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Out of Space (2011)

Out of Space (2011) is a natural companion to Out of Time. There are four full length scenarios. Robin Laws delivers a re-enactment of Robert W. Chambers’ King in Yellow story “The Repairer of Reputations.” It’s lower key than most other Trail scenarios, more weird than horrible, and sort of lays the groundwork for, or I guess more accurately is a proof of concept for the massive Yellow King multi-generational campaign that came out a few years back. Adam Gauntlett’s effort also involves the Yellow Sign, WWI air combat and Byakhees — its a bit preposterous to my eye, but what do I know? Jason Morningstar contributes an over-the-top investigation into the many enemies of General Pershing to find out which ones are part of the fire cult that murdered his family. It’s a rip-roaring scenario and would be my favorite of the bunch if not for the presence of Laws’. The final full length is another by Gauntlet, involving the Hellfire Club and the creepy Ramsey Campbell deity Y’Golonac. He treats that entity as a sexual transmitted disease, which is super interesting. The scenario is a good read, but I don’t know if I want to bring it to the table. The mini adventure that rounds things out involves a mummy, a curse and a trip on the Titanic, which is nifty.

I have to say, I always thought Trail would be a more conservative sort of Cthulhu experience, but judging from these books, that is not the case — these scenarios sort of relish going over the top. I also though Trail would be easier to run than, say Call of Cthulhu, but while I appreciate the scaffolding that frames out every scenario, there is something about the way the clues interact and how the scene structures flow that reminds me of math equations. I can see how some folks would excel with having a scenario laid out like this, but I think I would struggle.

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