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Finally getting started (Time to Harvest)

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Group's game of Mutant year Zero went on longer than expected but tonight is character generation for the group as I commence running A Time To Harvest. A big thank you to those posting advice and tools for the campaign as these will help me considerably. I aim to post updates of progress (which will be slow as the group plays for 2 1/2 hours per session)

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  • 1 month later...

Here's 1st session recap that I sent out to the players

Having received invites to participate in an expedition to Vermont during the summer months your students prepare for the excursion. The expedition has been organised by Professor Harrold of the Anthropology Department. The primary part of the field trip is to interview the locals in the town of Cobb's Corner and catalogue the stories. From a request from Professor Learmouth, there is a secondary element to the field trip which entails taking soil samples in geological surveys of the local area.


Being a good Catholic lad, Mr Flavatori, attends Church the night before the students set off from Arkham. He, along with Mssrs Welch and Greenwald, are aware that there was an expedition last year which ended in tragedy.


The morning comes and ye get up early and get to the meeting point outside the university. Robert Blaine, the expedition leader is waiting for you. Miss Strong is quite forward in introducing herself to him. Mr Welch is very blunt in asking Blaine about the previous year's excursion which gets a muted response. A further question about potential climbing is met with a curt ‘no’.


The other students going on the expedition start to turn up

Roderick Block - Geography Major. Also member of the varsity football team

Louis Gibbons - Botany Major

Harold Higgins - Geology Major. Grand Irish lad.

Jason Trent - History Major. Very quiet keeps to himself

Clarissa Thurber - Chemistry Major. Beauty as well as brains

William Blake - Anthropology Major. Arkham local

Terrence Laslow - History and Psychology Majors. Snobbish mean-spirited rich boy. Also highly intelligent


The convoy starts off, consisting of a truck and two cars. Some of ye went on the truck, the others in the cars. The journey takes several hours but ye eventually arrive at Cobb’s Corner approximately at 1.30pm but you travel a short distance to where ye are all staying, the Maclearan farmhouse. Disembarking from the vehicles ye enter the farmhouse. There is a great room with a fireplace, two doors (leading to the kitchen and a parlour), staircase leading upstairs and a series of cots. The cots are for the male members of the party, upstairs are two bedrooms which are given to the two ladies. The parlour is being used by Blaine as his bedroom.


Once everyone is settled, Blaine announces that he is taking everyone to Jim’s Grill for a late lunch and ye all set off into town. As you pull up outside the grill house, you are approached by a man who introduces himself as Richard Wendell, local reporter for the Cobb’s Corner Gazette. He enquires as to the purpose of your visit, your names and roles within the group. He asks if he take a group picture to which ye agree. He says he intends to write a small article about the student’s mission. After a bit of small talk, he thanks you and withdraws saying he doesn’t want to delay your lunches any further.


Ye enter Jim's Grill. There are a few customers inside, a teenager sitting at the counter. A man is working at the grill. A waitress comes to the group and introduces herself as Ann and proceeds to take varied orders, speaking proudly of the pecan pie. Blaine turns down people asking for steak. The grill is fired up and cooking commences. Ye are sitting down eating your food when the door open and two officers of the law enter. The one entering first is wearing a sheriff card. He asks Ann for a coffee and saunters over to your group. He is in his forties. He delivers a 'You better behave yourselves speech's’ announcing himself as Sheriff Spencer and his colleague as Deputy Cutter. He refers to an accident that happened last year. Mr Welch nudges Blaine at the mention of this. Miss Strong forgets herself and takes umbrage over his assessment of yourselves but he pays her no need. He drains his coffee and leaves.


Deputy Cutter approaches and asks to join the group. He looks a similar age to yourselves. He offers to give you a tour of the town afterwards. He asks Blaine if he heard anything about Mr Jeffrey or Miss Devine. Ye see Blaine go pale at the mention of Miss Devine and shakes his head. Cutter apologises and ask what is the reason for this current outing, which ye tell him. He advises against speaking to Wendall who just sensationalises things. Greenwald says to him that the sheriff seems concerned about the group. Cutter says Sheriff Spencer  is passionate about law and order in Cobb’s Corner. Greenwald says ye have no intention of drinking or cow tipping. Cutter says it will be difficult to find booze in the town. There is discussion about what cow tipping is.


