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Gilding the Haunting

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:33 am
by HalcyonDaze
I was inspired to start this thread after remembering something Keeper Jon had talked about during the podcast regarding running the Haunting scenario. He said that he had added some ghosts of former residents IIRC who get the investigators to chase them around corners, where would disappear and reappear somewhere else.

This scenario has been around as long as the game itself and I imagine it's pretty ho-hum to experienced players who have been through it 100 times. At the same time, it's a great starter scenario for new keepers to learn the ropes. But adding another layer that people weren't expecting is a good way to keep everyone on their toes.

So all you keepers out there, what other additions or tweaks have you done to the Haunting scenario to change it and keep it fresh for new and experienced people alike?

Re: Gilding the Haunting

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:37 pm
by Keeper Jon
Great topic! I have a bunch of stuff that I've done, but I'd like to hear some others jump in here first.

Re: Gilding the Haunting

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:28 pm
by KeeperMurph
I made it more combat centric for a fresh set of DnD players. I ended up being down the house during a zombie uprising. LoL, it wasn't petty but it made for a good game.

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Re: Gilding the Haunting

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:45 am
by HalcyonDaze
Come on, I know the rest of you all out there have done some cool things to this scenario. Let's hear them!

Re: Gilding the Haunting

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:29 pm
by Dr. Gerard
I haven't run it, but I played it with a keeper who tied the investigators closely to the Macario family, with one of us actually being a family member who was checking the place out for his uncle, the "landlord," who took charge of the property after his brother Vittorio and wife went nuts. This made it easier to encounter the kids and committed relatives, which doesn't usually happen in my experience and makes for a good creepy encounter. This approach also avoids the odd hook of a landlord paying the investigators to give the house a clean bill of health, which isn't a terribly strong motivator.

Re: Gilding the Haunting

Posted: Wed May 27, 2015 10:38 pm
by fox01313
First tip is to either get floorplans or get the ones Chaosium did for houses. While I love some of the elements of the Haunting, the little beach house floorplan is just dull.

Two watch a lot of spooky films like the original Haunting by Robert Wise. The house is haunted so come up with some fun things to spook the players out. The Kantcon crew did a podcast on Cluethulhu, one other thing to steal ideas from. This mixed with small things like giving the player characters small audio or visual hallucinations might help keep them uneasy.

Character creation together as a group, this way you don't have a lot of overlap & can bounce ideas off each other on the character life & personality enough to have a solid idea on who's who.

Next would be keeping the focus of things in the basement but change it. You can go a lot of different ways involving ghouls, the recent MUP episode on the people from the story 'The Festival', or just about anything else that looks interesting.

Give them some kind of group to be a part of, makes the start of the game easier when they all are at least friends or whatnot who have worked together. If not tie them together by some in a group & others knowing the ones in the group.

Do what I've heard done in other Cthulhu Actual Plays, focus on each player character & go through a few minutes of the day to day life before they get called into the scenario. It lets them get into the character without worrying on what to do or be in peril like later. Plus backstory for everyone, nothing pages of text but at least a few sentences to fill things in & if you're like me when you played it, there was a lot of character/background information tied into our game thanks to some people giving their characters some background info for the keeper to fill the game world with.

Go through a site like Tabletop Audio, leave something good or pick a few things for scene changes. Unlike music soundtracks this might set the creepy or other moods.

Remember if this is the first scenario out for new group of investigators or players to not try to kill them if you want to keep going. Make the threats smart enough that a bargain might be useful or give the threat some kind of motivations where they can return later for the group or just have the group regret letting whatever it is go. Good luck!

Re: Gilding the Haunting

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:57 pm
by viscounteric
There's always the variant where you are the clean-up crew hired by the landlord the "just fix things" a week or so after the first group of investigators botched the job.

The house is weird enough, but throw in the death of a Congressional aide inside, the bloody mutilation of some crackpot author, the alleged murderer (another investigator) on the lam, and Corbitt moving next door after killing the little old Polish lady that never bothers anyone? Tons of investigation and just a few more handouts. And what do they do when they find the sole survivor of the house and he just tells them to "Burn it all down!!!" ?

Careful though. Fixing that window on the second floor could easily become a comedy of errors.

Re: Gilding the Haunting

Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:12 pm
by monkey prime
I've run it as part of my 1940s World War Cthulhu campaign.

The protagonist, Kurtis Von Smitt, is obsessed with games, competition and the Tick Tock Man. As part of an ancient ritual to anoint 4 bringers of chaos, he sets up a children's home. He sets up one Dr. Walter Corbitt to run the facility while he continues his deadly games. Dr. Corbitt has his own experiments on increasing psychic ability. Dr Corbitt appears to die and the staff go mad killing most of the children. The event is hushed up.

Fast forward and the investigators are due to investigate the house but are stalled by another mission. When they return events have moved on. The government has decided to send evacuees to what they consider to be an abandoned facility they own but aren't using. N, their section chief, sends them immediately. What they don't know is Dr Corbitt is feeding off the fear of the evacuees from his basement laboratory. As they get more scared he gets more powerful.

The basement finale, the bed incident, strange events befalling the occupiers of the house and Dr. Corbitt are still there but I've beefed up the surroundings and shaped it to fit into campaign.