Saturday, January 20, 2018

Starting a Silent Legions Campaign

My D&D game recently died. Its not really anyone’s fault, just creative ennui and entropy, largely on the GM’s part (that’s me). Three years is a good run.

After taking a break for a couple of months over the holiday peak, I’m ready to start a new campaign with my home group. At my son’s request, I’m running some good old fashioned Lovecraftian horror. Instead of the old stand-by of Call of Cthulhu, I am going to use Kevin Crawford’s Silent Legions for some modern day sandbox horror. A couple of my players are super-versed in the Cthulhu mythos, so using Silent Legions’s mythos creation tools to create my own cosmic horrors should keep them on their toes. I had good success with Crawford’s sci-fi game, Stars Without Number, so I’m pretty confident about Silent Legions.

I’m setting the game in Washington State, centered first in Seattle. It took a lot of thinking, but I eventually settled of Washington because of the geographic variety it offers. You’ve got the ocean coasts, big tech-center cities, small rural towns, Indian reservations, forests, desert, mountains, and even volcanoes. All sorts of places to hide hideous cults and monsters.

The PCs will all be part of the Khamsa Society, a secret society dedicated to investigating the occult. The society has a cell-like organization, and individual cells are largely self-sufficient. Kind of like the Hunters in Supernatural without the firepower. It’s a loose organization mostly used as an excuse to get the PCs together and send them into ruinous places.

The main cosmic antagonists of the campaign will be an alien pantheon known as The House of Broken Glass. Broken glass both distorts perception and shreds the flesh. Gods of the Outer Dark, they were cast out in the days of Lemuria. Now they fester in the womb of hyperspace, awaiting rebirth. The Bleak Sigil of Dagh-Othyg-Zoag presages their arrival.

Lovecraft is an obvious influence on the campaign, along with Clark Ashton Smith by extension. But I’m also drawing ideas from Clive Barker and Lucio Fulci. I’m also tapping into some Grant Morrison, specifically The Invisibles and especially Nameless, a comic that profoundly disturbed me.

We do character creation this weekend, and if we’re lucky we can swing into the first adventure. The PCs will be investigating some missing college students and a haunted house. As I have it set up, the PC will be walking into the aftermath of a 1980s slasher movie, having to figure out what happened and what they can do make sure it doesn’t happen again. Should be fun!

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