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29 December 2015 @ 03:29 pm
[CoC: HotOE] The first flashback  
I didn't post about the last couple of sessions and this is a week late, but last session of mutantur's Horror on the Orient Express game is the first totally unfamiliar part for me. The new version includes several playable flashbacks triggered by reading various texts, and at one point before the group left London on their way to France, Professor Durand (my PC) found a journal kept by Professor Julius Smith about a trip he had taken about thirty years prior, also on the Orient Express. So prior to last session, mutantur passed out new characters and told us we'd be playing through the flashback ourselves.

I don't remember everyone's name, but we had a Turkish professor (the uncle of the Turkish bolshevik in the original timeline HotOE game), a young adventuress, an elderly professor, a young ruffian who may or may not be the illegitimate son of the aforementioned professor, and me, Captain Roderick Barrington, who served in Afghanistan and saw some strange things there. Summoned by Professor Smith, we went to a filthy Whitechapel tenement, fought a horrible fezmonster, did a bunch of research into the "Blood Red Fez," developed some racist paranoia about Turkish people, boarded the Orient Express, and became completely convinced that one "Hieronymus Menkaph" is the villain that we'll need to deal with while on the train. I mean, look at that name. Also, he dressed like a vaudeville stage magician while in the Orient Express dining car, which is a clear sign of moral pulchritude.

Additional thoughts in bullet point form:
  • I'm not really comfortable with the way that Horror on the Orient Express encourages you associate fezzes with villainy and the worship of hideous prehuman gods. I know that [REDACTED] is based in Constantinople and is primarily a Turkish organization, but it slots a bit too nearly into the sinister foreigner archetype. Which is a historically accurate mindset for our characters, but...
  • Does Professor Smith ever do anything in a calm, relaxed fashion? Based on our interaction with him in two time periods, I don't think so. I can just imagine him inviting someone to brunch:
    And then after pleasantries he talks about the latest world-shattering threat he's dealing with. Maybe he's the real protagonist here and we're all the sidekicks?
  • I'm having a bit of a hard time getting into my characters. I think it's mostly because I run games so often and I'm not used to playing, though I suspect it'll be easier with Professor Durand as time goes on. It's always a bit difficult when you first start a character as your conception of them mixes with the dynamics of the table.
  • The fezmonster has a tall head and a long, flapping tongue, which reminds me a lot of something else. Not sayin', just sayin'.
Looking forward to more this Sunday!
Current Mood: mellowmellow
Current Music: Cryobiosis - Forgotten
Ian, Viscount of the Osirian Wastes: dramamutantur on December 29th, 2015 11:35 pm (UTC)
To be fair, it's not paranoia when it's true, the Turkish, befezzed men indeed were following you (and ineptly trying to hide that fact/trying to intimidate you with their presence.) Also, the stuff that smacks of "sinister foreigner" really is lessened in the main 1923 scenario.

A wiki, interesting! It does an excellent job of informing without giving things away, nice. It also helps highlight some of the differences between the versions, like Beddows being the skinned corpse in the library in the original. I'll have to peruse it more.
dorchadas: Great Old Onesdorchadas on December 30th, 2015 04:55 am (UTC)
Yeah! I was tempted to post a spoiler warning, but really, it only spoils stuff you learn in the first session anyway.

Also, the stuff that smacks of "sinister foreigner" really is lessened in the main 1923 scenario.

That's true. And I think making sure to include Turkish characters as well helps prevent it from really turning into us vs. them.