Friday, September 25, 2015

Pallington Manor, An Adventure Using the Call of Cthulhu Rule Set

Fifteen years ago, they became your best friends, together in the rain, confused, but together.

You met after school on the first day of your senior year, like something out of a 1980s teenage escapist movie. The principal calling out delinquents’ names, reading out your offenses, threatening that “Adams High School doesn’t graduate hooligans.”

You can’t remember whose eye you caught, but you remember rolling your eyes together. The first act of solidarity was that silent camaraderie against Principal Michaels. She’s still there, you know from the newsletters. Still not graduating hooligans.

Has anything changed in 15 years? Suburbia resists change, and the suburb of Boston you came from -- one of the many little places that insist on calling itself Fairview -- resists mightily. You tried to forget Fairview and move on with your life, as far away as possible, always knowing you never wanted to come back; dreading that you might.

When the 10 year reunion went by and no one contacted you, you were relieved. Your gang, stayed in touch, and that’s all you needed. You had an unspoken rule: We don’t talk about high school. Everything else was fair game: sex, drugs, hopes, dreams. But we don’t talk about high school. We don’t talk about Fairview. We don’t talk about Adams High School.

For 15 years, no one talked about the project that brought you all together, or the night that bound you together in the rain. You hadn’t even thought of that night in years, yourself. At first, it was always in your mind, lurking. Waiting to get out. Then, love, school, work -- things cluttered your mind, and you pushed it into the recesses and basements of your mind, with everything else you never wanted to think about. Out of sight, out of mind.

You probably would have spent the rest of your life with that memory happily buried, if you had not received that invitation. It came in a plain white envelope with the school’s return address. You opened it, like every other piece of junk mail from the school. Why do I open all of these? You don’t know, you just do. A nagging suspicion is that somewhere in your mind, something watches, vigilant, hopeful to never find whatever it looks for, so that the past could stay there, forever. Your mind rebels, trying to stop reading the invitation. To throw it away. But, you can’t. Instead, you read the lines: Cordially invited, RSVP by such and such date, cost of X dollars, “reception to be held at the Pallington Manor, lovingly restored by the class of 2010.”

The memory burst forth. The night. The rain. You remembered it all. Your friends. The kids. Halloween 2009. The Pallington Manor. The memories are scattered and incomplete, rushing and disjointed. For a moment, you lose your balance, and then, you feel it in your head. The memories, properly ordered, prodding, asking. Come, they ask you, let’s talk about 15 years ago. Let’s talk about Fairview. Let’s talk about Adams High School.

Let’s talk about 15 years ago…


Game Overview:

The Pallington Manor is a two-session adventure [each approximately 4 hours] for 4 to 6 investigators. Session 1 is set in Fall 2009 in a quiet suburb of Boston called Fairview. Session 2 is set during the 15 year high school reunion in Fall 2025. The game will use the current Call of Cthulhu rule set.

Players choose one of 16 high school seniors to be their character. The initial characters are not complete, lacking some Primary skills, but otherwise are complete. Once a player chooses a character, they may alter their Personal skills with any other available skill.

In the second session, the surviving Investigators have grown up. All Personal Skills are upgraded to fill the four missing Primary Skills, and the player may choose four new Personal Skills to help describe how the adventure 15 years ago changed and shaped their Investigator.

If a Player’s Investigator dies during the first session, they may choose a new Investigator at the start of the second session.

Difficulty: Moderate.

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