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In Darkness We Wait
Publisher: Chaosium
by Harald [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/08/2024 01:55:51

The scenario is short, to the point and straightforward fun with a twist -for new characters, mostly- that makes sense within the Call of Cthulhu setting. The audio files are fun and well made in my opinion. There is a playthrough and a you-tube review available, and I agree that this is a great scenario for conventions or starting a campaign (if some characters manage to survive). Pregens and NPCs: the two pregens use the point-spread from the quickstart rules for their attributes, and two skills they need most. Bare bones, but sufficient in my take. One of the NPCs has a black and white dtawing, and his actions speak for him. Fleshing him out might add background, but any keeper should be able to do so. The pregens all have unisex names -a clever way to adapt them to the player's choices- and professional skills that should allow them to work in their chosen profession. Three are family, one is a work rival: sound and interesting connections. Their ethnic background is left open and should have little impact in a modern day scenario anyhow. They UTTERLY lack any combat capacity, but this is Call of Cthulhu. I really would like them to have as many attribute points as the NPCs. They do not, making them even weaker. I consider them well build but chanceless in a fight. Groups playing to win may consider bringing a private detective or -the horror- love affair from college with ROTC experience. Maybe even with weapons of any kind. Recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
In Darkness We Wait
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Welcome to Little Creek
Publisher: Chaosium
by Harald [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/02/2024 22:04:53

This is a lovingly made scenario with an eye for detail, a big but detailed setting and -rare- a believable reason for the player characters to get involved. The details are charming, the pictures a a nice bonus. The pregenerated characters are historically plausible, mixed in sex/gender, background and social standing. Minor details keep this from perfect scores: the pregens have skills at the 10% level. Maybe realistic, but I do not usually roll under 10%, so I feel these points are, to some extend wasted. There is also the couple of waitresses that "drive to work". Good for them: cars were hideously expansive in that era, but maybe their uncle was a salesman and left them the car. These are minor details, irrelevant against the great work put in. SPOILER: What really breaks the scenario for me is the basic idea. If you do not mind N setting up a place for permanent sacrifices -and a point to recover from defeats- this may make sense. Not my idea of Outer Gods, though.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Welcome to Little Creek
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Bad Tidings
Publisher: Chaosium
by Harald [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2024 22:09:46

This is a very well made scenario, taking four pregenerated characters -balanced ones that make sense in the historical setting- into a lonely place with a classic monster facing a (ficitous) monstrous aspect of history. If one does not mind Nazi occultists this is a great tale to be told. The pregens are mixed in political believes and sex/gender. I do not expect all of them to make it out alive, to be honest: but this is Call of Cthulhu. BTW: burning down the house will NOT work in this case. Recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bad Tidings
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Lucie's Dispensation
Publisher: Chaosium
by Harald [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/28/2024 03:13:23

This is an adventure set in France, 1918. It offers a fresh but plausible approach on Cthulhoid horror. Maybe a little more magic than everybody likes, but I like this approach. It goes very well with the Hidden Magic style of CoC. The writing is good, the idea splendid. Higly Recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lucie's Dispensation
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Delta Green: Puppet Shows & Shadow Plays
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Harald [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/09/2024 21:05:52

This is an adventure with a nostalgic touch for me: I got my a-levels in the 90s, and remember some of the topics touched in the game: the Apache Business Consortium (that built the Casino and really got the people some money) had not been founded, cell-phones where new and female action stars were rare. This is also a classic scenario in the sense that (one of) the antagonists is THE very most met antagonist in all Lovecraftian gaming ever. Mr. N. is not the main problem, though: he is a horror element that is both helpful and horrible. In my opinion the best way to use him. The real opponent is a terror in it's own rights -really NOT nice- but not invincible. The scenario is well made, some details are hints to fill with tv-show lore (this was the high time of FBI medial presence) and all in all I like this quite well. For anyone willing to play traditional horror -with a smart twist- in a "classic" setting: recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: Puppet Shows & Shadow Plays
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Aramis: The Traveller Adventure
Publisher: Mongoose
by Harald [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/02/2024 12:09:21

This is a campaign. No, really: it is a campaign. You have to believe me: IT IS A CAMPAIGN!

That is the summary of the first dozen pages. On page 13 the author starts to explain that this is a COMPLEX campaign.

This is the worst published campaign that I have ever written. I am sure that the author is a splendid person and a great game master. But the writing is abyssmal. Please be warned.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Aramis: The Traveller Adventure
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Delta Green: The Star Chamber
Publisher: Arc Dream Publishing
by Harald H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2023 17:38:16

As I have only read but not played the scenario with a group of gamers I cannot be sure how an actual play would run: but reading the scenario was entertaining and interesting. If the basic idea -having the players take different roles in flashbacks- works, this is a great scenario. I am afraid there may be problems, but I have not test run the scenario and therefore do not put that into my review.

The scenario is easy to use, well written without logical, lexic or other problems and -in my opinion- a good read. The statistics of the (N)PCs make sense, the background stories fit well with the setting (Delta Green), and in my take the characters are plausible in their advised action. I expect players to be able to play these roles with the provided material in a way that is entertaining and furthers the story.

