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Monday 18 March 2024

Miskatonic Monday #270: A Murder at Heck’s Peak

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: Vovina Games

Setting: Colorado, 1877

Product: Scenario for Down Darker Trails: Terrors of the Mythos
What You Get: Forty-eight page, 80.69 MB Full Colour PDF

Elevator Pitch: Strangers and murder don’t mix
Plot Hook: Hell comes to Heck’s Peak—or has it already left?
Plot Support: Staging advice, seven NPCs, and eight Mythos monsters
Production Values: Plain.

Scenario for Down Darker Trails: Terrors of the Mythos
# Lengthy investigation
# Clear information on what every NPC knows
# Mythos on Mythos action
# Ichthyophobia
# Scotophobia
# Phagophobia

# Needs a good edit
# No maps
# Parts of the backstory left undeveloped
# Could have been better organised

# Solid mix of investigation and action let down by poor organisation
# Expect to be deranged on the range in this Mythos mix-up showdown

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