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khyungbird

Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: Brotherhood of the Beast

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khyungbird

So I finally bit the bullet and bought a Dark Adventure Radio Theatre drama, after hearing so much about them on YSDC! I couldn't resist hearing a dramatization of "Brotherhood of the Beast," one of the first Call of Cthulhu campaigns I ever read.

 

I haven't received the CD yet (I've just listened to the downloaded audio files), but I really enjoyed it. Andrew Leman and the other actors and speakers were excellent. The sound effects and music were great. The story really rushes along -- for better or worse, though it's based on a RPG scenario, it's nothing like listening to those long, warm, bantering Yog-Sothoth RPG recordings. (Which I love!) I would have loved if it were longer, but it's fun in its own way, with no dead air.

 

I haven't read the original campaign since I was a teenager, so some of the plot twists surprised me -- I particularly liked the beginning sequence where the PCs are the guests of the deranged old lady in her creepy house. The different actors were wonderful -- the assorted sinister and scenery-chewing villains (Transylvanian nobleman, WASP millionaire, *and* Chinese warlock!!!), the faithful Maori henchman, the astronomer reluctantly dragged into the adventure, and the three main investigators. Everyone was good in their role, though Jenny's East Coast accent (and flexible morality) kept making me imagine Lois from "Family Guy" as a Call of Cthulhu character. As I'd heard on the Cthulhu Breakfast Club, the self-referential injokes of "this is all a RPG adventure, thus we must all do things in a group and drop everything to travel to the other side of the world in pursuit of an evil cult" were delightful. And the four different endings were great -- of course I prefer the most depressing one. (But why does you-know-who always die??? o_O ) I'm also slightly surprised that Dark Adventure didn't include one of the most memorable scenes from the module, the "what if one of the PCs gets possessed by a certain character" moment.

 

Also, this last comment may seem a bit random, but I liked how, in one of the endings, the heroes end up on the side of Algerian freedom fighters against the cultists. I'm definitely not a Progressive Purist about this kind of stuff, but knowing the nerd debates about whether to modify these oldschool pulp-style Cthulhu adventures where the heroes are white folks and the cultist rank and file are sinister Arabs or Chinese or etc., I was pleasantly surprised that this short plot thread with an Arab good guy and lefty politics seemed to be added specifically for the Dark Adventure version. (Unless I'm totally misremembering and Keith Herber wrote it?) It reminded me in the vaguest way of Jomo Kenyatta appearing in "Masks of Nyarlathotep". Maybe I'm overreading, but whatever the provenance of this bit, I liked it.

 

Anyway, it was a lot of fun! I can't wait to get the CD set and check out all the props.

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dce

I've posted before about how much I love this particular radioplay adaptation (and most of the DART line, to be honest).

 

For those who are tempted by the idea of the Deluxe version of the "Brotherhood of the Beast" -- the one with the big green satchel filled with dozens and dozens of prop document and other goodies (plus a fortune cookie) -- you may be interested to know that HPLHS have just sent out an email advertising this set is on sale ($50 off) until May 1.

 

[The same email also announced the next title in the DART line -- The Haunter of the Dark].

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)

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PoC

(But why does you-know-who always die??? o_O )

 

Part of me wonders if it was a nod to a certain TV programme.

 

 

OMG! They killed *enny!

 

 

Certainly might not be but did make me think of it. ;-)

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