Fury of Yig Playtest Open

The Fury of Yig playtest is now open.  Please leave a note in the comments if you’re interested.  I’d like you to have a regularly-meeting (once every two weeks) Call of Cthulhu group, and you’ll have to sign a NDA for Sixtystone.

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 10:28 pm  Comments (2)  

Fury of Yig Playtest Update

We’re done!

Actually, we were done before Christmas, but what the hell.  The final battle at REDACTED was a near-deadly romp.  I say near-deadly because only one person actually died, turning himself into a suicide bomber in an ineffectual attempt to take out one of the villains.  The rest of the group did not escape unscathed, though good tactics, magic, heavy weaponry, and a convenient RV were necessary to pull out a (scarce) win of the campaign.

I’m told I’m too nice as a GM.  Maybe so.  We’ll see on subsequent playtests.

Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fury of Yig Playtest Update

It’s been a while hasn’t it?

The group has made it through the terrors of the Ozarks, encountering a snake handling church and a beast Lovecraft did no more than hint at.  I’ll gloss over this, as this is a fun scenario that I want people to enjoy.

Later, one of the characters went mad while reading a book woke up near the murdered body of a local Yig cultist (who seemed relatively harmless).  The rest of the group discovered they were being monitored with a camera from a nearby hotel room.  Upon breaking in, they found nothing but a scrubbed laptop and a sacred serpent of Yig.

They then followed their next lead to Oklahoma, where they hoped to uncover another trace of the mysterious cult they were chasing.  They found it – and much more than they hoped.  This was the deadliest encounter of the whole campaign.  They all made it out alive, due to one lucky skill check and a quick-thinking player.  He often surfs for clues on his PDA (as his character would do), so he suddenly made a connection between a hint from a few sessions before and the present situation.  He quickly alerted the group, and everyone headed out.  One player will start the next session in the hospital, but they were a very fortunate group all told.

Published in: on November 5, 2009 at 1:16 am  Comments (1)  

Fury of Yig Playtest

The last playtest session turned out more like a traditional Call of Cthulhu game – one dead man with a mask burnt into his chest, another screaming and cuffed to a banister, and a catatonic woman.  None of these were the characters, but we did finally have one case of temporary insanity.

Frankly, I’m not for a great deal of death and insanity in campaign play, at least throughout, so we avoid the “the bellhop joins the group!” situations that tend to break up continuity.  Nonetheless, Fury’s deadliness is slowly rising, and I think we’ll have a death or two in the next few sessions.

Published in: on September 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fury of Yig Playtest Update

In our latest session, the group made it out to Dunwich, where they investigated an archaeological site and met the villain of the chapter (they wanted to shoot him instantly, which means I did a good job).  After considerable prep, they’re now infiltrating his house in order to help someone inside.  I don’t know if they’ll like the sort of help that person will want…

We’ve got a good group of players for this test.  One of them keeps a PDA at hand which he uses to run online searches during play.  This time, he came across a particular mythological character that he thought was intriguing.  As a result, I was able to integrate elements of what he was reading into the plot.  (That figure was about to become pertinent to the mission anyway, so it wasn’t that big a stretch.)  I had another player decide to get copies of the Miskatonic copy of TOME REDACTED and start reading a particular chapter.  I had a quote for that chapter ready to go, and I shared it with him – and it just so happened to relate to what was going on in Dunwich…

We’ll play again in another week.

Published in: on August 23, 2009 at 12:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Fury of Yig Playtest Update

Another solid playtest session last night.  Whereas in some Call of Cthulhu games the Keeper gives you a situation to resolve, this was an investigative session that sent everyone scrambling for their notes.

Everyone decided for a road trip up to Arkham, and, following an amusing situation involving a copperhead, a package, and a mailbox, all needing to be properly routed, the group entered the hallowed halls of Miskatonic in search of the dreaded you-know-what.  The mission ended up being both more and less successful than they had anticipated, leading them to a hilarious attempt at a fake cult meeting and a prolonged bout of paranoia.  Remember, folks, if you booby-trap the hotel room, it’s nice to tell your friends before they arrive.

At any rate, they did well in their delvings – so well, in fact, that they got ahead of my plan for the night.  That’s fine, as it will make for an excellent session next time.

Published in: on August 12, 2009 at 12:05 am  Comments (1)  

Fury of Yig Playtest Update

So we finished up the Philadelphia chapter with an assault, of sorts, on a cult ritual, involving pizza, frat boys, and Molotov cocktails which I’m sure won’t come up for anyone else.  I had made a quick addition to the foes that they might have to face, and one of the players gave a priceless look when she realized what she was up against.  After quickly extracting themselves from the scene, the group made it back to the hotel and decided to leave town.

Once again, we had a game in which no one died or went insane.  Well, the latter isn’t exactly accurate, as I’ve found that Call of Cthulhu characters in many cases start acting insane even when they’re perfectly fine.  It was a combination of some reluctance on my part to slaughter people indiscriminately, the lower level of lethality in the earlier chapters (after all, you want people to play long enough to get into the story), and some really bad dice rolls.

