He Who Laughs Last (Spoilers Light)

This is a scenario for a recently released single scenario for Cthulhu Dark by Dave Sokolowski. The Kickstarter was a success, and the pdf has just become available for sale. Print copies are pending availability in the near future and I wanted to give my overview of it.

Admittedly I still have to convert to Call of Cthulhu, that is my game of choice, but it converts readily, and an official conversion is in the works, as I’ve been given to understand.

The scenario can challenge a party, both in danger and in roleplaying challenges. A villain that is unique and sets up a great role playing challenge is the backdrop on this, with the party having to go through a lot to find out who…and what…this entity is. The antagonist they face first is not the final villain, though the party will have to find that out on the way.

The scenario starts with the party being called on to investigate a death, a story hook very familiar to players of the game. The party finds a dark side to show business, specifically comedians, but to go into much in the way of detail would risk spoilers.

Dark magic underlies the threat, and allies will be hard to find, but not impossible. Most of the people the party will interact with feel real, well developed npcs, most with some level of moral ambiguity, defining good guys and bad guys isn’t always easy in this scenario. In addition, one of the npcs present an image, a concept that I always appreciate when it shows up in a scenario, particularly if well written-the potential future of investigators after retirement.

Well presented, well laid out, well written, I put this one in the heavy yes column. My only quibble with this scenario is a mild disagreement with part of how the spell that underlies most of the scenario manifests and warps its caster. Unfortunately, I can’t go into detail without risking going into spoilers, but that is something I can tweak fairly easily, so it doesn’t lessen this scenario in my eyes.

You may also find yourself with flashbacks to Monty Python and a certain Batman villain’s more well known toys, but in this case, it is both less and more depending on how it’s applied in the course of play. But handled right, even those flashbacks won’t be a detraction.

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