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Echoes in the Mist: A Regency Cthulhu Story Guide
Publisher: Chaosium
by Matt [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/13/2024 12:03:49

This is a unique approach to Regency Cthulhu and horror in general. Instead of providing a set of railroad tracks for players to go with, this creates a sort of "story sandbox". More bones than a standard setting guide, but more freedom than a typical scenario.

And that's where this story guide shines.

The entire experience is written to become deeply personal to the players, creating relationships, bonds to be broken, playing on their fears, and instead of having a giant finale where you fight a giant mythos entity in a guns-blazing, smoke-filled room, the players have ultimate agency in their fates. It feels incredibly Lovecraftian that things are happening without the requirement of staring some eldritch horror in the face.

This not only has the power to be a new way of writing settings/historical backdrop pieces, but will excite your table with strong character interactions instead of forced railroads and required scenes. Let the world fall as it may.

All hail the Silent Shouter.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Echoes in the Mist: A Regency Cthulhu Story Guide
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Cotton-Eyed Joe
Publisher: Chaosium
by Matt [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/30/2024 07:13:46

This is an original hook for a delightful slow burn of a scenario. By tying in folk legend, music, and a unique time-period, it threads a needle well to give something unique.

The pre-generated investigators are all well-fleshed out, giving a lot of opportunities for fun roleplaying and by focusing on gameplay and interpersonal connections, the scenario eschews the traditional "Roll to find a secret key" and becomes a story to be enjoyed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cotton-Eyed Joe
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A Long Day's Night
Publisher: Chaosium
by Matt [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2024 13:29:45

A rapid-fire quick hit scenario that goes from 1 - 100 real fast! The investigators, members of a criminal organization, are tasked to find a missing person when nothing is as it seems.

This scenario plays out well in a three-act structure, complete with descriptions of imagery that send a chill down my spine reading them. It presents a well-fleshed out investigation in which a missing person turns into a deep-dive into the weird with repeated clues that culminate in a terrifying final confrontation. I appreciate the inclusion of a prologue and optional scenes, which give a single session much more depth where time permits.

I applaud the author for including a specific Bout of Madness table that ties in central themes to the scenario itself instead of relying on generic ones from the Keeper's Handbook.

The entire scenario is a refreshing take on the mobster genre that hits you hard fast, and leaves you staring back at yourself, wondering if you're the same person.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Long Day's Night
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In Darkness We Wait
Publisher: Chaosium
by Matt [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/09/2024 13:22:37

I really enjoy that this scenario has a unique spin on the typical "someone goes missing" trope and does so in a way that really twists things into an unpredictable way (at least to the players). Providing a list of "Clues" and "Key Events" really makes the scenario easier to run from a Keeper perspective.

Inclusion of audio clues really creates an immersive experience that dials up the creepy (even reading it and listening, I felt unsettled in a good way).

I appreciate that the investigators can take on different life between players (as evidenced by both a playtest I was a part of and the How We Roll playthrough of the scenario), which gives a high replayability to this scenario. And really, the investigators feel "real" (not every group has a retired Marine among them to shoot the bad guy!).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In Darkness We Wait
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Heinrich's Call of Cthulhu Guide to Carcosa
Publisher: Chaosium
by Matt T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/02/2023 15:41:47

I've had the pleasure to play this with both a Keeper guiding the situation and as a solo player. In both cases, this felt like a deep delving into madness. The procedural generation of multiple iterations of Carcosa create a unique experience that carries over with legacy play and creates an evolving world depending on those who have entered before. As a kid, I was always a sucker for "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" books. This one is more of a "Choose-Your-Madness" in the best possible way. By removing the requirement for a Keeper, the choices and penalties are your own. You have to decide your own fate. And in making decisions about your Investigator, you also are forced to confront the horrors within themselves, creating a remarkably personal journey.

The author of this guide has already established himself as a powerhouse for character creation. This book cements him as an expert on the madness that is Carcosa. The level of detail included, unique situations, and depths to which you delve into horror make me wonder if he himself has returned from Carcosa recently. And by locking different endings behind repeated playthroughs, this promises that no two games will ever be the same.

