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A Lens of Darkness
by JD S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2021 08:26:27

HIgh-quality work. Good to see a designer who isn't just trying to squeeze out an extra buck.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Lens of Darkness
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Cartomancy 23: Lovecraft Country Map Pack for Call of Cthulhu
by Zach P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2021 10:12:17

This is a fairly nice looking set of maps with a few problems. Most of the maps are decent resolution, about 2550x3300, but for some reason the Trolley Routes map is only 612x792. The bigger problem though is that the maps only sort of match the Lovecraft Country maps from Chaosium. Streets and major features are the same, but the buildings don't match up. Arkham Sanitarium, for instance, is a small house. Given the obvious work that went into it and how closely it follows Chaosium's Arkham map in most details, the random changes don't seem to serve any purpose.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cartomancy 23: Lovecraft Country Map Pack for Call of Cthulhu
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New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley - An Anthology of Call of Cthulhu Scenarios set in the 1920s
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2021 11:51:04

This book is a good, solid collection of CoC scenarios. I bought it mostly for Seth Skorkowsky's A Mother's Love, which is one of the better scenarios in the book, though it does have some typos and it's a bit shorter than I would have hoped. The two Kingsport scenarios, Malice Everlasting and The Night War, are both fantastic, with The Night War in particular being one of the most unique and interesting CoC scenarios I've ever read. The remaining scenarios all average out to be pretty good, except for Spirit of Industry, which I just plain didn't like. It's just too slow-paced and relies too much on NPCs accompanying the investigators everywhere for my taste.

I really appreciate how all of the scenarios explore the history and details of the towns in which they take place, almost treating the town as a character in the story. There's definitely a healthy respect for and knowledge of Lovecraft's work on display here. If you need some more 1-3 session scenarios for CoC, this book is definitely worth considering.

It's worth noting though that Proof of Life and The Night War contain some pretty intense and graphic scenes, so you probably shouldn't run those two with younger players.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley - An Anthology of Call of Cthulhu Scenarios set in the 1920s
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Under A Winter's Snow - A Classic-Era Call of Cthulhu Scenario
by Cherch I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2021 05:29:39

The scenario proposes an original and evocative setting, and gives valuable hints for the development of a story-arch. However, the work seems somehow "incomplete" from the eyes of the reader (especially when compared to other titles of the same publisher). Little attention was put to the handouts (and their use during the session). The text itself seems particularly hard to read, as the information could have been organized better. Some of the links between the characters and the plot could be further developed.

In my opinion, the scenario is very hard to play without a considerable amount of additional work from the GM. It is indeed a pity, since the potential of the original ideas included is huge.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Under A Winter's Snow - A Classic-Era Call of Cthulhu Scenario
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Whatever Happened to Alicia Thorne?
by Edward P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2021 20:43:24

This is a wonderfully dark scenario, classic Stygian Fox. It has a compelling mystery, lots of interactions with interesting characters, and a devastating concludion. I recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Whatever Happened to Alicia Thorne?
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Counterfeit Identities
by Michail M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/29/2020 06:49:14

It is free! And that is great for customers who bought "Fear's Sharp Little Needles", which by the way is an amazing collection of scenarios! The only issue for me is that the PDF file has 94 pages of images that have been compressed into a 23MB file. This means that almost everything looks very pixelated and blurry. And when they get printed they don't look very nice, thus subtracting from the whole experience. I wish there was an uncompressed, or maybe a less compressed version of the file available.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Counterfeit Identities
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The Things We Leave Behind - An Anthology of Modern Day Call of Cthulhu Scenarios
by Marie O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2020 11:50:59

A collection of six very different modern day scenarios, and most of them are good. I mean really, finger-licking-gruesomely-good. I have only had the chance to run the first two and both have been at least two nights of terrible, delightfull terror for my players. The one scenario I both dreaded and longed to run, namely Ladybug, (dreaded as I'm no good at portraying the seriously religious zealots, longed because, darn... if that isn't a living nightmare of choices... exactly what I look for in my games) turned out to be one of the greatest stories I ran so far.

What I love about the scenarios gathered here is the amount of grey. Very few things are clear from the onset, and after finding the first few hints, often the unease only grows as nothing is clearly cut, black or white. Well thought out motivations for the NPCs and logical actions and reactions included in the storyline make these scenarios very easy for a keeper to get into and effortlessly keep the flow, no matter what your players come up with. Plus the stories are superb, as I think I may have mentioned before.

