Tuesday, September 12, 2017

So it's been a while since I last wrote on this blog. Quite a while, in fact. In the interregnum, I've started and shelved a D6 Star Wars campaign, as well as stillborn Shadowrun and Fragged Empire campaigns. Still, I've stuck around and have started a Call of Cthulhu campaign based in modern-day Arkham, MA.

Yep, I can still Cthulhu with the best of them!

The last CoC game I ran was several years ago at Nuke-Con and it was somewhat of a success despite a slight regret I have about it. There are currently four players and five characters, all of whom have some connection to Arkham, mostly through Miskatonic University. So far, the best way I can describe the game is to take The X-Files (Delta Green), Supernatural, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Scooby Doo, and mix with a liberal amount of Lovecraft and King's own brands of suspense and horror. The pilot episode's title is "Hounded".

Our crew includes:
  • Joseph - An anthropological photographer for National Geographic and Miskatonic grad.
  • Will Jenkins - A philosophy grad student at Miskatonic. Known to be a hipster.
  • Dr. Bedivere Pentecost - A time-lost British scientist from the 1940s. One moment he was on the deck of the USS Eldridge, and then... he wasn't. Needless to say, the students and faculty in the Miskatonic U science building were just as surprised to see him as he was to see them.
  • FBI Special Agent Selina LeMaine - Selina was part of a joint task force consisting of FBI, DEA and ATF agents set to raid a known drug house. When the raid went down, Selina covered the back to keep any runners from making it very far. That happened to be what saved her life; when her colleagues burst through the front door, things went sideways and there was an explosion, killing everybody but Selina, who was knocked out by the concussive force of the blast. Selina happened to be in Arkham, MA, returning home after recovering from her injuries and the shock of the incident.
  • Digby aka "The Drooler" - Selina's faithful, preternaturally smart Great Dane. No, he can't talk. She became his caretaker after her great aunt Gertrude passed away.
Digby aka "The Drooler"
Thus far, our band of investigators are in the shallows of a case involving a Miskatonic grad student, his messily murdered friend, and a marginalized professor's supposed time machine. You see, it all happened one beautiful fall day on the Miskatonic campus, bringing them all together in a perfect storm of confusion, poor decisions and statements, and some humorous mayhem. GM's Note - This game happened a few weeks ago, so I only remember the general gist of the events. Please excuse any plot holes or other issues...

Joseph and Will were out and about on the Miskatonic campus and happened to bump into one another. Being acquaintances of a sort (Will was a student in a class Joseph was a teaching assistant in), they began conversing, only to have that conversation interrupted by a slightly unhinged grad student come running through the quad, screaming, "It killed Buddy!"

Meanwhile, Doctor Bedivere Pentecost, confused over how he came to be in modern-day Arkham, MA after spending the better part of a month working on the Phildelphia Project, wandered the halls of one of the MU science buildings. Encountering a female coed (who was dressed in pants, to Pentecost's shock), he wandered into a professor's office to gaze in amazement at his posters and pictures of Saturn V rockets and other modern day spacecraft.

By this time, Will and Joseph had made their way to the building the grad student had run out of (the same building), and opened the door to a lab to make a gruesome discovery. There they found the mutilated body of Buddy, a somewhat banged-up time machine, and a whole lot of blue goo in the wreckage of the lab. Dr. Pentecost later joined them and became the subject of some impromptu mind games and tomfoolery by Joseph and Will, who gave him the nickname "Jumanji". Will, being the ultimate crass hipster, took a few selfies of himself with the crime scene. Dr. Pentecost, still befuddled by being tossed through time, added to the carnage with some projectile vomiting.

Selina, essentially being the first (and only) federal agent in Arkham at the time of the incident, was sent to MU by her director to help the Arkham PD investigate the incident. She found the trio viewing the security camera footage with Max Fallon, one of MU's hapless security people. When asked what they were doing, Dr. Pentecost, in a fit of 1940s male chauvinism, managed to insult the thoroughly modern Selina, and caught a boot south of the border for it. He came to after feeling a warm rain and awoke to Digby staring down at him. Selina got a copy of the video, confiscated Will's cellphone, and proceeded to take the evidence to the Arkham PD.

Dr. Pentecost, nursing a wounded ego while walking slightly off kilter, wandered down the streets of Arkham and came across a bank. Seeing this as a proper opportunity to secure some funds from his account, he went in and spoke with a teller, who told him he could not make a withdrawal as he didn't have an account there. She did manage to get info on his account elsewhere in order to open an account in Arkham, and Pentecost was happy to find his account was slightly larger than when he had left it. Needless to say, in the ensuing ruckus he generated, he was picked up by the police and hauled off to the drunk tank to cool down.

Meanwhile, Selina went to the MU Medical Center to inverview the grad student, Thanarek "Than" Thongchaisawang, who was in the psych ward. During the investigation, she learned that he and his friend had decided to tinker with an alleged time machine belonging to Professor David "Kooky" Kowitz. Securing one of the monkeys from MU's biology department, the two sent the hapless primate back in time what they thought was only a few minutes. However, when the time machine came back, they got more than they bargained for.

The monkey came back unharmed, if slightly perturbed at the trip, followed by something... Something big, hostile, and hungry. In the ensuing chaos, the monster ate the monkey, chased the two throughout the lab before Than escaped and Buddy was cornered. The creature then tore Buddy apart, ritualistically rearranged his body parts into a triangle, and disappeared.

Than then began to scream that the creature had returned and begged Selina for protection. Selina turned to see Digby looking through the small window of the room, fogging it up with his breath. Calming Than down, she showed him Digby was (in appearances) a normal dog, not some horrible monster. She then ordered Digby to sit and stay while she concluded the interview. Digby, being a dog, did what any dog would do. He sat there for about five minutes before his stomach told him to find something to eat.

Finding herself minus her dog, Selina had only to follow a path of destruction to find him. Digby managed to commandeer a food cart, devouring most of the meals and a large bowl of tapioca pudding before continuing on to body check a vending machine. Dissatisfied with the machine's refusal to give up the goods, Digby made his way outside to witness several museum employees transferring dinosaur bones from a delivery truck into the museum.

Selina emerged from the hospital to see Digby dash out of the museum with a massive bone in his jaws, followed by two museum employees. After corralling Digby in her car, returning the now soggy bone to the museum, and apologizing for her dog's misbehavior, Selina made her way to the Arkham PD to consult with the detectives there.

Down at the Arkham PD, Dr. Pentecost was getting along marvelously with the few drunks conscious enough to speak with him. Will and Joseph soon arrived to post bail and take their wayward ward to Joseph's apartment. The four crossed paths once again, and Will decided he was going to confront Selina about the confiscation of his phone. Selina refused to give it back, Will refused to give up in his crusade, and the sergeant in charge of the evidence room stood firm, saying he would "Get it back when he gets it back."

At this point, my mind is foggy as to what course of action they were going to take with the investigation, but I'm sure it will continue to merrily go off the rails and into the darkest of Arkham's shadows with our next session...

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