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  #1  
Old Jul 14th, 2022, 06:12 PM
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Call of Cthulhu The Auction

Game NameCall of Cthulhu The Auction
Game SystemCall of Cthulhu
ThemeIntrigue, Mystery and Horror
Flavour1920's horror set in Vienna
Plot SummaryMany estates in Austria found themselves in turmoil after World War One. Some resorted to selling off prize collections to wealthy foreigners to avoid poverty.

The Ausperg Auction House is hosting an invitation only event featuring many occult items. Their clientele range from the filthy rich who love the idea of rubbing in owning another's treasure who has fallen on hard times no matter what the item is, wealthy occult fanatics, bored aristocrats who need another trinket to spark conversation at their next gala and perhaps those who may know the truth of the mythos.

Strange events have plagued the preparations for the auction and shortly enough the guests and staff will find themselves plunged deep into a mystery where the fate of the good citizens of Vienna may hang in the balance.


The Keeper:
Me! Anael. Come one, come all. Join me for a spell as I briefly come out of retirement as the Cthulhu bug has bit and let me lead you down the streets of madness and to the gates of a most likely horrible death.

Game System: Call of Cthulhu 7th ed.
Player Number: 3-5 New Players Welcome
Start Date: To be determined
Post Rate: 2x a week





The Auction

Frederick Ausperg barked a command to one of his assistants. "Otto, lot nine belongs over there." His nose lifted to the air and he took several deep inhalations. "There it is again. That foul scent. Do you smell that?" The portly assistant nodded in affirmation. "Yes sir, the whole staff has for the past couple of days. There has been some strange rumblings in the building too."

Frederick tugged a scarlet handkerchief from his breast pocket and patted his brow. "Ignore any distractions. This must go smoothly. My reputation is on the line. Have Greta bring in more flowers maybe we can cover this up. Our guests will be arriving tomorrow."

A woman knocks on the frame of the door before entering the room. "Sir, I hate to disturb you it's..." Frederick grunts sharply cutting her off. "It's him again isn't it?"

"I am afraid so sir. What would you have me say?" she asked as she nervously wrung her hands.

"Nothing. I will deal with him." Frederick storms from the room mumbling about the man not being able to take no for an answer.




AustriaAfter the end of the first World War Austria and her people suffered greatly. Unemployment spiraled out of control fueled by the partitioning of the Austro-Hungarian empire into several separate states. The once great nation was now poverty stricken.

Black markets throve, bribery and corruption ran rampant as the citizens did what they could to endure. Nobility who thought themselves above the suffering were soon faced with a harsh reality. Some had their properties confiscated while others were forced to sell estates and prized collections in order to avoid public embarrassment. Private auction houses became important allowing the unfortunate nationals to sell to the wealthy foreigners.


The Invitation
It is an exclusive invitation to an occult item sale in Vienna hosted by the prestigious Ausperg group.

 


Included with the invitation is a catalog listing the main attraction items of the auction.
 





Investigators
Investigators will find themselves at the Ausperg Auction House involved in the auction one way or another.

Keep in mind this is an invitation only event and the general public for the most part is not aware of this event or the timing.

Typically investigators are blissfully unaware of the mythos. That does not necessarily have to be the case in this scenario and can be worked into the character.

German would be a helpful language know but it is not necessary for all to speak it nor is it likely all of you would.




Character Submission & Creation
We will be rolling for characters. You may go here Dice if you wish to roll your attributes before coming up with a concept.



Submission
Name:
Age: (Keep in mind age is more then a number in CoC. It has an impact on your attributes. )
Appearance:
Background: Give a brief idea of who they are and what they have done.
Occupation: What occupation did you choose.

Brief roleplay sample about either receiving the invite or demonstrating any connection you have to the auction.

For the sake of the auction I will also be doing something a little different with wealth. Credit Rating will still play a part but you will be granted X number of spending cash to bid for each item. Yes we will be bidding! This will all
be done before hand secretly and I will type up the results in the auction process. Some items may indeed have true powers others may be nothing more then mere curiosities with lore attached to them.

Last edited by Anael; Jul 15th, 2022 at 09:41 AM.
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  #2  
Old Jul 14th, 2022, 07:00 PM
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Sounds like an interesting event to be a part of. Consider this my placeholder as I think about my concept.
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Old Jul 14th, 2022, 11:34 PM
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WIP...

left-aligned image
Name: Ezra Allen
Age: 36

Occupation: Occultist

Appearance: Ezra stands 6'0" (182 cm) tall. He is often clad in a tailored black suit with black-framed glasses. He often smokes a pipe with cherry-flavored tobacco.

Background: Ezra was born in 1886 in Buffalo, New York. In 1894, his mother got involved with the Spiritualist movement that had become quite popular. She began to host seances out of her small apartment, and exposed to Tarot cards and Ouija boards at a young age, he developed an obsession with the occult. In 1915, he joined a new occult organization known as AMORC (Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis) that the mysterious occultist, Harvey Spencer Lewis, had started in the wake of a mysterious trip to Toulouse, France. He also joined several other American Rosicrucian groups, such as the SRIA (Societas Rosicruciana in America) of George Winslow Plummer. When the auction was announced, he used his remaining funds to get to Europe. Vienna had a rich occult tradition, with the mysterious Rosicrucian adept, Alois Mailander and his students, such as Gustav Meyrink and Karel Weinfurter. And so, Ezra wished to get his hands on some more rare sources of knowledge and magical power.

