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A Time to Harvest in Oxford (part 1, day 1)

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I’m running this with the University club, and the first session was attended by six players, only one of whom had significant experience with Call of Cthulhu. It worked well, though we only got as far as day 2. A few comments:

  • Since my players were mostly not familiar with the setting and the Miskatonic University, I had to fill in some background; the supplied chapters are a bit short on a concise “this is MU” section.
  • One of the players got very excited about the “First Baptist Church of the Divine Ascension”, and I realised that there was an interesting potential link to one of the “folklore interviews” about meeting the devil; I had the reverend claim to have met and dispelled the devil.
  • There are altogether too many NPCs, and I didn’t manage them terribly well. Most of the townsfolk got a look-in, but the players didn’t seem terribly interested in interacting with their fellow students; this was probably something I should have thought more about beforehand.
  • I ended up running the dreams as interactive play rather than handouts, which looked a bit weak.
  • The players were quite interested in the single body that was found from the previous expedition; some improvisation required to discuss the state of the body (I added in some mystery by suggesting that the guy was dead before the rockslide that allegedly killed him).

I suspect we’ll finish part 1 on Sunday.

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Session 2. The downside of running with a university club was that I had four players this time, two of whom played last time, and two were new to the game. Spent a little time refreshing the rules and background, slightly disturbed by a jazz band playing in the quad outside the room (ah, Oxford colleges...).

By odd coincidence, the players present were all "hard sciences" and so we elided the folklore gathering into some background research by the NPCs.

This being day 3, the clouds gathered and they set off for some excavations. The rain duly arrived, and the accident at the bridge arrived. One of the characters was in "amazing rolls" mode, and saved himself and then Clarissa Thurber who had taken a head wound. He then masterminded the rescue of the truck, leading to Clarissa to looking at him in a new and appreciative light (and getting evil looks from Blaine). The other characters made various comical rolls. Two struggled to shore (one on the "wrong" side of the river) and one ended up hugging a mi-go brain as a flotation device, though it quickly disintegrated. This did give me the option to introduce some weirdness and also the characters ended up with some plastic like webbing from the mi-go brain that tied things together later. Lack of maps or similar was not an issue; this was all about role play and reacting to the fall of dice.

After the weather cleared, the characters took a wing out into the maple forest. They found the rock and the body, got jumped by the moon beast and promptly ran away.

They set a watch overnight and were "buzzed" by a nosy man from leng. Although they didn't follow him, they noted the direction so they could head out at day break. They encountered Blaine as they headed out, but didn't make anything of it. They followed tracks to the shack, encountered two men from Leng upstairs and the ensuing slap fight (the characters were not very effective) led to injuries all round, but an unconscious lengite and the other badly wounded. The other two lengites came up from the cellar using the girl as a hostage and there was a tense standoff (in sign language...) before the lengites escaped in exchange for handing over the captive.

The sheriff was wheeled in to take over the girl, and also look for a reported body in the forest. A minor man-hunt is under way for some foreigners near Cobb's Corner...

Which is where the session ended.

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/8/2016 at 2:25 PM, Mike Lay said:

 Two struggled to shore (one on the "wrong" side of the river) and one ended up hugging a mi-go brain as a flotation device, though it quickly disintegrated.

What a grand idea!  I think I shall incorporate the Mi-go flotation device with my group this weekend!  Bravo!


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