Mysterious Monday – 5 Plot Hooks for Your Next Game [11 Jun 18]

It’s time for the next installment of Mysterious Monday! The theme this time is modern era horror. As always these plot hooks are written with the Call of Cthulhu RPG in mind but have a decidedly system-neutral approach.

d10-1 The local chapter of the Jokers Motorcycle Club has been under continuous harassment by the local police for months. Members are routinely arrested as a matter of procedure, only to be released a day or two later. Attempts to harass the gang make the community feel better but does little to stop their illegal activities. Everything changed two weeks ago with the slaying of two sheriff’s deputies. Local news is reporting that the killings are not random or happenstance but rather were ritualistic in nature. Fleeting images of the crime scene depict strange symbols written on a nearby wall. The local community immediately and openly blames the Jokers! Are the Jokers to blame? Who is to blame and what was the ritual for?

d10-2 The local college is hosting it’s annual Anthropology Symposium that begins in two days. As always, the campus is a hive of activity and excitement with the guest speaker lineup this year. Of particular interest to most is Dr. Emily Sanderhill. She is presenting a lecture and paper on pre-Columbian Mayan ritual practices. Following the lecture, the facility will unveil a display of Mayan ritual artifacts she has graciously loaned to the college. The lecture is a smashing success with record-setting attendance. There is a short intermission between the lecture and the unveiling of the collection to allow attendees to move from the lecture hall to the gallery area. The department chair, embarrassed that Dr. Sanderhill did not return from the intermission, decides to proceed with the unveiling so as not to disappoint. When the curtain that hid the display is dropped, Dr. Sanderhill is found dead with her chest slashed open. It is also noticed that one of the ritual artifacts, a jade knife, is missing.

d10-3 The Investigators are finally getting a well-deserved vacation! The “Dame of the Sea”, a not-so-first class cruise ship is setting sail from the Port of Tampa. The ship is in fine physical condition, but the staff is lacking in customer service. Despite this lack of service, the investigators are enjoying their first day at sea. The entertainment for the evening is the musical “Rent” but with a decidedly off-Broadway cast. The small auditorium of the ship is full to the brim and excited chatter fills the room. Rumors have it that the famous actor Levi R. Whitty will be taking the leading role. The musical begins as scheduled and Levi Whitty is indeed playing the lead role. The majority of the audience is engrossed in the musical and minutes before the scheduled intermission, the lights go out in the auditorium. A few of the lights begin to come back on, seemingly from emergency power. The audience can tell that something is not quite right. Their surroundings which have been transformed and the ship and its passengers are now in the Dreamlands. What horrors await them in the ship?

d10-4 Coming of age in the 80s allowed Dawn Schmelling to take in all the wondrous things the 70s and 80s had to offer. A cultural crossroads that left a lasting impression on this young lady. As the child of free-spirited parents, Dawn blazed her own path in life. While in college she was a social activist for any number of causes that came her way. It was these experiences that allowed her to expand her network of friends and associates. It wasn’t until she was in her early thirties that she found her calling in the medical field as a coordinator for the transfer of donated tissue and organs within the National Organ Donor Network. Her good works led her to David Thune, another coordinator on the west coast. As luck would have it, these two sparked a relationship that blossomed. It wasn’t until Dawn had said yes to his proposal of marriage, that she slowly and unknowingly found herself pulled into a world of illicit trade in body parts. She and David use the cover of their days jobs to conduct their illicit activities. Dawn would come to learn that David had unknowingly recruited her into the rank and file of the modern day Brotherhood of the Skin.

d10-5 Recent volcanic activities in the jungles of South American has local residents on edge. The toxic gases and pyroclastic flows have claimed eighty thus far and the volcano shows no signs of quieting down. Late one evening the volcano erupts again with a thunderous explosion sending rock and other debris high in the air; lava spews forth from caldera promising to engulf the surrounding jungle. A village located 3 kilometers away, like everyone else in the region, is awoken by the explosion. Residents take cover as best they can; they know all to well that debris is about to rain down on them. A loud shrieking whistle foreshadows the impending destruction. Debris rains down for only a few minutes and when the dust settles, the damage is not nearly as bad as they might have thought. In the middle of the small village, in front of a local store, there is a three-foot crater in the dirt road. at the bottom of the crater is what appears to be a small obsidian skull. Villagers are fearful of the find and see it as an omen of things to come. What is coming?

~ Modoc

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