Trail of Cthulhu: The Mystery of Brighton Lodge

brighton-lodgeMelissa took the reins as GM for the first time and used the Trail of Cthulhu rules to run an Agatha Christie style mystery. Stability was replaced with sensibility – act out of character for a proper English person and risk losing sensibility! At any rate, a young woman has been murdered at Brighton Lodge and all of the guests are confined to the resort until the police can finish their investigation.  A group of curious guests band together to find the real killer, because the arrested suspect is clearly not the real murderer. Can you figure out who the culprit is?

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  1. it’s always about real estate!

    I totally loved this. Melissa choosing to fully act out her NPCs and clues was a great choice and lead to some great moments (“you seem to be returning to me a suitcase that has been disassembled!”), and Sensibility was just genius. I only wish we’d gotten to see what a Sensibility breakdown looked like! what is it with RPPR that you cultivate so many great first-time GMs?

    is there a good resource on the mumblemumble gang out there? I actually did google “the red biddy” while listening to this, thinking it might be a real thing, and I got a few thousand of hits, but none that seemed historical.

  2. This was fantastic!

    Such an inspired way to use Trail and an awesome subject.

    “We will form a conspiracy to defend… [redacted]”

    “We will need masks and ciphers of course.”

  3. OMG and just saw the handouts! SQUEEEE!

  4. Oh, that corkboard is AWESOME.

  5. Great great stuff. I hope I can be half the GM Melissa is. 😀

  6. Terrific game. I can’t believe it’s Melissa’s first time as a GM! I’m in awe looking at the corkboard and the handouts. What a great way to engage the players. I also have to agree with crawlkill that the way NPCs were handled and the Sensibility checks added a lot to the game. I look forward to seeing future games Melissa decides to run.

  7. Can confirm that Sir Norman Cooke (Fatboy Slim) is from Brighton.

  8. Drunken bridge ladies are the best part of this game.

  9. Outstanding! Totes nailed the Agatha Christie feel. MOAR RPPR murder mysteries, plz. (Maybe one done using Wicked Lies & Alibis).

  10. Fantastic, a most elegantly divine diversion.
    Melissa is a great G.M and the players really jumped into this world with both feet, looking forward to hearing more.

  11. I’m glad everyone has enjoyed this so much cause I had so much fun doing it. There will for sure be a follow up. So many good mysteries to choose from.

  12. Excellent game, which has left me with a hankerin’ for Cthulhu games where the investigators are utterly unfazed by eldritch monstrosities and existential horror, but are left utterly broken by social faux-pas and lapses in etiquette.

    Facing down a shoggoth is an inconvenience, but circumventing strict Edwardian class divisions is…inconceivable. ~_q

  13. This was a truly amazing and unique session. Well done, Melissa!

    Highlight of the game for me, beyond the entirely awesome way in which you played all of your NPCs, were the times Bill and Ross had to stop in their tracks due to having to try to act like normal, well-behaved people or risk sensibility loss. Making jaded long-time roleplayers like them go ‘Oh wait, no, I can’t threaten/bribe NPC X for information. What would people think?!’ is truly an achievement for the ages.

  14. This was gd amazing! Melissa did a fantastic job and the way everyone got involved and played to their characters was top notch. Truly shows how diverse a system Gumshoe/ToC is.

  15. Glorious. Simply glorious.
    Definitive proof that British intrigue is the *best* intrigue 😛
    … although I’ll admit I kept waiting for Mythos to show up, like the society being made up of Deep Ones.
    Not that that would change anything. Just because you’re an unholy aboniation of the deep, it doesn’t mean you lack standards, or don’t appreciate sites of historical value!

    Incedentally, for those of you who don’t have the good fortune to be British (Muhahaha Trollin’), Brighton is the english San Francisco.

  16. Incredibly enjoyable game. I can’t wait for her next offering to the table!

  17. I adored the proper Sensibility issues. I think I’d have liked more interactions like that, like if the hotel was more brothelly

  18. Very much enjoying the session. Nice to see the gumshoe system used in this way and it fits quite well. Excellent job Melissa on the GM front, especially as it was your first time and it really shows how preparation pays off. Something I fear I half ass too often. Need to step up my own game.

    I have been on the look out for RPGs I can play with my wife and some of my gamer friends SOs. They are often not so into fantasy or horror so this would be great for them. My wife in particular devours mysteries and I think it would work great for her.

    To that end I would seriously be interested in purchasing this game if it was package up in some way and would likely be interested in others in this vein.

  19. Melissa, this is fantastic and one hell of a debut adventure. You sound like a veteran Keeper.

    The corkboard and string is a great idea and I think really useful for introducing new players to a mystery game.

    I really enjoyed the Sense and Sensibility mechanic. It is both genre immersive and encourages a tongue and cheek atmosphere.

    I will say though, that I think this adventure would be difficult for other gaming groups to replicate because so much of the NPC’s ambiguous responses and arch tone that lays the setting for the mystery comes from Melissa herself and her improv skills. I do mean this as a complement. I just find myself at a loss on how an adventure like this could be published unless a copy of the podcast or full transcript was included.

    Expanding on the mystery roleplaying theme, I find myself daydreaming about the RPPR group playing a collection of little old Miss Marples or Mrs. Pollifaxes (Dorthy Gilman) and investigating murder most foul or Mythos horrors. A dash of Arsenic in Old Lace, a pinch of Charlie’s Angels with the addition of bricks in handbags. The size and fanciness of one’s hat must be an attribute on the character sheet of course.

    I remember reading the Lilian Jackson Braun “The Cat Who…” series of mysteries. How about using Call of Catthulhu where the players take on the role of felines Kao K’o-Kung and Yum-Yum to herd the somewhat obtuse NPC detective Jim Qwilleran into solving the mystery of the night?

    Now I want a Dark Ages mystery-Mythos campaign. A Brother Cadfael Becomes a Warlock scenario.

  20. Wonderful session, I love the setting. I’ve tried to listen to roleplay sessions before but RPPR was the first one to really captivate me. Very impressed by the Keeper.

  21. You should give Pelgrane this link and your skill list, Melissa. Or dangle it in front of Lisa Steele and see if she bites.

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