Trail of Cthulhu: Masks of Nyarlathotep – New York – episode 2

Having_a_break_by_henningThe investigators have begun to piece together Jackson Elias’ trail, but the cult is not far behind them. They find out that Roger Carlyle’s sister, Erica, may have vital information about the case. She also has a number of vital tomes in her library. The team must dodge assassins, deal with Omri, the white haired woman, and defend Erica from the cult.Will their mysterious allies, the Lamplighters, be enough to stop the cult? Find out in this thrilling episode!

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  1. she totally is a crazy lady holocron. nice to have a friendly cultist around to read books for you. and YESSS LIGHTNING GUN.

    I feel like this campaign needs Siri integration or maybe a full-on muse to keep track of all the threads ticking down and remind you what the weather was like on April 3 1922 because immersion. also…was half the US population really Catholic during Prohibition?

  2. @crawlkill: The census questions from 1920 did not ask about religious affiliation (, so it is difficult to be accurate on this score. Even a precise tally, there would still be the issue of “self-identification” which always plagues statistics of this type. For this type of data, we normally have to rely on Church records, which are sometimes difficult to access or not complete (even today, not every diocese keeps exacting records on the size of its congregation). That said, it is unlikely that Catholics made up 50% of the population of the whole United States. They would, however, have constituted sizeable portions of the population in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans, etc. (approaching half or more in some of these areas). Any areas with substantial Polish or Irish immigration rates would have had the highest numbers of Catholics and the American Southwest and California (territories that had been part of Mexico less than a century before) would also have had large numbers of practicing Catholics. Since our players have been in LA, NY, and Boston, running into Catholics with relative frequency approaching 50% is a very safe bet.

  3. “Wrong department… British cars fine, books no” really? the Priest character is becoming a really weird cliche. And please no more repressed Catholics as N.P.Cs looking forward to when he meets a Protestant.

  4. @Kiljoy you do not know how pleased I am that you had an answer ready for that! I thought that you might. it’s not the first and probably won’t be the last time I say that the brimming over with authoritative historical trivia is fascinating.

  5. @crawlkill: Glad to help. The “brimming over with authoritative historical trivia” is a blessing…and a curse…and will likely happen several more times before all is said and done.

  6. At the end of the campaign, the investigators defeat Nyarlathotep once and for all by teaming up with a sorcerer named Shing to trap him in semi-human form. Calling it.

    Bonus points if Shing is really the other being who gets amnesia every time he is reincarnated in a new body, loves drugs, manipulates people, is getting ever more Mythos knowledge and power, and is the sworn enemy of Nyarlathotep: Amri. And the Yithians helping him now explains why they can’t fight him later, because it would create too many paradoxes for them to keep crossing over the ripples of their own actions.

  7. you’re missing the point of this whole series, Gas, which is to de-age Mitchum Cleary so that the time loop can be complete. PLEASE TELL ME THAT HAPPENS AT SOME POINT.

  8. Doesn’t it happen already? He wakes up in a younger body at the end of Sense

  9. this is true–he has to get back to his original body and de-age -that,- and then it’s just the time wizard left. or maybe it’s like the ending of Dark Tower, and every iteration of the cycle there’s a tiny change, which is the body Mitch happens to be in this time around. only instead of it being to give Roland hope it’s the gradual rocking back and forth of the cosmos on the way to Final Revelation.

  10. Ross, I know you’ve got some China connection, so what is the real name of this drug? I thought in earlier games people were saying ‘baiguandi’, but now I’m hearing you saying ‘bawandi’? ‘baihuandi’? Hanzi plz!!!

  11. It’s Bywandine.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that the scene when the adventuress drove through the fence and across the mansion’s front lawn while the priest leaned out and emptied a double-barreled shotgun into a lurking cultist was a reenactment of the cover of one of the Arkham Horror expansion.

  12. @Xhashish, “bywandine” doesn’t cut it. Some of us are philologists of the sort HPL treated so shabbily, though perhaps he captured a hint of the drive to self-destruction lurking at the core of the profession. Myself, I can’t be at ease in a world where the etymology of the Chinese (?) name of this drug is unspecified.

    In the meantime, I subsist greedily on ordained thugs and “criminal investigator” gals, rather happily. I’m enjoying some new voices on RPPR Actual Play — that’s not a knock on the old guard, mind you. But I really miss Cody and RJ, for starters.

  13. Author

    As far as I can tell, Bywandine as a term is the invention of Dennis Detwiller, the author of Sense of the Sleight of Hand Man. You could ask him – he’s on Twitter and Facebook.

  14. Ross, thanks! I’m not (remotely) up to date with COC/DG publications, and had just assumed that this dream-smack was your own creation 😉 I’m a pretty strictly social-media denialist, but will look up the guy and ask him, eventually.

    In the meantime, thanks & praise for this latest A.P. campaign; I’m enjoying it lots. Please do take things to the Australia chapter!!

    (I get the impression most people think it was the weakest chapter of MON, but I’m completely on the opposite side. [I.e., I encountered MON as an incomprehensibly praised mess and waste of time, enlivened slightly by the inclusion of a scenario from the Australothulu volume.] Other chapters had flash and fedora-bullwhip-school guts, but the only segment that ever seemed to me to involve actual people was that business in the Western Desert.)

    (And FTR, I’m not Australian, have no family ties to Australians, and have never been there except for a brief stint as a very small kid in Canberra, where I was horrified by the food and the bugs, speaking as a kid who grew up on scant and often nasty grub, and multos per buggos.)

    Trying to compete with Crawkill,
    Yr. obt. svt.,

  15. @Kim

    You’ll be happy to know that we’re starting the Australia chapter very soon. As someone who is playing Masks for this first time I’m looking forward to seeing how the Dreamtime is interpreted by our investigators.

  16. I have let go and reached out with my feelings to Detwiller! if he answers, I may even ask the doomed “and what the fuck does ‘The Sense of the Slight of Hand Man’ mean and was it just an excuse to repeat the and of hypnotically” question.

  17. Dennis Detwiller ‏@drgonzo123 6h6 hours ago
    @crawlkill Haha. It came from the inside of my face. I think I dreamt it. Honestly,


  18. @crawkill, thanks for following up about that for me! (I must have seen something shiny and, well, you know…) About both questions, really — whether that’s his answer for ‘wtf bywandine?’ or ‘wtf “sense of the sleight of hand man” quote-plop?’, or both 🙂

  19. And then several hours later:

    Dennis Detwiller ‏@drgonzo123 19h19 hours ago
    @crawlkill (And can I just say how marvelous it is that people are thinking about my daydreams. Seriously. It makes this worth it.)

    awr, we made someone feel nice on the internet. what a weird, unprecedented feeling. I didn’t follow up with the Sense question…maybe I should.

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