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Kickstarter Call of Cthulhu - Horror on the Orient Express Boxed Set Kickstarter

Olaf the Stout

Adventurer
Good news Call of Cthulhu fans, after many, many years of being out of print, Chaosium are running a Kickstarter to get Horror on the Orient Express back in print!

I know that there have been a flood of Kickstarters lately, but this one seems to have slipped through the net. I only noticed it because someone on the Reaper Kickstarter made a comment about it so I went in search of it.

I've never played or run Horror on the Orient Express, but it always seems to be one of the first adventures mentioned whenever anyone has asked about good Call of Cthulhu adventures to run.

I remember looking for a copy several years ago and being disappointed to see that there was no PDF copy of it on the Chaosium website and all the copies for sale on eBay being sold at prices well out of my price range. Now is my chance to finally get a copy of it!

It has only been running for a week so far but it has almost doubled its initial goal, so it will definitely be seeing print. Now we just wait and see what awesome stretch goals might be included.

You can get PDF's of the re-done adventure at the $20 backer level. I've gone in for the $90 backer level, which gets you everything in print, including extra copies of the various hand outs, dice and a Keeper's screen.

Olaf the Stout
 

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MerricB

Eternal Optimist
It started during GenCon, so we were all a bit distracted. I learnt about it when Monte Cook tweeted about it.

What is the actual adventure like? I mean, I'm sold with "Orient Express", but I was wondering what people thought of the actual adventure. :)

Cheers!
 

Olaf the Stout

Adventurer
I've been a little disappointed in the Kickstarter so far. I'm definitely in for it and I'm really glad it will be reprinted, but Chaosium have dropped the ball on this one a little bit.

The Kickstarter doubled it's goal without anyone from Chaosium posting an update or answering any questions. Questions like why was there conflicting amounts for how much international postage was (the pledge levels listed a different amount to the main text on the front page of the Kickstarter).

Yes, they were at GenCon, but it's not like they didn't know they were going to be at GenCon. If they couldn't handle being at GenCon and having at least one person monitor and give responses to questions asked on the Kickstarter then they should have run it at a different time.

On top of that the goal of $20k has been doubled, yet the second stretch goal has been set at $50k. The first stretch goal was a colour map of the train route which was added if the $20k target was reached.

Firstly, that isn't a stretch goal. There was no way to achieve the target, but not the stretch goal. Secondly, a map of the train route sounds like something that would actually be put in the base product. If they really needed $40k+ to cover the cost of the project then they should have just made that the initial goal.

I get that stretch goals are bonuses, and if you aren't happy with what you are getting at the base level without any stretch bonuses you can simply not pledge. However successful Kickstarters use their stretch goals to drive momentum for their projects, and draw more people in. So far the Chaosium stretch goals would not be doing that so they are limiting their potential success.

Now I know that my post sounds like a lot of bitching, but I really would like this project to succeed for Chaosium, but so far they haven't done a great job of it. Here's hoping it improves from here on in.

Olaf the Stout
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
It doesn't help that we've been also supporting amazing kickstarter runs like that of Reaper's Bones line.

Cheers!
 

Olaf the Stout

Adventurer
It doesn't help that we've been also supporting amazing kickstarter runs like that of Reaper's Bones line.

Cheers!
The Bones Kickstarter is certainly setting the standard. I'm not suggesting that Chaosium should be trying to compete with the awesome value that Reaper is offering. To be honest, I'm not sure how Reaper are keeping their Kickstarter profitable for themselves.

To me there is no excuse for contradictory shipping prices and not responding to questions in the first week that the Kickstarter is running.

If you can't respond to questions and keep a Kickstarter updated in the first week of it running, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence from potential backers that you produce the final product you say you will.

Perception is often much more important than reality.

Olaf the Stout
 

Jan van Leyden

Adventurer
It started during GenCon, so we were all a bit distracted. I learnt about it when Monte Cook tweeted about it.

What is the actual adventure like? I mean, I'm sold with "Orient Express", but I was wondering what people thought of the actual adventure. :)
Obviously going from memory here, but I can give you a few pointers.

