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The Thing in the Moonlight Scenario

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I posted this as Yog-Sothoth.com but have had no luck there so I'm posting it here as well.

I'm putting together a scenario based on J. Chapman Miske's "The Thing in the Moonlight" but I've hit a bit of a bump.

The basic premise is the writer of the piece is a psychologist from Dexter Asylum in Providence and approaches one of the investigators with the strange writing of one of his patients - Morgan. He is afraid to investigate the house and asks investigators. Through the course of the investigation, it is learned Howard Phillips has been pulled into a dream via a strange drug but an older investigator is willing to help the investigators follow the man into the Dreamlands.

When they arrive (physically - unfortunately for them) in this dream realm created by Phillips (not the actual dreamlands), they are pursued by the things in the moonlight (animalistic avatars of Nyarlathotep). They need to get the trolley in the dream moving and use it to escape (as every dream has a way out, right?). I'm leaving that up to the players to figure out but, once they're in motion, I want some strange pursuit by the things. I've already figured they would see the things by the tracks time after time, meaning there are more than two, they move impossibly fast, or ... something else. But I want it to feel like they are in danger.

The entire dream is something of a concoction of Nyarlathotep, who cares more about driving men mad than killing them. In this case, the premise is that his worshipper (a Mr. Li in Providence Chinatown) gives people a draught that induces a state whereupon they dream. It also invites this particular avatar of Nyarlathotep into the dream. The avatar (or avatars - there are two things in the moonlight) take days or weeks or months to drive the victim mad before feasting on his soul. During that time, the victim disappears from the real world, leaving only a warm spot for as long as he lives.

Probably far too much information. I'm looking for what the two creatures might do in the dream to slow or attempt to stop the trolley. It should be impossible to harm the things (or if so, they keep coming back anyway) but possible to outsmart them. I need some examples of behavior that would induce Sanity Checks and potential madness on those in the trolley.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.  What is pursuing the trolley or how can I give a chase scene, in this case, a bit more?

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Max, I actually get a kick out of creating my own 'monsters'. Most folks know the typical cast of characters...Ghouls, Gugs, Byakhees, shoggoths etc.

Dig around deviant art...find something that looks appropriately horrific...don't bother making up stats...it's unstoppable. These things are the things of nightmares...made of nightmares...dream logic dictates it cannot be destroyed. Banished temporarily...maybe...dispatched...no.

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How about being pursued by something almost human?

It's no accident some of the scariest Lovecraft stories are stories which involve protagonists which are or which try to seem almost human - stories like Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Lurking Fear, The Whisperer in the Darkness, etc.

There is a well known phenomenon in robotics called the "uncanny valley". We can accept creatures which are not human. We can accept creatures which seem totally human. But we reject creatures which seem almost human - our minds have difficulty coping with the subtle dissonance of something which tries to seem human, but doesn't quite get it right.


Edited by EricW
Fix term name
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I ran the game and we had a lot of fun.  Here's the information for the role playing journal and videos of the game session:

When a psychologist from Dexter Asylum asks for help with some strange automatic writing by one of his patients, several investigators decide they will brave a Nightmare in the Moonlight.


On November 13, I ran the original Call of Cthulhu scenario "Nightmare in the Moonlight" based on J. Chapman Miske's "The Thing in the Moonlight."  The game was part of the continuing Providence campaign set in 1927.


Role Playing Journals for the scenario are here:







Additionally, a playlist of 11 videos and a highlights video can be found here:




Players were:


Collin Townsend as Nigel Bricker (Mechanic)

Ashton LeBlanc as Evelyn Fairfield (Photojournalist)

Hannah Gambino as Agent Ramsey Sanderson (Federal Agent)

James Brown as Griffin H. McCree (Big Game Hunter)

Ben Abbott as Joel Johnson (Union Activist)

Katelyn Hogan as Suzanna Edington (Dilettante)

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