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Trail latest

Got another session of Masks under our belts.
Still heavy on the clue gathering and light on focus. I chose Cthulhu for lots of newbie friendly reasons, but I’m not certain I was right. My players look like they want direction. And consequences. CoC doesn’t do that in the early stages of its campaigns. I hadn’t realised how important experienced gamers could be in such a rules light setting. Julio is the only one who would know how important it is to scribble notes down with loads of funny arrows and dotted lines connecting everything. The time between the sessions is too long to hold the clues in your head too. There’s some top quality handouts, but my guys need a bunch of time to recap every time. Investigations are incredibly difficult to roleplay in. Hard to stay in character, hard to GM people who do.
The rules themselves are almost non-existant, we are pretty much playing diceless. Its a little odd because I can’t lean on the rules to provide drama or even to get some breathing space. Neither can the players. Even in conflicts its a couple of rolls max. This is all fine except my newbies have nothing to frame their actions on.

Have I made a poor choice?


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Nyarlathotep is dead, long live Nyarlathotep!

The online Masks game is now officially dead. Boo. Oh come on, it took a month to see the characters done! Cheers to those who had a go though.

The tabletop Masks game is now officially live! Hurrah!

Two points of interest: the player pool is Julio, Stivi, Marky Boy, Steps, Dan, Ali and Tracey. That’s right: girls. All are welcome and I can’t wait to see what the fresh perspectives will bring.

Second: we are using Trail of Cthulhu as a rules set. Loads of good theory as to why it should work, we’ll see how it goes. Chargen has already thrown up some interesting stories. So far, so good.

Players reactions so far have been very positive. Dan has got the gaming horn, Stepsy said I was “masterful” (love ya honey). Ali wanted to know what happens next, and that’s a good sign!


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What you know so far

It’s early January 1925.

Here’s some newspaper clippings to give you all a sense of what’s to come…

Big Apple Dateline

ROGER CARLYLE, the playboy whom everyone knows – or knows about – is quietly leaving New Yawk tomorrow to check out the tombs of Egypt!  You’ve seen the cuties ROGER has found in the nightspots.  Who can doubt he’ll dig up someone – er, something – equally fabulous from the Egyptian sands?



Led by the fabulously wealthy wealthy playboy, Roger Carlyle, the Carlyle expedition departed this morning for Southampton aboard the luxury British steamship Imperial Standard.

Contrary to earlier reports, the expedition will perform research in London under the ausoices of the Penhew Foundation before continuing to Egypt nexct month.

Readers may recall the enormous party which Mr. Carlyle, now 24, gave at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel upon reaching his majority.  Since then, scandals and indelicate behavior have become Carlyle’s trademark, but he has never become tarnished in the eyes of Manhattanites.

Members of the expedition have been reluctant to reveal their purpose in Egypt.


Renowned Egyptologist Sir Aubrey Penhew is assistant leaderof the expedition and in charge of excavations.

Dr. Robert Huston, a fashionable “Freudian” psychologist, accompanies the expedition to pursue parallel researches into ancient pictographs.

Miss Hypatia Masters, linked in the past to Carlyle, will act as photographer and archivist.

Mr. Jack Brady, intimate to Mr. Carlyle, accompanies the group as general factotum.

Additional members may be secured in London.

-NEW YORK TIMES, April 5,1919


CAIRO (AP)-Sir Aubrey Penhew, temporary spokesman for the Carlyle Expedition, indicated Monday that the leaders are taking ship to East Aftica for a well-earned rest.’  Sir Aubrey debunked rumors that the expedition had dis- covered clues to the legendary wealth of the lost mines of King Solomon, maintaining that the party was going on safari “in respite from our sandy labors.”  Roger Carlyle, wealthy New York leader of the expedition, was unavailable for comment, still suffering from his recent sunstroke.  Discussing that unfortunate incident, local experts declared Egypt entirely too hot for Anglo-Saxons at this time of year, and suggested that the young American had not been well-served by his democratic enthusiasm, rumored to have led him to personally wield pick and shovel.

 -NEW YORK TIMES, July 3,1919


MOMBASA (Reuters) – Leading members of an American archeological expedition arrived here on holiday from digs in Egypt’s Nile Valley.

Our Under-Secretary, Mr. Royston Whittingdon, held a welcoming dinner for them at Collingswood House, where the wit of Sir Aubrey Penhew, expedition leader, was much in evidence.

Accompanying Sir Aubrey are two Americans, youthful financier Roger Carlyle and medical doctor Robert Huston.

The party leaves inland tomorrow, for Nairobi and hunting.

-NEW YORK TIMES, July 24,1919


MOMBASA (Reuters) – Uplands police representatives today asked for public assistance concerning the disappearance of the Carlyle expedition.  No word of the party has been received in nearly two months.

