Miskatonic Repository Review – Gold Best Sellers

Are you a Keeper looking for new scenarios and story elements? A player looking for something mysterious to spark a character idea? Is your group looking for eerie ideas to use in your game? The Miskatonic Repository is where you can find —and create —self-published material for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. 

The Miskatonic Repository provides a trove of resources, scenarios, and, most importantly, a thriving creative community, for Call of Cthulhu enthusiasts. Since its launch in 2018, this partnership with DriveThruRPG allows independent creators to self-publish their materials for the classic investigative TTRPG. By 2024, the Miskatonic Repository hit a milestone of 150,000 titles sold. Thanks to information provided by Community Ambassador Nick Brooke about the English-language best-sellers, we are looking at the Miskatonic Repository’s current Electrum, Gold, Platinum, and Mithril scenarios in a series of posts. There are currently over 1,400 Call of Cthulhu community content titles (969 English-language) for sale on DriveThru RPG through the Miskatonic Repository. 

Of these English-language titles, only 33 are Gold Best Sellers. To qualify for Gold Best Seller status a title must sell between 501 and 1000 copies. From this pool of Gold Sellers, 26 titles are scenarios with the remainder being supplements, map packs, and handouts. We will return to a broader discussion of the non-scenario Miskatonic Repository titles at a later date. Once we complete the discussion, we will release our compiled data in a summary post. I know Heinrich Moore is hard at work on a more comprehensive list of Miskatonic Repository content. In the meantime, here’s something to chew on. 

Below, you will find an alphabetical list of the Gold scenarios and their authors with links to DriveThruRPG. What follows is a review of some of key statistics. 

These scenarios have spent an average of 962 days on the Miskatonic Repository with a median of 810 days. The current shortest dwell time is 211 days for Heinrich’s Call of Cthulhu Guide to Carcosa, while the longest-tenured scenario is Alex Guillotte’s The Pipeline, which was released in September 2018. 

The majority of scenarios (16) are written by an author with a single Gold-selling title. The most represented Gold-selling author is prolific Miskatonic Repository contributor Alex Guillotte of Critical Hit Publishing with four titles. Three of these are Grindhouse collaborations with his frequent partner Ian Christensen. Al Smith, SR Sellens, and Allan Carey each have two Gold best-selling scenarios. 

The average Gold-selling scenario cost is $5.80 with a median price of $4.99. The average number of pages is 62 with median page number of 40. The shortest Gold-selling scenario is Marek Golonka’s Shepherd of Moths with a mere 15 pages. Nathan Pidde’s Overdue is not far behind with 18 pages. Four scenarios break the 100-page mark, Host and Hostility (105), The Grindhouse: Ultimate Collection (volumes 1-3) (140), and The Highway of Blood (130) with Heinrich Moore’s 340-page Carcosa tome leading the page count with a cost per page running less than 4 cents. The average cost per page of a Gold scenario is 11 cents with a median of 9 cents and a high of 23 cents per page for The Mummy of Pemberley Grange. It’s worth noting that some of these prices have changed over time with various promotions and bundles. At present, Shepherd of Moths is Pay What You Want. 

All but five of the scenarios are Print-on-Demand. Only six of the scenarios offer a Roll20 VTT version, as this trend does not seem to have caught on yet. 

As for setting breakdown, there are nine Classic (1920s) era scenarios. Two Classic scenarios are set specifically at Miskatonic University (Flesh Wounds, Hand of Glory). The powerhouse combination of the 70s & 80s notches six scenarios with strong contributions from Alex and Ian’s Grindhouse series, Rina’s slasher flick-inspired Saturday the 14th, and Colin Richard’s Analog Horror Signal to Noise. Close behind are the five Modern-era scenarios (Cursed, Dockside Dogs, Good Vibes Only, Heinrich’s Guide to Carcosa, and Overdue). There are two scenarios each in the Pulp (The Curse of Black Teeth Keetes, Field of Screams) and Gaslight (Sorrow in Tsavo, The Hammersmith Haunting) eras. Both Regency (Host and Hostility) and Dark Ages (Branches of Bone) have a single Gold bestseller. While Down Darker Trails has Electrum representation, no entries for this setting have hit Gold. 

Most titles are one-shot experiences for multiple players. Heinrich’s Guide to Carcosa is geared for solo or one-to-one play. Host and Hostility offers three discrete one-to-one scenarios. The two Grindhouse offerings provide two (Vol. 1) and seven scenarios (Vol. 1-3). 

