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Subject: New Door To Saturn Expedition - Darkest Africa rss

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Jacob Busby
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Tired of the commute to Mars! Bored of going to the bottom of the Pacific! Too much Arabian sand in your shoes! Want to go to Antarctica but worried you might get frost-bite!

What you need, my friend, is a trip to Darkest Africa! You, YES YOU, can search out the lost civilisations of the Belgian Congo. What's that you say? Poisonous flora and fauna! Nonsense, that's just the kind of peril that puts the pep into a *REAL* man's day. And don't worry about those endless drums, pretty soon you'll have Swamp Fever so bad that the drumbeats will be a blessed relief. Concerned you might not be a hit with the locals! Just sprinkle yourself lightly with a little salt and pepper and you'll soon be the most popular explorer in the whole of the African interior.

So don't delay. Come to Darkest Africa, right away! Visit once and you'll never be the same again!!!


This is part of a larger project I'm working on, but I thought there might be a few Arkham players who enjoyed Door To Saturn ( https://sites.google.com/site/doortosaturn/ ) and wanted a new expedition to go on...

Here's the new board:




Here are the encounters:












Here is the new monster. You'll want about six of these.



...and here is the new ally:

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Byron Campbell
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This is awesome. Fantastic work!
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The Grouch
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This is the highest praise I can think of for a fan expansion - that other fans want to expand on it. Corinthian did a bang up job with "The Door To Saturn".

Since you're on a roll, Jacob, what about an expedition to the Australian outback and the buried ruins of the City of The Great Race from the Master's "A Shadow Out of Time"? And one to the American Great Plains (specifically Binger, Oklahoma) with "unknown" locations of K'n-yan, Yoth and N'Kai (from "The Mound")?

What other far-flung Mythos settings could expeditions be mounted to?

Perhaps the North American Great North Woods with Derleth references, or the English moors with Lumley references?

Edit: BTW, if you could "cite sources" like Corinthian did on the original expansion, I think it would be a wonderful opportunity for those who are not as familiar with the works of Lovecraft and his circle to get to know them.
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Jacob Busby
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As requested. Engage Spoiler-vision...

Spoiler (click to reveal)
JUNGLE

...you find the journal of Charlie Marlow, an ivory agent...

Marlow is the ivory agent and narrator of Heart of Darkness. It didn’t seem right to set an adventure in the Congo without making some mention of Conrad’s most famous work!!!

...a man with a snowy white dog, asks if he can interview you for Le Petit Vingtième. If you accept, you are delayed but gain $2 and may restore up to 2 sanity, learning much from your discussions with the capable young journalist...

The reporter is Tintin. Le Petit Vingtième is the Belgian magazine which first ran Herge’s adventure strip, including, of course, Tintin in the Congo.

...The swamp is home to the Mokele-mbembe...

The Mokele-Mbembe is a common subject in cryptozoology. Whether it has a Mythos counterpart is subject to speculation.

...Like a cancerous lesion erupting from the Earth, the Mountain of the Black Wind dominates the horizon...

The Mountain of the Black Wind can be found in the classic Chaoisum Call of Cthulhu supplement, The Complete Masks of Nyarlathotep.

Crabs as large as terriers crawl from holes in the cliff-face...

Giant crabs assault Allan Quatermain and his travelling companions in the eponymous novel.

...an enormous wildebeest which in the half-light has an emerald hue....

The source for this encounter is The Green Wildebeest by John Buchan. The story is narrated by Richard Hannay, more familiar as the protagonist of the Thirty Nine Steps.

The corpse has been dead for some time now, but as you edge towards it your interpreter warns you that it has been bitten by a devil fly and you should stay away....

The source for this encounter is the H P Lovecraft / Hazel Heald short story, Winged Death.

Few dare talk of the Canyons of Ituri Kendi for few ever survive the journey...

The Canyons of Ituri Kendi are briefly mentioned in the Chaosium supplement, Shadows of Yog-Sothoth and receive marginally more coverage in the Secrets of Kenya.

...for the cave entrance so accurately resembles the familiar octopod image that you fall to your knees in horror...

My researches turned up a scenario called The Valley of the Four Shrines from Fragments of Fear. This encounter is based on the descriptions of that scenario.

TRIBAL VILLAGE

...The Cult of the Spiralling Worm has struck!...

The Cult of the Spiralling Worm is a Mythos invention of David Conyers.

...to recognise the disgraced English cricketer, long thought dead in the Boer War....

