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MONOPHOBIA A FEAR OF SOLITUDE AN OPUSCULE OF ADVENTURES FOR LONE INVESTIGATORS IN THE WORLD OF CHAOSIUM’S CALL OF CTHULHU™

Written by Mark Chiddicks and Marcus D

Bone Art by Ashley Jones | Editing by James King

UNBOUND PUBLISHING UBB #1001 ©2010 Unbound Publishing Visit us @ www

Dedication To Tim Wiseman & Ashley Jones – True Avatars of the King in Yellow and all round nice guys to boot

! Without you both this would still be nothing but an unrealised dream & In Remembrance of Keith ‘Doc’ Herber

Call of Cthulhu is a horror roleplaying game published by Chaosium Inc © 2008 22568 Mission Boulevard #423 Hayward CA 94541-5116 Phone 510-583-1000 Fax 510-583-1101

MONOPHOBIA: A FEAR OF SOLITUDE is an opuscule created by Mark Chiddicks and Marcus D

In clear credit,

Mark Chiddicks is responsible for Madness from the Grave and Robinson Gruesome,

Bone is responsible for Of Grave Concern and the layout & design of this manuscript © 2010

The cover The Cthulhu Scream and artwork Sketch of Ethan Blane are © 2008 Ashley Jones

Eight years in the making,

this opuscule would not have been possible without the playtester assistance of Mark Hockey and Darryn Mercer,

the editing expertise of James King,

and the enthusiastic cheers of various others

About the Authors Mark writes Mark is a transplanted Englishman who moved to New Zealand in the 1990s to be closer to R’lyeh when it rises

He’s been playing Call of Cthulhu since 1984 and is sure it hasn’t affected him at all

He lives in Auckland with his wife,

Asenath,

and children Wilbur and “the Other”

Marcus writes A Call of Cthulhu fan and gaming enthusiast,

Marcus has written,

playtested and laid out adventures,

campaigns and monographs for Chaosium

Best know as the editor of both DEMONGROUND and The Unbound Book magazines,

he continues to write and create his own weird brand of horror

CONTENTS

Introduction………………………………………………………1 Vengeance From Beyond…………………………………………4 Of Grave Concern……………………………………………

…15 Robinson Gruesome…………………………………………

…33 Appendices Dramatis Personae……………………………………………46 Handouts……………………………………………………

INTRODUCTION “When I came upon the horror,

I was alone

” – Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee ^ The Haunter of the Dark

At first glance,

the idea of a book of Call of Cthulhu scenarios written especially for a single player and a Keeper may seem a bit of an oddity

Roleplaying,

to be played with friends and family,

and to be enjoyed as much for its social aspects as it is for the strategy and tactics of the game itself

What’s more,

solo gaming in Call of Cthulhu does lend itself to insanity

this is a roleplaying game where those that oppose the Investigators are so powerful and alien that surely only a fool would face them alone

and is forced to take a desperate lone act to avenge his friend Edward Derby

Nonetheless,

an examination of the stories of Lovecraft reveals a rich tradition of exactly this kind of story

Indeed one could argue that they are more typical of Lovecraft than the ‘party’ based tales such as the Dunwich Horror – which in some ways reads as the archetype of a Call of Cthulhu adventure

and goes into the desert alone to find the terrible secret below the sands

Beyond Lovecraft,

also follow this well-established pattern

the protagonist discovers things that they dare not believe,

and it is only when events have reached an impossible conclusion that all that can be done is to leave an account of their experiences for those who might follow

final appeal in the hope that somebody might read it and… believe

RUNNING SOLO ADVENTURES There are a number of reasons why you might wish to run adventures such as those presented in this opuscule – from running a one off for a friend or someone new to the hobby (or Call of Cthulhu),

through to a sudden need for a scenario when only one of your regulars can make a session

Whatever the reason,

gaming with a single Investigator is an interesting and fulfilling experience for all involved

The structure,

pace and style of such adventures is very different than normal group play,

and it allows both the players and Keeper to explore situations that might otherwise might be too difficult to expand on in other circumstances

Amongst the classic core stories of the Mythos,

the following tales feature a lone protagonist: ^ The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

During the writing and playtesting of the adventures in this book,

a number of aspects became apparent when running stories that focus

With this in mind,

the following suggestions are to help you when running such scenarios

THE ADVENTURES This manuscript contains three adventures

Each is designed to explore a different aspect of the Mythos,

and will push the Investigator to the limit of their sanity,

^ Although all of these adventures have had their level of the threats adjusted to suit solo play,

it is nonetheless very dangerous to face the Mythos without assistance

injury or temporary insanity can easily lead to death when there’s nobody about to drag you to safety

As a Keeper,

you should be careful about presenting a situation where a relatively minor encounter brings an abrupt end to the story

It is advisable to always be prepared to have the monster frightened away by the arrival of a Non-Player Character (NPC),

or force an episode of temporary insanity of the Investigator which results in them fleeing from the danger

each adventure should be able to be completed in just a single game session,

taking no more than two or three hours to reach a satisfactory conclusion

^ All are nominally set the 1920s or ‘30s,

the classic era of Call of Cthulhu,

although with a little rewriting they could easily be set in other eras

^ While no specific location has been determined for two of the adventures,

Robinson Gruesome,

is most definitely bound to its location) the imagined setting for these is Arkham or some other Lovecraft Country site (i

Kingsport,

Providence or Boston)

