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Monday 28 June 2021

Miskatonic Monday #67: Prisoners' Dilemma

 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.


Publisher: Chaosium, Inc.
Author: Aaron Sinner and Todd Walden

Setting: Soviet Era Russia

Product: One-shot survival horror
What You Get: Fifty-five page, 30.90 MB Full Colour PDF

Elevator Pitch: Soviet Era Survival Horror.
Plot Hook: Some horrors lie outside the Gulag.
Plot Support: Detailed plot, four decent handouts, five maps, three pre-generated Investigators, and a new thing from beyond. 
Production Values: Good.

# Soviet Era Survival Horror
Pre-generated prisoners 
# Environmental survival horror
# Challenging NPCs for the Keeper to roleplay
# Challenging NPCs for the Investigators to interact with
# Scope for conflict between the Investigators
# Short, tightly plotted, one or two session one-shot
# Inspired by real events, the Dyatlov Pass Incident
# Strong plot


# Linear, often heavy-handed plot
Limited scope for player agency
# Challenging NPCs for the Keeper to roleplay
# Challenging NPCs for the Investigators to interact with
# Scope for conflict between the Investigators
# Potential Total Party Kill

# Soviet Era Survival Horror
# Strong, but linear, and often heavy-handed plot
# Scope for conflict between the Investigators
# Nasty one-shot

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