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CoC Soviet Union

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MalcolmCraig

It might be a bit left field, but for some bizarre-but-true little snippets of information and truly strange personalities that would make wonderful NPCs, I'd highly recommend 'The Orientalist' by Tom Reiss. Only parts of it take place in Russia (during the period of the Revolution), but it is a wonderfully odd read, following the life of Lev Nussimbaum, an Azeri Jew who invented a new life for himself as Mohammedan writer Esad Bey, a bold son of the Caucasus!

 

Well worth reading.

 

I'll also add my vote for Kharkov 37, definitely worth getting your hands on.

 

Cheers

Malcolm

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Iago1537

First as an aside Ayn Ryand can go to the deepest darkest pit in the tartrus, really I hate her beyond reason, her and Steve Jobs are historys greatest monsters.

 

After saying that I loved MTSK-37 I have been menaing to run it since I first got it, I really need to reread it before I try running it again, but it was a great concept. Also I read throught Terror is was good there were some minior errors but it was still really good, with well I thoguht it was a great way to end it

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kafka47

I always fancied doing a tale of the Red Army entering the Hungary/Romanian border and encountering something not of this world in one of the castles of the region. I got inspired by the tacky TSR book, Vampire in Moscow, but, to take a Mythos turn would allow me to do the romp over a much longer period of time. A sort of version of The Keep then fast forwarding to a special research institute in the 1960s that could do a Quartermass type thing and if anyone has read Professor Dowell's Head, I would charge the Howard Philips character with a measure of plagiarism...

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Ottomancer

I always fancied doing a tale of the Red Army entering the Hungary/Romanian border and encountering something not of this world in one of the castles of the region. I got inspired by the tacky TSR book, Vampire in Moscow, but, to take a Mythos turn would allow me to do the romp over a much longer period of time. A sort of version of The Keep then fast forwarding to a special research institute in the 1960s that could do a Quartermass type thing and if anyone has read Professor Dowell's Head, I would charge the Howard Philips character with a measure of plagiarism...

 

Ever read the 2000AD story Fiends of the Eastern Front? Romanian Vampires during WW2.

:D

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kafka47

Nope, but as I said, I want to keep it far from simple. Ultramodern values colliding with traditional peasant beliefs, taking my cue from Twilight 2000 with the Red Army unit cut off, forced to take refuge in a village where they don't speak the language, their political officer who speaks a smattering of German learns of the Keep and a charm (elder sign) that is supposed to keep the evil spirits away is unconsecrated then in the night, the political officer suddenly disappears, the villages relate that he has been taken to the Keep. There an ancient evil has awoken. On the face of the villagers want to enlist the soldiers to finally rid their village of the evil but at night they form unwitting allies, save the pretty Jewish girl who was part of the resistance. Being conscripts of the Russian army they will have the whole host of superstitions of their own to contend with.

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DrJest

For a harsh but funny look at post-Soviet Russia, I highly recommend "Let's Put the Future Behind Us" by Jack Womack. Although Womack normally writes science-fiction, this book is just regular fiction, though very smart and cynical. The socialist realism-style cover alone is worth the price:

 

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n3/n16063.jpg

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Mysterioso

I ran a campaign set in the the russian civil war 1920-1921. involved the czech legion, american soldiers, hidden castles, missing commisars, snipers in ekaterinburg who wont stay dead and ithaqua. Just didnt write any of it down. never do.

 

If anyone wants a soviet/cthulhu sheet I could e-mail them my soviet charcater sheet pdf.

 

Many years later but I'd be quite happy to get a copy of this character sheet.

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ReydeAmarillo

I have always wanted to run a campaign around the 1908 Tungaska Event. A 70's Soviet Motor Rifle Platoon sent in to investigate why contact had been lost in the region. Obviously whatever caused, or is a legacy of, the Event is stirring! Another MRP have already gone in and vanished so giving the opportunity to encounter the remains (and some freaked out or just plain freaky survivors). Other than probably using the All Flesh Must be Eaten rules etc (for easy to run but pretty good modern combat and vehicle rules) I have never got any further but one day maybe!

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vincentVV

My god. ))))

 

All sources of "Russian" or pseudo-Russian things I met, starting from Ravenloft and on to GURPS: Russia are so full of CRANBERRY that it ackes.

They are full of really stupid cliches and stereotypes, stupid and silly. The only thing they create in russian-speaking people is a double-triple facepalms, believe me. =)

 

However, the same may be with russians, describing american life. =)

 

And to get a real feeling of 1920s Russia - read Michail Bulgakov's "Heart of a dog" and Alexey Tolstoy's "Ordeal".

 

Sadly, in 1930s Russian literature turned to social realism - so most works were about industrialisation like "And quiet flows the Don"  by Sholokhov, they are idealistic and describe simple lifes of simple people.

 

If you want NKVD horrors and Stalin's terror - I even don't know what to offer. Nearly all books about this period were written after 1950s and I don't think they were widly translated in English.