While the location is not vital to the flow or structure of these adventures,

the authors do feel that as these scenarios were specifically designed to reflect the lone protagonist style presented in Lovecraft’s stories,

they deserve to be set in a location worthy of HPL himself

^ There are issues inherent in having just a single player involved in the adventure

It is possible that a lone player may simply fail to think of something vital to the flow of the narrative,

or make decisions that would lead to incorrect conclusions

In such cases,

it is recommended that you allow the use of Idea rolls (in combination with other skills and even suggestions from NPCs) to keep the Investigator on track

^ It is likely that you will quickly find that running this type of story is literally a change of pace from one with a group

Gaming with just a single protagonist moves at a faster pace,

and you will probably be forced to create appropriate scenes on the fly,

reacting quickly to the character’s actions (especially in situations that aren’t described in the adventure)

Players rely heavily on the input from the Game Master in most forms of roleplaying,

and your descriptions of the events are even more vital in this format

often there is not the time to think ahead – as there is in larger groups,

when the players often spend time discussing their actions and coming to a consensus

As such you may need to ‘roll with the punches’ and accept the story as the player sees it

their imagination and theories often make the truth all that more interesting when it’s revealed

VENGEANCE FROM BEYOND In which a hunt for a stolen book ends surprisingly easily,

When the spirit of a dead occultist haunts the Investigator in ways that nobody else can see,

and the only escape seems to lie in crossing the ultimate threshold

This adventure is best suited for an Investigator with bibliophile bent,

be they a rare book collector,

librarian or simple entranced by the various Mythos novels

It may equally be suited to a private investigator or police officer,

as a good detail of detective work is required in the opening scenes

The author suggests that it is a rather draining experience for a prospective protagonists,

and that should have at least a POW of 15 and a current SAN of 65 or more to see the story through

you should always strive to give the player a sense of being truly alone in the face of fear

The horror of solitude has a rich history

now is your chance to add to it

Note: The sample character

appropriate to their respective adventures,

it is not necessary to limit a player to using just these characters

Each scenario in this book is,

a complete adventure and can act as a great way for a player’s favourite Investigator to explore new realms of horror and face new Mythos challenges

OF GRAVE CONCERN In which the Investigator’s knowledge could well be the death of them

When a meeting with an acquaintance results in the Investigator’s mind being transferred into a walking corpse,

it’s a race against time to discover who could perpetrate such a dastardly deed… and more importantly,

? This adventure is best suited for an Investigator with an interest in the occult or a high Cthulhu Mythos skill

Note: The sample character

ROBINSON GRUESOME In which the Investigator is marooned on a South Seas island,

and goes from believing he is utterly alone to fervently wishing that he truly was

Facing death from all quarters,

the Investigator must confront a desperate native priest and his ancient god in a primitive struggle to the death

Of all the adventures in this opuscule,

Robinson Gruesome is the hardest to set with existing Investigators

If you would like to use character that is going to be undertaking further Mythos related adventures,

it is suggested that they are ‘outdoors’ focus Investigators with skills that enable to survive alone on a island

Note: The sample character

APPENDICES Included in this book are three appendices

These conveniently collect the Dramatis Personae (the NPCs and antagonists from each scenario) and Handouts for all three adventures together in one location and,

supply a pre-generated Investigator for each scenario

These sample Investigators have been included for convenience sake,

and will enable each adventure to be run with a minimal amount of preparation

It should be pointed out,

that while these sample Investigators have motivations that are

VENGEANCE FROM BEYOND Wherein the Investigator will find that the dead can still have vengeance on their minds

This task was unfinished when he met his death,

and as a result of the magics used he is now suspended between worlds,

an insane revenant whose only purpose is to seek revenge on those who caused his death

The events of this scenario are intended to be experienced by a single Investigator

Certainly only one should be present at the death of the occultist Ethan Blane,

after which they alone will face his supernatural revenge (although conceivably other Investigators may help in research,

racing to find a way to save their tortured friend)

Unable to physically interact with the world,

Blane uses a campaign of psychological terror to steadily drive his selected victims into madness and death

the manifestations of his presence seen only by the intended target

This is a very dangerous adventure for a character mentally,

The night after Quincey’s suicide,

Blane begins to assault the Investigator

As the hauntings get more and more terrifying,

the poor victim has only a limited time to find the answer to their dilemma

The secret,

which can be found by a careful reading of the Scripture of Shul,

is that the Investigator must use a certain incantation

Once in this condition,

the victim’s spirit will be released into a plane where a face-to-face encounter with Blane can occur

OVERVIEW Franklin Quincey,

an occultist and collector of rare volumes,

hires the Investigator to locate a stolen book

The trail quickly leads to the apartment of the thief,

Ethan Blane,

deep in the throes of insanity,

falls to his death from a window

The stolen book,

the so-called Scripture of Shul,

is returned to its owner and everything seems to be resolved

This final encounter will be a battle of wits and spiritual power,

in which ideas are reality and death for either combatant is final and absolute

A week later,

Quincey contacts the Investigator by telephone

He sounds at the end of his wits,

babbling that Blane is after him

Before the Investigator can get help to Quincey,

the occultist leaps to his death from his apartment window (an event that is probably witnessed by the Investigator)

Of course,

once Blane’s spirit is vanquished the Investigator’s body must be revived

As stated earlier,

this scenario is likely to cause a great deal of damage to the Investigator’s sanity and it is suggested that a course of intensive therapy be available to them afterwards

