The Disintegrator

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The Disintegrator

Details

Pages: 23

Author(s): Alan Bligh

Artist(s): Jonathan Wyke, Stephanie McAlea, Richard Pace,

Setting: 1930s, Lovecraft Country, Pulp Cthulhu, "late in October"

Appears in: Pulp Cthulhu: Two-Fisted Action and Adventure Against the Mythos

Campaign: (none)

Summary

The Disintegrator is a scenario set in a relatively isolated seaboard hotel on the New England coast in late October and intended for between two and five players. It concerns the heroes being engaged by a wealthy scientist and philanthropist of their acquaintance on a very unusual errand to, in effect, gatecrash a private sale auction for a most singular and potentially dangerous item—a so-called "disintegrator" which breaks down matter and destroys it utterly. The heroes should determine if the device is real, what it can do, and just what kind of danger it poses to public safety. Unbeknown to all, the truth is stranger and far more dangerous than anyone imagines.

Links

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

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Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

"The Disintegrator" is a scenario set in a relatively isolated seaboard hotel on the New England coast in late October and intended for between two and five players. It concerns the heroes being engaged by a wealthy scientist and philanthropist of their acquaintance, named Professor Lionel Finch, on a very unusual errand to, in effect, gatecrash a private sale auction. The auction is for a most singular and potentially dangerous item—a so-called "disintegrator" device, which breaks down matter and destroys it utterly. Professor Finch wants the heroes to determine if the device is real, what it can do, and just what kind of danger it poses to public safety. Unbeknown to all, the truth is stranger and far more dangerous than anyone imagines: the auction sale is real, the disintegrator is real, but just about everything else the heroes come to know at the beginning of the scenario is a dangerous lie. Dark and inhuman forces are gathering at the White Point hotel.


References

Player Handouts:

  • Illustration: Disintegrator
  • Handout 1: Telegraph
  • Map: White Point Hotel (interior)
  • Map: White Point Hotel (grounds)
  • Handout 2: Auction Schedule
  • Illustration: NPC Portraits
  • Illustration: The Demonstrations
  • Illustration: Spitting in the Eyes of Monsters
  • Timeline of Events (for Keeper use)
  • List of minor NPCs, and detailed list and description of major NPCs (for Keeper use)

Locations:

Creatures:

Tomes and Artifacts:

Campaigns / Scenarios:

  • (none)

Organizations

Comments

List dedication, trivia, images, anything else of note.

Keeper Comments

Comments to Keepers about this scenario; Possibly how to run it successfully. Keep general DISCUSSION on the talk page.

According to the scenario's author:

This adventure is intended to be an introduction to Pulp Cthulhu and deliberately engages in a number of tropes of the pulp genre—mad scientists, deadly inventions, mysterious and sinister strangers—as well as some dyed-in-the-wool stalwarts of the mythos—the isolated New England location, warring elder races, the deadly mi-go, and a hideous creature wearing the guise of a man—as an illustration of how these things can be seamlessly combined without clashing in tone. Although deliberately self-contained, this scenario can also serve to fit into a larger campaign, or perhaps start a campaign where the heroes first come together as a group and, should they survive, then go forward with a well-earned reputation with the occult, fringe-science, and unexplained phenomena. If "The Disintegrator" is being used as an introduction to a campaign, the Keeper is encouraged to add their own plot threads, encounters, and factions of their own design into the scenario (which may mean changing or adding to the attendees at the auction) to exploit at a later date, as well as provide the heroes with potential friends and contacts to aid them in the future—or conversely, enemies with a grudge to bear!

This scenario hinges on social interaction in its opening stages and then later on the ability to think fast in a survival situation. By the adventure’s conclusion, the heroes will likely be fighting the other non-player characters (NPCs) even if they opt to flee or bargain with the horrors from beyond that turn up to claim their prize. Thus, a mix of occupations and pulp archetypes are advised. At least one hero with some detailed knowledge of science is helpful but not actually necessary (an optional NPC, Doctor William Walker, is provided if needed, to make up for this lack of expertise).

Setting: 1930s, Lovecraft Country, Pulp

Special Notes: Not all of the bids for the auction are specified. The Keeper may wish to prepare some written bids, and have the investigators submit their own bid, when it comes time for the auction to occur; two bidders are noted as bidding $25,000, and Finch is willing to bid up to $6,000, and someone (the Mi-Go?) bids "Your Lives".

Sequel Plot Hooks: The investigators will probably make some recurring friends and enemies with the various factions involved in this scenario, depending on the outcome.