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Monday 20 March 2023

Miskatonic Monday #184: The Depths of Bermuda

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 Invictus, The Pastores, Primal State, Ripples from Carcosa, and Halloween Horror, there was Five Go Mad in Egypt, Return of the Ripper, Rise of the Dead, Rise 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: Thomas S. Lawrence

Setting: 1920s Caribbean
Product: Scenario
What You Get: Forty-nine page, 10.85 MB Full Colour PDF
Elevator Pitch: The dangers of the deep will colour this dive.
Plot Hook: The chance to strike it rich is undone when something else is struck.
Plot Support: Staging advice, nine pre-generated Investigators,
fifteen NPCs, four handouts, one map, four non-Mythos monsters, and two Mythos monsters.
Production Values: Thematically ambitious.

# Winner of a Miskatonic Playhouse Bronze Award
# Engaging set-up and staging for the adventure
# Physical, technical adventure rather than mental adventure
# Lots of pre-generated Investigators, but advice given for players to make their own
# Good scenario for a journalist or author
# Has a Jaws moment
# Aquaphobia
# Thalassophobia
# Claustrophobia

# Needs a strong edit
# Underwritten explanation for the Keeper upfront
# No deckplans
# Has a Jaws moment

# Action-packed one-shot which makes great use of its environment and staging for an enjoyably original encounter with a classic Mythos monster
# Scenario let down by underwhelming set-up and poor editing

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