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Pulp Nocturne 1930 March 23, 2014

November 24, 2014
 As We Last Left widget[Retcon]
“Thank you Herr Kastle,” Rachel had responded. “I’d suggest you confer with Herr Heidl. He can suggest bureau resources that will most certainly be a boon to your research. We have an extensive repository of patents and research papers that could be much help. When your proposals are ready, I’d be really interested to hear them.”
After Kastle’s mention of the gloves Rachel adds, “Herr Castle, if at all possible please bring some glove candidates that you’d recommend to the next meeting.”
George
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Pulp Nocturne 1930 March 23, 2014

November 24, 2014

As We Last Left widgetHerr Kastle looks up-“Communication device you say? Well I was just reading the most interesting paper written by one Herr Farnsworth from,  what is the name of that state with the crazy people? Uhhtah..?.Ich weiss nicht- Vahtever- he was writing about his image dissector and image oscillite with this wonderful effects from the element cesium. It’s fascinating. I believe a device could be made to be smaller than his devices, I would have to look at his patent information, maybe I’ll send one of the Department’s, what is the word-runners? To go fetch it for me.”

Once Rachel is finished-
“I must say- I agree with the Frauline- We need to use proper safety measures when looking at unknown artifacts. Please, Ladies and Gentlemen, for the love of God, use gloves. You don’t know where these things have been- we wouldn’t want to end up like Frau Curie, now would we? (Glares at Gaelin)

Travis

 

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Pulp Nocturne 1930 Session March 14, 2014

November 24, 2014

As We Last Left widgetThursday morning, after the worm.

Following the worm attack at the municipal building, the PCs lick their wounds and regroup. Rachael had helped Gaelin to the medical dispensary section and briefly spoken with security. After checking that everyone else was okay she had returned to her desk. Shortly after Rachael could be seen changing the meeting time on a big scheduling board in the open area to an hour later. In the meantime Rachel was seen going back and forth between the records department, research team section and her desk. She appeared very focused and busy…looking through many files from an ever growing pile on her desk, receiving a few brief calls but, making more herself. Eventually a couple of small boxes of files sat on the floor near her desk which she occasionally used as foot stools but, not for long. She was too busy to remain still which also led to the smoking cigarette sitting in its tray near a desk top GE oscillating electric fan to quickly shorten with Rachel’s many quick drags. It was not long before the small fan was activated by a red manicured index finger and seen to be panning back and forth on her desk. Those sitting closer to Rachel would have been treated to a hilarious scene where Rachel had to hurriedly throw herself over her desk to keep dozens of papers from being blown to the floor as the fan picked up RPMs-the brief display of curves momentarily raising the morale of the floor before another agent moved swiftly to switch off the fan and provide a steadying hand to her shoulder until the crisis quickly subsided. “Thank you Anderson!” Rachel snapped off with a mixed look of gratitude for the timely assistance and annoyance at her own absent mindedness. Apparently oblivious to the cascading head turns she precipitated, and the menacing sneers Anderson caught from his peers as his chivalry cut short her inviting display, Rachel resumes her activity. A while later-about 5 minutes before the meeting, once again Rachel enters the conference room…

Normally Rachel and her chic green marguerite dress (see photo gallery) would have been the attention getter but, this time she had to concede to coffee, and accompanying coffee cake easily seen and smelled once the room had been fully entered by the PCs. On the wall opposite the door, a map of New York with colored pins pressed into the locations corresponding to the events of the cases under investigation hung. On an adjacent wall a large chalk board with columns and rows of notes pertaining to the case at hand could be seen.  The notes were in the elegant script of Miss. Crosby. The set up was much like the one Herr Kastle had erected in the evidence room.

“Gentlemen,  there are coffee and danishes as most of you have seen. Please help yourself. We’re a bit behind schedule so bear with me!” Rachel begins as she stands before the group. “We need to more effectively divide our resources and work in parallel.” Turning towards Gaelin the tall English blonde continues, “Gaelin, you’ve done an impeccable job with your research. Be prepared for some long nights as we’ll need you to assist the book worms in researching every facet of every artifact that we’ve recovered. Herr Castle, myself and our book worms will provide support on that little project. Additionally, begin collecting all you can on Simone Bachtiarre and Simone Egmenti. Maybe they are one and the same,” Miss Crosby explains as she points to a note on the board with a wooden pointer.  “Additionally, the daughter of Anabatos-Sibisi needs to be examined! see what you can do.”

