horror font

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 his players.

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

“…you’re a horrible person, bro.”

“Sans..?”

“why would you even DO that? what makes you think you’re going to get away with this? she’s just gonna come right back and lecture you about honesty and crap.”

Papyrus laughed, “True, but what the hell else am I going to use photoshop for? Nyeh heh heh heh!”

BZZZZ! BZZZZZ!

“Oh hey she’s texting me!”

“don’t answer it.”

“I have to answer it, it’d be rude otherwise. I swear Brother, you really could do with a few lessons in manners.”

Like not giving away other people’s phone numbers without permission, for example.

“naah, i’m pretty sure no matter how rude i am you’ll always outshine me, pap.”

“Awww-”

“noooot a compliment, buddy.”

“Whatever, you know if you don’t be nice to me, I won’t show you the joke she sent…”

“hm? she sent you a joke text?”

“Yeah, it says ‘what do you call a skeleton with no friends?’”

Wretched creature, she KNOWS I hate puns…

“hmmm…”

“You really have to think on this one? It’s obviously ‘bonely.’ Another terrible joke from a terrible comedian-”

“papyrus.”

“Nyeh?”

“type in ‘papyrus.’”

“…”

“looks like she didn’t appreciate your joke, bro,” said Sans laughing.

“Hmph! Who knew a cow could sprint all the way to Waterfall so quickly?”

“try not to flood the underground with those salty tears of yours, kay’?”

“Not to worry, I’ve not forgotten how short you are.”

“you wanna eat that phone?”

“I believe eating everything in sight is YOUR shtick.”

“…strike two.”

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.

“uhh, bro?”

CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH!

Sans watched as his tiny brother ate through the packet of hard noodles ferociously as if he were a wood chipper, unsure of what to do.

“Nyehm, nyehm, nyehm, nyehm, nyehm!”

“hey, pap?”

“Nyem-nyeh?” Papyrus stopped chomping. “What you want, Snas? I’s gettin’ the nutrition over here!”

“i can see that…but don’t you think you’d get better ‘nutrients’ if the spaghetti was, you know, cooked..?”

Why’s he eating it raw this time? That’s freaking weird!

Though not as weird as him actually boiling it by himself.

“Daddy can’t cook da’ sgetti for the baby, cause’ da’ oven be broked!” exclaimed the baby bones pointing to the stove. “Is broken like my heart, big Buther…”

“you don’t use the oven part for spaghetti, pappy.”

“Dat’s cause’ it BROKEN, damn…” said the infant continuing to eat.

Sometimes Papyrus wondered…why did his brother have such a big head if his brain was so small?

Testing the oven in concern, Sans frowned in confusion. It seemed to be fine…the light wasn’t broken, the oven itself turned on without incident, and even the clock was in working order…

“seems fine to me, bro. how’s it broken? what’d you do to it?”

“I didn’t do nothing, stink head! Why you gots to blame baby for erything?” asked the baby bones taking another bite out of his bundle of noodles.

Sans didn’t answer, the older skeleton opened the oven door to find a small blue mass lying on a baking sheet. Taking a large spoon, he poked it warily, hoping it wasn’t alive.

Welp, it’s not biting the spoon, so I guess it’s just a failed dish or something. It doesn’t look too dangerous, but it smells kinda…off. 

Oh crap, Papyrus didn’t put any of Dad’s chemicals in here did he?!

“uh-oh.”

“Uh-oh is right, big Buther. I’s trying to bake you a cake cause’ I’s nice like dat, but then the oven fuk it up!”

“did you use any of dad’s chemicals? because those are poisonous-”

“Nooo! I use-ed the boo pay dough cause’ it was pre-”

“heh heh ha ha ha ha!”

“….”

“…sorry, *pfft!* go ahead.”

Oh my god.

“…I use-ed some boo pay dough cause’ it was pretty and it smelled reeeeal good, but when I tried to bake da’ dough, it got hard and depressing-”

“ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

“Nyeh? Why you waff? You can’t eats yo’ food, so now you don’t gets any cake! Chubby bunnies love da’ cake…”

“heh heh ha ha ha! i’m not…ha ha ha, i’m not chubby, pap!” exclaimed Sans, struggling to catch his breath.

He seriously tried to BAKE play dough…? For real?

What makes him think I’d eat anything made from ingredients he got at the Dump anyway?

“Yes you are, you’s VERY chubby. You chubby as hell, big Buther! You’s tons of fun in the bun, son!”

“heh heh ha ha, we-well, you’re DUMB as hell! didn’t you read the container? you don’t EAT play dough, papyrus,” said Sans trying to hold back another laughing fit.

“Yeah I know..cause’ is dough. You’s supposed to cooks it first-”

“HA HA HA HA HA HA!”

Sans cracked up all over again as the baby bones frowned and crawled away, the comedians laughter following him all the way down the hall. 

“HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!”

“Ungrateful dumbass…he don’t deserve mah cake…YOU’S FULL OF SUCK SNAS!!”