Technically, Raffles the Amateur Cracksman died during the Boer War, but we’ve only got Bunny’s word for that, and his narrative is suspect. This encounter posits that Raffles took the opportunity to disappear into the wilds of Africa and is still alive 25 years later.

...the tales of Imdaba-Zimbi and Zikali...

From the pen of H. Rider Haggard. Imdaba-Zimbi comes from Allan’s Wife. Zikali can be found in Child of Storm and Finished.

...the limbless creature transforms into a cloud of butterflies and disappears into the night...

Tuyewara – African vampires – can transform into swarms of butterflies instead of bats.

...Chief Mofolaba brings news that District Commissioner Sanders has been usurped by Chief Bosambo....

The characters here are taken from Sanders of the River. Depending on the result of the Luck check, Sanders might not be quite as popular as he thinks himself to be.

...Marvasi the messenger offers you a tropical wine...

Marvasi comes from Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Venus of Azombeii”, and it is from that tale that the negative outcome is drawn. The positive outcome: In the 1980’s the soft drink’s company Libby’s marketed a soft drink composed of pineapples, bananas and oranges called Um Bungo whose tagline was that “they drink it in the Congo.”

...Upper Bogonda. The name has been crossed out and someone has written Grave of the Akaanas in its stead...

This encounter refers to the Solomon Kane story “Wings in the Night” by Robert E Howard.

...The body is lowered into the floor of the hut and a handful of salt is thrown into the grave....

This encounter is more for local colour than any Mythos related horror.

...You are no better than the others. Curtis, Good and Quatermain. Crude men who bring only war and misery...

Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good were Allan Quatermain’s companions in the excellent King Solomon’s Mines and its superior sequel, Allan Quatermain. In both stories their presence destabilises the political situation in a lost African kingdom, ultimately leading to civil war. It struck me that the indigenous population might have a different perspective on the events recounted in the books.

...Denys Finch-Hatton needs a rollicking good yarn to help him woo the owner of a coffee plantation...

Finch-Hatton is Karen Blixen’s lover in Out of Africa. Both Karen and Denys were real people.

...In his delirium he speaks of a time when tyrannical leopards ruled the Africa and humans were regarded as base, stupid creatures...

This encounter is based on John Lambourne’s The Kingdom That Was, except that in this example, Burnett is delusional. John Lambourne was the brother of Richmal Crompton, author of the Just William stories.

...find Kruger’s gold....

According to urban myth, the resistance leader Paul Kruger buried war chests full of gold coins to prevent the British from capturing them in the Boer war.

...the East Africa Standard and Nairobi Star...

The Nairobi Star features in the Complete Masks of Nyarlathotep.

...Lady Clare Heatherington...

The name Lady Clare Heatherington comes from the scenario “The Spiralling”, which can be found in The Black Seal, Issue #3.

...Lord Jonathan Smythe invites you to join him on his hunting expedition....

Lord Jonathan Smythe is a character from “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by J P Chapleau (http://www.rpgarchive.com/index.php?page=adv1&advid=474)

...running through the undergrowth as spears and arrows split the trees behind and beside you...

Because in every pulp story, there is a point where the heroes are fleeing for their lives whilst primitive natives used to hunting in the undergrowth couldn’t hit a barn door at ten paces!

FORGOTTEN CITY

...“Two cleft sticks. Why did I not listen to him?”...

In Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop, there is a running gag that William Boot is told by his editor to take two cleft sticks on his African expedition. As we see from this encounter, Boot’s editor was right along.

The tree is watching you!...

The tree is one of the Tree Men of M’bwa.

...Tall, grey, naked, silent as the grave...

These monsters are drawn from The Hills of the Dead by Robert E Howard.

...an oversize bird with one leg and a large glaring eye...

The image is reminiscent of one of the Fishers from Outside.

...The dark road tumbles from a pallid sky and half-glimpsed bodies pour down into the domes and turrets...

Very loosely based on the H P Lovecraft poem The Outpost, except this time the hero does not have to flee back to Zimbabwe.

“So mote it be”

“So mote it be” is a phrase often used at the end of many freemason hymns and prayers. Silver Twilight Lodge Membership is an underused feature in Arkham, so I occasionally include encounters which improve it.

The N’Bangu sentry...

The N’Bangu tribe supposedly wiped out all the white apes in the H P Lovecraft story Arthur Jermyn.

...the shy white ape could almost be mistaken for a human....

Again, this encounters references the story Some facts concerning the late Arthur Jermyn.

