Mantua (near Woodbury)
The ice has broken at last, thanks to Elder Sign!
Let's start with some background info: my brother is a very religious man and I've always worried that he'd be offended by supernatural/Lovecraftian-themed games. Especially a game that's literally covered with diabolical-looking Pentagrams(!) Ghost Stories and A Touch Of Evil are no problem for him, they're just Halloween spooks; but Ancient Ones, Spells, and Elder Signs may be a different matter...
He's an avid 'gamer' who designs his own games, some of which are VERY good- all of which are very abstract, dealing with lots of numbers and letters etc.
Well, I 'sold' him on Elder Sign by explaining it as "the HP Lovecraft version of Ghost Stories" and how the "demons" are really aliens, and the Elder Sign itself is an alien hand-print (which I believe it is in the original HPL stories, certain entities have starfish-shaped hands) a protective symbol which has crept into Earth's folklore.
I knew he would love the game if only he got past the "occult" appearance of it.
I showed him the brilliant game mechanic of rolling dice to complete Missions, and had him try out a couple of isolated Missions- he was hooked within minutes!
Later that day we played our first full game, and my first non-solo game of ES. I never once in my life expected to hear the name of "Azathoth" pass my brother's lips- or to see him cringe at the uncomfortable pronounciation of "Shub-Niggurath" (Mr Lovecraft's very unfortunate choice of Sumerian syllables)
Even the Spells didn't bother him- then I thought, Aha! 30+ years ago we used to play "Voice Of The Mummy" which has a component called "The Spell"....
This isn't a Review or a Session Report- but I will say the game started to drag after a while. Azathoth can make for a lengthy endure-o-thon. I recommend newbies start with Yog Sothoth- he takes fewer Elder Signs to beat and his ability doesn't amount to much of a threat. (In fact it may be better to start WITHOUT an Ancient One at all and just say 10 Dooms you lose/ 10 Elder Signs you win)
I was amazed how fast my brother was figuring out the same strategies that took me multiple plays to figure out(!)
I LOVE Elder Sign!