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Monday, 16 September 2019

Miskatonic Monday #27: The Unravelling

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 of the DeadRise 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.


Name: The Unravelling: A Starting Point for 1890s Adventures

Publisher: Chaosium, Inc.
Author: Genevieve Coulter

Setting: Cthulhu by Gaslight
Product: Campaign Starter
What You Get: 0.92 MB, 7-page full colour PDF
Elevator Pitch: A mummy’s gripping unraveling for discerning gentlemen ...and ladies.

Plot Hook: At midnight, their occult interest will unleash a priest from the past.
Plot Development: A suggestion or two.
Plot Support: A midnight meeting, four NPCs, a potential campaign villain

# First release in ‘The Miskatonic Files’ series
# Establishes The Order of the Midnight Circle as an organisation
# Potential for a Pulp or Purist threat
# Campaign opener 
# Potential for long term consequences for the investigators
# Strong set-up

# Sanity losses too harsh
# Not enough development for the new Keeper
# Links to the wider Call of Cthulhu mythos (not THE Mythos) and cannon mentioned, but undeveloped.

# Good set-up
# Needs stronger hooks into Call of Cthulhu cannon
# More suitable for the experienced Keeper

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