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Astounding Adventures - The Desintegrator


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So I ran one last Astounding Adventures online last night... Since I had done the three book's scenarios, I chose to slip onto Pulp Cthulhu, with its core book scenario The desintegrator. Three players (two veterans, one beginner), very good atmosphere, good PCs involvement... The Desintegrator is a very nice one, really, and we all had a very good time.

SPOILER ALERT! And then all the fiends were revealed. When the players had to face a proto-shoggoth on the one hand and some fungi on the other hand, they all suddenly lost their nerves both with their initiative. They became totally passive and quickly decided to deal with Mr Sleep and obey him!!! Yet I had prepare them. Yet one of my players soon understood they were playing some Cthulhu stuff. Yet they were two veterans. Yet one of them soon suggested to destroy the desintegrator (but even him decided to abandon this idea). When they were walking with Mr Sleep, carrying the device, I added more details, triggered many warnings... Nothing to do. It had to be a TPK. So be it. 💀

Still, it was a good TPK scene and my players enjoyed it (phew!). When they entered the crevasse with Mr Sleep, I stopped the roleplaying and had to improvise with an outer point of view. "The world never heard from you again" and that kind of stuff. Like if I was reading a press review. I never mentioned their obvious dead. And they really enjoyed it (phew! again...). ☺️

This scenario gave me, as a GM, the opportunity to deal with some improvisation I never had to make before: switching the points of view in such a way, and choosing not to describe the final scene at all. It preserved the atmosphere right to the session end and even a little beyond (when we were chating after playing).

Funny nota: it's my 4th TPK, and all four occured in a Mythos environment (on in Delta Green, two in CoC, one here in Pulp Cthulhu). Then, you will laugh, it's only the second I have to manage as a GM. The two others? I was a player, of course, and I must confess both of them were entirely my personal fault (a fumble on a hand grenade throwing, and the intentional sacrifice of my fellow players to invoke Shub-Niggurath). With this one, at least, I'm making equal... 😁

Last point: slipping from Astounding Adventures onto Pulp Cthulhu was still a good idea, and even with a TPK my players really liked it. And this scenario provides very good atmosphere as well as some typical pulp stuff (the device itself). Be sure I'm not done with these two RPGs...

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