"Pax Cthuliana" is a dramatic scenario designed for experienced players set in the world of H. P. Lovecraft.
Through investigation, puzzle solving, time travel, knowledge of the Mythos, situational music, timed events and horrible scenes, the players will experience an interactive and unique scenario—an epic mini-campaign playable in one (long!) gaming night.
The setting is London 1927, though the investigators will soon discover the need to dig deeper into England's occult past. The scenario may be played as a standalone event or incorporated into an ongoing campaign—preferably its end, as the very world itself may collapse should the investigators fail.
Puzzle solving: The players need to draw a powerful sigil to keep the dark powers at bay, but the sigil consists of several symbols in a special pattern. During the scenario, more pieces of the puzzle become clear, but do they have the skills to fit them all together and complete the sigil before the world ends…?
Situational music: At three key events during the scenario, music plays an important role. Three specific soundtracks heighten the mood and accompany the situation, as well as function as a time limit for the investigators to complete certain tasks. The soundtracks are not provided with this Kickstarter but are easily found on any musical service like Spotify, iTunes, Google Play or YouTube.
Knowledge of the Mythos: As stated, this is a scenario meant for experienced players. They need to have some scenarios under their belt, as well as some basic knowledge of the Mythos. If they have never heard of R'lyeh before, then this scenario is not for them. Yet.
Cultural knowledge: The players will meet famous and historical persons of the time. They will also dig into England's past to uncover some horrible truths. Any real knowledge of persons like Christopher Wren, Alistair Crowley or a certain J. R. R. Tolkien could prove useful. Though such knowledge is not necessary, it could prove to tip the scale towards saving or ending the world...
Epic: From a small and seemingly irrelevant situation, the players will soon find themselves facing the horrors of great Cthulhu himself. As they discover more and more of the past and its shocking implications though puzzle solving and investigation, they will soon feel the burden of humanity's future on their shoulders. They have never, and will never again, be this close to total destruction.
Playing time: Initial playtesting of the raw material suggests a play time of about six hours. This could easily be expanded, as the scenario will come with optional false leads and expanded situations to suit your needs. This versatility may easily expand the scenario into a mini-campaign.
Two endings: In the very last moments of the scenario, it becomes up to the GM to decide how it ends. The “normal” ending will (hopefully) result in the players as victorious against the dark powers—this is a satisfying option for the players since they have fought hard with brains and skills to achieve their goal; huzzah! The “other” option is something completely different; this is an ending that will turn upside down everything the players have found out and believed throughout the scenario. This is an option that will leave their jaws dropping and produce “I did not see that coming!” reactions. It’s your choice. You're the GM.
Action-oriented or not?: Some players (or GMs) may want to solve some situations using muscles & guns, though this scenario is meant to be completed without firing a single shot. For those players (or GMs) an “alternative action approach” (AAA) is included where relevant.
Skill use: The purpose of the scenario is to create a special atmosphere where the Mythos feels eerily alive everywhere. As such, rules and skills are less emphasized so as not to “disturb” this purpose. The scenario may be played almost exclusively using the character's knowledge and ideas; only a few skill rolls are necessary. So how does it work? Let's say you find a strange book entitled The Book of Eibon. You are not meant to do a skill roll to discover what this book is; you're supposed to have heard about it before, both as a player and character. And if you stumble upon a lot of clues in a pile, you're not supposed to roll a Search, Luck or Library Use to find the “correct” clue; you're supposed to use your own wits and investigation throughout the scenario to figure out which are the correct ones. The use of skill rolls will be needed from time to time, but only to give alternative approaches to different situations, and never to interfere with the atmosphere.
Content: In many RPG scenarios, there exists an elaborate description of the NPCs, their history, their minds, plans, surroundings... You will not find much of that in “Pax Cthuliana.” We've read too many scenarios where the relevant information is somewhat “hidden” in too much description. Don’t get us wrong; it's entertaining to read about the family background, accent, tattoo and shoe size of the local bartender, but if his only appearance is when he gives the investigator a letter, that info is not very relevant for the players. “Pax Cthuliana” tells you what you need to know; the rest is up to you.
Mature content: What stands the Lovecraftian world apart from many other themes is the atmosphere of fear and horror; if played well, both for the investigators and the players. “Pax Cthuliana” follows this pattern; the fear is always lingering, but the “horror level” may be adjusted to your taste. The scenario may be enjoyed fully without a single drop of blood spilled, or you may choose to adjust some scenes to incorporate the ultimate horror targeting both your character and your own sanity. As such, it could potentially resemble the “alternative action approach” (AAA) mentioned above. Call it AHA if you'd like (please don't).
Fact and fiction: The scenario combines the real world with the Mythos. The characters you meet and their story/surroundings are mostly historically correct, mixed with the occasional Mythos element. A complete Fact & Fiction section at the end of the scenario keeps you up to date, but is yours to bend to your own will...
Quality: This is in a full-color page layout in US letter format! This scenario is a delight both to read and play.
Ich finde einige Ansätze dieses Settings ganz reizvoll! Vielleicht geht es ja noch jemandem so?