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  1. Anyone know where I can find the stats for missing persons in the 1920s. I am writing a scenario where the villain runs a meat processing plant and every year he has a massive party for the great and good of Arkham and then large salamis are distributed by the players to the poor of the city, some of which are made from the bodies of kidnapped immigrant children, sacrificed to imbue a crystal with life energy, that is used to maintain an undead warlock. I am wondering how many people went missing each year in case I have to justify body numbers to my players. I will also throw in some ghouls and the implication that the pcs have also eaten human salami.
  2. I'm running the new Masks of Nyarlathotep as a pulpy Fate Core game. To make it more interesting, I haven't warned my players they are in a Call of Cthulhu inspired game either. The players are currently working their way through the Peru Prologue, and last session they did something interesting: one of them found Larkin drugged out in his hotel room, and decided to kidnap him. The players, who have access to an Aeromarine 75 sea plane, have taken off with him tied up, in a crate, high as a kite on drugs. They also noticed his strange tattoos while tying him up. Eventually he's going to wake up a bit and there are several ideas about how to proceed. Nyarlathotep could possess Larkin and start throwing around magic and evil laughter. Psychic visions of future and past scenarios (some lies) in which he is victorious, but as GM also lets me hint at the larger story. To get out of the crate, he might summon a weak little winged shadow thing (something more related to the Father of all Bats) to break him out. It might even climb out a window and attack an engine, forcing the players into a Nightmare at 20,000 Feet type scenario. Or he could lie, and try to play everything off as the Kharisiri are in charge, particularly Mendoza, and he is a puppet. They got him hooked on drugs to control him and tattooed this thing on his chest, etc. There is also some fun to be had with the landing. Mendoza could report Larkin has kidnapped and it being the 1920s, that seaplane is going to be conspicuous, especially if they land in Puno, where they will likely be the first airplane ever in the town. The police could meet them at the docks and search the plane, putting them in some potential trouble with the law. Alternatively, Mendoza might instead telegram ahead to his Kharisiri allies, they might be the ones waiting when the plane lands. I figured I'd use a poll to see what everyone else thinks I should do. I have two weeks or so to work it out.
  3. CthulhuBob

    Parapsychology Tools (1930s)?

    What sort of devices etc. would be available and used by a 1930s parapsychologist?
  4. Chaosium at NecronomiCon 2017 have announced that a new edition of Masks of Nyarlathotep is in the works with a planned 2018 release. The new version of the venerable campaign will be compatible with both Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu 7th edition and Pulp Cthulhu rules sets. It's reported on Twitter, so it must be true... Source: @AdamAlexander
  5. PaulStJohnMackintosh

    A darker 1920s?

    One of my main beefs with Classic/1920s era CoC and many of the campaign books for the period is that it's not dark enough. There's plenty of Jazz Age jollity, quasi-steampunk fun with Orient Expresses and Chicago Pianos, but not enough true cosmic horror. Lovecraft himself managed to craft true existential terror from materials like these - why shouldn't CoC scenarios and campaigns do the same? So, does anyone have any recommendations for existing scenario books or campaigns that capture a true darkly horrific flavour while staying within the Classic period? Or any key events that can act as a focus for such a mood and such a campaign? For scenario books, my examples would be The Fungi from Yuggoth and Beyond the Mountains of Madness (though oops, already more 1930sish). For events, the US rejection of the League of Nations, the Irish War of Independence, the March on Rome, the Great Kanto earthquake, the Sacco and Vanzetti trials, the Beer Hall Putsch, the Scopes Monkey Trial, the 1925 KKK march on Washington, the Great Mississippi Flood, the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, and as a grand finale, the Wall Street Crash. Any other ideas?
  6. Hi everyone, Just joined and first post. The DM of our current gaming group has shown interest in CoC. And you’ve guess it, I plan on running The Haunting for them. I’ve always thought the scenario was lacking a key motivation for the investigators to actually confront Corbitt. Not having them just go back to Mr. Knott and “ It’s haunted, forget it…” Here is my take. The group are childhood friends. They spent a lot of time at one of the investigators family antic bookshop. His grandfather was an acquaintance of Alexandre Vattemare before the Civil War. He traded many artifacts on behalf of the international system for the exchange among libraries and museums, and helped in the creation of the Boston Public Library. Now the shop is more used books than antics, except for a few volumes from the small private collection. Looking at those strange books, often written in foreign languages, the group fantasized about discovering ancient arcane secrets. For some, it turned into a genuine interest in the occults. Now, the investigator is the owner of the shop. He recently was contacted by a buyer interested in retracing a book, once traded by his grandfather, the Liber Ivonis. He is willing to pay a substantial amount if the item can be found. With the Great War, the last decade was tough and the cash flow would greatly help. Looking back in his grandfather records, a name comes up: “Walter Corbitt, Boston”. I’m thinking of only providing his name, not his address. This would force the investigators to research first. Preventing them from going directly to the house. Either moving the book to the basement or leaving it in the chapel. Probably not mentioning the chapel existence before seeing it on the basement wall. Pretty much enforcing Corbitt’s encounter. I’m wondering, how realistic is it to retrace someone from just his name in the 1920’s public records? Cross-referencing is pretty easy now. What could you find only from someone’s name at the time? Census were pretty much listed by streets. Mid 1800, there’s more than 200 000 persons in Boston. Birth records were not centralized when Corbitt was born in the early 1800. Death certificates are probably only by years. Not knowing the time of death, that’s a lot of records to go through if you are not sure he died in Boston. Any thoughts? Thanks.
  7. HidingFromMyPlayers

    Jackson Elias's Passport (Masks Spoilers)

