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Old 05-14-2020, 04:11 AM   #11
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: Details about Berlin spring/summer 2018 for Fate of Cthulhu game?

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Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
Are there quintessential Berlin archetypes? I gather it does have an odd combination of lots of abandoned tunnels, bunkers, and so forth, with a high water table that is being continuously pumped into the canals.
In the older parts, you can still find the typical "missing house": it's even a monument on its own in one case (in Grosse Hamburgerstrasse). There's a row of buildings, and in the middle there's an empty lot - bombed out. Nowadays, in those spaces you can find a very small public park, or an open-air Kneipe (i.e. sort of a Biergarten), or sometimes just brambles. At night, these places may be unsettling.

Another architectural urban stereotype is the old building with bohemien squatters. Typically very run-down appearance, festooned with banners with political slogans, and dotted with sculptures made out of recycled materials. You come back a year later, and the squatters have been evicted, and the building is under heavy renovation works.

The courtyards of large apartment buildings are the Berlin equivalent of the Paris passages. The most famous ones, the Hackesche Hoefe, have been renovated and turned into a trendy shopping location. But there are less well-known and less good-looking ones. The interesting thing is that several courtyards of adjoining buildings may well be interconnected by internal passages under vaults. People knowing the place can use them as shortcuts between two streets, or to loose someone tailing them. At night, they may look very similar to each other - in the Hackesche Hoefe, there are signs with the courtyards' numbers, because tourists can get lost.

The S-Bahn, mentioned in a post above, is mostly an elevated railway. Like in other cities (including in the USA) where you have those overhead lines, stations etc., that creates a shelter from the weather. And, in some places, especially around some stations, a seedy environment with poor light.

If you want a sniper in your adventure, make sure he can use one of the surviving watchtowers of the wall to shoot from. They are in the suburbs, and they still often come with clear areas around them.

A touch of exotic? You can have a little Turkey, in Kreuzberg. Within that, of course you might opt for Armenians or Kurds.

As to the police, just one addition: if you want to be sure to find a cop right there in the street, at any time, head for the surviving synagogues or the Soviet heritage monuments.
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Old 05-14-2020, 06:44 AM   #12
L.J.Steele
 
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Default Re: Details about Berlin spring/summer 2018 for Fate of Cthulhu game?

Thanks all! Much to chew on.

The first Berlin adventure takes place at the Alexanderplatz station near the lockers. Any thoughts for it? Chase scene on either the U or S bahn? If you were a bad guy picking up contraband from a locker and wanting an exit strategy, any specific things you'd use?

Also, Broken Peak -- anyone been there, local details. I'm going to have to do SOMETHING with the old Stasi listening post, not sure what yet.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:18 AM   #13
Michele
 
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Default Re: Details about Berlin spring/summer 2018 for Fate of Cthulhu game?

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Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
Thanks all! Much to chew on.

The first Berlin adventure takes place at the Alexanderplatz station near the lockers. Any thoughts for it? Chase scene on either the U or S bahn? If you were a bad guy picking up contraband from a locker and wanting an exit strategy, any specific things you'd use?
The station is a sprawling multi-level place, with the U-Bahn station below ground (a maze of pedestrian tunnels connecting three underground lines), a ground floor, and the S-Bahn on top of that (note regional trains also stop there). Shops, bars etc. Some of those seedy corners are nearby; enormous open plazas in several directions, shopping malls etc. During certain times of the year, part of those open plazas are given over to markets, with stalls blocking that open view, and plenty of pedestrians milling about. The plazas are also criss-crossed by streetcar lines and bicycle lanes (you better watch out for the fast, fast Berlin bicyclists).

As to the exit strategy, it depends on how complex the plan can be. It would be possible, though obviously dangerous, to run away on foot in either direction along the elevated S-Bahn line. After a while, the fugitive reaches a bridge where he has previously prepared a double rope, rappels down, withdraws the rope, jumps in his car parked there and away he goes. The pursuers have to risk an ankle, or climb down slowly, and anyway they have no car there.

A simpler version requiring an accomplice - instead of a rope and a car, have a truck, driven by the accomplice, parked below the bridge. It's a short jump down, then the truck just leaves.

Running away along one of the U-Bahn lines is clearly much more dangerous, but again, if the guy has planned his escape, he might know in advance any pitfalls or problems, as well as an exit. Note the nearest stations are rather close.

For a historical Berlin solution, which again requires preparation, the top of the glass roof of the S-Bahn station is about as tall as at least one building nearby. You might pick the lock of the door of the maintenance staircase, reach the rooftop, and rig a rope across to the other building, with a pulley on it. You probably need an accomplice on the other building, and certainly a line thrower. I say historical, because that's one of the hundred ways in which Eastern Germans crossed the wall.

For an on-the-fly solution, jump on any train or streetcar as it's leaving.

Or just cross the streetcar line a second before the wretched thing rumbles along ringing its bell - and stopping the pursuers on the wrong side of it. It's a multi-car thing, and by the time it's gone, the target has disappeared among the crowds.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:34 AM   #14
Michele
 
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Default Re: Details about Berlin spring/summer 2018 for Fate of Cthulhu game?

