Thursday, February 4, 2010

[Call of Cthulhu] Call of ice

Call of ice is my recently started Call of Cthulhu campaign. Inspired by movies like The Thing, 30 Days of Night, Whiteout, The Abyss and reality series Ice Road Truckers I decided to use campaign to be set to something cold, icy and remote place. What could be better than Antarctica?

Plot of the campaign is quite simple. Character gets job assignment to join exploration group at new research facility at Antarctica. Character has no idea what it is all about, but payment is tempting and experience unique her to join it without bigger hesitation.

She met a person who lost both his hands and legs because of frostbites, but the horrible past of that poor man didn't stop her for leaving.

The new research facility goes with name X-123. It is new enough not to have proper name, or is not intended ever to get one. It is highly classified, what the research facility is doing. Ever character did not have a clue before she entered it.

At the facility they got quick briefing about journal what tells about something what lies within the ice. That is what character and rest of the research group is after. Journal or their supervisors at the facility didn't tell what they are exactly looking and retrieving for. Some kind of stone tablet is all group knows about.

First problem came, when character was asked to study few corpses coevered with fungus like mold. Nothing she, as a biologist, had ever seen before. As they didn't have a breakthrough on investigating the mold-fungus, X-123 decided to put it away. Character learned, that the destination they are going to go had one previous investigator group. The infested corpses.

When one corpse rised dead-alive and puked fungus on the face of another X-123 executioner, things started to get bad. Fungus lives in living tissue, spreading on skin and through nervous system. Same time it developes seeds in the stomach of the corpse. When corpse rises alive as a zombie, it is ready to contaminate nearby victims by puking on them. That is the way how fungus like mold spreads.

Another higher status X-123 executive is now infected, and the only cure for the mold on skin is the heat. But it needs atleast over 200 celsius to kill the fungus. And it is not quarantee to cure it. It might be in blood, as it contains by swallowing the seeded fungus-puke of the mold-zombies.

That is what has happened this far in the game. The stone tablet they are after, is a valuable artifact for human, but just a signal beacon for Mi-Go, race from Pluto. Mi-Go are at Antarctica to harvest ore, and that tablet investigation group and X-123 are after is just a spot-marker for Mi-Go. Nothing valuable for them.
Mold is actually, and basically Mi-Go snack. They cannot sustain anything for nutrition from Earth, so they bought their mold-fungus with them. They can eat mold-fungus from people. As it is contanious, their stack of snack doesn't end.
The purpose of this weird extraterrestial dicease is not to launch pandemia of strange hard to cure dicease, but just to feed Mi-Go. They are just doing their own business there, and human are their cattle - snacks.
Mi-Go doesn't want fungus to spread, as it could draw attention to Antarctica and their job, so they don't use animals to harvest mold.

So, what is the purpose of this campaign? For first, I have this "cold snowy icy places" period going on, and wanted to run a game in a setting like that. Second, I have for long wanted to run Call of Cthulhu. So, combining them two and result is this campaign.
Also, I wanted to add something from Mythos to game, as this is Call of Cthulhu after all. I asked at roolipelit.net some ideas about what Mythos could suit to mold-fungus, and got two options to go. Yog-Sothoth or Mi-Go. Read through both on basic rules book and decided to go with Mi-Go as it is not as threatening as a God. There is a change, and it is not too "at the last session you see huge monster, go insane and it eats you".

There is also a learning curve in the game. Have learned lots of Antarctica when searching for background data for campaign, and during game as player's character is a biologist, learned few things about DNA.

This game has been fun, and there is still few more sessions to end it. I am not sure yet how it will end, and will the character survive. Anyways, someone is going to a space travel in a brain container, that is sure.

Unfortunately I write campaign in finnish, but you can find it session by session from here:
Call of Cthulhu - Jään kutsu
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