Today we have Curse of the Cthonians. As you might expect,
that means there are a number of giant burrowing tentacle monsters in these scenarios,
which makes them of questionable use to a keeper who enjoys the friendship of
I love the cover, but Call of Cthulhu mainstay Tom Sullivan.
So bright and squishy and obviously about eat/crush me. And this is probably a
good spot to mention my deep love for the early Call of Cthulhu font and how
its art nouveau curves subtly signal both the decadence of the 20s and the
sorcerous mysteries the game revels in.
The contents, on the other hand, are a mixed bag. “Dark
Carnival” is one of many flawed early Call of Cthulhu scenarios that begins
with a too-brief investigation followed by a large dungeon crawl, which, in
Call of Cthulhu, are pretty much always death trap for soft, squishy
investigators. “The Curse of Chaugnar Faugn” is a great, complicated scenario probably
best used as a one-off rather than part of an ongoing campaign.
Finally, there’s “Thoth’s Dagger” and “The City Without a
Name,” which form up two halves of a cruel mini-campaign. The first part is
descent enough, though it involves a trip to Egypt and Nyarlathotep, two things
handled much more capably in Masks of Nyarlathotep the same year. The second
part involves a puzzle requiring knowledge of Hebrew gematria, leads to a
large, deadly dungeon crawl and ends with the investigators likely stranded in
the middle of the Rub al-Khali without water. I’m all for grisly investigator
deaths (it is a horror game after all), but that is just a dick move.
On a slightly related note, speaking of investigator deaths,
my group finished the Kenya chapter of Masks of Nyarlathotep last night without
a single party death. #proud
The Allfather took one look at the serpent’s sister and banished her from Asgard. He threw her into the mist and darkness of Niflheim, the world beneath the worlds. As she fell, she heard Odin’s decree that she should look after the dead, all those in the nine realms who died from illness or old age. So, just as the Midgard Serpent waits
at the bottom of the ocean, coiled around the world; just as Fenrir
waits, bound and gagged under the earth; Hel rules her cold domain and
waits for Ragnarok.