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October-ganza 3, day 4 – Call of Cthulhu Scenarios in New England, part 1 (ME, NH, & VT)

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October 4, 2016 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)

But the true epicure in the terrible, to whom a new thrill of unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteems most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England.

– The Picture in the House

Lovecraft Country encompasses a very narrow ‘slice’ of the New England region, and while we here at Sentinel Hill Press obviously love Arkham and Kingsport (and Innsmouth and Dunwich, etc.), just as Lovecraft was not confined to setting his stories there, we see no reason for Keepers to limit their campaigns solely to the handful of towns that make up the canonical Lovecraft Country – consider Professor Wilmarth’s voyage from Arkham to Vermont or Edward Pickman Derby’s accursed visits to certain antediluvian sites near Chesuncook, Maine as two examples from the fiction.  Even the suspicious rustic occultist Wilbur Whateley considered making the trip from Dunwich to Cambridge…

As an aid for Keepers looking to stretch the boundaries of their Lovecraft Country campaigns, we have put together the following list of Call of Cthulhu scenario set in New England (traditionally defined as the six states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).  Due to the distribution of scenarios being somewhat weighted to Massachusetts, we have split this list into two halves  and will today cover the northern half of the region – Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

With more than 1000 scenarios published for the Call of Cthulhu RPG, I am certain we have missed something – corrections and recommendations are welcome in the comments section below.  When I can add some useful information about a scenario, I have added it as a note after the scenario name and book of origin – links are to the Yog-Wiki on Yog-Sothoth.com, my preferred resource for all things CoC related.  For the sake of my sanity I’ve ignored the works of Dr. Michael C. Labossiere, whose myriad scenarios are sometimes set in New England but, as far as I can tell, never make use of any of the locations beyond dropping a town name.

Maine

  • Black Devil Mountain (The Asylum).  A very early scenario set in coastal Maine, this amounts to little more than a dungeon-crawl stocked with an assortment of Lovecraftian monsters, plus a very nasty bear.
  • The Blackwell Horror (The Unbound Book #1).  A family curse afflicts a veteran of the Great War.
  • The Brockford House (Call of Cthulhu rules 2-4th editions).  A short scenario set on the Maine coast; very similar to the AD&D module U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.
  • The Costume Party (Dead Leaves Fall {monograph}).  House guests on a remote island off the Maine coast discover their lives are in grave danger.
  • grimrock_isleGrimrock Isle.  An unusual product from Triad Entertainments – a packet of solo scenarios set on the titular Maine island accompanied by notes about converting the scenarios to group play.  I do not own a copy, unfortunately.
  • The Horrible Lonely House in the Woods (Words of Cthulhu #4).  A ‘cabin in the woods’ style scenario in backwoods Maine.
  • The Horrible Secret of Monhegan Island and The House in the Woods (The Horrible Secret of Monhegan Island).  A pair of scenarios in Grennadier’s only licensed release for Call of Cthulhu.  The secret is Deep Ones!
  • In the Waters of Wyman (White Wolf #4).  A straight-forward scenario (of very 80s vintage) involving a missing person tied into the Mythos.
  • The Singer from Dhol (Worlds of Cthulhu #2).  A story of familial horror on a fictional Maine Island; would transfer well to Trail of Cthulhu.
  • The Worm that Walks (The Shadows of Yog-Sothoth).  From an era when it was considered fair game to send your players off on a scenario intended as a death-trap – think the Call of Cthulhu equivalent of The Tomb of Horrors.  One segment of this ‘scenario’ is set in Maine.

New Hampshire

  • murder_of_crowsBorne into Darknes (Tales of Death and Darkness {Monograph}).  One of Oscar Rios’ many creations; involves a suspicious motel in rural New Hampshire (which is slightly anachronistic) and menace that isn’t as inhuman as we might wish.
  • The Last Trial {monograph}. A convention scenario in two parts, set in the 1720s.  The first section establishes the players as Miskatonic College faculty and the second sees them travel to rural New Hampshire to investigate renewed accusation of witchcraft.
  • Murder of Crows.  Paired with The Doom from Below, these two scenarios from the now-defunct Super Genius Games pit the investigators against a supernatural infestation of crows in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.
  • The Doom from Below.  A sequel of sorts to Murder of Crows, this scenario, also set around Bethlehem, New Hampshire, involves a mysterious sink-hole near the benighted village.

Vermont

  • A Beginning Scenario for a Campaign (Call of Cthulhu rulebook, 1st edition).  Quite possibly the first scenario published, albeit a single page long, the action is set on the bus in the hills of Vermont.

  • Amidst the Ancient Trees (Call of Cthulhu, 7th ed.).  A knapping, cultists, a gunfight, and even worse things in the Green Mountains.
  • Captives of Two Worlds (The Dreamlands/HP Lovecraft’s Dreamlands, 1-3 and 5th eds). A missing-persons case leads to adventures in the Dreamlands and in Vermont.
  • Curse of the Screaming Skull (Bumps in the Night). Strange events  in a mansion in northern Vermont point towards a cursed item in the family’s extensive occult collection.
  • Fungi Mine aka Deep Mine.  One of Solace Games two Call of Cthulhu releases; a short (15 page) modern-day scenario involving UFOlogists and strange sighting near Mt. Carmel, Vermont.
  • The Madman. (Call of Cthulhu rulebook, 1st-5th edition).  A simple scenario set in Jenning, Vermont, in which a local cultists is up to no good atop a local mountain.
  • primalstatefrontcoverA Night on Owlshead Mountain (Delta Green: Eyes Only).  A Delta Green scenario in which the writers make clear that you don’t need a lot of Mythos monsters to utterly destroy overconfident investigators/agents, even ones armed with assault rifles and explosives.
  • The Primal State {monograph}.  Jeff Moeller’s Vermont-centered campaign.  Portions were originally intended for a cancelled Mysteries of New England project from Pagan Publishing (and one scenario* was published in The Whisperer magazine, #4).  Consists of seven connected scenarios that form the campaign – “the Sap Keeps Running” (parts 1-4), “Invitation to the Dance”*, “The Beast of Lake Champlain”, and “Home Sweet Home”.
  • Rolthin Abbey (Strange Tales of Dread and Wonder).  More a location than a traditional scenario, this health spa and retreat for the wealthy harbors dark secrets; set in the modern day it might be difficult to convert to earlier eras.
  • Suffer Not a Wizard to Live (Undying Leaders) {monograph}.  The investigators look for an academic chum who had gone missing in the tiny hamlet of New Heaven.
  • A Time to Harvest. Chaosium has previewed this classic-era campaign through their ‘Cult of Chaos’ Keeper’s group. Portions of the campaign are set in Vermont during a Miskatonic University sponsored expedition there.
  • The Unsealed Room (Secrets).  A vampire-hunter goes missing is a rural Vermont town whilst tracking down a legendary bloodsucker.  Scenario is nominally set in the modern day but little work is required to adjust the era.
  • Whitechapel, Vermont {Link is to PDF of issue} (Protodimension Magazine #10).  A small Vermont town suffers under a dire curse, in which some residents are drive to suicide annually to mark a baleful anniversary.
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One thought on “October-ganza 3, day 4 – Call of Cthulhu Scenarios in New England, part 1 (ME, NH, & VT)

  1. Graham says:

    Makes you wish that Chaosium would persue getting the rights to reprint the Triad entertainment scenario and consider creating an updated version of The Brockford House, I know of at least one magazine scenario that specifically recommends the Keeper use the map in the latter scenario as the basis for the house used by the villain in the magazine scenario.

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