Mar. 7th, 2017

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This journal is almost entirely devoted to my campaign notes so it's going to stay that way. I'll write out every possible scenario I can think of to add to my Call of Cthulhu campaign. When I get back from Japan (or if) I will be running it for the group. So this is based off of the caveat that the players have accepted the invitation from let's call him Sir John of the Society of Esoteric Studies and have agreed to work for him.

Through his sources at Miskatonic University, Sir John has been trying to locate the notes of Herbert West's experiments from when he was a medical student. They contain the scientific method to his serum that helped him reanimate the dead, though the actual formula is hidden in a code within these notes. A current Miskatonic grad student just so happened to rent the room where West had been a student and discovered the Re-Animator's personal journal. The journal contained the cipher for West's code and the student was able to see the truth behind his experiments. Wishing to try it for himself, he stole the notes and made a batch of West's serum and with the help of his lab partner gained access to Miskatonic Teaching Hospital's morgue to test it. The corpse of a man recently dead from cancer was their "freshest" option and the serum worked. However, the corpse returned to life as a violent zombie and killed the lab partner. The student fled and the reanimated corpse was killed by campus security.

These events occurred the night prior to the investigators' meeting with Sir John. The university is trying to keep the incident quiet for now and the Arkham police are willing to comply. There were deaths similar to this back when West was a student and the authorities know that the town would panic if news got out that they were starting again. Sir John will have gotten word from one of his contacts in the Arkham police. Since this bears the hallmarks of West's serum, he can put two and two together especially since the Society is familiar with West's handiwork.

The student has fled and taken West's notes with him. Terrified and paranoid over what he witnessed, he has taken refuge in an old barn outside of town where West used to perform some experiments. There's a few left over in a hidden basement laboratory there. And the local ghoul population is not happy that someone is taking residence in the home of someone who tainted their food supply years ago.

No one in Arkham suspected West's involvement in any of the deaths at the time. He was directly responsible for only two while living and working in Essex County, though his experiments caused a great deal of damage. The reanimated corpse of a school dean for example killed a young girl. But to this day, West was never even implicated in any of the events that happened during his time at Miskatonic. He had a partner, but he is currently confined to a sanitarium in Boston. No one has heard from West since he returned from The Great War.

When sending the investigators to the scene, he will not disclose his suspicions about the unusual events, preferring to see how they react to the situation and go about resolving it. If pressed, he will share some background. The police or hospital staff could provide information on the past incidents as well if the appropriate gestures are made.


The Morgue
If the investigators head straight there from their meeting with Sir John, the Teaching Hospital Morgue will still be an active crime scene that they'll have to talk their way into. Asking for Sir John's contact will get them into the crime scene and access to the evidence for as long as they want.

The scene is a bloody mess. The hallway leading from lift to the morgue itself has a corpse with a collapsed skull. This is the body of the recently deceased terminally ill patient that was used as a test subject. He is naked and the only identification on him is his toe tag. Cause of death would be complications from a lung tumor, but the body in the hallway has multiple gunshot wounds in the torso and the head is caved in. The guard on duty emptied his all his bullets into the shambling zombie, but it wasn't until he smashed its head in with his truncheon that it stopped it's attack. When examining the corpse, investigators will find that it is still twitching, despite being dead (twice).

There is a desk at the morgue entrance where doctors and students sign in. This two is a bloody mess as the attendant had her head caved in by the thing in the hallway. She heard the commotion from inside and when she found it locked called for security. The doors to the morgue itself have been broken down, but from the inside. The desk contains an important clue: the student and his partner both signed the log book. They weren't terribly concerned about covering their tracks in their excitement.

The log book might actually be the only way to identify the victim inside the morgue which is basically washed with blood. The frantic attempt by the reanimated corpse to escape saw him first break the next of the partner, then use his body as a flail smashing him all over the room. This not only pulped the poor young man, but also some other bodies being stored in the morgue. This entire scene calls for several sanity checks.