Opinion by title (and honestly, this is very personal but it might give you some insight)

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home, by Jeff Moeller. Holy... For me, a serious challenge as a keeper because I have players who love to dig in deep and debate... Playing some crazy zealots seemed a scary challenge but it worked and the fact that my players were unsure who really was crazy and who was right up until the very end was a true delight. 5/5

Forget Me Not, by Brian M. Sammons. Delightful play with amnesia and as a keeper you can choose if you go for a full gore option, or keep it mild and mindbending til very late in the scenario. I played this story in the mid '80 and found it adapted easily. The heart-wrenching choice presented to the players at the end is a lovely touch. 4/5 (4 only in comparison to Ladybug really... in any other case a 5/5)

No scores for the next three stories as it seems unfair to score things I haven't run and have only read once ;)

Roots, by Simon Brake. It seems a little on the nose with the main 'enemy' for people who have some knowledge of Lovecraft, but that does not have to be a bad thing. I personally try to leave my players guessing for a while at least. That said, if my players weren't so keen on surviving that I'm pretty sure they'd soon leave well enough alone, I might have given it a chance. The atmosphere is really nice, the village detailed and so alone in the hostile woods.

Hell in Texas, by Scott Dorward. Intriguing story, great location, definitely planning on running this, but I need a really good reason that binds my players strongly to the story/location, otherwise they'll do the smart thing and run for their lives fairly soon into the scenario.

The Night Season, by Jeff Moeller. Very, very fun play with the boundaries of reality, but in this scenario the why and how for what is happening seems to sit mainly in the note to the keeper and that seems a shame. It leaves players struggling with something they will never understand... which presents its own horror of course. Still, the sheer realm of possibilities this scenario opens, given a little creativity of the keeper is immense (and a little daunting to me, as I'm a perfectionist with very geeky friends. cough)

Only downside, and that's a personal one: I am no fan of the artwork in the book, every portrait seems an uneasy rendering of a face made by someone who has not seen a person in a very long time. Something is off with friend and foe alike, so I have chosen not to use the pictures that come with the stories. I do not mind the fact that the book is black and white, but the 90s computer-rendering feel of the images included is not really my thing.

All in all: awesome (mature themed) torment wrapped in a fun seized book. Get it now.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Things We Leave Behind - An Anthology of Modern Day Call of Cthulhu Scenarios
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The Dark Forest - A Call of Cthulhu Scenario Set in the Modern Day
by Philip L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2020 13:58:37

This is another excellent scenario from Stygian Fox and recommended for mature players. You really are going to have to check that everyone is ok with some of the themes here. Based on Finnish Folklore and connected to a particular Mythos Deity, there is a lot going on in the books 74 pages. There are plenty of options for players and for the keeper to expand on.

After the initial investigation stages, violence and mayhem can explode suddenly and unexpectedly and the scenario is best played by players with enough experience to know when to run... if they can! There is a lot of opportunity for role playing and each location gets progressively more eerie with the potential for the game to be very unsettling. The game will probably take about 3 nights to play through but there is room for it to take much longer, in fact this could be a great opener for a campaign. An expanded version of this scenario would be very welcome, and it is begging for a sequel. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Dark Forest - A Call of Cthulhu Scenario Set in the Modern Day
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A Life Worth Living
by Vincent Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/20/2020 05:16:49

As I have writen before, this adventure is a real disappointment. I agree with what Daren C. said in 2018!



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
A Life Worth Living
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Creator Reply:
Hi Vincent, If you care to elaborate it would help us with future books. Stephanie
Aspirations - A Modern Day Call of Cthulhu Supplement for Fear's Sharp Little Needles
by William H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2020 11:48:01

Unfortunately, not up to the standard of The Things We Leave Behind or Fear's Sharp Little Needles. These scenarios read like rejects from FSLN or dated Chaosium adventures given a coat of modern paint. The authors tend to rely heavily on lore ripped straight from the CoC core rulebook (Chaugnar Faugn, Pnakotic Manuscripts, Deep Ones, etc.) and applied it uncreatively. The cults and evil forces present in each scenario suffer from unclear motivations and inexplicable levels of power and influence. As a result, the final scenarios are blandly familiar mythos-tinged romps tied to a mildly interesting concept, such as the world of skeezy underground comix, dead malls, malicious urban planning or shipbreaking yards in the global south. Most of these fail to spark the imagination on paper and seem like they would fail to provide a satisfying climax or resolution in-game. The theme-driven scenarios that made TTWLB special are absent.

Best: Granny's Tales - A hack indie comic book author floats around the fringes of the already fringe underground comic scene, penning a demoralizing set of 12 issues relating the Earth's Atlantean past. I could see this being well used in a adventure focusing on urban intellectual counterculture, comic collecting or anything with a punk vibe. In my opinion, tying the books to the Pnakotic manuscripts was a misstep. R. Crumb (the obvious inspiration for this piece) lived a life of nomadic poverty and wrote deliberately shocking and pornographic works. If Crumb was any more unhinged and occult-inclined, his work would have likely gone to places much stranger than garden-variety pseudohistory. And where would a scummy no-talent wannabe artist come across a magical tome older than the human race anyhow??

