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windandfire

Raid on Innsmouth - Dr. Najar's Role

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windandfire

Major spoilers for the Raid on Innsmouth scenario - proceed with caution.




I've been thinking of how to handle Dr. Najar in the Marsh Mansion chapter of this scenario. Having Nyarlethotep suddenly appear and kidnap Esther Marsh sounds disjointed from the rest of the campaign and comes out of left field. Is there anything you've replaced this twist with that ties back into the story better?

My players have a keen interest in figuring out what's going on in Innsmouth, and get frustrated if they encounter things that can't be investigated or answered during the scenario (such as "what's that big screaming column of smoke that tore open our friend have to do with deep ones"?)

So, any ideas on how to tweak this chapter to tie the twist back around to the plot?

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

I've never liked the Nyarlathotep cameo either — a literal deus ex machina that can't be connected to anything else in the whole campaign. 

 

In the FPS adaption of that scenario (Dark Corners of the Earth), there's a sadly under-utilized plot thread about Esther developing biological weapons from the plants, prehistoric crabs, whatever that Deep Ones have access to and selling them to fascist governments. I don't know if making Najar into Herr Ritter, Freikorps Sneak fits with your idea of the broader world of your campaign, but you could do that. 

 

When I was planning on running it, I had thought about replacing Najar with a serpent-hybrid a la Dr. Charriere from 'The Survivor.' There's already a Deep One connection there, you get to keep the transformation event if they get in a fight, but he'll also have to escape with his prey by mundane means. It also means Esther may live... 

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windandfire

I'm familiar with Dark Corners of the Earth (love it), and I'm glad there's mention of her laboratory in the scenario. I'm not familiar with The Survivor - what's the deep one to the serpent people? Serpent people would be better than Nyarlethotep, but I'm not sure if it's a better connection to the scenario.

 

Edit: rereading your post I just noticed you said "serpent-hybrid" - that could be very interesting.

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windandfire

I was thinking about the Dark Corners of the Earth game for inspiration, and remembered about the Flying Polyp cameo fight in the air filled tunnels. While I'm sure that was included in the game for the connection to A Shadow Out of Time plot, I'm wondering if I could use that in place of Nyarlethotep.

 

My current idea is to adjust Esther's lab to focus less on biology (still it's primary function) and have notes referring to the strange, non-deep one origin sealed well in the air filled tunnels below devil's reef. Players could find her notes about how nothing in the Book of Dagon references it (they stole waite's copy from the players), a few clues from copied pages of the necronomicon (Innsmouth folk have been trying to get Armitage to let them study it), a jar of the Powder of Ibn-Ghazi with a note about how Armitage must have figured out the formula (he was dealing with Whateley and the Dunwich Horror shortly before the players sought his aid), and a slight damaged lightning gun.

 

Then I'd change Dr. Najar from an Avatar to a sorcerer seeking revenge against the Marsh family, after Obed and his followers pirated and stranded his ancestors in the south seas. He studdied the necronomicon and contacted Nyarlethotep who told him about the great power locked beneath devil's reef. He'll double back and try to kill the captured marshes, and the players will run into him gloating to Esther while casting a spell to open the well and summon the Polyp (who'll likely kill him).

 

I think that has enough tie-ins to satisfy my players, and they can follow up and ask Armitage about his experience in Dunwich. I've looked over the polyp stats and think that'll be a tough but fair showdown (and I can adjust the difficulty pretty easily on the fly). Anyone have any thoughts?

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WinstonP

I always assumed his name was a pun on the suggested translation from Egyptian of Nyarlathotep as “there is no peace at the gateâ€... in this case the “door†is Najar.

 

I’ll show myself out.

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windandfire

I always assumed his name was a pun on the suggested translation from Egyptian of Nyarlathotep as “there is no peace at the gateâ€... in this case the “door†is Najar.

 

I’ll show myself out.

Yea, I'm going to miss an opportunity for that pun lol

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

I'm familiar with Dark Corners of the Earth (love it), and I'm glad there's mention of her laboratory in the scenario. I'm not familiar with The Survivor - what's the deep one to the serpent people? Serpent people would be better than Nyarlethotep, but I'm not sure if it's a better connection to the scenario.

 

Edit: rereading your post I just noticed you said "serpent-hybrid" - that could be very interesting.

 

You can read most of it here.

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malcojones

Late response but I agree that this is a mis-step in the campaign and not necessary with everything else going on.

 

To throw this group a curve I simply used something that is set up but never triggered in the sourcebook part: the fact that the Averills are going to revenge themselves on Ralsa Marsh (hope I'm remembering the names right). He turns up looking for protection in the middle of the night and is pursued by the creature summoned to destroy him. It will cause more than enough trouble for the investigators and the commandoes.

 

Best, malcojones

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