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Some scenario ideas of mine. A bit of help/input wanted.


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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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I like your adventure seeds.  I really think you took the right tack in The Janus Head one in that you came up with an original critter to fit the setting rather than trying to shoehorn a known Mythos monster into it.  After all, Lovecraft typically used each of his horrors once, in the story that introduced them.  And investigators shouldn’t have a “Tolbin’s Guide to Mythos Entities” to fill them in.  Each monster should be unique, a surprise.

So, Les Voyagers might be stalked by a wendigo.  But it might be a classic loup garou that shipped over with them to escape French justice. Or a Native American skin changer more interested in stalking the PCs’ guides (members of a rival tribe) than those stupid, inept Europeans.  Or Bigfoot.  Despite its seemingly supernatural stealth and cunning, maybe it is simply a hungry bear/puma/wolf as in Bwana Devil/The Ghost and the Darkness.  Lewis and Clark later discovered that an irate grizzly can take a volley of musket balls without even slowing down.  With real life monsters like that around, who needs the Mythos?  During your scenario, have various NPCs suggest all five possibilities and others, meanwhile dropping nebulous clues that might support one or more of them.  If your adventurers survive and escape, maybe they never do find out exactly what was attacking them in the dark.  That’s OK.

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Reflectoscope — When using the special lens the PCs see something in the canyon that shouldn’t be there, something that can’t be viewed otherwise.  Maybe they’re gazing into the past (or future), seeing a busy village from that lost civilization (or Buck Rogers visiting the Arizona Org in the 25th century).  Maybe these folks notice and decide they don’t like being spied upon.  Ditch the Hounds but give the offended party some unpleasant means of expressing their displeasure.

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9 minutes ago, seneschal said:

I like your adventure seeds.  I really think you took the right tack in The Janus Head one in that you came up with an original critter to fit the setting rather than trying to shoehorn a known Mythos monster into it.  After all, Lovecraft typically used each of his horrors once, in the story that introduced them.  And investigators shouldn’t have a “Tolbin’s Guide to Mythos Entities” to fill them in.  Each monster should be unique, a surprise.

So, Les Voyagers might be stalked by a wendigo.  But it might be a classic loup garou that shipped over with them to escape French justice. Or a Native American skin changer more interested in stalking the PCs’ guides (members of a rival tribe) than those stupid, inept Europeans.  Or Bigfoot.  Despite its seemingly supernatural stealth and cunning, maybe it is simply a hungry bear/puma/wolf as in Bwana Devil/The Ghost and the Darkness.  Lewis and Clark later discovered that an irate grizzly can take a volley of musket balls without even slowing down.  With real life monsters like that around, who needs the Mythos?  During your scenario, have various NPCs suggest all five possibilities and others, meanwhile dropping nebulous clues that might support one or more of them.  If your adventurers survive and escape, maybe they never do find out exactly what was attacking them in the dark.  That’s OK.

If Voyageurs would have been a Chill adventure I would probably go for the bigfoot angle. But maybe what you're suggesting about a The Ghost and the Darkness kind of man-eating grizzly bordering on the supernatural in its cunning could be the coolest idea? Everyone would expect wendigos, bigfoots, loup-garous and similar creatures and get scared by the very notion of the supernatural hunting them. I also must place it geographically in order to see what native tribes were present. Alberta might be good. I googled and found out that Cree and Inuits (probaby Caribou Inuits) were enemies. Maybe the fur traders have Cree guides and the Inuit summon something to take revenge for some wrongdoing? The PCs just get caught up in the middle of it all?

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4 minutes ago, seneschal said:

Reflectoscope — When using the special lens the PCs see something in the canyon that shouldn’t be there, something that can’t be viewed otherwise.  Maybe they’re gazing into the past (or future), seeing a busy village from that lost civilization (or Buck Rogers visiting the Arizona Org in the 25th century).  Maybe these folks notice and decide they don’t like being spied upon.  Ditch the Hounds but give the offended party some unpleasant means of expressing their displeasure.

Ok, well, what if I keep the special lens, the Hounds of Tindalos AND sights of your lost civilization? The lense gives a glimpse of some ancient past. The 7th edition core book: "twisting, curving, corkscrew towers of the city of Tindalos are now all but forgotten. Ancient writings describe the city as existing on Earth". Maybe it was the beginnings of fabled, hidden civilizations of the Grand Canyon?

