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Thursday, May 8

Chapter 9: Darkest Calling - Introduction

This scenario, “Darkest Calling,” is from the Call of Cthulhu supplement “The Stars Are Right” by David Conyers. You can read more about Delta Green at http://www.delta-green.com. Please note: This story hour contains spoilers!

Darkest Calling is one of those scenarios that set up a moral dilemma in the hopes that the PCs will opt for the greater good and will thus just go along with the plot. To whit, a shaman commits murder as part of a ritual to banish extradimensional horrors. He’s the good guy in the greater scheme of things, and the scenario hopes the PCs will see it that way.

But they didn’t. Although they understood why the shaman was doing what he was doing, there was no way they were going to go along with the scenario. The scenario also puts them in the position of impossible odds: it’s assumed the agents go to speak to the shaman on a reservation alone with no backup. What a surprise, the PCs are overwhelmed and become the next sacrifice.

Except the agents were far too smart for that. They figured out the ritual pattern and laid a trap. So I had to play dirty and have some unexpected allies be in on the ritual too.

It doesn’t help that the scenario suffers from an error that is crucial to the PC’s success. According to the scenario’s logic, the first victim should have a dot on his left hand, the second should have two dots on her left foot, the third should have three dots on his right foot, the fourth should have four dots on his right hand, and the fifth should have five dots on his forehead. The PCs find Kate Draper with two dots on her left foot, making her the second victim. Paco Yuma, listed as male in the scenario, is described as having “a single gray dot painted on her hand.” So already we’re switching genders. Then it reads, “the middle right symbol has a single dot on the head (TRUE) matching the dot pattern on Paco Yuma’s head (FALSE, it’s on his hand), while the lower right symbol has two dots on the left hand matching the dot patterns on Kate’s left hand (FALSE, as the dots were on Kate’s left foot). This tripped me up something awful and I had to reread it a few times during play before I realized it was an error.

The other problem is that the agents are basically tied up and thrown down a hole. They wait for days before being sacrificed. No agent (and I would argue no PC) will just wait around without having a plan. To my surprise, their plan almost worked.

Almost. This is a huge turning point in the campaign. Things are about to get ugly and political.

Defining Moment: The defining moment in this game was when Archive was called upon to make an impromptu speech. He did an excellent job. And of course, the finale – this scenario marks the departure of one of our long time players as he leaves for Australia. We’ll miss him! [MORE]


posted by Michael Tresca at 10:44 PM

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