I made the dubious decision to let my players vote on the setting/time period and game style they'd most like to play. The result is a somewhat odd mix of parameters for which I confess not being prepared. I could use some help finding a good scenario that meets the following conditions:
Good for you for giving your players this opportunity from the outset! They'll be that much more engaged in the actual gaming sessions if they feel like they've had a hand in laying the foundations.
If you don't mind playing fast and loose with both Lovecraftian/Chaosium canon and historical details, how about Innsmouth updated for the eve of WWII
> 1. It takes place in Arkham or Lovecraft Country.
Innsmouth Builds Subs
> 2. It can be set in the 1920's but is easily updated to 1939, the eve of the Second World War.
Following the 1927–28 raids, Innsmouth was locked down by the feds during the Coolidge administration, but FDR's saw an opportunity to rebuild the town as an auxiliary station for the expanding Naval Submarine Base New London in neighboring Connecticut. With new barracks, workshops, and warehouses built over the town's condemned waterfront, the top-secret base specializes in deep-sea research. It's rumored to have sent experimental craft far below previous diving records, and there may be a contingent of special forces training for amphibious reconnaissance with unusual aquatic suits and rebreather gear (nicknamed the "Innsmouth Frogmen").
It's up to you whether US Naval Base Innsmouth, a.k.a. Devil Reef Station, is the American government's undersea early warning station/bulwark against the Deep Ones or if factions within the US Navy have struck a Faustian bargain with the Marshes in exchange for Deep One marine technology.
> 3. It is adaptable to include a Nazi spy/occultist who's come to the region in search of mythos goodies for the Reich.
While the Kriegsmarine is naturally interested in reports of advanced oceanic technology in the US, Himmler's Ahnenerbe—particularly a clique within it that was obsessed with the idea the Aryan race originated in the sunken city of Atlantis—wants to investigate links between reports of Innsmouth archaeological items and a strange carved idol mentioned in passing in the records of the Imperial German Navy. This turns out to be the final report of the lost WWI
-era Mittel-U MAN diesel Unterseeboot
U-29 (from HPL
's "The Temple"). Perhaps US intelligence also has a copy of this report since it was originally recovered on the coast of Yucatán Peninsula, which the investigators could uncover in their early stages.
The Ahnenerbe operative is, of course, secretly an agent of the Mythos and, knowing the Deep One origins of Innsmouth jewelry, believes that the deceased Capt. von Altberg-Ehrenstein's report is a delusional misinterpretation of an encounter with them and one of their undersea cities. The key (for the players to find) is that the sailor from the British merchant marine vessel Victory
that the U-29 sank is not Italian or Greek, as Altberg-Ehrenstein presumed, but in fact a native of Innsmouth. The carved ivory idol that was recovered off his body turns out to be… a Mythos MacGuffin (a Cthulhu idol? a Dagon totem? a Minoan-era statuette exhibiting nascent Deep One features?). Perhaps it turns up in Innsmouth for the players to run across. While they're investigating, maybe even the sailor from the Victory supposedly lost at sea returns home, subtly and weirdly different after his long ocean sojourn. Or might Lieut. Klenze of the U-29 unexpectedly show up, having undergone a strange sea-change instead of being drowned in the depths when, in his madness, he escaped through the sub's airlock?
> 4. Some of the PCs
may be British or Commonwealth intelligence officers who've come in pursuit of #3.
Perhaps one of them could hail from the Suffolk village of Dunwich, once a thriving medieval harbour but now mostly lost to the sea, supposedly due to coastal erosion but maybe a Deep One link à la Charles Stross's The Laundry-verse?
Edited by Travern, 06 December 2017 - 05:20 PM.