On the Shelf Review – Snows of an Early Winter

The latest offering from Super Genius Games in their Call of Cthulhu line is “Snows of an Early Winter,” a long scenario set in modern New York City.  The following review is based on a free copy sent to me.

Somewhere in the Big Apple, a sorcerer plots to bring abou his political ascension in local politics.  In brief, the scenario follows the investigators as they learn about his plot, interacting with everyone from slaughterhouse employees to Santeria practitioners to sanitarium staff to uncover his dark designs.  Yet there are other interested parties as well – some dedicated to aiding the sorcerer, and others to his downfall.

“Snows” is quite the complex scenario, and one that is largely driven by the investigators and the other personalities involved.  Four different hooks are provided to start the investigation, each with a corresponding scene, which makes it much easier to integrate into a campaign.  Going through  each encounter might alert one or another interested party to their existence, thereby triggering other events.  The system for keeping track of thse factions and their involvement is intuitive and clear.  In short, this proves to be a model of a non-linear scenario driven by investigator actions.

The scenario also has a distinctive tone.  I don’t want to call it quite Unknown Armies, after the Stolze/Tynes RPG of the same name, but it does bear a similarity with its emphasis on an occult community, multiple parties with multiple agendas, and certain gonzo elements – one of the characters being a famous, thought-deceased personality being the most prominent example.  (Overall, if some of the motivations of the actors had been fleshed out more, it would have been more solidly in this area.)  If that sounds like the sort of thing you and your group would like, then chances are you’ll like this scenario.  If you don’t like that style of play, you might not enjoy this quite as much.

The scenario is clearly a modern one – in fact, some of the handouts refer specifically to this year – but notes are included for adapting the scenario for other eras.  Frankly, the amount of work needed to do so seems too much to be worth the effort, so I’m recommending this scenario for groups playing in modern campaigns and who don’t want to take the setting too seriously.

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Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Glad you dug it! Would love to hear what your players thought if you ever run it.

  2. […] Harms’s review of A Peculiar Pentad and Snows of an Early Winter on his […]


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