Alone Against the Dark (Solo Scenario)
Author(s): Matthew J. Costello
Setting: 1930s (specifically, 1931)
Appears in: Alone Against the Dark
A solo adventure. An old friend, a quiet linguistics professor at Miskatonic University, is arrested for the theft of a relic. His friend (the Investigator) sets out on leave to try and aid his old friend. It quickly turns out that the case is far more sinister - and dangerous - than it appears, as a series of friends are drawn into a desperate quest across the world.
Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only
Players should not read any further.
The adventure begins on September 1st, 1931 with a telegram from your old friend, now in prison in Athens. The first PC, Professor Grunewald, gets permission to leave the University, obtains some resources and heads off. The journey offers various activities, and potentially hazards too. On arrival, his friend has apparently committed suicide, and Grunewald can only make enquiries about the case. He quickly finds himself faced with dangerous enemies, both human and non-human, determined to perform a terrible ritual that will see the world conquered by ice.
As each Investigator is overcome by the forces of darkness, another friend is drawn in to take their place. The playable characters are Professor Grunewald, Nora McShane (journalist), Ernest Holt (financier) and Devon Wilson (Navy).
Player Handouts: Pyramid puzzle
Locations: Arkham, New York, Athens, Egypt, Germany, Antarctica
The format of this adventure is not a fully-fledged scenario but something similar to the "Fighting Fantasy" books popular in the 1980s. One interesting innovation presented in this book (and particularly suited to Call of Cthulhu) is that the death of the player's character does not necessarily mean the end of the adventure. Rather, upon character death the player can pick up the story with a subsequent Investigator character who was somehow associated with the (now-dead) previous protagonist. There are a total of four linked characters provided.
Does not require a Keeper.
The game involves keeping careful track of the passage of time and funds, and certain events are time-dependent. Actions take up a set amount of time, and some options - such as catching ships - may require wasting time hanging about.
There is plenty of option in terms of the order of investigation, though some options will make more sense than others, as well as a number of options for concluding the investigation.
This book features puzzle mini-games as well as the typical die-rolling of a Call of Cthulhu game.