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Monday 24 June 2019

Miskatonic Monday #17: Spark of Life

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 Depository, 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 Depository.


Name: Spark of Life: An Isolated Investigator Adventure

Publisher: Chaosium, Inc.
Author: Jon Hook

Setting: Jazz Age (Contemporary), Lovecraft Country, Miskatonic University
Product: Scenario
What You Get: 10.33 MB, 24-page full colour PDF
Elevator Pitch: Fraternal interest gets the scenario’s ‘featured’ student into more trouble than they expected in an electrifying one-on-one mystery.

Plot Hook: Curious students and a curious student
Plot Development: A novel research hook, a toga party, lightning strikes more than twice, and your best friend
Plot Support: Solid, well done plot, three sample pre-generated investigators, several NPC descriptions, house plans, a new tome, a new Mythos entity, and seven handouts.
Production Values: Decent beyond the need for a slight edit.

# Straightforward, but engaging plot
# Good sense of a mystery
# Easy to run with little preparation
# Potential investigator introduction to the Mythos
# Well written
# Suitable for beginning player and investigator
# Playable in one session
# Adaptable to the 1890s or 2010s
# Scope for development
# Good introduction to Miskatonic University
# Male or female investigators provided
# Miskatonic University sourcebook optional, but useful

# Overdone final Sanity losses and rewards
# Best friend should have been of either gender
# Anachronistic language in places

# Solid one-on-one adventure
# Intriguing mystery
# Perfect when short of players

1 comment:

  1. id like to see more of these - ones i looked at were ugly to look at and hard to get into. If careeres have been made from them perhaps i will try again and even give 7th ed a go instead of 2nd