Beautifully presented, well-written and fun Call of Cthulhu campaign set in 1925 London. This would have been a classic if it had a stronger Cthulhu Mythos theme, and a less rushed climax (production-wise)
We played this seven-chapter campaign over 28 gaming nights earlier this year. We are a veteran Cthulhu group, but only recently got back to it with Fantasy Grounds. I'm reviewing the PDF only.
The Curse of Nineveh is set in 1925 London. An expedition to Assyrian ruins brought back something awful, and people have started dying. There might be a curse there somewhere. Enter investigators.
This is a long campaign. It is written and built really well, as it allows the GM to do his own thing, and running the campaign with a group who don't like campaigns to be "on rails" works well with the material. There are enough touchpoints so you or your players don't get lost, but it's loose enough. I ended up having to gently help my players just a little bit in the final chapter, as they were lost on what to do next.
It is suitable to play with new characters, but due to the complexity and length of the campaign, I would not recommend this to new GMs. While there is a 1925 London sourcebook from the same publisher, it is not necessary - we ran the campaign without it.
The production values in the campaign are top notch. Every single NPC is beautifully illustrated, and the maps and handouts are well done. It is a real pleasure to read and use, and present to my players. The layout is done well, there is a good index, and finding NPCs is easy. Each chapter begins with an overview which is hugely helpful for the GM, and ends with assumptions on what the players should know by then, which is also useful in knowing whether my players are on track or not.
My main criticism comes from the weak theme. While 1925 London is beautifully described as are the NPCs and the campaign is suitably bleak, Cthulhu Mythos comes through very thinly, and is just a minor part of the campaign.
The first time the investigators encounter their first true mythos creature is well past 2/3 of the campaign. And another later almost inevitable encounter is with a major baddie, which appearance would essentially mean the end of the world. It is unclear if that was the intention, or if the authors just did not fully appreciate the repercussions of such an encounter.
There are non-mythos creatures and encounters earlier in the campaign which some might feel out of place, but given the subject matter of the book they felt mostly OK, except for one chapter which added an entirely different mythos with that of ancient Assyria and Cthulhu. Odd choice, as it was also the chapter least connected to the main thread of the campaign. I didn't mind it, and neither did my players, as it was a fun distraction.
Also, it appears that that the designers ran out of time or money, as the last two chapters of the total of seven feel rushed. They are the shortest, and they also miss maps for two of the most iconic and memorable scenes in the campaign. This is a peculiar omission, given there are maps for some minor NPC homes in the earlier chapters.
My players echoed my sentiments on the production values being good, and theme being weak. They were expecting more mythos critters, but overall we had an amazing time with the campaign.
Overall I'm docking one point for the weak connection to Cthulhu Mythos and some poor choices with encounter design. I would dock another point for the odd planning choices by rushing the end of the book. But in the end the production values are so good, and especially the character artwork and illustrations are really beautifully done. Combined with the campaign itself being so well built and fun that 4/5 feels like a fairer score. Recommended with allowance given to the weak theme: if I was running this again, as a GM I'd add some Cthulhu monsters earlier into the campaign.
[4 of 5 Stars!]