That’s No Ent!

Yesterday I gave the Bookmark Cthulhu draft rules a run around the block via a Call of Cthulhu solo adventure in Protodimension Magazine issue #9 (a zine that used to cover mainly my old Dark Conspiracy RPG, but was open to horror RPGs of all stripes).

Timothy Boeser, a saxophone player driving to Arkham in driving rain, on his way to a jazz band tryout, encountered a Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath blocking the road in a woods.

I rolled incredibly well, so he kept control of the car. And not only did the shocking sight not crack his sanity, he actually gained a Boon from it (which I’ll call “Intro to Monstrosities”). Escaping into the woods, he fell into a river, managed to not drown, and was eventually picked up at daybreak by an old farmer and his wife on a bridge across the torrent.

A note about using Bookmark HP RPG with published solo adventures for other games: Few RPGs have a built-in system of damage degrading abilities as BNHP does. In most you just lose Hit Points until you die.

To compensate, I recommend beginning the programmed adventure character with at least a couple of Boons, and as damage accrues, look for a rationale to treat some encounters as Rest, and to treat significant items or discoveries as free Boons if needed. Basically, give your character the same fighting chance they’d have in the original game. Don’t make it a cake walk, but don’t let the adventure punish them too severely.

In this case, I treated Timothy’s car and saxophone as starting Boons, and when he had to abandon the car, but hadn’t lost that Boon, I considered it the car keys instead. Something that might be lost in the forest or river, but if kept meant a tow truck could recover the car later, in the light of day.

All those lucky rolls meant my adventure ended quickly, with a lot of the text unexplored, so I’ll try again with a new character, while Timothy goes on to face Chaosium’s official Alone Against the Tide. And I’ll generate a new character to explore this one further. Maybe Claudie Bambeck, a singer on her way to audition for the same band. 🙂

(The character names I’m generating with the census-based randomizer you can find on the site.)

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