Right now, we are in the “uncanny valley” poised midway between the two big Lovecraft Gaming events of the year — GenCon and NecronomiCon Providence. Thankfully, Cthulhu Reborn has a kind of presence at both (albeit on a small-scale).
A couple of weeks back, Matthew Ruane — writer of our awesome 2018 GenCon C&C scenario — hosted two runs of his new Convicts & Cthulhu tale, “Hark, Now Hear the Sailors Cry” at this years GenCon. If you haven’t already grabbed a copy of this new convicts scenario, you can get the PDF for free here.
Matt’s 2019 scenario concerns a crew of American sealers (harking from Kingsport, no less) who find horror in 1812 in the South Seas … and still *more* horror in the waters close to Van Diemen’s Land. It’s a cracking tale / scenario and really does some interesting things with one of Lovecraft’s most famous creations.
Speaking with Matt about his two GenCon runs of this scenario, it sounds like both groups had a whale of a time (bad pun mine), although the two different groups tackled the mystery of the derelict ship Industry in different ways. Group One followed a path that led them through most of the scenario’s twists and turns and eventually ended with the (mixed convict and military) Investigator group tracking down the malefactors and putting paid to their ambitions of supernatural evil. Of course, in true Convicts & Cthulhu fashion, their victory was not without sacrifices — two of the original Investigators died grisly deaths, along with most of the crew of NPC sailors they teamed up with along the way. The players were able to pick up a couple of the NPCs as characters to play out the big final confrontation.
Group Two took a much more methodical approach to scouring the derelict ship Industry for clues, and unearthed all of the hidden horrors aboard the abandoned whaling ship. This group included a couple of younger players (a father had signed up for himself and his 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son) which gave it an interesting and different dynamic. The group’s meticulous search of the ship meant that the hidden perils took their toll, with the team watching as bit-by-bit their sanity and number of surviving crew slowly dwindled. One investigator was killed, and another went indefinitely insane — the latter led to a humorous/horrific moment when the whaler’s unbalanced mental state left him compelled to eat strange things … including the slain Mythos horror that they found in the ship’s hold. “Not too fishy, a bit like pork!” This Investigator group decided that their task was finished once the derelict was scoured from fore-to-aft. When the Ensign NPC (the expedition leader) suggested the group should track down the missing crew still unaccounted-for, they spotted that he had himself gone insane. This led to an escalation of events as he became more and more insistent, and the Investigators grew more certain that he was out to get them. In the end they killed the Ensign and returned to port … never learning of the extradimensional horrors being brought to Bass’s Straits. Until the aforementioned horror arrived and wreaked horror upon the whole northern coast of Van Diemen’s Land, destroying Port Dalrymple (drowning most of the original Investigator group).
Two very different games … but both great examples of Lovecraftian horror!
The great thing about our scenario (and indeed the whole Convicts & Cthulhu core book) being free downloads, is that you can easily run this scenario for your own game group — or even at your local convention. If you feel the urge to do either, then maybe this list of pre-generated colonial sailor characters (used by Matthew for the GenCon runs) could be helpful:
As mentioned on here previously, we are also running two game sessions at NecronomiCon in Providence (in about a week’s time!) At the time of writing there are still slots available in both of those sessions, so if you’ll be at the convention and have an appetite to try something new — we’d love to see you at our gaming table!
Both of the scenarios we’ll be running are Cthulhu Reborn titles published here previously … so, once again if you’re not lucky enough to be able to be in Providence you can re-create the experience for your own gaming group (or local convention) pretty easily. To help, I have included the pregenerated Investigator teams (and a few other resources) that I’ll be using for the two NecronomiCon games. Use them if you want a quick one-shot adventure!
Game 1: Dateline: Lovecraft — Smoke Green
We will be running Noah Lloyd’s excellent Dateline: Lovecraft scenario “Smoke Green” at NecronomiCon on Friday Night (@7PM).
Game 2: Convicts & Cthulhu — Intro Scenario (“Un-Fresh Off The Boat”)
We will be running the introductory scenario found in the Convicts & Cthulhu core book (written by yours truly) at NecronomiCon on Saturday Night (@7:30PM).
The whole Convicts & Cthulhu book can be downloaded as a Pay-What-You-Want title on DriveThruRPG.
Horror for Free
Regardless of when and where you game with our material … best wishes for some chilling horrors that your players will remember forever!