DISCLAIMER: This review is based off a copy that was generously provided by Chaosium, Inc.
With the recent surge of popularity of Call of Cthulhu among local gamers in the Philippines, Petersen’s Abominations comes in with some really fortuitous timing. The local community of rpg gamers are big on hosting mini conventions, and with this, Keepers have a selection of five modern-day scenarios from Sandy Petersen himself!
Art and Layout
Presented in the gorgeous full-color format of the 7th edition line of Call of Cthulhu, Petersen’s Abominations also boasts of some delightfully troubling illustrations perfect for setting the mood or making an impression new and veteran CoC investigators alike.
Given that each of the five scenarios are meant for convention play, Petersen’s Abominations delivers punchy scenarios that don’t waste time getting to the freaky stuff. That said, the scenarios don’t scrimp on detail either , and each one has the necessary maps, handouts, NPCs and background information that I’ve come to expect from Chaosium.
In addition, the book also provides the Keeper with ready-made investigators for each scenario, complete with a backstory and roleplaying tips to better integrate them into each game.
Keepers would do well to study each scenario carefully, as convention games require you to be a little bit more on the ball, with less tolerance for dead air as you flip through the book to figure out the next bit of the plot.
My personal favorite of the Scenarios in the book is chapter three: “Panacea” which is a fun Mythos take on a modern day body horror. I can’t spoil much of it, but the premise of the scenario and the discoveries that the investigators are meant to discover are definitely the sort to keep people awake at night.
Petersen’s Abominations joins the rest of the 7th Edition library of high quality releases. While the scenarios can’t quite be strung together to a campaign (not without a bit of elbow grease) they’re perfect for a one-shot. Players new to Call of Cthulhu will be able to bring in their modern sensibilities into play and discover that even with cellphones and the internet, the Mythos still finds a way to bring the crippling sense of helplessness and isolation to the poor investigators.
I recommend this book to Keepers looking to have something ready to run as an introduction to horror gaming and the Mythos. With a ton of work already done, and the ready-made investigators, this book is definitely a solid purchase.
You can get a copy of Petersen’s Abominations over at the Chaosium website for $19.95