Call of Cthulhu Recap: The Secret of Castronegro Part 1

Vincent   October 21, 2013   Comments Off on Call of Cthulhu Recap: The Secret of Castronegro Part 1
Call of Cthuhlu type illustration featuring creature tentacles coming out of well

Nothing to see here. Just an average day in Lovecraft’s universe.

The Secret of Castronegro is a classic Call of Cthulhu adventure full of mystery and danger! But really, what Call of Cthulhu rpg adventure isn’t full of mystery and danger? Today I’ll recap the events that occurred that fateful RPG playing night in the hopes that mankind can be better armed against the unknown horrors that threaten us!

I currently play as Clarance P. Fogbottom III (until he’s horrifically killed). Fogbottom is the sole surviving son of a rich old money family in Boston. Fogbottom owns an antique store where he also bases his private investigation business. He’s great at occult stuff and a crack shot with a pistol. However, Fogbottom suffers from hypochondria and an inflated sense of ego. He’s out to solve the mysteries of the universe and he never leaves his sexual vitality pills or his flasks of gin and rum behind.

The Secret of Castronegro kicked of with Fogbottom reading in the paper that a local professor of archeology had gone missing in the same town in New Mexico where one of Fogbottom’s customers had also disappeared. Not one to simply write off a customer (nor the money he was still owed), Fogbottom started the adventure by calling a history professor that he knew to inquire if she knew anything about her missing colleague.

Call of Cthulhu adventure guide cover

This guy is seriously boned.

The other player character that Fogbottom telephoned was Sara Spiegel, a psychology professor at Boston University. Sarah was joined by her sister Eleanor, who was basically an unemployed drug dealer, and Mr. “Slim” Pickens, a professional golfer who had reached rock bottom and was a “client” of Eleanor’s. They were played by players who were complete newbies to the whole role playing experience, so Fogbottom (perhaps to their detriment) was the qualified party leader on this mission.

Most of the adventure was spent first in Boston looking in the library doing super exciting “Library Use” rolls and making phone calls to New Mexico where the missing people went missing. Fogbottom overcame his fear of being arrested when both Slim and him broke into the professor’s house and didn’t find much, mostly just confirmation that he had gone to New Mexico for some reason.

After the team felt that they had exhausted all avenues of investigation (they hadn’t) they left Boston via train to Silver City, New Mexico. There they questioned more people, did more research and investigating until it slowly became apparent that they’d all have to go to some creepy isolated town called Castronegro where bad shit was inevitably going to go down.

Creepy Halloween Town

I’m sure nothing bad could possibly happen here.

The only way to Castronegro was a bus that only made a trip there and back once a week and they weren’t having any of that bullshit. Fogbottom used his considerable wealth to rent a car from a local for a few days. It really pays off to have a rich character in this game.

When Fogbottom and crew got to Castronegro they found a small town full of people who didn’t seem that creepy on the surface, until it was realized that about 2/3rds of them were related to each other. The team did some questioning (but not too much) and lots of research until they figured out that the dude who owned the mansion in town must be some sort of wizard, because his birth/death records indicated he’d been alive since the 1600s. Furthermore, at the 2/3rds of the town that were relatives were related to him, so the team was dealing with a whole town full of psychopaths.

The first major weird discovery was at the branch of the town’s Catholic church. While the ladies stood as look out*, Fogbottom and Slim went up some steps to the top of the church tower. They found a black basalt statue standing on a pillar in the center of the room. It gave them an eery feeling and they knew something wasn’t right. The air felt heavy and hard to breath. Now I know enough in Call of Cthulhu not to go touching anything for fear it might turn my skin inside out or explode your eyeballs, so Fogbottom left it alone, but I feel like I should have talked Slim into picking it up just to see what would have happened.

Instead, the pair booked it out of tower room and eventually talked to a pastor at the church about this and that, hinted that they knew some people that went missing around these parts and then left not wanting to stoke the fire too much.

1920s man creature coming for him, he's aiming a gun at his own head

Perhaps the best use of a fire arm in Call of Cthulhu.

After some more investigating (sense a theme here?) the team learned that there was something weird out in the countryside where strange rituals were performed. However night was quickly approaching and they weren’t going to go bumbling around in the dark in Call of Cthulhu, so they all holed up in one hotel room and kept watch.

During the night the team awoke to strange scratchings at the door and the sound of leathery like wings against the window. They didn’t really see anything and the team wasn’t about to open the door or window to find out. Hey, Fogbottom and crew like to play it safe. Eleanor suffered some horrible nightmares that resulted in some sanity points lost. Fogbottom managed to get some restful sleep thanks to his nightly dose of gin and Dr. Beckett’s Miracle Morphine Elixir.

The next morning as the team left the hotel someone took a potshot at them with a rifle. Obviously, the bad guys knew the strangers in town were up to something and it was time to dig real deep quickly or get the hell out of Dodge. The team decided to keep going forward, since none of them had actually seen anything that was that unexplainable. The statue in the church was weird, but not weird enough.

It was decided that the team would explore the countryside looking for where the strange rituals were being performed. On the way there, Fogbottom just happened to step in a bear trap. Thanks to his insanely high Luck score it didn’t do a whole lot of damage. From that point on Fogbottom used his silver tipped cane (which he merely uses for affectation) as a bear trap finder.

An old timey photo of a woman touching a black obelisk

Moments later the woman was turned into a pile of eyeballs.

The team eventually discovered a large, strange stone in the wilderness. While it was certainly weird, their investigation of it didn’t turn up much, but they did notice some tracks in the dirt that lead to an old barn in the middle of nowhere. In a sign that something wasn’t right about the place, the barn’s doors were padlocked. What was inside? Found out in Part 2 of The Secret of Castronegro!

*Please note: It may look like the ladies got the crap end of the jobs and the dudes were just being sexist jerks, but Eleanor was pretty reluctant to do anything dangerous, while Fogbottom had an insatiable curiosity and Slim was pretty much considered disposable.

Read Part 2 of The Secret of Castronegro!

Do you have any fun or scary moments from Call of Cthulhu? Tell us in the comments and I can include it in a future post!