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Out of Time (2011)

Out of Time (2011) is the first of a loose trilogy of scenario collections for Trail of Cthulhu. Of the three, this is probably my favorite.

Adam Gauntlett delivers an investigation at a World War I field hospital where dark doings are afoot (this set-up is never not going to remind me of the videogame Eternal Darkness). It’s a solid one and focuses on a lesser known Clark Ashton Smith entity, which I like. Fiasco’s Jason Morningstar offers up a nice cult-centric scenario set in a desolate antarctic island that forces some dark moral calculus. Bill White’s got two. The second is a fun little jaunt in the South Pacific, investigating some strangeness following atomic tests that might involve some cone-shaped aliens.

White’s other scenario is something special, though: it casts the players as science fiction writer Robert Heinlein, his wife Virgina, editor Tony Boucher and a young Phil Dick investigating the supernatural cause of rocket scientist and occultist Jack Parson’s death (a real-life figure who was involved with L. Ron Hubbard and Aleister Crowley). This is a truly audacious and delightful set up for a scenario. White acknowledges that only a small slice of players are going to be into it, but that those who do will be over the moon for it. He’s right, I can see the moon below me.

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