Trail of Cthulhu: Masks of Nyarlathotep – Shanghai – episode 20

EliasSmallPhoto3Nyarlathotep… the crawling chaos… I am the last… I will tell the audient void…I do not recall distinctly when it began, but it was months ago. The general tension was horrible. To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing, such a danger as may be imagined only in the most terrible phantasms of the night…

A band of desperate and hardened investigators step forward to battle the forces of the Crawling Chaos one last time. Only a handful even remember the origins of their mission, but now all realize the stakes. Their destiny awaits at Gray Dragon Island. In blood and madness, they will pay just for a chance for the world to see the dawn one more time. Find out who lives and who dies in the last session of the RPPR run of Masks of Nyarlathotep. Thanks for listening.

  16 comments for “Trail of Cthulhu: Masks of Nyarlathotep – Shanghai – episode 20

  1. Kiljoy
    January 16, 2016 at 11:21 am

    “I am the last… I will tell the audient void…I do not recall distinctly when it began, but it was months ago. The general tension was horrible. To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing, such a danger as may be imagined only in the most terrible phantasms of the night…” So…Trump, right? 🙂

    This was perhaps one of my favorite episodes to play in (the one just before ranks even higher, though). That said, I do wish I had made some different choices towards the end.

  2. Lonnie
    January 16, 2016 at 11:51 am

    First off, poor A-A-Ron, born to die. I almost pictured his cultist in a Charlie Brown shirt.

    Second (because I love nearly pointless anecdotes), the making Bill mostly armless part, I would have made one check, if only because I know the story of the first time the Merrimack fought US ships, one of it’s attacks ( I believe on the Minnesota) actually blew off both arms of one poor officer, who was then carried below decks. Of course, he begged the marines who did so to cut his throat, but Bill + Cthulhu + finale, so yeah.

    So shocked to see two characters actually survive an entire CoC campaign more or less intact (?) Sort of?

    Great stuff. Loved this group. Bought into Trail mostly from this AP. Good job.

  3. Stringmaster94
    January 16, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Oh cool, I can actually listen to the whole campaign now. I find it’s easier for me to “binge listen” these types of games. I’ve been waiting for it to finish so I can go through it at my own pace.

    Here’s to hoping for a post mortem to go along with it once I’ve finished.

  4. January 16, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    I am so excited! This is going to be epic.

  5. RCB
    January 17, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Solid end to the campaign, even if the tone was a little uneven in spots.

    Is this the last of Anne and Sean? Sorry to lose them.

  6. January 17, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    @Sean – you made some unique contributions to the campaign and I think our post-mortem discussion will be well received by the RPPR listeners. Hope you and Anne get to game again!

    @Lonnie – characters in Trail of Cthulhu are more durable, if only because they are not as subject to dying by bad rolls as CoC players are. Also, intelligent planning in Masks can greatly reduce the risk of death. Finally, the PCs avoided Egypt, which is one of the most deadly chapters.

    @RCB We have some other one shots with Sean and Anne recorded, but I’m not sure when they will be posted.

  7. crawlkill
    January 19, 2016 at 11:59 am

    yknow a few months ago I would never have guessed I’d hear an S on the end of lightning gun

    I feel like some of the things I don’t like about Sense are present in Masks in a slightly different way–Masks definitely has a plot…ish…but session to session it’s still very much a series of disconnected adventures. I seem to remember Horror on the Orient Express being the same way. long-distance travel + lethal means you have neither background NPCs nor persistent PCs to keep things anchored, and I think sooner rather than later you find yourself going to the next location because it’s where your Keeper reminds you you’re going this week, rather than because you feel particularly driven or empowered to be making your own choices. I dunno. I look forward to the postmortem.

  8. January 19, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    We definitely touch on those issues in the post mortem, but the disconnection is kind of baked into the campaign.

  9. QuickreleasePersonalitY
    January 19, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    So the whole point of the story was

    a cosmic brat was lonely and went through a very complicated way of looking for the ideal date?

    what a letdown

  10. Lonnie
    January 19, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Well, I mean, it’s not like they have Tinder.

  11. Kim
    January 20, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    They’re dirty, foul-minded Tinderlos hounds.

  12. crawlkill
    January 20, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    I worry that if I don’t tell Kim that that’s the best pun I’ve heard lately nobody will ever let them know what they accomplished

  13. Toru
    January 21, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Aaron is the new Tom. Sean is the new Aaron. The wheel of reincarnation spins through a myriad of tabletop deaths.

    I really think that the difference between Sense/Masks and other RPPR campaigns has been the lack of consistent and distinctive NPCs. In Heroes of New Arcadia and The Spared and the Spoiled, ongoing relationships with NPCs were the cruxes of the plots. In Know Evil, the Akaja-Claudia subplot was really the most interesting, but Augustine was also always there for the PCs to manage and we had people like Proxy Clean. Fortunes of War had the Scribe, the Quartermaster, all the second-in-commands, and a few others. NPCs aren’t the most important thing in a campaign – I’d rate Know Evil as the best RPPR campaign, although both the superhero ones had more developed NPCs – but they do seem to be the distinguishing factor between older and newer RPPR games.

    I haven’t listened to New World, but all I really need to know is that that’s where Balgrim is from.

  14. AxiomaticBadger
    January 21, 2016 at 5:41 am

    No more Anne/Sean Campaigns? Awwww. 🙁

    In any way, this campaign was just great 🙂 The only issues I had were those implicit to traveling campaigns.

    Of course, the Real question is did Ross “deliberately” set up circumstances for a Steampunk-esque Cthulhu/DG timeline, or was it just a glorious accident? 😛

  15. Kim
    January 21, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    @crawlkill: I’m flattered — but jeez! You gotta follow immediately onto Lonnie’s set-up, and have a reader who knows at least some German? This is a hell of a tough audience here tonight…

    Repeating myself here I think, but I’m especially looking forward to the roundup/roundtable of this campaign.

  16. EntyEtymologist
    February 4, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Seriously? Nobody at the table knew what a cockchafer is? You guys had like the most obvious context clues ever. Every single other boat was named after an insect. (It’s a kind of beetle.)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Cockchafer

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