    I'm taking some advice I found elsewhere on this forum, and adding a new clue to the start of the New York chapter by putting Jackson Elias's passport in the scene. (If you know Masks, you know which scene.) I'm actually making a little handout passport (a sheet of card stock folded in half to make a booklet) to give the players, and I've populated it with Jackson's character portrait, his age, appearance details, age, etc. Most of this I've pulled from his character stats and descriptions, or made up as needed. The main purpose of the passport will be the stamps of entry, making it clear which nations he visited and when. I already plan on drawing attention to the post 1923 stamps (but I'm including the previous ones for style and to help reinforce his character.) For example a stamp for entering Hong Kong (a British territory) followed shortly by a stamp for entering China itself will help reinforce the idea that Hong Kong wasn't his final destination despite that being where all his telegrams to New York originated. Besides a series of dated stamps, are there any other interesting details or clues I could be working in? Anyone have any ideas on how I make this clue do more or be more interesting/useful? Note: I messed with the new Masks timeline a bit when I added my own two intro scenarios so the passport I make wont' be necessarily as useful to anyone else. I might make a second version (PDF & Word File) that uses the normal timeline and share it here for others to use.
  8. Hello, i am planning on running my first round all of Cthulhu as keeper with a group of people who are completely new to the game (but we played other pen and paper before) Most likely i am going to run The Haunting, since it is the goto beginner adventure. But there a few thinks i want to change and i would like to get some further advice and suggestions if possible. 1. The group will be hired to find the knife, for a collector and therefore will be learning about the house and Corbitt eventually. My idea is that otherwise it will be to obvious what will await them. This includes resarch to find out about the knife. My idea to get general hints would be the local museum. But how can i connect this properly to Mr.Corbitt and his house? 2. I wand to include at least on more fight. But i have no idea how to include one properly. Other games we played before included way more fights. I was thinking about some street thugs or maybe former followers of the Chapel of Contemplation. 3. Has anyone some ideas on how to follow up on the events of The Haunting? Maybe even something which refers to the Contemplation cult. Eventually if wanna play the idol of Thoth, which looks very interesting. I am grateful for any advice. Thank you.
  9. Hi all, I wanted to share my experiences running BtMoM in the hopes that you’ll find reading yet another BtMoM tale interesting/entertaining and to read your thoughts on it. Plus, its not going as well as I wanted to, so any advice will be very appreciated. Also, I need more ways to sustain my BtMoM fix between sessions and with the upcoming 4/5 week hiatus due to 2 PCs vacations. This is my first topic here on Yog Sothoth, and I did my due diligence to avoid posting in the incorrect sub-forum. I believe this would be the appropriate place since its the journal + meta commentary from me. My apologies to mods/admin if that is not the case, please move the thread to where it should be placed. I feel I need to include the following disclaimer: I’m unable to be concise and tend to ramble on, even after re-reading and trimming my words, I end up with big chunks of texts so... you´ve been warned! As I write this we are 5 sessions in and the BFE has just arrived to Lake’s Camp and started to settle in. Some quick personal background, I’m from Argentina, which is what explains the botched expression or odd turn of phrase I may use. I played many different tabletop RPGs for most of my teenage years, and GMed mainly CoC. After several years, I mostly just stopped altogether, with a brief revival or two. I bought BtMoM almost as soon as it was released, since AtMoM has always been one of my favourite HPL stories. I eagerly waited out the overseas shipping, started to read it, liked it, not loved it (clearly I hadn’t perfected my tastes yet), and decided that it was too big an undertaking to do it justice, it was something for another day. So, I stashed it. Over the years every now and then I would get the book out and browse it or read it for a bit before leaving it back on its shelf. Fast forward almost two decades and one of my close friends, who coincidentally was always my favorite CoC player to GM and the one of the few fellow HPL enthusiasts on my group of friends, had a nostalgic attack and started GMing Cyberpunk to some people, and this made him want to play, so he came over and started drilling me about running a CoC gaming table. BtMoM was the first thing that came to my mind, and he was onboard. With my wife willing to give this whole “role playing thing” a try, I had two players and location secured. I started googling and finding out about the amazing ways that some GMs had brought BtMoM to life and that was enough to get me really going. I really want to extensively thank everyone that has shared their stories, props, tips and more, especially the ones here on Yog Sothoth like Christian, MK-Cutter, Mvincent, Tiger. Also, the people behind the old Webeyond site, the labcats, the Into the Darkness guys on youtube and so many others that I forget, for what they shared over the years, they are many and probably won’t read this, but it’s so amazing and I can’t thank them enough. I realized right away that I’d need at least a few months of preparation to have a chance to do it right, so I started on that while at the same time looking for more players and doing some sessions to shake off some of the rustiness of not GMing for years. First was a one-shot with my 2 players. My wife ended up saving the day and the life of the supposed CoC expert player that made all the right questions and failed all the right dice rolls (the amazing amount of fails and fumbles that he made that night was hilarious). Later, with the 3rd player on board, we were ready to start. I wanted at least 4 players but I was more than anxious to start, so 3 would have to do. I went as all-in as I could and used stacks of old business cards to print images for all SW/M EXP members, Lexington EXP members, the BFE members that have more prominence, and some other NPCs like Turlow, Cap. Vredenburgh, etc. Obviously I didn’t give them all at once, but waited to introduce each before handing out each player a card. Seeing them personalize their npc decks in different ways has been one of the small details that’s giving me satisfaction. I also created some other props with what I could buy or create myself, like the Pier security passes for each, one copy of the Antartica map for each, a few of the SW/M EXP branded papers for sketches and notes, etc. I think I love the extras a lot more than they do, but they are using them. I keep comfort in the fact that probably several will die by the end, it serves them right for not appreciating the props enough 😜 I wanted to add as much flavour and personalization for my players to feel more involved with the story early on, so I created things like a Newspaper article made by a spurned journalist that wanted to take part in the EXP but was rejected by Moore, denouncing the fact that the EXP chose a sketchy journalist that had published some dubious tales with paranormal encounters and such (because that PC was one of the few with previous Mythos experience and had published personal accounts). I then had to adapt the Newspaper article announcing the new Cap. Vredenburgh to include a rebuke by Moore assuring the public that Mr. Cesaroni’s work with the EXP would always stick to the facts and report their findings accurately. I also adapted the “Get me a woman!” scene and corresponding newspaper article due to the fact that my wife played a woman M.D. that got accepted in the exp before Charlene Whitston, and I changed it a bit to reflect that, keeping the essence of it.
  10. For those interested in such a thing, in addition to our Dark Adventure Radio Theatre dramatization of Masks of Nyarlathotep, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society will also be releasing a Gamer Prop Set of all the prop documents for the MON campaign plus a bunch of extras that we thought would be fun to throw in. And for the truly deranged fan we'll be releasing a limited edition Super Deluxe Set which will include the radio play, all the props for it, all the props from the Gamer Prop Set and a spectacular collection of artifacts from the game. We will be releasing a final prop listing and price for this collection soon.
  11. Hi. I have some (and maybe more in future) problems and questions about HotOE. First one is, that my players failed to found Smith’s journal in London and I really want to run Blood Red Fez. Is there a proper way for them getting the journal later on? Ideas? Second one is Paris chapter. Players don’t have good library skills and no one speaks French. Can I just let them get info from library easy, or should I be strict with rules? Thank you.
  12. HidingFromMyPlayers