! It is not recommended that this scenario be inserted into a campaign where

What has transpired is that Blane,

using knowledge from his own studies,

in conjunction with various incantations from the Scripture,

the lift – the Investigator being given one by the desk security guard after Quincey has confirmed that they are expected

This key must be returned upon their departure,

a fact that the security guard will impress on them in no uncertain terms

high SAN loss is likely in the near future

! It should also be noted that for the scenario to work,

the Investigator must have a trusted friend with medical qualifications

If no such PC or NPC exists,

it is recommended that one be introduced in a prior scenario

AN INTERVIEW WITH QUINCEY When Quincey opens his door,

the Investigator will see that he is a slim,

His clothes are a good 10 years out of fashion

A PHONE CALL… The Investigator receives a telephone call from the book collector and occultist Franklin Quincey

Maybe Quincey is an old friend or acquaintance,

or perhaps the Investigator is a private eye or some other person who would be hired to trace a stolen book

In any case,

Quincey wishes the Investigator to visit his apartment that very evening to discuss a delicate matter concerning an item of his property that has gone missing

In this brief conversation,

Quincey will impress on the Investigator that this is a private concern and he’d prefer that they come alone

If the Investigator is not alone,

Quincey will be upset,

and a Persuade roll is required to allow a single companion to remain

If the Investigator apologises and sends away his friends,

rather than arguing the point,

Quincey will be mollified

Upon entering the apartment the Investigator notices that the door is thick and strong,

and has 4 bolts on the inside – Quincey has some valuable property in this place

He is intense and serious,

but as long as he is talking to someone who shows themself to be no fool he soon opens up,

and inviting them into his warm,

If the Investigator knows Quincey or if the Investigator does a little research into his background,

Quincey’s apartment is expensive and spacious

Nonetheless,

almost every inch of wall space is covered in bookshelves

Apart from the study,

the rest of the apartment is sparsely decorated and a little chilly

The study,

since it is where he spends most of his time,

and with a large picture window leading to a balcony overlooking the neighbouring park

^ Franklin Quincey is an independently wealthy man in his mid 40s who lives alone

^ He has no known living relatives

^ He is well respected as a collector of old books and is said to have a scholar’s interest in the occult,

despite being sceptical as to its reality

^ There no ill rumours surrounding him

^ If the Investigator has met him previously,

they have always found him friendly,

generous and willing to share the contents of his sizable collection of occult works with other likeminded scholars

The shelves in the study contain the oldest and most valuable books in Quincey’s collection

As well as a wide variety of valuable books on the subject of the traditional occult (Beatus Methodivo,

The Zohar,

The Golden Bough etc),

the shelves also bear copies of Cultes des Goules and the extremely rare Monstres and Their Kynde (the spines of these visible with a successful Spot Hidden roll)

If the Investigator tries to stake out Quincey’s building,

or do any research into the possible nature of Quincey’s,

they will discover nothing out of the ordinary

cataloguing his collection and dealing with his correspondence (none of which is related to this scenario)

Over the fine oak desk is a macabre painting of a number of dog-faced humanoids

These are standing in a graveyard howling at a sickly-looking full moon

Signed ‘R Pickman’,

the painting is called “Ghouls Howling”

If asked about it,

Quincey says it was an impulse purchase a few years back – he bought it at an auction which he had attended to buy books

Pickman is well sought after,

and this is a fine example of his work

Eventually the Investigator’s appointment time arrives

Quincey’s building is an expensive block in a well-to-do neighbourhood with good security

A uniformed security guard sits at a desk within the lobby and uses an intercom to call up to tenants

Here the Investigator will learn that Quincey lives on the 4th floor and that a key is required to access

Small talk over,

Quincey soon gets down to business

Quincey offers $100 for the book’s return,

but can be bargained up to double that amount

He hands over the sketch and the list of local book dealers who might handle such a volume (the actual names on this list are left to the Keeper to determine,

likely based on the location in which the adventure is being played out)

This room contains the cream of my collection some of the most valuable and rare occult tomes in existence

I am not a jealous man,

and have always made my collection available to fellow students of the occult

One of these students,

a young man named Ethan Blane,

wishing to consult a particularly rare book called the Scripture of Shul

My copy of this book is an unpublished proof of a 16th century English translation of a manuscript that is believed to be far older

The sketch shows a youngish man who is slightly overweight and sports a receding hair line

He features are quite distinctive,

and the likeness not at all bad (see Vengeance Handout #1 in the Handouts Appendix)

If shown to somebody who knows Blane,

they will recognise him with an Idea roll

If shown to someone who has seen him only the once,

Something about Blane struck me as odd during our interview – he seemed somehow intense,

as if filled with some kind of religious fervour

I was worried that he might be a black magic obsessive,

a fanatic intending to destroy the book – I have encountered both extremes before

The Investigator may wish to ask some more questions of Quincey

How did you come to know Blane

? Quincey replies that Blane had phoned him the day that he visited,

explaining that he was writing a paper on ancient funerary rites and understood that Quincey had purchased the Scripture of Shul at an auction the previous year

Would it be possible to consult it

I told him that I would rather not give him access to the book,

but as I went to show him the door,

my legs buckled beneath me and I collapsed into a swoon from which I did not awake for some hours

