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

Monday 19 June 2023

Miskatonic Monday #199: Dossier No. I – The Maw

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: Matthias Sperling & Björn Soentgerath

Setting: Jazz Age Germany & Egypt
Product: Scenario
What You Get: Ninety-Three page, 93.71 MB Full Colour PDF

Elevator Pitch: The ancient horrors of Egypt have a long reach... a very long reach.
Plot Hook: Employees of the ‘Obscuriat’ are directed to locate an expected artefact because of Harry Houdini.
Plot Support: Staging advice, two pre-generated Investigators, twelve NPCs, nine handouts, one Mythos artefact, and six Mythos monsters.
Production Values: Plain.

# Dense, highly detailed investigation
# Excellent end of scene summaries
# Designed for two players and Keeper
# Physical props also available
# Enjoyable small town, Weimar Republic period feel
# Nice sense of environment
# Inspired by ‘Imprisoned with the Pharaohs’ by H.P. Lovecraft and Harry Houdini
# Taphophobia
# Anthropomorphobia
# Necrophobia
# Pharaohphobia

# Needs a strong edit
# Densely plotted
# No clear summation of the scenario
# No historical context
# Designed for two players and Keeper

# Densely plotted, heavily backgrounded scenario needs a lot of unpacking by the Keeper to run properly
# Really needs historical Jazz Age context explained
# Enjoyable period investigation which surprisingly turns tomb trawl

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