Quickly pivoting on her leather T-straps, Miss Crosby addresses O’Shaughnessy. “Shawn, get us all the latest you can concerning the Hobbes and Thorne gallery. Inception, previous owners, holding companies, officers, donors, tax history, fire records, real property-anything! It’s most fortunate that we’re here in the municipal building as it saves you a trip to the county seat, so work that magic of yours and see what you can unearth. Additionally, collect what you can on Anabatos, Professor Krocker and his assistant, Simone Bachtiarre, Father Barret, Hans and one Dr. West. Oh, we’ll need to finalize a more permanent living arrangement for you and Herr Kastle if not already done.”

Pivoting again Rachel turns to Herr Kastle. “Herr Kastle, in addition to the work you’re already doing, I would like your assistance on the matters I just mentioned to Gaelin. Furthermore, would it be possible for you to develop some sort of mobile communications system for the New York office? Please assess the feasibility of such an undertaking in terms of the technical knowledge, time and financial resources needed-oh, and I’d like to discuss one of the artifacts with you at a later time if you can accommodate.”

Rachael then turns to Johnny. “Johnny, director Darke expressed his desire for you to complete your task. I would like for you to make yourself as available as possible but, make the task you need to complete your main priority when not needed by our team for the case at hand. Your particular expertise provides you the luxury of a lot of free time so use it to complete your goal but, make sure we’re able to easily contact you when needed.”

Rachel then sets down the wooden pointer and stands akimbo before continuing. “While you GENTLEMEN <Rachel looks sternly back and forth between Johnny Mack and O’Shaughnessy> pursue your goals, my superior knowledge and familiarity with the file system here will allow me to pull and review all pertinent case files and archived reports relevant to our task. I’ll be handling most of that bloody work. The information we collect will be used to formulate a plan of action against the appropriate parties…Gentlemen, the fate of the known world may now be in our hands!” Rachel is now speaking with a an intensity the group rarely notes from her.  “Starting today this will be a regular meeting every day of the week at 6 PM until this crisis is resolved. Be armed at all times and no solitary field work is to be performed whenever practical. At tonight’s meeting I will disperse to all of the new agents standard field equipment and conduct a short orientation…And I want to make it clear…NO MORE UNPROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOROR OR PETTY BICKERING! Anyone who has an issue with another group member please discuss it with me and we’ll address it as adults. If some action is required then it will be taken. O’Shaughnessy, Gaelin, I plan to make a trip to Columbia University this afternoon. Please accompany me. I’ll need your expertise.” With that Rachel takes a seat. “If anyone here needs anything-ANY kind of support or assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask me and I’ll do what ever I can to help. Any questions?”

George

 

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Flat Lands Era Pulp Nocturne 1930 March 10, 2014

November 24, 2014

As We Last Left widgetGood suggestions.

Keep in mind that some of my points were mostly concerning the perspective of newer players. If the many plot twists are somewhat confusing to a more tenured player, then just imagine how they could seem to a newbie. Multiple plot twists are very cool but, if they are introduced too quickly one after another, you can get the same result as swallowing your food too quickly when you eat-you choke. By being a tenured player I can see some connections that even Rachel won’t be able to but, newer players will have a harder time. Now, I will say that much responsibility is on the players. If the players continue to change their attentions every time something shiny gets dangled in front of them, then that’s their own fault.

George

 

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Flat Lands Era Pulp Nocturne 1930 March 9, 2014

November 24, 2014

As We Last Left widgetThat was an interesting commentary and I understand your concerns.  I am greatly enjoying Al’s game world as well.  And while I’m as confused as the rest of the group, I don’t have as much of an issue with the number of storylines at the moment.    I think what we are seeing are the growing pains of combining two separate story arcs with distinct focuses into one united one.  I don’t think we are getting more sub plots, just seeing elements of existing plots from the standpoint of the supernaturally clued bureau 13 agents Rachel and Galen rather than as the blundering muggles Johnny and O’Shaughnessy.   Maybe I’m wrong, but so far the plots seem to be fitting into a larger view.

