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Found 8 results

  1. BRP fans are always looking for the next globe-trotting mystery campaign for Astounding Adventures or Call of Cthulhu. But Agatha Christie has already written two of them for you, complete with exotic locations, tangled conspiracies, and ruthless but colorful villains. And they're even set in the right era. "The Man In the Brown Suit" (1924) is crammed with murder, hidden identities, sea voyages, mysterious NPCs with shady agendas, and colonial adventure in South Africa. "They Came to Bagdad" (1951) has very much the same action -adventure feel, only this time set in the Mideast with a bit of James Bond flair thrown in. No spoilers, but a GM could pretty much read these novels, stat up the major characters, and run a game. Both are available as audiobooks online.
  2. The Cult of Ubasti Source: "The Return of Chandu," Principal Pictures, 1934 Here are some bad guys to bedevil Astounding Adventurers, Cthulhu investigators, and Superworld crime-fighters. Based on Magic Isle, a fragment of the lost continent of Lemuria, the cat-worshipping Cult of Ubasti is a global conspiracy stretching its sorcerous tentacles from the South Pacific to posh European capitals to the United States. Its goal is to resurrect the ancient witch-queen Ossana, an event the cult believes will cause Lemuria to rise above the waves and restore the Ubastian hegemony to power. Members include turbaned priests, primitive tribesmen, sleek Continental noblemen, brawny cat-costumed fanatics, and crude American gangsters. The cult is quite egalitarian in its recruitment efforts, but as usual failure means summary execution at the hands of one's supervisor. Since membership is so heterogeneous, cultists identify each other with coins bearing the visage of Ubasti. Rank-and-file cultists are fond of knives of all sorts, as well as thrown weapons such as darts. They're not above using firearms but prefer quieter methods of dispatching foes as befits their stealthy goddess. Fanatics are brawlers who sometimes employ melee weapons. Priests are skilled hypnotists armed with a variety of narcotics and poisons and sneaky means of delivering them. High priests display abilities such as telepathy, mind control and the creation of teleportation circles. How much of this is stagecraft and how much is actual magic is hard to determine. The cult's headquarters is a tropical lost worlds set piece. It features labyrinthine prehistoric stone architecture, deathtraps, hungry big cats, chanting natives, cavernous torchlit rooms, secret passages, rock-hewn dungeons, the Tomb of Ossana, and a massive golden cat idol whose eyes are priceless emeralds. Ubasti's dark powers, if they exist, are strongest here -- an oppressive atmosphere even the most stubborn skeptic can't help but feel. Is the island seated atop a tectonic fault complete with uneasily dozing volcano? Maybe. Will the whole joint go boom if the High Head Honcho's rituals go awry? What do you think? So, how does the Ubasti Cult plan to revive Ossana this time? Because they've been at this practically forever. The latest attempt isn't their first rodeo. Hey, they may be crazy but at least they're persistent. Some possibilities: Ossana was placed in a mystical/super high-tech slumber to avoid or delay the ravages of a dread disease. Doctor Whatshisname of the University of Southern Someplace has just announced his discovery of a possible cure for said disease. Guess who the cult's newest recruit is? The priests of Ubasti believe they can transfer Ossana's soul into a living host but only if the woman is a descendant of certain ancient bloodlines -- such as the player-characters' latest companion, Miss Lovely McGuffin. Advanced cloning techniques developed at BigMed, Inc., attract the cult's attention. Why wait on a cure or chance reincarnation when the Lemurians could manufacture an army of vessels for the witch-queen?
  3. Yet another scenario seed for my fellow Cthulhu-philes to twist and play with. During her enforced sabbatical my wife has been binge-watching "El Clon," a Mexican remake of a Brazilian telenovela set in modern Morocco. It is stranger than Star Trek and Babylon 5 together ever dreamed of being. The plot has something to do with a Sexy Young Thing who finds herself romantically drawn both to a distinguished older gentleman and an attractive man closer to her own age, both of whom have been treated for the same type of skin cancer at a nearby research hospital that also hosts a cutting edge fertility clinic. The rest of the story resembles Real Housewives of Morocco -- shapely women seeking love, matrimony and babies while wearing as much cosmetics and as little clothing as possible despite the Islamic setting. Do bitter relational and professional rivalries abound? Of course they do! In the middle of these shenanigans is an unscrupulous doctor willing to steal genetic material and even toddlers to further his scientific inquiries. So what can we do with this? The presentation is the most suds-laden of soap operas but the underlying situation -- a prestigious medical center concealing illegal and unprincipled experiments, is genuinely horrifying. The physician needs to kidnap that cherished newborn, both to complete his research and hide his crimes. And there is likely a practical reason the Sexy Young Thing lusts after both her lovers.
