The Alexandrian

Eternal Lies – New York

May 23rd, 2015

Go to Eternal Lies: The Alexandrian Remix

Eternal Lies - New York - Floyd Bennett Field

Campaign NotesDioramaProps Packet

New York is relatively straight-forward and is primarily designed to launch the PCs on their investigation.

The major addition to New York for the remix is to follow-up on local leads: Going to Winston Mansion will foreshadow some of the horrors which are to come, but major progress can be made if the PCs manage to dig up Walter Winston’s travel records (which can point them directly to Los Angeles without stopping in Savannah first).

NPC BRIEFING SHEET

I’ve prepped briefing sheets for each of the key NPCs in Eternal Lies. (In the case of New York, that means Janet Winston-Rogers and Frank Kearns.) These use the Universal NPC Roleplaying Template, which I’ve discussed previously as part of my remix of Keep on the Shadowfell and also used as part of the “Muse on Your Left” concept for Eclipse Phase. Here’s a quick overview of how I’m using them in the Eternal Lies remix.

Eternal Lies - Janet Winston-RogersCharacter Portrait: Most of these NPCs have a photograph associated with them. It’s reproduced in miniature on the briefing sheet for the GM’s reference (and to make it easy to find the corresponding photographic prop to hand to the players).

Character Description: A short description of the NPC.

Roleplaying Notes: This is the heart of the briefing sheet, but it should also be the shortest section. Generally two or three brief bullet points at most. I’m looking to identify the essential personality traits or mannerisms which will serve to define my performance as the NPC.

Background: Also bullet-pointed for easy reference. This provides a detailed reference for when you need to pull out specific information

Clues: This section fluctuates a bit throughout these campaign notes as I experimented with different ways of presenting this information for Trail of Cthulhu. The general format is a bullet-pointed list, with additional details where necessary and almost always an indication of what investigative skill would work best for gaining the clue.

Notes: Some NPCs also get a separate section for important notes. This is stuff that it’s really, really important that you don’t forget about while playing the NPC, but which don’t comfortably fall into Roleplaying Notes or Clues. Most of this stuff would probably be appropriate for Background, but I don’t want it to get “lost” in there during actual play.

Stats: Should be fairly self-explanatory.

THE SILVER SABER

Eternal Lies - Silver Sable

Unless the PCs do something totally wacky, Janet Winston-Rogers will loan them a plane for their investigation. As detailed in the campaign notes, the Silver Saber is a DC-2 that’s been upgraded by her personal friend Donald Douglas (owner and founder of the Douglas Aircraft Company) to include features from the DC-3.

The idea of getting an “updated” DC-2 has no historical basis as far as I know, but the basic concept here is that the DC-3 could make transatlantic flights and the DC-2 couldn’t. While it’s possible to limit the group’s use of the Silver Saber to the Americas, the bulk of the campaign takes place in Eurasia and I liked the image of the plane serving as a touchstone throughout  the campaign.

But the DC-3 doesn’t fly until December 1935. Hence the compromise.

PROP NOTES

Silver Sable Photos / Interior: A large number of photographic references are included for the Silver Saber. The plane is meant to remain a significant set piece throughout the campaign, so I wanted to provide a rich visual reference for it.

Henslowe’s Letters: These are deliberately designed to be a vague trove of information. The players are likely to pour over them again and again throughout their investigation in Savannah (and perhaps beyond). I printed these on some very nice linen parchment and then crumpled them up, tore their edges, and the like. If you wanted to make the players really work for it, you could take the letter dated August 9th, 1933, and tear it up completely (forcing them to piece it back together). This would direct their attention strongly towards the journal, of course.

Go to 1.2 Savannah

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2 Responses to “Eternal Lies – New York”

  1. Jonathan Hunt says:

    Just a note that at no point in the New York notes does it say to give the Henslowe’s Letters prop to the investigators. It is however safe to assume Janet hands them over after mentioning them, as per the book.

  2. Justin Alexander says:

    I think I actually played this with Janet only giving them the letters if they ask for them. I mean, they’re obviously going to do that, but it lets the players have some input.

    It’s a trick, but an effective one. You can generalize it to a lot of situations: When an NPC needs to give a big dump of exposition, find a place where they can break and say, “Any questions?” (or a variant thereof). Whether the PCs have any questions or not, you can wrap up with, “Okay. Here’s the last thing you need to know…” And then finish the rest of the briefing.

    You can achieve a similar effect by handing out a visual prop midway through the briefing (instead of leading the briefing with it or closing with it). Henslowe’s letters are too massive for them to work in this capacity, but maps, photographs, and the like are great.

    The point is to engage the players actively instead of just continuing to pile more information while they sit passively.

    BID.

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