The Alexandrian

Eternal Lies – Savannah

May 24th, 2015

Go to Eternal Lies: The Alexandrian Remix

Eternal Lies - Savannah, GA

Campaign NotesDioramaProps Packet

Welcome to Savannah, GA!

The only major structural shift to this section of the campaign is the addition of a viable path by which the PCs can track the local cult agents back to their boss in Bangkok. Combined with the wide enrichment of the campaign’s node structure, this opens the door to a radically different experience with Eternal Lies (in which the PCs begin investigating the extremities of the cult before turning their attention to the nexus of its operations in Los Angeles).

What the remix primarily offers in this section of the campaign, however, is a plethora of props.

NPC NAMES

I’ve includes sheets with a list of sample NPC names for each of the major locations in Eternal Lies (male, female, and last). These should come in handy whenever you need to improv a new lead or contact.

RESEARCH

Each location includes a “Research” section. These list any general research topics that the PCs might pursue in a location. If the PCs are researching a specific node or NPC, those research results are listed with the node or NPC. (Savannah breaks the “rules” here a bit by including general research on the Henslowe Estate and Joy Grove Sanitarium, which are also specific nodes. That’s just because I hadn’t quite figured out my format yet.)

REVELATION LIST

Each location also includes a revelation list, which briefly summarizes all the clues which point to each node or NPC. If the clue is local, it’s simply listed. If the clue is picked up in a different Eternal Lies - Douglas Henslowelocation, the location is indicated. For example, the revelation list for Joy Grove Sanitarium reads:

  • NEW YORK: Douglas Henslowe’s Letters
  • Interviews at Douglas Henslowe’s Estate

Which simply means that the PCs could have obtained letters in New York that would point them at the Sanitarium. Or there are multiples NPCs at the Henslowe Estate who can tell the PCs that Henslowe is at the Sanitarium.

As described in the Three Clue Rule, you can use this revelation list to keep track of what information the PCs have obtained and what information the PCs have missed. This will allow you to quickly troubleshoot the investigation, easily picking out revelations that they’ve missed entirely.

The revelation list also included a list of Proactive Nodes: These are nodes that the PCs generally won’t find; instead they’ll come and find the PCs. (The group of Bangkok thugs in Savannah is an excellent example of this.) The bullet points below each proactive node lists triggering conditions. (In the case of the Bangkok thugs, they’re watching Douglas Henslowe and Edgar Job, so they’ll become aware of the PCs as soon as they interact with either of those characters.)

Collectively, these revelation lists also provide a handy table of contents for the location.

STAT SHEET

Fairly self-explanatory: The stat sheet at the end of each location collects all the miscellaneous stat blocks for the location onto a single page for quick and easy reference. (NPC stat blocks generally aren’t repeated here.)

PROP NOTES

Savannah Sanitorium Ambience: This is a really fantastic track from someone over at Yog-Sothoth. You can play it pretty consistently throughout the sanitorium scenes, flipping in tracks from the official Eternal Lies Soundtrack when they’re interviewing Henslowe and Job.

Henslowe’s Cemetary: I mounted this graphic on corkboard. The rope that the PCs can find at the Henslowe Estate was represented with a piece of string that I marked appropriately with purple marker. Using push-pins, the players could actually play around with positioning the “rope” in order to figure out where the stash had been hidden.

Henslowe’s Stash: I placed the items from the stash in a fancy box (not included). The “stone dagger” referenced in the campaign notes is an art piece I bought on vacation in Mexico. I’m afraid you’ll have to figure out your own object for the protective artifact.

Eternal Lies - Savannah, GA

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7 Responses to “Eternal Lies – Savannah”

  1. Mike Gentry says:

    I’m reading through this campaign now, and following along with your excellent campaign notes and props. One odd detail that I noticed — and was surprised that you didn’t comment on — was how Job and Henslowe are both incarcerated together in Joy Grove, but the campaign seems to treat this as an almost incidental detail.

    PCs can learn from Keating’s notes that the two patients are aware of each other and have even had arranged encounters with each other. However, Henslowe has nothing to say to the PCs about Job and vice versa, and the book does not offer any insight into what they think of each other or how they feel about being locked up in such close proximity.

    The campaign contradicts itself, as well: it mentions that Job pled himself down to a manslaughter charge for his role in the 1924 massacre; but the police report says that no one who escaped the massacre was ever caught.

