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Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I: Digging for a Dead God Pay What You Want
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I: Digging for a Dead God
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Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I: Digging for a Dead God
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/19/2012 17:45:06
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=19449.

Digging for a Dead God is a story module for Call of Cthulhu set in Africa just before the outbreak of World War II. I say story module in echo of John Wick’s own words. Rather than being an adventure full of things like stats and a boss fight, Digging for a Dead God contains a few key events, but otherwise leaves everything up to the GM. Mr. Wick provides a helpful section at the end of the story to help flesh things out into an adventure as well as the six characters intended to be used in the scenario.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
The production quality of Digging for a Dead God is quite high from what I can tell from the PDF. The layout is logical with easy to read fonts. The artwork is well-selected and doesn’t distract from the text. Not much else to say. If you printed it out on nice paper and bound it, I expect it would be a great looking product. The only two things I didn’t like about it was how the sidebar John Wick mentions appears suddenly and occupies an entire page, which interrupts the flow on a straight read through, and the stats of the pre-generated characters are hard to read.

Before the review continues, let it do so with the understanding that I am assessing this product under the assumption that the person using it will be happy to invent most of the details of the story, aren’t adverse to inter-PC conflict, and likes horror. If that isn’t the case, you should drop the following two scores by half.

Storyline: 9 out of 10
The adventure is both internally consistent as well as the type of story one associates with Call of Cthulhu; that is to say, horror, rather than a shoot ‘em up. The story also lends itself to being the kickoff for a larger campaign set during World War II. As previously mentioned, there is a lot of room for a GM to make the module fit whatever they had in mind for their campaign. Alternatively, it can be used as designed, as a one-off, without any trouble.

Desire to Play: 8 out of 10
This is a refreshing way to spend an evening or kick off a new campaign. Depending on your group though, it might be more fun to make up 6 PCs rather than use the ones provided, although that will disrupt certain interparty dynamics. Compared to similar adventures I have seen in, for lack of a better term, skeletal form, this one is quite good. It lays out what you need to play and not much else, allowing for plenty of customization either beforehand or on the fly.

Overall: 9 out of 10
As I said, what you get out of this adventure really has to do with your taste in adventure design. Personally, my PCs always just blow the plot up anyways, so I find something like Digging for a Dead God’s design, with only the major plot points established, to be highly useful. John Wick’s plot isn’t the sort of thing I would normally come up with, but there is enough room in his design for the addition of elements that I like and that I am comfortable using. I typically don’t do one-offs and I’m more of a fantasy guy, so the premade PCs and default setting are a bit of a turn-off. That said, the beauty of having only the theme mechanics of the system mean it can be moved easily not only within setting, but also rule sets.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I: Digging for a Dead God
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Kendall K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/14/2011 12:02:57
What a bargain. Excellent scenario. Both myself and my players loved playing this game. The sand box approach is probably best for more experienced players but my group loved the Nazi vs ancient horror theme. The threatening atmosphere and the general sense of creeping horror which John Wicks story created was excellent. The best Cthulhu I've Keepered (Kept?) for a long time. Thanks.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I: Digging for a Dead God
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/19/2009 03:41:17
I ran this during a rare RPG weekend with four good friends, and had a blast.

It's a great setting, there's room for some truly horrific roleplaying moments and some pretty grueling player vs. player stand-offs.

But as a product, it's honestly pretty sketchy. I'd skimmed it ahead of time, but wasn't counting on running it. A few hours beforehand I changed my mind and read it through 3-4 times, making notes as I went along, but by the time we started I still wasn't sure there was a game there.

The sequence of events that've lead up to the scenario are sketchy, the use of the Man in Black and his role as a Germanic folklore figure are left largely untouched and the King in Yellow, which I haven't read, isn't summarized in any way. The player characters aren't ready for play, missing combat skills (and they'll be needed I can assure you) and either miss important pieces of information or simply don't have enough. This is really more of a draft or a set of expanded notes.


I'm giving it 4, because we had a lot of fun with the sandbox setting and I would run it again in the blink of an eye. That said, next time I'll have to spend a few days preparing to iron out the inconsistencies.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I: Digging for a Dead God
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/01/2009 07:44:33
Ah, what's the use. No doubt there are some cruel dynamics to play out and some well-written passages. Shaky organisation, sketchy and poorly-researched setting, unconvincing scholarship of the Mythos (it doesn't help that that section misspells Derleth and Nyarlathotep). It looks like a first draft.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I: Digging for a Dead God
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/28/2009 12:47:23
This is a game with its heart in the right place, but it's not as clever as it thinks it is. It's location and character based rather than a linear plot-based game. This is not as radical an approach as the author seems to think. The concept of setting characters against each other and then letting them loose to explore an interesting environment, rather than the GM leading them by the nose, is a fairly standard format.
There are several contradictions and inconsistencies in the text that could trip up an unwary GM and would need to be corrected before play. In particular one of the character briefs is completely missing a vital piece of information. This implies a lack of proofreading by a third party.
The mechanics are laudably thin on the ground, but (despite what it says in the introduction) they are still there, just as much as in most games. Where it does score is in its suggestions for drip-feeding information to the players in a form designed to build atmosphere.
It acknowledges its debt to "Alien", "Aliens" and "The Thing". But I would also recommend anyone intending to run this to first also watch "Total Recall", and particularly "The Bunker" and "The Keep".

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I: Digging for a Dead God
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Robert C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2009 09:11:51
I've yet to run this adventure but I have read it through and found it to be very well written and it should prove to be a lot of fun for me and my players. I also really love that the author has a dedicated website to this adventure (and presumably its sequels) which has over 30 minutes of audio to use in game. Its great to a mood in games like Cthulhu and little touches like that count for a lot!!! I can't wait to see whats next!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 6 (of 6 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
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