Trail of Tsathogghua (1984)

Man, Trail of Tsathogghua (1984) has the best cover art of early Call of Cthulhu books, hands down. Eisner award winning creator Steve Purcell is the culprit and I quite like his interiors too. You might know Purcell as the creator of Sam & Max, or his cover art for the Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island games. This material has quite a different tone, I think.

Keith Herber wrote the book, which consists of two linked Tsathagghua scenarios and a stand alone. The first is an archaeological expedition to Greenland seeking the truth behind the disappearance of the first Viking settlements in the region. It is fairly straight forward scenario that culminates in the ancient temple depicted on the cover.  

The second one…well, the second one involves sasquatch. And is dumb. And that is all I will say about that.

The standalone, “The Haunted House,” is a damn classic though. It is, as you might guess, a classic haunted house scenario and the twist at its heart is so good. It is also maybe the Call of Cthulhu investigation with the most difficult to unearth solution. I expect a good number of players have given up without solving it. And it is in this scenario you can see Herber’s future brilliance the clearest.

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