Matt

 

 

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Pulp Nocturne 1930 Session March 7, 2014

November 24, 2014

As We Last Left widgetChurch Aborigine Melee

After calling in a B-13 sweeper team to handle the grizzly church horror scene , Rachel is back at the Municipal Building . Catching plenty of eyes as her long stride accentuates the unintended split in her skirt, Rachel heads straight for the evidence room. On the way she stops by O’Shaughnessy’s desk where she leaves him a note to meet with her when he gets back. Rachel shows Kastle the evidence room and helps him get started laying out the items retrieved from the church including the shipping box and burned doll Rachel angrily punted during the vicious melee. “Pardon me Herr Kastler,” Rachel says in a dull monotone right before abruptly leaving the room for a short visit to the dispensary and medical treatment.  Later, returning to her desk, Rachel’s distinctive English accent can be readily heard, “Gaelin. Gaelin! May I please beg your indulgence for a moment?”

George

 

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Flat Lands Era Pulp Nocturne 1930 March 8, 2014

November 24, 2014

As We Last Left widgetHello Folks,

It’s been a wild and crazy ride this year ever since I rejoined the PN 1930 campaign, so I would like to take a moment to make some campaign comments. I think that so far we’ve got a pretty good group with pretty distinguishable characters. Everyone seems to be trying to r/p their PCs and for the most part there is good cooperation amongst the party.  As far as the GMing goes, Al is known to provide a pretty viable campaign in which to play. The sessions seem to be very well prepared for, he’s well versed in the SW game system, familiar with the PCs, and pretty even-handed with game play calls. I like that Al regularly tries to avoid anachronistic game elements while emphasizing period appropriate ingredients. So far no one’s been seen with a cell phone, lap top or suitcase nuke. The game is in the1930s and it generally feels that way. Time management, and r/p of the NPCs is good too. No one is waiting 2 hours for his turn to play and the NPCs seem like actual characters rather than just extensions of the GM and/or one dimensional sheets of paper with names. Right now I’d say Al gets an A- grade.

There are a few things that we might want to keep in perspective in order to maintain the appropriate atmosphere however. Recently one of the players has mentioned on more than one occasion that he’s confused about what the overall point of the game is…he’s not sure about the story direction. Another player pointed out that there are multiple story lines going on at the same time and sometimes they become tangled up with one another. While this is definitely true, I would suggest that one thing that would help new players become oriented with the what’s going on is to limit introduction of too many different elements too quickly before the main plot can properly gel. In the last session the PCs were assigned to find the missing Father Barrett. In the session previous to that the PCs were assigned to investigate a weird occurrence at a restaurant. Previous to that session was the “rippers” adventure, and interspaced between these items was the deal at Bellevue.  Certainly all great stuff but, such a volume of stories will eventually become confusing to new players when tossed into the mix too quickly or altogether. Tenured PCs can always go back to investigate and initiate sub-plots whenever they see fit. A solidly established and revisited plot is the wise choice before brief exploration of too many alternatives. Throwing varied material at the players is advised but, apparently there is a point of diminishing returns which we look to have reached. Having no plot or story is a no-no but, having too many plot lines and story arcs at once can result in a choking and shell shocked reaction in the player(s), even if each individual plot line is very good standing alone.

One manifestation of this is what I’ve called the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” effect. If the PCs run into too many weird monsters too often, then the whole suspense and horror effect of finally encountering the vampire (or mummy or ghost or demon or lesser Cthulu beings), will become passé very quickly…then it becomes harder to evoke suspense or surprise in the players-or PCs for that matter. Such a game can settle into the routine “Buffy episode” where the PCs just do the perfunctory fight with the bad guys, collect XPs and then the players go home until the next session.  In Salem’s Lot you didn’t see the vampire for the first time until about the second episode, and in many CoC campaigns you do encounter bad guys but, they are often cultists instead of the actual monsters which you see a lot later after much foreshadowing. Horror overload on the other hand, quickly leads to a desensitized/numbed effect where the “monsters” are no longer feared so much as just being looked upon as “dangerous animals” that are encountered on so many “safaris” the PCs are participating in. Additionally, power levels have crept up and are approaching what some may consider a supers threshold rather than a pulp power level. Such a situation of taking the horrors for granted, or higher power levels, are pitfalls that must be regularly watched out for and is a slippery slope that even some of the best gamers find themselves upon. It’s happened before.

My above comments aren’t necessarily meant to be taken as the current state of affairs but, simply as observations on the current campaign direction. A PC mentioning confusion is generally a useful (and hopefully early) red flag that can be used to assess future play. We are all having a blast in PN-1930 this year and the group seems to have formed into a good collection of players but, it would be most wise to recognize the beginnings of that slippery slope we are poised to step onto.  With that being said, I look forward to the next PN-1930 session.

 

George