here is another game-session-report about a solo-game I played yesterday in the evening.
What you should know is this funny thing: About the first half of the game I totally forgot to use the special ability of the character I randomly picked from the stack of Investigators. Ms Thompson was the one I took in order to beat the randomly chosen Great Old One - Hastur.
I so much hope you enjoy what you read here. As with my first session report: All names, locations and specific items are fictitious and not connected to any real person or place; I will use plenty of names and wordings based on the game of "Elder Sign" by FGG, and I explicitly don't claim intellectual property on these terms; I simply wish to emphasize how much I like this game, this game-experience, which I wish to share with you.
Now I will try to "describe" each gaming round a little bit in order to give you the feeling of a story.
When I set up the game, I had these six locations/ adventures on the board right from the beginning: Horrible Visions, Stay away from the Windows, Did you hear that?, Gala in the Great Hall, The Curator, and The Hedge Maze.
And it all started with the Mythos of Sudden Terror ... Amid Stillness, which also placed the first monster into the game. Lucky me, I drew a Dimensional Shambler, which I placed on Did you hear That?.
The hard thing now was to chose the right location to start with. With so many midnight-effect places on the board the first clock-rotation did not feel very friendly, if I would not take care of things in this first three rounds - not four because of the Dimensional Shambler on Did you hear That?.
#01 Ms Thompson started to freak out on weird noises made by the Dimensional Shambler. When she asked her assistant Paul: "Did you hear that?", she did not get any reply. While working on her newest scientific research on a new source of energy she totally forgot the time and did not realize that Paul had gone home many hours before. And suddenly this creature of madness was over her. She fought with her will and all her might against the shambling terror, and finally she was able to defeat it along with successfully passing her first adventure. And that was very lucky for her, because she earned herself the spell Flash Ward and the Necronomicon along with an Elder Sign, of which she was not aware yet that she would need it later on. She was so focused on this Elder Sign that she did not realize how a slimy creature of madness flew away from her place.
#02 But something was wrong. The Dimensional Shambler must have poisoned her; because all of a sudden Ms Thompson was shaken by Horrible Visions. Or was this the effect of having started to read the Necronomicon? She read on and lost herself in the marvelous alien language and weird fantasy of this book. And while she read it, she totally forgot to behave as cautious as scientists were taught to be. Beneath her fingers the pages of the book crippled to dust. And although she tried to save as much of the book as possible, she was not able to keep hold of it. But with the book vanishing from existence her horrible visions were gone as well. Strange as things started to become she now found a huge red ruby on her desk; and next to it was a small invitation card: "If you wish to learn more about the Ruby of R'lyeh, please visit me on the gala in the in the museum. C.". Underneath the ruby she found another Elder Sign.
#03 Ms Thompson went to the museum. Since her institute was on the backside of the museum, she had to walk through the garden with The Hedge Maze, in order to enter the museum. In the dark of the night it was pretty hard for her to pass this part of the museum's place. And when she turned around a strange bush within the maze, she all of a sudden stood in front of an oozing, weird slimy thing, which she remembered from the Necronomicon. Within the book the Flying Polyp was described; and luckily remembering how to beat this monstrosity, Ms Thompson was able to trick the creature into its own end making it crush into thorny rose-bushes. During her walk through this maze Ms Thompson found a couple of interesting items: the Sword of Glory, an Old Journal, and again an Elder Sign.
And suddenly the church bells rang Midnight ... (I spent two trophies in order to prevent any harm from Ms Thompson, because the Curator was still in effect.) And another mythos was revealed: A Warning ... of Living Nightmares.
#04 When Ms Thompson entered the museum, she was already amidst the visitors at The Gala in the Great Hall. She started to have a glass of champagne. And almost too late she realized that the champagne was mixed with some kind of extra spice which made her vision swirl around. People started to laugh at her, and everything seemed to meld into a weird soup of colors and shapes. Ms Thompson started to fight the urge of loosing the control over her body and mind. And when she thought people would start beating her, she went into a basic self-defense stance. She grabbed the first item her hands caught in her bags, and she started to throw it against the nearest person. She did not realize that it was the Ruby of R'lyeh. But she did not care. Also she was happy that people started to keep their distance to her, and she was able to flee from the masses. On her flight into a hidden corner of the great hall she stumbled over a small closet in which she hid between cloaks and capes. There she found a new spell - Enchant Weapon - and again an Elder Sign. "Weird." She thought. "All these strange pentagrams in blue, cold flames. That has to have a certain meaning." Also she found some clues about a guy called Hastur or something. But she did not connect this information with anything else yet.
