The Dreaming Ward (ConCarolinas 2017)
SYSTEM: Call of Cthulhu 7e
Chaosium released a few free adventures for the summer con season and I decided to run some of those. Key word is that these are free. You get what you pay for. Although they are complete adventures thankfully all with pregenerated characters, they are … let’s just say… a little different. At least the ones I ran. The Dream Ward is definitely not your typical CoC one shot and I had a hard time conveying the story to the players.
Don’t get me wrong, however. It went well. The players seems to have a good time. It was just a weird, atypical adventure that was had for me to rap my head around. The setup is basically simple – the investigators need therapy and volunteer for an experimental sleep experiment to help with their nightmares. It is basically making an adventure out of the mundane stuff an investigator is supposed to do between adventures. This makes for a perfect campaign side adventure if the GM is so inclined.
The downside for me is that it deals with the Dreamlands, one of my least favorite settings in the Lovecraftian worlds. It’s a little more fantasy than I want to deal with. I find it less scary. However, it is only tangential. The primary baddie in all of it is Atlach Nacha, my favorite of the mythos. Now that can creep people out.
I read through it and had a hard time completely grasping the final act of the adventure. I ended up letting the players guide me to what would make a complete ending. Although, they thought it was a plot hatched by their therapist, I think they had a good time. They all said they did. I know I freaked them out quite often. I also had a young child in the game (8 years old) so I had to keep it family friendly, which is not always easy.