Scales of Time and Trail of the Monolith - two new linked adventures on the Miskatonic Repository
THE SCALES OF TIME and THE TRAIL OF THE MONOLITH are the first two parts of a planned trilogy of Call of Cthulhu adventures by Mike Nagel. They are part of the inaugural content available on the Miskatonic Repository, Chaosium's new community content program on DriveThruRPG, which enables creators to write and share their own original material for Call of Cthulhu.
THE SCALES OF TIME, Tales of the Monolith, Part 1
A Two-Fisted 1920s Adventure Designed by Mike Nagel
There's a problem in Cumberton, Tennessee, a small Apalachian coal-mining town. Children are disappearing at an alarming rate. Local law enforcement is either stymied or disinterested. And then there are the strange sightings within the mines and in the surrounding hills. It's up to a group of investigators hired by the local mining company to unravel the mystery before an ancient horror is unleashed.
The Scales of Time is a 1920s-era adventure for three to five intrepid investigators that can be played over several sessions. Although it can be played alone or as a part of a campaign, it also serves as a prologue to a larger adventure, The Tales of the Monolith, a three volume collection of eldritch adventures written by Mike Nagel.
THE TRAIL OF THE MONOLITH, Tales of the Monolith, Part 2
A Globe-Spanning 1920s Campaign Designed by Mike Nagel
There's been a robbery at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. A priceless artifact recovered by a team of archeologists from Miskatonic University is missing and reports from a witness bring into question the nature of the thieves and their motivation. Unraveling the clues sets the investigators on the path of a world-wide conspiracy leading them from the world's great cities to the densest of jungles and the coldest of frozen wastes.
THE TRAIL OF THE MONOLITH is a 1920s-era globe-trotting campaign for three to five intrepid investigators that can be played over several sessions. Although it can be played alone, the campaign is prefaced by THE SCALES OF TIME, and is part of a collection of eldritch adventures written by Mike Nagel and collected across three volumes.
Lillian Cohen-Moore recently spoke to Mike Nagel, author of THE SCALES OF TIME and THE TRAIL OF THE MONOLITH, parts 1 & 2 of his TALES OF THE MONOLITH adventure.
Q: Tell us something about your scenarios that aren't in the description.
That’s hard to do without giving up some spoilers! I don’t want to give away anything prematurely. One thing that might not come through in the description is that I’ll be releasing three separate volumes that make up the TALES OF THE MONOLITH. These volumes encompass everything that I’ve written for Call of Cthulhu over the years.
The first volume, THE SCALES OF TIME is a prequel of sorts to the second volume THE TRAIL OF THE MONOLITH. I actually wrote the latter first, having been inspired by DiTillio’s Masks of Nyarlathotep. Once you get through Masks, particularly as a Keeper, writing anything other than a globe-spanning campaign seems a let-down. I wrote this while at Miami University in the 1980s, while playing with an amazing group of gamers that included luminaries like John H. Crowe III (“Walker in the Wastes”) and Jeff Moeller (“The Primal State”) among other great players and Keepers … yes, I have no problems with dropping names!
I followed that up with SCALES, which I wanted to be more of a mystery where the players had to determine who the bad guy actually was (among lots of potential suspects). Hopefully players will be shocked by the big reveal! While writing SCALES, I noted that one of its key elements really tied in with THE TRAIL OF THE MONOLITH and that combining the two could result in some more SAN rolls at the appropriate times. I’ve been tweaking this campaign over the years, and have run into some really neat synchronistic moments.
The third volume, DRAWN FROM THE DARK, I hope to get this volume into the Repository early next year (the covers are done … I just need to lay out everything else).
Q: When it comes to the Cthulhu Mythos, what keeps you interested in it?
I’m not sure if it’s the Mythos specifically that keeps me interested so much as the entire Lovecraft canon. I’ve been a huge fan of HPL since discovering his writing roughly forty (yikes!) years ago. Initially I dug the surprise, grab-you-by-the-guts climaxes. “It was his handwriting? GASP!” Awesome stuff. Over time however, I’ve become far more appreciative of his writing style, which allows me to go back and re-read his stories over and over. I’m currently rereading “The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath” and really dig how HPL changed up his style when telling his Dreamlands tales.
Q: What do you do when you're not terrifying your fellow Call of Cthulhu fans?
In real life, I’m an Information Technology supervisor, working for the New Jersey court system, and involved in both support and application development and design. In my spare time I’m a wargame designer with a handful of professionally published games on the market including the "Flying Colors" series (GMT Games), the "Ancient Battles Deluxe" series (Victory Point Games), “War in the Wind” (Compass Games), as well as several others. I’ve also got a lot of new designs available for pre-order.
Q: Give us a quick bio:
I’m originally from Ohio, but moved around quite a bit as a kid. I grew up in both Brazil and Mexico before making my way back to Ohio and Miami University. After graduating from college, I moved out to New Jersey (closer to Philly than NYC) where I’ve been ever since. I’m married to my awesome wife, Audrey, and currently down to just one precocious and very chatty cat, Yoko.
Q: Apart from your work in the Miskatonic Repository, where else can people find you?
A Two-Fisted 1920s Adventure
Author: Mike Nagal
Game System: Call of Cthulhu
Format: 48 page PDF. Color.
A Globe-spanning 1920s Campaign
Author: Mike Nagal
Game System: Call of Cthulhu
Format: 120 page PDF. Color.