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Monday, 26 February 2018

Miskatonic Monday #5: The Idol of Thoth

Between October 2003 and October 2013, Chaosium, Inc. published a series of books for Call of Cthulhu under the Miskatonic University Library Association brand. Whether a sourcebook, scenario, anthology, or campaign, each was a showcase for their authors—amateur rather than professional, but fans of Call of Cthulhu nonetheless—to put forward their ideas and share with others. The programme was notable for having launched the writing careers of several authors, but for every Cthulhu InvictusThe PastoresPrimal StateRipples from Carcosa, and Halloween Horror, there was a Five Go Mad in EgyptReturn of the RipperRise ofthe DeadRise ofthe Dead II: The Raid, and more...

The Miskatonic University Library Association brand is no more, alas, but what we have in its stead is the Miskatonic Repository, based on the same format as the DM’s Guild for Dungeons & Dragons. It is thus, “...a new way for creators to publish and distribute their own original Call of Cthulhu content including scenarios, settings, spells and more…” To support the endeavours of their creators, Chaosium has provided templates and art packs, both free to use, so that the resulting releases can look and feel as professional as possible. To support the efforts of these contributors, Miskatonic Monday is an occasional series of reviews which will in turn examine an item drawn from the far reaches of the Miskatonic Repository.

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NameThe Idol of Thoth

AuthorJoe Trier
IllustrationsStephanie McAlea, 
Djahuti, J. Smith, & Jeffrey Koch.

Setting: Jazz Age (Classic), Boston, Arkham, Lovecraft Country
Product: Scenario
What You Get20 MB, 22-page full colour PDF
Elevator Pitch: Against the clock mystery to find a missing idol by the light of the silvery moon.

Plot Hook: The investigators are hired by a museum to finding a mising idol before an exhibition opens.
Plot Development: Lunacy; links to Egypt's darkest period; tight timeline; a drive into the Dead Light?
Plot SupportFully plotted out with three NPCs, scenes and events, timeline, and archaelogical investigation. Plus tips for the Keeper.
Production ValuesNeeds a slight edit. Clear maps. Good asylum map. Polished layout.

Pros

Short scenario suitable for beginners and experienced
Few NPCs for the Keeper to handle and portray
# Simple plot with few timed events
# Mythos underplayed
# Decent bait and switch
# Solid advice for the Keeper

Cons

No map of the museum
Keeper needs to create hook for the investigators
Lines of investigation presented out of geographical order
# Sanity losses needed killing the innocent
Boston area maps not clearly marked as for the Keeper and investigators

Conclusion

# Good short, investgative scenario
Needs a map of the museum
Professionally presented