by Phil Bell, Sean Branney and Andrew Leman
played in October of 1985 at Ken Caryl Ranch, Colorado

The guests at a royal costume ball uncover a nest of vampires and the rightful heir to the throne of Transylvania.

Black Tentacles
This game won three Black Tentacle™ Awards: Best Plot, Best Special Effect, and Best Costume.

The SFX trophy went to Joe Givan for his spectacular Eye of Al’Hazred routine, performed with the assistance of his wife Raeben. This was the first game Joe and Raeben played in, and they made quite an impression with this illusion.

Andrew Leman took the Best Costume tentacle for his Ostrov owl guise, although very honorable mention went to Gabbye Birchak for her stunning Red Death ensemble and to Phil Bell for his black and white harlequin outfit.

Game Notes
The first large costume game, this game suffered from its size. A few investigators, notably Mark Drudge, took charge, but the vast majority of people just stood around watching. In the end, it was more like a bizarre piece of performance art than a game of Cthulhu.

The Keepers rented a mansion at Ken Caryl Ranch, a tony suburb of Denver, as the location for the game. We had the whole house to ourselves. Players chipped in ten bucks each to help defray expenses.

By defeating the plans of Zagora and his pals to put Borovan’s kids in power in Austro-Hungary and Germany, the investigators actually help to create the conditions in which Adolf Hitler will rise to power. Sometimes you just can’t win.—AHL

For my mind, the biggest lesson of this game was that you cannot have more than a handful of investigators. Too many cooks spoil the broth and too many investigators cannot focus their investigation. This ended up being a very exciting game for many of the NPCs and a rather passive game for most of the players. Still, the period fancy dress costumes and the rented mansion gave the game a very memorable look. —SB