Wednesday, 4 May 2016

On the trail of Dracula

We are continuing with The Dracula Dossier during our Friday evening sessions, using a combination of Night's Black Agents and Call of Cthulhu. A full summary of the session can be found here for those who are interested. I have no idea to what degree there are spoilers contained therein, as I suspect the plot can play out in a multiplicity of ways.

Dracula Dossier is a very ambitious project, for both players and GM. It features the biggest handout of any RPG, an unredacted copy of Dracula by Bram Stoker. I am already fairly familiar with the book, and am now re-reading this version, which has been 'unredacted' with plenty of new material by Kenneth Hite and Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan. The conceit here is that Stoker was aware of some kind of plot involving British intelligence and vampires, and published some of it as a novel. The unredacted version has fallen into the hands of our characters, a group of unsavoury ex-spies, who are now following up leads in London.

There is much to digest in this book, and new sub-plots that don't exist in the original, but which start to point towards high level British government conspiracy in the sunset of the Victorian age. Did they invite Dracula to England, and why? Was Johnathan Harker not a naive lawyer by instead a British agent?

As a player, one is faced with a myriad of different lines of enquiry, and it can be quite bewildering. You need a group that is dedicated and prepared to put the time towards going through the book. This may in itself be a stumbling block for some people.

Like all great books, Dracula is one of those literary works which reveals more to you from the perspective of time. I first read it as a teenager in Austria, and then again in my early twenties. Reading it now in my forties, I am finding it a different experience entirely. In some respects, the horror seems more chilling than it did.

On an only slightly related note, I have been listening to the excellent and profoundly disturbing God's Teeth Delta Green actual play adventure on Roleplaying Public Radio, which has now migrated to new servers having been offline for a while due to hosting issues. God's Teeth was run by the remarkable Caleb Stokes of Hebanon Games, I believe. He is currently working on the post-apocalyptic zombie RPG Red Markets, which I have more than a passing interest in.

2 comments:

  1. Should we listen to God's Teeth, or will you perhaps run it for us one day?

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    1. Way too disturbing for me! I see they have posted a fourth session.

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