We were still short a player or two and I thought it might be interesting to continue our break from D&D 5E with a CoC one nighter. The scenario “Bleak Prospect” came highly recommended by the online community so we gave it a spin.
Our Druid showed up and brought a steaming crockpot of sausage and rice and other goodness. All were satiated fully as we commenced with the scenario’s provided premade characters. (If you haven’t played this scenario and are not planning on running it yourself, you should probably stop reading now as spoilers abound from here forward).
The scenario opened strongly with a resident of the Hooverville (Harold Priestly) dying from a strange wasting disease, followed close on by the revelation of some missing and likely kidnapped children. Our heroes did a nice job following up and quickly found their way to the diner, where they picked up a lead on the car of the potential perpetrator and arch enemy of Thomas Dolan (PC), Roscoe Molloy.
Soon, our heroes were in town trying to figure a way into the hotel where Roscoe held court. Hiram Melnick (pc) snuck in acting like a furnace repair guy and soon was on the top floor outside Roscoe’s office. Our other heroes found their hobo-like personas more limiting. Several struggled with the idea of how they might gain entry into the hotel. Dr. Combs finally left for the morgue to see what had come of Harold Priestly. Harold was supposed to have been taken to Arkham for analysis, but instead was taken to the morgue here in Crawley, MA.
Karl Rothstein (PC) tried hard to make his way into the hotel by climbing the fire escape and looking for an open window, or a vent or service doorway, or something….anything. After what seemed like a dozen failed luck rolls, he descended back to the street. Thomas Dolan decided to try and find employment or temporary work at the local church, but it wasn’t his lucky day either.
Maureen Freyn (PC) grew increasingly agitated at the absence and potential abduction of her daughter, Esther.
When high noon rolled around, Roscoe headed out to a local Italian place with one of his henchmen for lunch. Hiram broke into his office to search. Meanwhile, some of our other heroes stepped onto the port to hatch a plan out of earshot of the GM. Soon, their plans were revealed.
The three homeless vagrants burst into the restaurant and Maureen Freyn (PC) put the barrel of her revolver into the back of Roscoe and told him to meet them all in the bathroom. The clientele were a bit alarmed that such shabby folk would intrude upon their lunch – and Roscoe didn’t buy that Maureen actually had a gun or that she’d use it even if she did have one. He called her bluff and offered the three vagabonds a few dollars to go and find themselves some food and a shower.
That’s when Maureen decided to get Roscoe’s attention and fire a round into the floor. This is with the pistol that her husband killed himself with. She fired. She fumbled. A die was rolled to see if she hit the plate glass mirror behind the restaurant counter, maybe another patron or one of her fellow vagabonds or even Roscoe. Blam. Roscoe for 9 points. Right in the liver. But he didn’t drop. That’s when Karl Rothstein (PC) stepped up with his walking stick and whacked Roscoe for another 8 to the cranium. Down he went. Patrons scattered. Chaos.
That’s when Tom Dolan stepped up and stomped Roscoes head and neck to pulp.
Murder hobos release their pent up frustrations on a villainous PC – while inadvertently destroying what potential link they may have to being stand up citizens again someday.
From there, things got blurry. The three fled, carjacked a passing car, ditched it in the nearby river and hiked back to town through the woods to avoid pursuit. They rendezvoused with Dr. Coombs and Hiram Melnick to search the building where Theodore Sedgwick resides. They broke in through a downstairs window and made their way upstairs quietly. They surprised the butler and tied him in another room before confronting the masked Sedgwick as he sat fireside listening to some Wagner. There were threatening words. Then the mask came down. Sedgwick had mouths all over his face. Then Sedgwick reached into himself to pull forth a giant barbed slug creature to menace our investigators with. Melnick fired and capped Sedgwick with an impale to the eyeball. Giant maggots began to crawl from his bleeding corpse. Everything was on fire as our heroes headed to the old country home.
The old country place is where our heroes hoped to find the missing kids, Esther Freyn and Billy Spitzer. The surrounding vegetation was crawling with dangerous looking slugs. They found a dying vagrant in the bushes, not much more than a sack of skin bursting with the arm sized maggots. In an outbuilding they found a giant machine of some kind. They debated turning it on, and then debated destroying it. In the end, they left it alone. Wise choice.
The great house proved relatively easy to break into. Inside, carpets were saturated with blood and vitreous humors. The kitchen was some kind of horrible abattoir – but the cellar door led dangerously down into still deeper despair. More than one PC took a tumble down the stairs and into the waist deep ichor – deep down, wading in the darkness, they found Esther. The little blonde headed girl had climbed atop a mattress in her rusty cage. They got her and ran…just as two cars arrived before the house. It was Alex Rosetti and Casper Brinck. The last two members of the little band of Sedgwick’s uber mensch. A shootout ensued. Hiram shot well, once again, and Dr. Coombs and Karl Rothstein accounted for themselves well also, though each was also wounded in the firefight.
Bloodied, shaken, and deeply disturbed, everyone fled into the night. With some cash stolen from Sedgwick and Molloy, all made for Florida. But the sunny and happy ever after on the beach was not to be. Esther was carrying the slug things. Rothstein and Coombs were also infected. …
Reflections: I was quite impressed with the structure of the game. Great art, great story, great monstrous villain and great monsters. I liked the Nameless nature of the Horror. Hi scores in all categories across the board.
Some players found playing half-drained vagabonds a bit overwhelming and even frustrating at times. Food for thought when it comes to the recreational needs of a bunch of 40 something nerds with work-a-day jobs. Maybe despair filled worlds need to be entertained only very cautiously…