Thursday, September 27, 2012

Horror on the Orient Express Kickstarter

Gentlemen, not a wargaming post I'm afraid, but a flashback to a previous life. I rarely play roleplaying games these days, but when I did, Call of Cthulhu was the Rolls Royce of the genre. Frank Chadwick wrote once that all good wargames are roleplaying games and he was absolutely right.

But as for gathering around a table and generating characters and rolling dice, I haven't done that in a while.  I can't imagine that I'm alone in this, I know that Furt over at Adventures in Lead is an enthusiastic Call of Cthulhu player. For those of you who are unaware, Call of Cthulhu is a roleplaying game based on the writing of HP Lovecraft, a early 20th century horror writer from Providence, Rhode Island. His works are in the public domain and are freely available here.

You can also hear a friend of mine, Graham Turner, read some of his work here.

In Call of Cthulhu, players take on the roles of ordinary folks and investigate mysterious happenings, haunted houses and murderous cults devoted to the worship of abhorrent alien Gods.  There have been some very good adventures written for the game and Horror on the Orient Express is one of them. Released in 1991, it takes the players on a journey across yourself on the eponymous train in an attempt to...well, I'd rather not spoil the surprise.

Chaosium, the publisher, have started a Kickstarter to raise funds for a new edition of the scenario. Out of print copies have been rarer than hens teeth for years, I once nearly spent a weeks wages on a copy of a couple of years ago, but was outbid by someone even more crazed than I. The new edition will feature new material, extra scenarios and variety of high quality handouts. There are three days left on the kickstarter, so there is time to pledge if you fancy getting the band back together or just want to read a new edition of a piece of roleplaying history.

This flashback to Kinch's awkward teenage crush on Call of Cthulhu will end now.


  1. Conrad, did you have to make a sanity check to post this? *grin*.

    CoC was/is a very good RPG. I only got to play it once, but had a wonderful time doing so.

    I wish all interested good luck on this Kickstarter.

    -- Jeff

    1. It still is a good game. Mrs Kinch is quite fond of it. I haven't run a game in years though.

  2. I had the good fortune not only to play CoC but to have as Gamemaster one of the writers for scenarios and campaigns published by Chaosium, Barry Hill. Though it was not my favorite, that being MERP


  3. Haven't had the time to put a party of PCs together since the arrival of the kids, but I have bid on this kicksterter, and await the forthcoming box of goodies with anticipation.

    Haven't told the missus yet though...

  4. Hi Conrad,
    I wholeheartedly agree -- out of the dozen or so RPGs I was roped into back in the day, CoC was severed head and slimy shoulders above the rest.
    Personally I find Arkham Horror by Fantasy Flight Games a suitable substitute when I need an HPL fix, and it's playable in a 2-3 hour session.

  5. Hey Conrad, of late I am reliving my awkward teenage roleplaying crush - something I thought would never happen. When I read about Cthulhu Invictus, the CoC version set in ancient Rome, I could not resist. Come on mate - crack open the old books, grab a handful of d6's, some geeky friends and get in to it!!