Hi, I'm relatively new to this forum. Just as a brief intro I've played in two really amazing, long running, CoC games. One in high school and one as an adult. I've run a lot of games, but I've never run CoC before. I'm starting a new group with two players I've gamed with before and two or more entirely new (to me) players who also have RPG experience.
Largely due to not knowing who will stay in the game long term and who might play a few sessions and either drop out completely or play only some of the time I would like to run a series of individual scenarios before launching into a long campaign.
But there are SO MANY scenarios written I feel a bit overwhelmed. *SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW*
From the core rulebook:
The Haunting - May want to run this, particularly using some of the Quickstart book's suggestions for tying in other campaigns, but I also realized I could probably use the same technique to drop plot hooks into other one-offs.
Edge of Darkness - I definitely want to run this, and probably want to run it first. It is a -really- well written scenario IMHO.
The Madman - I personally don't see many ways to run this without either the characters failing/dying or it devolving into a gunfight, which is something I specifically want to stay away from. I don't want my players to think shooting their way out of things is the preferred path (or I'd just be running some other game). I could see them learning more about the Mi-Go beforehand, in other scenarios, and then facing this more well prepared.
Dead Man Stomp - The premise is good, but I just got to the part where the first killer basically -must- escape. Of the two players I do know, one -will- play a PI or Police Detective as a Paladin, and if I railroad this part of the scenario will be extremely unhappy. I also don't want to kill him off here, though I would like him to understand running in guns blazing he may die or be seriously injured.
Otherwise, I have no idea where to go or what to run. I want to give them some different flavors of scenarios -- trapse into the backcountry to deal with some minor horror, live it up in high society, standard haunted location, face off against cultists, mostly so I can see what they take a shine to the most and decide which campaign to run from there.
So, after all that preamble (TL:DR) what stand-alone scenarios would you recommend? What order would you suggest them in? What stand-alone scenarios or campaigns are notoriously bad and should be avoided altogether?
I think I've decided on a running gag for my game... both Edge of Darkness and Dead Man Stomp have an instance of one unfortunate investigator getting showered with blood and viscera. I think I'm going to find a way to work this into every scenario, so when I ask, "Where exactly are you standing?" it should have a more horrific effect than if I'd said, "Roll Sanity."