COC: Jennifer’s Ending

Here’s Jennifer’s explanation of what happened to her character, Reginald, after the events in Cairo…

After days of wandering in the desert, Sir Reginald was found by a small caravan that was returning to Cairo. The kind Egyptians patched up his wounds, and gave him water and food, so he was starting to recover by the time they reached civilization. He finished healing at the hospital, and met up with Angie and Nicholas who were waiting for Gabriel to be released from the sanitarium. When the others questioned him, he was unable to recount what had happened to him during the days of madness. He had a faint memory of searching for the monks? wise men? who were living in the Temple (the chaps who had given them the magic items), with the notion of joining them and giving up the adventuring life. But, failing that and feeling better now that he was in fine, new clothes again, he was prepared to assist the rest of the party. If Angie and Gabriel want help, he is there with his elephant gun to help. However, if they decide to go off on their own, Sir Reginald will travel to Yemen and watch the news. If he hears that Angie and Gabriel are successful, he is going to ask Hassan to take him back to the altar where they first saw the snake god. He is prepared to honor his commitment to worship the god who helped them in so many ways. If Angie and Gabriel are not successful, he will start recruiting brave men and women who want to stop New World Industries, and form a secret resistance movement. Whatever happens, he is happy in the knowledge that Billy is home with his family to live a long, uneventful life.

Posted in Call of Cthulhu, Session Summaries | 2 Comments

COC: Matt’s Ending

In what is becoming a tradition with our games, the players are writing their own epilogues for the games. Here’s Matt Boyle’s version of what came after the events in Cairo…

Billy

After the events of the Pyramids of Giza, Billy lies in the dust, burned and nearly dead. Desperate, he reaches into the magic bag, searching for something that will bring him home. He pulls out a coin-operated phone that does not exist yet. After an hour of Knowledge rolls, he finally realizes what it is, and says, “Oh, if only I had a quarter!” Then, from the distance, he sees the ghost of his old friend comes walking.

“I shall help you Billy,” his old friend says, and he smiles. Billy smiles back, and then his old friend explodes into guts the size of quarters. Billy is showered in gore and has to make a sanity roll. He succeeds. Then, somehow, he realizes that the guts are forming into quarters. These quarters all have the same face, a strange bartender-like fellow.

“I can help you call home sir,” says Jameson O’Doul.

Billy’s eyes widen. “Quarters can’t talk!” he says, and has to make another sanity roll. He succeeds. Growling, he reaches for the talking quarter and puts it in the portable pay phone. He calls home to his beloved wife.

“Billy! Billy!” she says. “Where are you!?”

“I’m in the desert honey,” he says. “Talking to currency. The coins can speak here.” His wife is confused by this and has to make a sanity roll. She succeeds.

“Never mind that Billy,” she says. “Just get home!”

Luckily, Mrs. Billy is a learned professor of Egyptology. Clearly, Jonathan Putnam had intended to hire her and had hired Billy by mistake. Billy realizes this when his wife figures out his location by the scantest of descriptions on his part. She calls the American embassy and coordinates a rescue party. Billy has to make a sanity roll at the realization she knows how to do this. He succeeds.

Angie

Angie remains institutionalized for two months after the events at the Pyramids of Giza. Upon recovering her wits, she remains focused despite the horrors she’s experienced. She does finally realize that these creatures are real. She’d been skeptical up until that point, hypothesizing that the party’s experiences had been a collective acid trip, perhaps induced by the mysterious substance Blue John. She rents out an apartment near the institution and used it as a base of operations. Her plan:

  • research vampire lore, learning more about Hauptmann, the creature that stole her father’s face
  • attend to Gabriel Moreau, institutionalized at the same hospital.

Slowly, she uses her skilled psychoanalytical abilities to nurse Gabriel back to sanity. She bides her time.

Sir Reginald

Meanwhile, Sir Reginald bumbles through Cairo, raving about Sphinxes with faces like the void. Finally, he pulls himself together and returns to the pyramids. Arriving there, he finds nothing save for the wind, not even a hint of the bodies of the dead. Disquieted, he discovers a trail that he follows to the nearly mutilated body of Karl Stoltz. Karl is still alive, subsisting on rats and little else the past two months. Reginald doesn’t know what to say to Karl, so he tries some words of encouragement.