#05 When she was done catching her breath and calming down she then moved on through the museum. She wanted to see this Mr or Ms "C." who invited her to this place. And when she climbed a huge stairway a gorgeous and handsome man appeared at the upper stairs - The Curator. He smiled at her. And when they started to talk to each other Ms Thompson realized some rhetorical tricks he used on her. And when she started to change the direction of the talks he revealed his not so gorgeous as well as not so handsome interests in her - or more of his master's interests in her. He spoke of Hastur and the plans both would have with her in order to make her the virgin birthing the horrible monstrosities she was meant to bring to life. When he turned around to show her a picture of Hastur - a cloaked person hiding under his cape -, she drew the Sword of Glory and thrust it right through the man's back and abdomen. The sword hit some bones and did no pierce the man, which is why Ms Thompson focused on pushing the blade through her victim's more and more lifeless body. When he collapsed, she did not react fast enough, and the blade broke. Then she searched him and found another clue about the whereabouts of Hastur, a small Axe strapped to a hidden belt, and an Elder Sign.
#06 The fight drew some attention from downstairs; and Ms Thompson heard people shouting and rushing upstairs. She fled into a darker corridor; and there she found a Hidden Passage. She ran into it, but she was unlucky, as she had no helpful lights with her. After some time she got to a wooden door. And here she tried to pry it open with the help of the Axe. But the blade sprang of the hilt and hit her hurting her heavily.
#07 Though wounded she went on with prying the door open and fleeing ever deeper down this passage. The deeper she went through this passage, the more she felt like being lost. But after all the voices died away behind her. When she took a small break and sat down in a dark corner, she sat down on a small bag. In it she found two more Elder Signs and a small lighter. She ignited it and took a look at her small watch.
Midnight! Mysterious singing started as if a million voices were chanting to evil gods and false idols. And in this chanting she caught the name of Hastur. (I drew a High Priest and a Cultist from the monster cup.)
And the mythos occurs: Esoteric Devices ... Reveal a False Trail
# 08 With this weird chanting howling through the dark passage Ms Thompson kept going. After some time she happened to find a crack in the wall. And she squeezed herself through. And when she saw the back of a chanting Cultist she realized that Something has broken Free ... through this crack as well. Or maybe someone? The Cultist? In order to find she attacked the Cultist and overwhelmed him. But the panic from the flight, the chanting all over the building, again this murdering of hers and all the weird happenings made her flee from this crack at the wall.
#09 By whatever miracle she stumbled into the entrance hall of the museum. There she broke into a small room where she found some medical treatment for her wounds.
#10 Having calmed down a bit she returned to the place, where Something has broken Free.... And she tried to find out what the Cultist was about to do there. But when the chanting became louder she panicked again and fled from the place without answering her questions.
#11 On her flight she slipped through a door, which lead into the Administration Office. Only moments later a crowd of ... things? ... ran passed this door. Ms Thompson start to cry out. "What have I gotten into ...? What the ... on earth, I mean ... I mean ..." She tried to calm down and to understand more about this place, the curator, Mr Hastur and anything else. So she searched the books and archives within the office. But all the information made no sense to her. She lost track of time ...
... and again Midnight struck. Shadow Entities ... Amid Stillness. A certain darkness swept through this museum for a brief moment. And an agonizing shriek howled through the corridors and halls of this building (I drew a Shoggoth I then placed at "Something has broken Free...").
#12 From the papers in the office Ms Thompson has learned that the Loading Docks of the museum were kind of a specific place. So she went down a small employees' stairway in order to reach this place. And when she entered the vast area with so many different chests, boxes, cranes, racks, small passages she got lost ...
#13 ... and even more lost. All the passages looked the same. And the crude workings of the boxes gave her a lot of pain. Loosing her mind and bleeding from many smaller wounds she returned to the Entrance Hall ...
#14, 15 ... in order to fully recover and fall asleep for a small while. When suddenly ...
The clock struck Midnight. A Warning ... Of Conspiracy appeared on Ms Thompson's dreams and she awoke again.
