Friday, July 15, 2016

Call of Cthulhu Session: A Time to Harvest Chapter 3

Last night I ran my monthly Call of Cthulhu game at The Malted Meeple in Hudson, OH where we are working our way through Chaosium's organized play campaign A Time to Harvest. This month we went through Chapter 3. Some spoilers ahead.




Still here? Cool.

Play Report

This chapter saw the PCs dealing with the aftermath of the attack on the campus from Chapter 2. I had two players returning from the previous game with their PCs, and a new one that was easy to get involved by retcon'ing some of the activities slightly. They found themselves in the police station, getting berated by the chief of police and MU president who were looking for a scapegoat for everything that had happened. Luckily for them, the lawyer from Federated Oil and Chemical, a business who has been in the background until now, stepped in to save them if they agreed to meet the president of the company, Michael Abelard.

Shortly thereafter, the PCs found themselves in Detroit talking to Mr. Abelard concerning his organization, his life's mission, and how they fit into this. (I'm being somewhat vague here so as not to reveal too much.) The PCs agreed to join on a mission that would take them back to Cobbs Corners, VT to do additional research and fact gathering.

The rest of the scenario involved the players roleplaying talking to the people from F.O.C. that would join them on the trip, and ensuring all their questions were answered. They learned a lot from the people there about their enemy (again being vague on purpose), and by the end felt they knew a lot more than they did before. The players did an amazing job roleplaying and ensuring everything was ready for the trip, including making sure additional supplies and weapons were gone.

The night before the trip was to start, a party was thrown to toast their assured success. Unfortunately, halfway through the power in the building went out. The PCs volunteered to turn it on, heading down into the basement. Almost immediately they knew something was wrong (the screams and gunshots helped this one). However, they continued down into the basement, where they discovered the source of the issues.

So as not to spoil everything, I'll stop there. Suffice to say, one PC ended up within seconds of losing his life, only to be saved by a last minute First Aid roll. All the PCs survived, but were not left unscathed. Time will tell what the next chapter brings and who, if anyone, survives.


I'll admit that I was worried about this chapter. The main part of the scenario is short, and although it comes with an optional mission, I knew I wouldn't be able to run it. Since I am running this once a month, I am attempting to get each chapter done in one session. This usually means cutting out something from the scenario and getting to the meat of it. In this case, that was the optional scenario. This left the main part, which really wasn't that long and was mostly a fact-finding investigation (until the end).

My concern was if it would be enough, and wasn't sure if the players would enjoy a roleplaying session where they were talking for the majority of it. To my delight, at the end the players thoroughly loved it!

They told me that it went perfectly. There was a great balance of investigation, revelations, and in the end, combat. Additionally, they said they were on the edge of their seats during the last part where they didn't know if they'd live or die, and the tension is carrying over to the next chapter.

I have to say that the players really did make this game. They did wonderfully, and one particular player - who is actually new to Call of Cthulhu - is playing a PC who is quickly becoming my favorite to GM. They are a group that makes GM'ing a game like Call of Cthulhu worth it. I only hope they show up to the next game.

One last thing happened last night that defies the odds of it happening - one player rolled in the 90s 11 times in a row. Now think about this, that means that with their percentile 10s die, they rolled 9 11 times in a row. The odds of that are 1 in 10^11, or 1 in 100 billion.

Was it the dice? No. After the 6th or 7th time, he used one of the other player's die and rolled in the 90s again. Then he switched to an app on his phone - same thing happened. It was truly unbelievable. Sadly, none of them were critical failures and none occurred on SAN checks. That would have been too much fun.

The players and I are looking forward to Chapter 4, where they make their return to Cobbs Corners. Fortunately, they have no clue what is about to happen to them!