So I'm preparing to run MoN. I can immediately see that more so even than the average scenario, whether this works or not relies heavily on the keeper's skill. It's not so much an adventure as it is a setting book for a vast conspiracy, with the expectation that you'll do a lot of the heavy lifting making sure that the sandbox has toys to play with in it.
I have one paranoid question, and one serious question.
My paranoid question is this: The text says very little (at least that I can read thus far) about how much Jackson actually knows. I realize my inexperienced players are likely to play along, but from a player perspective that used to be involved with a team of expert players, I'd immediately put a guard on Elias's hotel room and start tailing him - simply because I'd expect something is up. This raises the unlikely possibility not addressed in the text that the adventure will not start with the death scene it assumes, or even with any of the scenarios that it imagines. For example according to the text, if the PCs go to the hotel room early, it explicitly says that he will be out at the time. It says nothing about paranoid investigators camping out like a bunch of private detectives for him to return, and being clever and foresightful enough to watch the back entrance which I would totally do if given the hook presented by the module. What do you do if Jackson doesn't die? What does he know? And are you just supposed to metagame as a keeper so that like a cut scene in badly written video game such that Elias dies no matter what the PC's do? Has this ever happened to anyone? Is it addressed in the Companion?
My more serious question is this: The adventure is rather odd in a lot of ways for a CoC scenario. Rather than reading like a CoC scenario, it reads to me like a Roger Moore era James Bond movie, with the Dark Brotherhood substituting for Specter and occasionally Nyarlathotep jumping out like a boogey man and TPKing the party through SAN loss. Or it could just as easily be an Indiana Jones pulp caper. As I try to imagine how this game is going to play out, I come away with one of two approaches. Either the players will turn into daring and competent supernatural commandos with lots of heavy weaponry and rack up high body counts of evil cultists with the result that the biggest obstacle in the game might turn out to be local law enforcement, or else they'll somehow convince the authorities of whatever region they are in to help out against the threat.
But neither scenario is particularly appealing intellectually. For those of you that have run the full campaign before, how do you avoid the twin perils of removing player agency and turning them into mere audience for the big events of the game while NPCs with better weapons do the heavy lifting and experience the horrors and problems directly, or else relegating the Cultists to a mere secondary foe compared to the local law enforcement? I was hoping player's might partially solve this problem for my by creating investigators with close ties to national or international law enforcement, thereby giving an excuse for me to give a cover of legitimacy to their actions while still having plenty of reasons for local law enforcement to not be cooperative. But no such luck.
Edited by Celebrim, 30 November 2017 - 08:26 PM.