Cults of Chaos: A Time of Harvest Episode 1
WHERE: MACE 2016 (Charlotte, NC)
WHEN: November 11, 2016
SYSTEM/SETTING: Call of Cthulhu 7e/ 1930 America, Vermont
Never thought I would get involved in with anything Organized Play but when Call of Cthulhu did it, I was all in. They approach it differently from other OP (at least the way I understand it). They simply want to get people playing the game. Right now, the adventures are free but if/when they start costing something, I am probably out.
I enhanced this adventure in many ways, to make it easier to run. First there is an invaluable Timeline document that summarizes the game thoroughly, found on the forums. It made running it so much easier. I downloaded it and converted it to PDF here.
Secondly, I had to figure out a way to easily manage the 7 or 8 NPCs involved in the game. That seemed to be a challenge for many people that ran it. I created cards that I laid out, with general information about each character. This is where portraits of each character would have been helpful but I went with what I had. Here is a NPC PDF of the cards I created. I also created quick references for the bad guys that they may be engaging.
Additionally, I probably went off script a little by making the previous expedition somewhat a mystery and seeded the group with bits and pieces of it in the form of background connection to the adventure. This ended up creating mistrust up front. I wasn’t sure how else to introduce that aspect of the story, because I can not imagine a group of students going on a city where a student died. But I did play up the desperation of the students.
I also created hand-out cards for the folklore they would find. I simply copied and pasted out of the PDF into a 3.5″ by 2.5″ table grid in Word like I did with the NPCs. To avoid too many copyright violations, I will leave it to you to do that.
Unfortunately, paranoia took over the group early (and time was running short), so I made the “Accident” part of the adventure the end. Instead of making the storm so rough that the bad guys could not fly, the showdown happened then – with the group split, of course. That was another had part of managing the group. Splitting the group was built into the adventure, which I understand. But there was a lot of jumping back and forth, more than once during the adventure.
Surprisingly, no one died and all the was supposed to happen, happened. The players said they had fun. They never really got a chance to follow through with the clues passed on by the dreams, but I did explain it to them.
Time management is key in this. That “dream” adventure seems unnecessary but I can understand where it is there. I was not sure how to treat the knowledge of the past expedition but knowing what little they did, took them down the core plot and swayed there away from the dreams fairly easily. The mistrust of key NPCs took was really what drove the game session.