Feb 252015
Rag-NERD-rok Podcast Tree

In the winter of 1920, a group of explorers set out from England to the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago to find the body of James Blackbourne, an aristocratic world traveler who died while working as a mining surveyor in the arctic desert. Blackbourne’s older brother, an academic socialite, has financed the expedition in order to learn his sibling’s fate, gathering a group of experts to assist him on his quest. There’s Anatoly Markov, former gamekeeper for the Russian Czar and newly expatriated arctic survival expert. Warren Appleton—of the Boston Appletons—was chosen for his completely legitimate credentials in a stunning variety of fields. Finally, there’s Kristopher Blackbourne, a distant cousin of the family working as a private detective in San Francisco. Armed with their wits and accompanied by their teams of sled dogs, these brave Investigators set out into the polar night to discover what befell James Blackbourne and his fellow surveyors. The horror they find in an abandoned shelter might just drive them insane, if it doesn’t kill them first.

  • of all the eye-bulging things I’ve heard in podcasts, “who is it that speaks Dutch?” has to be the most extraordinary. it rivals my brother once telling me, “um, England is FAR south of Rome.” c’mon! I thought you guys were the educated podcasters! also: 5 at once for temporary insanity. a fifth in an -hour- for indefinite. not a fifth in a game session. otherwise you have happen what happened here, where players go permanently insane the second time they see anything creepy. =P unless those characters just had ridic low POW?

    I liked it a lot, though. not enough Cthulhu scenarios with that really slow pace. it reminded me very much of At the Mountains of Madness (which I think also featured eviscerated dogs?). didn’t Alex once say he was thinking about running Beyond the Mountains of Madness? it’s a lot like this writ large. and…very, very long.

    • Alex

      Yeah, I had a total brain fart about the Dutch thing. Ryan and Ed’s characters do have ridiculously low POW, too. I think their max San is 35 each.

      And I’m glad you liked it. I was kind of inspired by Beyond the Mountains of Madness and all of the arctic survival stories I’ve read. I wouldn’t mind running BtMoM at some point, but it’s a bit of a commitment (I think it’s written to be 16 or 17 games). I kind of wanted to do something in a similar setting, but make it a lot shorter.

  • Good game, guys. I thought the slow burn was very effective at developing the setting and characters, and definitely increased the overall tension once they were out on the ice.

    I also enjoyed the references to Cthulhu, and look forward to seeing how the mystery unfolds.

  • Chados

    I haven’t heard a good, classic “Expeditionary” CoC game for awhile, and it is sounding great so far!

    I would love to hear a BtMoM campaign, as well. I’d have to read through it, but maybe there are some items that could be taken out to expedite a campaign?

    • Alex

      I’m sure there are. I’ve only read through the beginning of the book, but I know in one of the first games, the players are supposed to do inventory on the ship while it’s docked in New York City. They just go through the checklist of supplies and make sure it’s all there. The dramatic tension is that, gasp, one of the crates is mislabeled and they need to go track down the real supplies! I’d probably cut that part out, as exciting as inventory management can be.

      • Chados

        *Double gasp* Yeah, there may be a few things that could be skipped. Wish I could get a campaign like BtMoM going, but I can barely get my group together to play once a month.

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