October-ganza 3, Day 18: Call of Cthulhu Scenarios in New England, part III (Coastal Mass. & Boston)

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October 18, 2016 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)

South Coast and Islands

  • polyhedron54Odder than Odd” (Polyhedron #54) – “The investigators are asked to find out why the police chief of South Beach, Martha’s Vinyard sends so many to the local asylum and why so few return.”
  • The Thing at the Threshold, Part 1: The Inheritor” (The Thing at the Threshold) – Set in the fictional town of Davenham, Massachusetts (said to be a mid-sized town between Arkham and Boston), in which the investigators are sent to investigate a supposedly haunted house.  Part of the larger campaign The Thing at the Threshold, the remainder of which occurs outside of New England.
  • “Meet the Walsh Family” (Islands of Ignorance).  Dan Harm’s created this antagonist group for Classic-era investigators; rum-runners who are also cultists, operating out of an unspecified cove in coastal New England – the article notes they steer clear of Innsmouth and originally worked out of Boston, so I am electing them to located somewhere in Massachusetts, south of Boston.

Salem and the North Shore

  • devil27s_children_28pagan291Devil’s Children – A two-part scenario split between the 1690s and 1990s using pregenerated characters, set in Salem and Arkham, respectively.  Originally published by Pagan Publishing in 1993, a revised version with different art is available free from
  • Eyes that Should Not See (Halloween Horror) {mono} – A modern scenario that could be reset into the classic era; a weird theft from the colonial museum of Webster leads investigators to a group of trepanation enthusiasts and mysterious blind men.
  • doors_to_darknessGenius Loci (Doors to Darkness) – Something very bad is happening at the Danvers State Lunatic Asylum and the investigators have the misfortune to discover what.
  • Ties that Bind (Doors to Darkness) – Strange rock formations are discovered in an Ipswich fountain and things get far worse from that point.
  • Wail of the Witch (Different Worlds #30; was republished, and possibly revised, in Curse of Cthulhu) – Strange sightings in a Salem graveyard lead the investigators into conflict with a spectral witch and her Nyogtha cult.  Readers familiar with Lovecraftian fiction will note that this scenario blends many elements of Kuttner’s “The Salem Horror” and Lovecraft’s “The Dreams in the Witch House”.
  • We Have Met the Enemy (Mortal Coils) – A murdered uncle draws the investigators into a battle with an ancient murder cult and facing a rather grisly choice to escape from it.  Set in Danvers.


  • house_of_r27lyehThe Art of Madness (The House of R’lyeh) – Not to be confused with the unlicensed Terry White scenario of the same name published in the late 1980s, this scenario involves the disappearances of several promising young Boston artists and their new mentor, himself a now-thought-lost Boston painter of some infamy.
  • The Enemy Within (Dagon #9) – More a scenario sketch and fully fleshed-out piece, in which investigators attempt to stop an dark horse candidate for President in 1920 who is a cultist of a Mythos goddess.
  • Full Circle (Coming Full Circle) – A section of this  1930s scenario is set in “Luna Park”, a Boston occult society infiltrated by an occult enemy of the investigators.
  • The Ghost Writer (Challenge #58) – A pulp writer is murdered, as are three of his correspondents (all authors as well).  While the scenario’s initial phase is set in Boston, the action soon moves to Arkham.  Most players will recognize the Mythos writers whose names were very slightly tweaked for use as victims in this rather uninspired scenario – P.H. Valecroft is the least absurd.
  • cocsymbolcoc2The Haunted House/The Haunting (CoC Corebook) – Included with ever version of the Call of Cthulhu rules from the second edition on (and later renamed “The Haunting” to differentiate it from a Keith Herber scenario of the same name), this scenario is vaguely set in Boston, wherever you might build a 2-story bungalow before the 1840s.  The setting isn’t much used, but the scenario is rightly regarded as a classic and template for many that came after it.
  • The Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight (Shadows of Yog-Sothoth) – Technically the H.O.S.T.’s headquarters are in Cambridge, which I’ve have been told most vigorously is not Boston.  A mysterious secret society is, as we might expect in a Call of Cthulhu game, up to no good in this scenario which launches the campaign Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
  • last_rites“The House on McKinley Boulevard” (Last Rites)  – An abandoned house on the fictitious “McKinley Boulevard in Boston is home to more than just squatters.  While technically a modern-day scenario, there is little preventing the Keeper to moving to any other era of their choosing.
  • The Mansion of Madness (Mansions of Madness) – The investigators visit the house of a wealthy art collector, and find his collection of paintings a bit odd but intriguing, and possibly deadly.
  • One in Darkness (The Great Old Ones) – A very odd scenario in which mobsters mix with Nyarlathotep’s most idiotic avatars.
  • Provender of the God (The Realm of Shadows) – A side-mission in the scenario leads investigators to a Boston chemist, who has been supplying cultists with an unusual formula that produces most remarkable results.
  • StarOnTheShoreCoverThe Star on the Shore – This scenario starts in Boston but events soon move to another location to be discovered by the investigators.  Was Kickstarted in in January 2017 with an anticipated release date of June 2017.
  • Tea and Biscuits (Challenge #71) – What is Roy MacGillivray Jr’s secret and why is he late for dinner?  A very short (4 page) scenario
  • They Sleep by Twilight – Worlds of Cthulhu #5.  A Boston-area doctor fears one of his patients is carrying a not-fully-human child.  Challenging and richly tied into actual history and society of the era.
  • The Thing in the Well (Day of the Beast) – A psychic, previously introduced in the campaign, sends the investigators to Boston to investigate a series of child murderers.
  • mula-plan-09-from-halloweenThe Return of the Magician (Plan 09 from Halloween) {mono} – An Arkham-area magician’s promise to return from beyond the grave are tested.  A section of the scenario occurs at the (historically inaccurately named) Logan Airport in Boston.
  • The Smokestack Horror (Halloween Horror 2)  {mono} – Another modern scenario that might be adjusted for use in the Classic era.  “High school can be rough, and even rougher if no one cares about you. There are those who are picked on everyday, and those who start fights in the cafeteria. And then there are the few who no one remember at all, the ones who sat in the middle of the classroom and who the teacher rarely called on. When one of them goes missing, few notice or care.”

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