In 1985, while attending university in Reutlingen, West Germany, I had the opportunity to visit Prague. It was still under Communist Rule at that time and I can still remember the border crossing at Cheb and the lines and lines of Tanks and APC's hidden (in plain view) in the woods along the railway. Clearly, the Warsaw Pact wanted Western visitors to see what forces were ready to go through the Fulda Gap. It's hard today to imagine how close to WWIII, we were in those days.
Reutlingen, West Germany was in the French Sector, so the only troops I saw on a regular basis were French. I still recall walking right into a live French commando style exercise while walking near the Georgenberg. Helicopter gunships, bomb-laden Tornados and Leopard Tanks moving through the night were very common in the Fall of 1985.
So there I was in Prague and on Halloween Day no less. During the visit, I happened to go into the old city and the old Jewish Quarter to see the oldest Synagogue in Europe and the cemetery where Rabbi Loew was buried. I stood in a long line to approach his headstone and witnessed the placing of wishes into the cracks of his tomb. Of course, the legend of Rabbi Loew's mythical Golem were relatively unknown to me at that time. But I must say, that Prague had a much deeper and eerier feel of any of the major cities I visited such as Berlin, Paris, or Munich. There is something much older and of course the dark footprints left by the Nazis and Heydrich were not difficult to see as you walked the old city. So, as I searched for inspiration for this year's Halloween scenario...it came quickly to mind to do one with the fabled Golem of Prague.
Why no zombies...well...folks are tired of the same old zombie schtick. So I thought I would draw upon some actual history and throw in a small amount of supernatural spice. As with last year's Die Glocke, I also tried to add some additional story elements to help players get into the feel for the scenario. To that end, I researched sample US Intelligence Interrogations in order to create the fictional interrogation of Hauptmann Schenk, who serves as the primary character in our Scenario of Das Golem.
One of the big regrets I have with the Halloween Scenarios is the large...(LARGE) number of SSR's that naturally must accompany scenarios involving supernatural occurrences. I really do apologize and hope that the three pages attached to Das Golem don't become such a burden as to detract from actually playing the scenario. And of course, always feel free to rework these SSR's anyway that you like to get the flavor of this scenario as much to your personal liking as possible. I refer to this and my other scenarios as "Basement Productions". In short, these are the kinds of scenarios, that my old gaming group and I would come up with in the basement of my first house. We would throw together our ideas and cobble together scenarios, which we would then play. Those were awesome times and my scenarios are an attempt to recapture some of the old gaming joy we shared back in the day when ASL was young.
So here is this year's Annual Halloween Scenario - GJ037 - DAS GOLEM. I hope it provides a little bit of pumpkin spice to your ASL this Fall.
Remember to open pictures in a new window in order to maximize the size.
And as always, the PDF for this scenario can be downloaded from The ASL Scenario Archive
(just search on Grumble Jones).
The Interrogation File for Hauptmann Kurt Schenk. 1945