CoC4 4

The Journal of Reginald Campbell Thompson (2015)

Player handouts are an essential part of Call of Cthulhu, and Curse of Nineveh took an intriguing approach to them. In addition to the usual sort of photocopiable papers, Cubicle 7 issued two hardbound books to support the campaign. This is the first, The Journal of Reginald Campbell Thompson.

And that is exactly what it is, a 60-page journal of Thompson’s 1919 archaeological expedition to Nineveh. Thompson was an actual historical archaeologist, who visited Nineveh several times in his lifetime and actually unearthed the mask of Sargon of Akkad the campaign repurposes as the mask of Nabu, which gives the whole thing that extra bit of verisimilitude.

As a story, it is fairly by the numbers in terms of the extremely niche genre of Cthulhu Mythos archaeological dig horror. In the context of the game as a handout artifact, detailing event central to the mysteries of the Curse of Nineveh campaign, though, I think it gains a certain ominous import. This is helped along by the illustrations, which are largely actual period engravings.

I am not sure there has ever been a campaign handout as elaborate or as lengthy as this? I absolutely love the idea of it. There are some downsides. The pages are very thick, which makes the book a bit unpleasant to handle (I suspect this was a necessary choice in order to get so short a book into a hardcover). The price point ($30!) was a also rather high (considering the campaign hardcover alone was $40), which I suspect meant it saw less use by players. Which is a shame. It is a unique edition to the game.

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