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A Chill in Abashiri - A 1920s Taisho-Era Japan Scenario

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A Chill in Abashiri

A 1920s Taisho-Era Japan Scenario

December 1922, Abashiri, Northern Japan

Abashiri Prison, located on the northern shore of Hokkaido, houses ‘dangerous’ criminals and political dissidents, and is no stranger to death and cold. But when a guard dies under suspicious circumstances, and amidst an unprecedented cold snap, a team of mixed professionals is sent to investigate the facility and its occupants, both staff and imprisoned. Amidst the Taisho-era empire’s political maelstrom, the investigators must navigate suspicious guards and uncooperative prisoners to uncover a plot that threatens not just Abashiri Prison, but the future of their changing nation.

Investigators looking at a frozen body in a prison

"Excellent, focused investigation with a suitably frigid feel throughout reflecting the politics of the period"

- Reviews from R'lyeh

"Isolation is a classic horror tool, and this scenario makes excellent use of this too"

- Rolling Boxcars

Written by Michael Reid, author of the Gold best-selling Branches of Bone - A Cthulhu Dark Ages Viking Age Scenario, the Silver best-selling supplement Memorable Major Wounds - Critical Tables and Expanded Injuries for Call of Cthulhu, and the Flash Cthulhu series of 1-hour mini-scenarios.

A Chill in Abashiri is a mystery-investigative scenario set in 1922 Japan, casting the players as a team investigating the death of a prison guard at Abashiri Prison in Hokkaido. It uses Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition rules.

The scenario is designed to be run in roughly four to six hours for a group of four investigators, though it could be shortened to fit convention length or expanded to cover extra sessions, and could be modified for one investigator, or up to six.


A Chill in Abashiri includes:

  • 28 fully bookmarked and hyperlinked pages including handouts, maps, and stat blocks, rule supplements and Keeper aids (39 with cover and pregen investigators).

  • Cover by Linus Larsson, character illustrations by David North, Zed Nope, and Kaori Suzuki, and images of Abashiri Prison and its surroundings to build ambience.

  • Four pre-generated 1920s Japanese investigators, and suggestions for creating new or using existing investigators.

  • Flowchart, encounter table, and advice for Keepers to suit the scenario to their group.

  • Two spells, a Mythos Tome, a Mythos Deity, two new Japanese weapons.

  • Printer-friendly-ish version, plain text version of handouts, zip of separated handout jpgs.


Print on Demand now available.


Content Warning: A Chill in Abashiri is set in a violent time and place, and contains themes of political and colonial oppression.

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Reviews (5)
Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Michael R May 30, 2023 8:53 pm UTC
Scenario author here.
If you're on the fence about trying A Chill in Abashiri, here is an overview of the scenario I wrote, as well as some reviews to see what might work and what might not work for you and your group.
Reviews from R'lyeh:
Rolling Boxcars:
CheapDrop (Japanese - spoilers):

If you have any questions or comments, please do shoot them at me. I'll answer as best I can here, on my site, over email, or whatever social media account you track me down on.
Customer avatar
Resh W January 27, 2024 4:18 pm UTC
Hmm the date in the Introduction says it is set in 1928 but timeline and handouts said 1922. Minor error I noticed when i ran it tonight :) not a deal breaker but just mentioning
Customer avatar
Michael R January 30, 2024 6:54 pm UTC
Well, that's embarrassing! The year should definitely be 1922 (Taisho 11). Not sure how 1928 slipped through in such an obvious spot...
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File Last Updated:
October 13, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on December 05, 2022.