    Episode 01 (Iceland) - Escape from Dragon Island

    In which the player character come together to overcome adversity and in the most pulp into adventure I could come up. Reminder: I've told my players we are running a 1920s pulp game using Fate Core rules with some fairly subtle magic. They don't yet know this is the start of Mask of Nyarlathotep or even a CoC inspired setting. This is a recap of the first episode I ran for them last Thursday. My previous post talked about the characters they created using the Fate Core phase trio. Unfortunately the player of the unnamed gangster dropped out of the game, and the player of Doctor Bhisaj wasn't able to make it for this game. I won't recap the character creation session too much, but as a reminder, one player is secretly playing an ancient mummy, although he looks human enough. Another player is playing an Arkham scholar, which is extra fun considering the players don't yet know this is a CoC scenario. Cast of Player Characters Salim Dali - A negotiator, translator, expedition assistant extraordinaire. Lin Ru-Shi - A Hong Kong street urchin that grew up to be a thief. Lord Declan MacManus - A minor Irish Lord and Great War pilot turned smuggler. Lives on his flying boat and has a way with the ladies. Sebastian Sullivan - An amateur student of the arcane, driven from Arkham and currently operating as a less than-impressive detective. Abdul “Abe” Tepema - An Englishman of color, born in Egypt, he has a little knowledge of the old magic, and is a skilled detective. HMS Airship R99 July 1923 - Great Brittan has just completed a shakedown London to New York trip of their new R99 airship, a converted war zeppelin Britain demanded from Germany. It's part of the Burney scheme to link the distant parts of the Empire. Each player has booked passage, stolen a ticket, or in one case shipped themselves as cargo. Initially the players prepare for some ship based intrigue. The thief steals the porter's keys. The occult scholar activated his magic keys with a ritual in his room. The negotiator starts making business contacts with the wealthy and powerful of London. The pilot attempts to avoid the young blonde woman's father and brother, etc. They barely notice when the captain ship veers north to try and avoid a storm in the Atlantic. They defiantly notice that night when I placed a "She's Breaking Apart!" aspect into play. The mummy character pulled himself out of the crate when the weather got nasty enough and attempted to cast a weather calming spell, but I compelled the new aspect before he could spend the 30 minutes on the spell, and broke the ship in half. The front half of the ship burst into flames from a lighting strike, while the back half, with the players and most passengers in the less lethal back half. They landed in water, which they were surprised to find both warm and an unsalted. Dreki Eyja When dawn came they found themselves in shrouded in fog standing atop an improvised raft on a warm lake. They couldn't see shore, but they could hear tropical birds and see the smoldering glow of the front half of the ship that was still burning (a clear sign it wasn't on the water.) Reaching shore they discover a beach of stones leading up to a primeval forest full of birds and plants they don't recognize. I then hand them their team Expedition Sheet and give the Location Aspect as "Island that Time Forgot." They looked for survivors in the wreckage (one player did poorly and had to deal with mental stress from the corpses, and ended up taking some consequences) and did manage to save a couple of people. The thief wrangled up the children, some now orphans, and the mummy (who of course just looks like a Englishman of color) managed to find the wireless set, damaged, but functional. Over the radio, he finds a drunk Norwegian sailor singing shanties. A nice test of the language system, most of the players accept a compel to not speak the language, but one player pays the fate point to refuse and another has a stunt that make is free for them to speak living languages (he can still accept the compel for a fate point if he wants.) Eventually they get a hold of a sober American (the sailor calls him the passenger) on the ship and learn some interesting facts: The airship apparently went down 10 days ago, despite the players clearly experiencing it the night before the wreckage still being somewhat on fire. Ships as part of a search party spent a week looking for wreckage or survivors but found none. They island, shrouded in fog and only located by ship after they followed the radio signal, wasn't there the day before. The captain of the ship swore they came that way the day before in clear weather and there was not island in sight. The island seems to be a lot of cliffs along the shore, although the ship can see a river emptying out of cave. The passenger heard a story from a sailor in a dockside bar in Iceland about a cursed island that could only be located when the fog was bad. The island was surrounded by cliffs and full of wonders and dangers. The locals call it Dreki Eyja, roughly Dragon Island in English, because it was said to be home to a terrible serpent god. The PCs start to debate the right course of action to move forward with. The mummy uses his weather magic to push back the fog a bit and they can now see the entire steamy lake, the primeval forests, and sheer stone cliffs of the caldera this is all in. Some of the players think they should follow the river out of the lake to the beach where the ship can pick them up. Some of them think they should build a camp and wait for the Royal Navy to come get them. That's when I pointed out the trees in the forest shaking, and terrifying roar coming from that same direction. I placed the Location Trouble Aspect "Escape from Dragon Island" on the expedition sheet. The Serpent God of Dragon Island At this point a massive dinosaur (Spinosaurus) clambers out of the tree line and delivers a terrifying roar (backed up by a creature stunt and an invoke on the "Serpent God" aspect to make a potent fear based mental attack on everyone present.) I expected the players, who had looted rifles from the wreckage of the airship, to fire on it, discover it was immune to standard weapons, and flee in the same direction as the other crash survivors (who did not handle a "dragon" well.) This was of course foolish of me. My players intuitively decided a monster so big was not worth shooting at. They immediately formed a plan to lure the creature into the wreckage of the airship and detonate all the remaining hydrogen tanks they could fine. What followed was an entertaining battle where the players split their activities between manipulating the dragon and setting up the explosive, while the dragon tried to eat them. Their plan proved successful, and they manged to kill the beast in a giant explosion that also wiped out the radio. Island of Serpents The destruction of the airship wreckage wiped out most of the resources the players had considered using to setup camp with so they opted to follow the river to the coast and hope the Norwegian ship would be able to pick them up. Along the way they discovered a serpent themed alter in a swamp (See future connection to the Serpent of Soho side quest) and at the top of a path to where the lower jungles of the island, a series of pillars where sacrifices were clearly offered up to the god. They also discovered massive stone carvings of serpents, some 20 stories tall and looking over the island. It was obvious that the culture that once built the tall statues and alter was far more advanced than the primitive tribe offering sacrifices at the pillars. They also discovered a pyramid shaped burial mound. Inside they found a few remains, one near the back clutching a modified bible (their first occult tome), and what appeared to be a bolder sealing up a hole in the ground. They opted not to see what was trapped under it. They continued on along the river's edge, eventually meeting the local tribe of island: a race that seemed part Celtic and part neanderthal. They spoke a broken kind of Icelandic, but a couple player characters were able to communicate. Thanks to some quick talking, they managed to convince the tribe that the death of their god was a good thing ("feast on its meat and absorb its power") and the tribe rejoiced... until the pilot (Trouble aspect: Foot Placed Squarely In Mouth) blasphemed and next think you know they are chased down the river, through the tunnel, and onto the beach with spears being hurled at them. Escape! On the beach, the players are rescued by the Norwegian freighter crew, and meet Jackson Elias, the English speaking African American passenger. Over the three day journey to Iceland, he trades stories with them about dealing with tribes and cults. The players each go their own way after that. GM Note: Possible Problems for my Evil Plans One of players made a special note of Jackson Elias's full name and appeared to be googling it on his phone. I'm not sure if it sounded familiar or if he just doesn't trust me after the last game I ran (time travel) where the players spent months doing jobs for a guy in a suit named Mr. Riddle before they finally met his younger self outside a Michigan dinner in the 1970s and found out his full name was James Riddle Hoffa. Jackson Elias is a unique enough name that if he did google it he will know what scenario I am planning to run. If he googled it in relation to "Dragon Island" he will probably find my posts here on Yog and thus know even more about what's going on. In fact, just in case he finds this blog: Hey Mike, stop Cheating! Connections to the Larger Plot The main goals of this scenario was to help bring the players together, to get the pulp feel across, to introduce several mechanics like making Will defense rolls against disturbing situations and terrifying beasts, to get them their first occult tome, and of course to introduce Jackson Elias in a way that hopeful endears him to the players. It also has some other more minor goals. First, the location may be used again. One bit of weirdness of the island was the passage of time. The players crashed one night and the next morning it was 10 days later to the outside world. This was intentional on my part because the island was built by the Serpentmen empire long ago as a temporal life raft. This may come up again later when the players encounter the serpent alter painting/time gate in the London side quest. The second connection to the larger plot is just a bit of foreshadowing: the occult tome they have found in the step pyramid shaped burial mound contains references to Loki the many faced who will bring about Ragnarok when the giants from beyond fire, ice, and time will come and destroy the world. The book also gives a little bit more background on the island, it's current tribe of semi-humans, and hints at serpent people able to take on human form and use potent magic. Next time... Next session, available here, is the start of the Peru chapter from the new MoN.
  13. HidingFromMyPlayers