    I have been thinking when I run this, I will remove Job from Joy Grove, and instead have him serving his sentence in Lincoln Heights Jail in Los Angeles (a logical place for him to end up, and with a storied, haunted history as a bonus). PCs can learn about him from any newspaper research on the 1924 incident, or from going through the police report. They can wrangle an interview with him via Cop Talk or Bureaucracy or some other appropriate interpersonal skill.

  2. Justin Alexander says:

    Yeah, it’s definitely a weird little bit of continuity.

    My notes were written with a plan to have no contact between Henslowe and Jobs: The doctor had brought Jobs to Savannah to study his “shared delusion”, but he had kept the patients separate.

    After writing up my notes, I realized that this didn’t make a lot of sense on the time scales we were talking about. So in actual play the doctor had (a) heard about Jobs’ delusions from another psychologist at a conference and (b) arranged for Jobs to be transferred to Joy Grove in order to practice an experimental therapy in which the two delusional patients would confront each other repeatedly. That didn’t actually work and they’re now kept separate from each other.

    When I run the campaign again, I think I’ll take a different approach: Jobs, after bouncing in and out of treatment programs between 1924 and 1932, will manage to track Henslowe down in Savannah in ’32 or ’33. Jobs wanted to apologize to him, but the confrontation with Henslowe turns violent and ends up with both of them being forcibly admitted to Joy Grove. (This eliminates the weirdness of a Georgia psychiatrist somehow arranging for a patient transfer from California.)

    (And I would ignore the bit about him being arrested for manslaughter. You’re 100% right that it’s a continuity error.)

    I’d recommend against moving Jobs to Los Angeles for two reasons: First, he provides several of the clues that point the PCs towards Los Angeles (and you’ll want to replace those clues if you move him). Second, from a thematic standpoint returning to Savannah (the beginning of the campaign) at the end of the campaign is more satisfying.

  3. Mike Gentry says:

    Ah, thanks for the tip and I’ll definitely keep that in mind. I haven’t read all the way to the end, yet, so I may not be able to make that work. I do like the idea of Job tracking down Henslowe as a kind of redemptive act.

    Amazing work on the props and collages. It was your blog posts that piqued my interest and convinced me to pick up the campaign in the first place.

  4. Andrew May says:

    When I ran the joy grove scene I changed things a bit. I didn’t like that Dr. Keaton was in it for the money and fame. I also have a bit more action orientated group. I made him a distant cult member placed there to watch Jobs and Henslowe. This plays in well during the interview process where Keaton incredulously tries to meter the flow of information to the investigators. The investigators decided to return to the sanitarium at night and break into Keaton’s office and snoop around. I used the thugs section here and had Keaton spying on the group as they made their exit. The thugs were dressed up as Sanitarium workers come to put the “escaped” mental patients back into the hospital.

    It was all great fun and will work well bringing Jobs back into the story later.

  5. Hellfalken says:

    Hi,
    There is something in this part I find hard to buy. The thugs.
    The way I see the situation in 1937 it’s kind of a status que:
    – The cult thrives.
    – The Winston Cabal is dead or insane.
    – The Nectar business is sweet.

    Along comes a bunch of investigators, to stir it up.

    Why would Bangkok thugs:
    1) Bother after all these years to be watching E. Job? (yeah he’s the focus n all that but still…)
    2) Even care for, what they can possibly gather, a routine visit to Job?
    3) React so forcefully when they do not know the intent of the investigators?

    I think it would be more reasonable for someone (non-Bangkok-thug), within the asylum, to report back to L.A. any anomalies with Job (such as these bunch of strangers coming to visit him).
    When the same bunch of strangers appear in L.A. the cult can begin to suspect that someone is on to them, and THEN react.

    I’m I missing something here?

  6. Justin Alexander says:

    From the logic of the setting: I don’t think they’re particularly worried about Jobs. I think their focus is Henslowe. He’s a loose end.

    So why not just kill him? First, because he’s currently discredited. Kill him and you might draw unwanted attention. Second, because they DON’T have perfect information about Walter Winston’s group. Henslowe is their only link to the only significant/effective resistance the cult has ever faced. They might suspect that he’s hidden information. Basically, he’s more valuable alive because he might give away the people he was working with and/or provide an early alert for anyone else poking into the past. (Which is, of course, exactly what happens.)

    From the logic of drama: The exotic cultists provide a strong signal to the players that “something weird is going on”. That the scope of this is a lot larger than what they thought. They don’t know what it is, still… but the stakes are raised.

    From the logic of structure (at least for the remix): The thugs provide a proactive element in Savannah (which is a valuable tool for the GM to have if the PCs get bogged down). They also provide a connection to the Bangkok node.

  7. Hellfalken says:

    Hey, thanks for answering.

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