Thus begins the tour of Cobb’s Corner.

Civil War Memorial - Granite statue with a plaque with 8 names. Napoleon takes a rubbing of the plaque. Beside it is the cannon. He explains it is fired on July 4th etc. Then you move onto the waterfront district and he explains the transportation of local produce via the river. Ye then turn around double back past the memorial on your way to the library. You are introduced to the tray haired librarian called Mable Caruthers. The astute amongst ye notice no jewellery. She is nice and polite. The library is overflowing with books. Mr Johnson's request for geographical books instead of geological demonstrates the hideously complex filing system that Mable utilises. Mr Welch then asked about books on Indian religious practices to which Mable replies that they don’t get books in about folklore or the occult simply because someone steals them. Biggs suggests it is because it is a God fearing town. Local do-gooder steals the books and burns them. Which launches an US v Europe debate on sin and it’s exposure going onto the world’s best democracy. She does find some books for Johnson which she is prepared to loan.


It is then onto the town doctor, Dr Owen Perry who invites you in. He is impressed to see people from the “outside world”. Mr Biggs and the doctor share a firm manly handshake being fellow New Yorkers. He explains his obligations in the town and asks where everyone is from. Laslow is being a snob. Miss Strong asks about any strange occurrences which he claims ignorance. Mr Welch enquires about treating climbing accidents which the doctor understands is referring to last year's tragedy. Welch then whispers a question of whether it is safe with Blaine. Welch explains to the rest of the team what happened last year.


Mr Greenwald picks up on the fact that the doctor was evasive and hiding something. Using charm and taking the doctor aside, Greenwald manages to get the doctor to voice his concerns. An example he gives is the tale of grave robbers caught digging up the grave of Sarah Maclearan. When the coffin our was raised he discovered the remains of a calf as opposed to the remains of the women. He found odd that the robbers were told off and let go.  Also when the youngsters die there is a lack of blood. In one sample of blood it was pigs blood not human. He believes there is a vampire as the root of the problem.


After the doctor ye are shown to the general store ran by Karner's to advise of the usefulness of it. Dinner back at Jim’s Grill and then back to the Maclearan farm. Round a campfire he tells the tale of Sarah’s Shade. After about a hour he leaves heading the other direction to town. Ye hang around the campfire swapping stories and learn a bit more about everyone.


(this is where I give the info about the other students. We were rushing at the end, this is stuff you would have picked up both in the car journey, around town and also whilst the campfire)


Mr Blaine - he had a drink problem a while back and is upset at the mention of Miss Devine's name

Miss Thurber - looks good in any light. Likes Greenwald's accent and is intelligent and good company ( though always seems to be in close proximity to Blaine)

Mr Trent - never looks at any of you. Whilst he will respond when you talk to him, it is a minimal response and he never initiates a conversation. Round the campfire he head is stuck in a book.

Mr Block - comes across as a decent guy, has a slight southern accent.

Mr Gibbons - is enjoying Botany though did originally enroll as a pre-mec student. That wasn’t his calling.

Mr Higgins is a really good laugh and has a good comic sensibility. Around the campfire you realise he is a bloody good singer

Mr Noakes - the Arkhamite. Comes across as a decent guy, unassuming but those of you that have enjoyed the nightlife in Arkham remember his face from such venues.

Mr Laslow - your first impression of him was that he was snob and mean-spirited. Nothing over the course of the day has given ye a reason to change that.

And we leave it as the fire's embers dwindle and ye head to your respective beds


It went well but like some others I struggled to flesh out more of the NPC's. The party is very suspicious of Blaine. I need to work pushing Trent as a red herring more

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