“Buck up old boy!” he says. This does not work. So, he then decides to say, “What’s all this then?” This also does not work. Karl looks at him with malevolent eyes, so Reginald decides to retreat.

Thinking carefully, he uses his navigation skills to search for the nearest mental institution. He knows his colleagues are likely there. A week later, after getting lost several times, he arrives to discover Angie tending to Gabriel’s mind. He informs her of Karl’s continued existence, and she hires a guide to help them travel back to the Pyramids. Reginald is insulted that she does not trust his navigation skill, but Angie placates him by telling him his new suit is very dapper. This pleases him.

The two of them rediscover Karl, and Angie takes him on as a patient. She helps him come to terms with the loss of Yasmena, and also with his feelings of isolation over being an undead horror. She does have to commute to his cave to provide care though. The mental institution is not interested in having an undead horror as a patient.

Nikolas

A few months pass, and Nikolas finds his way back to the party as well. His eyes are haunted, and he lashes out at the slightest provocation. He informs them that they all deserve to be dead. Both Angie and Reginald agree that he is much less friendly than before. Reginald then asks Angie to get them some tea as he thinks about it. She smiles and ignores the request.

Nikolas takes up an interest in knives and pet snakes. He also begins surveying all those around them with an unnerving eye, occasionally muttering about Yig’s will. A week after his return to the hospital, one of the nurses disappears. No one has any idea what happened to her.

Gabriel

Around this same time, Gabriel recovers his wits. Contrary to Nikolas, he seems cheerful, and close to normal self. That said, he does speak more candidly of his experiences in the war, describing battlefields in great detail — mud, blood, and death. He describes how vast giants would walk along the landscapes of the Somme, terrible beings with massive shoulders the size of tombs. The party listens in horror as he sips his coffee and describes deranged landscapes.

“They lumber across the landscape and lift the dead into their maws. They walk through no-man’s land, great giants barely perceivable in the haze. They harvest the bodies we tore to pieces with bullets, mortars, and violence.” Pleasantly, he sips his coffee. After a time, he says, “Murder is a ritual, my companions, and the nightmares are there to harvest our sacrifices.”

Reginald and Angie are sure he has cracked. But Nikolas merely scoffs. “He’s been saying that shit since we’ve met him. He just hasn’t bothered to say it in English.”

Five Years after NWI’s Plot

Billy

Five years after the NWI takes control of the world, Billy’s life is as close to ideal as it can be.

Billy receives doting care from his loving wife and happy children. And, although many cities are in the grip of madness and violence still, Billy’s farm is rather pretty and isolated. Mrs. Billy has kept their family in good shape. She is an accomplished survivalist, a speaker of nine languages, a crackshot, and a skilled neurosurgeon. Billy sees all this and marvels, “Gee, it sure seems like Jonathan should have hired you!” She smiles at him demurely as they sit on the porch and agrees. Nearby, Jameson O’Doul arrives and offers him a sloe gin fizz.

“That’s right sir,” he says. “She’s a crackerjack.”

Billy does not quite understand what is going on. He rolls Intelligence. He fails.

Gabriel

Gabriel retires from the world of the occult. When asked why by his companions, he pleasantly says, “Because, there is no God, only Hell. And after we die, we will be enslaved eternally to the beings that hold the yokes of the giants. They will rend our flesh and force us to build great pyramids to their glory. We will live on the ancient fields of their worlds, and though our bodies be broken and brutalized, we will toil for them still. Better for us to enjoy the only life we have. I know I will.”

Nevertheless, at Angie’s persistence, he reaches out to some of his contacts to earn her a new identity — Jessica Moreau, his niece from America. She uses this false identity to apply for a position at NWI.

Angie

Angie works diligently for NWI as a consulting psychiatrist for many years. Her great insight and adaptable mind make her greatly in demand. Soon, she rises up the ranks to become the shrink of Baron Hauptmann himself…

Reginald

Reginald becomes a private detective in Cairo, known by the local as “The Dapper Man.” He investigates all manner of evil events with the help of his colleague, Karl Stoltz, known as “The Tall Man.” The two of them are often consulted whenever a terrible murder takes place, and local authorities trust them implicitly. Unfortunately, there is one killer whom they can never discover the identity of. He is known as the “The Serpent Murderer,” for his propensity to leave snakes in the pockets of his prey. The Serpent Murderer only preys on low, evil men. And so few are bothered by his actions. Yet…his continued existence disturbs Reginald in ways he cannot identify.

