Memories of the Orient Express, part 1

I’ve been enjoying the frequent updates to the Orient Express Writers’ Blog, where Mark Morrison and Penelope Love have been providing all kinds of interesting news about the forthcoming second edition of Horror on the Orient Express.  They were even nice enough to include a link to ‘Tomes’, which might be a first.

While I’ve spent more (much, much more) time thinking about Masks of Nyarlathotep, HotOE was actually the first campaign I ever ran for Call of Cthulhu and was, in fact, the first game I ever ran of CoC.  I have a lot of fond memories of the campaign and the group I ran it for and I thought I might share a few memories with my readers.

Behold, this is how the 80s saw today.

In the spring of my senior year of high school I won some sort of writing award at school, I think in large part because I spend hours in the school’s tiny computer lab plugging away at my (likely now if I would read it deeply embarrassingly bad) Cyberpunk adventure novel; several teachers knew I was trying to write a book and I suspect this award was their recognition for my willingness to bore adults with a discussion of Neuromancer and plots culled from Cyberpunk 2013.  [I had to look that date up.  Damn did we get so much wrong chombata.]  Oddly enough  I used the money (the prize was for $50) to buy a copy of HotOE that summer.  It sat mostly unread… the victim of young love, since I preferred spending time with my then girlfriend .

I did finally give it a good read while my parents were driving me to college.  I was amazed.  There was a continent-wide adventure, complete with cults, loads of handouts, and conspiracies, and a weird mannequin, and, of course, a rather mouldery vampire.  While I loved AD&D, I’d never read a module that recommended I read a Huysman novel to better understand an NPC or given me a booklet of NPCs for encounters.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone interesting in playing RPGs (other than some people who inexplicably wanted to play Torg… shudder) for another year, when I ran a very successful Star Wars campaign.

The year after than, I ran HotOE for a group of my residents (I was an RA) and their friends.  I think I actually still have the character sheets somewhere, perhaps in the flimsy box the the campaign came packaged in…

Next time – the Tales of Hampton Porkchop, Murdering an innocent Turk or two, and my favorite (and least favorite) part of Horror on the Orient Express…


One comment on “Memories of the Orient Express, part 1

  1. […] Kramer’s blog – Memories of the Orient Express – is indeed just that. He reminiscences about running the campaign through a nostalgic haze of […]

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