    Episode 02 (Peru) - Peruvian Expedition

    In which an old friend from Episode 1 invites the player characters to help him with his current project. Reminder: My players don't entirely know they are playing through Masks of Nyarlathotep. As far as they know, this is a 1920s Pulp themed Fate Core game. This article does contain spoilers for the new edition of Masks of Nyarlathotep. At the end of last session, one of my players thought the name "Jackson Elias" sounded familiar. At the start of this session he announced to the group that he did some research and the character was from Lovecraft's works. I'm not sure he actually figured out what's happening and is lying to preserve the surprise, if he slipped up in his research and didn't realize the character was from CoC games, or if he did find Masks but the Iceland and Peru content doesn't fit the classic use of a white Jackson Elias so he figured I was just using the name as a reference (as I do.) Whatever the situation, I'm happy he didn't ruin the surprise for the rest of the table. I'm still able to play off the Lovecraftian hints and bits in the game as my own enjoyment of the mythos content, and catering the player that actively made an Arkham Scholar. Anyways, this is the start of the Peru Prologue chapter from the newest edition of Masks. As written, it is supposed to serve as an intro to Jackson Elias and take place in 1921. My players have already met Jackson in July 1923, and I'm setting this in 1924. I've talked about this in forum posts, but moving this adventure to 1924 (still in March) works with very few changes to the timeline. By the end of this adventure, Jackson will be interested in learning more about Agustus Larkin, and Larkin being from Kenya it makes sense for Jackson to go there after a little research. As written, Jackson is supposed to be wandering all of Africa for many months, but I think this actually fits the timeline and Jackson's investigative skills better. Cast of Player Characters Salim Dali - A negotiator, translator, expedition assistant extraordinaire. Lin Ru-Shi - A Hong Kong street urchin that grew up to be a thief. Lord Declan MacManus - A minor Irish Lord and Great War pilot turned smuggler. Lives on his flying boat and has a way with the ladies. Sebastian Sullivan - An amateur student of the arcane, driven from Arkham and currently operating as a less than-impressive detective. Abdul “Abe” Tepema - An Englishman of color, born in Egypt, he has a little knowledge of the old magic, and is a skilled detective. Doctor Bhisaj - Great War ambulance driver that recently completed medical training in London. A bit too trusting for his own good. Keeping In Contact Since helping to rescue the players from Dragon Island in Episode 1, Jackson has been exchanging letters with the PCs. He ended up heading back to Iceland trying to find the island again so he could meet the tribe, see the snake tomb, and write it all up, but after spending nearly a week looking for it by boat and then even hiring a plane to a do a flyby, he was unable to locate it again. Neither he nor the players are aware that the island is unstuck in time and is only around every 10th day. He wouldn't believe it if he was told so either. He eventually shelved that book idea and headed to South America to follow up on some leads he had left over from researching The Smoking Heart years earlier. In February the players each get a telegram from their friend Jackson: NEED HELP ON EXPEDITION STOP ... PLEASE ACCEPT LARKINS OFFER STOP ... CALL ME JESSE HUGHES STOP ... BRING GIN AND LUCKY STAR TOBACCO STOP - JACKSON ELIAS Within a week they then get a letter from Agutus Larkin inviting them to join an expedition in Peru to seek a lost pyramid full of gold artifacts. He asks them to telegram him if they are interested as he is hoping to get his expedition going in March, before the summer ends (Summer in the southern hemisphere). When they do he replies with: THANK YOU FOR JOINING EXPEDITION STOP ... PLEASE JOIN ME IN LIMA STOP... HAVE BOOKED YOU ROOM AT HOTEL MAURY STOP ... MEET 18 MARCH 7PM AT BAR CORDANO STOP ... JIRON ANCASH 202 DISTRIOTO DE LIMA STOP -AGUSTUS LARKIN Most of the players got together and rode in Declan's flying boat down, arriving together a few hours early on March 18th. While they flew, Sebastian the Arkham Scholar told the players what he had learned from the "snake bible" the picked up on the island. The book content was very short on Mythos lore, but Sebastian has the "I'm not saying it's the old ones... but it's the old ones" character aspect, so he interpreted it that way. I enjoyed that because my descriptions of Loki in the hand-out were meant to hint at Nyarlathotep. Lima Arriving in Lima, the players got a couple of hours to do highlight their characters. Declan and Sebastian tracked down a poisonous snake from a smuggler (because the spells in the Snake Bible mostly require one), and Declan also picked up a shipment of not-overly-defined illicit cargo (the joys of fate means we can later declare this as drugs, guns, explosives or anything else illicit as needed.) The thief got the lay of the land as far as criminal enterprises go, and Salim scouted out the restaurant so he could get an good read on their potential new employers. Eventually the meal proper started and everyone (except Dr. Bhisaj, whose player was running late so the character was too) got to do the entire social interaction thing more or less as written in the book. It went well, with the player developing all kinds of interesting ideas about what they were getting into. They were especially shocked that Larkin had been so open about knowing the location of a pyramid full of gold, and was foolish enough to wander around with gold artifacts. That Mendoza was clearly his bodyguard made sense after that revelation as he clearly looked like a killer to them, and noted that he did not eat much and leered at Jackson for most of the meal. They were incredulous that Larkin was offering equal shares in the expedition to all that joined, and noted that he played up the gold to greedier PCs and the Culture to the PCs more interested in that angle. I really enjoyed their theory that Larkin, who is clearly unhealthy, was trying to lure people up to the pyramid so he could sacrifice them to regain his health. After the meal they met with Jackson Elias, and Doctor Bhisaj showed up, who clued them in on his "fat-vampire stories are actually evidence of a death cult going back to the conquistadors" theory. He had to admit he didn't know how Larkin or the Pyramid actually fit in with his cult theory. With this new knowledge the players formulated a hypothesis of their own that Mendoza was trying or had recruited Larkin to his cause. The players agreed to meet up with Jackson the next day at the University to talk with his archeologist friend. It now being well into the night, the players headed out in various directions. A few of them tracked Larkin and Mendoza back to their hotel and charmed a maid to give them details on the two. Mendoza's apparent lack of sleep, Larkin's messy room and foul smelling sheets, etc. It was all suspicious but it didn't answer any questions. Declan, the pilot, went out carousing with the local ladies and tried to take one home... so of course I made her a Kharisiri that was trying to implant him. A fight broke out and the rest of the party came to his rescue in his hotel room. They managed to knock the Kharisiri out, which left them with a problem: what to do with her. A few good rolls later they managed to turn her over to a local gangster who's lieutenant she had fed on at some point earlier. Now realizing they were dealing with real Kharisiri, they went to the meeting at the museum the next day with new concern. Horror in the Museum All of the player join Jackson at the museum where he introduces them to his friend Professor Sanchez of the University's Archeology department. The players briefly attempt to explain somewhat of what they encountered the night before to Jackson, but he insists that monsters aren't real and that Declan must have had his drink spiked. The characters quickly move on to expedition business. Dr. Sanchez explains that Larkin has rebuffed his attempts to join the expedition and that he expects Larkin is intending to simply loot the pyramid of its riches and sell them to collectors around the world. Sanchez and Jackson were already considering a plan to get to the pyramid first and stake a claim to secure it in advance of Larkin's arrival. The players, some hoping to help preserve Peruvian culture for the citizens of Peru and some simply interested in cutting out Larkin from the deal, agree to help. The make a plan for Dr. Sanchez to fly out the next day in Declan's plane; a daring crossing of the mountains that will give Dr. Sanchez over half a week's head start on Larkin's trucks. The trick, however, is that only Larkin knows the location of the pyramid. Dr. Sanchez says he and his undergrad assistant have been researching a lead on that mater. They found a journal dating back to the time of Pizarro that might help. His assistant has been researching it, and in fast should be joining them any minute now. She was digging around in the basement stacks for an artifact mentioned in the journal. My player immediately assumed she was already dead, but most of them rushed down anyway. Declan remained behind to try and discus more about the gold in the pyramid. I planned on the players finding her corpse, still warm, but one of them invoked the character aspect "Right Place, Right Time" so I allowed them to come upon Mendoza still feeding on her. A fight, of course broke out. After the initial gunshot, even Declan came running. It was a fairly chaotic fight with probalby a third of the shelves of antiques knocked over, but after taking a few nasty blows I tried to get Mendoza out. My players put an end to that with a well worded "create advantage roll" bluffing that they had taken Larkin prisoner and invoking Mendoza's "Larkin's Guard Dog" aspect. It worked, and he came rushing back demanding to know where Larkin was is formal Spanish and waving around a sword that to the players' eyes may or may not have come from the museum's collection. Salim started negotiating with him, but that end as soon as Declan shot him in the head. The player was thrilled to get to use the "Boring Conversation Anyway" stunt that gives him a bonus to ending a conversation with gunfire. The Doc was able to stabilize Dr. Sanchez's assistant, although she needs to get to a hospital ASAP, and the group was able to show Jackson and Sanchez the strange lamprey like mouth on Mendoza, although it was starting to retract back to a human looking mouth as he lay dying. I ended the session there, so the players will need to figure out how to handle a bleeding young woman, a man with his brains blown out, and a shocking amount of damage to museum artifacts immediately at the start of next session, because the racket they just made has the attention of the security guards, and the police are likely to follow. Next Episode: 24 Hours in Lima Art Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Máscara_Lambayeque2.JPG
  14. HidingFromMyPlayers

