and 1 policeman in it. Both scenarios covering different crimes.

 

Hardly excessive on the police front.

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Ganaud

Anyone have other thoughts on how Keeper-friendly the campaign book is? I'm considering running this.

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ragr

I count 5 police detectives and two constables throughout the campaign which is not too onerous. It can be made simpler by using one detective as a recurring character, George Lennox would be my choice, for the Scotland Yard interactions.

 

I'm on Chapter Three and am finding it relatively simple to run and easy to get the info I need fairly easily. It's been a joy to run so far, even when the investigators go totally off piste. 

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Ganaud

Yeah, use some artistic license, have one detective (or two with very different personalities, as I did for HotOE's London chapters). It's less realistic but far more cinematic or literary.

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Helen

I'm finding it fairly straight forward to run. The first two chapters (which I've run do far) are written by Mike and are very sandbox like with numerous leads for the Investigatotrs. I actually find scenarios like this suit my keeping style. While there is a degree of page flipping there are handy charts with the page references for the different bits which are really helpful. Kudos to Mike on these chapters, though the scenario does start with a bit of an info dump. There's probably a way to und this but I just went with it.

 

The police haven't been an issue as my players have largely failed to contact them, barring a notable incident (which I won't mention as the episode hasn't been released yet). If they ever do make police contacts I will probably just use them in subsequent chapters. Different NPCs like that shouldn't be an issue. Use those you need and ignore the rest.

 

I have to admit that one of the later chapters is daunting me a little, but I'm sure I'll get there, and will post questions on the forums if need be!

 

I have to say I'm enjoying running it, and the concept is good too.

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SJE

In my view, its complex but relatively Keeper friendly- but you do need to have absorbed a lot of the detail and understood the timeline of events. The gaps between writers shows (though not on the scale of Horror or even worse Shadows of Yog Sothoth or Day of the Best) and it could have done with stronger overall editing and developing. 7 different policemen in a city of London size is perfectly simulationist, but its not very game friendly (2-3 policemen who you can re-incorporate and build relations are much better for player continuity and emotional investment rather than going to a different copper and different nick for every crime- its not supposed to be The Bill) and frankly a waste of wordcount.

Another example - you meet a lot of collectors of antiquities in the early parts of the campaign 1 & 2- but then they dont show up in an auction of items several of them may be interested in in chapter 4. One of my PC's is an antiques dealer, so I've done a lot of foreshadowing and name dropping from future chapters to make London's antiqurian scene a bit more a seamless continuum rather than being segregated by chapter, but I'd have loved it to have been edited better together and writers asked to re-incorporate more stuff from previous chapters.

Where I'm detecting real plot bombs is in the two journal-props/PDF's. Your campaign will change a lot depending on whether you have access to them or not, and importantly if you choose to use them or not. The Neve Selcubic journal (again written by a friend of mine, so no harm meant Paula) is clearly a story about an unrelated thing, that is interesting and exciting, but completely not about Curse of Nineveh campaign. Except for... the obvious drop in of some Nineveh plot right at the end which is useful and relevant but also incongrous.

The Campbell Thompson Journal is much more illuminating and entirely relevant, but it undercuts and undermines a lot of Chapter 1 assumptions. For example one assumption of chapter 1 that the PC's will never discover the identity of a certain pivotal NPC is entirely revealed by the Journal that they can discover in.... chapter 1. It also radically recasts the role and personality of the dead Brightman in ways that are not addressed in the text of the campaign itself- there is information the butler has in the journal that does not get mentioned in the campaign book itself, so again your game will go in different ways depending on if you use the props or not- and if you do, make sure you read them!

My final criticism is that this campaign isnt particularly well integreated into the CB:London box set- there isnt much cross referencing or using locations, maps or people in it- while thats understandable as a stand alone book, it also feels divorced from the product which is most relevant to itself.

Overall while I do like the campaign (and I'm glad I'm getting some use out of my Kickstarter pledges from CB London and Cthulhu 7th Ed) and there is some excellent writing and plots in the game, to my Keepers eye I just wish it was more integrated and linked between sections and every writer didnt think they had to re-invent the wheel and could use material created already.

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DadsAngry

I really liked running the Curse of Nineveh. The whole book was organization really well. Information within each chapter was easily accessible and the goal that should be achieved very clear. Each chapter of the adventure except for one, flowed really good together. I did not care for Chapter 5 Catland (sorry Scott). That chapter felt shoehorned into the campaign and it just didn't seem to fit as well as the others.

 

My favorite, and my players, was Chapter 3 Bedlam. The end had to get tweaked because of their earlier action which ended up produced a recurring NPC enemy. I had to tweak a lot of events in the chapters to adapt to my players action but found getting back to the main plot really easy. I reused a lot of the NPCs in other chapters, like the antique collectors when I expanded the auction scene.

