by Sean Branney, Andrew Leman, and Darrell Tutchton
played October 29, 1984 at Joe Branney’s palatial Englewood home

A group of old friends gathers at their host’s home to conduct a seance and expel an evil spirit. Little do they know the spirit inhabits one of them....

Black Tentacle Awards
This game won the BT for Best Special Effects. The eerie seance worked brilliantly, despite some attempts to derail it. Darrell Tutchton provided the voice of Cython, and achieved a strange echoing effect by speaking just slightly out of sync with a pre-recorded audio tape of himself. Darrell and the tape player were both hidden in the attic of the house, directly above the dining room table where the seance was conducted. His voice(s) sounded faint, and because he was right over the Investigators, none of them could quite tell where the sound was coming from. He was also able to make the chandelier above the table sway ever so slightly, which added a nice touch.

Game Notes
This was the first Cthulhu Lives game to be set in the 1920s and played in period costume. It was so much fun that almost every game since has been played in period.

Darrell Tutchton was attending school out of town at the time, and none of the players expected him to be present for the evening’s game. His arrival in town was kept secret, and his appearance at the game was a genuine surprise for all the investigators.

Liz Stanton was both an Investigator and an NPC in this game. She had to be given inside information in order to perform her "disappearance" effect, but she knew no other details of the plot, so she was able to play the rest of the game as an Investigator.

KQ came dangerously close to sabotaging the game by adopting a competitive "Player vs. Keeper" attitude. Rather than buying into, and thereby helping to create, the game world, he worked against it by remaining firmly planted in the real world. When Helen Darla Breck "disappeared," for example, he insisted on searching the room despite rather heavyhanded Keeper suggestions that everyone should split up and search the other areas of the house. The Keeper plan was that Mrs. Breck would mysteriously "reappear" while the investigators were busy elsewhere, but KQ made that impossible. Instead, she was found in her hiding place underneath a bench, for which hasty and counterproductive explanations had to be concocted. When the time came for the seance, KQ went so far as to insist that the butlers join the circle: not because he—as a character—wanted them to, but because he—as a player—assumed that they would be part of creating whatever seance effects were to happen. Luckily for the Keepers, the butlers had nothing to do with the execution of the seance effects, so their impromptu participation did not ruin anything. Why a Player would want to undermine the planned effects of the Keeper remains perhaps the most enduring mystery of the game.

This game has never been surpassed, in my opinion, in its basic premise: to wit, the host begins the evening by telling a ghost story, the ending of which is yet to be written, and which, when written, will include all of the listeners to the story. —AHL