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Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
 
$23.95 $13.17
Average Rating:3.6 / 5
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Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
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Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
Publisher: Chaosium
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2016 15:15:31

I've been running Call of Cthulhu since 1981, and have more than four shelf-feet of published Call of Cthulhu stuff (including the original saddle-stapled version of this campaign). Of late I've been converting to PDF to enable me to prep games on my hour-long commute and reduce in-game table clutter, hence this purchase.

This PDF represents the expanded version of the original (and first) campaign for Call of Cthulhu, the version published in 2004.

I ran this in the original 1981(?) version and from a brief but targeted reading judge some segments to be now more challenging for the GM than the original. The Scotland episode is particularly over-the-top in infoload, and some of the reasoning presented to the players doesn't bear close scrutiny in the Silver Twilight section. You may have some work ahead if you need tight consistency in your game (and this is a detective-style game at heart).

Looking through my notes I see that the original campaign was extremely lethal, wiping out player characters with the ease of a gatling gun. The GM is going to have to do deep preparation and read ahead and make notes before running any of the episodes so he or she can mitigate the fallout where necessary.

That said, the players who went through the experience with me in 1987 had fun (or so they say) and certain events are trotted out by those "who were there" when we congregate on rare occasions. A GM can't really do better than have people talk about imaginary events as if they were real.

My low star rating is mostly because the standard approach used by Chaosium to make these PDF products results in a basic scan with OCR underneath but no bookmarks. This means a GM will have to "search" for everything he or she wishes to find in-game and weed the false positives for what he or she wants to see.

Bookmarks aren't a luxury in PDF RPG products, they are essential for flipping back and forth as the game plays out.

Better still would be adding an internally hyperlinked contents page as well. PEG and Pelgrane Press can show Chaosium how it is done.

But that isn't how Chaosium has made the PDF products I own so far. Even the brand-new Gaslight, a product born well into the 21st century and authored electronically, was sold in PDF form sans bookmarks.

It breaks my heart because these pre-"finacial collapse" products are extremely high quality in their concept and execution in print form, and this specific product revolutionized what people would come to expect in terms of hands-on clues and handouts from printed scenario/campaign RPG products. Literally a game-changing idea.

Given the lack of bookmarks, I think you will probably be working from highlighted paper copies of whichever part you are playing, like we did in the 1980s.

So three stars for overall quality and user experience.

If you are reading and are affiliated with the publisher, I'd have paid five bucks more for those bookmarks.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
Publisher: Chaosium
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2010 00:27:50

This was the very first campaign supplement published by Chaosium for the then-brand new "Call of Cthulhu" RPG. While I see where the other reviewers were coming from, I've run this one on several occasions for groups of players and they always seemed to have a blast. While it does sometimes require a little fast foot-work on the part of the Keeper, it rewards that with a lot of fun for the players. There are plenty of little hooks that can be used to move the players off of the main track of the campaign or to send them on wild goose-chases, though, again, the Keeper will need to flesh those out to make it work -- or he can purchase other scenario packs if he needs to. In addition to the seven "chapters" of the actual campaign itself, there are two additional scenarios ("The Warren," and "People of the Monolith") the latter of which is an excellent very first scenario for totally inexperienced investigators. Player handouts are scanned on separate sheets so they could easily be produced for your players as well. Finally, the price on this one makes it an amazing deal no matter how you cut it. Besides, you've GOT to love a campaign that ties in so many of HP Lovecraft's actual stories in some way or another and takes you to places like Easter Island. If you feel like you have to "railroad" your players too much, I'd recommend simply making sure the clues they need show up -- heck there's an entire RPG rules system that does just that! Be flexible, folks!

As usual DriveThru did an excellent job of reproducing the manual -- especially given that the original was printed in a brownish text that tends to make scanning very difficult. All of the illustrations and textual material is easily read, and even the gray-on-gray information boxes are crisp and clear. Overall, I rate this one a solid five both for quality of the reproduction and because of the otherwise unavailable nature of the material. And did I mention the price? Worth it, by all means!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
Publisher: Chaosium
by Peter T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/19/2009 11:49:45

A bit of a railroad adventyure. It also needs adaption from the GM to connect the 7 different adventures to make it run smoothly. The combats are very deadly, and also need adjustment from a GM. Otherwise players need to generate a large number of PCs....

I played through the whole campaign with a very good GM, thus it was real fun, but only with his major adjustments.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
Publisher: Chaosium
by Indy P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/13/2008 15:40:02

A - possibly 'the' - classic campaign for the Call of Cthulhu RPG.

It is... merely okay.The campaign material ticks all the right boxes for a Cthulhu campaign - secret societies, sorcerers, ancient uncaring entities, etc. - but these are stitched together in a rather pedestrian fashion. SoYS is a campaign of its time, and feels rather old-fashioned in it's railroading and tone.

I feel it is also a tad on the too expensive for a really old PDF of average quality. One for collectors or game historians only I think.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
Publisher: Chaosium
by Terence C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2008 13:40:41

While preety good for its time, I found this adventure to be like the old monster mash monster in every corner AD&D adventure.

While in my opinion this can be a good thing, in a game where your average monster can destroy your characters easilly, its very very difficult to survive. So probably the characters have to use their wits and feet on this one...



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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