Another benefit is that some of the long-term effects are starting to come into play.  One of the tricky parts about writing an RPG campaign is that the best parts of any game – engaging the players with individual attention to particular characters – isn’t available to you unless you want the group to run with pregens or put restrictions on character creation.  I’ve tried to find a balance between, by having certain effects for individual players triggered by those players’ actions.  It’s hard to explain without giving things away, but I like the balance.

One element that I’m concerned about is that this is an information-rich campaign.  If a group doesn’t take notes, or has only one or two people with particular bits of information, the scenario will become more difficult.  I’ll probably want to include a note on it in the playtest!

Also, the artist for Fury (who I don’t think has been announced, or I’d praise him highly) sent me the following banner:


Published in: on August 1, 2009 at 11:56 am  Comments (2)  

Fury of Yig Playtest, Part 3

The latest Fury playtest was on Monday, and our intrepid heroes spent much of their time in Philadelphia.  It’s become clear that some sections need to be tightened up.  Originally I liked the idea of giving the investigators that moment of panic where they need to find REDACTED in a city of 1.3 million people, but the links need to be more clear between them.  Fortunately, I know just where to put those links now.

An element I’ve tried to build into the campaign are villains who respond proactively to investigator plans.  One of the characters, in the previous session, made the mistake of calling up one of the cultists to give a message from another cultist, who had died.  The leader took the cell number, ran an illegal (as if he cares) phone company inquiry to get the name on the account, called up his place of work, found out he was in Philadelphia, and set up an ambush for him.  It’s not the sort of thing you can really write in, but I might include some hints in the playtest notes.

We’ll conclude this section in a few weeks, and then we’ll start on a research interlude that is much needed.

Published in: on July 11, 2009 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fury of Yig Playtest, Session 2

We had our second playtest session of Fury last night, taking the group to the middle of the second chapter.  Overall, it was more of a case of “group meets text, and chaos ensues” than anything else, but I think I’m starting to get an idea of where the weak points are, so that’s good.

Highlights included our ex-cultist spending the night in someone’s office in City Hall and stealing strudel in the morning,  a driver botching a Spot Hidden and nearly being hit by a truck, and two characters seeking to infiltrate the cult by bringing a twelve-pack of Keystone to its headquarters.  Near the end, the ex-cultist received a couple of lucky Cthulhu Mythos rolls and started babbling about Yig and Gnosticism and the serpent’s wrath.  To their credit, the rest of the group treated him as if he were insane.

Next session is in two weeks. The group seems poised to research new topics, is preparing to talk to the cultists, and is generally operating as a unit.  Of course, they’re still convinced they’re looking for someone named “Keanu,” and one of them might have already signed his death warrant…

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fury of Yig: The Serpent Son

Here’s a brief piece that I don’t think I’ll have room for in the book itself.  It’s based on an actual Pawnee folktale that re-composed to better fit the campaign.  It gives a good idea of what information might be present in a tome writeup, though this one is incomplete due to its length.

The Serpent Son:  A Pawnee Folktale

Diaper, Steven.  Proceedings of the American Ethnological Association 28, 1905.  432-34.

Physical Description:  The journal is a thick book presenting a few longer articles and a wide variety of brief reports on various subjects of anthropological interest.  The same article is available through a scholarly archival database available at all large universities.

Availability:  Anyone with access to a sizable college can find this within a few days, with a successful Library Use roll.

Research reveals:  (Library Use)  Steven Diaper was an anthropologist at Kansas State University who performed extensive fieldwork among the Pawnee from 1896 to 1907.

Skimming reveals:  The text is too short to skim.

Reading reveals:  The text is as follows:

Many years ago, a father and his son were out hunting for game.

“You should go down to the river today, son,” said the father, “and I will go up to the hills.  We will meet in the middle tonight and make camp.”

“I don’t think that is a good idea,” said the son.  “Those hills belong to the snake-man Ig.  He will not be happy with those hunting there.”

“We shall see,” said the father.  They departed and hunted, both catching much game, and met for the night.  They ate and lay down.

In the middle of the night, the father called out, “O, son!  My feet are turning into the tail of a spotted snake!”  Later, he called out, “O, son!  My legs are turning into the body of a spotted snake!”  Even later, he called out, “O, son!  My arms are becoming part of the body of a spotted snake!  I will soon not be able to speak to you again.  Build a cairn for me here and put me into it when I have changed.  When you come back, beat the drums every autumn and leave an offering here, and I will bring you much game and success at war.”

The son grieved, but he did as his father had said.  When his father had transformed completely, the son took him to the cairn and put him down.  His father crawled inside.

Later that day, the son saw a man and woman of his enemies nearby with two horses.  He quietly crept up, killing the man and taking the woman and the horses.

On his way home, he stopped at the cairn, leaving the woman on the horse tied to it.  The snake crawled out and nodded to him.  The son spoke, saying, “Hail, my father!  Here is a woman and a horse that I leave you!”  He then rode off to his camp, where he told the others what he had learned.

From that day forward, the people of his camp revered the snake and were much enriched thereby.

Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment