by Sean Branney
played October 19-29, 1997 in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, CA

A grisly suicide leads two FBI agents, a Navy lieutenant, and a local lawman into a baffling and bloody world of terror, intrigue, and very strange noises.

Game Notes

At last a return to the glorious Cthulhu Halloween tradition!

Inspired by the X-Files, this was the first game to be set in the present-day in a great many years, and was the first time innovations such as cellphones and e-mail and the world wide web have ever been used in the playing of a game of Cthulhu Lives. Although future games will doubtless be set in the ‘20s and ‘30s once again, the cellphone as a vital Keeper accessory is likely here to stay, as is, no doubt, the use of the internet. Through the use of email, this game was the first to include players in separate countries. Sean Branney’s cousins in Ireland, Ciaran and the other Sean Branney, played Irish oceanographers in a digital scenario. The text appearing in blue in the game synopsis is directly quoted from actual email sent during the game.

In fact, this game featured only five full live-action scenarios: the FBI office, Carlisle’s apartment, Claudia Cowen’s apartment, the beach, and the basement finale. All the rest of the game action took place via email, or in private meetings between the Investigators themselves.

Although players usually generate their own Investigator characters, in this game Keeper Sean Branney assigned Investigator characters to his players. He provided names and basic dossiers, which the players were free to elaborate on. But their basic relationships and positions were set in advance.

True to its X-Files inspiration, the game ended on a note of paranoia for at least some of the Investigators. Although the immediate problem of the game’s events was solved, the ongoing role of Russian and Ukrainian spies, the US Navy’s complicity, and many other facets of the case went unresolved, and there was a distinct feeling that the truth was still out there.