Call of Cthulhu – Horror on the Orient Express
Three identical men found dead in the same room of the Chelsea Arms Hotel. Each of them stabbed through the heart. The unexplained killings see the investigators embark on a thousand-mile journey on the legendary rail service to Constantinople—the Gateway of the Orient. The adventure takes the intrepid investigators from London, to Paris, and to the ancient city of Constantinople.
Stephen/Plaguemantle will be your keeper for this incredible campaign which has been winning awards since 1991. It was a difficult choice between the classic 5th edition or the deluxe 7th edition version but latter won out and terrors of that story line await you. Everything that you need to know is outlined here all we need to know is if you will be attending and if so a rough idea of your character concepts.
What Lies Ahead?
The Rising has provided gaming experiences in the South of England since 1997 in many different formats but recently we have found ourselves able to provide more roleplaying sessions for the foreseeable future. We have leapt on this oppurtunity to launch a new project which is immersive campaign games with as much character interaction as possible and is our first and definitely sudden, flagship game.
Horror is a long campaign, broken down into various chapters that holds incredible story, beautiful handouts and detailed background, a game that Stephen has wanted to run again for a long time. This will be run across several days over several months and we understand that you might not be able to attend all of the games, provision will be taken for this outcome but for the moment we are concentrating on the games ahead of us and providing a larp adjacent space for those attending.
What to expect and what to bring for the game
The time period will be a classic 1920’s and we will be asking you to attire yourself, as best you can, in something that approaches the garb/fashion of that period. If you want it can match the concept that you have for that character but equally if you don’t have access to that kit right now that’s not an issue. We will have a small collection of bits and bobs to wear but our 1920’s wardrobe is not yet huge!
Beyond that we are happy to provide character sheets, dice, pencils, pens, paper and everything else that an investigator might need to play. There will be several copies of the 7th edition Call of Cthulhu RPG, Investigators handbook and other useful tomes that you can use for reference. Fortunately all editions of Cthulhu are compatible with each other so 2nd ed onward books are useful; feel free to bring any of the above with you.
We will provide an area within the hall that is isolated from outside input and dressed with 1920’s period materials as we physically can to create an atmosphere appropriate for the game. We will also be using sound and special effects to augment the experience. You may bring miniatures if you want to give an idea of your characters but Stephen is not a Keeper that generally uses maps and minis in his games.
How the Day will unfold: Timings and Food
In order to get as much from the day as we can the team will be arriving as early as 7.30am to begin set up with Investigators encouraged to arrive as early as 8.30am. There are no changing rooms but there is changing space in an upstairs room or the toilets. Once everyone has arrived the day will progress as follows:
9am – Tea and Crumpets – Everyone will sit down to the traditional English repast of Tea and crumpets (Toast or other alternatives can be provided alongside butter, marmite and jam)
9.30am – Character Creation and Campaign Start – Stephen’s method of character creation involves the initial rolling of dice and decision making on Investigator Archetypes and then a narrative regarding their backgrounds and how the investigators may know each other and their connections. (More on Stephen’s Keeper style later)
12.30pm – Lunch Break – Food will be available from the kitchen – A list of available purchases will be made available towards the end of the week. Investigators can visit the local pubs or tea shops and are encouraged to at least take the air for a short constitutional to discuss the evolving plot
1.30pm – The Afternoon Session Begins – Back to the tables to continue the journeys across the globe aboard the Horror infested steam machine.
5.30pm – Dinner Break as Investigators can once again scoop up the joys of the kitchen or seek fayre from their own hampers or further abroad. If you dare brave the terrors of the gardens there is plenty of picnicking space available.
6.30pm – The Evening Session Begins – With light fading and the shadows building will you survive the fear that lurks in the maw of madness?
10.30pm – Or there abouts – The Day ends and it’s all hands to the pumps for a short pack down and into our jalopies for home!
The Price of Horror
Standard Cost: £25 with free Tea and Crumpets at start of day
Community Builders and above – £15
Heroes of the Community and above – Free: Soft Drinks all in
Monarchs of the Community – Lunch and Dinner Included
After years of reffing I have developed a style of storytelling that focusses on building my players directly into the narrative of what is going on around them. I’m not against rules but I do prefer them to be light rather than heavy and that they can versatile enough to allow players freedom to act as that narrative wants them to. If I am running my own stuff I am always happy for my players to let the story we are telling go where it feels it wants to whilst making sure that the background tale that defines the book our tale is contained in is updated appropriately. The world is always changing and the off screen actors tend to be busy rather than having a glass of wine in the green room.
If I am running from a prewritten story which can happen occasionally, especially if we are talking about some of the excellent Cthulhu material then I tend to prep a lot. Read through as much as I can, deep dive into the background and the setting and then run what I think is appropriate knowing that I have enough knowledge to let the players drive the car wherever they want whilst keeping the continuity alive. I won’t roll dice for the sake of it, I like a lot of character at my table whilst avoiding discomfort for anyone there. Basically if you read through the Risings tolerance and terms documentation then that is pretty much where I am at.