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Best campaigns?


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#1 Kriegster

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 11:13 PM

I'm currently running Masks of Nyarlathotep and having a great time with my players. This is the first time I'm running a CoC game and I don't have any other published campaigns.

Which ones would you recommend?

The things I like best about Masks include :
- the variety
- the slow, progressive build-up to the horror
- the non-linearity

#2 The_Crawling_Chaos

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 11:41 PM

A lot of people will probably say Beyond the Mountains of Madness. Sadly, I haven;t been able to purchase it because of its outrageous asking price on ebay.

#3 cynick

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 12:46 AM

The things I like best about Masks include :
- the variety
- the slow, progressive build-up to the horror
- the non-linearity

A lot of people will probably say Beyond the Mountains of Madness.

Well, it is without a doubt an excellent campaign that has a slow, progressive build-up to the horror, but it is very linear and has little variety.


Horror on the Orient Express?
A real PC killer, and highly linear by its very nature. But also falls into the expensive and out-of-print category.
We do not stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing - George Bernard Shaw

#4 The_Crawling_Chaos

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 02:13 AM

I want Horror on the Orient Express as well, but buying both it and BtMoM would cost me 150+, most likely. That makes me a sad panda.

#5 NashTrickster

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 05:19 AM

If you're looking for frozen wastes fun with much less linearity than BtMoM, try Walker in the Wastes...

And you can find it on eBay for less than $60 (I got it for $40 shipping --to France-- included only a year ago) :D

#6 GreveMagnus

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 07:58 AM

If you're looking for frozen wastes fun with much less linearity than BtMoM, try Walker in the Wastes...


However, I found Walker in the Wastes to be very repetitive. Admittedly I haven't played it yet (and you should never underestimate the players' input), but that's how it struck me when I read through it.

I would say that Masks is still my favourite campaign, for exactly the reasons Kriegster mentions. It has that non-linearity and yet each chapter still manages to feel different from all the others.

I would second the votes already cast for Orient Express and (particularly) Mountains of Madness. Both are much more linear, and read almost like novels in places, but are both feature some wonderful scenes and unexpected plot twists.

Good luck in tracking these down! If you can only afford one, I'd say go for BtMoM.

#7 Roucheau

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 10:52 AM

Day of the Beast is a great campaign. Somewhat linear, and also out of print, but substantially cheaper than Masks, MtMoM, or HotOE.

#8 malcojones

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 11:05 AM

I'd like to support Rocheau's recommendation of the Day of the Beast campaign (you can also access it in earlier printings in The Curse of Cthulhu and The Fungi from Yuggoth).
It is also designed to follow on from Masks in DoB, i.e. is set a few years later and revisits some locations.
The great thing about DoB is that it is fairly non-linear and encourages the insertion of short scenarios between episodes.

As an additional temptation there is the Spawn of Azathoth Campaign currently boxed, old and expensive (ish) when it shows up on e-bay (I got one for circa £20.00) but, as I understand it, liable to be reprinted in book form by Chaosium. I hope this isn't an embarrassing delusion of mine.
Best, malcojones

#9 GreveMagnus

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 11:46 AM

I'd like to support Rocheau's recommendation of the Day of the Beast campaign (you can also access it in earlier printings in The Curse of Cthulhu and The Fungi from Yuggoth).
It is also designed to follow on from Masks in DoB, i.e. is set a few years later and revisits some locations.
The great thing about DoB is that it is fairly non-linear and encourages the insertion of short scenarios between episodes.


The problem some people have with Day of the Beast is that every episode revolves around a different Mythos being, with the overall impression being a somewhat confusing 'monster of the week' effect. But if you only manage to play occasionally, the loose structure can be an advantage.

I'm still quite fond of this old campaign, as it does feature some great scenes and NPCs. These comments are also true of Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, to a certain extent.

But didn't Day of the Beast appear before Masks of Nyarlathotep? That's how I remember it - although it was a hell of a long time ago.... :?:

As an additional temptation there is the Spawn of Azathoth Campaign currently boxed, old and expensive (ish) when it shows up on e-bay (I got one for circa £20.00) but, as I understand it, liable to be reprinted in book form by Chaosium. I hope this isn't an embarrassing delusion of mine.


So I have heard. The nice thing about Spawn of Azathoth is that it strikes a balance between non-linearity and still having a coherent plot. There's an opening scenario and a concluding one, and it's entirely up to the players in which order they tackle the other episodes.

#10 Kriegster

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 04:57 PM

I was considering Horror on the Orient Express and Beyond the Mountains of Madness, but I was put off by their apparent linearity. I can no longer do railroad adventures, they used to be fun but nowadays I can only have a good time in "open" games where even as the GM I can't predict what's going to happen.

#11 cjbowser

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 06:18 PM

Day of the Beast is a great campaign. Somewhat linear, and also out of print, but substantially cheaper than Masks, MtMoM, or HotOE.