 

Well, of course this all will help if you want a bit of REALISTIC Russia. =)

 

If you are OK with cliches and NKVD comissars around every corner - so be it, anyway the point is that you and your players have fun. =)

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Beyond17

The most interesting thing about Russia is the sheer size of it's geographic area. Countless ruins and lost civilizations or alien sites could be littered around, as yet undiscovered...........

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rylehNC

All sources of "Russian" or pseudo-Russian things I met, starting from Ravenloft and on to GURPS: Russia are so full of CRANBERRY that it ackes.

They are full of really stupid cliches and stereotypes, stupid and silly. The only thing they create in russian-speaking people is a double-triple facepalms, believe me. =)

Mark Galeotti wrote a supplement for HeroQuest that covers much of the same ground as GURPS Russia. He's done his homework.

 

Sadly, in 1930s Russian literature turned to social realism - so most works were about industrialisation like "And quiet flows the Don by Sholokhov, they are idealistic and describe simple lifes of simple people.

I look to Rybakov's trilogy for the 1930s feel, even though it was written a half-century later.

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Beyond17

Shurely Ravenloft would by Romanian, or indeed Transylvanian, which isn't actually Russian at all. :oops:

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

So "full of cranberry" is a Russian idiom?

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wombat1

The Telegraph travel section for today (22 December 2016) has a selection of 1930's Soviet tourist promotion posters.  These seem to focus on the theme of going to some exotic spot or other, seeing attractive young ladies and helping with the harvest, or possibly gazing with enchantment at the oil well, in the case of Baku.   Still, would be good as a set of handouts, I think, to help establish atmosphere.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/russia/galleries/Holidays-in-Stalins-Russia-vintage-travel-posters/

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Max_Writer

I'm very late for the party but there's the newer Cold Harvest (for 7th Ed, I believe) that takes place in Soviet Russia.

 

I wrote and ran a WWII scenario in February called "The Sosnovka Raid" wherein a squadron of Night Witches (588th Night Bomber Squadron composed of all women pilots and navigators) bomb a tiny village in the Caucasus but things go wrong.  There is a journal entry in my blog here.

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vincentVV

Full of cranberries? yeah, kind of russian idiom that means "full of stupid cliches that summon The Great Old Facepalm'' =)

 

By the way I re-viewed GURPS Russia and take some of my words back - it is not ideal, but it has a more or less logical and realistic historical part including Kiev Russia and religious conflicts. So, it.. can be used as a base.. mostly. =)

 

In fact, due to a large post WW II literature legacy, a period of 1940-1945 is covered very well both in post-war russian literature and in modern books (earlier books are more patriotic yet focus on person's own tragedies while modern ones are fond of "revealing the truth" about all the dirty sides of that war - including comissars, penal platoons and so on.

 

Nevertheless WW II is closer to present days and I think it would be much-much easier for a Keeper to model that reality than a 1920-1930s one. IMHO, of course.

 

Oh, and there are much more very good movies about that period too - like The Dawns Here Are Quiet, Only Old Men Are Going to Battle (probably the best of all soviet movies about war), The Cranes Are Flying, They Fought for Their Country and the greates espionage thrillere ever - Seventeen Moments of Spring.

 

And talking about Ravenloft - it is primarily a Romanian-Transilvanian setting yet some domains are too feeling to close a "russian" to be discarded. =)

Anyway, I think Romanians had as many facepalms looking through Ravenloft (if they ever did) as Russians do.

 

Oh, and anyway it in no way negates the fact that Ravenloft is a great setting which ideas can be taken to Cthulhu universe.

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Dante7

There's another one that was published I think in a French magazine or website but I'll have to drag it out to get the title but involved the discovery of a shoggoth under the Kremlin and the Russian experiments on it. I think it dates back to the '90s when it was written and IIRC takes place between the wars during the time of Comrade Stalin. (The text is in english but the map names and titles are in french).

 

Secrets of the Kremlin in Glozel est Authentique, published by TOME.  

 

Achtung Cthulhu's Guide to the Eastern Front

 

Age of Cthulhu's Shadows Over Leningrad

 

and don't forget that a chapter of Spawn of Azathoth deals with Tunguska

 

Not gaming or CoC, but Machika Nash from Tim Powers's "Declare" would make for a nice CoC villainess (and possible borderline Great Old One), and a force to rally the Russian ghouls mentioned in the GRU SV8 writeup

 

For non-Lovecraftian Russian supernatural stuff that may prove inspirational there's the book Roadside Picnic and its video game spinoff, Stalker, the Night Watch novel series and also this:  http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/TabletopGame/AgeOfAquarius

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

Roadside Picnic is probably one of the best examples of how to do "cosmic horror" for the post-nuclear age.

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notsogreatoldone

"Roadside Picnic" fascinated me as it  seemed to take some of Lovecraft's ideas to their ultimate conclusion: aliens who are completely  indifferent and inexplicable to humanity. It could make  for an interesting scenario, with  an emphasis on psychological coping rather than just physical survival.

 

Got 'Stalker' on DVD: will probably watch it over  New Year's Day weekend.

 

 

There's a couple of horror films with Soviet perspectives that can be streamed. Both are in the 'real footage (Blair Witch)' genre.