When I did,

Ethan and the Scripture were,

I realised that he had drugged my sherry,

perhaps as I took the book from the shelf to show to him

Obviously he had always intended to steal it right from the start

Indeed,

according to the guard on the desk,

he just walked straight out of the building carrying it in a black valise

Quincey agreed,

but was taken aback when Blane asked if he could visit that same evening – explaining he had to leave town that next morning and would be away for some months

Quincey accepted this excuse,

but it contributed to his later suspicions

I considered calling the police of course,

but it struck me that this sort of man is probably well-versed in avoiding any official enquiry

What’s more,

I want my property back much more than I want this man arrested,

and I had hoped that you could do this for me

I know it is difficult,

since I am quite sure ‘Ethan Blane’ is a false name and I have no address for him

Nonetheless,

and he must be a student of the occult to have known about the Scripture

I have some talent for sketching and have attempted a likeness of the man that may help

What can you tell me about the contents of the book

? Quincey replies that he had not had the opportunity to study it in great detail,

but it seemed to be a study of necromantic magic from a number of extinct cultures such as Atlantis,

Mu and Hyperborea

The author,

born in Hyperborea 3000 years before writing the book

Quincey considered this an unlikely claim

The actual rituals described in the book were generally unpleasant and reminiscent of some of the material in Cultes Des Goules

It occurs to me that if Blane was after this book he may have spoken to some of the local rare book dealers – I will give you a list,

which along with the sketch may help you to locate him

What did Blane say during the interview

? Quincey replies that Blane was anxious to see the book,

Obviously as Quincey turned to get the book,

his visitor had slipped a sleeping draught into his drink

I just want the book back,

but should it be necessary to use a little force on the young man I believe that it would not only be just,

but also should serve to dissuade him from attempting to steal other people’s property

As Blane started to leaf through the book his eyes grew wide,

and Quincey started to get worried

When Quincey asked him what in particular he was looking for,

Blane smiled strangely and asked him if he believed in the

although unfortunately they can say little else about the man

Quincey replied that he was a scholar,

and the occult was his chosen field,

but that in his experience only madmen took the contents of these books seriously – they were in fact great storehouses of forgotten myth,

Whatever happens,

after a day or so of investigation,

one of the contacts will not only recognise the sketch,

but also will remember the discussion he had with the odd man

With a Persuade roll,

the dealer consults their files and produces a list of books that the man (who called himself James Daish,

not Blane) had asked him to keep an eye out for

‘Daish’ left a contact address,

which turns out to be a low rent boarding house in a run-down part of town

Blane’s face darkened,

and he then said ‘I will need several days alone with this book

’ Quincey had decided by then that he would ask Blane to leave,

and was about to open the door when the room started to spin

As he blacked out the last thing he was aware of was a low chuckle from the man who had tricked him

DEATH BY FALLING

Soon enough,

Quincey begs off tired and says he wishes to retire

If the Investigator asks for access to Quincey’s collection,

the occultist will say that unless it’s directly linked with the investigation he’d rather not at the moment

If the Investigator calls Quincey and expects him to act on this information,

they will find that Quincey expects action for his money,

Calling the police is not an option Quincey will accept

At this time the Investigator is clearly expected to leave – Quincey will await his call

Meanwhile,

as the Investigator has closed in on his quarry,

Blane has cast a series of sanity blasting spells that have brought him within a few days of the immortality he seeks

However,

this magic has resulted in his,

As a result,

when the Investigator arrives at Blane’s apartment,

FINDING ETHAN BLANE Ethan Blane did in fact use his real name when he contacted Quincey

Since he is currently living under an assumed name in a cheap boarding house,

he considered there to be no danger in this,

especially given his intention to shortly gain eternal life

ARRIVING AT BLANE’S TENEMENT

As the Investigator hunts for him,

Blane begins to cast a series of spells deciphered from the Scripture cross-referenced with a couple of years’ worth of notes from other sources

Each spell takes him closer to his goal,

but the strange chants and screams from his room are starting to alarm and annoy his neighbours

The other tenants in the block,

will say that Daish (the name on his mailbox) has not left his apartment in days and that he chants and moans at all hours

They have called the building superintendent,

and so are now considering calling the police,

or even taking matters into their own hands

The best way for the Investigator to find Blane is to use the list of booksellers provided by Quincey

It is suggested that the Keeper plays out these enquiries,

with a couple of days of interviews and appointments (few of these dealers will work from a physical shop) being spent until the following information is revealed (giving Blane time to complete the various rituals he is enacting)

Arriving at Blane’s third floor apartment,

the Investigator too will hear the strange chanting moans described by the neighbours (which,

with a successful Occult or Cthulhu Mythos roll,

will be identified as some sort of ritual or ceremony)

The Investigator must now decide their next course of action

These enquiries are a chance for the Keeper to throw a few odd events and meeting at the player

Maybe there’s the need for a midnight meeting,

or one of the names leads the character to a dark and dirty little shop frequented by the oddest of customers

a crazed voice cries “Go away,

!” After this the chanting resumes and no more replies come from the person in the room,

no matter how loud the Investigator knocks

During this period,

the Investigator will be encouraged by the fact that many of the dealers do recognise Blane,

and his enquiries into books of

they will find that Blane’s apartment is a small,

Immediately noticeable is the naked

who crouches feral-like in a pentagram of his own faeces

Beside him,

a book lies open on the floor,

and human bones (stolen from graveyards) are arranged in bizarre patterns around the room

deciphering additional spells – see below)

Quincey will pay another $100 for these notes,

although in this case he will burn them on the night that he dies (see Almost Too Easy… below)

