View Full Version : Ideas for the next CoC scenario I might run?(6th edition)

2013-12-14, 12:00 AM
The year is currently 1928, and in my last scenario(The Edge of Darkness), out of 7 investigators, 2 survived; a student of MU(studies the occult as a hobby, but no real background in it), and a journalist for an occult magazine.

So I'm wondering what scenario I might use to bring the rest of my players back into the game(different characters, of course), while the above 2 keep their current characters...

I had actually intended the last one to be a one-shot, but the whole group loved it so much that they've practically begged me to run another CoC game at some point. (We usually do D&D 3.5)

Since I myself am new to Call of Cthulhu, I intend for my first few games to use published scenarios. I'm not yet confident enough in my own writing abilities to make up my own.

The player of the student has been impressing on me his character's interest in the occult; how he's obsessed with it and all. So I was thinking maybe a scenario that will show just how dangerous this obsession can be(assuming that last scenario didn't make enough of an impression).

2013-12-14, 02:32 AM
Anything from the Lovecraft Country books: Arkham, Dunwich, etc. Dunwich makes a nice "horror sandbox" to explore, while Arkham has more concise and focused scenarios.

2013-12-14, 03:24 PM
Well, there are different ways to build a plot off of the guy's occult interest. No premade scenarios here, sorry. Perhaps you can incorporate some of these ideas into a premade scenario?

Idea #1 is that he semi-accidentally discovers some rare arcane tome - which evil cultists also happen to want.

Idea #2 is to go all Willow Rosenberg and have the character find a very addictive form of magic. I've no idea how addiction or magic works in CoC, but D&D's Unearthed Arcana's got some rules for drug addiction. If nothing else works, you could subvert those mechanics and convert them to CoC.

Idea #3 is to have magic horrifically backfire. Again, I don't know if CoC already magic backfiring rules, but perhaps the character finds a sort of spell, mistakes its power or purpose or difficulty to cast, and winds up summoning a Shoggoth (which might already be boring if you've had that happen in game before), or deforesting an entire region, or giving all PCs a sort of magical uncurable disease. Whatever it is, it has to be really drastic, something which your players haven't seen before and something which makes them all sit up and pay real close attention.. preferably, something which they HAVE to fix. Then, to undo whatever the guy brought upon himself or the world, he has to dig himself deeper and deeper into the hole he just created. You can combine Idea #1 and Idea #2 as plot hooks here, as well.

2013-12-14, 11:38 PM
Addiction can be a natural side effect of simply using magic at all; learning mythos spells can cause permanent sanity loss in the form of Cthulhu Mythos points. Then casting a spell causes even further damage, and if you happen to be using it for summoning purpose than that can cause even more damage to the mind. So addiction is very plausible, but I think maybe I can find a scenario where he somehow gets hold of a grimoir in the first place. The last scenario mentioned De Vermis Mysteriis, and the book played a vital role in the background, but was not itself ever introduced.
Dr. Armitage of Miskatonic University has a copy and is currently studying it. I suspect the game takes place either before, during, or after the events of The Dunwich Horror.

This is the book that the student has been obsessed with ever since reading about it...

I happen to have it's stats. :)

2013-12-17, 01:47 AM
Apologies for the Bump, but this has run down a few pages and I'm still scratching my head for ideas...

One of my players has come forward telling me he'd like to go with the whole "priest with a tragic past and a major beef with mythos cults" idea. The priest who used to be a peaceful on-his-knees sort but now carries a shotgun into cult shrines. Since this is the player's second session, I'm gonna start his character off with some Cthulhu Mythos points and very slight sanity damage.

I think I may incorporate some of the ideas presented here so far into "The Haunting" scenario. If you haven't read it, it's basically one where a cultist had himself buried in his own basement as part of a process of becoming something other than human. He can astral project throughout the house and cause some minor poltergeist activity, but he can also possess his own dead body if he's discovered. Feeds on rat blood and is skilled with magic. Previous tenants have either died or gone mad.
The investigators are enlisted by the landlord to figure out what's up with the house, see if it's really haunted like his tenants say it is.

Now, I read the scenario and it did not have the same effect on me that the last one did. So I'm wondering what I might do to make it a little more intense.

2013-12-17, 03:16 AM
Try a rescue scenario.
An important figure’s daughter has been taken in by a Cthulu cult and he’s hired the investigators to infiltrate the cult, bust it up and get her back.

2013-12-17, 09:28 AM
Dr. Armitage (who I'm assuming is an NPC) has recently hired a new, gorgeous graduate research/teaching assistant who has picked up on the student's occult interest and is willing to take him under her wing and grease some wheels to get him into Dr. Armitage's classes (and maybe one of her undergrad minions in a research project). Work in regular references to yellow in her clothing choices, and have her be in the college orchestra, playing the flute.

Meanwhile, the occult magazine reporter has a lead on a museum exhibit that features ancient relics dug up from the bottom of the ocean that he thinks sound, well, occult. One of the pieces should be a strange flute, possibly made of clay or of bone or of seashell or of chitin.

After the student has gotten to know the graduate assistant to Dr. Armitage a bit - and perhaps she's seducing him both intellectually and physically; see how the player responds to her being both pretty and knowledgeable - she might ask him to steal that flute for her. She might even offer to steal the Vermis Mysteriis from Dr. Armitage and trade it for the flute.

A possible scenario to introduce the idea would be a date (officially "a date" or just "a scholarly visit") to see the museum exhibit, perhaps arranged by the journalist's connections. She should seem not too interested in the flute, fascinated by other things, until the student or journalist mention it to her.

At that point, she should feign fascination, but be vague on the details of it; a clever or canny observer might even doubt she is really looking at the same object. She should, when pressing for it to be stolen as a gift to her, be very insistent that he give it to her (whether in trade or not), deflecting any efforts to get her to participate in taking it, herself.

Perhaps, too, she is teaching the student a melody she likes to play every now and again.

I also suggest working a masquerade ball into the plot.

Things should come to a head as she becomes increasingly agitated, frustrated that she can't quite get the song (which might just sneak mythos points onto those who hear it) right, and reveal more and more directly that she thinks the museum's flute might play it better.

If asked about the melody, she'll mysteriously comment that it's a lullaby.

She should also probably be a little uncomfortable around idiots and be actively humming the melody if she comes across blind people.

The Graduate Assistant to Dr. Armitage is actually one of Nyarlathotep's masks. Nyarlathotep, among other things, is one of the Mad Flautists that keeps the Blind Idiot God, Azathoth, asleep, but the flute was taken and cursed by ancients so Nyarlathotep couldn't find it and use it to drive them mad any longer.

The Graduate Assistant is a hazard because she's giving the PC student what he wants: more occult knowledge. This is its own danger in CoC, and she could also be manipulating him on a more fundamental level to become one of the King in Yellow's cultists. Maybe even a high priest. If she gets the flute, it could be disastrous: the ancients stole it from her and sealed it from Nyarlathotep's sight for a reason. But at the same time, if the flute goes unplayed for too much longer, as Nyarlathotep's shift at the lullaby comes due, the Destroyer of Worlds might just awaken...