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Monday 19 September 2022

Miskatonic Monday #130: A Small Tremor in the Mountains

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: Laurie Hedge

Setting: Modern Day Iceland
Product: Scenario
What You Get: Twenty-two page, 1.18 MB Full Colour PDF

Elevator Pitch: What scares the scary down below?
Plot Hook: Earthquake opens a new cave network. What thrills and treasures does it hide?
Plot Support: Staging advice, cave plans, three NPCs, two Mythos monsters, some vermin, and a Chase diagram. 
Production Values: Decent.

# Linear, physically-orientated one-shot
# Claustrophobia
# Speluncaphobia
# Good use of the Chase mechanics
# Dramatic finale
# Finally, an Investigator gets to use the Climb and Jump skills!

# Primary NPC actions poorly handled
# Needs a slight edit and localisation
# Little scope for Adventurer/Mythos interaction or finding out what is going on in the scenario
# Main Mythos threat not really a threat, not even to the Minor Mythos threat—until dislodged.
# Finale kicks in with little time for interaction

# One-shot with strong physical element puts the adventurers on the path to confrontation with—and desperate escape from—the Mythos, ending in a good use the Chase mechanic.
# Backstory remains hidden and the main Mythos threat is not a threat until dislodged.

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