(possible spoilers) I am currently running "Edge of Darkness" as an introduction scenario for players new to CoC.
For those who don't know the adventure, it's pretty straightforward: an old friend dies and with his last words begs the investigators to banish a creature he invoked many years before. This implies going to a farm the friend owned, finding a partial translation of "De Vermiis Mysteriis" describing the banishing ritual, and just banish the creature...
I've run this many times to great successes, but my actual group are actually reasonably experienced RPG players, and they just love fooling around. And that's the thing: to wet the appetite of new players, the scenario makes a lot of references to other stuff: Nophru-Ka, Mu, the Bloody Tongue, and although DVM isn't needed (only the partial translation), Miskatonic University is just around the corner.
So after 2 great sessions, the investigators want to steal the book from Dr. Armitage's vault, and they want to investigate the death of Wilbur Whateley. Going to the farm isn't very high on their priority list.
I used to be a pretty railroady GM and I want to improve, so this is probably the best thing that could happen to me, but I'd love some suggestions on how to proceed.
Some hooks I came up with:
- The Whateley affair was covered up and the feds are taking care of it. The PI player has an old friend in the Arkham police force who's going to try to get some reports. I was thinking of an "X-file" kind of set-up then: some feds know of the various threats and act on it, but many executives are actually servants of the Great Old Ones, so the old cop disappears and the investigators get hunted/marked for elimination, while occasionally getting help from the "good" feds.
- As a railroad device, Dr. Armitage might ask the players to actually proceed with the banishing thing, to prove to him that they mean business, before he can trust then and maybe let them have a peek at the forbidden books.
I'd like to keep the whole thing as open as possible, and I welcome any suggestion from the community, thanks in advance!