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Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
Also, Broken Peak -- anyone been there, local details. I'm going to have to do SOMETHING with the old Stasi listening post, not sure what yet.
Never been there, but it's a natural park with a TV tower, today. Not much "interesting" left. And it's away from Berlin.

OTOH, have you seen the old domes of the Teufelsberg listening post? They are still in place. They are surrounded by woods, but they are privately owned, fenced, and yet unused. For some time during the day, part of the buildings may be visited, with guided tours.

The listening post also is close to Berlin. Which is an advantage over the Harz Mountains.

And - below the Teufelsberg (you won't need to be told that that means the Devil's Mountain, I suppose) there is the underground military technical school built by the Nazis, a Speer project. Albeit unfinished, the reinforced concrete building was so sturdy that the Allies did not succeed in the attempt of destroying it with explosives, so they just made the Teufelsberg, a mound of rubble. Yet, among the operators of the listening station there were rumours about a shaft in a restricted area that descended down into the old Nazi school... who knows for what purpose.

It just wasn't the Stasi (or the GRU) listening - it was first the US military, then the NSA. The place is in what was a peripheral area of West Berlin.
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Old 05-14-2020, 12:25 PM   #15
Michele
 
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Default Re: Details about Berlin spring/summer 2018 for Fate of Cthulhu game?

About parks... you know that old horror movie archetype, the abandoned amusement park? In Berlin you got one, the Spreepark. Particularly eerie since it's also a time capsule from the GDR. Years ago, there were rumours about a feral dog pack there, top.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: Details about Berlin spring/summer 2018 for Fate of Cthulhu game?

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Never been there, but it's a natural park with a TV tower, today. Not much "interesting" left. And it's away from Berlin.

OTOH, have you seen the old domes of the Teufelsberg listening post? They are still in place. They are surrounded by woods, but they are privately owned, fenced, and yet unused. For some time during the day, part of the buildings may be visited, with guided tours.

The listening post also is close to Berlin. Which is an advantage over the Harz Mountains.

And - below the Teufelsberg (you won't need to be told that that means the Devil's Mountain, I suppose) there is the underground military technical school built by the Nazis, a Speer project. Albeit unfinished, the reinforced concrete building was so sturdy that the Allies did not succeed in the attempt of destroying it with explosives, so they just made the Teufelsberg, a mound of rubble. Yet, among the operators of the listening station there were rumours about a shaft in a restricted area that descended down into the old Nazi school... who knows for what purpose.

It just wasn't the Stasi (or the GRU) listening - it was first the US military, then the NSA. The place is in what was a peripheral area of West Berlin.
Yeah … for Laundry fans that will have the Nazgul's finger prints all over it, although what sort of state it will be in after playing host to them and the Stasi is anyone's guess.

And speaking of sinister organisations, is there anywhere (left standing) in Berlin that's associated with the Anherebe or Thule Societies (both names that come easily to mind where Mythos and other occult business is concerned)?
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: Details about Berlin spring/summer 2018 for Fate of Cthulhu game?

Depending on the level of planning and penetration, the bad guys might know/arrange for a particular track to be out of service, allowing for a semi safe escape down the tracks--perhaps even with an accomplice there with a diesel powered track maintenance vehicle. Electric subways and railroads all have gas or diesel powered vehicles for track work when the power is off.
Alternatively, a rail bike stashed for a quick getaway--that's small enough that it could be prepositioned and hidden.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:02 AM   #18
Celjabba
 
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Default Re: Details about Berlin spring/summer 2018 for Fate of Cthulhu game?

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Originally Posted by YankeeGamer View Post
Depending on the level of planning and penetration, the bad guys might know/arrange for a particular track to be out of service, allowing for a semi safe escape down the tracks--perhaps even with an accomplice there with a diesel powered track maintenance vehicle. Electric subways and railroads all have gas or diesel powered vehicles for track work when the power is off.
Alternatively, a rail bike stashed for a quick getaway--that's small enough that it could be prepositioned and hidden.
For ideas :

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ow-berlin-bode
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:05 AM   #19
Michele
 
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Default Re: Details about Berlin spring/summer 2018 for Fate of Cthulhu game?

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And speaking of sinister organisations, is there anywhere (left standing) in Berlin that's associated with the Anherebe or Thule Societies (both names that come easily to mind where Mythos and other occult business is concerned)?
The Ahnenerbe's Haus is not standing, that I know. There are new buildings over its location. Naturally, they probably did have cellars... and who knows if they aren't still there.
The curious thing is that the place is just beside the present-day official residence of the Federal President, in the leafy, quiet and rich suburb of Dahlem. Look up on Maps for the Dienstvilla der Bundespräsidenten. The new buildings to the E and SE are where the Ahnenerbe Haus (compound, actually) was, on Messelstrasse. People wanting to snoop around the place would have better be careful, I suppose that block is under good surveillance.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:18 AM   #20
Michele
 
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Default Re: Details about Berlin spring/summer 2018 for Fate of Cthulhu game?

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Indeed, if you leave the Alexanderplatz station along the elevated S-Bahn line, going West, you first reach another station, and then in short order you are on a stretch of the line that separates the Bode Museum from the Pergamon Museum.
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