  4. Today we usually associate the name "Harley Quin" with a relatively recent female Batman villain. But in Agatha Christie's 1930 stories, Quin is a mysterious, possibly supernatural, male righter of wrongs. While on the side of the angels, Quin strikes me as somewhat creepy -- a sinister fairy godfather with a nose for murder. Sounds like adventure fodder to me, since he prods the protagonist of the tales into taking action to prevent or redress crimes.
  5. Recently major news outlets announced that temperatures in Antarctica had hit 65 F. "It's melting! What a world, what a world!" https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nydailynews.com/news/world/ny-65-sixty-five-degree-antarctica-record-high-20200207-zm6jxtpofjgtvmp7itwkuibvqe-story.html%3foutputType=amp However, a two-week forecast says the hottest temperature this fortnight will be a scorching -18 F. https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/antarctica/south-pole/ext What's going on? Well, the 65 F hot spot isn't at the south pole. It's on a peninsula that veers far north (relatively) from the frozen continent. And if you read down to the bottom of the Daily News article, the area has drifted into the 60s before and the usual temperature variation is from -140 F to 50 F -- less than 65 but still well above freezing. But let's say the continent really was thawing out. The Elder Things and their rebellious shoggoth former servants are unlocked from the ice and making tea ("Earl Grey! Hot!") with all that liquid fresh water. We can assume that other ancient critters have revived as well. What happens next? Can the investigators do anything about it? Despite the warm-up it is still chilly, extremely isolated, and dark eight or nine months out of the year. Bring lots of ramen packets. Oh, and it is muddy. Really, really muddy.
  6. "Your temperament's wrong for the priesthood, and teaching would suit you still less; So be a dentist. You'll be a success!" We've had CoC adaptations of Clue, RUR, even Murder On the Orient Express. Has anyone tried to adapt "Little Shop of Horrors"? It's got a setting similar to "The Horror At Red Hook," a cast of disreputable characters/suspects, and an unusual (and ravenous) monster. I'm not so much a fan of the original 1960 black-and-white movie, which I found boring, but I absolutely love the musical and the 1986 film. Why throw mere cultists at your players when you can confront them with all-singing, all-dancing critters of ultimate destruction? I can envision a buzzing Mi-Go chorus line accompanied by kazoos in addition to whatever main monster you want to include.
  7. Musing on possible Halloween scenarios, I had a random thought. What if instead of ramping up the eldritch terror to 11 we drifted in the other direction (or misdirection) a bit? I'm a fan of both the board game and the comedy movie "Clue." What can we do with it? So, we've got our six color-themed player-characters/suspects and a nine-room mansion map complete with secret passages conveniently already laid out in a grid. We've saved our Keeper some work since it is the players' job to stat out the cast and justify why Professor Plum has Epee 60% and Electronics 45%. Also, although the game was conceived in the mid-Forties rather than the Twenties it still has that early modern historical elan special to Call of Cthulhu. So far, so good.
