Sunday, May 21, 2017

[Horror on the Orient Express] The Fog Lifts

The final episode of the campaign finds the remaining investigators playing a game of cat-and-mouse aboard the Express as events take on increasingly surreal dimensions.

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Dave S.
And...Edie the Dog


  1. So... Bobo again exits the story by falling down, hitting his head a bunch, then quietly sitting the rest of the adventure out?

    I actually got really afraid when the train decoupled and everything went back to normal because it meant you left the final boss fight back there, and I was worried it was going to be unwinnable. The idea that everyone would rush in and get screwed over one last time by a skin-wearing troll would be also a fitting ending for the campaign. Really exciting ending!

    Also I don't want to throw shade, I am just providing positive feedback and trying to encourage a friendly development of a comments section in my own way. I'm sorry you can't always understand that.

    Hope that helps beat the summer heat! :D

    1. It's kind of funny--both of Des's characters survived, in their own fashion. Dotty is in the Dreamlands, and Bobo is recovering from his second concussion in a Swiss hospital somewhere. I hope to see both of them make a return in future campaigns.

      And please never change a thing; our comment sections just wouldn't be the same without the beach umbrellas you so kindly provide! ;)

  2. Well. That was a ride. Too bad Jen couldn't be there for the end. Hope she's feeling better. And hope she'll be back sooner rather than later. I love her style.

    I was really surprised by the high survivor count, but then again campaigns rarely go the way the are written. There were two times when I was silently screaming "Get him/her!" when the hint was dropped and everyone is kinda eyeballing Makriat (or however you spell that) and then just walks away only to have to figure out the next identity and walk away again. And then at the end. De-coupling the train. You are just going to leave him behind?! :D What a curve ball. And poor old Bobo. Took another tumble. So glad he made it though.

    Will there be an episode where you do a debrief on the campaing? I think it would be interesting to hear you guys talk of the system and the campaign after you finish each longer run.

    1. Jen fought it as best she could, but ultimately had to admit defeat due to a killer respiratory infection that made things untenable. And then she's off on a vacation this coming weekend, so postponing the finale wouldn't have really worked, either.

      You say "high survivor count," but ultimately we only had one PC who made it through the whole thing, and he was essentially an NPC for two-thirds of it. It bothered me sufficiently to start up a thread over on, actually:

      And yes, we did do a debrief after the session! It'll be the first release from the Orne Library Restricted Collection over on Patreon. :)


      In that recording, I discuss a bit the other ways the scenario might have ended. It is interesting, looking back, to think that the PCs essentially "lost" the scenario but in a quite unexpected way. It was the unforeseen combination of de-coupling the engine and then hopping a plane in Paris, I think. And, of course, their decision not to wait around for Makryat to show up, but just burn down his shop and walk away, which made a certain level of sense in-character.

      An oddly bathetic ending, but then again, I love the capacity for bathos in RPGs, so I was fine with that. But I'm also looking forward to moving on to something new. That was a doozy of a campaign...

    2. I'm looking forward to the debriefing session, but this way it doesn't actually feel like an ending. You mention the possibility that Makryat knows the Ritual of Cleansing already, but that's actually just supposition. It's possible that having the Simulacrum might slow the gradual degeneration, but to me it honestly feels like there could be another session where they've finally managed to wrong-foot Makryat and now he has to chase them down and try to trick or capture or torture one of them into giving him the ritual.

      There were enough explanations as to what the fake ritual and the real ritual being there could be. It's possible a minion of Makryat retrieved the real ritual that was left out for him, and then made a fake ritual that would consume the soul of whomever read it to summon him immediately in case someone tried to interfere with it.

      I realise there are probably actual answers to these questions, but right now it seems like Makryat should still be out for revenge.

      Hope you have a good rest, Jen!

    3. Oh, I totally agree--it was sort of a non-ending. Yet, it's as far as the scenario itself goes, so that's the end for now. (A sidebar in the final chapter discusses where things could go if Makryat survives/gets away, but leaves it up to the Keeper to sort that out on their own.)

      To my mind, Makryat is now a wonderful recurring villain I can use in any number of future CoC games. I'm also not opposed to writing a custom scenario revolving around thwarting Makryat's devilish plans. From a Keeper's perspective, it was actually quite a gift the players gave me... ::sly grin::

    4. RE: Survivor count:

      Well, yes. Duncan. But Bobo existed during a rather large portion of the game and survived. JAzmina has been in the story since January. And everyone who brought a character to the final session is still living and breathing. I fully expect Makryat to hunt them all down, but that doesn't count. :P

      Looking forward to that debrief.