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Cthulhu Britannica: Shadows over Scotland $39.99 $19.99
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Cedric C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/04/2011 15:09:34
When I had the chance to review Cthulhu Britannica: Shadows Over Scotland, I leapt at it. I actually have a Call of Cthulhu adventure to run in a few weeks and was impressed at the quality of the scenarios of the original Cthulhu Britannica.

Shadows Over Scotland is both a sourcebook for Scotland adventures, as well as a collection of six scenarios. Although the PDF is formatted like the book, I actually found the PDF format itself quite useful. Overall, on an ipad, while the size of an ipad is smaller than a book, the book was quite readable. On a laptop, I still found the two-column format inconvenient. I would scroll down the page to read the first column, scroll up to the second column when I was done with the first one, then scroll back down again to read the second.

The book starts off with a 30-page "An Introduction to 1920's Scotland". This section is divided into the non-fictional Scotland after the Great War, then a mixing of the Mythos into Scotland pre-history. The first section will be quite useful for Keepers to bring in an accurate atmosphere of 1920's Scotland (and Scotland immigrants) to a Call of Cthulhu game. The second section, which includes a timeline, may be useful if the Keeper needs to ad hoc mention any Mythos activities to Investigators diligently poking their noses about. Both sections are entertaining reading and are best read electronically rather than printed out.

The next sections, which I will call the sourcebook, detail in game stats the locations of Scotland: The Lowlands, The Highlands, and The Islands. Each section starts with some non-fictional information about the Geography, Culture and People, Flora and Fauna, and Climate. When applicable (eg. fauna), stats are provided.

It's when a section discusses The Mythos, things get choppy. The scope is "to supply enough material to allow Keepers to quickly build scenarios of their own or to incorporate these materials into ongoing adventures". In other words, while well-written and very imaginative, they're inomplete. Articles range from background-level scenarios, to only the climax of an adventure, to almost-scenarios. I reallly wished these bits and pieces were made into full-fledged scenarios. On the other hand Keepers who can develop scenarios from these vivid beginnings should find these pieces of writing rewarding.

The scenarios are top-notch. Some require a Keeper who's just as good as the writing. Keepers already know how important human NPCs are, and the NPCs in these scenarios are especially vivid. Many of the darker ones have personal motives and a Keeper will want to do them justice to make them more interesting to the players. For scenarios, I find the PDF format muchly superior to a book. A Keeper need only print out the scenario pages, can write on them for notes, and physically cut out the handout illustrations or important bits of text for the players.

Overall, highly recommended!

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Cthulhu Britannica: Shadows over Scotland
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