Once, a young nurse managed to observe The Serpent Murderer from behind as he flees a crime. She gives Reginald a general description, but little distinctive. When Reginald asks if there is anything else she could tell him, anything at all, she shrugs.

She shrugs. “He cursed like a sailor after murdering the man. He was exceptionally rude.”

Nikolas

Nikolas purchases a bookstore in Cairo and is well-known for being exceptionally rude to customers. He otherwise lives an uneventful life.

Ten Years after NWI’s Plot

Billy

Years have passed, and Billy attends his son’s graduation, crying tears of happiness. In the years since NWI took control of the world, much has changed. All agree that NWI ‘s control is reasonable, save for a few who speak out and are never heard from again. But Billy is a simple man, and though he sustained great injuries on his travels, he manages to grow strong again. He bears terrible burn scars over his entire body, but is ultimately accepted again by his family and community. And so he watches his son go up to accept his diploma, so proud he thinks he might burst. And look! There is Jameson O’Doul filming the entire thing with a camcorder. How lucky he has Jameson there to help.

And then, a small warning sounds in the back of his mind. Confused about this strange device, Billy rolls Cthulhu Mythos, and for the first time in his life, he succeeds.

Billy suddenly realizes he is living a nightmarish illusion. He has been entrapped within it by a malevolent parasite known as The Servant. The Servant is prone to appearing before people as a friendly bartender, waiter, or otherwise solicitous figure. It encourages madness or entraps people within beautiful nightmares, feeding off their energy.

“That’s right sir,” says Jameson O’Doul, who is suddenly standing right next to him. “And you are full of guileless energy. Nothing affects your sanity sir, nothing at all.”

Billy stares in horror, then he looks at his wife, and her face slides into an enormous grin that nearly slices off the top of her head. “Oh honey,” she says. “You know you never left the desert, don’t you?”

Billy’s eyes widen and he realizes he’s in the desert, dying. He looks around at the emptiness, unable to comprehend what he is seeing. He has to make a sanity roll. He succeeds. Then he makes an Intelligence roll. He fails. He blinks. And then Jameson O’Doul is gone. The desert is gone. Only his beautiful wife is there, and his proud, strong son is earning his degree on a platform where nobody else stands, waving at him.

“It’s alright honey,” Mrs. Billy says, putting his arm around him in the beautiful Kansas sun. “Everything is OK.”

And Billy nods, and puts his arm around her in turn.

And there he stands, a savagely burned man in the middle of the desert, his arm around the waist of a thin, eldritch abomination with its long fingers wrapped around his waist. Half of the abomination’s face is missing, and it turns and grins at him.

“Everything will be alright, sir.”

And Billy smiles and nods.

Reginald

Reginald and Karl work closely together to search for The Serpent Murderer, but while this dynamic duo discovers much evil, they are never able to discover The Serpent Murderer’s true identity.

“I say,” Reginald says to Nikolas Tourine on one of their weekly lunches. He has already changed suits twice that day. “It’s most curious. I truly wish I could discover this one killer.”

Nikolas sneers at him. “Well, perhaps one day you will get lucky.”

And Reginald nods and flicks off a speck of dust from his suit. “Well, lovely, now I must change.”

Nikolas

Nikolas remains a law-abiding citizen, and he never ritualistically murders anyone in service of Yig, not once. He lives the rest of his life as a law-abiding member of society.

Though he is exceptionally rude.

Angie

Angie spends five years in service to Baron Hauptmann as his psychotherapist. He is surprisingly melancholic, as the years of his own existence have made him somber about his continued reality. Slowly, Angie infuses into him the idea that life must end sometime, never explicitly saying it, but subtly infusing it into his mind. The Baron finally decides he must destroy himself. He sets his castle aflame, and as it burns down, he sees a note that has been left for him. It has Angie’s name on it. He opens it, and he reads the words there.

“For my father,” it says.