    Episode 03 (Peru) - 24 Hours in Lima

    In which the players start to figure out what's going on, and generally dislike what they learn. Reminder: My players don't entirely know they are playing through Masks of Nyarlathotep. As far as they know, this is a 1920s Pulp themed Fate Core game. This article does contain spoilers for the new edition of Masks of Nyarlathotep. Cast of Player Characters This Episode Lin Ru-Shi - A Hong Kong street urchin that grew up to be a thief. Lord Declan MacManus - A minor Irish Lord and Great War pilot turned smuggler. Lives on his flying boat and has a way with the ladies. Sebastian Sullivan - An amateur student of the arcane, driven from Arkham and currently operating as a less than-impressive detective. Abdul “Abe” Tepema - An Englishman of color, born in Egypt, he has a little knowledge of the old magic, and is a skilled detective. Last Time... When we last left our cast of globetrotting explorers, they were in the basement of the University Museum of Archeology standing over the body of a dead man (well fat-sucking vampire but he looks like a man) and the attempting to keep a young woman alive. They had knocked over almost a third of the shelves of priceless artifacts, and several guns shots had been fired. They had the journal of a conquistador, a large gold artifact, and an old sword. Their airplane, down at the docks, was stocked with illicit cargo, they had an appointment for later that day to pickup a smuggled poisonous snake. They were also expecting to hear back from the local crime lord to whom they had turned over an unconscious woman/fat-sucking vampire the previous day. Their plan, until the vampire fight in the basement, had been to send Declan and Dr. Sanchez ahead to Puno in the airplane. Then Dr. Sanchez go lead a new expedition to the pyramid while the players worked to slow down Larkin's expedition. The goal for half the group was to protect the archeological value of the pyramid from looting by Larkin. The other half of the group was interested in cutting Larkin, whom they didn't trust, out of the score and getting more loot for themselves. Sidelining Some Players Two players weren't able to attend this session so I used the situation the players were in when last session ended as a way to temporarily sideline the characters of Doctor Bhisaj and Salim Dali. Jackson Elias, as an African American man looking at a dead white man, a bleeding out white girl, and a host of (to Peruvian authorities) foreigners, half of which are brown skinned, realizes this is not going to go well when authorities arrive. As a pair of security guards come running in he immediately turns to them and in an authoritative voice (in clear spanish) yells: "You, go call an ambulance! You, call call the police!" He then turns back to the rest of the group as the guards run back upstairs and says "We probably don't want to be standing over the body when the authorities arrive." Unfortunately, Doctor Bhisaj points out that the constant pressure he is applying to the half-dead student is the only thing keeping her alive. Salim Dali volunteers to stay behind with the doctor to explain things to the police. The rest the party, including a Professor Sanchez that is dangerously close to throwing up and/or passing out, retires back to the Professor's office with the gold artifact and journal. Later, the players would see the ambulance crew, along with Doctor Bhisaj, transport the still barely alive student to an ambulance and head off toward the hospital. That was followed by Salim Dali being hauled out by the police in handcuffs, and the medical examiner hauling away Mendoza's corpse. Plans for the Day The plan to travel with Larkin while sending Snachez ahead no longer looks safe, especially to professor Sanchez, but the players can't agree on a new plan. The players decide they need to know more about what's going on before picking between Plan B: ditching Larkin now and heading to the pyramid on their own, or Plan C to continue to string Larkin along despite Mendoza "disappearing." Abe decides to stay at the University with Jackson Elias and Professor Sanchez to dig through the journal and try to find the Pyramid's location. Jackson also thinks they should talk with his folklore friend once they get to Puno to see if they can learn more about the pyramid and the Kharisiri. Declan and Sebastian head out for their noon meeting with "Lefty" the smuggler to pick up their snake. Sebastian that goes out and does some shopping and ritual casting to set himself up with a warded amulet for the next few days. Declan heads to his plane and begins tweaking the engines for the high-altitude crossing over the Andes. Lin breaks into Mendoza's hotel room, despite it being broad daylight, and tries to subtly search it but comes up empty. (GM Note: The player of Lin rolled poorly on Investigating the room and decided that meant she was being to careful to not leave any evidence of being there to do a through search. In retrospect I should have offered the player Success at Cost to search the room but not be able to make it look untouched. As it stands the players missed finding The Gold Mirror.) Having come up empty, Lin decides to go check in with her new friends in the local criminal underworld to see if they have learned anything from the kharisiri woman they handed over the night before. Lin doesn't even make it into the bar they use a front when she sees the crime boss, apparently unconscious with burns on his face, being carried out of the building by his own crew. The crew see Lin, and demands at Gun Point (IE: I compelled her "Gets In Over Her Head" aspect) that she help the boss, because if the boss dies, she and her friends die too. The entire pack of Peruvian gangsters and Lin end up heading back to the Professor Sanchez's office in the Museum where, thanks to another compel on "Comidically Bad Timing" to unsplit the party, the rest of the party has also just arrived to check in on Abe, Sanchez, and Jackson. They lay their incoherent and clearly pained boss out on the desk, and a gun totting thug leans against the inside of the closed door while Henchman #1 demands at gunpoint they fix the boss from whatever that weird woman did to him. He pulls open his boss's shirt to reveal the burns run in a trail up his arm, across his chest, up his neck to his mouth. Also, that a strange bulge is moving around under his skin on his stomach. Dr. Sanchez throws up at the sight of it. The rest of the party wishes Doctor Bhisaj wasn't at the hospital. The thugs explained that they had left their boss to work over the woman in the basement of their hideout, (Reminder: She use to be the girlfriend of one the crew but had killed her boyfriend in a horrific manner a couple years back, and they had been looking for her ever since for some payback.) At some point they heard her laughing maniacally and came in to find her still tied to the chair, but their boss writhing in agony on the floor in front of her with a chemical burn on his face. Henchman #1 put both barrels of a shot gun into her chest while she was still laughing, and then decided to come looking for Lin and her friends and found her right out the front door. Emergency Surgery Using a bottle of pisco, a thug's switchblade, a sewing kit, and chutzpah, the not-at-all-doctors Sebastian and Abe attempt to cut the weird moving lump out of Lima underworld boss. Before attempting the emergency surgery, they managed to get 5 of his crew to put away their guns to "help" by holding their boss's limbs & head and sticking a folded up leather belt in his mouth. That left only Henchman #1 and the guy at the door "free," and Lin & Declan maneuvered into positions to deal with them should things go badly. Thankfully Sebastian and Abe made an excellent medical roll and managed to safely remove the disgusting squirming slug-thing from the gang-boss's torso. When it hissed at them they tossed it into the (vomit filled) waste bin. I then rapidly squirmed out of the bin and across the floor at a nearby thug. Lin stabbed it through with the switchblade, pinning it to the floor. Or at least that was the idea, but the disgusting little thing was slowly pulling itself through the knife while screening a high pitched sqeel. So they smashed it with a chair until it was a disgusting little puddle. Abe finished stitching up a distinctly less pained seeming crime lord, and his goons, swearing off academic institutions as too effin scary, took their boss away to "somewhere less dangerous." Vampire Autopsy Following the discovery the the worm-thing, the players had an entire new round of questions. Was the worm controlling the vampire? Was it the vampire and it jumped hosts? If so, why was the woman still laughing even after the worm was out? Larkin had looked sweaty and sickly, kind of like the crime boss, did that mean Larkin was in the process of transforming into a vampire? They decided the best course of action was to autopsy the vampire. They also decided it wasn't safe to sleep in the rooms Larkin and crew had bought them or stay in Sanchez's office. Abe, Jackson, and Sanchez moved to University Library to continue studying the journal. Sebastion went with them but used the time to cast a ritual out of the snake bible he got in episode one, which he was able to to do now that he had his smuggled poisonous snake. Lin and Declan went back to gangster to examine the woman vampire's body... and discovered she was gone! Clearly she had been dead, and clearly that didn't stop her from climbing out the window while the gangster dragged their boss to the University for emergency surgery. The group met back up at the library, and Abe revealed what they had learned from the journal: Mendoza was part of a team of conquistadors that traveled to a pyramid and looted a chunk of gold from it. Most of them transformed into monsters that night as they slept, and Mendoza had been shot in the face before. The pyramid seemed to contain some "Father of Maggots" that spoke to the only non-transofrmed survivor of the expedition as he lay dying of fever in a church (where he recorded the journal and died). The transformation into monsters seemed rapid, taking only hours, meaning that probably wasn't what was going on with Larkin. The survivor that wrote the journal regretted taking the gold from the temple, apparently believing doing so is what had released the evil. Freaking out that Mendoza was actually centuries old and had apparently been shot in the head before without it killing him, Lin and Sebastian broke into the morgue that night and discovered his body was missing. According to the journal, and to the folklore Jackson Elias had been studying, the Kharisiri where probably the conquistadors that damaged the pyramid's golden wards, but that didn't explain how a woman the local crime boss knew from childhood had become one of them, and it didn't explain what was going on with Larkin. Was he one too? Was he linked to the pyramid somehow? Was he a patsy in this? Was his sickness supernatural or normal? They decided Lin should go talk to him that night while the rest of them packed up the plane and prepared to get away from Lima before the two resurrected Kharisiri they'd angered found them. They wanted to feel him out a bit, see if he had detected anything about Mendoza, and maybe assure him they would be on the trucks the day after tomorrow. They were sending Lin because she was the only one of them skilled at lying. When Lin arrived and knocked on his door that night, no one answered. Curious, she picked the lock and went inside, only to discover he was lying on the bed incredibly high on heroine. Lin decided this was an opportunity to get some questions answered and poured him into a cab and brought him to the rest of the group at the airplane. Plan A, B, C, D, E, F Declan was not happy about Larkin being on his plane, but allowed it because Lin assured him that there was more than enough heroine left to keep him out for a while longer, and they could tie him up securely. In tying him up, they discovered a large, disturbing, and somehow infected tattoo on his chest that they couldn't identify. There was a drawn out discussion on if Larkin should (or even could) be killed, if they should leave him behind or take him with them. Should they just flee the country or should they try to deal with the pyramid? Should Sebastian try using his dream controlling spell to try and learn more about the pyramid and/or Larkin? (GM Note: I hadn't thought about that kind of use for Sebastian's Dream Forge spell, but it might have been The plan they eventually settled on was leaving for Puno that morning, basically immediately, in the plane as a group, and to take a very secured Larkin with them. (It was assumed that they were scooping up Salim and the Doc on their way out of town too.) Once in Puno they would try to get some more information from Jackson's folklore contact, and then, maybe, head to the pyramid to try and repair the magic there with the gold. Along the way they would try to figure out what the deal was with Larkin. Art Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Boca_de_lamprea.1_-_Aquarium_Finisterrae.JPG
