My Guardian Monster – Nothing Ever Happens When There’s a Detour

My Guardian Monster

Author: Danial Carroll
Publisher: Miskatonic Repository
Page Count: 32
Available Formats: PDF
PDF (DTRPG) – $2.99

My Guardian Monster is a modern-day story that is designed to be a one-shot or it can easily serve as an interlude between scenarios in an existing on-going campaign with minimal modification. The story takes place in Eastern Massachusetts in the area known as “Lovecraft Country”, but it could be easily relocated to any other state or country with ease.

The story revolves around several farming families on the back roads of Massachusetts who regularly and quietly holding “church” where they worship Sub-Niggurath. These families have a long history of quietly worshipping and revering Shub-Niggurath as a fertility god. Ella, who is barely seven years old and the youngest daughter of one of these families, has grown up in the “church”. As a result of this, she has managed to learn to summon a Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath. There is a strong bond between Ella and her summoned friend, Goopy. In fact, Goopy serves the role of protector when around Ella and this is where the story takes off.

The story opens up with the investigators traveling from Albany, New York to Boston, Massachusetts, but their bus diverts off the main highway and on to backroads to avoid traffic and construction congestion. In the dark of night, the bus comes to a sudden and violent stop. Chaos reigns as passengers assess the situation and await emergency services. The investigators, by way of the clues, should be interested enough to either figure out what caused the bus to violently stop or seek help at a nearby farm.

All is not right with the bus accident. Far off the beaten trail, the investigators are faced with two possible courses of action. They can try to determine what has just happened; the clues readily available to them should be enough to entice them down this path. Or alternatively, while waiting for help to arrive they could try to expedite the process by seeking out help from one of the nearby farms. This path will quickly blend into the first. Either way, they could run afoul of the local cult depending on how they approach the scenario’s core situation. The scenario, no matter how the investigators play through it, will culminate in a tense Mythos encounter that may not be for the squeamish.

This short one-shot scenario is well written and hits on several things that Call of Cthulhu players will enjoy and find familiar. First, the hook into the scenario is abrupt but enticing enough to grab players. If they take the second path, the Keeper can quickly lead them back to the primary path by way of clues. Second, neither path of inquiry feels forced and player agency is retained. Lastly, there is just enough horror and Mythos wrapped up in this fun investigation to satisfy most players.  

I am rather impressed with the overall quality of the writing and with the scenario’s digital presentation. The cover art is interesting and evocative in a childish kind of way that is appropriate for the scenario’s theme. Digital pages are presented as if they were from an “aged” book. The layout is clean, clear, and easy to read. The two included handout maps are well illustrated and very useful. They really capture the night time vibe of the scenario perfectly. There are five pre-generated investigators included for those that need them.

All-in-all, this is a fun scenario that should easily be completed in one session. It has enough meat on the bone to appeal to seasoned veterans and newcomers alike. In fact, I have already printed it out and put it in my “go-to” scenario binder.

~ Modoc

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