Worst: Urban Pentimento - A thoroughly boring resume of a seaside Japanese town with a dark secret. The latest in a long line of efforts to create a Japanese CoC setting, relying more on thirdhand pop-culture cliches than actual experience with the language and the country.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Aspirations - A Modern Day Call of Cthulhu Supplement for Fear's Sharp Little Needles
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Thorston, the Shunned Town on the Dee - A Call of Cthulhu Setting and Scenario Set for Cthulhu by Gaslight
by Christian G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2020 13:26:30

Just started running this for my ongoing Hudson and Brand Campaign. The production value and artwork is not only among the best I've seen from Stygian Fox, it is among the best I've seen in any rpg product period. Absolutely Stunning. The Town is very well presented, with ample opportunity to add additional scenarios in the region should the Keeper desire. The Chapter on the City of Chester is excellent. I eagerly await a more detailed treatement of the walled city. One thing that Gaslight needs more of is tools to run games outside of London. The included scenario "Supping with the Devil" is a superb example of a light touch open ended scenario. I truly look forward to my merry band of misfits getting into all sorts of trouble with the Cauldronborn. If you're running a gaslight game, buy this. Even if you're not running a gaslight game, buy it. It's very easy to drag and drop Thorston to anywhere you want, in any era you want with only a minimal amount of work on your part.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Thorston, the Shunned Town on the Dee - A Call of Cthulhu Setting and Scenario Set for Cthulhu by Gaslight
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the glowing review! Remember, even those passing through quickly by train to the rest of The Wirral can be involved if one of the Cauldronborn happen to jump on the passing locomotive via an overbridge! Enjoy! -Stephanie
Thorston, the Shunned Town on the Dee - A Call of Cthulhu Setting and Scenario Set for Cthulhu by Gaslight
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2020 22:19:55

I purchased the POD copy of this as I always prefer print copies over pdfs. THe color and format were excellent and I loved the art throughout. Production values are exemplary.

Thorston is a great setting for the adventure and is fleshed out fairly well, leaving open buildings for the Keeper to add additional places as needs be. The background of the antagonists is well-developed, and the town could be easily be expanded from just the one adventure and antagonist into a campaign, especially if the promised Chester book comes out to complement it. I recommend this product as a great sourcebook and useful tool for Gaslight aventures for Call of Cthulhu.

My only wish would be for a slightly blown up map of the town and the surrounding terrain in relation to other nearby towns, hills, etc.. Also, if this was a former fishing town, would there be docks?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hi, Thank you so much for such a great review! The book 'Chester, whispers from the walled city' is being written but is on the back burner as we have a multitude of titles to get to first. Incidentally, Thorston (pronounced 'Torsten') and it's days of being a port are long past. The docks rotted away first. Apologies if I wasn't clear on that. Once again, thank you so much for your support. -Stephanie
I Want To Play - A Modern Day Call of Cthulhu Scenario
by Christian G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2020 12:52:27

I've yet to run this scenario, but really enjoyed reading it. Like other Stygian Fox titles, it hits my weak point of combining real world mythology with the Cthulhu Mythos. The adversary is one that will challenge and surprise even veteran players. There will be many "wtf" moments as they slowly piece together what is happening.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
I Want To Play - A Modern Day Call of Cthulhu Scenario
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Nightmare on the Necropolis Express - A Gaslight Scenario for Call of Cthulhu
by Christian G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2020 13:57:48
I just finished running this as part of the Hudson and Brand campaign I'm running. I have players that are new to Call of Cthulhu, and this scenario is exactly the kind they need. It's self contained, with enough investigtion and menace for one or two nights of play depending on the length of your sessions. The climax is very worthwhile. Best if used with the Hudson and Brand book, but it can easily stand on its own.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nightmare on the Necropolis Express - A Gaslight Scenario for Call of Cthulhu
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Hudson & Brand, Inquiry Agents of the Obscure - A Call of Cthulhu Setting for Cthulhu by Gaslight
by Christian G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2020 13:50:58

An excellent basis upon which to build a very satisfying gaslight era campaign. The included adventures are expose the players to juat what they got themselves into when they decided to continue the detective agency and the loose ends from Hudson and Brands investigtions provide enough material for several campaigns. Plus the ghost of the matchstick girl is just chilling.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hudson & Brand, Inquiry Agents of the Obscure - A Call of Cthulhu Setting for Cthulhu by Gaslight
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