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Horror on the Orient Express, Without the Skinless One [Spoilers]


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Isn't that like Masks of Nyarlathotep without Nyarlathotep?  I hope not.  Anyway what I'm thinking of is a version of the campaign with the same basic plot structure, but the nature of the Sedefkar Simulacrum changed, along with the knock-on effects that implies.  I want to focus on the Dreamlands, since they - and dreamscape versions of a couple of the cities along the way - already feature in the campaign, and I like the idea of linking the Dreamlands with the somewhat liminal nature of being aboard a long train journey.  Also, with Gaslight, Dark Ages, modern, and Enlightenment era scenarios, it would be interesting to depict what the Dreamlands may have been like at those times.  My current thinking of how to change things are:

Mehmet Makryat:  Still the main villain, looking to move up in the world.

Professor Smith:  I'm also looking to have the real Smith be the one to recruit the Investigators to the job, and Makryat to piggyback the scheme later.

Sedefkar Simulacrum:  A mechanism for bringing aspects of the Dreamlands into the waking world - it can be "possessed" by a being from the Dreamlands, allowing it to walk the Earth - or it can be used by a waking worlder to cast Dreamlands magic.

Fenalik:  He could be from the Dreamlands, but stuck in an astral form (or a precarious physical one maintained by a lesser version of the Simulacrum).  Or he could still be a vampire, but with a dreamriding element to his feeding.  Or both.  If I make him from the Dreamlands, then the "crazed rationalism" of the French Revolution could have made the Dreamlands harder to reach, which is why things crapped out for him.

Jigsaw Man:  Someone who's died and lived on in the Dreamlands, but is using a lesser version of the Simulacrum to persist in the waking world - but that could be too similar to Fenalik.

Brothers of the Skin:  Thrive on access to the Dreamlands, and worship of the Great Ones - Selim Makryat believes the Simulacrum can allow the Great Ones to rule the waking world as well (while Mehmet thinks it can grant a better immortality than what the Jigsaw Man is subsisting on).

Sedefkar Scrolls:  Adjusted to the new purposes of the Simulacrum - eg the legs teach Dreamlands spells, while the Ritual of Enactment allows a Dreamlands entry to possess the Simulacrum (although I might switch round which scroll is named after which body part).

Mims Sahis:  It doesn't need to do any flaying, so it can be carried into dreams, and wound astral entities.


Anyway.  I'm about to embark on another read through of the campaign, and I was hoping to trawl everyone's knowledge of things to look out for, that will need reframing or adjustment.

Edited by SunlessNick
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I noted, in reading through the more recent iteration, that they included a new optional scenario in the Dreamlands involving the Orient Express. I love the idea, but I'm not on-board with turning it into living creatures. I was thinking the Dreamlands already has the detritus of the Real World in it; with the Orient Express being the subject of the dreams of many travellers, it wouldn't be odd to have the thing be in the Dreamlands, too.


Running: nothing | Playing: Battletech Hero, CoC 7th Edition, Blades in the Dark | Planning: D&D 5E Home Game, Operation: Sprechenhaltestelle, HeroQuest 1E Sartarite Campaign

D&D is an elf from Tolkien, a barbarian from Howard, and a mage from Vance fighting monsters from Lovecraft in a room that looks like it might have been designed by Wells and Giger. - TiaNadiezja

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On 9/21/2022 at 7:22 PM, AlHazred said:

I was thinking the Dreamlands already has the detritus of the Real World in it; with the Orient Express being the subject of the dreams of many travellers, it wouldn't be odd to have the thing be in the Dreamlands, too.

I think it would be better to have a (somewhat) normal-looking Orient Express that interacts with the world in weird, dreamlike ways, such as every carriage being stopped at a different station.

Edited by SunlessNick
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