Terror at Erne Rock

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Details

Erne Rock Lighthouse, Halifax NS.

Pages: 16

Author(s): R.J. Christensen

Artist(s): (none)

Setting: 1920s, somewhere between New York and Halifax, Halloween

Appears in: Halloween Horror

Campaign: (none)

Summary

Summarize the article for non-Keeper consumption.

The investigators and about 20 other people are invited onto the yacht "Globetrotter" by a New York City publishing heir to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a few days of Halloween party fun, jazz music, relaxation, and Canadian whiskey. Unfortunately, an unscheduled stop at the Erne Rock lighthouse will spoil the party....

Links

Link to outside reviews or helpful pages.

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

Synopsis

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Survival horror while Deep Ones and The Birds attack.

The investigators (and a bunch of other people who won't survive to see the real beginning of the adventure) are invited onto the yacht "Globetrotter" by some rich contact for a Halloween party in Canada. Unfortunately, unwarned by the nearby Erne Rock lighthouse, the yacht crashes during a surprise storm into a reef and sinks on Halloween night, and a handful of survivors, including the investigators, make their way to the lighthouse. After being welcomed ashore by the keepers one of the keepers has recently discovered a cursed idol of Gloon, which has been causing the storm, as well as driving the keeper holding the idol (as well as local sea birds) insane, interfering with electrical and other equipment, and attracting local degenerate Deep Ones to the lighthouse to recover the idol. The sane lighthouse keeper tells the survivors some ghost stories, and soon the adventure turns into a survival horror scenario as waves of Deep Ones and sea birds attack the lighthouse. The investigators must throw the idol into the sea or defeat dozens of Deep Ones to survive the attack.


References

Erne Rock Lighthouse, ground floor.
Erne Rock Lighthouse, upstairs.
Erne Rock Lighthouse, basement.

Player Handouts:

  • There are a handful of good "NPCs" who could be used as pre-gen characters.
  • Ghost Stories (not presented as hand-outs, but could be printed/copied and used as a hand-out)
  • Map of lighthouse
  • lighthouse Equipment List
  • The story "The Temple" (not included and not referenced as a hand-out, though the scenario does refer to the story as a journal entry that the investigators find; the story is short enough to work as long hand-out)

Locations:

  • New York, departure on October 29
  • a yacht, until the night of October 31
  • Erne Rock lighthouse
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, (destination never reached)

Creatures:

  • "Hyperborean" Deep One
  • "Hyperborean" Deep One Shaman
  • Ernes (Sea Eagles)
  • Sea Gulls
  • Maniac

Tomes and Artifacts:

  • Cursed Idol of Gloon
  • German officer's journal describing Atlantis (not described as a Tome, but could theoretically contain some insights into the Mythos among the author's insane ravings)

Campaigns / Scenarios: (none)

Comments

Trivia:

  • In the 1920s, historical, exotic, fairy tale, and comical themed costumes are the norm; with horrific subjects being in poor social taste.
  • Part of the backstory of this adventure is based on H.P. Lovecraft's "The Temple".
  • Yacht "Globetrotter" capacity is ~50 people (including 19 crew and 6 musicians).
  • One of the stories told by the lighthouse keepers appears to be a reference to the 1977 Doctor Who serial "Horror of Fang Rock".

Bibliography:

  • "The Temple Beneath the Sea" Cthulhu Now. Chaosium
  • H.P. Lovecraft's 'The Temple', Dagon and other Macabre Tales

Keeper Comments

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

According to the authors: "This Scenario is made for 3-5 Investigators of Beginning or Intermediate experience and do not need to know each other beforehand. It may also be inserted into an on-going campaign as a short-lived break from battling the Mythos and the location may be modified for any number of rugged and isolated coastlines."

Setting: Nominally an island off the coast of 1920s Nova Scotia on Halloween, though since technology is failing, there's really no reason it couldn't be set at a lighthouse in virtually any era and location that lighthouses might exist (possibly including a scenario set in space in the future); the only link to Halloween is the invitation to a Halloween party and the keepers' ghost stories, which barely exist as plot points (virtually any excuse to get the investigators on a boat that will deposit them in an isolated location and then distract them while an annoying NPC gets killed by a maniac will work just as well).

Special notes: Like many of these Halloween scenarios involving investigators a Halloween festivals, players could probably be encouraged to tell ghost stories of their own. The ghost stories told by the keepers contain a couple clues and provide some "red herrings", but are otherwise disposable. The very specific way of ending the scenario in success (tossing the idol into 50 feet or more of water), the limited clues to reveal that this is what needs to be done, and the (essentially) "you can't do that" responses that meet almost any other reasonable methods of solving the puzzle could probably all be sources of frustration for players. The only other viable default alternative, killing dozens of Deep Ones with a variety of make-shift weapons, could likely be an exercise in tedium unless your group REALLY likes combat. I wasn't entirely convinced by seaman Tomas Vila's transformation into a Deep One, and you might do better to either write his transformation out of the scenario, or foreshadow his Deep One heritage a little better than the scenario provides for.

Dependence on Halloween: Virtually none. The (very few) Halloween elements of this story could be removed with little impact to the scenario (except as a plausible excuse for the lighthouse keepers to tell the investigators a bunch of ghost stories).