I liked Day of the Beast when I ran it last summer. I interspersed other scenarios between the DotB scenarios to add more of a feeling of non-linearity.

If you want to check this book out, it's still available from Chaosium's Grand Bazaar of Antiquities for $20.

Current projects: Time of Troubles | The Caliphate Caper


#12 GreveMagnus

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 06:37 PM

I was considering Horror on the Orient Express and Beyond the Mountains of Madness, but I was put off by their apparent linearity. I can no longer do railroad adventures, they used to be fun but nowadays I can only have a good time in "open" games where even as the GM I can't predict what's going to happen.


I know just what you mean. My old group were all non-gamers I'd talked into playing, and I could lead them around by the nose whenever I wanted to. The guys I play with now are all old gaming veterans, and can tell when they're being railroaded way in advance.

Not that I've ever let that stop me trying. :)

#13 cjbowser

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 06:57 PM

If you want to check this book out, it's still available from Chaosium's Grand Bazaar of Antiquities for $20.


It's already gone...somebody moves fast.

Current projects: Time of Troubles | The Caliphate Caper


#14 Badger

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 07:15 PM

I've run HotOE, and am in the process of taking my group through BtMoM. I've had a tremendous amount of fun with both, though they do take quite a bit of prep work to execute for maximum effectiveness. Both are challenges for inexperienced keepers. As for the linearness of the the storylines...yeah, that is an aspect of both campaigns that has to be considered, but it it's justifiable for the stories involved. If you're looking for more globetrotting freedom, definitely go with Masks.

I would also like to suggest the (mini?) campaign at the back of the Escape From Innsmouth sourcebook. Cracking good adventure, though it can get very bloody in spots.

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#15 GreveMagnus

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 07:32 AM

I would also like to suggest the (mini?) campaign at the back of the Escape From Innsmouth sourcebook. Cracking good adventure, though it can get very bloody in spots.


Good choice!

If you add in the four scenarios from Before the Fall, plus 'Freak Show' and 'Bless the Beasts and Children' you get a very respectable nine-part Innsmouth campaign, which starts off very low-key and gradually builds up to a spectacular climax.

However, many of these scenarios are better suited to a small group, while the last one needs five or six player characters. So you'll either need to add more players once you get started or have at least some of them play two characters each for the final scenario.

And if you've already played through Masks your players will probably know all about the Deep Ones by now. As one or two of the Innsmouth scenarios build on the investigators' uncertainties about just what these things are, the players may not act in the way the scenario writers expect them to.

#16 kaeru

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 10:14 AM

(...) plus 'Freak Show' and 'Bless the Beasts and Children' (...)

For the curious: the first is in Tales of the Miskatonic Valley, the second is in Adventures in Arkham Country.

Edit: added urls to product db.

#17 chuft

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 02:52 PM

Is Before the Fall worth getting? Somehow I had gotten the impression that it was not highly regarded, unlike Escape from Innsmouth.
Japanese researchers successfully fuse two mouse eggs to produce a healthy adult mouse with two mothers and no father, which has itself since reproduced:

http://news.national...needsmales.html

#18 cynick

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 10:12 PM

I was considering Horror on the Orient Express (...) I can no longer do railroad adventures

:lol:
We do not stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing - George Bernard Shaw

#19 GreveMagnus

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 11:08 AM

Is Before the Fall worth getting? Somehow I had gotten the impression that it was not highly regarded, unlike Escape from Innsmouth.


It's okay, but not nearly in the same league as Escape from Innsmouth. There are four short scenarios:

*The first is a low-key missing persons case, probably best suited to one or two investigators. Larger groups may find that they don't have enough to keep them busy. Their chances of getting to the bottom of this case are quite slim, and it will probably stay unsolved. It does however introduce the town of Innsmouth, and investigators' chances of getting killed are almost non-existent. Much of how this scenario plays out is firmly up to the players.

*The second scenario revolves around the murder through sorcery of an old army buddy. Suits one or two characters who must track the killer down in Innsmouth. But once they've found him, an NPC pops up to take care of the denouement. Pretty low-key, draws the players further into this mysterious town.

*The third is almost like a Cthulhu re-write of the old D&D scenario The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. A haunted house that is not what it seems to be. This one could be loads of fun or a real wash-out, depending on how the players react. There's also a really deadly secret hidden away in the house. The investigators will have to try hard to find it, and probably end up wishing they didn't. Again, how this pans out is largely up to the players. Could be good, could be a real disappointment. I can imagine some groups going right through this in a couple of hours.

*The fourth was my favourite. The investigators find themselves abandoned on a small island with a sinister secret. Straightforward survival horror, with multiple ways out of the situation.

You can safely miss this one out, but if you're looking for more Innsmouth stuff to pad out a campaign you might want to pick it up. It shouldn't be too expensive.

#20 chuft

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 03:06 PM

Thanks for the info.
Japanese researchers successfully fuse two mouse eggs to produce a healthy adult mouse with two mothers and no father, which has itself since reproduced:

http://news.national...needsmales.html