I enthusiastically and whole heartedly recommend this to anyone looking for not only an ever shifting adventure of horror, but for those who wish to fall into the waves of Lake Hali and explore the city of Carcosa. The artwork alone drew me in, but the style, care taken, and depth of what went in to this means that I'll be picking up a physical copy as soon as they become available as well.

I cannot say enough good things about this title. The first round through took just under 2 hours (including character creation) for a game, meaning this can be a fun solo plug-and-play descent into madness. The shores of Carcosa are calling with their siren song. Will you heed it?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Heinrich's Call of Cthulhu Guide to Carcosa
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Jolene
Publisher: Chaosium
by Matt T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/20/2023 20:11:22

Combining a beloved song and strong social commentary, this scenario does so well to eschew the traditional "Boo! Scary monster!" and embraces the horror of lost, addiction, and grief. "Jolene" has woven a strong story that isn't beholden to the traditional tropes and challenges the players to embrace horrors of humanity, while having a satisfying eldritch terror.

"Jolene" has woven a strong story that isn't beholden to the traditional tropes and challenges the players to embrace horrors of humanity, while having a satisfying eldritch spin.

I've enjoyed their work since their first publication, but this may usurp the top spot of scenarios by Mx. Haenze.

This scenario will leave you shaken, both Keeper and Investigator, drowning in a sea of emotion, horror, and psychological interplay.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Jolene
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Safe Space
Publisher: Chaosium
by Matt T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/21/2022 10:28:51

This scenario gives both the Keeper and the Investigators a lovely sandbox in which to play, which creates a unique experience suitable for a 2 hour game or a 4 hour game. Instead of creating a unique mythos experience that everyone goes through, this scenario takes the time to give each player a chance to breathe, have a hero moment, and truly shine. It's a unique balance of individualism coupled with a group necessity for survival. The scenario plays out well with a good amount of Keeper agency as well as enabling players to go off the walls with bonkers decisions. And if you think you know how this is all going to go? You're lying.

The setting itself is written with a major level of care and respect from the author, creating a unique balance of being both personal and accessible, closed yet open. Though all players will walk away from this table with a deeply enjoyable experience, I can confidently say that each person will take away something unique to their own personal experience as a person. This is a very tricky line to walk, and the author does so incredibly well.

From their earlier publications this year, Rina Haenze has shown they deserve a seat at your table with carefully crafted, unique experiences and scenarios that will stick with you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Safe Space
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Click Clack
Publisher: Chaosium
by Matt T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/10/2022 08:44:29

This scenario plays like a fine wine: starts off slowly, but gradually builds as it gets more time to breathe, opening to a complex and alluring experience. Though the expected play time is 2 - 4 hours, nothing seems rushed, it doesn't chokehold the investigators on railroad tracks, and it gives a delightful space for roleplay. The NPCs are memorably written and add a polished sheen to this unique scenario, eschewing the shackles of precent and carving itself a new space.

This scenario not only plays out very well as a one-shot, for a brief jolt of literary terror, but can also work in the confines of a larger jaunt (eschewing the delightful pre-gens for established characters). Another boon to this scenario is the openness. Rather than telling a Keeper how to play in their sandbox, the author gives a framework, enabling the Keeper to tinker to their heart's delight with inclusions of penny dreadful novelizations. A gripe I've had in the past with many scenarios is the requirements of doing a series of events, culminating in a singular endgame experience of "you win" or "you lose". Instead, this scenario gives a multiphasic experience, opening to a wider sandbox than the players may have noticed at the outset.

Combined with the author's debut in "Saturday the 14th", it is safe to say that Rina Haenze puts an element of love in thier scenarios, taking unique spaces in the horror TTRPG community and giving them a resounding new voice that echoes loudly for all to enjoy. I, for one, look forward to their continued publishing, knowing from these two scenarios, future offerings will be a "purchase on sight."



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Click Clack
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Saturday the 14th
Publisher: Chaosium
by Matt T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/31/2022 21:14:09

Loved the way this scenario is unique to the genre, giving something for everyone. Has intrigue, investigation, mythos, and just a bloody good bout of violence! I loved the way it plays out. Was able to act as a playtester and as soon as this came out, I knew I had to buy it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Saturday the 14th
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