The group includes wealthy Manhattan playboy Roger Carlyle and three other American citizens, as well as respected Egyptologist Sir Aubrey Penhew of the United Kingdom.

The expedition left Nairobi on August 3, ostensibly on camera safari, but rumor insisted that they were actually after legendary Biblical treasures.

Carlyle and his party reportedly intended to explore portions of the Great Rift Valley, to the northwest of Nairobi.

-NEW YORK TIMES, Oct. 15,1919


MOMBASA (Reuters) – In response to clues, Miss Erica Carlyle, sister to the American leader of the lost Carlyle Expedition, arrived in port today aboard the Egyptian vessel Fount of Life.

Several Kikuyu-villager reports recently have been received concerning the putative massacre of unnamed Europeans near Aberdare Forest.

Miss Carlyle declared her intention to find her brother, regardless of the effort needed.  She brought with her the nucleus of a large expedition.

Detailing agents to coordinate supply and other activities with Colony representatives, Miss Carlyle and the remainder of her party depart for Nairobi tomorrow.

Her companion, Mrs. Victoria Post, indirectly emphasized Miss Carlyle’s purposefulness by recounting the rigors of the voyage aboard the Semite ship.

-NEW YORK TIMES, March 11,1920


NAIROBI (Reuters) – The massacre of the long-missing Carlyle expedition was confirmed today by district police representatives.

Roger Carlyle, New York’s rollicking playboy, is counted among the missing.

Authorities blame hostile Nandi tribesmen for the shocking murders.  Remains of at least two dozen expedition members and bearers are thought found in several concealed grave sites.

Erica Carlyle, Roger Carlyle’s sister and apparent heiress to the Carlyle family fortune, led the dangerous search for her brother and his party.  She credited Kikuyu tribesmen for the discovery, though Colonial police actually found the site.

Among other expedition members believed lost are Sir Aubrey Penhew, noted Egyptologist’; New York socialite Hypatia Masters, and Dr. Robert Huston.  Many bearers are also reported dead.

-NEW YORK TIMES, May 24,1920


NAIROBI (Reuters) – Five Nandi tribesmen, convicted ringleaders of the vicious Carlyle Expedition massacre, were executed this morning after a short, expertly-conducted trial.

To the end, the tribesmen stubbornly refused to reveal where they had hidden the bodies of the white leaders of the expedition.  Mr. Harvis, acting for the Colony, implied throughout the trial that the massacre was racial in motivation, and that the fair-skinned victims were taken to a secret location, there to suffer the most savage treatment.

Miss Erica Carlyle, defeated in her efforts to rescue her brother, left several weeks ago, but is surely comforted now by the triumph of justice.

-NEW YORK TIMES, June 19,1920


Miss Erica Carlyle and the Italian Ambassador, Signor Giovanni Albertini, will be co-hosting a gala reception following the Metropolitan Opera performance of Aida on January 24.  Tickets are available through the Opera Guild.

– NEW YORK TIMES, Jan. 18, 1925

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Deej’s character

Henry “Hank The Tank” Dawson could have been a contender. In fact he was in 1921 during the inaugral year of the new WBA. He lost out to Georges Carpentier (who went on to lose to Jack Dempsey to be the first World Heavyweight Champion). Much later claims were made from both camps that Carpentier had had his bandages dipped in plaster of paris for Hanks’ fight.

Hank dropped out of sight and spent the next couple of years as Dempseys sparring partner before moving into the shady, but well paid job as enforcer for a group of alcohol smugglers running into Kingsport.

He is a large, intimidating man who has kept his strength, stamina and tactical mind. He knows a good many boxing and underworld related people around Arkham, although he is now out of favour with his Boston and New York contacts. He is barely literate, scrappy when not occupied, would rather talk his way out of a situation with his fists and easily flustered in social situations.

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G2’s character

Travis Hinds spends his whole life searching (impulsive). Not for fame, nor fortune (though the last has come relatively easily). Hinds is a prospector. And be it oil, gold or some other chemical romance, he frequently strikes it lucky (determined). A swarthy European (polyglot) of vigorous stature, he cuts quite a figure as his boundless energy pours over maps, geological data, or the ground over which he stands (physically adept).

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…and so it begins…


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Pete’s Character


“His name is Neville Sinclair. He is an actor in the Errol Flynn genre. Women, drink and action are his favourite hobbies but he takes his work seriously as it affords him his flamboyant lifestyle. He realises that swashbuckling flicks can’t remain the movie of choice for long and is desperately searching for the next big thing to prolong his career. He is overconfident, handsome, dashing, sucker for a lady and ruthless in his pursuit of success. “

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