A Handbook to the Pride of Arkham
MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY is a small, seemingly typical New England college nestled in the bosom of conservative Arkham, Massachusetts. A poor cousin to such hallowed institutions as Harvard, Brown, and Princeton (the term “Ivy League” won’t come into use until 1936), Miskatonic nonetheless offers coveted degrees in a wide variety of subjects and boasts high academic standards.
Devotees of the Cthulhu Mythos and long time players of Call of Cthulhu know the name well, and greet it with a mixture of fondness and dread. A small, quiet institution of higher learning, Miskatonic serves as the home of many of H. P. Lovecraft’s greatest protagonists, or as the staging ground for daring expeditions into the unknown.
As a symbol of reason, learning, and science, the school represents all that is good, true, and pure in modern civilization — the “us” to the insidious, alien “them” of the Cthulhu Mythos. Although Miskatonic is mentioned or figures prominently in most of the stories that form the backbone of the Call of Cthulhu game, the college itself remains as ill-defined as many of beasties lurking in the pages of Lovecraft’s fiction. While monsters that never shamble into view are often scarier than the ones we can see, Miskatonic University and the professors who walk its halls of ivy and alabaster are part of our “normal” waking world, and can therefore stand up to the light of day.
Keepers running Call of Cthulhu games need to bring Miskatonic into sharp focus, whether their campaigns are set entirely on the sleepy campus or only visit it briefly. Who at Miskatonic can investigators count on to believe their outlandish tales? Just what secrets are and aren’t kept in the world famous Orne Library? What might your investigators bump into while finding out? Miskatonic University offers some answers, scrutinizing familiar ground with a scientist’s vision and a librarian’s obsession with detail.
Required Reading; Essential Reading; Other Inspirations; Campaigning at Miskatonic; M.U. as Base, Resource, Presence; Lovecraft’s Shadow; Frameworks of “Authenticity”.
- MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY
A Brief History; map of New England; Selected Facts; Campus Legends; Campus Traditions; map of Arkham; Miskatonic Campus Guide; map and key for M.U.; the Campus; West Campus; South Campus; Off-Campus; Distant M.U. Facilities. THE ORNE LIBRARY: 4 Plans ff. Denizens of the Orne Library; a Brief Chronology; Legends of the Library; Contents of the Restricted Collection (list); Shadowed Stacks (many volumes described); optional Hermetic Spells; Mythos Materials. THE EXHIBIT MUSEUM; Holdings; The Vault; Museum Oddities; Museum Staff; Legends of the Museum; plan of the Museum.
- PEOPLE ON CAMPUS
Students; Housing; Curfew; Dining; Expense and Income; Grad Students; Professors; Tenure; Salaries; Recent Expeditions Map and Chronology; Guests; Insanity in Academia; M.U. Personalities (night watchman, physician, groundskeeper, oldest student). FACULTY AND STAFF DIRECTORY: Departments and Schools; the Administration (president, vice-president, registrar, bursar); B&G; College of LL&A (Depts. and Instructors); College of Sciences (Depts. and Instructors; College of Medicine Depts. and Instructors); College of Law and Business (Depts. and Instructors). SOCIAL LIFE: Student Organizations; Selected Personalities (ongoing); Athletics; Frats and Sororities; Honor Societies; Fine Arts Clubs; Academic Clubs; Faculty Organizations; Professional Organizations; Political / Activist Organizations; Secret Societies.
- GETTING AN EDUCATION
Entrance Requirements; Tuition and Expenses; Graduate Fees; Class Levels; Academic Achievement; Academic Crime; Alternative Grade Roll System; Alternative Courses of Study; Uprof; Facetious First Week Schedule; Generating Student Investigators; Family Status Defined; Skill Limits; Making the Grade; Schools and Requirements; Degree Plans Worksheets. THE SEMESTER CHECK: Definition; University Classes; Half` Checks; Modifiers to the Grade Roll; Applications; Slacking Off; Four Example Semesters. New or Restated Skills.
- MISKATONIC SECRETS
The Campus Tunnels: History, Map, Conditions, Sewers. Denizens of the Tunnels; the Little People; Ghouls; Other Inhabitants. Ten Tunnel Features; 36 Tunnel Entrances and Exits. The Bronze Head. Miskatonic Mummy: Mummy’s Curse; Black Rites of L-K; Tesherkhenhekai. THE MYTHOS AT MISKATONIC: The Armitage Cabal (Armitage, Rice, Morgan, Wilmarth Allies, the Peaslees); Standing Alone; Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight; the Antarctica Expedition; the Missing; Chronology; Occult Societies; the Eye of Amara; Collegium Arcana; the Rosicrucians; Malcolm Veidt; Asenath Waite; Basil Ives; Esoteric Order of Dagon; the the Crowninshield Hybrids; Lucas Tetlow; the Witch Cult; Knights Templar; Swansome Ames. MISKATONIC MYSTERIES: Signs and Seals; Orne Library; Bernard Herber; Jeremiah Orne; George Locksley; the Tetlows; the Secret Master; the Witch Cult; the Unseen Master; Sinister Seeds.
- A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE
Investigator Information; the Coroner; Vittoria Nangelo; Charlton’s Room; Biff Williams; Asenath Waite; Claude Owen; School of Medicine Library; Chapman Farmhouse; the Root Cellar; Claude Owen in Person; the Parts.
Flawed Spells; Many New Mythos Spells; Mythos Tomes in Play (individual research times, feverish study, skimming, Mythos tomes as references, learning spells, progressive Sanity loss; Useful Portable Items On-Campus; Learning Prehuman Languages; Existing Scenarios Adaptable to M.U. Play; Three Reproducible Diplomas; Blank Degree Plan Worksheets for the University’s Colleges.
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