As the Investigator bursts into the room and takes in the bizarre scene,

Blane leaps up,

Unless he is killed before being able,

he will grab the book and run for the open window

^ The Scripture of Shul: A thick octavo book,

which is in good condition for its purported age

Densely printed,

it has been annotated by Blane in the salient locations (a fact which will make it far easier to locate the Severing of the Soul ritual later in the scenario – see Searching for a Solution)

The scripture is the collected knowledge of a 3000-year-old sorcerer,

and is written in such a way that it assumes the reader has a vast amount of magical knowledge even before looking for the spells therein

As such,

the book takes 40 weeks to read in its entirety (Blane’s previous research meant that he knew exactly what he was looking for in the text) and grants +8 Cthulhu Mythos Knowledge at the cost of 1D3/2D4 SAN

It contains the spells Black Binding,

Contact Ghoul,

Create Bad Corpse Dust and The Severing of the Soul (which in the Investigator’s case will become the most important part of the book)

Other spells are partially described,

and each 10% of Cthulhu Mythos knowledge or 20% of Occult skills allows an additional necromantic spell to be deciphered (at the Keeper’s discretion)

The immortality incantations used by Blane took years of research and study to identify and,

are beyond the scope of this adventure

What follows may seem a little contrived,

but the rest of this story relies heavily on the death of Blane

^ Any attempt to stop the madman results in the book being dropped and Blane tripping over a skull near the window

Unsteady,

the thief then overbalances on the window sill,

before plunging headfirst from the narrow and unrailed fire escape

mad in panic and fright (not to mention being insane) again slips on the window ledge and plunges to his death

The book,

Ethan Blane hits the ground,

three stories down and dies instantly,

his skull smashed and neck broken

The skull he slipped on is broken too,

and it grins up at the Investigator in a spooky and disconcerting matter

EXPLORING THE APARTMENT The scene in Blane’s apartment is disturbing enough for a 0/1 SAN loss

However,

there are a number of things here which are of use to the Investigator,

and might be removed by them before the police become involved

Other things that can be found in the room include the bottle of sleeping draft (POT 18,

knocks out victim for 1D3 hours),

a black valise and $12 in cash

^ Blane’s wallet: His driver’s licence shows his name to indeed be Ethan Blane,

Rhode Island

His occupation is listed as a graduate student

AFTERMATH The police will arrive at the scene of Blane’s death shortly after being called by either the investigator or a member of the public

It is likely that they will expect a rational explanation for the man’s fall

Hopefully,

the Investigator will have come up with a reasonable pretext for visiting Blane,

preferably one that does not involve Quincey or the scripture

^ Blane’s notes: Hundreds of sheets of barely readable scrawl

These requires a English roll to make sense of,

and will take at least 2 months to collate into any sensible order

The notes seem to cover everything Blane had ever read about eternal life,

and reference numerous occult and Mythos texts

If read,

the notes take 20 weeks and an additional English roll to comprehend,

and grant +5 Cthulhu Mythos Knowledge at the cost of 1D6 SAN

No spells as such exist in these notes,

but with these many of the spells in the Scripture of Shul are considerably easier to comprehend (they halve the reading time of the book and double the chance of

If they fail to convince the officers,

the book will be taken as evidence and a detective will question Quincey (who will likely withhold half his fee for the inconvenience) about his involvement

The Investigator will,

upon release be told that they are likely to be called as a witness at the inquest

However,

what none of the parties can know is that before any inquest Quincey will be dead and the Investigator fighting for his sanity

best left undiscovered and some knowledge best forgotten

The only way to escape him is to join him

Franklin Quincey

ALMOST TOO EASY…

As people start to mill around the corpse,

the desk guard from Quincey’s building comes out into the street

This gives the Investigator a short window of opportunity to slip into the building,

grab a lift key and get up to Quincey’s apartment

since the door is bolted (with 4 bolts,

as he should remember) from the inside

The police would probably catch the Investigator leaving,

which would make any further attempt to gain access to the apartment even harder

On the return of his book,

Quincey is overjoyed and happy to write an immediate cheque for the agreed amount

Everything seems to have been resolved simply enough,

that’s the way it continues to appear for the next week

The successful Investigator gains 1D3 SAN for a job well done,

and can sit back with money well earned

A CRY FOR HELP

If the Investigator talks to the police then their involvement as a witness to two fatal plunges in a week is bound to arouse suspicion

Quincey is on the other end of the line – he seems frantic and makes little sense: “Thank God,

He’s not dead

Or he is dead but he’s come back

Oh God help me

He’s tormenting me

INVESTIGATING THE DEATH The Investigator is likely to wish to look into the circumstances of Franklin Quincey’s apparent suicide,

and will have 24 hours to start to make some progress before Blane starts to haunt them in turn

And with that the phone goes dead

Any attempt to ring Quincey meets a busy signal

What is to be done

RESEARCHING FRANKLIN QUINCEY A little research will reveal that Quincey has no living relatives and that his estate is in the hands of the law firm of Willett,

Masters and Arthur

If they are contacted about the disposal of Quincey’s library the reply (which requires a Law,

Persuade or Fast Talk roll to get) is that Mr Quincey wished to donate his collection to the Widener Library at Harvard,

but that the details of the bequest are likely to take some months to settle

In a week or so the job of boxing up and cataloguing the collection prior to putting it into storage will commence

ANOTHER FALL As the Investigator arrives outside of Quincey’s building there is a scream from above

