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Played through Ep 5 with my group last night. There were 3 players - two that have been going since Ep 1, and one that started in Ep 4.

tl;dr 1 PC dead, 2 unconscious but escaped. All waiting happily for ep 6.

At the end of Ep 4 the PCs were stuck about 2 miles from town in a truck that wouldn't work and with Dr. Matherson hurt and passed out from being dropped in the air by a Mi-Go.

Although one PC really wanted to go after the Mi-Go, the others convinced him that it was best to head to town to get Matherson help (despite the obvious fires and destruction they could see in the distance). They stuck to the tree line to hide as well as possible, after seeing the trampled bodies in the road.

The first farmhouse they went to was The Stalemate encounter. Two PCs hid in the woods (with Matherson) while the other went to help. He started to attack the children, attempting to knock them out but they were able to finish the ritual and summon the Dark Young. He ran back to the woods, tossing a grenade at the children (yes, there was SAN loss). Somehow, they lost the Dark Young.

They then encountered "A Test". While very cautious, the PCs helped the girl out and were able to remove the father from the rubble. They continued on, putting the unconscious Matherson in a wheelbarrow to make it easier them to push her. Their last encounter was at Mrs. Bellweather's house, where the cat-loving PC among them automatically failed his SAN check.

They hit town and saw the destruction that had occurred. Deciding it was best to leave altogether, two decided to sneak south around the eastern edge of town while the other went to the Sheriff's office to look for any more supplies. That PC found the keg and the wicks, and left the office. For some reason, he decided to sneak through the center of town, critically failed a Sneak check and turned a corner to find 5 child cultists looking right at him. Instead of running, he fought (shooting no less) and was quickly taken down and knocked unconscious by the children.

When he woke up he was in the center of town with the rest of the captive townsfolk. He failed a Luck role to see if he still had anything, pushed it, then failed again. I said he had a grenade still, but as he pulled it out one of the children smacked his hand with a shovel and the grenade went flying down the road.

Meanwhile, the other 2 PCs had snuck down by the church (not going in) and were close to the southern Wilmington Rd exit. They were almost found by a Dark Young that came by, who was distracted by a loud explosion coming from the heavens as the ritual neared completion. The two PCs then saw the Stanley Steamer car. One PC (who rolled a 01 on Know) knew exactly what it was and how to use it, and they began to prep it to leave town. They did know that their fellow compatriot was captured, but decided there was nothing they could do.

Back in the center of town, the last PC convinced the Sheriff (through a few nice rolls) that their only way out was to fight. Their plan was to have the Sheriff run and get the grenade, while the PC would tackle the child with the shovel, steal it, and throw it at Deputy Cutter. The plan went off, although the PC failed a Luck roll for the Sheriff, who grabbed the grenade but was immediately ripped apart by the Dark Young. The PC grabbed the shovel and threw it at Cutter, hitting him in the neck. Blood started to seep out, but Cutter slumped to the ground smiling; the ritual had completed.

The car was ready and the PCs jumped in and sped off, only to see a Dark Young blocking the road. The PC driving failed their Drive Auto, but pushed it and rolled an Extreme success. They dodged around the Dark Young, narrowly missing getting trampled, when Shub-Niggurath made her appearance.

The Great Old One appeared, causing mass destruction in town. All 3 PCs passed their SAN checks (sad face), although 2 went temp insane. The PC in the center of town was one of them and started to run. He made it to the bridge, before an immense tentacle destroyed the bridge and scooped him up never to be seen again. The two PCs in the car were swerving around debris and tentacles in the road. They failed a Drive Auto roll and went off the road into the woods, hitting a tree and going unconscious.

Overall, the players said they enjoyed the scenario. They loved that it tied together the cult in the town, and had figured out about 3/4 of it. As a Keeper, I was able to run this in about 3 1/2 hours. My players were very cautious and purposely avoided going into places they knew horrors were likely to be found. Coupled with some good rolls, this allowed them to avoid many of the locations of sanity loss in the scenario.

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A note on my players too. One has been playing since episode one, one since ep 2, and the other started in ep 4. Two of the PCs (that have been since ep 1 and 2) are still alive - although one is hurting sanity wise (< 20 SAN) while the other is surprisingly well off. Yes, there was a little fudging of rolls in the first 3 episodes to keep them alive (barely in some cases) because I wanted the game to be enjoyable, and I was enjoying their characters as much as they were. However, that has not happened in ep 4 or 5 and will def not happen in 6.

It was also quite enjoyable as they are both new to Call of Cthulhu, and have been slowly reading Lovecraft's stories. They had ideas of what could be going on, and seeing the light bulbs go off in their heads and the realization of what was occurring was the best part for me as a Keeper. Its why I love this game and I am immensely happy others have that feeling too.

The last PC was somewhat of an issue. The player created the PC on his own, and I didn't realize how strong he made it (supposedly he rolled the stats although I have my doubts since I don't think he had one less than 65). Even the other PCs commented on how too strong he was. So while I did not fudge any rolls against him (I even rolled in the open), I was also not pulling any punches. After all, he had attempted to attack a Dark Young head on, and went up against 5 other opponents at once. This is the first time as a GM I've experienced a player/PC who was like this, and in my opinion I think I handled it well. I would truly like to hear other's opinions on it. His next creation will be supervised.

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