One thing I have definitely learned from being a Keeper (DM) is that you’d better be able to improv. A lot. I’m not saying that you have to be Matt Mercer when it comes to being able to improv and react but you will need to have at least a decent ability to. And, I have to confess, I love that part of it. I love having to think quickly on my feet when my players do something that I’m not expecting them to do.
And, that happened in The Tomb.
They entered and the first trap was kind of a standard swinging blade with a pressure switch. They got through it ok. Nobody got hit. Then they got stuck at a door. Where Hopley wandered off to inspect the rest of the cave (which had no clues) but they finally figured it out.
I give them a treasure room filled with objects and what do they look at? The wall. The crumbly ass wall that I didn’t want them to look at yet. Which, lesson learned. If it’s something that doesn’t need mentioning until it’s necessary. Don’t. Mention. It.
Eventually, they triggered the trap of the room (thank you Lilyn for helping me math that one out) but, either I really, really suck at traps (which is entirely possible) or they are smarter than I thought. Honestly, though… it was the damn wall. I unintentionally made it very obvious that I didn’t want them near it by saying “But look! Look at this shiny gold thing! Pay no attention to the wall!” made them instantly connect it with the traps. The blood trap only got to their shins before they figured out to break the wall. A little disappointing.
After that they had a battle with mummified cats in a Mythos room. Which, again, they got through relatively unscathed. Hopley did take a cat to the face and got a bit mauled. The only other injury was Professor Dankenstein taking a bullet to the leg. From Snake because Snake thought it would be a fantastic idea when Dankenstein was right next to it. And he failed.
After they solved the door puzzle The Abomination attacked. And that’s where the improv came pretty heavily into play. It was supposed to be a big epic battle. Well, it kind of worked? It got a couple of good hits in and Hopley got a pretty nasty sword slash across the chest until… Hopley rolled a 1 (the Call of Cthulhu equivalent to a DnD nat20) and blew up the creature’s heart with fireworks.
They got spattered with Creature gick and took a pretty decent sanity hit. So that at least felt like something.
But that’s what I mean about improv. I had to think of some things on the fly. Especially with the Abomination. Because I had planned on destroying the heart as the finisher but holy hell, not that quick. But my dad (Snake) tends to get some amazing rolls during battle. Mostly.
So he knocked it down with some amazing rolls. He even had a penalty die added because he tried to do a makeshift flamethrower with a lighter and can of spray. He Lovecrafted and it blew up in his hand. So he had a penalty die from that and still managed to hit extreme successes. So I thought, ok, they’ll try to decapitate it and it can come back. Hah, nope. Hopley hit the one on Strength to tear open its chest and an extreme success on Dexterity to light the firecrackers and shove them in its heart. And there went my big, scary monster in about five rounds.
So, now they’re sitting in the dark, covered in Creature gick.
Next Call of Cthulhu update we’ll see the aftermath and the battle on the high seas on their way home which involves a Sharkarantula (which, yes, I totally got the idea from this trailer). You’ll also see Hopley getting yeeted off the ship deck and Professor Dankenstein wearing a stuffed crocodile head.
GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.
Be First to Comment