Looking up they see the dressing gown-clad body of Franklin Quincey plunging towards the ground,

a horrible scream of pure terror coming from his throat

He hits the ground with an ugly noise,

splitting his skull and smashing his soft,

If the Investigator approaches the corpse,

they see Franklin’s bloody face twisted into an expression horribly reminiscent of the smashed skull in Blane’s room

! Seeing Quincey’s death costs 1/1D6 SAN,

or 1D2/1D8 if they approach his body

For the next two days,

only the police will have access to Quincey’s apartment

The investigating officer is Detective George Thomas,

If the Investigator has police contacts he knows Thomas

On a successful Luck roll,

Thomas is his friend

on a failure Thomas dislikes him

If the Investigator does examine the corpse,

a crumpled piece of paper can be found in Quincey’s hand (alternatively this can be found on the desk of the man’s apartment)

If the Investigator is friendly with Thomas,

or is able somehow to gain his confidence,

then Thomas will reveal that suicide seems certain

If pushed he will say that this certainty stems from a reading of Quincey’s journal,

the last week of which reveals a steady psychological disintegration

Apparently a suicide note it reads (see Vengeance Handout #2 in the Handouts Appendix for a player’s copy of this note):

I have been a fool

Surrounded by the truth,

Death is not the end

Some secrets are

Further communication skill rolls are needed to draw more from Thomas,

If he is persuaded to say more he will state that Quincey seems to have become convinced that he was responsible for the death of a man called Blane,

and that Blane’s spirit had returned from the grave to torment him

The imagined hauntings had grown increasingly terrifying,

though few coherent details were recorded,

until in the final entry Quincey concluded that suicide was the only escape

THE HAUNTING

Earlier entries in the journal suggested that Blane had wronged Quincey in some way,

and that Quincey had hired somebody to settle the score

The police believe that the journal refers to Ethan Blane who fell from a tenement window under strange circumstances the previous week

The police are most interested in locating the mysterious ‘investigator’

The haunting starts slowly,

steadily building up to a crescendo as the Investigator’s sanity starts to fail

What had been an investigation into a suicide will quickly become a race against time

before they too are driven to suicide

Should Thomas be unresponsive to the Investigator,

he will instead discover the involvement of the Investigator in the Blane case within 1d6+1 days

The state of the Investigator’s mind at this point is yet to be established

Nonetheless,

if brought in for questioning,

and assuming he has committed no serious felony,

the Investigator will learn all of the above during questioning

ETHAN BLANE – VENGEFUL HAUNTER

Approximately 24 hours after Quincey’s death,

Blane ups the ante and starts to haunt the Investigator

The first manifestation is likely to be a Phantom Phone Call or Shadowy Follower depending on whether the Investigator is at home or abroad (see below)

Ethan Blane blames both Franklin Quincey and the Investigator for his death and now that the book collector is dead,

is focused on driving the person responsible for his fall to madness and suicide

trapped somewhere between life and death

As such,

Blane’s form is invisible and undetectable to all except his chosen victim,

the nature of his manifestations is limited by his current Magic Points

Gaining access to Quincey’s journal will not be easy,

little is to be learned from it

If the diary is read,

then on an Idea roll the Investigator will become convinced that the answer is within the Scripture of Shul (which will probably be guessed anyway)

Ethan Blane had a POW of 16,

which gives his ghost 16 Magic Points (MP) to use

These regenerate at a rate of 1 MP every 90 minutes

Blane can reduce himself to a minimum of 1 MP,

although if for some reason he is ever reduced to zero points he is destroyed

He is immune to all magic,

RESEARCH ETHAN BLANE Further research into Blane and his background will reveal that he is the middle son of a wealthy Rhode Island family

They have had little contact with Ethan over the past ten years,

but have continued to provide him with a modest allowance

Unfortunately,

his whereabouts during these years are unknown

^ The spirit of Blane is always close to his victim,

although in his insanity he often pays little attention to what the victim is actually doing

Every time the Investigator does something that moves him towards a solution,

Blane must make an Idea roll (70%) to even notice

Blane is incapable of following long exposition,

so any discussion of a detailed plan will be beyond his ability to follow

If the Investigator wishes to learn about what happened to Blane’s remains the answer is that they were shipped back to his family midweek,

where he is to be interred in the family crypt

Following up on this information will result in an encounter with a wealthy New England family who have closed ranks and have nothing to say to the Investigator

BLANE’S MANIFESTATIONS

If the Investigator is dogged enough to gain access to Blane’s remains,

and he is already haunting the character (see The Haunting below),

then the revenant will take to opportunity to stage a particularly nasty and sanity blasting manifestation that will,

of course be seen only by the Investigator

Blane main weapon against the Investigator is his manifestations

These slowly destroy the Investigator’s Sanity and will,

Note that,

As such,

the maximum SAN loss from any particular manifestation is given below

each case the number of MPs used defines the maximum SAN loss

If the MP cost is X,

There is no maximum sanity loss for this manifestation as an infinite variety of illusions are possible

^ The Shadowy Follower: At a cost of 1 MP per hour,

Blane can give his victim the impression of being followed by a mysterious shadowy figure

Appearing only as glimpses in crowds or reflected in windows this manifestation causes a sense of paranoia that is quite effective at chipping away the victim’s sanity

Each hour (or once per journey if it’s under an hour) the victim must make a SAN roll or lose a point