The Orient Express is the tie that binds separate adventures - not all of which deal with the main story line - together. The adventures take mostly place during stops of the train, not on the train itself.

Investigators can visit places as diverse as the Dreamlands, the opera house in Milano, and (?) a village in Carpatia.

Back in the day I decided to run Masks of Nyarlathotep instead, as HotOE felt a bit forced. The train's itinerary imposes a strict timeline and it would not always easy to get new investigators aboard.

The last chapter of the campaign would probably terrific, but the chances to actually play it seemed too limited for me. But as several people in my gaming group keep clamouring for some horror, I should perhaps read HotOE again.
 

ShadowDenizen

Explorer
What is the actual adventure like? I mean, I'm sold with "Orient Express", but I was wondering what people thought of the actual adventure.
Speaking as someone who own the original, and is chipping in on the reprint….

Orient Express was a great adventure for it’s time, and really upped the standards from Chaosium. The contents of the boxed set was extensive for it’s time, including a carbboard cutout of the Simulacrum (see below), a map of the trains routes, cardstock models of the train, and a number of booklets tha contain the campaign, NPC’s, and handouts.

Note that all of the below is purposefully vague, so as not to spoil TOO much for the uninitatied while still trying to give a feel for the overall campaign. (Merric, if you want more detailed review/spoilers, feel free to PM me with questions.)

The campaign is pretty straightfoward, overall. The Investigators are charged with obtaining pieces of the Sedefkar Simulacrum (a man-sized statue that has been chooped into it’s component parts), which is conveniently along the route of the Simplon Orient Epxress.

The chapters are great (I’m particularly partial to the “Dream Lausanne” chapter, personally), and allow the PC’s to explore some offbeat locations (Milan, Venice, Constantinople, etc.) BUT, the adventure (IMO) requires a fair bit of effort and some flexibility on behalf of the keeper, as well as some creatity to keep the players on the path and to represent multiple foreign countries in an intriguing way. Also, while the advenute fudges a bit on the train arrival/departure times (It’s basically “Need a train? There’s one there.”), there is a bit of a timetable to be followed, particularly on the
Return Trip” to London towards the end.

It sounds like this is not just a strict reprint (a la “Curse of the Cthonians”), but more of a reprint and revision, which is very welcome to my mind!

If you belong to Yog-Sothoth - YSDC Front Page , and patronize them, you’ll have access to the HotOE audio sessions (all 34 of them!!), which gives a good indication of the shape of the campaign overall.

Perception is often much more important than reality.
I'm definitely in for it and I'm really glad it will be reprinted, but Chaosium have dropped the ball on this one a little bit.
Secondly, a map of the train route sounds like something that would actually be put in the base product.
Agreed to all points. A map of the Orient Express route (AND some of the routes other than the Simplon route!) was included in the original boxed set. And yes, the “Curse of Chaosium” has been discussed many times, and continues to resonate with the CoC audience, for (IMO) well-warranted reasons.
 
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P

PaulofCthulhu

Guest
If you belong to Yog-Sothoth - YSDC Front Page , and patronize them, you’ll have access to the HotOE audio sessions (all 34 of them!!), which gives a good indication of the shape of the campaign overall.
You can find all the episodes online at: Horror on the Orient Express Game Audio Recording - CthulhuWiki

Also, a novelisation of the above is due out next month: http://www.enworld.org/forum/genera...ies-horror-orient-express-novelisation-3.html

Chaosium have very kindly indicated that the main characters from the above campaign will appear as NPCs in the HotOE reprint.
 
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Chris_Nightwing

First Post
Well, I backed this, so I hope it works out. Chaosium have been tricky in the past - I think they come from the bygone era of ex-hippy RPG companies and find it difficult to compete with young upstarts. My biggest criticism has always been an unwillingness to revise or innovate with Call of Cthulhu, which is an excellent game at heart, just not in practice sometimes.
 

Olaf the Stout

Adventurer
Looks like Chaosium have finally got their act together on this now. Up to $80k, with the next stretch goal at $100k.

Olaf the Stout
 

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