Friday, 3 November 2017

One-Shots I'll Probably Never Run - 1950s New Mexico

I've had an original Xbox for some years now.  A hand-me-down from my Aunt and Uncle, which I didn't really get into playing until the early years of High School.  The one game that I played relentlessly?  The third-person shooter parody of 1950s UFO films, Destroy All Humans.  It recently struck me that it'd be a good idea to run a one-shot for Call of Cthulhu, set during the 1950s.  Using the reference material found in the Atomic-Age Cthulhu.  So without further delay let's dive right into it.
The game that largely inspired this post.

The Pitch

It's 1950 in the sleepy little town of Totally-not-Roswell New Mexico.  Not much to do in this one horse town.  Except work, hang around the local diner and go to the drive-in.  Nothing exciting's happened around here since the Old West days.  

At least not until strange things start happening.  Starts out a local farmer's cattle are found cut to pieces.  A local hooligan's prized souped-up roadster is found crashed into a ditch not far from town.  With no sign of either the hooligan or the girl he was with.  Things only get stranger when a pair of FBI agents show up and start nosing around Totally-not-Roswell.  Next thing you know a bunch of Soldiers from the nearby base start camping outside of town.  Near where the occurrences have been taking place.  Claiming it's part of a "training exercise", something's not right about the whole thing.  One thing's for sure though this is the most excitement that's happened around here in decades.  Now if only someone could figure out what all the fuss was about.

Character Archetypes

A number of character types came to mind when I first thought of this idea. 
  • Western Lawman (Investigator's Companion Vol. 2): This could represent the town's small Sheriff called upon to investigate the disappearances and the cattle mutilations.  Given the location he may even still operate on horseback. 
  • Farmer/Rancher (Investigator's Companion Vol. 2): Could actually be owner of the cows that were mutilated.  Or just a rubber-necking neighbour who likes sticking his nose into other people's business more than he likes working.  
  • Reporter/Newspaper Editor (Investigator's Companion Vol. 2): Perhaps the sole employee of the one newspaper in town or an out-of-towner just passing through.  (Maybe his car broke down and he's stuck in Totally-not-Roswell until it's fixed).  He'd definitely take an interest in the strange goings-on around town.  
  • Student/Greaser/Teeny-Bopper: Bored teenager with nothing better to do.  The Student from the Investigator's Companion could represent the Nerd, or with the right hobby skills he could be a Jock trying to get a scholarship out of this one-horse town.  The Greaser from the Atomic Age sourcebook could be used to represent your local delinquent.  The Teeny-Bopper would be similar to the Flapper from the Investigator's Companion.  As both are primarily interested in the latest thing of their respective eras.  (Is it just me or is this starting to sound like an Archie comic?)  Anyone of these Occupations could be used to represent the bored teenager, who gets caught up snooping where they shouldn't. 
As an afterthought in case any of these characters served during World War Two.  I would use the rules from the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion to represent Investigators' experience in WW1.  All you would really have to do is get rid of some choices that wouldn't logically be available during WW2. 

Conclusion

So there you have it a Pitch for a one-shot set during the 1950s in New Mexico.  Based largely on the UFO films of the same era.  I personally think that the setting has some potential for an exciting game of Call of Cthulhu.  Let me know what you think in the comments below, don't forget to +1, reshare and follow.  As always may the dice be ever in your favour and have a nice day.