Chaosium's Horror on the Orient Express: Old vs. New

October 1, 2015

Geeks a Gogo stopped by the Chaosium booth at Gen Con last month and got a glimpse of the new edition of their classic Horror on the Orient Express campaign for their ever-popular Call of Cthulhu roll playing game. 


Chaosium scooped 2 ENnie awards at Gen Con this year for the new Horror on the Orient Express campaign set--including a silver award for best production value, and a gold award for best adventure. 


Set in the 1920's, Horror on the Orient Express is an epic adventure that takes players across the European continent, encountering mysery and danger along the way. It's a legendary adventure among gamers, it's known for taking weeks or months of time to complete--and every player agrees that it's worth it in the end. The original adventure was published in 1991, and came in a boxed set that contained maps, game pieces, a poster, several books, and player handouts. The new edition contains the same intricate adventure, and even adds some new things, such as a prequel adventure set in the gaslight era (1890's), and a modern-day sequel adventure.


Whether you're a veteran that wants to relive the adventure of your youth, or a new comer, who wants to finally get their badge of honor for making it through this adventure to tell the tale--you should check out the new Horror on the Orient Express. 


The game has come a long way over the past two decades, and to show some of the changes, I took an epic journey into my mother's basement to dig out the original first edition of this set of ancient tomes. To give you an idea of how the game has changed, here are some pictures that we got from Chaosium's booth at Gen Con, side-by side with the original.


First, there's the box, which has gotten MUCH bigger in the 2nd edition:


New Edition:

 Old Edition:


The first edition box was about 1" thick, and made of a thin card stock. The new box is thicker, sturdier, and easier to fit all of the pieces into--and fitting all the pieces in there was a big pain point in the first edition.


The silver ENnie that the Chaosium team won for best production value was well-deserved, given the quality of the new materials. Have a look at the adventure books, old and new:


New Edition:

 Old Edition:



As well as some of the props, like the famous Sedefkar Similacrum, which benefits in the new edition from more intricate artwork, and better quality materials.


New Edition:


Old Edition:


Then there were the train car pieces, that I always had trouble keeping track of. This time around, Chaosium appears to have made them bigger, and given them a bit more character--with some stains and wear. 


New Edition:


Old Edition:


Some things have stayed largely the same, however. Ancient texts are still ancient texts, after all.


New edition:


 Old Edition:


But, the new box even has some new material--such as a traveler's guide. 



So, if you're a veteran gamer like me, who struggled to keep his copy in good condition for the past 20-something years, the 2nd edition of Horror on the Orient Express is a fine investment. The set is sturdier, and of higher quality, but with the same great story you remember. 


For new gamers, you've finally got a chance to earn your Orient Express merit badge by playing through this classic adventure. This boxed set used to be hard to come by before the release of 2nd edition, but now is the time to delve into this ancient artifact of the gaming world. 


Be sure to check out Chaosium Games at

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© 2015 by "Geeks A Gogo".