Player Handouts -- Making a Planchette (spoilers)


Carrion Crown


So, I ran a fairly long Call of Cthulhu game once before. During it, I made lots of hand-outs and props for my players. Puzzle pieces, puzzle boxes, maps, star charts, etc. I took a number of art and design classes in high school and college, so I'm pretty decent at drawing and designing stuff. And I make jewelry out of polymer clay for a living, so I can sculpt things like puzzle pieces, etc.

I'm thinking of making an actual planchette for my players to use, after they find the planchette in the hidden crypt. I'd probably also make something like a ouija board for them to use the planchette with. The planchette would be pretty simple to make out of polymer clay, just a triange/oval/heart-shaped flat piece of clay with a hole in the center, and perhaps some symbols or runes carved around the edges. The ouija "board" I would probably make out of paper, either by printing the letters using a fancy font, or, if I got really ambitious, using some form of calligraphy to hand-draw the letters and some symbols. I'd then dye/stain the paper, probably with tea or coffee, and rip/burn the edges to make it look worn. Then when the PCs want to use the planchette, I'd have the player(s) set up the ouija board with them on one side and me on the other, and me directing the planchette to spell out answers as they ask questions.

What do you guys think? Would you, as players, be interested in props like this? Are there any other props in the Haunting of Harrowstone that you'd be interested in seeing? The planchette was the first and foremost one that stood out in my mind, although I might do something with the 5 criminals' cursed items (like making the holy symbol necklaces that are associated with Father Charlatan, although the players wouldn't be able to interact with that quite like they would the planchette.)


Maggiethecat wrote:
What do you guys think? Would you, as players, be interested in props like this?

I think this is awesome and plead you post photos. Did you see the ones I posted that I did for the will? I posted photos IN THIS THREAD.

I can't speak for players in general, but I like these effects and my players seemed to get a kick out of it.


I did see your thread and the photos! Those are really cool and I think I'm going to borrow the idea and make some scrolls for my PCs as well. I'll probably make one for each of them to receive "pre-game" informing them that the professor died (I won't tell the players this before we start, so far I've just told them that they all have a mutual NPC friend) and asking them to come to the funeral, each written by Kendra.

I'll definitely post pics if and when I make some other stuff like the planchette. I wish I had pics of the stuff I did for the Cthulhu game I ran, although a lot of it is lost or was tossed when my husband and I moved last year. There was one particular piece that I was rather fond of. The PCs found the side board of a big wooden crate, which had been underwater and recently washed ashore, and had been smashed to pieces. It had an occult symbol painted on it. I took a large piece of cardboard that had a wood-like design on it, and painted the occult symbol on it, then cut it up into pieces. When the PCs found it, I gave the pieces to the players and said, "have fun." They did indeed have fun for about half an hour putting it back together on the floor of our old apartment.

Sadly, that was one of the pieces that got lost or tossed when we moved. The campaign is long over so I don't need it for story purposes, but it was fun to make and fun for the players to put together so I kind of wish I still had it.


Maggiethecat wrote:
What do you guys think? Would you, as players, be interested in props like this? Are there any other props in the Haunting of Harrowstone that you'd be interested in seeing? The planchette was the first and foremost one that stood out in my mind, although I might do something with the 5 criminals' cursed items (like making the holy symbol necklaces that are associated with Father Charlatan, although the players wouldn't be able to interact with that quite like they would the planchette.)

I lost my Ouija board in a move, but I had plans for a Cthulhu game using it, and when I run CC I'll likely (finally!) be able to create what I really wanted for that board(note: this is an untested idea, and I don't know what hazards may be run in to):

Magnets. Attach magnets to the underside of the planchette. I have a table with an extension leaf. Thinking of taking out the leaf, putting on the table cloth, set the board on top. I should be able to hold another magnet under the board and direct the planchette without touching the top of the board, and thus creeping out my players. They put their fingers on the planchette, I move it from underneath, they ooh and aah. Rinse and repeat while spelling out their doom.

It'll be a while before I run CC (book 3 of Kingmaker atm), but I'm looking forward to it!

Good luck!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You might want to consider this as well
stain a piece of wood that has been cut and beveled to the size of your paper. Then place the paper on the wood and shilack (Sp?) it.

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