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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Miskatonic Monday #4: Plague

Between October 2003 and October 2013, Chaosium, Inc. published a series of books for Call of Cthulhu under the Miskatonic University Library Association brand. Whether a sourcebook, scenario, anthology, or campaign, each was a showcase for their authors—amateur rather than professional, but fans of Call of Cthulhu nonetheless—to put forward their ideas and share with others. The programme was notable for having launched the writing careers of several authors, but for every Cthulhu InvictusThe PastoresPrimal StateRipples from Carcosa, and Halloween Horror, there was a Five Go Mad in EgyptReturn of the RipperRise ofthe DeadRise ofthe Dead II: The Raid, and more...

The Miskatonic University Library Association brand is no more, alas, but what we have in its stead is the Miskatonic Repository, based on the same format as the DM’s Guild for Dungeons & Dragons. It is thus, “...a new way for creators to publish and distribute their own original Call of Cthulhu content including scenarios, settings, spells and more…” To support the endeavours of their creators, Chaosium has provided templates and art packs, both free to use, so that the resulting releases can look and feel as professional as possible. To support the efforts of these contributors, Miskatonic Monday is an occasional series of reviews which will in turn examine an item drawn from the far reaches of the Miskatonic Repository.

—oOo—



NamePlague

Publisher: Chaosium, Inc.
AuthorMatt Ryan & Noah Lloyd
Illsutrations: Sam Mameli

SettingArkham, Modern Day, Lovecraft Country
Product: One-Shot Scenario
What You Get26.2 MB, 36-page full colour PDF
Elevator Pitch: Against the clock, medical emergency to defeat the shrubbry of death

Plot Hook: The investigators are members of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team assigned to investigate the outbreak of an unknown and deadly disease in an old house.
Plot Development: Inter-team rivalries; the demands of the building's tenants; a rapidly developing disease.
Plot SupportFully plotted out with eighteen NPCs, scenes and events, timeline, and medical investigation. Plus six pre-generated inter-connected investigators.
Production ValuesNeeds an edit. Clear maps. Good house map. Investigator backgrounds not with their investigator sheets.

Pros

Works as a convention scenario
Good one-shot or first exposure to the Mythos
# Passing resemblance to The Monolith Monsters
Lots of well-drawn NPCs for the Keeper to portray
# Simple plot with few timed events
# Mythos underplayed
# Link to 'The People of the Monolith'
# A very giving Gug
Easy to adapt to Delta Green   

Cons

Finding a cure feels underplayed
Feels like there is just the one possible outcome
What happens next?

Conclusion

# Medical investigation underwritten
NPC reactions and motivations nicely handled
Limited possible outcomes
# Delivers some good 'shocks', but the one potential shock is the best
What happens next?