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23 minutes ago, midwinter said:

Ok, well, what if I keep the special lens, the Hounds of Tindalos AND sights of your lost civilization? The lense gives a glimpse of some ancient past. The 7th edition core book: "twisting, curving, corkscrew towers of the city of Tindalos are now all but forgotten. Ancient writings describe the city as existing on Earth". Maybe it was the beginnings of fabled, hidden civilizations of the Grand Canyon?

Maybe the viewer doesn’t merely see somewhere or somewhen else.  Maybe he or she gets sent there, too, and has to figure out how to get back before it is too late.  Maybe the next person to use the lens sees his pal being crowned god-king or being “invited” to dinner (or both) by the people or beings there.  Maybe the two realities open up to each other on a periodic basis (see Louis L’Amour’s “Haunted Mesa”).  And if the PCs can get there, maybe They can get here.  The adventurers think they have escaped and are enjoying a refreshing and well-earned lemonade at Canyon’s Edge Cafe when the bad guys show up, again, for Round Two.

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5 minutes ago, seneschal said:

Maybe the viewer doesn’t merely see somewhere or somewhen else.  Maybe he or she gets sent there, too, and has to figure out how to get back before it is too late.  Maybe the next person to use the lens sees his pal being crowned god-king or being “invited” to dinner (or both) by the people or beings there.  Maybe the two realities open up to each other on a periodic basis (see Louis L’Amour’s “Haunted Mesa”).  And if the PCs can get there, maybe They can get here.  The adventurers think they have escaped and are enjoying a refreshing and well-earned lemonade at Canyon’s Edge Cafe when the bad guys show up, again, for Round Two.

Hmm, an interesting twist. I will try to check out "Haunted Mesa". I also need to find more info, if possible, about the fictive Tindalos/Tindalosi.

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No-title chillfest — Your iced-in remote whaling station is a classic adventure and horror setting.  Your protagonists are few, they are trapped in a hostile environment that could easily kill them without any supernatural agency, and they are crammed into claustrophobic quarters with only themselves and all their personal faults and foibles to keep them company.  They can’t easily go out for a walk and a breath of fresh air to relieve interpersonal tensions, and except for a few tough tasks necessary to maintain the station and their lives, they’ve got nothing to do but stare at the walls and each other and the pile of dirty dishes they’ve just finished arguing about whose turn it is to wash.  And the wind outside makes all sorts of eerie sounds that a bored mind could interpret as animal noises or whispered words or anything.  Your scenario should reinforce the discomfort, the underlying stress, the need for and perhaps lack of group discipline.  The inhabitants of Ice Station Zero and the base attacked by The Thing were military personnel with firm rules and a base commander to enforce them.  Your whalers, however, are civilians and the captain sailed home to his wife.  Who decides who is in charge?  What happens if others disagree?

So there are all sorts of dangers even before we add a monster.  A heavy snowfall threatens to collapse the roof of the cabin.  Firewood and/or rations could run low.  Lack of a varied diet means vitamin deficiencies and the physical and mental disabilities that could cause.  An expedition member could become alarmingly depressed and suicidal or murderously aggressive.  If someone goes nuts, where and how could the others restrain him?

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Chillfest continued —  “No, dammit, I don’t want to play another hand of rummy!”  “Yeah?  Well, if you pull out that blasted harmonica again I’m gonna shove it in your ...!”

So our intrepid whalers are bored, at one another’s throats, possibly ill, and they’ve just had to lock Herschel in the secondary storeroom for everyone’s safety.  And then they start to get hints that maybe they aren’t alone on the ice after all.  Tools or supplies go missing.  Doors they were sure they securely fastened are found banging open in the wind.  The small boat they use for fishing is damaged.  They hear even stranger than usual sounds outside and something seems to bang on the walls of the cabin.  Is it all nerves and weather?  Can they believe what they are seeing and hearing?  What if Herschel disappears?  Could he really survive out there alone with no gear?

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Seneschal, that is some great stuff. Yes, I imagine spending the winter months with people like Herschel could be like a ticking time bomb. I will definitely try to put your advice to good use. It's like The Thing, The Terror tv-series and A Cold Night's Death (1973) mixed with the Mythos.

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Another entry in the growing catalog of  arctic  nightmares, is Dan Simmon's 'The Terror', which is a fictional account of the doomed Franklin  expedition of  1845, in search of the fabled Northwest Passage.

Besides being trapped  in the pack ice, the  expedition has to deal with a vengeful supernatural entity:  a kind of demonic  Inuit ogre. 

It appears that the OP is aware of  its TV incarnation. 

