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A Time To Harvest, Episode 1 Completed

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I play with a group online, but we all had crazy schedules leading into the summer.  We finally got started on Episode 1 in late July.

Overview of Episode 1


It took three sessions of approximately ten hours of play on Roll20 to complete Episode 1.  I had five players.  They created two characters each, and then the professors chose which investigators were to go on the field trip.  The second characters had to have some sort of connection with the playing investigator in case something happened and a replacement was needed.  One player chose the option of having a representative from FOC as his investigator.  This did supply some interesting roleplaying because he tried to take command a number of times, but the students wouldn’t follow his lead.  It did make things hard at the end when the remaining investigators were sent home by the professor.  He pretty much told Harold that he was going to do what he wanted.  I’m not sure how that is going to play out in the second episode.  

Final Tally at end of the Episode 1:

3 investigators returning to Arkham, 2 abducted by Mi-Go (I did my best to avoid this, but there isn't a lot to be done if an investigator is just going to stand and watch his fellow students get plucked up like mice in a hawk's talons).

Things that went well:

  • Using Trent as a red herring.  This totally hooked the players. They never really suspected Blaine until the end.  They were mad at him, but didn't think it was suspicious.

  • The Sugar Maple setup totally spooked the players.  The dreams.  The zoogs.  The skeletal remains on the woods floor.  Perfect!

  • The bridge accident was hilarious.  One investigator managed to fall in the water three different times. I had Blaine push Trent into him, so that made them even more suspicious of Trent!

  • the crazy amount of whiskey flowing…no wonder the locals thought the students were a bunch of drunks!


Difficulties I had included the following:

  • getting the investigators to leave for MU at the end.  With the things they had seen, the threat of incarceration or expulsion didn't really resonate  (one ran away and returned to the sugar maple forest to watch the farmhouse for a few days)

  • Joe Harlow convincing the surveyors to stay behind during the rainstorm while Blaine went away was a bit of a reach

  • there is a great deal of possible sanity loss for the investigators pursuing things in the Sugar Maple Forest.  Of course this is off-set by a lot of possible sanity gain if things go well.  

  • I had difficulty balancing  the action between the two parties.  Particularly in the second half of the episode, the folklorists seem more inclined to check out the sugar maple forest, since their party is staying nearby.  This translated to a lot of downtime for the surveyors.  Then to top it off, all of the sanity rewards at the end go to the Sugar Maple gang. :-)

  • Wow!  That is a lot of NPCs to act out!  It was pretty tough to stay consistent, but I know it will pay off in episode 2.


  • I changed the number of Men of Leng to two from four.  I figured the two investigators had already faced quite a bit.
  • The investigators totally predicted Sarah's remains after the deluge.  It didn't stop them from getting freaked out about it.  :-)

We had a blast with this episode.  We'll start the next one on Labor Day weekend probably.

Thank you to everybody who included the pics, newspaper clippings, and other various play aids.  Your work enhanced our play.


Spooky Mizu

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