The Primal State

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The Primal State, Front Cover

Product Code: 0344

Publishing Year: 2007

Pages: 136 + 40 through pdf add-on.

Cover Price: $22.00

Author(s): Jeff Moeller

Artist(s): Jeff Moeller

Setting(s): 1920s

Format: MULA Monograph


Campaigns: The Sap Keeps Running, Parts 1-4

Scenarios: Invitation to the Dance; The Beast of Lake Champlain; Home, Sweet Home.

Additional: Introduction; Player Handouts; A History of Vermont in the 1920s; Classic Mythos Stories Set in Vermont; Local Native American (Abenaki) Legends; Plot Seeds: Tea & Sympathy, The Shortcut, Allen's Tablet, Edouard Schmidt, Holiday in Glastenbury; 1920s Vermont Road Maps.

Front Cover Text

A Campaign for Classic-era Call of Cthulhu, Ideally Set in Vermont 1925-1930, by Jeff Moeller.

Comments / Trivia

Dedicated to Crista, John Crowe & Mike Nagel, and all the Paganoids, past and present.

As of 4/18/2008, the monograph has sold out three print runs and is on #4.

The monograph is illustrated with subject-appropriate photographs, all but one in the public domain, from the Farm Services Administration or other Library of Congress archives. One of the graveyard photos is (c) the author.


The monograph is supported by a Yahoo! Group[1]

Available through the Yahoo! Group are two additional, linked scenarios:

A T-shirt designed by the author, based on the events in Down the Rabbit Hole is available under "ThePrimalState" on; alternatively, search for "Joanie Mills milk carton".

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

The Primal State is an integrated, beginning-to-end campaign set in late 1920s Vermont, with a short side trip to late 1920s Reykjavik, Iceland. A fair amount of time and space is devoted to setting and sourcebook; many CofC supplements set in the Classic era do not try to explain what living in the Classic era was like. This was necessary in a campaign whose theme concerns social change and decay.

Pages 2-14: Sourcebook. Introduces recurring NPCs for the campaign, a small resurrection/fertility cult devoted to Shub-Niggurath in her medieval Judaic Lilith aspect, and other locals. This sets the stage for what's going on in Vermont in terms of societal decay, natural disasters, and shoddy tourism development. The cult also has a small headless spectre problem, the "Phantom Schoolgirl."

Pages 14-19: Plot seeds. Make a Faustian bargain, investigate the "Bennington Triangle", get to know the local Native American legends, make a foolish bet with the supernatural, and more.

Pages 19-39: Invitation to the Dance, scenario. Gravestones move mysteriously, without apparent cause and in the blink of an eye, around a Revolutionary-era churchyard. Links to the Dreamlands and a truly creepy and memorable antagonist.

Pages 43-47: The Sap Keeps Running, Parts 1 & 2. The "Phantom Schoolgirl" legend is introduced and the campaign gets rolling.

Pages 47-70: The Beast of Lake Champlain, scenario. A full-length lake monster hunt for Champ, Vermont's local Loch Ness style monster. Or maybe its Zvilpoggua. Or both. It's written like a police procedural/detective/CSI story. The investigators work their way through a set of forensic clues, and the Keeper is presented with three options on what they find at the end of the trail. The scenario includes a lot of cryptozoological background concerning lake monster theories.

Pages 70-73: The Sap Keeps Running, Part 3. That "Phantom Schoolgirl" resurfaces to terrorize the Vermont countryside.

Pages 73-108: Home, Sweet Home, scenario. A 35 page, multi-night scenario. With Norse wizards, Norse curses, Norse zombies, cannibals, archaeology sites, some big nods in the direction of Robert E. Howard, Lin Carter and comic-zombie movies, and all kinds of mayhem. Oh, and a possible side trip to Classic-era Reykjavik (which gets its own little sourcebook).

Pages 108-125: The Sap Keeps Running, Part 4: The big ending. The "Phantom Schoolgirl" mystery may get solved, the cult's manipulation stands revealed, the investigators probably resort to some burglary, and people get whacked.

Plus a bunch of maps and handouts and stuff for another 14 pages.

The Yahoo! group (ThePrimalState) has all of the maps, handouts, illustrations, etc. available for download in high resolution.

The two scenarios in .pdf on the website are:

Turn to Stone, a 25 page sequel of sorts to Home, Sweet Home, set entirely in Classic-era Iceland. It's also available in the Yoggie downloads under Classic scenarios. The investigators travel to Iceland to explore a ruined monastery, check into a looming virgin birth, and wonder about the "Hidden People". The scenario is a cross between an introduction to Classic-era Iceland, an open nod to Machen's The Great God Pan, and an elaborate puzzle setting up an argument about what (if anything) to do with what the investigators ultimately find.

Down the Rabbit Hole, a 15 page add-on to Home, Sweet Home, which provides an option should the players in Home, Sweet Home actually get into the step pyramid somehow.

So altogether, there are six scenarios, about 170 pages total, all forming a campaign. The author has a penchant for mashing up "weird history" with heavy, complex investigative elements, and The Primal State reflects those tendencies.