Last edited by Stormhammer; Jul 14th, 2022 at 11:40 PM.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 09:38 AM
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Thank you both for the interest. I have been granted a game thread and here is the link to the dice rolls for there. If anyone rolls in the other thread before seeing this no worries. Character Creation the Auction

Last edited by Anael; Jul 15th, 2022 at 09:39 AM.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 10:18 AM
crowmadillo crowmadillo is offline
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Interested. Is there a cut-off date for applications, or is it first-come first-served, or..?

I’ll have to see about acquiring 7th ed. rules, I only own 3rd & 5th, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Thinking a linguist with interest in one or more tomes, either wealthy himself or acting as an agent for a wealthy person/institution.

EDIT: I see you’ve provided a link to the QuickStart rules in the character creation thread. Much appreciated!
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Last edited by crowmadillo; Jul 15th, 2022 at 10:23 AM.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 11:13 AM
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Yes, and I would be more then happy to answer any questions crowmadillo.

As for a cut off date It really depends on interest level. Call of Cthulhu seems to get a minimal to mediocre interest rate here. Lets say 7/22 for a tentative cut off date. I'm not asking for elaborate essays for applications so for most that should be enough time to come up with something.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 03:28 PM
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How does the Other Language skill work? Would one need to roll every time they want to converse or read/write that language, or only in exceptional circumstances? Since there’s also an Own Language skill, I hope it’s more the latter…
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 03:39 PM
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Name: Oliver Shaw
Age: 27
Occupation: Book Dealer
Appearance: WIP
Background: WIP; Précis: Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia; currently resides in Paris, France. Affluent linguist and book dealer looking to capitalize on post-war markets.
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Last edited by crowmadillo; Jul 26th, 2022 at 04:50 PM.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crowmadillo View Post
How does the Other Language skill work? Would one need to roll every time they want to converse or read/write that language, or only in exceptional circumstances? Since there’s also an Own Language skill, I hope it’s more the latter…
If I were going to make a ruling I would say that if someone had 20% they would be able to manage and hold basic conversations and read basic text. The higher the percentage the less they get tripped up and the less I'd ask for a roll.
For anything under 20% that's like knowing basic travel phrases and less the further down the percentage points you get.

Own language is for getting into complex writing or maybe older styles of that language, legal terms, etc..

Buying up language is expensive and a bit of waste.

In your case we can do a homebrew Linguist skill since that is his schtick: The investigator takes his INT/2 rounded down and can select that number of additional languages he can read/write at this skills proficiency. The investigator may also be able to make a roll to try to decipher or gain a rudimentary understanding of new languages on the fly and with further study. Of course the difficulty of that roll would depend on each situation.
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Old Jul 15th, 2022, 08:08 PM
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Application

Name: Lawrence Prescott II

Age: 42

Appearance: Dressed in a conservative suit that is several years out of style, he wears his dark hair parted in the center which does nothing for his round face. He takes pains to stay clean shaven. Most would describe him as soft of features and portly in frame. Those who are more astute observers of himan nature would notice the sharp clear eyes that take everything in.

Background: After graduating Oxford with several degrees in history and art, Lawrence (always Lawrence, never Larry), spent years taking his knowledge and keen eye to make a name for himself in the antiquities world. It wasn't long before his reputation for providing thorough and accurate authentication of artifacts made him very sought after. His fame in the exclusive antiquities crowd grew - until one of his most famous certifications was discovered to be a fake. Rumors immediately sprang up that he knew it was a fake and forged the certifications of authenticity.

The rumors proved true. His penchant for the high life caused him to burn through partners, friends and money. This inevitably led to him falling deep in debt, some of which was held by the type of men you don't want to owe money to. Faced with doing what they asked or having his legs broken, he chose to forge certifications. The scandal grew as seven more fakes were discovered and it was not long before irate collectors were calling for his arrest.

His mistake cost him five years in prison and all he had built for himself. He has no disillusions that he can ever recover the reputation he once had or that his former clientelle would have anything to do with him again. The antiquity world would no longer any authentication he made but his knowledge and keen eye were still of value to some. Needing to make a living, he turned to being an antiques dealer, buying and selling the very things he had once been able to established the value of. He puts on a strong front, hiding behind his knowledge, but in truth he is burdened by the shame of having fallen so far.

Occupation: Antique Dealer.

Brief roleplay sample

The courier looked down at the pair of thruppence in his hand then back up, the disappointment clear on his face. Lawrence did not take note of it as she closed the door, the large brown envelope in his hand taking all his attention. His name was written in delicate script in the center and that was all. No address or other markings on either side. Despite this, he knew who it was from.

Perhaps this time he will have been kind enough to secure me a first class cabin.

