MUP 078 - Leave the Mythos, Take the Cannoli

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fox01313
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Re: MUP 078 - Leave the Mythos, Take the Cannoli

Post by fox01313 » Sat May 09, 2015 1:11 pm

Very nice show guys, keep up the great work & need to buy a few people extra alarm clocks (me too needing it or more coffee while getting up this morning).

Another mob related scenario out there, the Dockside Dogs. The mob is more in backstory/flashbacks but you're all criminals to start so it's not a far jump to being all part of the mob. Is there anything in the few New York setting/scenario books?

One other spot of introducing the mob into the game is to have it tied to the family of the PCs, who ask the adventuring players for a favor but not telling them of the mob connections where the favor came from as it's more like blackmail. The keeper can then let them be spotted & made fugitives, finding safety in another town part of some criminal operations. Another option is to have the players stealing bodies for whatever reason (hiding evidence, medical students or whatnot), then you can throw in the mob or better yet ghouls.

On the Hound of Tindalos, I loved the ideas you put in the episode. My choice on using the hound is still letting the NPC screw with something, then the hound can come from whenever. Like many horror films, the hound is after someone so unless the characters realize that if they just let it do it's business & stay out of it's way (with all the sanity loss of letting someone go to their doom while they watch), they're good. It's just when they get in the way of the hound is when it will go after them. One other idea is having a curio like an incense burner, full of stuff from some past resident like a serpent person, to send the character's mind back in time & get the attention of the hound. Another would be that some NPC is casting a gate or window into the past & guess when the players decide to stop by? just in time to see it happen. Maybe a variation of the resonator in the story From Beyond or some book will just give visions of the past.

For Gumshoe, the only real difference (after getting the bundle myself) between them all is that Trail offers a sanity scale as well which tends to not come back over stability as the mythos chips away at your mind & sense of reality. It's really easy to create monsters in the Gumshoe system but it's easy to steal stuff from the other settings, so for Trail of Cthulhu, maybe get things out of what started Gumshoe, Esoterrorists. Esoterrorist 2nd ed. is recommended book as it has a home base style of campaign setting which I'd like to do for Trail (where you set up the base, cover identity & then deal with the town being a monster magnet). Also the book of Unremitting Horror is just twisted as hell & if you want some new things to throw at Cthulhu players, try that.
"That's funny, usually the blood gets off on the second floor." -Mr. Burns in The Shinning episode (Treehouse of horror V)

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Re: MUP 078 - Leave the Mythos, Take the Cannoli

Post by Eibon » Mon May 11, 2015 11:06 am

There is a moon in the Firefly 'Verse called Hastur. It’s a moon of Beaumonde in the Kalidasa system.
This could be a reference to Marion Zimmer Bradley's sci-fi Darkover novels which draw heavily from the Hastur mythology of Chambers, although a Lovecraft connection can't be ruled out.

Scott Dorward gave a fairly good summary of British crime. British crime tends to be small unconnected gangs, usually city-based. Sometimes turf-wars break out, such as the Glasgow Ice Cream Wars of the 1980s. Guns are uncommon. The police would put more effort into catching a gunman, and when caught one would get a severe sentence, so "razor gangs" were much more common. Peaky Blinders deals with such a gang, but is a little too violent and "out in the open" to be accurate -- it's exaggerated for TV. Brighton Rock by Graham Green gives a fair impression of such a gang in the 1950s.

For a more Pulpy mythos crime gang, how about Kathulos' organisation, from Robert E. Howard's novelette "Skull-Face" (it's self inspired by the Fu Manchu stories of Sax Rohmer). Kathulos' gang peddle drugs in 1920s London.

I did start writing a Cthulhu campaign as a sequel to "Skull-Face", called "The Shadow of the Scorpion", but only got to the play stage with one part: "Scorpion Rising", which was a prologue in which Kathulos muscled in on the London crime scene. The adventure was set in a illegal casino and introduced the players to John Gordon, the Nayland-Smith of REH's story, but Kathulos himself was a shadowy presence who's main act was to destroy a gangster leader by sending him a venomous scorpion in a box of cigars. The idea was that a few years would then pass before the adventure itself kicked-off, but my group broke-up before I got to the main campaign.

The works of Edgar Wallace and Francis Durbridge will give you lots of ideas for criminal masterminds in the UK, though both have their faults as writers.

For European crime I'd look to things like the film Rififi and the works of George Simenon. Obviously, this is something others may want to comment on.

I seem to rermember there was a magazine adventure which involved bootleggers in issue 1 of Adventures Unlimited magazine (1995), "The Crate and The Coffin" by John Hart, although it's a while since I read it, so I don't recall how useful it would be.

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Re: MUP 078 - Leave the Mythos, Take the Cannoli

Post by KeeperMurph » Mon May 11, 2015 3:46 pm

Thinking purely of UK-based organized crime, the Scottish author Ian Rankin has a number of novels that deal with it head on or has it underlying the main plot in many of his fantastic Inspector Rebus series.

If you like to read, not necessarily just mysteries or detective stories, then you should read Rankin. And just because I said mysteries you should check out Rendell, Dexter, Marsh, Sayers, and of course Christie. The later two, really three, provide an important look into post WWI life for Sayers and post WWII life for Christie. But for modern crime you can't beat Rankin.
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Re: MUP 078 - Leave the Mythos, Take the Cannoli

Post by Eibon » Tue May 12, 2015 9:06 am

KeeperMurph wrote:Thinking purely of UK-based organized crime, the Scottish author Ian Rankin has a number of novels that deal with it head on or has it underlying the main plot in many of his fantastic Inspector Rebus series.

If you like to read, not necessarily just mysteries or detective stories, then you should read Rankin. And just because I said mysteries you should check out Rendell, Dexter, Marsh, Sayers, and of course Christie. The later two, really three, provide an important look into post WWI life for Sayers and post WWII life for Christie. But for modern crime you can't beat Rankin.
Rankin is great. In a similar vein is John Harvey, Peter Robinson and R. D. Wingfield -- all worth a look. There is also a set of books written from the gangster's prospective, the most famous are the Jack Carter books of Ted Lewis, made famous by the film Get Carter, but Jake Arnott also covers this ground; and for crime and police corruption in Yorkshire in the 1970s try David Peace's Red Riding Quartet.

Of the Golden Age people, you missed Margery Allingham, who I've found to be full of useful background information. They are not all detective stories. Some a mysteries and some a thrillers, but the Campion books are always entertaining. There is a scene in one of these novels that features a cabbie who refuses a Five Pound note as payment because it's too much -- he doesn't have enough change and if he tried to cash so much money the police would become interested in him. I've used this in games when players start throwing their money around ("Here doorman, have £10 for holding the door open for me!").

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Re: MUP 078 - Leave the Mythos, Take the Cannoli

Post by KeeperAntUK » Wed May 13, 2015 10:32 am

Although slightly badly written at times, this http://www.bunker8.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk ... m/3804.htm is quite an interesting view of organised crime in the UK

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Re: MUP 078 - Leave the Mythos, Take the Cannoli

Post by Shannon Mac » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:27 pm

I quite enjoyed this episode.
My gaming blog with pretty pictures: http://www.storytellersjem.blogspot.com/

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