The Long Run: Reboots, Retcons, and Resets

This is a follow-up to an earlier post, found here, which is spoiler-free. Be advised, the post below does contain some MoN spoilers. The Even with the best intentions and committed gaming crews, big campaigns falter. If you find yourself in such a situation and wish to continue playing, do not despair! There are potential solutions to reignite the adventure. It may not be a perfect, uninterrupted playthrough, but it’s still an amazing journey.  TPK Retcons: The history of MoN is littered with dead investigators, and TPKs account for many an arrested campaign. The introduction of Pulp Rules and modifications to the latest edition have toned down the death and destruction, but these things still

Read on…The Long Run: Reboots, Retcons, and Resets

The Long Run: On Getting MoN “Wrong”

“I’m going to finish this, even if it means I’m playing by myself.” -Keeper Dave (esteemed co-host of the MU Podcast) Disclaimer: This is not really an admonishment or castigation of others. In truth, it’s more of a conversation with myself. While the principal subject matter is MoN, this discussion applies to any long-form TTRPG campaign, creative project, or sustained effort.  Conventional internet wisdom cautions prospective Keepers to steer clear of MoN if they cannot guarantee dedicated time, committed players, and willingness to read the campaign at least once before launching the adventure. Being a fool, I openly refute these limiting precepts. I’ve previously suggested an alternative to the prescribed cover-to-cover study, so I will

Read on…The Long Run: On Getting MoN “Wrong”

Running “The Dare” – Some Tricks and Treats

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR “THE DARE” BELOW! As the leaves begin to change and the smell of apple cider and pumpkin spice waft through the air, many a Keeper commence their annual search for an excellent adventure to capture the Halloween spirit. Surprisingly, Chaosium offers no dedicated Halloween Call of Cthulhu scenario for the 7th edition. For our seasonal scares, we must turn to third-party supplements, out-of-print modules, the Miskatonic Repository, and alternative systems for dedicated selections. In this post, we intend to spotlight our second favorite Halloween adventure while offering some constructive analysis and posing suggestions to optimize the experience for your players. If you’ve already played “The Dare,” you can look forward to a follow-up

Read on…Running “The Dare” – Some Tricks and Treats

Scenario Remix – The Vanishing Conjurer

    WARNING: Vanishing Conjurer Spoilers Below Stage magic and the Cthulhu Mythos pair beautifully. Lovecraft himself collaborated and ghostwrote for Harry Houdini. Over the decades, several scenarios have capitalized on this thematic association, including the two-pack of adventures from Games Workshop published in 1986 featuring The Statue of the Sorcerer and The Vanishing Conjurer. Other notables include The House of Memphis in Mansions of Madness, volume 1, and Miskatonic Repository offerings, Death is the Final Escape and The Maw. Of these, our personal favorite is The Vanishing Conjurer by Mike Lewis and Simon Price, which features evocative cover art by Lee Gibbons, a promising hook, and a novel roleplaying opportunity baked into the scenario. As

Read on…Scenario Remix – The Vanishing Conjurer

Adding “Swamp Song” to Your Campaign

The latest edition of MoN includes the Peru Prologue to introduce Jackson Elias before his inevitable demise at the Chelsea Hotel. This addition helps form a bond between the investigators and their ill-fated quest-giver. Our Miskatonic Repository scenario, Swamp Song, aims to deepen this Peruvian connection and offer the investigators a chance to save Elias’ bacon at least once. The scenario contents also aim to foreshadow, provide resources, and lay some groundwork for future campaign events without altering the plot. Here, we intend to elaborate on our goals and provide some notes on integrating Swamp Song into your MoN campaign, even if you’ve already moved beyond New York! WARNING: SWAMP SONG SPOILERS BELOW Timing: The

Read on…Adding “Swamp Song” to Your Campaign

Inside the Mind of a Convention GM with Matt McCloud

On the eve of Chaosium Con II, we sat down with veteran Keeper Matthew McCloud, the chief organizer, hype-man, and dark heart of Lurking Fears, a collective of dedicated gamemasters offering “the very best in horror and grimdark roleplaying.” In addition to offering some of the finest Call of Cthulhu events available at conventions across the United States, they have grown an impressive assortment of relationships with companies like Free League, Mongoose Publishing, and Bloat Games to name a few. Players can expect a wide and constantly growing variety of incredible games in a Lurking Fears room with an equally impressive array of GMs. Lurking Fears will be running games at Gen Con for Chaosium

Read on…Inside the Mind of a Convention GM with Matt McCloud

Dark Diversions: Six Reasons to Sidetrack in MoN

You crack open Masks of Nyarlathotep for the first time. The crisp binding crackles as you breathe in that new book smell and admire the bright red ribbon page marker knowing it won’t be long before your cat chews the end into a frayed tangle. You eagerly flip through the pages. As you pause to admire the beautiful artwork, you note a heading entitled “Sidetrack Scenario”. You think to yourself, “I wonder what that is, probably just an add-on. But we will be so busy with the main story, I won’t have time to prep anything extra.” But wait! I urge you to pause and rethink skipping the sidetrack scenarios and listen to my case.

Read on…Dark Diversions: Six Reasons to Sidetrack in MoN

Peering into the Abyss: The Cthulhu Mythos Skill

Of all the skills on an investigator’s character sheet, the most alluring, but least used is Cthulhu Mythos. This suits the Lovecraftian perspective that humans stumble around ignorantly in a massive and incomprehensibly dark universe. The limited access to eldritch insight serves both Keeper and players well when aiming to capture this particular tone; however, it potentially restricts players aiming to recreate investigators in the image of Dr. Henry Armitage or Keepers intending to run a double-barrel Pulp Cthulhu campaign. We intend to review the use of the Cthulhu Mythos skill in the Classic and Pulp settings and introduce a Pulp-oriented Cthulhu Mythos skill expansion. The discussion seeks to inspire both Keepers and players to

Read on…Peering into the Abyss: The Cthulhu Mythos Skill

Maps – The Dare

SPOILERS BELOW. PLAYERS KEEP OUT! OR PAY THE PRICE! Undeniably one of the finest Halloween one-shot scenarios for Call of Cthulhu, “The Dare” by Kevin Ross received a loving remaster and release by Sentinel Hill Press in 2020. There is much to be said about the merits of this 80s-based scenario, and some seasoned Keepers have already weighed in here and here. Ain’t Slayed Nobody produced a glorious actual play with a talented cast capturing the nostalgic magic encapsulated in the ultimate (and only) Kid-Cthulhu scenario. Our exclusion of the attic is fully intentional, as we heavily improvised this location based on player choices (among other reasons), but we may add this in the future. 

Read on…Maps – The Dare

Full Fathom Five – Review & Con Runs

  “Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes; Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange.”  – William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I, Scene II WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS BELOW Review: The title for Paul Fricker’s Miskatonic Repository scenario is drawn from a portion of the song that Ariel sings to lure the shipwrecked Ferdinand to the play’s sorcerer protagonist Prospero. The final stanza explicitly seeks to tempt Ferdinand whose father drowned in the deep. In Full Fathom Five, Fricker skillfully weaves literature, history, and Cthulhu Mythos into a delightfully deadly and dreadful compact scenario set on

Read on…Full Fathom Five – Review & Con Runs