Shadows Of War Past

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Details

Pages: 16

Author(s): R.J. Christensen

Artist(s): R.J. Christensen

Setting: Modern Skymont Tennessee (a fictional town), Halloween

Appears in: Halloween Horror Returns!

Campaign: (none)

Summary

The Investigators are part of a group that is camping in Tennessee’s Skymont Battlefield Park, a historic American Civil War battle site, on Halloween weekend. Forest, fields, and rehabilitated buildings now mark the site of where once an elegant and prosperous plantation once stood, and what began there as a simple skirmish that turned into a reputed massacre of soldiers and civilians alike. What the weekend visitors do not know is that the cause of the massacre may just spell a horrific end for them as well.

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Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

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Synopsis

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The Investigators are part of a group that is camping in Tennessee’s Skymont Battlefield Park, a historic American Civil War battle site, on Halloween weekend. Forest, fields, and rehabilitated buildings now mark the site of where once an elegant and prosperous plantation once stood, and what began there as a simple skirmish that turned into a reputed massacre of soldiers and civilians alike. What the weekend visitors do not know is that the cause of the massacre may just spell a horrific end for them as well: the eccentric cultist Miller family had raised an army of Zombie Rebel soldiers to massacre and rob their neighbors, before being interrupted by voodoo-wielding slaves. Thanks to a Halloween prank gone wrong, the zombie soldiers are on the loose again, and the investigators are the only ones who can stop them.


References

Player Handouts:

  • Drawing of the Miller Family Sigil
  • Though not presented as handouts, Various Rumors, park ranger "War Stories" (accounts of strange things happening on the campgrounds), text from museum displays, etc. could be printed out or copied and cut up to be used as handouts.
  • Though not presented as handouts, descriptions of Weapons found in and around the museums etc. at the historic site could be printed/copied, cut up and handed out to investigators as the characters obtain them.
  • Though not included in the scenario, a creative keeper might benefit from preparing a pamphlet/brochure for the historical park, including park maps, a "historic" account of the fictional battle and pre-war history, and so on.
  • Though not included in the scenario, a creative keeper might benefit from preparing maps of various historic buildings on the site.

Locations:

  • Skymont, Tennessee campground/museum/historical site

Creatures:

  • 52 Zombie Rebels
  • Park rangers, youth gang members, other campers, war re-enactors, amateur ghost-hunters/parapsychologists, historians and archaeologists, and other victims (all friendly by default but could pose threats to investigators depending on the investigators' actions)

Tomes and Artifacts:

  • 8 Large, Limestone Standing Stones (disturbing these releases the Zombies)
  • Miller Family Signet stamped/moulded in a metal amulet
  • Miller Family Signet, Yellow Sign, and other occult and Mythos symbols carved on fireplace stones.

Campaigns / Scenarios: (none)

Comments

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Keeper Comments

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

Setting: Modern "Skymont" (a fictional town in Tennessee). A variety of background details provided in the scenario may provide some moderate difficulty in setting the scenario as-is in any other setting but this (in almost any U.S. state south of Ohio and east of Texas), though a creative keeper could with a little work reset the scenario on virtually any site in any country where a battle occurred decades or centuries before (for Lovecraft Country, the American Revolution, French and Indian War, or War of 1812 might work well as alternatives for the default American Civil War, for example), and some tips are included in the scenario for adapting the American Civil War setting to the Gaslight and 1920s eras.

Special notes: The scenario is packed with great historical and regional details to give the setting and plot context, and a handful of keeper's notes included in the scenario (like advice on how to adapt it to other eras) are a nice touch, but over all the scenario suffers a bit from a lack of editing, with punctuation and grammar errors leaving parts of it difficult to read. The scenario lacks maps and diagrams of the historical site and its buildings; these might have been welcome in a scenario that depends so heavily on fighting or escaping from dozens of zombie soldiers while trying to explore the area for clues and useful items, and for best results, creative keepers may wish to prepare these maps and diagrams on their own. Unfortunately, this is a fairly straightforward zombie-attack scenario with minimal Mythos elements and a lot of wasted potential for the few Mythos elements that are included, leaving this scenario as a fairly disposable "Halloween Episode" with no links to a larger campaign (keepers with the time and inclination might want to take extra trouble to expand on the trouble caused by the Miller family in the area by home-brewing in minor mythos creatures like perhaps a Rat-Thing, and including one or more mythos tomes and/or a diary left by the Miller family with clues and other take-aways for investigators, and perhaps linking the Miller family to a larger Mythos conspiracy with plot-hooks for further investigations).

Dependence on Halloween: Not much. It's an arbitrary anniversary for the massacre, an atmospheric source of certain types of investigator hooks (amateur "ghost hunting" investigations on Halloween), and a source of "red herrings" to thicken the plot with (Halloween pranks), but otherwise the scenario could be set on virtually any date.