We Are All Savages
Author: William Adcock
Publisher: Call of Cthulhu: Miskatonic Repository
Page Count: 37
Available Formats: PDF
PDF (DTRPG) – $5.99
I am always on the lookout for a great Call of Cthulhu scenarios to run for my gaming groups. William Adcock approached me recently through Facebook and asked if I would review We Are All Savages. As he pitched it to me, the historical theme intrigued me. It’s set in a fairly obscure historical time period for roleplaying games—The French and Indian War.
We Are All Savages takes place in the winter of 1759/60 in the western reaches of the British colony of New York; the contested region around Lakes Erie and Ontario. The British, French, and Iroquois Confederacy claim this area as their own; the Iroquois Confederacy as their traditional hunting grounds. Historically, it’s an active region for trade and hostilities; throw in a legendary monster, and you have the makings of an interesting story.
In this scenario, the investigators play the roles of English scouts with orders to locate a marauding band of French trappers who ambushed a supply caravan bound for the British occupied Fort Niagara. Running Deer, a guide for the caravan and lone survivor tells an interesting tale that sets them on their journey into the frigid wilderness. The ambush site is gruesome and filled with clues to propel the scouts further into their investigation and deeper into the snowy wilderness. The bitter cold and hostile tribes could prematurely end their investigation if not carefully dealt with. A less than thorough investigation will gain the scouts the ire of their superiors, so they must collect all the clues before returning home. If they live to return home.
Locating the site of the ambush is easy. After some on-site investigation, the tracks lead to more than just French marauders. All the victims had their abdomens methodically cut open, not something one would expect from wild animals. There are tracks coming and going into the forest; one stands out oddly form the others. This is the impetus for the scouts to drive further into the wilderness and into the unknown to get answers for their superiors.
Following the tracks, the scouts encounter a trappers’ camp cobbled together. They find several grisly scenes; similar to those previously encountered at the ambush site. Amidst the carnage are clues. One, in particular, provides insight into what might be happening. To add to their rising stress and environmental challenges they’re facing, they will also have to contend with a Seneca war party. They will have to find a way to solve this situation or it could turn deadly.
Pressing on, the scouts will return to Fort Niagara to complete their mission. Upon their return and reporting their findings, they’re superior introduces them to a traveler who has arrived in their absence. It is at this point that a raging winter storm besets the fort, trapping all within for the duration. It’s at this point the scenario enters its end game; the scout’s work is nearly done, but there are still some critical pieces of information to weave together. You’re going to have to play it to find out how it all fits together.
We Are All Savages uses a First Nations legend and places it in North America’s colonial period in a seamless fashion that is well envisioned and executed. William Adcock has done a nice job pulling it all together in a creative way, with historic overtones that is fun to play. It has the right amount of investigation/combat throughout that feels just right. Although the scenes are linear for easy navigation and logical flow, it does not railroad or herd the players, but rather propels them forward naturally as befitting the story.
I would like to point out that Mr. Adcock’s inclusion and treatment of First Nations tribes and its people is tastefully and thoughtfully done within the context of history.
Miskatonic Repository scenarios are a mixed bag in terms of quality of writing, design, and presentation. We Are All Savages is far above average on the quality spectrum of the Miskatonic Repository releases we have reviewed. It is smartly and professionally designed. The table of contents is hyperlinked which is a nice little addition. You don’t often see that in self-published scenarios. In fact, it might be mistaken for a Chaosium release based on the presentation alone. For me, that’s a mark of quality. The included handouts are nicely done (see inset) and the pre-gen characters make the time period more accessible without needing to include new occupations such as Seneca Scout, British Grenadier, or British Regular to name a few.
If you like roleplaying in historic eras, this scenario is definitely one worth checking out. For me, it pushes all the right buttons and everything I need to play is included in the PDF.
Did you like this review? Would you like to see us write more in the future? Your support means we can keep writing more reviews and articles. Please consider becoming a Patron by clicking the Patreon banner above.