 

'Devil's Pass':  is based on a real story  of  Russian skiers  who died somewhat mysteriously in the Ural Mountains in 1959. Contemporary era journalists who  travel to the site of their death  and soon finds themselves in  mortal peril.  Haven't seen it.

 

I did see a movie about  a Soviet recon team, that was advancing through either Austria or Hungary, in the final months of WWII; who run into a descendant of  Victor Frankenstein, who is  creating all kinds of  'construct-revenant' super-soldiers for the Nazis. The title unfortunately escapes me.  It was pretty over the top, but it could be used as the frame-work for a  a very lurid pulp scenario.

 

Edit: Found the title for the Frankenstein film. It's 'Frankenstein's Army'.

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Nightbreed24

I ran a very short wartime scenario 7-8 years ago. It's set in the USSR, but not in the 1930s. The investigators were British soldiers stationed in Northern Russia. I don't remember much, so I think it would be better as a short story, not much room for investigation. But maybe someone could do something with it. Their company was assigned to guarding a fictional village named Yakovlevka, which they fortified against the Bolsheviks. There was a very odd geezer in the village, Old Man Vsevolod, who was not affected by the bitter cold at all (no wonder, he was a worshipper of Ithaqua). Father Fyodor, the friendly Orthodox priest has told the players his story over some strong tea. As a small boy he became lost in the vast forest surrounding the village in the middle of winter and was away for three weeks before coming home buck naked. The cold could not harm him after that. An Ojibwe Private named John Parker told them, that sometimes he heard the howls of the dreaded Wendigo at night. A large force of Reds appeared a few days later. They even had two armoured cars: a heavily armed Garford-Putilov (the Svoboda) and a Mgebrov-Renault (the Aurora). The battle was quite horrific since my group was in the trenches dug in front of the village cemetery and the cannon fire from the Svoboda unearthed many coffins and human remains. They managed to drive the Bolsheviks back, even knock out the Aurora, but suffered heavy casualties. Nobody slept that night. They heard strange chanting after 21:00, followed by a bloodcurdling, otherworldly howl in the distance. The animals in the village, even the fauna of the surrounding woods fled to safety, many through the trenches and the village streets. Think of that scene in the Dreamcatcher movie. Private Parker was cowering in fear of the approaching Wendigo. The Bolsheviks were camped nearby and loud, incoherent screaming and wild shooting could be heard from their direction a few hours later, followed by those terrifying howls. Some of the soldiers went mad and had to be restrained. The next morning was eerily silent. Their Captain sent out a scouting party, which the players were a part of. First they found Old Vsevolod naked and laying on a mound of snow. Then they found the Red camp, at least what was left of it. Some of the bodies were ripped apart, some where frozen as they stood, gigantic trees were torn out of the frozen ground and the armoured car was flattened as if something titanic had stepped on it.

 

My players were British, but the American Polar Bear Expedition fought in Northern Russia as well.

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Cearlan

Really surprised that no-one has so far mentioned the excellent Cold Dead Hand by Adam Scott Glancy, published in TUO 23. If I recall there was also a recording done of a radio transmission from within the scenario - very good !!!

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rylehNC

Kenneth Hite has dropped hints that he has a setting idea for 1930s Moscow, involving secret police and occult groups.

 

Were I to set something in the 20s, I know it would involve the Solovyetsky islands.

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BenJoss

I'm very late for the party but there's the newer Cold Harvest (for 7th Ed, I believe) that takes place in Soviet Russia.

 

It's a great scenario, incredibly atmospheric. I ran it last year and plan to do so again next month.

 

Highly recommended.

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vincentVV

Kenneth Hite has dropped hints that he has a setting idea for 1930s Moscow, involving secret police and occult groups. Were I to set something in the 20s, I know it would involve the Solovyetsky islands.

 

I really do hope Kenneth will consult some people from post-Soviet countries before starting this project. For example someone from 101 Studio (the guys who took part in Russian localisation of ToC).

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Travern

Hite outlined an alternate history in which Stalin signed his name in the Book of Azathoth in exchange for earthly power and extended life for a chapter in GURPS Infinite Worlds: Worlds of Horror.  This timeline, extending from the 20s to the 60s, can easily be repurposed for a regular pre-1947 CoC campaign, but the alternate history aspect kicks in with Harry Truman's death that year and the election of the isolationist Robert A. Taft to the presidency the year after.  It culminates in a Soviet-dominated world in which the Mythos lies just under the surface: "A hundred doors slowly crack open, all across the Soviet sphere. Surgeons captured in Treblinka probe the brains of political prisoners and Red Army volunteers, seeking the gateways in pineal space. Armies of slaves work gulag mines to supply the fungoid, alien Yughotiy with rare Siberian minerals. Thousands die in screaming agonies to placate Nyarlathotep. Antarctic explorers dig up Elder technologies; physicists in isolated Siberian laboratories go mad trying to utilize them. Certain inquisitive strangers with unlikely knowledge of the past and future answer insistent questions in their turn in the Lubyanka basement. Over them all, Stalin’s will drives forward. The New Soviet Man will be the next Great Race on Earth. It will be the only Great Race."

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