Thursday, September 15, 2011

(Cthulhu) Crap, it's almost 1925!

During the Day of Sloth, we recapped Gaming with the Viscount XI, sans Viscount. We also had a lengthy discussion with my neighbor Kenny about what we wargamers actually did. Wargaming has more concrete ideas for a mundane to grasp than role-playing, so I'm happy I didn't go the LARP route when I was younger. It intrigued Kenny enough to sit at the table and watch us play our Tanga game. Of course, I haven't talked to him since, so there's no guarantee that he has forbidden his family from dealing with those crazy Jacobsons down the street.

For a split second we discussed our Call of Cthulhu campaign, now retitled "Coal Crackers in Nyc... with guests". I thought I had made all the right moves. Characters have advanced to the "next step." Contacts are being made with necessary NPCs. New characters from new players do allow a bit more depth than the original core group. And worst case, we do have a few back-up characters used in previous scenarios. We have all the compenents and all the time we need to meld them to face some badass Mythos horrors.

Except we don't.

Episode #10 of the campaign, which I'm still working on its actual play, is set on October 5, 1923. Nothing too bad, except the first big bad event is scheduled to occur in the Winter of '25. Those of you who know your Chaosium books know which campaign I'm starting. In truth I started another campaign with episode #10, but that one isn't on a strict timetable yet, so we can revisit as we please for now.

I have less than a year and a half to get a haphazard but capable bunch of investigators up to "superteam" status that they need to avoid a Great Old TPK. Let's review:

Dr. Nathaniel Millheim - Parapsychologist with a host of ghost books, a decent knowlege of the Mythos, and a white three piece suit that stands out even on the strangest Nyc street corner. Unfortunately Nate the player is unavailable, so his aspiring career as a pulp writer is skyrocketing his status within the city's geekdom, and allows for stranger and stranger contacts to trickle down to the other characters.

Brian Nichols - Two bit crooked bookkeeper with a number of murder raps still on him in Wilkes-Barre. He's become Dr. Millheim's agent, servant, and whatever title is needed at a moment's notice. He might also be the first to go. Session #10 hit him pretty hard sanity-wise and I'm afraid he might not make it to 1925. He might also be the first to die in a long while, relying on a small two-shot pistol for defense. The group has accumulated enough funds to justify a nice full-size revolver at least. I'm not asking (or encouraging) a Tommy Gun!

Prof. Steven O'Hara - Steven has escaped the boredom of teaching at a prep school and got an adjunct position at Columbia University. Lots of favors may need to be called in for that one. He's milling about Millheim's (and Nichol's) social group. He is a true sanity monster, actually having more sanity now than when he started! As a scientist to boot, I'm waiting for the day he breaks and starts thinking in non-euclidian physics, as in previous scenarios, he's proven to at least understand them. His wife Angela is still the best shot with a rifle, and Steve's actual wife Angi is always welcome to make an appearance.

"Smitty" - The lovable speakeasy owner moved up for business opportunities in Boston and has only shown for one additional session. Having his player, Adam, also in Boston, makes things difficult. I have a soft spot for Adam, as his 20's alter ego was the first (and only) character I've killed in CoC, and that was The Haunting in session #1!

Mr & Mrs. JP Carson - introduced in session #10, the Carsons are a loving couple with so much streetsmarts, they make a gang member look like a vapid socialite. And they do have combat skills. Social grace and morals, I'll make up a few NPCs to help in that department.

Matthew Drozdowski - First appearance will be session #10. I don't know if this will be a one-shot character, like Marcus Trenton or "Red" were, but he could act as a good foil to the Professor, or a co-conspirator.

I'm hoping the Carsons will be available for the next session TBD. I have four or five scenarios I want to throw at them in the next 18 months of game time, and not all of them are even Cthulhu-related. We shall see.

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