  15. As I have noted, I'm essentially running a pulpy version of the new Masks of Nyarlathotep, but without warning my players they are even in a CoC scenario first. To both conceal the truth and because both me and my group is comfortable with the rules, I will be running the game in Fate Core. Mostly Fate Core Rules For the most part I will be running the game using Fate Core rules, especially when it comes to things on the players' side of the screen. Five aspects, three Refresh, three free Stunts, Skill pyramid, etc. I've intentionally tried not to add any complex mechanics to the player side of the system, especially for character creation. I'm not using extras like Weapon or Armor ratings. Skills List wise, I've added an Occult skill, which covers manipulating magical forces. Note that Lore is still used for knowing anything about gods, monsters, etc. One major variation from the core rules is that I will be using Elective Action Order (AKA: Balsera or Pop Corn) initiative. I have initiative cards to use with it, and found it very quick and fun with a little meta-game strategy to it. I've used it a few times now, and it's my go to initiative system for Fate. On the GM side of the screen, I will be using various tricks from the Fate Adversary Toolkit, original Fate Toolkit, and Fate Horror Toolkit but those won't be too obvious to the players, at least at first. As a broad rule, I will be giving NPCs and Monsters single stress unified tracks so that the players can easily mix Mental and Physical based attacks against targets. Some foes, particularly supernatural ones, will be given Immunity to Normal Weapons, and will require the players to find non-normal attacks to harm them. When I do this, I will pay the group a Fate Point. Essentially they will need then need to Create an Advantage appropriate to the foe to actually hurt them. For example, you can't shoot or stab a Fire Vampire, but you can hurt it with water. Expedition Sheet I will also be using some rules taken from the Fate Horror Toolkit: Heroic Sacrifices, Legacy Aspects, and Group "Expedition" Fate Points. A lot of details will be tracked on the group "Expedition Sheet" which is a kind of group character sheet. It also contains the record of current location related aspects and languages. Each major location has a High Concept, a Trouble, and a Hidden Issue. Dealing with a hidden issue is how the group will earn Significant and Major milestones. Magic Magic in the system is based on the Subtle Art magic rules from the Fate Toolkit/SRD, including Jazzing it Up and Combat Curses. In order to take the Occult skill, players have to have an Aspect that explains where their magic comes from. At character creation they have a number of spells equal to their rank in Occult. Spells are typically rituals cast from a documented source, like a spellbook. Combat curses require a stunt each, but allow the casting of a spell as a single action on a single target nearby. There is also a stunt that allows for up to 3 rituals to be memorized. Players start with a spellbook of their known spells, if they have any. Lovecraftian magic looks similar on the surface, but is actually based somewhat on the Voidcallers magic system. Players will roll Occult vs a target number, just they do with the above "subtle" system, but the result might be a Hunting Horror being summoned. In these cases, there is also a secret higher difficulty for the summoning, and the difference between that rating and what the players roll turns into Doom Points I can use to make the magic/monster go wrong. Given their importance in the setting, I'm planning on making occult tomes into a special prop. A little booklet with details about how the book looks on the front, and a skimming synopsis of the content on the back along with rules for translating/reading the book. The booklet is taped shut. If a book is actually read in detail, the booklet is opened and a more detailed synopsis along with any important contents (like spells) are inside, along with any horror or madness related mechanics. Horror & Madness (AKA: Sanity) I will be treating what CoC does with Sanity rolls via mental attacks. Disturbing creatures, places, things, or ideas (like you might get from reading occult tomes) get to make a free attack against a player's Defense with Will to inflict Mental Stress, and possibly Consequences. Horror in this case is treated as the Horror attack rating. I'm also including a Madness rating which is used like a Weapon rating for that attack. If Horror gets through your defenses, it inflicts extra stress equal to the Madness rating. Actually going crazy will be done with appropriate mental consequences or concession. Going permanently mad would be getting taken out. Note: I haven't actually warned my players about any of the above, and not many of them took Will serious as a skill, so I expect a few of them will go a little crazy regularly, at least at first. For More Details... Edited 10/5/2018 If you want to know more about the Fate formulation I'm using for this game, I started a multi-part break down which begins here.
  16. MAJOR SPOILER ALERT I've been trying to think about a way to ask this without giving too much away but its difficult. The final location of Roger Carlyle is named but doesn't seem to be detailed. What if the players go there, wanting to rescue him? What state is he in? Can he tell them anything? What would the cultists do? Is it just me or is this a major omission from the story that this is not even discussed? We don't even get a picture of what Carlyle looks like.
  17. In the new Masks of Nyarlathotep, at the end of the Peru section, one of the goals presented at the end for investigator development is "Releasing Augustus Larkin from the control of Nyarlathotep". Unfortunately, there is zero guidance given on how this (probably) new group of (relatively) ignorant investigators would go about wresting physical/mental control of this human (that is rotting from the inside out due to "Nyar-sposure" and is also ensorcelled via a magical tattoo) from a powerful Mythos entity. Having pointed out those factors, while it seems like it should be a challenging task, it seems it should be attainable. I have a doctor with a backstory that lends itself to the medium psychic talent from Pulp Cthulhu, which I have just added after they brilliantly tried to get more information out of Larkin using a guided hypnotism combined with a guided ayahuasca-induced dream hallucination. This of course resulted in powerful mental contact with Nyarlathotep and they realize he is "possessed" in a sense. I was thinking that a combination of burning away the tattoo with The Golden Ward and a blood transfusion could get Larkin free, with some fair amount of blood, gore, and spell-slinging from Nyarlathotep, while requiring the Doctor to maintain contact with Larkin's mind throughout the process. 1 - Does that sound like too much? 2 - Does anyone else have any good ideas?
  18. YSDC folks who like using period (1920s-style) newspaper props to inspire or enhance their games of Lovecraftian dread, might be interested in a new product released yesterday by we mad cultists at Cthulhu Reborn. Dateline: Lovecraft is a system-independent prop resource which provides a huge Arkham-related newspaper prop for you to carve up and use to dream up some adventures of your own, or to add depth to your depiction of the Miskatonic Valley, or to drop clues into random published scenarios. It's a commercial (i.e., non-free) PDF package, available from RPGNow or DrivethruRPG There is a lengthy description of what's included in the package over on the Cthulhu Reborn blog, but in a nutshell what you get is: a PDF of an entire issue of the Arkham Advertiser, whose period-authentic broadsheet-sized-pages (each about 6 x Letter/A4) is crammed with news, editorials, advertisements, and everything else you'd expect in a newspaper. Overall there are something like 200 items, making up 40,000 words. That might sound like a surprising amount for a 12-page newspaper, but real-world newspapers from the 1920s were pretty densely packed with information, so we've tried to emulate that as much as possible. Within the articles -- some outwardly mundane, others not so much -- we've dropped a wealth of quirky hooks which could be linked up to inspire new Lovecraftian tales or worked in as clues or background colour to your ongoing Miskatonic Valley campaign. a second 58-page PDF which serves as a kind of Guidebook -- providing some ideas about how to make physical props using the newspaper PDF, how to turn newspaper content into clues or on-ramps for an investigative scenario. This guide also includes an exhaustive set of indices to help you track down any person, place, or telephone number mentioned somewhere in the newspaper text. Additionally the guide has a campaign frame "Inkhounds of the Miskatonic Valley" which suggests a specific style of campaign which puts Arkham's news centre-stage, and an example scenario which demonstrates (one way) of exploiting the pieces of the Dateline: Lovecraft newspaper to good Lovecraftian-RPG-type effect. For some samples of what these PDFs contain, you can check out this preview link for the guidebook (which also shows some captures of the newspaper copy itself). There are also a few pictures of newspaper pages below. Our vision for Dateline: Lovecraft is for it to be a system-agnostic resource which can equally support any of the numerous RPGs that take inspiration from Lovecraft's creations, and particularly the brooding 1920s/1930s college town of Arkham. We'd also like to be able to support this core product with a range of free supplements which showcase different writers' ideas and/or scenarios which are inspired by, or otherwise linked to, pieces found in the Arkham Advertiser issue which forms the core of the PDF product. To allow for that to happen (and pay writers and artists what they deserve), we've elected to release Dateline: Lovecraft as a commercial product ... but with the pledge that all profits we earn from sales will go towards commissioning free add-ons. As an example, we have already released one tie-in scenario, "Help Wanted" (written by the talented Jo Kreil, and illustrated by our go-to artist, Reuben Dodd). This 20-page PDF is available right now as a free download from the Cthulhu Reborn blog with game stats for Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition. A version of this same scenario is also available on RPGNow and DrivethruRPG, but for licensing reasons those versions are system-independent. Jo's scenario is a short investigative piece based entirely in Arkham, exploring a set of dark deeds which centre upon a strange series of "help wanted" advertisements that have been appearing in issues of the Arkham Advertiser. Why do these quirky ads ask for such strangely-specific skills ... and why do the people who reply to them inevitably end up disappearing? And what (if anything) do these strange events have to do with an 18th Century self-styled wizard from Arkham's dark past? As we've done with many of our Convicts-related scenarios, Jo has provided multiple Mythos explanations for the odd goings-on in her scenario, giving the GM options when weaving it into his or her own campaign. We hope that folks here at YSDC will consider taking a look at Dateline: Lovecraft and if they grab a copy and decide they like it, also spread the word to other like-minded folks who might also appreciate this style of product. We have a pipeline of writers we'd love to commission to create more free stuff, but can only afford to do so if the core product sells copies. Enjoy! And may your Arkham tales always make good on HPL's creepy words -- "centuries of dark brooding had given to crumbling, whisper-haunted Arkham a peculiar vulnerability as regards such shadows" Dean (from Adelaide)
  19. HidingFromMyPlayers