Taking a seat at his desk, he slit the envelope open and took out the contents one at a time. The first was a lavishly printed invitation to an event at the House of Ausperg Auction House. It was known to him, most auction houses of any merit were, but he had never been. Next was a travel itinerary and a train ticket. His lips pursed as he saw it was not first class. The last item was a folded page.

The image on the paper was instantly recognizable and he could not help but feel some of that rush of excitement he used to get course through him. It faded quickly as he reminded himself he was just a broker now, a stand-in to make the deal. Nothing more. Below the image were two numbers. The first, the highest amount his patron was willing to pay. The second was hist percentage of however much less than that he secured it for.

"Right then," he said aloud. "Seems I have a train to catch."

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Last edited by Palliven; Jul 15th, 2022 at 08:09 PM.
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Old Jul 16th, 2022, 05:53 AM
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WIP
Name:: Karl Wagner
Age:: 33
Appearance:Karl is a ruggedly handsome man standing about 5’11” tall. He weighs about 180 lbs. Karl’s hair is black with green eyes. He wears a grey suit and carries a grey fedora in his right hand.
Background:: Give a brief idea of who they are and what they have done.
Occupation: Engineer
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Old Jul 16th, 2022, 10:39 AM
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Looks good Palliven! Just a few quick questions how large of an antiques dealership is he now working with? Big money, an upstart looking to make a name that gave him a chance or something in between? Also, how well known would you say his downfall in the community was? Would his name be recognized by most?

Last edited by Anael; Jul 16th, 2022 at 10:40 AM.
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Old Jul 16th, 2022, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anael View Post
Looks good Palliven! Just a few quick questions how large of an antiques dealership is he now working with? Big money, an upstart looking to make a name that gave him a chance or something in between? Also, how well known would you say his downfall in the community was? Would his name be recognized by most?
He is barely getting by, working from his flat and doing all he can to stay afloat. He has only been able to because he has gained the attention, and occasional business, of one patron (left this open so could fit into story in a way that works) who has sent him three jobs in the past year. It is the same one that has sent him on this assignment. His downfall was very well known in the upper-class antique world, many enjoyed knocking down the man who had let his expertise turn him into an arrogant and dismissive man. His name and reputation among the peddlers and minor league players, the ones he is forced to deal with now-a-days, is less known.
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Old Jul 18th, 2022, 04:11 PM
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Hello All, I recently completed the CoC solo game run by Wodbine here for new members. With Aneal’s approval, I’ll be playing the character I created for that one. Here is the link: https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthread.php?t=221214 , which also provides example of my role-play.







Background:

Howard Thurston was born July 20, 1899, in Columbus, Ohio. His childhood was unhappy, and he ran away to join the circus, where his future partner Harry Kellar also performed. Thurston was deeply impressed after he attended magician Alexander Herrmann's magic show and was determined to equal his work.

Thurston was the middle son of William and Margaret Thurston. His father William Henry Thurston was a wheelwright and carriage maker. His mother Margaret (Cloude), was the daughter of an Ohio farmer. He attended Mount Hermon School for Boys in Northfield, Massachusetts. Among his fellow students were Lee de Forest, "The Father of American Radio," and musical humorist Charles Ross Taggart, "The Old Country Fiddler."

At this mid-point in his career, Thurston has achieved considerable success with his traveling magic shows (requiring four train cars to transport.) He has a friendly competition with other magicians of the day such as Houdini. Thurston was particularly famous for his sleight of hand, card tricks, and large stage illusions such as “The Levitation of Princess Karnac.” Magic historian Jim Steinmeyer would later write that, "In Thurston's hands, the Levitation of Princess Karnac became a masterpiece. The beautiful trick was perfectly suited to Thurston's lyrical baritone."

The charismatic Thurston would later be quoted as a subject matter expert in Dale Carnegie's book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

For many years, Thurston’s belief in magic was firmly in the stage magic category. He was aware of legends and lore of “true” magic, and has heard strange stories, but he is a level-headed man. Despite a profession which plays up “the spirit world” and “magic,” ironically Thurston was reluctant to believe that real magic spells and creatures of folklore exist(ed.)


Roleplay Sample:




“I would be happy to attend the auction on your behalf,” said Howard Thurston to his friend and occasional patron Dorian Michaels. The wealthy industrialist had a keen interest in not only the stage magic that Howard practiced, but in the alleged “true” magic of occultism. These interests ranged from ancient European witch-cults to more recent occultists like Crowley. As a public businessman, Michaels kept his esoteric hobby private. Howard guessed that he was one of the few men that Michaels shared his enthusiasms with.

“Just like in London, I’ll be your eyes and ears, not to mention wallet!” The men laughed. “I’ll telegraph daily. Yes.. you too.. say hello to Alicia for me... Goodbye Dorian.” Howard hung up the phone.

He reviewed the list of topics, book titles and items that Dorian Michaels was interested in. Howard was looking forward to the trip. He had not been to Western Europe recently. Perhaps he could pick up some choice items himself, or find among the wealthy those interested in his ‘magical’ stagecraft.
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Old Jul 18th, 2022, 06:47 PM
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Hello chaps.
My character, Jack Baxter, will be joining you. He's a legacy character from the last two games Anael ran. I'm currently updating his background.
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