Mantua (near Woodbury)
(Note; I have NO IDEA what just happened. Was happily typing when all R'lyeh broke loose, resulting in a one-line session report getting posted against my wishes! Here, hopefully, is the full report)
I called my randomly-chosen team "The Three Stooges" cause I've found these three investigators to be very weak in the past.
Fate-chosen Ancient One; Yog Sothoth (hoo boy, I've never done well against him)
King In Yellow "Touring" version (easier to set up, harder to play)
(I'm re-constructing this "play-by-play" as best I can by going thru the Mythos cards that were played. Think I'll stick mostly to "highlights" from here on in)
Initial Mythos Card: "Next Act Begins!" BAM! 2 Doom Tokens to prevent that- it's an awful way to start a game. The Dean of Miskatonic U blew his own brains out rather than face what was coming next.
Gave us some time to buy and trade stuff. Vincent started with 2 "Storm of Spirit" spells (as if he didn't suck enough already! I hate Storm of Spirits! I hate most of the spells and items from this expansion)
Early on both Bob and Amanda obtained Press Passes, among the most awesome items in town.
Vincent was tempted to trade his Safety Deposit Box Key using the "Bizarre Couriers" but sanity won out this time. The first Gate, to R'lyeh of course (worst other-world of all) appeared in the Graveyard unleashing a Dark Young (one heavy-duty Monster) Once again-BAM! we're screwed! I could hear Yog laughing...
Next....Bam! A Rumour!! "Virulent Disease"....Not so bad as Rumours go, we all wasted a turn at the Hospital for innoculation.
Vincent proved useful, learning the "Arcane Insight" spell at the Magic Shoppe. Actually succeeded his spell check with only One Die (!) and stacked the deck:
Let's let Dr Lee tell it in his own words, from a letter to a colleague found after his disappearance:
"...I saw paraded before me mad figures, robed in yellow and cavorting about as Comedy and Tragedy, their faces hid mehind old Greek theatre masks. Behind them a ghastly Curtain was drawn, revealing amid macabre scenery the Players of this Next Act....
...after these things I saw a Portal open, deep in the Woods. A thing stepped out....and after it came a loathsome tide of horrors, an army of blasphemous nightmares marching openly in our world... I had glimpsed into the Mind of the Enemy, and perceived some of his Plan!"
That night of Dr Lee's fearsome visions, Ma Matheson went mad and burned down her boarding house and everyone in it....
Our first real Victory came early on as Amanda emerged dripping wet from the Abyss, her hair matted with seaweed, her mind clouded with awful sights from the Depths, to seal the Gate in the Woods! Our only Sealed Gate all game!
Vincent managed to peer into the Mythos one last time with his "Arcane Insight" and 2 Tomes, before R'lyeh took his sanity, leaving him Lost in the entropy of Time and Space, to be Devoured by Him who Lurks behind the madness; Yog Sothoth! (The fool! To plunge headlong into the Sunken City!)
To be replaced by Kate Winthrop, the Scientist. For as it is written, "...As Shemp once replaced Curly, so must Kate Winthrop take up the mantle of Vincent Lee." This was no random draw of a token; well, it was, but a very useful one cause Kate could prevent TWO WHOLE GATES from appearing (at Black Cave and Unnamable), thanks to foreknowledge from Vincent's arcane visions; thank you Dr Lee for this final posthumous contribution to the team.
This game was CLOSE, with a capital "C" and a capital "lose"!! All hail the King In Yellow Expansion! I've never seen a game go back and forth from "almost losing" to "almost winning" so many times in rapid succession! I almost gave up; 9 Doom Tokens, no more "Arcane Insight" to stack the deck with, and one awful turn when everyone either went crazy or got knocked out abd Bob failed to seal R'Lyeh....
"...Bob knelt in the loose dirt of the Graveyard, exhausted but savoring the familiar soil of Arkham. The terrible vortex hummed behind him, bolstered by the baleful thoughts of the dark god, he who is the Key and the Gate. A stronger man could have closed this dark portal forever by sheer brawn, but Bob's strength was spent. Nor was he a true man of letters, schooled in loathsome arcana; but he'd learned a trick or three during his terrible nightmare in the Sunken City of R'Lyeh, and the whole world hung in the balance; would his hard-won knowledge pay off?
Alas, no. Every trick in his book failed, and he collapsed into the soft soil of the local necropolis, beaten and broken.
Then, from the distance, an ungodly howl! Something floated on the skin of the universe, twisted and malevolent; some relentless Hound had caught his scent and would never let go; it would track him, pursue him, drag him down into darkness or flay his flesh into shreds! The braying howls grew close, deafeningly loud, as the shape of his death half-flew, half-slithered into the corners of his eye. Bob shrieked, abandoning himself to an ecstacy of terror....
He awoke, disoriented but alive, in some sort of hospital bed. Not a normal hospital; by the gibbering and howls of inmates he perceived he was in the Asylum!"
Truly dark days for the town of Arkham. It was at this point that I almost abandoned them all to the madness of the King In Yellow and forfeited to Yog...
It was my "Shemp" who ultimately saved the day. For turn after turn we'd been so close to winning, with no more than 3 gates open at any one time, yet victory was elusive. We'd sacrificed 4 Doom Tokens to delay the First Act twice, but doing so had brought the world to the brink of ruin. Now we lived with the threat of the First Act, and not enough Seals to prevent the Second or Third Act (gasp!) when it came...
...and it Came! The Second Act had begun. But wait! No new Gates opened!!!...Aha!...
Have you ever had that one breathless "Aha!" moment when you KNEW you were actually going to win?
"...did tread softly through the terrain of Pnoth. Some enormous Death slithered unseen, as she kept to the shadow of the great heaps of(Spoilers Deleted) piled high like mountains. It took all she had learned to evade the unseen horrors below the soil- then, as if waking from a dream, she tasted the familiar crisp air of Massachusetts upon her tongue, and pinched herself to be sure it was all real; she had escaped! The horrible Gate swirled and blurred almost angrily, but looking just behind it and to the left she espied the familiar gazebo of Independence Square. She was home!
With all Kate had learned, she could dispel this final oozing hole in reality as one dismisses easily the terrors of a dread nightmare upon awakening to the streaming sunlight and the twittering of morning birds outside the bedroom window... "
Yes, somehow I'd all-but-WON!!! Kate stood upon the ONLY open Gate (to the Dreamlands, the easiest Gate of all) with her Lore of 5 and a whole pile of Clue Tokens!!! I rolled her first 5 dice (doesn't get the +1 for Dreamlands, that was Yog's last little influence on the game) pausing for an instant to gloat, and voila! 2 Successes! To my amazement, my lame team of 3 "Stooges" had actually SAVED THE DAY!
As is my tradition, they now toast the memory of their fallen companion over burgers at Velma's Diner...
West Valley City
Great session report. Thanks for sharing.
I loved all the little story bits you threw in there. Really well written, and quite entertaining to read.
Mantua (near Woodbury)
Thanks. I got some "gold" for it, first time I ever got any "gold" for a post!!!
(Too bad I forgot all about the part where Bob Jenkins squished the Dark Young with the Petrifying Solution...)