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Monday 13 December 2021

Miskatonic Monday #90: Border Town

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: Michael Bertolini

Setting: Jazz Age Idaho

Product: Scenario Outline
What You Get: Ten page, 337.85 KB Full Colour PDF

Elevator Pitch: “Sometimes, you’re closer to the border than you think...
Plot Hook: The mystery isn’t how you got here, it’s how you get out.

Plot Support: One NPC and five pre-generated Investigators.

Production Values: Plain.

# Self-contained outline
# Begins en media res
# Huge scope for Keeper input
# Easy to relocate to other times and places

# Asks for skill rolls the pre-generated Investigators lack
# Pre-generated Investigators more modern than Jazz Age
# NPCs undeveloped
# Leaves it up to the Keeper to add the horror and the monsters
# Requires the Keeper to develop and write the middle of the scenario

An escape room with effectively one key
# Underwritten plot and villain motivations
Overwhelmingly underdeveloped
Requires the Keeper to develop and write the scenarios middle
Nothing to customise, everything to write

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