#16 Having rested and sorted things out she remembered that many boxes at the docks were labeled with The Gift Shop. This place was near to the Entrance Hall, which is why she went there. In the darkness of the night she searched the place. And she was lucky to find a weird miniature - an Alien Statue. On this miniature she found a couple of strange writings and symbols she remembered seeing at the place, where the Cultist (Something) has broken Free ....
#17 So she went there again - not knowing what was awaiting her there. A huge monster of utter uglyness, which looked like a parody of any mind-bending creature hell has vomited in order to become a better place again ... Shrieking in Terror ...
#18 ... Ms Thompson tried to keep her sanity alive. With the Shoggoth she went into a fight no words would be able to grab or describe. But finally she was able to catch the creature in a flatfooted moment. When it crashed and breathed its final air that smelled like all poisonous gases of the world compressed in this small room, Ms. Thompson's mind was terrorized again.
#19 It took her some more effort to overcome the torture on her soul. She deciphered the symbols at this location and matched them with what she learned within the last couple of hours. It was then that she realized new chanting in the building (another new Cultist in the docks). But she did not care about it in her science-frenzy, she fled into in order to keep slightly sane at this location. She found a new clue about Hastur, the spell Red Sign of Shudde M'ell and the Book of Dzyan in the clothing of the Cultist she killed many hours ago.
Midnight struck - A Winding Trail ... To bring Forth Horros (a clue prevents the doom track from gaining another doom token ...).
#20 While Ms Thompson tried to puzzle with the various clues, she thought about getting a tea at the café of the museum. There she found a teapot in which she wanted to prepare the tea. But then she noticed that there was a Tempest in the Teapot. "Another riddle? In this place nothing surprises me anymore ..." So she cared about this challenge at first. To her surprise there was another Flying Polyp in the mists of the tempest within this teapot. Knowing how to beat this creature she put some effort into this riddle. The spell Red Sign of Shudde M'ell was a good aid, and finally she solved this small puzzle. The tempest was gone. And when she looked into the pot, she found a small book - Nameless Cults - along with a personal note about Hastur - again - and underneath these two items the next Elder Sign. She collected all items and put a thorough look on the note. It mentioned A Peculiar Specimen which was supposed to be a key object in the struggle against Hastur.
#21 Ms Thompson did not hesitate. She ran through a couple of departments of the museum in order to find A Peculiar Specimen. And there it was - enclosed in a glass cabinet. Knowing how to handle such special cabinets Ms Thompson had no trouble getting this prepared specimen. She realized that there was an Elder Sign burnt into its bottom. And when she wondered about how this Elder Sign might be any different to any other Elder Sign she already found, horrible noises and voices echoed through the museum in a cacophony of madness.
#22 In that very moment Ms Thompson got aware of all natural bodily needs any human body feels every now and then. She went to the next Public Lavatory ... And the smell in front of the door should have been a warning to her ... Urge and dire need against warning signals ... And there she was - right in the middle between a Zombie and a Dark Young. With all her might she was able to smash her foes - not with her bodily might, but the might of her mind, together with the empowering and bewildering energies released from the Nameless Cults. But her struggling with these creatures of darkness cost her a better part of her sanity.
#23 Weary she searched her way back to the Entrance Hall. There she closed the door shut to her small hide out where she kept the medical stuff. And she took some pills to stabilize her sanity again. She did not realize that ...
Midnight struck again. (A Vampire appeared, and I placed it into the Public Lavatory) Mythos - Eldritch Knoweldge ... in a Disturbed Mind
#24 ... while she took care of her various wounds as well. After some time she recovered from all the pain on her body and soul again. And Ms Thompson drew more conclusions from the various clues she gathered over the span of this night. "If there is so much trouble now in the rooms and halls of this museum, how about searching the lower sections then...?"
#25 Ms Thompson found a small map of the different levels of the building. There she found the entrance to the old foundation of the building. She went there and, when she entered the old corridors and sewerage of this building, she suddenly realized all the Vermin in the Pipes. Knowing the weaknesses of these natural enemies of light Ms Thompson had no trouble passing this small adventure. She found a new clue about Hastur - as hoped and somewhat expected as well. But it was buried in the lifeless body of someone whose cold hands still held a Tommy Gun and a Lantern. The clue pointed into the exhibition again ...
