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Trail of Cthulhu: The Watchers in the Sky $5.95
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Jeffrey V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2010 01:46:43

This is an excellent little scenario. Basically a more complex version of the typical one-shot, this scenario might require several sessions to fully unravel. Set in the Lake District of northern England, the plot thickens rapidly with a series of twisted and terrible events, many foreshadowing the horrors to come. All in all, the author has managed to achieve an almost "Twilight Zone" effect in setting the mood for this particular adventure. The twist endings are also excellent and help reinforce the overall nightmarish quality of the game. As usual the scenario is packed with role-playing ideas and hints, and also includes pre-generated characters that have the "right" motivations, stability sources and risk-factors to lead them into this particular net. The creatures are suitably horrific and make for an excellent and deadly antagonist. Apparently, this particular scenario is intended to be the first in a trilogy, and so much of the events are left "officially" unexplained, though the wise Keeper will let the players think they have "solved" the mysterious events in order to further surprise them later on.

The quality of the reproduction is outstanding, and the Handouts are provided in a separate section for ease of printing. As usual, the "cinematic" role-playing style preferred by the authors of the more recent scenario packs makes this one a difficult scenario to run for a less "thespian" group, but if you can pull it off, it will be an extremely rewarding experience for all. Frankly, the way the scenarios for Trail have recently been written feels to me like I'M being railroaded into more cinematic play than I really like (I tend towards a slightly more pulpish style of play with overtones of eldritch horror as opposed to the overtly Steven Kingish type of play these scenarios seem determined to drive me into. I prefer my role-playing to be a little different from my TV watching experiences, but perhaps that's just me.) At any rate, it is extremely well written, loosely enough scripted to permit plenty of player initiative, and well thought out enough to easily permit the Keeper to tie up the loose ends. My only real complaint is the attempt to straight-jacket me into playing out a suitably creepy episode of some TV show instead of letting me run it my way (or at least making me do a lot of extra work in order to make it flow my way instead of theirs). Anyway, I'll give it a solid "4" -- based mostly on my sense of pique over the issue noted above!

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Trail of Cthulhu: The Watchers in the Sky
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