 

I loved having the players use a central meeting location, The Wentworth Club. All my games going forward is going to incorporate something similar. It became a great advantage for the players and myself. They really took to using it as a headquarters and enjoyed the comforts in which it offered. I liked it because they got attached to some of it's staff which I was able to use as leverage against them. It also made for a great place to get replacement characters.

 

I do wish that there was more of a tie-in to the London Box Set. The area's that were highlighted in the adventure were only a couple of paragraphs long in the box set. Anybody with the supplement "Taint of Madness" will find it really useful. It has the building layout and more information on Bedlam. Which was really good for me as my players ended up spending a good time investigating there as well as recuperating in the private suites.

 

I found several errors throughout the book. Most of them left over 6e mechanics that didn't get changed over. Each mistake was easy to spot and easily corrected. Overall I'm really happy with the campaign and I would suggest it to others to run or play in.

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SJE

I'm kinda looking forward to Catland as mixing deeply human pettiness with unknowable Mythos power gives it a feeling of verisimilitude. Yes old Man Whateley might have learnt to summon Yog Sothoth for immortality, but sure as hell hes also going to use that power to take revenge on his neighbour that keeps stealing his cattle!

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Eddy

Hi guys

 

Sorry to hijack this thread, but does anybody know whether this campaign could be used with World War Cthulhu London, i.e.set during the blitz. I know some of the locations could be changed but how about some of the organisations. Any suggestions?

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Helen

I think you could move this adventure fairly easily to other periods, but there are a few issues with moving it to WWII. I'm not sure how easily the Children of Tranquility would be able to get to England as travel through Europe was extremely limited. There wouldn't be much money for the BM to put the exhibition on, and they stored a lot of material below the museum, which would make chapter 4 a bit more challenging. The final chapters would also be tricky. The King is different (not that it really matters) and I'm not sure if garden parties were held during the war.

 

That said, my initial reaction was that it would be really cool to set this in the Blitz, but on balance there are a lot of challenges- not that you can't overcome them, but you'd need to give it some thought and a bit of work. The issues I've raised could be overcome or simply ignored. I do like the idea of some of the scenes running while the bombs are falling! It would add an extra level of tension. Though male (and some female) player characters of service age would need a good reason why they weren't in the services.

 

I hope this makes sense. I didn't get a lot of sleep last night!

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SJE

I've now come to the conclusion that the Journal of Campbell Thompson really shouldn't be available until the end or middle of the campaign. It really doesn't fit with the chapter it's introduced in.

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Helen

I totally agree. It gives away a little more than I'd like my players to know at this stage. We've just started chapter 3 and I think this would be a better place for them to get it!

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UncleRiotous

I'm just starting chapter 3 and I had huge problems in chapter 1 because I gave them Neve's journal and they spent several sessions going off on complete red herrings.  I've got Thompson's journal and decided I'm not going to give that to them partly because all the dates are wrong (they were back from Nineveh before King died) but mostly because Thompson would have to be a raving lunatic not to believe in curses when the first thing he found at the temple was basically zombies.

I'm really pleased to see that more experienced keepers than me (which isn't difficult) have mentioned the same thing.

I'm enjoying the huge cast of NPCs, I have print outs of their portraits which I hang on my screen so the players can see who they're talking to, that seems to help quite a bit.

 

What I could really do with is a map of the temple in the last chapter.  Does anyone know if someone made one up that I can download from somewhere?

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SJE

So much for the Frenchie in pt 3- they snuck up on him as he listened to Debussey and a stool to the back of the head (1d6 damage) got an Extreme hit, and did 10 pts of damage, basically braining him and knocking him out. Then a lot of successful sneak rolls happened and they snuck back out again, no one the wiser. San loss really hasnt been a problem so far, with most of them at starting levels. Lucks taken some attrition. Onto the Scott Dorward scenario next, and I am looking forward to running it.

 

Heh, one other small editing mistake- as much as I appreciate the Gygaxian antecedents of a wandering harlot table, on the Random Soho encounter table of p.115, it instructs to roll a d10, but only has entries 1-6 marked.

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GBSteve

The Police have taken away my gun which is most unfair. I was exonerated of killing all three of those people.

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ragr

Your group have guns? Heck, mine have to make do with frying pans, a cricket bat, Mother Fist and a sharply worded rhetorical question.

 

You've never seen a bunch of posh club toffs move so fast than when they heard the rattle of Mr Tommy Gun in the building above the basement. 

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GBSteve

I was in the War you see. But I had a gun, and I'm starting to miss it, especially in South London.

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ragr

Oh, yeah. Croydon. :x

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