October 9, 2015 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)
For today’s post I thought I would talk a little bit about the body of scenarios that have been written set in and around Lovecraft Country, including a little discussion of my favorite ones. There mauy be some spoilers for the scenarios in question, but I’ll try to avoid spilling too much beyond location. If you are curious where you might find the listed scenarios, I have updated the Sentinel Hill Press list of every known Lovecraft Country scenario to reflect new pieces and new finds in the archives.
Download a copy here –> Lovecraft Country Scenario Index
This list is wholly subjective, of course, and your own experiences with a scenario may differ widely. My criteria, roughly, considered not just the fundamental quality of said scenario but also how effectively said scenario made use of the location. A perfect Lovecraft Country scenario should not be able to be easily set anywhere else, drawing on the unique qualities of the place in question to make the scenario itself as enjoyable as possible.
Finally, I am most interested in hearing which scenarios our readers have enjoyed most. While the Arkham Gazette is a labor of love, I would very much be interested in knowing the kinds of scenarios our readers most enjoy. Hopefully my tastes and yours are in harmony!
There are as many Arkham-set scenarios than all of the other Lovecraft Country locations combined, so picking just one favorite is tough. Nevertheless, my favorite Arkham scenario is “The Condemned”. I’ve complained a bit about how potentially deadly it can be, but think it is a great scenario and one that really introduces Arkham to new players.
Honorable mentions – “Behold the Mother”, “A Painted Smile”, “The Queen of Night”
Dunwich has not see all that much attention from scenario writers (a fact I hope to address in the future); my favorite Dunwich scenario is “Spirit of Industry”. It is rooted in Dunwich history, offers a solid introduction to the setting, and serves as a great entry point to Dunwich for future scenarios.
Honorable mentions: “Return to Dunwich” (sprawling, maybe a little underfocused), “Behold the Mother” (it is set in Arkham as well)
Innsmouth is a hard place to write a scenario for, especially if you want to avoid making it all about the, um, central mystery. I think Oscar Rios’ “The Hopeful” does the finest job of allowing investigators a chance to explore Innsmouth without wholesale spoiling the location for future scenarios.
Honorable mention: “Escape from Innsmouth” – an amazing scenario but once you’ve run it, there is not much you can do with Innsmouth, unless you’ve got some solid ideas about using its smoking ruins… (and if you do, drop me a line!)
There is definitely a core of passionate Kingsport enthusiasts and considering the number of Kingsport pieces I’ve been sent for our next issue, I think that we’ll have more in the future. My favorite Kingsport scenario is “Dreams and Fancies”; it highlights differences between Kingsport and other Lovecraft Country locations and serves as a helpful tour of several parts of Kingsport, setting the stage for future scenarios.
Honorable mention: “Ghosts of the Florentina” (I wrote it, so I may be biased)
While those are the main four, Lovecraft mentioned several other fictional places that are just as much part of Lovecraft Country. Martin’s Beach, Foxfield, Bolton, and Aylesbury have all seen at least one scenario, if not more. I hope you forgive me lumping them together – feel free to write some more so they have their own category in the future. My favorite of the scenarios set outside of the big four LC locations is “Dust to Dust”, which is set primarily in Martin’s Beach, but features several secondary places like Clarks’ Corners.
Honorable mention: “Proof of Life”; that reveal is just brutal…
Which ones are your favorites?