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Monday, February 11

Chapter 1: The End of Paradise

This scenario, “The End of Paradise,” is from the D20 Call of Cthulhu rulebook. You can read more about Delta Green at http://www.delta-green.com. Please note: This story hour contains spoilers!

Our cast of characters includes:

I was really jazzed about playing this adventure, because it took place in an old creepy movie theater. I saw the Blair Witch Project in one of these old, musty-smelling theaters; it was torn down shortly after we saw the movie. I had my special effects and music all queued up and ready to go.The problem is that the scenario focuses on one building. And as is the typical result of any haunted house-style scenario, smart PCs will eventually decide to burn the place to the ground. Because the structure is inanimate, it can’t really “go on the offensive” until the plot dictates it should. So that forces the GM’s hand: either have the events slated for the haunted house happen when the PCs attempt to blow things to bits, or else they manage to avoid the climax by doing the smart thing and torching the place.

Since this scenario involves Yog Sothoth, I decided I had carte blanche to play fast and loose with the timeline. In addition, I wanted the PCs all together for the final battle and one of them was in the hospital. By moving time around, I was able to ensure that everyone was present for the big finale.The problem was that the big finale is almost impossible to predict or avoid. Or to put it another way, this scenario railroads the crap out of the PCs. In writing this story hour, I discovered that the obvious thing to do (investigate how Mary hurt herself by investigating the scaffolding) is expected to be the SECOND thing the PCs do after they visit Mary in the hospital.

This makes no sense; sticking to my rule that things should happen TO characters rather than hear about them from NPCs, I had one PC suffer the same fate as Mary and then go to the hospital…then all the disturbing events at the hospital happened to him. Although they didn’t enjoy the showdown, my brother liked the horror elements, especially the creepy film stuff (he and I both have this fear of creepy old films for some reason, I blame our dad’s love of old Sci-Fi). Was it successful as a story? Read on to find out.

Defining Moment: The defining moment in this scenario was when Guppy flipped out in the hospital. That wasn’t a failed sanity check; Joe just role-played his character logically.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:29 PM

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