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Horror on the Orient Express Tips?

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Hi. The owner of my FLGS offered me a deal on the Horror on the Orient Express box set if I ran it at the store, so I agreed. This is my first time Keeping a game so I was hoping experienced Keepers had some tips for me. What is a reasonable number of players? Should I buy the Keeper Screen? Is there anything I should know before running, like anything to expect before jumping into it? Any help is appreciated. Thanks. 

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Hi, I just started running this for my local store as well. For one, I think it looks like a good adventure for. I decided to run the Blood Red Fez adventure in book 2 as a prologue to the main adventure. The main reason for this was I really wanted to cement the trust in Prof. Smith, and I figured a prologue with pregens that sets up Smith and a band of investigators that he leads as a good way to do it. Now they know that when they make new characters they should have a background tied to Smith or the Oriental club, or both. It is also a good adventure that gives the players an idea what the larger campaign might look like, and what kind of characters they may want to build.  

We have only played one session, so I don't have much else to add at this point. I ordered the screen, when it comes in I will let you know what I think of it.

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  1. I recommended skipping the optional scenarios initially (the campaign is long, and you want to be able to finish). You can always play them later if you have time (since most are in different eras and use different PC's)
  2. The Express Diaries has some great handout images. I recommend downloading it to your PC and retrieving the images (can be done by changing the .epub extension to .zip and then opening it to retrieve the files)
  3. If you purchased the electronic version of HotOE, you can also use this trick to quickly retrieve NPC pictures and such from the .epub file
  4. Buy a Glass Syringe and a small bottle as props for the Lausanne Chapter. Fill the bottle with an interesting liquid (like bacon flavored Vodka or Viniq) and require players to drink it.
  5. Pick up a Cthulhu coin (here or here) as a medallion prop for the Trieste chapter
  6. Buy a skull this Halloween season at the dollar store for a prop in the Zagreb chapter
  7. Buy a primitive whistle (ceramic or wood) as a prop for the Belgrade chapter (having a player blow this as loudly as possible was kinda fun)
  8. Conduct plenty of interactions with waiters. Keep a white or blue hand towel nearby and wear it over your arm when speaking as a waiter
  9. Buy a navy blue conductor hat (maybe add some bling) and wear it when speaking as a police officer, conductor, valet, etc.
  10. Maybe even purchase a fez for special encounters.
  11. The information on the HotOE GM screen isn't particularly useful (and had spacing issues), but I purchased it anyway because the front side looked pretty, and I was happy with it for that purpose.
  12. Serve beverages at special sessions (champagne, wine, absinthe, etc.)
  13. Maybe learn some common French and Italian phrases for the appropriate chapters, or even view short You tube tutorials to practice the accents:
  • French: parlez-vous français? bonjour, au revoir, oui, non, pardon, s'il vous plaît, merci
  • Italian: parli italiano? Ciao (buongiorno, buonasera), Arrivederci, sì, no, scusi, Per favore, grazie
  • Serbo-Croatian (for Belgrade, but Russian will do): govorite ruski? Dobrodosli ('Welcome' in Serbo-Croatian), Dosvidaniya, Da, ne
Edited by mvincent
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