...Take Lord Greystoke as an ally.

No pulp adventure set in the jungle could ignore Tarzan, but he had to appear in an appropriate fashion. Having him come to the rescue seemed more apposite than the usual criterion for collecting allies.

...Ragged skin flaps around the suppurating holes where the eyes, nose and a mouth should be...

This encounter is drawn from the information I could gather from the story “Than Curse The Darkness” by David Drake.

...diverse mixture of Egyptian, Liberian, Ghanaian, Sudanese and Congolese influences...

The term “Forgotten City” is deliberately vague. This encounter lampshades a selection of African Mythos Lost Cities that are only ever really hinted at.

...basalt column tell of how men with serpent’s faces ruled here once until a great cataclysm befell them...

The basalt columns and the story indicate that the Forgotten City might be Nyhargo.

...For three days you have heard that hideous lute wherever you ventured in these ghost-haunted marble vaults...

The source text is The Laughter of the Gods by Lord Dunsany. The story is Greek more than African, but the city is described as being on the edges of the jungle, so it does fit in with the whole lost jungle city vibe. Gog-Owza does not exist as a herald (yet), but the spectral lutanist that foreshadows the vengeance of the gods would make an excellent Herald.


Incidentally, you can find K'n-yan in Lovecraft Country Horror and the City Beneath the Sands in Australia the Masks of Nyarlathotep expansion.
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Damien
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Great work Jacob!

Please, also provide (as corinthians did) eon files so I can translate them for the Arkham french-speaking community!
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The Grouch
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Jacob Busby wrote:
As requested. Engage Spoiler-vision...
Incidentally, you can find K'n-yan in Lovecraft Country Horror and the City Beneath the Sands in Australia the Masks of Nyarlathotep expansion.

Downloaded both of those. Working my way thru LCH now, which is another really admirable effort. Only version of Masks I could download does not load in Strange Eons because the structure inside the ZIP file is messed up. Is there a better ZIP file of Masks somewhere? Or are the image files for it available on Photobucket or as with LCH?
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[q="Jacob Busby"]As requested. Engage Spoiler-vision...

I have yet to jump into the fan made expansions, as I've only poked around with Strange Eons to facilitate printing. But this looks marvelous.

In lieu of more League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I feel like I could play this, and content like it, instead. Excellent work and research, Sir.
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Bob T
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This looks great. I'm a huge fan of "Door To Saturn"- never thought there'd be more Expeditions but the Dark Continent is the perfect setting. Imagine the awful stuff you could bring back from there...


Will there be some new items like poison blow-darts? (my fav weapon) Or shrunken heads? Perhaps even talking shrunken heads? (or shrunken heads that shoot blow-darts?)


This expansion-expansion could even have its own Injury Cards- things like Malaria and Parasites. Investigators could even pick up Cannibalism as a "Madness" (think of "The Picture In The House")


Not sold on Greystoke as an Ally though...


Is there a full sized "Darkest Africa" board image yet?
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Chris Jennings
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Thoth Amon wrote:
Will there be some new items like poison blow-darts? (my fav weapon) Or shrunken heads? Perhaps even talking shrunken heads? (or shrunken heads that shoot blow-darts?)



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Jacob Busby
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Thoth Amon wrote:
Is there a full sized "Darkest Africa" board image yet?


If you click on the picture it should take you to my gallery of geek images. For some reason the "Original" size doesn't appear to be working, but if you click on "Large" you should have an image of sufficient quality. Right click and save picture. If necessary, resize in Word - I found that an image with a height of 8.56 cm and a width of 25.22 cm, when printed on A4 paper and backed onto stiff card, was sufficient for my purposes.

There are no blowpipes (though I might make one: Common Item, Physical Weapon, 1H, +0 to combat, deals posion damage to monsters which reduces their toughness) I'll leave Malaria and Cannibalism as an exercise for the reader. To some extent the special location abilities "Swamp Fever" and "Jungle Drums" encapsulate this idea.

Tarzan was added as Arkham Horror, and Door to Saturn in particular, is pulp Cthulhu, rather than vanilla Cthulhu. After "Some Facts Concerning Arthur Jermyn", "The Outpost", "The Venus of Azombeii" and one or two others stated above, there really aren't all that many canonical Cthulhu Mythos stories set in the African jungle, hence the necessity to branch out with other tropes from the fantastic worlds genre.
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Triadasoul Triadasoul
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Added to Vassal Module.
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