And he smiles in misery, because he knows these words change nothing. Though Angie’s plan was ill-intentioned towards him, her conclusions remain correct. He is an abomination, and he must leave this world. He remains in the flames as they consume him.

Gabriel

Gabriel spends the rest of his life performing sleight of hand at fancy parties. Few people ever like talking to him one-on-one. He is not a well man.

One night, the police are called to the scene of a bar fight. Gabriel is dead on the floor. According to a barmaid, he apparently tried to steal a man’s watch.

“He looked so afraid when he was dying,” she says. “He’s usually so cheerful and nice. A rascal, mind you, always stealing where he shouldn’t, but always giving it back if caught. We always told him to be more careful, that he would eventually take something from someone who would take offense. But he always laughed it off. I guess he finally took from someone who didn’t see the funny side.”

She excuses herself, wiping her eyes and walking away. The police officer turns to look at Gabriel’s body and shakes his head.

He’d seen dead men before, but the look on this fellow’s face was one of pure terror.

Final Epilogue

NWI is the new world power, and the world exists at the whims of those who run it. Some of the brotherhood meet their end, but still the world follows their decisions.

In a generation’s time, the NWI masters lose control of the beings they brought into this world, the great old ones they sought to use to control the world. The world devolves into madness, and within a generation of their plot, it has come to an end. It becomes a flea-ridden carcass covered in enormous flying bugs, great lumbering beasts, and creations that would drive one mad to think about.

Or at least that’s the vision told to Sir Reginald, the Dapper Man himself, when he visits Temesgen ten years after the events of Cairo.

“A vision that will come to pass,” Temesgen says, “unless someone stops it.”

To be continued?

Posted in Call of Cthulhu, Session Summaries | Leave a comment

COC: The End of the Campaign

Again, spoilers for the Fungi of Yuggoth campaign follow, so don’t page down if you plan to play that campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The party investigated an NWI research lab on a tip. The lab was having an open house, so the party joined the tour group. Angie and Gabriel split off from the tour and explored the forbidden areas, while the rest of the party waited outside. They found evidence that connected lead biologist Dr. Dieter with Chandler and the Nazis in Germany. They were discovered by Dieter and his assistant Phillip Juergens. Dieter wanted them arrested but Phillip managed to convince the doctor that they were merely lost and escorted them out. Outside, he arranged a meeting with them at a local restaurant for that evening.

At the restaurant, Phillip explained that he was an industrial spy, but that he had also turned up evidence that Dieter was working with the Nazis and creating a weapon for them. As a former G-man, he could not turn his back on that, and was gathering evidence. He gave them a manila envelope with the evidence he had so far, and asked them to phone a man in Washington if something happened to him. He was going to stick with Dieter for three more days and would then contact the party.

The next day, Phillip called them and told them to join him that night in a raid on the lab. He would get them past security. Everyone agreed though Billy named it as a trap, and it was. Once inside the lab, Phillip’s head exploded and a four-armed treaded robot attacked them under the direction of Dieter. Gabriel reached into the magic bag to get a hand grenade, but came out instead with a demonic gauntlet on his right hand. When he tried to injure the Doctor, the gauntlet strangled him briefly. When he tried to help his friends, the gauntlet tried to stab them. Gabriel stepped to the side and tried to figure out what to do. The robot caught Annabelle, Reginald, and Angie. Billy managed to get to Dieter and kill him, but then Nikolaus picked up the control and made the mistake of trying to use it. The robot went berserk, snapping Annabelle in half, and gravely injuring Reginald and Angie. Nikolaus stopped messing with the control, and set it down. The robot stopped its assault and the party freed their fellows. While they rested, Billy, Angie, and Gabriel explored the rest of the lab, finding a secret biological lab where rats were being mutated by Dieter.

Most of the characters spent the next week at the hospital. On the second day, Gabriel noticed that the gauntlet was growing, and now covered his elbow. Signaling to Billy, he assented to the amputation of the arm, after which he collapsed and Billy tossed the gauntlet back into the bag. They did not make the call that Phillip had asked for, and as a result, the Rhon-Paku plot was completed, with thirty cities around the world being attacked by Dholes and descending into madness. NWI stepped in to aid survivors and establish order, essentially taking control of a good portion of the world at the same time.

