Summary of my 1920s Call of Cthulhu Campaign

Going over my notes I'm a little surprised to discover I've had a Call of Cthulhu campaign that's reached a decent length. It seemed reasonable for my own purposes to summarize and it might be of interest to others... The more recent adventures have writeups at this site, the older ones have rougher writeups I might post at some point.

No Man's Land Parts 1-2

Setting: October 2-4, 1918; Argonne Forest
Investigators:  Radford Brown, Jonathan Clark, Eli Cornish, Antonio Manzi, Fredrick Tardiff 

American soldiers vs. Illoigor

Under the Black

Setting: January 19-20, 1919; Boston and Arkham
Investigators: Radford Brown, Jonathan Clark, Eli Cornish, Pietro Gorgonza, Antonio Manzi, Kirk Schroeder (RIP), Fredrick Tardiff

The Great Molasses Flood provides slays a cultist and unleashes out of control Dark Spawn.

The House on the Edge

Setting: March 21-24, 1919; Kingsport
Investigators: Radford Brown (RIP), Eli Cornish, Pietro Gorgonza, Antonio Manzi, Fredrick Tardiff

A mystical house is occasionally on the edge of the bluff over Kingsport.

The Trail of Zhothaqquah Parts 1-2

Setting: April 1-May 5, 1919; Greenland
Investigators: Bjorn Ericsson (RIP), Pietro Gorgonza (Retired), Antonio Manzi (Retired), Grant Oil, Fredrick Tardiff 

A sanity-blasting adventure in Greenland tracking an ancient civilization.

The Haunted Landscape of Ka'tori

Setting: June 15-20, 1920; Kingsport and the planet Ka'tori
Investigators: Grant Oil (Retired), Fredrick Tardiff

A painting contains a gate leading to another planet.

The Art of Madness Parts 1-2

Setting: December 1, 1920; Boston
Investigators: Earl Crowley, Jordaine Furst, Fredrick Tardiff

Students and a professor go missing from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts leading to the discovery of a city of ghouls beneath Boston.

Tell Me, Have You Seen the Yellow Sign Parts 1-3

Setting: January 28 - February 5, 1921; Boston, New Orleans, and surrounding areas
Investigators: Earl Crowley, Jordaine Furst, Fredrick Tardiff

The investigators confront a cult dedicated to bringing the King in Yellow to our world.

One in Darkness Parts 1 - 2

Setting: April 20-21, 1921; Boston
Investigators: Earl Crowley (Retired), Jordaine Furst, Fredrick Tardiff (Retired)

The investigators help the police dealing with the Crimson Gang

The Spawn Parts 1 - 2

Setting: June 20 - July 2, 1921; Copperstown, New Mexico
Characters: Jordaine Furst, Dora Martin (RIP), Liam Maguire

A labor dispute in Copperstown is revealed to conceal underground horrors. Note - I've not had an opportunity to do the writeup for part 2. In brief, they escaped from the mansion with the help of servants. Professor Freeborn took them to a dig which revealed the threat - underground beings (known as Cthonians in the literature but never referred to as such in the adventure). They also learned of the need to use water to defeat them. They were able to do this but in the process Dora and Jose fell in battle.

Cast of Characters

We've been playing for a while, with some characters who were only in one or two adventures. Going as far back as 1920 they are:
  • Earl Crowley - Antiquarian from Arkham. Retired after nearly going insane upon meeting a minor avatar of Nyarlathotep.
  • Jordaine Furst - Young woman from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. Spy during the Great War against the German Empire.
  • Liam Maguire - Former Boston police officer turned private detective after losing his job when all striking police officers were fired in 1919. 
  • Dora Martin - Investigative reporter. Died in battle with Cthonians.
  • Grant Oil - Low-level troublemaker from Harlem. Served in the Great War. Showed talent as a librarian and researcher. Spent some time as a librarian in Arkham. Returned home to Harlem with his sanity intact.
  • Fredrick Tardiff - Artist. Longest survivor of the original group which assembled in France during the Great War. Has settled in Boston after initial residence in Kingsport. His studio serves as an unofficial headquarters. Retired after sensing his luck had just about run out after encountering a minor avatar of Nyarlathotep.


Looking at this summary, that's about sixteen sessions of play, plus some time for character generation and other tasks. It certainly pales in comparison to eight decade long Pendragon epics but I'm pleased with how it's gone. We've done other games - including other Cthulhu campaigns - thrown in with this but the classic era does seem always fun to come back to.

It's interesting to see how deadly a game Call of Cthulhu is - a lot of fatalities and a lot of characters forced to retire. Most of our adventures have been either in Lovecraft Country or Boston, with occasional sojourns to New Mexico, France, and Greenland.


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