    Character Creation

    Most of my players took part in character creation last night, so I now have some idea what this game is going to look like. They have put together a team that should do very well, and in a few cases are oddly well aligned with the setting. One actually chose to do a Lovecraftian Scholar From Arkham which I tried not to look too thrilled about. The player has unwittingly given me cover to make all kinds of CoC references! Oh, and other is an actual mummy but we are keeping that secret from the rest of the players for now. Salim Based loosely on Sallah from Indiana Jones, Salim is a face character with excellent negotiation and (living) language skills. He has a basic intuitive knowledge of ritual magic, and has a tea ceremony that gives him a supernatural edge in negotiations. High Concept: Wheeler, Dealer, Stealer, Tire-Peeler Trouble: Not Everyone is Happy With Their Deal Unlikley Relief or Reinforcements You're My Newest Friend Can Deal With Anyone, Anywhere Lin Ru-Shi A young woman from the streets from Hong Kong, Lin is a skilled pickpocket, thief, and martial artist (because of course an Asian character in a 1920s pulp story needs to know martial arts.) . She has a mild robin-hood complex and a soft spot for kids and especially fellow orphans. High Concept: Street Theif With A Heart of Gold Trouble: Gets In Over Her Head Blends In, Gets Ignored Comedically Bad Timing Great At Making Friends, Better At Making Enemies Declan Macmanus A minor Irish Lord and Great War flying ace, now living out of a flying boat and making his way as a smuggler. His aspects really spell out the pulp concept: High Concept: Irish Lord Pilot Turned Smuggler Trouble: Foot Placed Squarely In Mouth “Friends” in Every Port “I Swear I Love You, Honest!” A Kind Word, and A Gun During the three phase portion of character creation, Declan robbed, hit, and in once case shot, other PCs. Hist stunts include "Boring Conversation Anyway" and "Ramming Speed!" The Player of Declan replaced one of this aspects with "Order of St. George" after killing the "Dragon" in Episode 1. Doctor Bhisaj An Indian whose education at a London medical school was interrupted by the Great War. He served as an ambulance driver, and was shot (by Declan). He returned to school after the war and has recently received his medical degree. His Trouble is "Too Trusting" High Concept: Young Indian Doctor Far From Home Trouble: People Are Always Good, Right? Great War Ambulance Driver Everyone Loves Me Right Place At The Right Time Sebastian Sullivan An Arkham occult scholar turned not-so-great detective. He has a incomplete (half-burned) copy of a John Dee translated Necronomicon. His starting spells include a Skeleton Key spell, a Dream Forge spell, and an "Elder Sign" warding spell. Sebastian is surprisingly durable and knowledgeable, and has a knack for translating ancient languages and locating cursed objects that could be used against foes. High Concept: Arkham Academic Turned Not So Great P.I. Trouble: I'm Keeping This. I'm Not Saying It's the Old-Ones, But It's The Old-Ones. How Dare You Not Tell Me!? Don't Worry, It'll Be Fine. Abdul “Abe” Tepema An additional player wasn't able to attend the character creation session, so we worked on his character over beers a few days ago. He wanted to convert an existing character he'd run in several other games: the original being a World of Darkness Mummy. I agreed, on the condition that he not tell the rest of the players his character is actually an unliving being from ancient Egypt. We had some fun making character aspects that don't say "ancient mummy now living as a detective" but hint at it: High Concept: World Weary, Hard Boiled Private Eye Trouble: Violence Has Always Been the Last Resort of the Incompetent Case of the Missing Star Sign Underworld Connections Gumshoe Made of Leather Although he's forgotten most of his magic, he still has a spell for locating lost things, and a spell for influencing the weather. Unnamed Gangster One player was too tired to make it to the character creation session and so has not yet made his character. He plans on playing a Chicago Gangster. Last time we talked about it, he wanted to have authority over some goons, so he may end up a minor mob boss, not just some hitter. If that's the direction he wants to go, I'm likely to give him a mob of mobster using Dresden Files Accelerated type rules. UPDATE: The player of this character unfortunately had to drop from the game. EDITED 10/1/18 - Updated Character Aspects
  20. Hello all, I'm converting Forget Me Not to a 1920s setting. I don't think this should be too onerous. Though of course there was neither TV nor sound files, there was photojournalism, radio and newspapers... But I'm curious as to whether others have done this, and what tactics they used and how succesful (or not) they felt they were. Any resources I can borrow? (for instance anything on 1920s dictaphones...) All experiences gratefully learnt from...
  21. I've made quite a few maps for D&D that I thought I would try my hand at something a little more modern, well 1920's modern...This is my first foray into making a map for Call of Cthulhu, this one is for the Introductory one shot "The Haunting." I have seen plenty of handouts made for this game, but only a couple versions of the actual maps. This is really intended for VTT, using dynamic lighting to create the creepy lighting (though, I did my part to enhance parts of the house to give it shadows, and depth.) Feel free to use them, they are FREE, like many of the other maps I have created! Corbitt House 1F Corbitt House 2F Corbitt House Basement Enjoy!
  22. In The Campaign chapter of Book One the Doom Train scenario is described as below. “Still in London, a clue leads the investigators on a peripheral adventure, “The Doom Train”. As the keeper wishes, the investigators learn enough during this adventure to be able one time to create a version of the Doom Gate, and thereby perhaps escape some hopeless situation in the future.” Does anyone know if the “hopeless situation “ referred to is somewhere later in the HotOE campaign? I like the scenario, I’m just wondering how someone would benefit from using the Doom Gate. I suppose if the investigators were trapped, with no way of escape, and happened to have the materials on hand they could escape temporarily and then come back once things were safe. I was planning to run the scenario as a prelude to the campaign, just wondering if there was a situation later where the group could benefit from knowing how to open the Doom Gate?
  23. My group is going round and round on this. Is there anything official I can use to end the discussion?
  24. Dear Yoggies, After years of not having played any RPG at all, I finally have a group again. So far we have played a one-shot ('Verderbliche Verse' from Pegasus' 'Upton Abbey') to test the waters and now it's time to tackle The Curse of Nineveh. Character creation has happened and next Tuesday (07/13/18) we will play the first session. We play via roll20 and Mumble. The first thing I have to decide whether I'm going to use the two journals. My first impulse is to use them, but I see that both texts significantly change the moment the PCs have access to important information and that at least Neve's introduces elements I haven't found in my read-through of the campaign. Spoilers to follow Neve's: I don't mind her backstory and the hints regarding her ancestry. But i'm worried that the depiction of E. Albright (and to a lesser extent the Pinkers) will send them on a tangent and that the subsequent improvising I'll have to do might derail the campaign. What do you think? Should I give them the Journal in the beginning? Or maybe have Rayburn send the PCs the journal after they have had contact with Albright? Or skip it alltogether? I want to introduce the supernatural gradually and the summoning feels to on the nose right now. Campbell's: From what I have read, it becomes rather clear that the shadowy middle-easteners are the good guys which changes the role they will play. Again, how did you cope with that - how did your players respond? Should I postpone the handout (from the letter on the first page of the journal, it seems that it was meant to be handed out by Rayburn not found in Campbells office)? Any more pitfalls I'm not aware of? P.S.: I have only read the first two chapters in depth and only skimmed the later chapters of the campaign. P.P.S.: I have read the relevant threads here and am in the process of listening to the Innsmouth House players (chapter 4 ATM). Enthused Clemens -
  25. HidingFromMyPlayers