* * *

Our next session began with Nikolas contacting Yig. Yig deigned to appear briefly. He regenerated Gabriel’s arm but was unwilling to do more, given the stakes. Instead, he charged his servant Thoth Amon, now a lich, to aid the party, and Yig disappeared.

Thoth Amon did not hide his revulsion for the party and their weakness. He asked them if they have any needs before he sent them into the Coils of the Serpent. He denied each of their requests.

“Can you teleport us to Cairo?”

“No.”

“Can you give us magic weapons?”

“Pathetic.”

“Can you provide us with an army?”

“No. But you will have an opportunity to win one yourselves. The Coils will give you that opportunity.”

With that, he sent them on their way, whirling through time and space to meet with a variety of characters. Some were familiar, one was not.

They first arrived just south of Castle Hauptmann in Deva, Transylvania, where the now-healed Karl Stolze sat, stroking a large wolf. Karl remembered Billy and Angie, and became angry. Gabriel interposed himself and found himself gripped  high above the monster’s head. Gabriel told Karl that his love, Ysmena, had been killed by Lang Fu-zi, sacrificed to the Deep Ones and the Hydra. Karl was furious and hurled Gabriel down, but Gabriel and Reginald calmed him by saying they were going to kill Lang Fu-zi, and that he could do the honors.

Next they found themselves in the Sahara, talking with Kemal Asham, the bandit chief. Here Billy took the lead, renewing his friendship and promising money and glory if Kemal followed them. Kemal and twenty of his bandits, mounted on camels, joined them in the Coils.

Next they came to Yemen, to the store of Victor Gavin. Victor greeted Gabriel but refused to enter such a dangerous enterprise. Instead, his adopted son Hassan al-Gharsi offered to sell them weapons on credit, payable on the saving of the world. The party gained a great deal of ammunition, several crates of hand grenades, two 80 mm. mortars and the requisite ammo for them. They stored all of this in their magic bag.

Finally, they found themselves in a place they had never seen before, a small hut before a cliff in a dry country filled with brush. Angie correctly guessed that they were in Ethiopia. They met an ancient Christian hermit named Temesgen, who greatly annoyed them by insisting on praying and meditating as to whether he should accompany them. After five hours, he finally agreed.

They arrived at the Pyramids of Giza, just south of the causeway from the Menkaura to the Valley Temple. North of them, Chandler’s zeppelin floated over the eastern mastaba fields. Lang Fu-zi and Baron Hauptmann (in the body of Endeavour Quinn) stood near a black limousine, chanting. About twenty NWI guards surrounded them.

Billy pointed out Lang Fu-zi to Karl, who began charging towards his enemy. Sir Reginald followed.

Kemal led his bandits in an ill-conceived charge, and nearly all of them were killed by gunfire from the guards. The bandits killed several of the guards as well, but in the end, Kemal turned to the west and fled with his two remaining men.

Karl was hit multiple times by bullets from the guards, but kept coming. Reginald was hit once in the abdomen and dropped. He began sneaking through the ruins, still following Karl but trying to stay under cover.

Meanwhile, Billy and Gabriel set up their mortars and began to attempt a bombardment of the guards. Their first shots went all over the place, and one just missed where Reginald was moving through the ruins.

Hauptmann and Lang fu-zi completed their spell, and the Sphinx began coming to life, its stone face falling away to reveal a void filled with stars and galaxies. The creature went wild, killing and destroying everything in its path. 

Reginald, Angie, and Nikolaus went mad at the sight. Reginald ran into the desert, where he remained for three months. When he finally recovered his senses and found his way back, he was starved, his clothes in shreds, and gravely injured. Angie was more fortunate, for she was captured and institutionalized by the Egyptians. She spent two months in the mental institution before her release. Nikolaus was only temporarily driven mad, and returned in about eight hours, but his behavior had changed, and he was now very short-tempered.

Several of the guards went insane as well, most of whom made the unfortunate choice to run toward the Sphinx and were subsequently crushed. One female guard ran to the west and escaped.

Hauptmann and one of the guards (Edward Chandler in disguise) leapt into the limo, but Lang Fu-zi made the fatal error of trying his magic against Karl. Much of Karl’s flesh boiled off his body, but that did not stop him. Karl gripped the ancient Chinese and ripped off his magic robe, causing Lang to age a thousand years in just a few seconds. Lang blew away as dust in the wind.

