Mythos Tomes – Book of Dzyan

Pronunciation: Dzyan – “zon”, also called “The Stanzas of Dzyan” Location: Gavigan’s Secret Room at Penhew Foundation (England) Physical Description: Woven papers bound in goatskin with a distinct smell of sulfur Author:  Unknown, but alleged to be an account of the High Masters of Shamballah Publication History:  Introduction indicated the original text is of Ancient origin. Written in English, but reported originally to be composed in Senzar, a sacred language related to Sanskrit. According to theosophist Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the text is of Tibetan, but some purport the original text originated in Atlantis. Blavatsky published a watered-down version of the text as “The Secret Doctrine” in 1888, which many occultists will be familiar with; however, none beyond

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The Three Mysteries in Masks of Nyarlathotep

  At its dark heart, the Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign runs upon investigative fuel to carry your players from one continent to the next. The New York Chapter quickly fills the tank to the sloshing brim for your Investigators starting with an enticing telegram from Jackson Elias followed by his bloody death. A series of rapid-fire revelations following this shocking murder hint at a dark conspiracy. In short order, the campaign serves up the following three discrete mysteries, which should intrigue and motivate the Investigators: the murder of Jackson Elias, the fate of the lost Carlyle Expedition, and the dire global conspiracy. Once in motion, the campaign will continue to propel your group forward, and

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Mythos Monsters – The Thing in the Fog

The noisome London fog offers the perfect cover for Edward Gavigan’s Mythos invisible pets, the gish-rla (pp. 206-207). These viscous vapors referred to throughout the England chapter as “The Thing in the Fog” provide the Keeper with an atmospheric (pun intended – Ed.) threat to your Investigators on the dark streets of London. The Thing may be employed as an alternative to your routine cultist encounters, particularly after your Investigators have irritated or threatened Gavigan. The nature of the Thing precludes normal combat solutions, instead offering a deadly puzzle for your players to solve. We will discuss a variety of ways to present this other-worldly monster with consideration to incorporating it throughout the chapter.  Before

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Chapter Inspiration – England

  The England chapter offers a dramatic range of settings and encounters for your players to explore, and you can unveil a variety of locations and characters to create a dreadful, and even gritty, depth to this corner of the campaign. We like to imagine our Investigators arriving in London with visions of Downton Abbey and Oxford professors only to find themselves soon mixed up in the seedy underbelly of the city.  London:  For an inspirational piece contemporary to the setting, we strongly recommend Hitchcock’s 1927 classic silent thriller The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog. The plot, based on Marie Belloc Lowndes’s 1913 novel, centers on the hunt for the “Avenger”, a serial

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Mythos Tomes – Life as a God

Location: Roger Carlyle’s Library Physical Description: Poorly bound in scarred human skin over wood, numbering 150 pages in duodecimo format. No title on the cover, but the frontispiece features a low-quality faux-Egpytian styling opposite the handwritten title page. The content is handwritten in a brown-black scrawl that occasionally fades out.  Author:  Montgomery Crompton, an English soldier and amateur artist, who traveled to Egypt in 1805 and became a minor priest in the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh. Originally from a prominent English family, he served in the military and became interested in Egyptian history and art. Research into Crompton while in London (Library Use) can be revealing. Originally born in 1780 and raised in Gloucester,

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Mythos Artifact – The Golden Mirror

  In addition to the piles of kharisiri treasure hidden underneath the ancient pyramid, your Investigators have the chance to acquire a potentially valuable Mythos artifact during the Peruvian Prologue. If your players can wrest the Golden Mirror from de Mendoza, they will have access to a useful foreshadowing device.  The Golden Mirror (Peru, p.64 & Artifacts, p.649) takes the form of a six-inch square solid gold Mask following a design similar to other artifacts found at Tiwanaku excavation sites. While the front depicts a face constructed of the typical Tiwanaku raised-block geometrical designs, the back reveals a highly polished, reflective surface that functions as a mirror. And a conduit to access dark visions and

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Mythos Corruption – Optional Rules

Call of Cthulhu encourages many different styles of play and formats, such as one-shot survival horror, short and deadly investigative modules, and long-form heroic campaigns to name just a few. The alternative Mythos Corruption framework we have presented may not mesh well with every game, but we would like to present some optional rules that could facilitate its incorporation at your table.  Modified Mythos Resistance (Sanity) Costs You may wish to compensate for the fact that your Investigators no longer suffer losses related to Mundane Horror by making a simple cost adjustment. Every check will result in the loss of at least one point of Mythos Resistance (Sanity). That means your Investigators will always experience

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Vulnerability & Mundane Horror

In our current Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign, we have introduced Mythos Corruption as an alternative framework to the classic Call of Cthulhu Sanity mechanic. This modification to the existing 7th edition rules provides a slightly different means for tracking the effects of Mythos and mundane horror. By shifting the emphasis from deteriorating sanity to progressive cognitive corruption by incomprehensible forces, we have altered the effects of mundane horrors on our Investigators. Instead of the banal disturbances and terrors of our mortal world working in tandem with the Mythos to chip away at an Investigator’s mental health, these events lead to vulnerability and weaken a character’s resistance to the effects of Mythos exposure. In developing this simple

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Roger Carlyle’s Books – A Player Project

  The rare tomes hiding in Roger Carlyle’s library present tantalizing treasure for Investigators to hunt in the New York chapter. The quest for these hidden books can help further stimulate player interest in Roger and his ill-fated expedition during the hectic aftermath of Jackson Elias’ death. Your group will likely first learn of the books in Jackson’s bewildering note reticently provided by Jonah Kensington (Carlyle Papers, America #13), and Erica Carlyle may help lead them to Roger’s stash. It may be helpful to add additional clues pointing to these valuable tomes throughout the chapter. Once your players learn of the books, they may pursue several different paths to obtain them, and you may want

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Mythos Corruption, an alternative to Insanity

  The Sanity mechanic dates back to the original version of Call of Cthulhu from 1981 and has remained a fundamental aspect of the setting providing Keepers and players a means to convey and roleplay the effects of horror in the game. Many other game systems have incorporated, adapted, or been inspired by this concept. Throughout our MoN campaign, we have been challenged to reframe the “Sanity” mechanic to more convincingly reflect its role in both the campaign and the broader Mythos world.  Part of the impetus arose from recurrent concerns about the depiction of mental illness and insanity portrayed by both the players and the NPCs.  Our playgroup consists of health care providers with

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