After reading the scenario I want this to become a film: therefore I can only recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Delta Green: The Star Chamber
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Eden Studios
by Harald H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2023 12:36:09

This is exactly what it says it is: a beautifully made, easy to read -even enjoyable- and good to play TableTopRolePlayingGame to play in the world of the one and only Chosen One. The system is easy to use, the pictures are helpful and nice, the texts and the quotes are great. This volumne alone is sufficient to run a game, but all the rules together offer an impressive house campaign. For anyone who likes the tv show and RPGs this is a great game. One could be happier still with a well organized table of content, but the index helps to overcome that single problem. I am happy to have bought this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Roleplaying Game
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A Time to Harvest
Publisher: Chaosium
by Harald H.
Date Added: 07/04/2023 02:59:56

Call of Cthulhu is about horror in a historical setting: settings that are by their very nature usually racist, sexist, classicist and religiously bigotted. That is obviously a problem since historically realistic characters would have grown up with all theses sentiments, and that may not be a nice or good roleplaying experience. It would also be rather miraculous for every group of heroes/investigators/students to overcome and outgrown their own such sentiments. Even if they do -so that one does not have to play attitudes that are obnoxious and toxing to our times and understanding- there would still be the problem of society. Because historically correct societies like the 1930s New England academia did NOT hold every person equal. There are ten pregen characters: one is a male White Anglo Saxon Protestant, nine are not. A guide to Miskatonic University in the 1920s suggests (historically correct to the best of my knowledge) that the student ration is thereby exactly mirrored: 90% of ivy league student were male White Anglo Saxon Protestants. The idea of female tenured professors is not deeply embetted in these times, either. Half the pregen characters are female: both students and one professor. None of those is WASP.

To me this -and a lot of details that would spoiler the game- mean that this campaign is not in any way interested in historically correct gaming. That is a legit decission, maybe the only possible option since otherwise female characters would be gravely limited in their actions. Please compare the contempous Ms. Marple and Sayers' Harriet Vane: both are heroines, both are successful, independant women and main characters. But they do not fight. Sayers's Lord Peter (occasionally Bunter) get into fight in the rare occasions that Dorothy Sayers allows them. But not Harriet Vane. Likewise ethniciy, religion and status (riches) were not so much glass ceilings as steel enforced battlements.

That leaves the problem: play in a historically ...plausible... way and work with the society that was or do as you bloody please, switch things around and change anything to your liking. I do not think that the second option is really offering any historic immension. I also doubt that this helps to understand the fight of feminists and black activists: why protest seating in a bus when you are welcomed into any university and any athletic team without bias? Re-writing history is in my opinion foolish and dangerous because it falsifies the very real problems of these times. One cannot learn from a history that one has remodelled according to one's fantasies.

This re-arrangement of history seems to lead to mirrored prejudices sometimes, and I think that has happened here, too: all villains are white males (and alien monsters, this is still Call of Cthulhu). The white guy among the student NSCs is "a caustic worm" while the jock is an utterly nice, helpful great person. Wait: a jock is nice, sociable and helpful? Not the stereotype! Great. Oh, wait: he is Afro-American. There is a local, son of a farmer who is not only accepted into the utterly un-snobbish student society but also knows all the cool places in town. I would not have guessed that they allowed poor people into the cool places back then.

I read this campaign as racist (anti-white rather than the historically correct and equally racist 'white only') and sexist (all evil people are men). I do not like that.

What I do not like either is the variation of the fertility cult because I do not like the combination of fertility cults and minors. That is not horror but disgusting in my take. There is a nice, horrific fertility cult (with adults) in many an old Chaosium publication. Why not use that?



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
A Time to Harvest
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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Harald H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/04/2022 16:05:29

The setting is vivid, the plot is railroaded but interesting. Details are lovely. The NPCs are invincible, and the campaign cheats to push the story. That does not do.

An example: One crossbowman shoots two people so fast that the second one dies before the first one hits the ground. In the dark, from afar. It is so dark and he is so far away, indeed, that the PCs cannot -may not- find him. If the NPCs can to things that the PCs may never be able to do -not MAY fail, not work hard for, but HAVE TO FAIL- that campaign is bad. Plain and simple.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Enemy Within Campaign - Volume 1: Enemy in Shadows
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The Romanian Contract
Publisher: Chaosium
by Harald H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/05/2022 10:52:28

This is a scenario, as the review will tell you, that considers dynamite a common tool of surveyors, and expects a mixed group of people checking a buisiness interest to dig a tunnel with said explosives. That is not even a spoiler: that is the job description that the players get.

The rest of the "review" are spoilers, of course.

The adventure is an idea with a peculiar implementation. As an idea to work with this is nice, and the writing is good. I am not, however sold on either the concept nor the adventure itself. I have no idea what the target of these explosive is supposed to be -the Secrets of Kenya would suggest something, but that is not even alluded to- and I am under the impression that the success hinges on blowing something up with a single skill roll of a 40% skill. Besides all other questions (and there are some): that means that the character fail in 60% of all attempts.

I really think that the writer can do much better: what few descriptions there are read well.

Offering male and female characters (same characters with different names) is certainly nice, but fits in the period like a gatling gun into Cthulhu Invictus. If one really likes pulp action and explosives, this is a fine adventure. Otherwise it needs some remodelling in my opinion.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Romanian Contract
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Ravenar Sagas
Publisher: Chaosium
by Harald H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/21/2019 06:38:21

This is fun to read and play, very immersive, well written, with nice but logical twists that make this campaign a great treasure for Call of Cthulhu and everyone who likse both horror and vikings. The characters are plasuible, well developed and enabled to grow between the adventures. I once ran it -with the necessary adjustments- as a Werewolf campaign and the story worked very well. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Ravenar Sagas.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ravenar Sagas
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