The Old Damned House
Appears in: Mansions of Madness (Supplement - 2nd edition)
The investigators are hired to recover the famous Hazard Pearls. Were they really stolen, or are there more sinister truths to be discovered?.
Link to outside reviews or helpful pages.
Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only
Players should not read any further.
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
The scenario is presented in three sectons: "The Past", "The Future", and "The Story".
The investigators are hired by an insurance company to determine the validity of the claim that the famous Hazard Pearls have been stolen and also to retrieve the pearls whether the claim is valid or not. The pearls have in fact been stolen (although only briefly) from the Hazard family mansion by an infamous thief known as "The Accursed Cat Burglar". However, the burglar immediately stumbled upon the secrets of the Hazard family, was killed, and both his body and the pearls remain hidden in the mansion.
The Hazard family mansion in Mystic, Connecticut dates back to the 1700s, and while it was once magnificent and the family prosperous, the Hazard fortunes have declined to the point that the mansion has fallen into disrepair and the family has been forced to sell almost all of its valuables. The Hazards have long been under a curse brought upon them by Wilfred Hazard after his return from a failed expedition to the Caverns of N'kai in 1759. Hazard survived the expedition to the cavernous lair of the Great Old One Tsathoggua, but brought with him the cursed string of pearls and a small piece of Tsathoggua festering inside his body. In the intervening 150+ years, the family has become corrupted and deformed, protecting the secret of the still-living but transformed Wilfred Hazard and his ghastly breeding and feeding habits.
The Hazard family itself is neither malevolent nor an active threat. The remaining older members are fully aware of the curse and what Wilfred has become, but out of family loyalty do their best to care for Wilfred and prevent him from escaping to devour the locals. The youngest of the family, 20-year-old twins Ellery and Isabeau, seem to have escaped the effects of the curse completely and have been kept ignorant of the family history.
Unknown to everyone except Wilfred Hazard himself, however, are the five deformed Hazard children (thought to have died) who hide in the mansion, playing tricks and searching for food.
As the scenario unfolds, the investigators will attempt to solve the case of the missing pearls, discover the Hazard family secrets, confront Wilfred, rescue the twins from their fate, and possibly find themselves facing Tsathoggua himself in the Caverns of N'kai.
Player Handouts: The Old Damned House Papers #1-4
Locations: Mystic, Connecticut; Caverns of N'kai
This scenario was not included in the original edition of the Mansions of Madness supplement, but was added for the 2nd Edition. The artwork is in a much different style than the other scenarios in the 2nd Edition booklet.
The contents of this article are taken from the 2nd Edition of the Mansions of Madness supplement.
The scenario includes floor plans for the Hazard Mansion.
The scenario states that it is ideal for new investigators' first exposure to the Mythos, but recommends that players already have some experience with the game.
The scenario takes place in Mystic, Connecticut but could easily be re-located elsewhere.
The scenario is set in the 1920s era, but could probably be set in most any other era with few changes.
The scenario estimates three sessions of play needed to complete the adventure.
The authors note that they took inspiration from the 1932 film The Old Dark House, detective fiction of the era, and H.P. Lovecraft's story [The Mound]. They suggest that the Keeper present the scenario in the spirit of a 1920s mystery novel, but that the mood should become gradually darker and more surreal as the investigators discover the family's secrets, and that by the climax the mood should be very dark and deadly.
The investigators' motivation for taking on the case seems to be limited to a financial one, being hired as an already-established group with no personal ties to the situation. Another possibility could be that the investigators are already acquainted with the twins Ellery and Isabeau Hazard and come to their aid instead of being hired by the insurance company (this would also strengthen the investigators' desire to save the twins).