Every Week It's Wibbley-Wobbley Timey-Wimey Pookie-Reviewery...

Monday 12 September 2022

Miskatonic Monday #128: Branches of Bone

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 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 Reid

Setting: Dark Ages England
Product: One-shot
What You Get: Forty page, 8.18 MB Full Colour PDF

Elevator Pitch: Locked Room Horror Hell in a House of Worship
Plot Hook: Survival horror in the Dark Ages as a Viking raid unleashes an abhorrent arboresque aberration
Plot Support: Staging advice, eight handouts, one Keeper handout, six pre-generated Investigators, a spell, some NPCs, and five Mythos monsters. 
Production Values: Decent.

# Single-session, countdown horror
# Locked room (monastery) situation forces co-operation
# Pictorial handouts
# Entertainingly wooden twist upon the zombie
# Clue rich
# Includes Viking mini-supplement
# Dendrophobia
# Goat-chicken thing

# NPCs need more detail
# No Viking names
# Investigation-Monk communication requires careful handling
# Tight timeline

# Tightly plotted and timed, locked room (monastery) mystery which forces the Player Characters to co-operate with those they are raiding if they are to survive.
# Survival horror in the Dark Ages in which the Player Characters need to overcome the language barrier for the scenario to really work.

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