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Monday, 17 June 2019

Miskatonic Monday #16: Call of Poolthulhu

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 Invictus, The Pastores, Primal State, Ripples from Carcosa, and Halloween Horror, there was a Five Go Mad in Egypt, Return of the Ripper, Rise of the Dead, Rise of the 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 depths of the Miskatonic Repository.

—oOo—

Name: Call of Poolthulhu: A Call of Cthulhu classic-era scenario for 2-5 investigators

Publisher: Passe Gaming
Author: Anthony Berandine

Setting: Jazz Age (Contemporary), Near Lovecraft Country
Product: Scenario
What You Get: 650 KB, ten-page black & white PDF
Elevator Pitch: A totally free case of stationary madness played out by the poolside

Plot Hook: A mad professor
Plot Development: A fouled den and a deadly sickness
Plot Support: Very straightforward plot, two handouts, several NPC descriptions.
Production Values: Needs another edit and another spellcheck.

Pros
# Straightforward, simplistic plot
# Easy for the Keeper to develop or adapt
# Minimum skill rolls required
# Minimum dice rolls required
# Suitable for beginning players and investigators
# Nicely underplayed ending
# Playable in one session
# Free to purchase
# Suitable for play by one or two Investigators and Keeper
# Suitable for playing by the pool

Cons
# Investigator involvement underwritten and clichéd
# Uneven anachronistic tone
# No Sanity rewards
# Dreadfully silly title

Conclusion
# Straightforward, simplistic plot
# Easy to run
# Free to purchase

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