  8. I have a few ideas concerning scenarios bouncing around in my head. I'm quite new to CoC (but not horror rpgs) and would appreciate a tad of input/help. The scenarios are nothing more than some scribbled notes, and some historic research. Below are some of my scenario seeds: Voyageurs I have always been fascinated with the historic fur trade in Canada and North America. Voyageurs will be a scenario were the PCs/Investigators will be Quebecois fur traders who travel down some remote river only to notice that something is stalking them among the trees of the riverbank. It's basically Predator/Deliverance/The Edge but with French-Canadian fur traders, Native tribes and Mythos creature. But what creature? A Wendigo could perhaps be an obvious choice, but maybe just too obvious? What other Mythos-inspired being could be just as terrifying and at home in the wilderness? Any suggestions? Reflectoscope This scenario takes place in Grand Canyon in 1932. The Investigators might be a group of ordinary tourists, treasure hunters/researcher looking for evidence of lost civilizations, treasure caves, etc. They could also be detectives searching for some missing people (inspired by the historic disappearance of Glen and Bessie Hyde among others). The important thing is Mary Colter's Desert View Watchtower with it's reflectoscopes. One of those reflectoscopes is different in its nature. When looking through this cursed reflectoscope and viewing the sharp corners, edges and cracks of the canyon rockface one happens to summon the Hounds of Tindalos. And thus the hunt is on. No title yet (feel free to suggest one) This scenario takes place on some island among the Aleutian Islands where a skeleton crew (the PCs) maintain a whaling station during the harsh off season winter months. The time period is probably the first decade of the 20th century. I have plenty of source material concerning historic whaling, canneries and such, but what I lack here is frankly the source of the horror. It's an isolated, frozen place just like in The Thing. But what Mythos deity/being could be used? I know Deep Ones, Dagon and Hydra could be obvious choices, but so many scenarios contain Deep Ones. Maybe Ithaqua himself walks across the thick ice to haunt the PCs? The Cove This scenario takes place in late 19th century, probably around the 1890s (Gaslight era). The setting is an en plein airimpressionist artist camp i New South Wales (in the vicinity of Sydney) with inspiration from the historic camp at Balmoral Beach. The Investigators are most likely bohemian painters, but could of course have more diverse professions than that if they feel like it. This scenario is just the beginning of a seed, but I want a man-eating huge tiger shark in it, an artist in the camp that paints more and more hideous paintings as if possessed by some unknown force. This is all I have apart from period art, historical info of the region, the artist camps and other stuff. The tiger shark is kind of a red herring but is there because I'm fascinated by sharks and because there has been historical attacks in that region where the culprits were believed to have been tiger sharks. Maybe some artist that the PCs come to like is killed by this shark? The crazed painter is the real CoC-mystery though. Maybe there could be some Dreamlands connection (although most Dreamland material doesn't seem creepy, really)? The Janus Head/Diprosopus/Geminus (any title suggestion is appreciated)? This is a 1920s or perhaps even better a Depression era CoC scenario set somewhere near the more southern parts of the Appalachian Mountains. The Investigators are probably hired as workers relocating a small town about to be flooded by a future reservoir. The Investigators may be a part of a ragtag team occupied with relocating old graves, loading crusty old coffins on trucks and carts - dirty work like that. But towards the end of this assignment a crew of roughnecks come across rumours concerning an older graveyard in the area, down in Black Hag Holler/Hollow (I want Hag Holler in the name but not sure about black? Well, maybe someone can come up with an even creepier name for a holler). Digging up these newly discovered graves the crew come across an old, odd looking 19th century iron coffin with hex marks and rusty chains wrapped around it. They bring it into a tent and try to open it during their off-time. Maybe they believe the chains, the etched hillfolk hex signs and the thick iron coffin were meant to stop graverobbers but there's nothing a sledgehammer, a wedge and greedy minds can't fix. They manage to open the coffin late one evening. The next morning they don't show up for work. The boss is furious and sends the PCs to get the lazy bums back to work. It turns out that some of these men have died horrible deaths, torn to shreds while some are completely missing. The Investigators find the opened iron coffin with some dusty bone fragments of a woman inside. A more in-depth study of the bones show that they have been gnawed upon. There is hardly any bones left of the dead woman and the insides of the coffin has been clawed as if she was buried alive (which isn't the case). This scenario features an unique being I just call The Coffin Birth, the spawn of a pregnant but murdered witch. It's a hideously misshapen monster with two conjoined heads/parasitic twinning (like the Edward Mordake yarn). One head is almost nothing but sunken rat eyes and a gaping, drooling maw with rows upon rows of yellow tombstone-like teeth. It's the head that eats. The other head is definitely more human albeit twisted into form. It is the head that lures. Across moldy lips comes the sweetest sounds as it mimics birds and animals of dusk and night. It can even mimic human voices to perfection where it lurks among the hills beneath the silvery moon. The entity is slowly growing for each new victim it feeds upon now that it has found release from its cast iron prison. This is basically inspired by the movie Pumpkinhead, historical flooded towns, the tale about Edward Mordake, folk magic and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rehmeyer's_Hollow I'm not sure though where to locate the fictious town to be drowned, in what state. Perhaps someone on this forum lives in states bordering the Appalachians and could give me some advice on locations. I need hollers and spooky mountain forests. I have bookmarked alot of dams/reservoirs made in the era, but haven't yet decided upon which one to use (as I would like a real historical dam/reservoir/man-made lake, but a fictious flooded town). I appreciate all the input and advice I can get.
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