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Monday 4 September 2023

Miskatonic Monday #214: The Strawman

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: A Keith Applegarth

Setting: Modern day Pennsylvania
Product: Scenario
What You Get: Fifteen page, 4.68 MB Full Colour PDF (plus extras)

Elevator Pitch: The scarecrow doesn’t just scare crows
Plot Hook: A serial killer lose in one valley?
Plot Support: Five pre-generated Investigators, seven maps, thirteen NPCs, and 
one Mythos monster.
Production Values: Plain

# Can be adapted to other time periods
# Huge scope for development by the Keeper
# Homichlophobia

# Needs a good edit
# Uninteresting maps
# No handouts
# No narrative structure
# No clues

# Potential for classic Americana Scarecrow horror
# Severe lack of development in terms of investigation and narrative leaves the Keeper literally ‘Clueless’

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