Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Cthulhu-mentary my dear Pickman!

Gaslight

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 ReydeAmarillo

ReydeAmarillo

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 393 posts
  • LocationScotland, UK

Posted 05 October 2016 - 01:00 PM

Although I am very aware of the Sherlock Holmes scenario in the first two editions of Gaslight, and how little the themes of SH fit with HPL's vision, I am also convinced that many SH stories could be (at the very least) good foundations on which to write a CoC scenario. 

 

In addition to using SH stories as "Victorian English society -101", almost any SH story could be adapted to serve as a change of pace, non paranormal scenario.

 

However, a very select few, can (I believe) make good foundations for CoC. For example:-

 

Speckled  Band - Woman dies in her bedroom, raving about "A Speckled Band". Her sister is now forced (by her stepfather) to sleep in the same room and has been hearing weird noises in the night. SH investigates and uncovers clues that stepfather (from adjoining bedroom) is sending a poisonous snake (the Speckled Band) through a ventilation duct into the bedroom to kill the sleeper there. Wants to kill two stepdaughters to get his hands on their inheritance. Obviously for CoC the snake can be replaced with any minor Mythos servitor (or be a Snake of Yig?) which is somehow being introduced into the bedroom by the stepfather. 

 

Devils Foot - Siblings living together in a cottage found one morning - two brothers maniacally insane and sister dead.Their estranged brother mentions that he had visited them the previous night and one brother had seen a frightening figure moving outside (which he blames on the devil!).  SH discovers killed by a poisonous root thrown onto the fire by the estranged brother. Again, any minor Mythos entity could suffice to scare them to mania or death - or, as a non paranormal scenario it can just be the poison.

.

Musgrave Ritual - Stately home Butler vanishes but leaves behind clues he was researching a historical riddle belonging to the noble family he serves. SH investigates the riddle/ritual and traces butler to secret room which hold the butler (dead) and the reason for all the secrecy - Charles the First's crown! Obviously the secret room can hold a Bound entity (hence the secrecy) which is a good reason to find the butler dead. But the ritual /riddle could seem to point to some treasure so tempting the butler in the first place.

 

Anyway - I am sure there are more - but that's enough from me for now.

 

 




Log in to remove this video.

#2 JohnnyF

JohnnyF

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Patron
  • PipPipPip
  • 198 posts

Posted 05 October 2016 - 03:35 PM

Interesting ideas!

 

I am usually resistant to Sherlock Holmes stories with supernatural elements, because Holmes is by his nature a bastion of reason; stridently opposing superstition, and supernatural explanations.

 

However, Neil Gaiman's short story: 'A Study in Emerald' (a pastiche of Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu Mythos) is a notable exception. I strongly recommend it. It appears in a collection of similar short stories, 'Shadows Over Baker Street', where Holmes encounters elements of the Cthulhu Mythos.


"Ne raillons pas les fous; leur folie dure plus longtemps que la notre .... Voila toute la difference." ("Do not scoff at the crazy; their madness lasts longer than ours .... That's all the difference".) 

 
 


#3 TMS

TMS

    Son of Yog-Sothoth

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 549 posts
  • LocationOhio

Posted 05 October 2016 - 07:00 PM

I think that if any Sherlock Holmes stories are adapted into scenarios, it might be best to leave Holmes out of them, though maybe I'd change my mind if I read Shadows Over Baker Street. Brilliant though he is, I think Holmes would be a little out of his depth when facing the truly supernatural, though I suppose that that would give the investigators a reason for getting involved.

 

Anyway, I think one of the most obvious choices for adaptation to a scenario is The Hound of the Baskervilles. "The Adventure of the Yellow Face," "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane," "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire," and "The Adventure of the Creeping Man" work as well. "The Adventure of the Crooked Man," "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter" (possibly changed to "Greek translator"?), "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" (think of Machen's "Shining Pyramid" and "Red Hand"), and "The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger" might be adapted with a little more imagination.

Then there are a number of intriguing unwritten cases referred to in the various stories.

 

"Of all the problems which have been submitted to my friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes for solution during the years of our intimacy, there were only two which I was the means of introducing to his notice, [one being] Colonel Warburton’s madness. [That case] may have afforded a finer field for an acute and original observer..."

 

"We were residing at the time in furnished lodgings close to a library where Sherlock Holmes was pursuing some laborious researches in early English charters—researches which led to results so striking that they may be the subject of one of my future narratives."

 

"As I turn over the pages, I see my notes upon the repulsive story of the red leech and the terrible death of Crosby, the banker. Here also I find an account of the Addleton tragedy, and the singular contents of the ancient British barrow."

 

“Among these unfinished tales is that of Mr. James Phillimore, who, stepping back into his own house to get his umbrella, was never more seen in the world. No less remarkable is that of the cutter Alicia, which sailed one spring morning into a small patch of mist from where she never again emerged, nor was anything further ever heard of herself and her crew. A third case worthy of note is that of Isadora Persano, the well-known journalist and duelist, who was found stark staring mad with a match box in front of him which contained a remarkable worm said to be unknown to science.”

 

“‘As our firm specializes entirely upon the assessment of machinery the matter hardly comes within our purview, and we have therefore recommended Mr. Ferguson to call upon you and lay the matter before you. We have not forgotten your successful action in the case of Matilda Briggs.

We are, sir,

Faithfully yours,

MORRISON, MORRISON, AND DODD

per E. J. C.’

‘Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson.’ said Homes in a reminiscent voice. ‘It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.’”

 

I believe that last one might have been adapted into a scenario already.



