Its been a while. Moving, the continuing plague-times, bringing up a little-one. All these things conspire to interrupt my gaming time. I tried to start a Mutant Year Zero game, but was unable to devote the needed time. Thankfully, one of my players wanted to run a zombie game which turned into a quite fun little series. (All Flesh Must Be Eaten) . I also got to play in a few one-shots with various people. All loads of fun. But the itch to run a game never goes away.
So we’ve come back to OSR/D&D-ish games again, this time for a horror!
Not all the potential players could make it, so we decided to create characters and get a feel for the “world”. I’m using the compatibility of OSR-y games to its full extent. Primarily this game uses the rules from “Worlds Without Number”, but I’m pulling magic and “sanity” from Silent Legions (another Kevin Crawford game), and mixing in creatures and things from various adventures… Lets see how it goes!
Character creation in Worlds Without Number is a breeze. Only a few classes exist: Warrior, Expert, Mage, or a mix. Even more limited when I banned “magic users”! But with only 3 classes the system still shines! We got some very distinct characters, with a variety of abilities and colourful stories. (I’m including all the characters made, even those made later)
Morton Campbell – A “respectable businessman”. (Middle Class, Criminal, Adventurer)
Morton is a graduate from the school of hard knocks. He’s tried his hand at all manner of occupations, and made contacts amongst them all. Now he’s gained a veneer of respectability. He runs an import-export business, with a side of smuggling to help pay the ever rising costs of living in Endon.
Handy in most situations, with a friendly face that seems trustworthy. Don’t make him angry.
(foci: Close Combatant, Polymath, Well Met)
Mister Jack – street entrepreneur (Lower Class, Criminal, Adventurer)
Mr. “Cut-my-own-throat” Jack seems to always be around, selling whatever popular trinkets are all the rage. If you need it, he can get it for you, or knows who has it and what they want.
Recently he’s been exhuming corpses to sell to medical students.
(foci: Connected, Dealmaker, Specialist/Sneak)
Dr. John Sanderson-Mildred Esq – Amateur Investigator. (Upper Class, Physician, Expert)
Dr Mildred is an aristocrat. His family owns a country house and a town house. He studied in the finest college (Loxdon University) and became a physician. But his relatives always made him nervous. Rich, eccentric, and too much gossip about distant history.
He’s had a few brushes with “strange hauntings” and other occult goings on. Ever since he’s spent too much time delving into esoteric societies.
His parents passed away and left him the family estate. Life in Endon is eating into the savings though. Keeping the expected country house and apartments has required him to bring in a tenant – Dr Nottle. He even .. <shudder>.. works as a doctor from time to time.
(foci: Alert, Developed Attribute/Int)
Dr Euphrasia “Daisy” Nottle – cutting edge scientist (Middle Class, Scholar, Expert)
Daisy is a girl from a poor family who has come good. She showed intelligence and gained sponsorship into Loxdon University where she enthusiastically studied . She would have graduated as a medical doctor, but that was deemed unseemly. Her studies continued until she graduated as a “Doctor of Etheric Sciences”. A fringe field held in low regard by most.
She now works as a researcher and teaching assistant at the University. She finds the field of modern etheric science fascinating. Every day is a battle against ignorance and superstition. She tries to spread a philosophy of practicality and equality to the rest of “modern” society.
(foci: Gifted Chirurgeon, Artisan)
The City of Endon and the Deep Country
Characters in their own rights. Endon a city on the brink of an Industrial Revolution. Crowded and polluted for the poor, opulent and spacious for the rich. Industry, Economy, and Progress are the primary drivers of the city. Meanwhile the aristocracy still live in their dreams of fashion, status, and privilege.
The Deep Country is all around. Primitive, superstitious, and full of dirty peasants who labor to provide for the industry of Endon. Of particular interest is the ancestral home of Dr Mildred’s family: the Duchy of Blackstone. Within lies the great forest of Aldweald and it’s haunting stories, superstitious locals, and surprisingly good whiskeys and ales.
I found making characters in this system to be a breeze. I had expected to need a full session. But the great layout and instructions let to all the characters arriving in minutes. On creating this story I dangled a hook for the players
– The mysterious murder of a distance relative leads to a twisted forest, cultists, superstitions, and a dark power rising. –
One player (of Dr Mildred) wanted to jump onto that hook and be part of the cursed family. And the other player characters seemed to coalesce around this initial idea. I am very much looking forward to how their adventures continue!
ps – I’m going to collect all the “Harrow Hall” related info and links into its own Campaign page.