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Cthulhu Britannica London: The Journal of Campbell Thompson

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Cthulhu Britannica London: The Journal of Campbell Thompson
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Cthulhu Britannica London: The Journal of Campbell Thompson
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/31/2017 12:27:42

Whilst this makes a nice bit of atmospheric Mythos fiction, its real joy is if you are running The Curse of Nineveh campaign. Reginal Campbell Thompson is, you see, the archaeologist who dug up the artefacts that are causing trouble all over London, and you can use this as a rather magnificent player hand-out! Indeed, the opening item is a note from Theodore Rayburn-Price, the party's benefactor, suggesting that it might be of use to them...

It opens as Campbell Thompson is about to leave Marseilles to travel to Iraq, and notes several conversations with fellow-passengers on the steamer on the way to Constantinople, from where they were to travel overland to the dig site. It's a detailed account that lets you follow his route and picture the places and people that he sees - even if not for the line drawings that pepper the text. It all sounds remarkably ordinary - not that such a trip is ever ordinary - to begin with, but once excavations have begun things begin to go astray, beginning with a weird Arab berating them and threatening all manner of curses and evils should they continue the dig. They continued work of course, and then begin to describe what they found... and what then occured. You do not, in the regular course of things, expect long-dead mummies to arise, however much racket you make to disturb them.

The excavation continued, and an impressive list of artefacts catalogued, along with illustrations. The unfortunate events also continue, with one of the party being murdered, a vertiable plague of nightmares, and more violence much of it from this strange band of Arabs. Indeed most of what happens admits of a logical explanation and yet...

A note at the end gives suggestions as to how you might use this journal in your game. The obvious one is to use it as intended, as a massive player handout during The Curse of Nineveh campaign - best given to the party near the end of a session so that they can read it without being distracted during play. Alternatively, you might choose to run the excavation itself as an adventure, allowing the party to have all the dreadful experiences that, in the text, befall Reginald Campbell Thompson and his team. Either could prove interesting...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Britannica London: The Journal of Campbell Thompson
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
by Louis C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/03/2017 17:33:40

On initial reading through this I really liked it, far more than the Neve Selcibuc one. I found the pictures of the expedition members really useful and used them in handouts for players. Having had problems with too many red herrings in the Neve Selcibuc journal I thought long and hard about giving this one to my players and in the end decided that if they acquired it I would simply give them a summary instead.

First up, and probably my biggest problem is that the dates don't correlate with the published scenario. King died 20th August 1919 and Thompson's second fateful expedition set out in September 1919. The journal though states that they left Constantinople in mid May 1919, began excavations on 30th May and were back in England before Leonard even died. I realise that it's a minor detail but it's exactly those details which CoC players will obsess over unless I just tell them to ignore the dates.

Secondly that there were many spooky and unexplained happenings in Nineveh is par for the course and wouldn't have shaken a man of experience like Thompson. Being attacked by zombies on the first day of the excavation however would generally have given even the most seasoned sceptic pause for thought and suddenly ghost stories and suggestions that a curse was tracking down members of the expedition would be viewed in a more reasonable light. While it makes for a great read (and I did enjoy reading it) it would push my players into assuming (with good cause) that Thompson was hiding something that the scenario just doesn't have him doing.

The book is lovely and I really wanted to be able to give it to my players to read and enjoy but I think unfortunately the game would have suffered as a result.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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