Hauptmann and Chandler slammed the doors and drove off, leaving a single guard behind to chase the car. Karl pursued him, tore him to pieces, and then collapsed in the sand. In the ensuing combat he was forgotten, and dragged himself into one of the local ruins where he slowly and painfully healed, eating rats and other small creatures.

Billy and Gabriel now launched mortar rounds at the Sphinx. Normal hits did little damage, because of the 20 pt armor of the Sphinx, but Billy landed a critical hit in its “face” and earned its attention. As the Sphinx turned towards them, Billy and Gabriel ran past Temesgen, who was chanting.

As the Keeper, I had Billy and Gabriel send me secret messages as to which directions they were running. As it happened, they both ran west, so the Sphinx could follow both of them. Gabriel carelessly tossed a grenade over his shoulder and managed to injure both himself, Gabriel, and Temesgen.

Then I had them again send secret messages. This time Gabriel turned south away from Billy, while Billy turned north. That was an unfortunate choice for Billy for two reasons. First, the Sphinx was closing with Billy and would crush him in the next round. Secondly, Temesgen was done his spell. Above the Sphinx appeared a great burning mass that was the great old one Cthuga, accompanied by 650 fire vampires. The sight drove Gabriel mad, but like Angie, he was luckily institutionalized. He left the insane asylum six months later.  As always, Billy retained his sanity. His lack of intelligence had been a great boon throughout the campaign. He started with a 70 SAN and ended with a 48, after encountering cultists, vampires, torture, the undead, Deep Ones, insane killers, deadly robots, Nazis, the Beast, fire vampires, a star vampire, Nyogtha, and Great Cthuga himself. Retaining his sanity after all that was a major accomplishment.

Cthuga and the fire vampires scorched the Sphinx, which could do little to them. Very quickly the Beast was driven from the Sphinx back to the Void and the Sphinx was left stiff and on its side in the sands. Billy fled from the conflagration and just barely survived, though he suffered horrible burns over his entire body. The zeppelin was destroyed.

“Help,” Billy requested of Temesgen, who replied only, “Bless you my son” as he left the battlefield.

The campaign was finished, but the villains remained. Thanks to NWI’s pre-knowledge of the Rhon-Paku plot, they were the only ones effective in disaster relief after the assault. Edward Chandler became a world leader and was elected to the Presidency the next year. NWI controlled most of the military dictatorships that arose in response to the disasters. 

The players will write their own finishes to the campaign, which I will share here, later.

Posted in Call of Cthulhu, Session Summaries | Leave a comment

So you want to run a horror RPG…

I loved this post enough to reblog it. I think this is the first one I’ve done that with!

Luciella Elisabeth Scarlett

My contribution to the first volume of the Uncaged anthology is Galateya’s Will, a horror-themed adventure based on the Greek myth of Pygmalion. In the introduction to the adventure I mention the use of safety tools: in this blog post, I will explain why safety tools are important, as well as some tips on how to use them to run horror RPGs.

The nature of a tabletop game

Firstly, I think it’s important to note a distinction between watching a horror movie and roleplaying in a horror game: movies are to be watched whereas games are interactive. A movie may indeed seek empathy from viewers, but there is a distinct boundary between the characters in the movie and the people watching it.

In a roleplaying game, the line between character and player is blurred. The player makes choices on behalf of their character and experiences that character’s emotions…

View original post 1,378 more words

Posted in Advice to Beginners, Gaming Tools & Accessories, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Games that are better than novels

Dungeoncraft #56 tries to explain why rpgs aren’t novels. I think he’s right, up to a point. But only the point where my games begin. I’ll explain, but first, here’s his explanation.

So he’s very definitely right about most D&D games, and he’s mostly right about rpgs in general. BUT if one has players who are into role-playing and story-telling more than getting the gold, and if the game design supports that (D&D typically doesn’t), and if the Referee helps the players see and feel what their characters see and feel, then one can have a wonderful co-created set of stories. Those stories are almost never what the Referee thought would happen, and they often fragment into multiple individual stories, but if those stories enrich the world in which they are played, then everyone benefits. And that’s why I DM and don’t write novels, because I always know how the novels will end and I never know what the players are going to do. That’s much more interesting to me.

