Dracula Dossier 23: Baghdad


Previously, on The Dracula Dossier… The agents set up a series of meetings between Rojas and Lilith, which use Lonely as a telepathic relay between the two so that they can speak frankly. They learn some things about both women through telepathic leakage as they build trust, but for security reasons Lilith edits Lonely’s memories before the meetings. Rojas wants Lilith to believe she wants to defect, but is she sincere? While the ladies think about what to do next, the agents decide to go to Baghdad and look for clues about the Nigredo and what it does when mixed with the Albedo. Now read on…
Baghdad, February 2023

Lonely’s smuggler friends in Kuwait get the team into Iraq, and they make their way to Baghdad to do some legwork. Here, they find the Lisky Bratva has control of a PMC called Overwatch Security and are paying a researcher called Mohammed al-Kirkuk to steal documents relating to Gertrude Bell and the Philbys from the National Museum of Iraq. Al-Kirkuk is clearly nervous, possibly because he is under surveillance by a swarm of street urchins working for someone called Katun, and a group of Swiss Germans.

Smyth reveals that he knows a Vatican exorcist, Tristano Luria, and reaches out to him; he turns out to be in charge of a detachment of the Pontifical Swiss Guard working undercover in Baghdad hunting abominations – that’s the Swiss Germans staking out the researcher’s flat. The two groups form a temporary alliance.

The team learns that al-Kirkuk is using one of the Iraqi secret police archive warehouses as a dead letter drop to deliver items to Overwatch, and believes the next document on his list was relocated to the archives in 1968. They decide to pay the archives a visit, and shop al-Kirkuk to the police to slow down the opposition; but before he can be arrested, someone shoots him dead in his apartment.

GM Notes

This is currently a recon mission, so although it was the third session in a row without a fight, the group seemed to be enjoying themselves making their own plans and working out which other actors are involved and what they’re up to; they’ve realised that as well as the three main factions there are numerous independent operators who may help them or frustrate their plots. They spent much of the session debating how they were going to figure out which documents the Lisky Bratva are after, where they are now, and how to get at them. The scenario as written assumes they twist al-Kirkuk’s arm to find out all these things, and get the information very early on, but they were reticent about approaching him, so the core clues had to be presented through different routes.

This stage of The Zalozhniy Quartet is the supernatural horror movie part, so next time there will be abominations a-plenty.

The Dracula Dossier is an outstanding campaign, but it’s taking up so much of my time and mental energy that I’ve dropped everything else I run. I’m still playing in a couple of other games, and those look relatively safe for the moment – being the GM is always more effort that playing.

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Thank you. I've seen The Dracula Dossier described as 'glorious madness' and I think that's a good description. It's a great campaign, but it's not for everyone - you need a particular type of GM and particular types of players to make it work well.

And as mentioned elsewhere, having run The Pirates of Drinax and The Dracula Dossier back to back, I'm going to need a break from GMing soon! Both great games, both a lot of work to do properly.