This can be avoided by staying indoors,

The sanity loss from this manifestation does not reduce with familiarity

^ Whispers: Blane’s voice is audible to the victim,

whispering horrible secrets and vile threats

This can go on for hours,

costing Blane 2 MP an hour and costing the victim 1/1D2 SAN

After 10 points of SAN have been whittled away,

the SAN loss reduces to 0/1 per hour

Nonetheless,

this tactic is one of the best ways Blane has to drive a victim to suicide

- indeed,

much of his whispering consists of telling his victim that death is the only possible escape from him (which is,

^ Cold Air: At a cost of 5 MP Blane can chill the air immediately around his victim dramatically

Nobody else feels cold,

but the victim’s breath becomes visible and their skin cold to the touch

The effect lasts 10 minutes,

but does no damage beyond the psychological

The SAN cost for experiencing this is 1/1D4

After the first 4 points have been lost,

no more than 1 point of SAN may be lost for each additional occurrence of this manifestation

Note that this is the only manifestation that others can see

^ Personal Appearance: At a cost of 10 MP Blane can appear in his full horrible glory

His smashed skull and broken neck making it clear he is dead

The Investigator can see and hear him but nobody else can

Although on a successful POWx3 roll,

other people in the same room feel a slight chill

Blane’s first appearance costs 1/1D8 SAN

Subsequent appearances cost 1/1D4 SAN

No more than 2 points of SAN may be lost to each occurrence of this manifestation after the first 10 points have been lost

^ Stench: At a cost of 5 MP a hideous grave stench fills the victim’s nostrils,

and if a CONx5 roll is failed,

Nobody else can smell anything,

although the stink follows the victim around for 20 minutes

This costs 1/1D3 SAN

After the first 3 points have been lost,

no more than 1 point of SAN may be lost for each additional occurrence of this manifestation

Blane’s strategy is to slowly chip away at a victim’s reason until he feels that their sanity is slipping,

at which point he strikes with a major manifestation in an attempt to drive them over the edge

Temporary insanity from the haunting will never lead to suicide,

but during the duration of the insanity Blane will do nothing

Blane manages to cost the victim 20% of his SAN within a 2-hour period of game time,

then indefinite insanity follows,

which will always resolve itself as a suicidal mania

^ Phantom Phone Call: This manifestation costs Blane 3 MP

The Investigator hears a nearby phone ring,

When they answer the call,

Blane is on the other end uttering sinister threats like ‘There’s no escape,

I’m coming for you’ and suchlike

The first time a call comes from the dead man this costs 1/1D4 SAN

Subsequent calls cost 0/1 SAN

The victim may make a further SAN roll

Failure results in immediate suicide,

whereas success gives them the presence of mind to call for help

While they wait for help,

Blane will attack again

^ Visual Illusion: Blane can produce unpleasant visual illusions that are seen only by the victim Examples of these are: The victim’s dinner appears to be riddled with maggots

A portrait’s face changes to that of Blane,

A rotting corpse is found in the victim’s bath,

Each of these illusions costs a variable number of Magic Points

8 or 10

An insane Investigator who is prevented from killing himself will suffer repeated visits from Blane’s ghost,

which will eventually drive him to permanent insanity

Blane will be happy with that result

knowledge bonus of the tome multiplied by 2 (increased to x3 for Cultes Des Goules and similar necromantic texts and x5 for the Necronomicon)

If successful,

this book points towards the Scripture of Shul as the only book that contains the ritual they need

SEARCHING FOR A SOLUTION Once the haunting begins,

Blane’s victim will soon discover that nobody else can see or hear anything,

except for the occasional chill in the air

Any claims of being haunted by a dead occultist are likely to meet with pity and disbelief,

although fellow Investigators should soon be convinced

Of course,

searching for another copy of the Scripture is a pointless task

It won’t be long before it becomes clear that unless the haunting can be ended soon,

madness is the Investigator’s fate

At this point any sensible Investigator will be aiming to get his hands on the Scripture of Shul as soon as possible

Other spells aimed at dispelling spirits all fail

GAINING THE SCRIPTURE

Since the Scripture is going to be very hard to immediately access,

a number of alternative approaches may be tried

The key to this scenario,

is to gain access to Quincey’s copy of the Scripture of Shul

Its location and status changes as follows:

TRADITIONAL METHODS

Quincey’s apartment

Religious Investigators may choose to attempt to exorcise the ghost

the traditional religions of Earth are reduced to dust in the face of the Great Old Ones,

and any exorcism will end horribly

As it nears its end,

the Investigator will see an image of Ethan Blane appear on every crucifix in the room

Each crucified Blane has the same smashed skull and broken neck,

and looking into the eyes of the astonished Investigator starts to chant

Quincey’s apartment,

most of this time in a packing case as the collection is boxed up and catalogued

In secure storage at the offices of Willett,

Masters and Arthur

In storage at the Widener Library,

Harvard

In the restricted collection at the Widener

The chant is a high-pitched doggerel of Mythos names and phrases “Nyarlathotep,

Yog Sothoth,

Neblod Zin,

Tsathoggua…” etc,

but it is enough to cost a SAN loss of 1/1D8 (or 1D3/1D10 if the Investigator is a committed Christian)