#26, 27 When she reached the halls of a specific section within the exhibition, her eyes fell on plenty of signs and warnings: Please Do Not Touch The Exhibits. But something was weird and felt wrong with the exhibition. The exhibits were weird, resembled modern art in its most weirdest and sanity-maddening fashion no human mind could understand. Soon any object resembled the other although colors and shapes were as different as possible. Loosing her focus on what she was looking for Ms Thompson decided to read a guide helping her on this - she remembered having the Book of Dzyan, with which she was able to make sense of some of the exhibits. And with the Lantern she shed light on exhibits a little off the main route of the exhibition. And after hours that seemed like endless and timeless void of insanity she was able to retrieve two more Elder Signs. When she finally held these two items in her struggle against Hastur she heard it again ...
The clock in the Entrance Hall struck Midnight again. Mythos - Personal Possessions ... Bring Good Fortune] (, which made me drew a Ghost I placed on The Writing on the Wall).
#28 Exhausted from her efforts in the pipes and the exhibition Ms Thompson returned to her hide-out and took care of her headache. And while she drank a shot of good, mind-clearing medicine she sorted out things. "Now, with all the new information I should understand a couple of things I read in the office ...!"
#29 So Ms Thompson took off to get into the Administration Office again. There she tried to make more sense of all the various books, entries, notes, files, and calenders. And indeed ... Everything started to make sense now. She found a couple of notes dealing with Hastur, well hidden between harmless entries about less important stuff. "Jeez ...!" When she ran through a file-board next to a side-door of the Administration office, she became aware of strange markings on the dark carpet.
#30 "Blood on the Floor!" Ms Thompson followed the thin trail. It lead through small corridors, side-doors, small hall-ways, stairs and passages for employees. She reached a small chamber in which a dead employee lay on the floor - together with another Elder Sign, a Shotgun and a warning clue about Hastur. The clue only held one information: the Souvenir Shop - HURRY!
#31 Ms Thompson took the items and ran back to the Entrance Hall. There it was - the Souvenir Shop. She broke into the store and searched the shelves packed with so much crap and stuff and presents ... And then she found an Elder Sign, when ...
Midnight struck again. Darkness fell over the museum, as the The Stars Align ... Amid the Stillness. (I drew a Chthonian I placed on the second place of the Public Lavatory).
#32 Ms Thompson kept searching for more Elder Signs in the shop. And she was lucky ... (During the last two turns I spent all the collected souvenirs on buying the missing two Elder Signs in order to keep Hastur asleep ...)
When she held all the 13 Elder Signs in her hands, she laughed. "Thirteen! My lucky number!" And suddenly they meld to one single sign that exploded without heat, without flames, without debris, without anything ... Only one thing changed: The museum became a lighter, friendlier place. And the crazy voices and obnoxious noises of the creepy creatures vanished as if swallowed by hell instantaneously. "As my teacher taught me: Scientific means help you anytime ... Even against false idols ... Praise the Lord ...!" Then she went home and wanted to get some rest, before going on with her researches on more important things then saving the world ...
- Last edited Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:38 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:31 pm
Nice write-up! When I play solo, I usually take more than one Investigator.
Sort of like Elder Signs: Omens
Nice write-up! When I play solo, I usually take more than one Investigator.
Sort of like Elder Signs: Omens
thank you very much. I am so glad that you enjoy the writing.
I have not tried it out yet to play the game with several Investigators. And now I have a plan ... I think this will be be funny ... But maybe this will lead to much longer game-session reports when I start to imagine dialogues between the Investigators ...
All the best!
Really enjoyed your session report - love how you were able to weave it all together into an effective narrative.
I've haven't tried Elder Signs with a single investigator yet. This is tempting me to play tonight.
I am glad that you enjoyed this "narrative" as well. Let me tell you this about playing solo with a single investigator:
The big advantage is that you gain trophies on a single investigator; that makes it a lot easier to buy Elder Signs on the souvenir shop; the more investigators are in the game, the harder it is to buy Elder Signs.
There are one to two disadvantages:
If you have an Investigator with a low score on either health or sanity, you end up spending a lot of time healing this character; and if Cthulhu is the GOO this really means trouble. But this is only a half disadvantage, because it depends ...
What really is challenging is a series of bad luck with dicing. In my first mission report with Mr Simmons and his new job I spend four to five turns on various adventures because I only had bad luck with dicing; and this happened to me on other solo-game-sessions as well. This may be kind of "frustrating" ... But it is challenging as well ...
All the best and enjoy!