 

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Here's a quick throw-away:  take one of these  'men isolated in the wilderness' scenarios.  Suppose one of them  develops psychic powers; perhaps because of exposure to some Mythos entity or artifact. Or maybe they always had these dormant powers.

So now the psychic is slowly loosing his mind, and his powers are manifesting themselves, unconsciously, in  a destructive fashion;  maybe even manifesting as some inimical creature. 

"There's something out there." Only it isn't. It inside the cabin with you. Its Herschel, only he doesn't even know it. 

 

 

Ohh. Another idea. Maybe Herschel  has dragged  the others within him into the Dreamlands.  You think you're in the Aleutians, but you're really in the Cold Wastes, and when the weather clears, you'll see  Kadath  in all its sublime terror. 

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2 minutes ago, 1d8+DB said:

Here's a quick throw-away:  take one of these  'men isolated in the wilderness' scenarios.  Suppose one of them  develops psychic powers; perhaps because of exposure to some Mythos entity or artifact. Or maybe they always had these dormant powers.

So now the psychic is slowly loosing his mind, and his powers are manifesting themselves, unconsciously, in  a destructive fashion;  maybe even manifesting as some inimical creature. 

"There's something out there." Only it isn't. It inside the cabin with you. Its Herschel, only he doesn't even know it. 

Ok, good stuff. This Herschel fellow is beginning to look like trouble, lol. I'm saving all this to my notes.

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31 minutes ago, 1d8+DB said:

Ohh. Another idea. Maybe Herschel  has dragged  the others within him into the Dreamlands.  You think you're in the Aleutians, but you're really in the Cold Wastes, and when the weather clears, you'll see  Kadath  in all its sublime terror. 

That sounds twisted enough. I must read up on Dreamers and the Dreamlands. It all struck me as more of a fantasy-like world. And I don't understand how someone can access the Dreamlands by travelling into deep caverns of our own world, like ghouls do for example. But I will begin by reading Lovecraft's Dream cycle of works.

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The Cove — idyllic seaside artists’ colony menaced by a shark and possibly by the nefarious doings of one of its members.  And the crazier events get, the crazier the inhabitants’ works of art get.  What can we do with this?  Hmmm.

We know Cthulhu stirring in his sleep sends psychic ripples that can disturb sensitive individuals such as artists.  Maybe it can disturb wildlife, too.  The crazy violent paintings and sculptures are predictive; they come before the first shark attack.  But that’s not the end of it.  First its one shark, then squads of them — and barracudas.  Dangerous jellyfish wash up to carpet the beach.  Then armies of large voracious crabs invading homes and studios.  Seals attack and overturn small boats.  It is “The Birds” with sea creatures.

So the question is, is there anything the PCs can do about it?  Cthulhu and/or Dagon are beyond human control but if the answer is “no” that deprives the players of any agency in the scenario — something I hate.  Is some member of the community purposely or inadvertently drawing the attacks?  Perhaps the local anthropologist is studying an artifact he found and attempting to translate the inscriptions on it.  The thing is a weirdness magnet.  The more Mister Science messes with it, the worse things get outside.

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6 hours ago, seneschal said:

The Cove — idyllic seaside artists’ colony menaced by a shark and possibly by the nefarious doings of one of its members.  And the crazier events get, the crazier the inhabitants’ works of art get.  What can we do with this?  Hmmm.

We know Cthulhu stirring in his sleep sends psychic ripples that can disturb sensitive individuals such as artists.  Maybe it can disturb wildlife, too.  The crazy violent paintings and sculptures are predictive; they come before the first shark attack.  But that’s not the end of it.  First its one shark, then squads of them — and barracudas.  Dangerous jellyfish wash up to carpet the beach.  Then armies of large voracious crabs invading homes and studios.  Seals attack and overturn small boats.  It is “The Birds” with sea creatures.

So the question is, is there anything the PCs can do about it?  Cthulhu and/or Dagon are beyond human control but if the answer is “no” that deprives the players of any agency in the scenario — something I hate.  Is some member of the community purposely or inadvertently drawing the attacks?  Perhaps the local anthropologist is studying an artifact he found and attempting to translate the inscriptions on it.  The thing is a weirdness magnet.  The more Mister Science messes with it, the worse things get outside.

Maybe there are other beings who can twist the mind of the artist, beings less powerful than Cthulhu or Dagon, or maybe his twisted art is in fact summoning some beings? You are correct that the force behind it all must at least feel stoppable in some way. But just killing the artist would be too easy unless he is a friend or relative.

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