Handouts are considered by many to be a key component of engaging investigative scenarios. The average number of handouts is 7 with several providing no handouts, including Zgrozy’s terse, but effective Shepherd of Moths. Seven scenarios provide more than 10 handouts with The Highway of Blood clocking in at 24 total. Signal to Noise and The Pipeline are runners-up with each providing 19.

A quick assessment of cover art reveals that Alex Guillotte contributed to the design of eight total covers. Other notable Miskatonic Repository and Chaosium artists include John Sumrow (Cursed), Tom Brown (Swamp Song), and James Bunnell (Saturday the 14th). Most frequently, though, scenario authors handled the layout. 

Two titles (Hand of Glory, Host and Hostility) were Silver Ennie winners. Of the Gold scenarios, Seth Skorkowsky reviewed the The Curse of Black Teeth Keetes (a topic we will return during our discussion of Platinum scenarios). 

Many of these scenarios have appeared on actual play podcasts or streams, such as Graeme Patrick’s Of Sorrow and Clay, which was presented on Ain’t Slayed Nobody. I encourage authors, podcasters, and streamers to please drop links to additional actual plays of these scenarios in the comments. You can find many of these scenarios at the Miskatonic Playhouse which features a wonderful creative team including Gold-selling authors SR Sellens and Pete Burgess.

4 thoughts on “Miskatonic Repository Review – Gold Best Sellers

  1. nate says:

    Colin Richard’s’ _Signal to Noise_ stands out to me for two points:

    -the second half has a hex crawl feel to it; Colin gives guidance on what to do it you are running to a time limit (convention, one shot, etc.) but for a home table, the sky is the limit. A veritable horror smorgasbord is offered to the keeper to build the perfect, terrible adventure for their table, and
    – the handouts! holy moly is the quality here top tier. not only rich and varied, there are video handouts, and summaries of the same, maps in keeper and player facing forms, and each handout styled appropriately. outstanding stuff here.

    and bonus points for additional pregens for players falling, appropriate for replacement after the group has done some exploration and work. you can tell Colin is a player AND keeper and gives you everything for a memorable time.

  2. Doc says:

    Some notes on two of my favorites from the list: “Saturday the 14th” and Paul Fricker’s “Dockside Dogs” have become staples for me to run if I’m not running something I wrote.

    I’ve told Paul directly that Rina had unseated him as top scenario for me to run. “Saturday the 14th” is just… it’s so good. It’s wild. It’s different. It’s unique in the best way. Plus, 80s slashers seem ripe for horror!

    And Dockside Dogs? It’s fun to lock a group of players in a room and say “Okay, so maybe you don’t trust each other… go.” I’ve had some of my best table moments ever playing that one, including one where a player, in character, turned to me and said “You can go take a break, we don’t need you. I’ve got it from here.” I can’t say why, but IYKYK.

  3. Jackson says:

    I have ran 5 of these and even have an actual play recording of one of them. I’ll give a couple thoughts below. I would recommend all of them.

    I’ve ran:

    Dockside Dogs: Scenarios that encourage pvp are always fun. Fun twist and nicely short.
    Field of Screams: The unique baseball team pre-gens make this one fun.
    Host and Hostility: These are probably the best regency era scenarios I’ve seen so far. More regency scenarios need to deal with romantic efforts and courtship.
    Of Wrath and Blood: A sequel to the Haunting. It’s not overly complex, but it’s pretty decent. It would be interesting to compare all the different sequels to the Haunting.
    The Curse of Black Teeth Keetes: A pulp adventure set-up that would be pretty hard to not enjoy. A ghost island populated by zombie pirates, shamblers, pirate booty, and an imprisoned Great Old One.

    Link to our Curse of Black Teeth Keetes Actual Play. Be warned this was early in our recordings and is not edited:

  4. Poul Holmelund says:

    My personal favourites of the Gold sellers, in no particulair order, is:

    Of Wrath and Blood by Jon Hook.
    The Haunting has a very fond place in my dark heart and the sequel has some very interesting and evil ideas which is perfect for building it into a mini campaign.

    Saturday the 14th by Rina Haenze
    A scenario inspired by all teh movies I loved watching in the 80´ies. How can I pass that up.
    Its an exelent scenario and a fantastic atmosphere written into it.

    Signal to Noise by Colin Richards
    The handouts are genious! And the scenario is fantastic horror. I wont spoil anything but just tell you to run it for a group if you have the chance.

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