Hello everyone! I'm new to Keeping CoC, and I wanted to start out with running Blackwater Creek, the scenario that came with the Keeper's screen. However, there was part of the scenario I found confusing, and I was hoping to find out how you guys handled it when you ran it.
Specifically, I'm confused about progression of the Mother's Gift. From what I understand, two months pass in-game before the PCs even get to Blackwater Creek, and all that time the Mother's Gift has been seeping into the soil, contaminating crops and water, infecting livestock, and so on---and the locals have been consuming a fair amount of that stuff for all that time. Considering PCs are supposed to make CON checks every time they come into contact with the water, drink the whiskey, or eat any local food---and every two hours from then on, if I read that right---then how in the world is Blackwater Creek not chock full of people just as far gone with the Mother's Gift as Ben Carmody?
I know that most of the townsfolk are supposed to be at Stage 3, but given how vigorous the CON checks are for PCs, I just don't see how they could be that unaffected. Within a two month period, I would think that anyone with poor CON in town---the elderly, children, etc---would have become one with the Mother pretty quickly, if they just didn't die outright. Am I misunderstanding the Mother's Gift? Or is this a small flaw in the scenario itself?
If that is right, however, I'm trying to figure out how that would effect the town as a whole. Maybe there would be more deserted homes (to represent missing townsfolk), or there are hordes of "Gifted" townsfolk hiding out in Blackwater Forest, communing with the Dark Young and eager to set upon whoever wanders inside? Or maybe they just get sacrificed to Abigail when they get too far gone and "become one with the Mother"? Do you guys think any of these work?
Otherwise, my other option would be to slow the progression down. If so, how would I do that? Less CON checks? Or more time between stages? How did the Mother's Gift work in your game? Did any of your PCs get infected? If so, how did that play out?
Thanks all for your time, and any help, advice or thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated .