Miskatonic Monday #29: A Colour in a Dark Age

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Between October 2003 and October 2013, Chaosium, Inc. published a series of books for Call of Cthulhu under the Miskatonic University Library Association brand. Whether a sourcebook, scenario, anthology, or campaign, each was a showcase for their authors—amateur rather than professional, but fans of Call of Cthulhu nonetheless—to put forward their ideas and share with others. The programme was notable for having launched the writing careers of several authors, but for every Cthulhu Invictus, The Pastores, Primal State, Ripples from Carcosa, and Halloween Horror, there was a Five Go Mad in Egypt, Return of the Ripper, Rise of the Dead, Rise of the Dead II: The Raid, and more...

The Miskatonic University Library Association brand is no more, alas, but what we have in its stead is the Miskatonic Repository, based on the same format as the DM’s Guild for Dungeons & Dragons. It is thus, “...a new way for creators to publish and distribute their own original Call of Cthulhu content including scenarios, settings, spells and more…” To support the endeavours of their creators, Chaosium has provided templates and art packs, both free to use, so that the resulting releases can look and feel as professional as possible. To support the efforts of these contributors, Miskatonic Monday is an occasional series of reviews which will in turn examine an item drawn from the depths of the Miskatonic Repository.

—oOo—​

Name: A Colour in a Dark Age

Publisher: Chaosium, Inc.
Author: Jonathan Baxter

Setting: Cthulhu Dark Ages or Cthulhu Through the Ages: Guidelines for Playing Call of Cthulhu in Seven Different Eras
Product: Scenario
What You Get: 28.29 MB nineteen-page, full colour PDF
Elevator Pitch: In the Dark Ages there is only one colour between them.
Plot Hook: A draining experience could be spreading...
Plot Development: Warring factions, cowed villagers, heresy, religious persecution, a siege, and a cookbook.
Plot Support: Investigator strategies, sixteen fully-stated up NPCs, and seven full colour maps.

Pros

# Support for Cthulhu Dark Ages# Can be played just using Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition
# Designed for three players (but playable by more)
# Creepy opening scenes
# Open-ended design
# Scope for scenery-chewing NPCs
# Scope for inter-factional skulduggery
# Big climax

Cons
# Support for Cthulhu Dark Ages
# Poorly explained set-up
# Open-ended plot
# Not suitable for the new Keeper
# Possible party split
# Potentially easy access to powerful Mythos tomes

Conclusion
# Unfamiliar setting
# Underwritten set-up
# The Mythos meets B-Movie, blood & guts, hack & slash with a whiff of a rose!

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