Adventure fragments is my name for either short scenarios that never go beyond a session, ones I’ve used at Conventions, or never really got around to describing fully. The name comes the “fragments” of unfinished work left behind when HP Lovecraft passed away. It’s also a nod to the “Fragments of Fear” Call of Cthulhu campaign. I plan to occasionally write some up completely (like I have done for WFRP’s Legacy of Praag) and Heart of Chaos), so keep an eye out for these in the future.
When I’m running a game, I don’t really need much to run. Most of my sessions tend to start out as Adventure Fragments. An idea, some basic stats, and NPCs is usually all I need. Obviously I’ve still planned it to a certain extent but I do prefer to “Wing it”. See http://www.themandragora.com/winging-it/for how I often do this. There may not be enough for some GMs to do much with but that’s why I call them Adventure Fragments!
Hunters Moon (ORC Edinburgh)
Originally an Ebranch game.
The players are investigating suspected “mindsmog” (the psychic taint on Lumley’s Wamphyri), but it is actually a devolved vampire of the Francezi family. See Brian Lumley’s Necroscope: the Lost Years for the details of this Wamphyri/Mafia family. As the investigators get drawn in, it becomes obvious that there’s something other than a vampire lurking beneath the ground in the ancient sewers and catacombs of Rome. A shoggoth underground would be a terrifying thing. It was a blob of vampiric protoplasm in the Ebranch game, all mouths and feeding tendrils, but could easily be a shoggoth. I could imagine it seeping up through the street’s drains, surrounding the PCs.
The solution? Fire, and plenty of it.
Crom-Cruach (ORC Edinburgh)
Originally run as part of my Cthulhutech Through the Looking Glass setting, and published on the ORC wiki.
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crom_Cruach. The Great Old One Crom-Cruach is believed to be related to Shudde M’ell. However, it is unclear whether it is a Cthonian of huge size, or a unique entity.
Few Mythos tomes refer to Crom-Cruach, with the exception of an obscure passage in Prinn’s De Vermiis Mysteris. It is mentioned there as “From beneath it devours”.
Worship of the Great Old One was largely restricted to a few Druidic sects in the region of Fife outside Ireland, where various sacrificial barrows were marked with a spiral symbol. Victims were left tethered to sacrificial altars for Crom-Cruach to devour through various feeding tendrils, giving it the name “The Thousand Maws”.
The Great Old One actually resides far beneath the Longannet area of Fife, where it is tended by a tiny human cult. Since the Night of the Worm, it is believed that the Great Old One is dead – however, Section 13 Telepaths have picked faint emanations from something beneath the Longannet fields…
The Night of the Worm
This was actually split into two games – the first were Investigator PCs finding Crom-Cruach . The returning ” Deep Patrol” took place as part of a mecha game.
The Night of the Worm saw the destruction of the Rosyth naval base by the Great Old One Crom-Cruach. It has been theorized by Section 13 since that David Nichols orchestrated the rise of the Great Old One in an attempt to weaken NEG military forces in the Forth valley. The subject of some debate among the intelligence community, many feel that the proximity of the Night of the Worm to the Inchcolm Insurgence was no chance occurrence.
For several weeks, attempts had been made by Nichols and Crom-Cruach’s tiny cult to wake the Old One, using sacrifices from the rural communities where disappearances would not be remarked upon. Rosyth and nearby communities also reported increasing numbers of people manifesting psychiatric disorders. Seismic tremors were also reported, and even the weather was affected.
An investigative team from Section 13s HQ at The Basement was dispatched and their investigation confirmed that the Great Old One was waking and active beneath Longannet. Narrowly escaping the feeding tendrils of Crom-Cruach, they escaped back to the base, closely pursued by the ravenous Great Old One. Once Crom-Cruach rose the place became a scene of utter horror as the Great Old One feasted, the ground erupting with tentacled maws plucking victims at random in an awful hunger. In a bid to save nearby towns and the Edinburgh Arcologies, the Command staff ordered a returning Deep Patrol of Mecha and Engels to turn their weaponry upon the ammunition bunkers. The resulting detonation is believed to have destroyed Crom-Cruach but it is rumoured that he has only been injured.
All six of the Hamshall Engels allocated to Rosyth survived, but the base suffered almost 80% losses and only a handful of Mecha were salvageable. The garrison was then ordered to evacuate to Musselburgh. To date, the Night of the Worm is the biggest single loss of life since the Arcanotech Wars.
Beneath this Placid Surface (Q-CON 2014)
Now vampiric blobs in this one, just the classic Deep Ones! I used this for a game of The Void RPG at Q-CON. The PC Wardens are sent to the terraformed ocean moon of Tethys to investigate the death of an Earth Senator’s son.
The PCs aren’t exactly made to feel welcome as Wardens (with good reason as it turns out). The Senator’s son was disliked and it becomes obvious that his injuries were not caused by a diving accident. As the Wardens investigate it becomes obvious that there’s something not quite right in the submarine habitat. The victim had been killed elsewhere, and the body dumped. Metallic deposits found on the victim suggest he was swimming in “uncharted territory”, according to the locals.
As the group investigate they notice the population is far less than the Earth records would indicate. Parts of the habitat stand empty, and stay sealed off apparently. Power consumption is also less than a facility of this needs. Cue some scary darkened tunnel crawling through the abandoned sections as the Wardens suspect something hiding there…
The real truth of the matter is that the missing members of the population aren’t actually missing at all. They’re Deep Ones and hybrids who came from Earth. They’re not using the space or power as they’re not inside the habitat at all. They’re in the uncharted territory, constructing their own city in the depths around the tomb of a Cthulhu Spawn, who is very close to waking. And the Wardens are right next door.
At this point I’d recommend the following movies to get some idea of how to run this fragment: Leviathan, the Abyss, and Deep Star Six. You can imagine what happens when the Spawn wakes up. if you can find it, you could combine it with the Grace Under Pressure adventure for Call of Cthulhu. You may need to Google for it, or check out ebay. It’d be a lot of fun with two GMs running at the same time.
Synchronicity II (ORC Edinburgh)
Many miles away something crawls to the surface
Of a dark Scottish lake.
This adventure was inspired by the film Deep Rising and a visit to the island of Rum. For those interested, Cthulhu Brittanica: Shadows over Scotland details this island. Again chasing mindsmog, the PCs find themselves on the remote Scottish island of Tallavallish. The only village in the island is abandoned, with strange holes in the ground everywhere. The scryers are unable to locate the source of the mindsmog, but it appears to be everywhere. A ground mist has wrapped around the island too, so the PCs were pretty nervous. Wamphyri can generate mist and use it to send psychic probes. Being Call of Cthulhu players too, the group also wondered about ghouls dwelling in the tunnels. A loch in the centre of the island was supposed to be inhabited by a monster too, although the players thought it was an urban myth.
Ironically, the latter was true. In WW2, a Nazi aircraft containing a vampire lieutenant crashed in the loch. Feeding upon the local wildlife, the vampire had devolved into a huge mass (similar to the shoggoth-like blob in Hunters Moon, only bigger!). Having fed and grown fat it was literally the island itself. It could also sense movement, so cue some fun Tremors-style moments as the PCs tried to escape using various plans, when the island “woke up”. You could also use some other burrowing horror in other games – such as Purple worms or Landsharks from D&D 🙂
I later used much of this idea again when I ran the Night of the Worm adventure for Cthulhutech (see Crom-Cruach above).
I’m heading to London for Dragonmeet this weekend, where I’m hoping to run a few demos of Achtung! Cthulhu for Modiphius. Perhaps I’ll see some of you there!