#4 ReydeAmarillo

ReydeAmarillo

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 393 posts
  • LocationScotland, UK

Posted 05 October 2016 - 07:38 PM

Interesting ideas!
 
I am usually resistant to Sherlock Holmes stories with supernatural elements, because Holmes is by his nature a bastion of reason; stridently opposing superstition, and supernatural explanations.
 
However, Neil Gaiman's short story: 'A Study in Emerald' (a pastiche of Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu Mythos) is a notable exception. I strongly recommend it. It appears in a collection of similar short stories, 'Shadows Over Baker Street', where Holmes encounters elements of the Cthulhu Mythos.


Thank for your encouragement JohnnyF.

Yes I read the Shadows over Baker Street many years ago and loved it!

#5 wombat1

wombat1

    Lesser Servitor

  • Old Patron
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,886 posts

Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:50 PM

I looked at the Musgrave Ritual for a possible scenario; I have never had an opportunity to use the idea.  What I came to was the idea that the family holds certain items, and only one of these is mentioned in the story, the rest of the items were bundled up with it.  Cultists, best left undefined for the moment, wanted the other items.  Now, move on 40 years or so from the story, to the 1920's and the heir to the Musgraves must face those cultists again...

 

I tend to handle such things by taking the original story and accepting it as "history for my game world."  Then I ask either what brought the situation to such a pass (and can write a prequel, so to speak) or what happened afterwards (and can write a sequel). IF I can add other things in from other stories, so much the better.


Edited by wombat1, 05 October 2016 - 08:54 PM.


#6 ReydeAmarillo

ReydeAmarillo

    Knight of the Outer Void

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 393 posts
  • LocationScotland, UK

Posted 05 October 2016 - 09:35 PM

I looked at the Musgrave Ritual for a possible scenario; I have never had an opportunity to use the idea.  What I came to was the idea that the family holds certain items, and only one of these is mentioned in the story, the rest of the items were bundled up with it.  Cultists, best left undefined for the moment, wanted the other items.  Now, move on 40 years or so from the story, to the 1920's and the heir to the Musgraves must face those cultists again...
 
I tend to handle such things by taking the original story and accepting it as "history for my game world."  Then I ask either what brought the situation to such a pass (and can write a prequel, so to speak) or what happened afterwards (and can write a sequel). IF I can add other things in from other stories, so much the better.


Wombat that sounds like a great idea. Maybe the butler was not just working on his own, but was a cultist, after the other "certain items"?

#7 wombat1

wombat1

    Lesser Servitor

  • Old Patron
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,886 posts

Posted 05 October 2016 - 09:47 PM

Exactly--the fate of the dingus in the story is known--we are stuck with that.  So if we are going to use the story somehow, we have to improvise both in time and in space. 

 

Improvising in time:  We know something of how the dingus came to be there.  So we can get scenarios for the origin of the artifact in the story (a CDA scenario) and its coming to Musgrave house (a English Civil War scenario).    We can associate other dinguses with it, which give us other scenarios, perhaps as far back as Roman times if we want.

 

Then we have a (notional) Gaslight scenario comprising the original story.  This I wouldn't do anything with directly, however, perhaps Holmes and the original Musgrave have some loose ends and call upon their friends, the investigators, to work on the problem.

 

Then, as I said, a scenario going forward, could be quite a campaign, actually.

 

Improvising in space:  What else might be associated with the second dingus that we are going to create--the story starts at the Musgrave house, but where does it go from there?  Might the Musgraves, who suspected something of the origins of the artifact, gone in search of other items to add to it?  If so, where?


Edited by wombat1, 05 October 2016 - 09:49 PM.


#8 deuce

deuce

    Lesser Servitor

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,075 posts
  • LocationSerpent-haunted Ehssi-Keh, beside the Lake of the Mound

Posted 07 October 2016 - 07:27 AM

Although I am very aware of the Sherlock Holmes scenario in the first two editions of Gaslight, and how little the themes of SH fit with HPL's vision, I am also convinced that many SH stories could be (at the very least) good foundations on which to write a CoC scenario. 

 

In addition to using SH stories as "Victorian English society -101", almost any SH story could be adapted to serve as a change of pace, non paranormal scenario.

 

(...)

 

Anyway - I am sure there are more - but that's enough from me for now.

 

Hey Rey! What if there were "another Sherlock Holmes" who was well-thought of by Sherlockians? What if that detective was tangentially connected to the Mythos?

 

That would be Solar Pons:

 

http://www.bakerstre...n.com/pons.html

 

http://www.thrilling...solar_pons.html

 

http://www.solarpons.com/

 

Authors the likes of Ellery Queen and Anthony Boucher were Solar Pons fans. The Pons tales are actually Jazz Age, but can be retrofitted to Gaslight quite easily. Pons is much like Holmes, but less antagonistic to the supernatural. Mythos tomes are mentioned in a couple of tales (as ironic Easter eggs) but never play a part.

 

It's well-known that Derleth pastiched each Holmes story in a "variation on a theme" type of way. Thus, one could use the plots from those stories to evoke the better-known Holmes tales but have almost no chance of any player knowing the denouement. Many consider the Pons stories to be Derleth's best fiction writing.

 

Just a thought.  :)

 

511jZ2V%2B9JL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jp



#9 TMS

TMS

    Son of Yog-Sothoth

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 549 posts
  • LocationOhio

Posted 07 October 2016 - 07:40 AM

Derleth also used the Pons stories to publish his own takes on some of those "unwritten" Holmes cases I mentioned before. I've only read the first Pons collection, but one of its story, "The Adventure of the Frightened Baronet," involves a Scooby-Doo-style fake haunting.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Gaslight