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Monday 12 December 2022

Miskatonic Monday #159: A Chill in Abashiri – A 1920s Taisho-Era Japan Scenario

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: 1920s Japan
Product: One-shot
What You Get: Thirty-nine page, 9.57 MB Full Colour PDF
Elevator Pitch: Sometimes the cost of isolation leaves you out in the cold.
Plot Hook: A dead guard at Japan’s prison lures the Investigators into a deadly plot to protect the nation.
Plot Support: Four pre-generated Investigators, nine 
NPCs, eight handouts/maps, one Mythos tome, two Mythos spells, and one Mythos god.
Production Values: Decent.

# Very different historical setting
# Period politics
# Excellent handouts
# Refreshingly different and detailed mystery
# Entertaining “I predict a riot” set-piece
# Frigophobia
# Agoraphobia

# Needs an edit
# Period politics
# Not Ithaqua?
# Needs an extra list of NPC names and crimes

# Excellent, focused investigation with a suitably frigid feel throughout reflecting the politics of the period
Strange Aeons-style scenario in which the Investigators confront the Mythos in a different time and place

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