Questioning the security guard gets his story. He did not see anyone in the hall besides the monster in the hallway and he immediately ran back to his desk to phone the police. He does recall another student entering the hospital with the morgue victim, but never saw him leave. He wouldn't be surprised if he were hiding out terrified somewhere on campus. He gives a vague description of him, mostly because he wasn't paying attention.

The syringe used in their experiment is in the morgue still. There is a residue of the solution used, and investigation into it will reveal some very unorthodox components. Some do not appear to be from Earth. This realization calls for a sanity check. Evidence can be removed from the scene as long as they make it clear that this is related to Sir John's business. The officer in charge will allow it as he is being paid a fortune by Sir John to look the other way on his behalf.

Should they not go to the scene directly, Sir John can arrange for them to view the evidence at a later at the police station.

So armed with at least the leads of the student's name, his partner, and the strange syringe they should plan on hitting the Miskatonic Campus to try to find some information.

The partner's dorm reveals little. He did keep a personal journal that a few weeks ago makes mention of his friend wanting to share a discovery with him. It is not mentioned again. The medical student keeps a diary hidden inside a secret compartment in his dresser. It talks in more detail about his discovery, initial experiments, and plans for the future. He specifically notes the day he found West's journal, finding the records of his work in the library, and the date of their planned test. West's journal and his notes are not there.

This should then lead them into looking for information on Herbert West. He was very well known during his time at Miskatonic, just as much for his wild ideas as he was a brilliant anatomist. Teachers remember him fondly for being so intelligent and staff remember his somewhat strange tendency for staying out all night. Henry Armitage in the library remembers him as a student as well and will recall that he acquired and fixed up an old farmhouse outside of town with money from his father. West would be in his 50s in the current time period but has not been heard from since he disappeared from his Boston practice four years ago. His assistant, also a graduate from Miskatonic, is in a Massachusetts asylum after an apparent nervous breakdown. When awake he screams constantly about armies of the dead. If calmed under the influence of drugs he only mutters how West is dead and gone. Exploration of his former practice turns up a ruined home, where the first floor collapsed into the basement.

The House
When they track down the farmhouse that the student is hiding in, the first thing that they will probably notice is that it's not far from a very old cemetery. West chose this spot for the obvious grave robbing potential, but gave it up when the local ghoul colony became overly aggressive due to his tampering with their food supply. The student has been coming here to test his attempts at the formula and the evidence of that is found all over the house. Investigators will find disembodied but still moving body parts throughout the first floor. The basement contains larger portions of his experiments, but nothing as dangerous as the creature from the hospital. Nothing was... fresh enough. If they get out though, some of the more complete specimens will attack.

All of this has again roused the ghoul population, who have very long memories of West's initial experiments and the night after the murders in the morgue when the student is hiding there, they will begin tormenting him at night, trying to get him to leave. If it gets to a third night, then they will outright attack and destroy the property completely. 50/50 chance that West's notes and journal survive the attack. If the investigators approach at night before the third night, the ghouls will hide and not risk being seen by outsiders. If they determine that the investigators can solve their problem for them, they might even actively assist them.

The main threat in this stage is sanity loss. Seeing ghouls hurts sanity. Being attacked by reanimated torsos hurts sanity, even if they can't hit hard.

Sir John doesn't really care what happens to the student. He's fairly useless to his mission and all he wants are the notes and the journal.

Names and items will be put in when I'm ready to go with this. Stats too. But in general this is kind of straight forward. If the player characters are new to town, they get an idea of the weirdness of Arkham. And if they weren't on their guard over Sir John before, they ought to be now. But at the same time, if they're successful they'll get $500 each for the individual items they recover.

If they make themselves known to Armitage during their investigation phase and somehow mention that they are working for Sir John, he may or may not warn them to be wary of him. Sir John offered an obscene amount of money to buy the entirety of Miskatonic's restricted section of occult books, which put Armitage on his guard. If he realizes some people working for Sir John are asking questions around campus he is naturally suspicious. However, if the players are somewhat respectful toward him or he senses that they don't know the full picture he'll warn them that they might be patsies.


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