This illusion costs Blane 8 MP,

while any insanity caused by this will manifest as a loss of faith

It will be at least 8 months before the Scripture can be accessed easily,

The Investigator needs a plan to get hold of it as soon as possible

The two most likely places that it can be accessed are during the cataloguing process at Quincey’s apartment,

or while it is in storage at the lawyers’ offices

The priest will see nothing except the Investigator’s terror,

and will become convinced that the poor soul is mentally ill,

and not beset by supernatural forces

OTHER MEANS

A break-in to the apartment will be difficult without some dangerous climbing,

but the book could be reached through subterfuge

Michael Lake and Orson Gregory,

a couple of clerks from the law office,

are officially cataloguing the collection,

working from 10am until 4pm over the 4-day period

It is conceivable that an Investigator could gain access to the apartment under any pretext and the nature of any such ruse is best left to the imaginative player and Keeper to arrange

Investigators may have access to tomes other than the Scripture of Shul

If this is the case,

then a chance exists of the Investigator discovering the existence and nature of the Severing of the Soul ritual in any Mythos tome

For most Mythos books there is a base chance equal to the Cthulhu Mythos

Once the books are transferred to the offices of Willett,

Masters and Arthur,

access can be gained by either breaking into or sneaking around the building

The office is located on the 2nd floor of a downtown office building

The books are kept in a secure storeroom with a door of STR 25 and a lock that

It is also possible that an Investigator will believe himself to be insane already,

In this case he might seek medical help

The only sort that will work is the application of tranquillising drugs – which can halve all sanity losses,

while incidentally halving all skills for the duration

The hideous whispering of Blane’s ghost foils any attempt at psychoanalysis

takes 20% off of any lock picking attempts

Access to the offices themselves is somewhat easier

ye Vengeful Haunter and battle be done

Strong will is needed to prevail,

for ye battle is one of spirit,

That which is willed,

Various potions may be found to stop the heart,

or the cold of winter may be used,

but lest ye heart beat again within a few dozen breaths,

the severed soul will be forever lost

Many a sorcerer when faced with Ye Vengeful Haunter chooseth death by his own hand rather than to risk ye Ritual

At night a single guard patrols the building

He has Listen and Spot Hidden skills both at 40% and is armed with a

Any attempt to sneak to the storeroom during the daytime requires that the clerk sitting near the passage to the storeroom be distracted

On a successful Luck roll the storeroom is found to be unlocked,

but a successful Sneak roll is needed to exit with the book

Ye chant of Ye ritual is thus – to be repeated 13 times

Ye heart must cease within a dozen breaths of ye 13th chant Eegah – Yogah – Megah – Gonah –Seenah – Ronah – Yog-Sothoth – Ia – Azathoth – Ia Nyarlathotep

The Scripture of Shul,

along with Cultes Des Goules and the other really valuable books,

have been removed from the boxes and are within the safe found in the storeroom

Fortunately this safe is only locked at night

It is clear that the only hope the Investigator has is to conduct this ritual and try and find a safe way to stop and restart their heart

It is a risk,

but this ceremony seems to be the only way one can defeat Blane

It should be obvious that the Investigator is going to have to seek medical assistance,

and at this point contacts willing to assist with such lunacy are vital

Safecracking,

Should an expert be present (with the necessary tools) the safe can be opened with a successful Locksmith roll

Should the safe be blown,

a failed Luck roll results in serious damage to the scripture,

which doubles the time needed to find the Severing of the Soul

(A night-time break-in also gives Blane’s ghost great scope to launch attacks on the Investigator)

There are a number of methods that may be used to stop and restart a healthy heart

- drugs,

electricity or cold shock can all stop a heart,

and drugs and electricity can be used to restart it

The Scripture of Shul helpfully contains a list of natural toxins that can be used to stop the heart in the manner required by the spell

An alternative approach is to trick the law firm into handing the book over to the Investigator

There are any number of ploys that could be tried,

Basil Willett,

Gerald Masters and Iain Arthur are no fools,

and at least one of the partners will have to be tricked to gain the book

PREFORMING THE RITUAL It is hoped that the Investigator is well-prepared for their death,

and can attempt the ritual (and stopping of their heart) whenever they feel ready to undertake this drastic measure

The ritual itself costs the Investigator 5 Magic Points,

and creates a dulling sensation all over their body

After completing the chant for the 13th time,

they have but a few moments to stop their heart

THE SEVERING OF THE SOUL Once the Scripture of Shul is obtained,

the desperate Investigator must attempt to find the key to his dilemma therein

He is greatly helped by a number of marginal notes in Blane’s hand,

success requires an English roll and time equal to 18 days minus the Investigator’s INT which could well add up to more than a week

Success costs the Investigator 1D3 SAN,

but leads to the inevitable realisation that the Severing of the Soul ritual is their only hope in stopping Blane (see Vengeance Handout #3 in the Handouts Appendix for a player’s copy of this ritual)

As soon as the Investigator blacks out from heart failure,

he finds himself standing facing Blane

The surroundings are faded,

grey and somehow insubstantial

Both the Investigator and Blane pass through solid objects,

but are perfectly real and solid to each other

Ye Revenant or Vengeful Haunter is beyond the reach of weapon,

Ye onlie way to rid thyself of its curse is through Ye Severing of Ye Soul

Know you that upon completion of ye incantation,

ye caster’s heart must cease

In ye space betwixt its beats,

ye soul of ye caster may meet with

A DUEL OF SPIRIT It is important to have clear idea of the number of Magic Points that Blane has left at this point,

hypochondria centred on a dread of a heart attack) would be a suitable ‘reward’

in the duel that follows MPs are used as both hea

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