I’ll give you an example. We were playing in a MERP campaign, and the Referee quit before the end of the current adventure. So we all wrote our own endings to the adventure, and it was perhaps more fun than playing the actual ending would have been. I shared those out in https://lostdelights.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/merp-escaping-the-mines-rashomon-style/  If you’ve done something similar, or if you have a story about how the adventurers did something unexpected that turned out great, please share.

Posted in Advice to Beginners, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Submerged

This game is a couple years old, but I finally got around to playing it. It took about 10 hours but was worth the $20. Very few glitches, no combat, lots of 3d mazes, humane storyline, and a very pretty map. There’s very few video games I actually recommend, but this is one. It’s like buying a living book, which is a good recommendation. Oh, and it is available on Steam.

Submerged screenshot, with green man watching the woman climb.

Posted in Video Games | Leave a comment

COC: The Beach Fight

More spoilers for the Fungi of Yuggoth campaign. Page down if you want to read the party’s latest adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The party traveled to San Francisco, following the shipments of Blue John. They visited the warehouse on the docks where it was received, and after a ridiculously small bribe to the manager, got the information that Chinese were picking it up. Gabriel and Billy staked out the warehouse, and eventually followed the black Cadillac that picked up the latest shipment to a small alley in Chinatown. The others were doing library research and joined the others at what turned out to be the entrance to a very sketchy Buddhist temple.

When the Cadillac arrived, two men got out and went into the alley. Gabriel and then Billy followed, while Reginald tried to tail the car on foot, which didn’t work. In the alley, Gabriel picked the lock of the door, and found a long passage, decorated in an extravagant Chinese fashion, ala Big Trouble in Little China. Inside he was greeted and then attacked by a priest with batrachian features. Billy followed, and helped defeat the other two who attacked from a secret door. The rest of the party joined them and descended stairs that led to a cavern heading for the sea. They ran into three Deep Ones and both groups retreated. This was lucky for the party, as they would have been at a disadvantage in the slick sea cave.

Following clues in the temple, the party visited a beach to the north. They met a grizzled old hermit who told them of a spot where “only the Chinese go” so they immediately went there, camping out on a ridge. The next night, about twenty Chinese showed up on the beach below and built three bonfires. The party remained hidden on the ridge, near a narrow trail down. The Cadillac showed up and Lang-fuzi stepped out holding a canoptic jar. His two black-clad bodyguards pulled a squirming bag from the trunk. When the party saw the contents (a young woman), Sir Reginald set up his Lee-Enfield and drew a bead on Lang-fuzi. As the magician finished his initial spell, Reginald fired and hit him square in the chest, but the silken robes the wizard was wearing stopped the shot, giving him only a bruise. Alerted, the Chinese swarmed up the narrow trail, while Lang-fuzi began chanting with greater vigor and using the elements of the jar. His two bodyguards retreated to cover behind the Cadillac.

A great battle ensued. Deep Ones emerged from the sea, seized the struggling girl, and dragged her out and under the waters, where many other dark bodies could be seen under the surface. Angie and Gabriel were halfway down the trail and began a fighting retreat. Annabelle and Reginald provided covering fire, while Billy blew his stone flute and Nikolas, overcome by the sight, fled into the night. He was later picked up by local authorities and institutionalized.

The stone flute brought a three-headed giant to their aid, who descended the trail while Gabriel and Angie hurriedly got out of his way. From then on, he blocked the trail and occasionally delivered horrendous damage to the lead Chinese. Once free, Gabriel sought in his magic bag for another holy hand grenade. After a variety of failures, including a very angry cat, he found a hand grenade that looked like it was from the Renaissance, and gave it to Billy. Billy threw it and killed several Chinese with it, and then descended the trail near the giant.

Suddenly a huge sea monster emerged from the waters and came near the shore, grasping Lang-fuzi and putting him on its shoulder. The party felt death approaching, and both Angie and Reginald lost their minds and fled. Fortunately for the others, the monster turned and headed back out to sea. The remaining party, along with the three-headed giant, killed the rest of the Chinese while the two bodyguards jumped in the Cadillac and drove off.

Posted in Call of Cthulhu, Session Summaries | Leave a comment