The Catcott Collection
Author: Peter Willington
Publisher: Miskatonic Repository
Page Count: 15
Available Formats: PDF & Print
PDF (DTRPG) – $6.79
Print (DTRPG) – $6.79
Print/PDF Combo (DTRPG) – $13.58
Riley, a young, astute scholar from the Miskatonic University, has been given a coveted research opportunity at the prestigious Bristol Museum in Bristol, England. This research involves delving into the museum’s archives, specifically the Catcott Collection, an extensive collection of books, fossils, and geological samples that was bequeathed to the museum by the late Alexander Catcott. During their research, Riley locates an untitled 13th-century manuscript, setting into motion a series of events that finds them trapped in their suite at The Royal Hotel, seemingly with no avenue for escape.
Note: Peter Willington provided Rolling Boxcars with a review copy for this article. Please visit our Product Review Request page if you have an item you’d like Rolling Boxcars to review.
The Catcott Collection is a classic era (the 1920s) one-to-one scenario for Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. It takes its place alongside very few other one-to-one oriented scenarios for Call of Cthulhu. For readers unfamiliar with the one-to-one scenarios, they are explicitly written for one player and a Keeper. The Catcott Collection is written with a short playing time in mind; most games are completed within 1 to 3 hours. A pre-generated character for Riley is provided for the player.
Riley uncovers the 13th-century manuscript and becomes enamored with its contents. So much so that they take it back to their suite to continue reading when the Bristol Museum closes for the evening. Beset by recurring migraines that began on the voyage from the United States to England, Riley’s world begins to be turned upside down. Riley must contend with their slipping sanity, fear, and entrapment. The migraines only worsen matters; thankfully, the ship’s doctor prescribed some medication to alleviate the pain and symptoms. Will Riley be able to puzzle out their situation? In the end, will they make the right choices? Are there any wrong choices? You will have to play out Riley’s story to find out!
The Catcott Collection has a simple and clean layout with just a few pieces of art within the body of the scenario to accentuate its tone. At the end of the scenario is a map of Riley’s suite or apartment as it is referred to and two historic photos of The Royal Hotel.
While the layout is clean and easy to read, it could be enhanced with some polishing to improve the reading experience and make locating in-game material easier. For example, when text is bolded, skill rolls are easier to find. Also include page numbers when referring Keepers to the Keepers Rulebook. A polishing by a proofreader would also correct some minor grammatical issues I observed.
Although the overall presentation needs a little polishing, it is still a solid first scenario by Peter Willington, and its faults should not devalue its worth.
The Catcott Collection is a devilishly creepy one-to-one scenario that could be a wonderful springboard for the further adventures of Riley, the researcher from Miskatonic University. The scenario has a solid premise that is engaging and weird in all the right ways.
Peter Willington has written a solid scenario that expands the possibilities for those who desire one-to-one scenario options. Playing up to real-world fears and realism with a healthy dose of the weird and strange, more so than cosmic horror in the classic sense, The Catcott Collection strikes all the right chords I look for and appreciate in Call of Cthulhu scenarios.
I look forward to running this scenario for one of my regular players and exploring the next scenario in the emerging series that is centered around the same cult and its activities—The Tunnels Under Temple Meads.
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