    Converting Peru to Fate

    Later this week I will be running the second session/episode of my "secret" Pulp-Fate Conversion of Masks of Nyarlathotep. This session will be the first to use content from the (new) MoN Book, which means converting existing content instead of inventing new. Mostly I'm using basic Fate Core rules, with some ideas from the Fate Adversary and Fate Horror Toolkits. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but here are some broad concepts that other might find interesting or helpful: Converting Peru In my Fate conversion, the players have a shared "Expedition Sheet" that is integrated into the campaign structure in a few ways. One of those ways is that it is used to track Location Aspects. There are three such aspect: Location Concept, Location Trouble, and (an optional) Location Secret. The Location Concept is a general theme for the location. Trouble is an obvious difficulty that effects almost everyone present (for example: harsh weather), and the Secret is an initially hidden aspect defining the theme of the cult activity in the area. Resolving the secret triggers a Significant (or Major) Milestone. The general plan for my Masks conversion is to give every major location in the game (Peru, New York, London, Egypt, Kenya, Shanghai, and Australia) all three aspects. Any minor locations would have only the first two aspects (for example, my intro adventure: Escape from Dragon Island). Location Concept: Extremes of Climate and Terrain The Peru Chapter features modern coastal Lima, highlands traditional Puno complete with potential floating homes, an expedition into the actual highlands, and a pyramid on a dead plateau. There are several climates, and potential altitude sickness. MoN spends some time talking about and making these a feature of the Peru chapter, so I'm making it the primary location aspect for Peru. Location Trouble: Unequal Modernization Another point the chapter makes is that Lima is a modern city with a modern set of European style utilities and trollies. Despite this, some of the hotels still don't have phones. The rest of the country is less European including a lack of train lines to Puno. Remember that trains are the 1920s standard for overland travel. Puno is described has more traditional with fewer European comforts. The expedition into the highlands is an on-foot affair into the wilds. This diversity of experience and access to European style comforts makes for a easy common trouble to hit players with on easy compels, particularly in Puno and the expedition beyond. Location Secret: The Ancient Evil Stirs Once players get access to the journal of Gaspar, or the notes thereof, it will be clear that The Father of Maggots is up to something, and this aspect will be revealed. To "win" Peru and get a significant milestone, they will need to deal with that evil. The wording here is intentionally a bit vague, and will fit well with the similar aspects planned for other locations in MoN. It's also a useful aspect for me to invoke or compel when suddenly Peruvian fat vampires strike at the players unexpectedly. Languages Upon arrival in Peru at the start of the session, I will offer all the players a compel to not speak Spanish. Anyone that accepts it will have trouble communicating, especially outside Lima. Those that pay a fate point to refuse (or in one character's case, uses his Stunt to refuse for free) will know Spanish. This is how I plan to use living language difficulties. Note that if any of the players were from a country that speaks Spanish natively, they wouldn't be offered the compel to start with. None of my players fit that category for Spanish. Quechua and Aymara are a different story. These are, globally speaking, rarer languages. I will require anyone wanting to speak them to invoke a relevant aspect explaining how they know the language. Even that might not be needed because the languages aren't a big factor in the story. Aymara shows up because it is spoken by Nayra, although she speaks Spanish also, so I'm not sure I'll need to use it. Quechua doesn't really feature in the storyline at all beyond a slang term for a graverobber. Kharasiri The Peruvian fate vampires are generally very human like in most features. They have two specific power that I think require some mechanical features: Transformation and Regeneration. Everything else works with basic skills and actions. Each Kharasiri gets a transformation power that allows them to change as an action. This is essentially lets them Create Advantage to make a "Human Lamprey" aspect on themselves complete with Free Invoke. Moreover, when they transform they get to make a free Provoke attack (inflicting mental stress) against anyone that hasn't seen a Kharasiri in true form yet. Regeneration is a stunt that lets me as the GM spend a fate point (from my pool into the player's shared Expedition pool) to bring any given dead Kharasiri back to life between scenes, unless they are dismembered/burned/etc. More generally they automatically overcome (heal but not fully remove) any physical consequences (injuries) between scenes. Other Kharasiri features, like attaching to someone, draining them, or implanting a larva in them, is all handled by normal attack and create advantage mechanics, along with some basic stunts. Larkin & Nyarlathotep Converting Nyarlathotep's possession of Larkin is actually fairly easy because he is weak host for such a powerful being. Larkin's Fate stats are mostly built around being Larkin, including a Lies Upon Lies stunt. However, he also has a special stunt that is the kind of thing you only get to use as a GM: Possessed: For the cost of a GM Fate point paid to the Expedition Pool, Larking can become directly possessed by Nyarlthotp. His High Concept becomes “Weak Shell for a Dark God” and he gains the “God” skill at +5. The God skill can be used in place of Lore, Occult, Provoke, and Will. Concealing The Truth About Larkin and Mendoza These two character are introduced to the players as humans, and the players are supposed to work out their inhuman truths. In addition to just strait up gaining new aspects when transformed/possessed, I'm going to use a pair of tricks to make this work, both from the Fate Core: First, hidden aspects. Not all of their aspects will be immediately apparent when players meet them. They will need to overcome with relevant skills to uncover the missing aspects. Second, these aspects will not be "undead conquistador" but instead aspects that imply something without saying it outright. Players may not understand it all until it becomes obvious. The trick is to develop character aspects you could invoke for supernatural effects without saying them outright. This works especially well when mixed in with aspects that are just straight up character traits. Larkin High Concept: Charismatic Expedition Leader Trouble: Clearly Not As Healthy As He Pretends To Be The chapter makes it clear Larkin doesn't look healthy, so I decided this didn't need to be secret. Well-Travelled British Dilettante of Some Means * Intuition and A Plan, In That Order (Secret) This one covers the subtle influence of a dark god on his mind. * Always Looking to the Future (Secret) This covers not only Larkin's push towards how great things will be when they get to the gold artifacts in the pyramid, but also his dislike/inability to talk or even clearly remember his past. Mendoza High Concept: Larkin’s Loyal Guard Dog Trouble: Big On Leering, Short On Conversation (Doesn’t speak English) * Funny Eating Habits (Secret) Mendoza doesn't show much interest in his food at the restaurant where they meet him. Later it will become clear what he really eats. * Surprisingly Tough (Secret) This seems straightforward but it's also connected to his regeneration. When they later read he was shot in the face by Gaspar, it will be a surprise. * Doesn’t Trust “Jesse” or his friends (Secret) Creative Commons Art Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LacSibinacocha_Perou.jpg
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