Jump to content

Horror on the Orient Express


Recommended Posts

I'll be running the Horror on the Orient Express campaign at the Fantasy Flight Game Center in Minneapolis, MN starting in a few weeks. It's been a lot of fun so far just prepping for it. For those of you who have run it already in 7th ed., could you please share your experience and what went well and/or not so well. Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After running Horror on the Orient Express a few times, here are some things that worked well for me:

  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 ("Oui monsieur - excellent choice")
  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 has some spacing issues (but I purchased it anyway because it looked pretty)
  12. Serve beverages at special sessions (champagne, wine, absinthe, etc.)
  13. If the PC's want to sight-see, use google maps (especially street view). Major European cities are often still similar to how they were in the 20's. Maybe even 'tour' famous locations ahead of time to describe the sights from memory. If possible, I might try to move a scenario encounter to one of these spots.
  14. 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
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

I am going to be starting HotOE soon as well. Does anyone see any issues starting in 1922 instead of 1923? I’ve read through the material once already but don’t recall any issues. Currently the campaign is in August of 1921 in the middle of the Raid on Innsmouth. I’m planning to get the investigators to England, then run The Auction or The Return of the Hound (most likely the former) where they’ll meet Julius Smith for the second time. After that, it’s on with HotOE!

Any input would be appreciated :)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...
19 hours ago, Spud said:

I have the original 1990s version.

What extra do I get buying the current PDFs? N.B. I have no problem converting 5th Ed stats to 7th.


In addition to expanded campaign material, the latest edition includes many flashback scenarios that allow the investigators to play the historical events that they otherwise only read in summary. They're excellent scenarios, complete with pregenerated characters. 

There's one more that doesn't appear in the new edition: Reign of Terror, which appears as its own product, complete with a guide to revolutionary France. Highly recommended, and arguably the best of the flashback scenarios.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Steve said:

Is it feasible to run HotOE with just two players? Would they need to run more than one character each and or me supply helpful NPCs?

I think it could work with only two investigators if you don't mind adjusting some of the threats. Having each player run a couple of investigators wouldn't hurt, either, and a helpful NPC is always useful--as long as the players are never sure which NPCs are true allies and which are treacherous infiltrators. :) 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, drablak said:

Will this be back in print eventually?


Back in April 2018, Chaosium found a few more copies after they thought they'd sold out, and MOB addressed this question then:


This is the final chance to get the boxed edition from Chaosium.com. After that, the train goes back in the shed. HotOE will eventually be back in a new edition—most likely in a slipcase rather than a box—sometime in the next several years (no firm date yet).

So I guess that they'd ideally want to re-do it in the latest sumptuous Chaosium style, and that would be quite a big project in itself. They probably don't have the appetite for that at the moment after having had to do so much work (with no income, considering that it was the old Chaosium that had received, and spent, all the Kickstarter funds) to get HotOE shipped out to backers.

Edited by Steve
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...