A Lazy Sequence

The Dance in the Blood

This is Graham Walmsley's third (and penultimate) purist1 Trail of Cthulhu scenario. This series (also including The Dying of St Margaret's and The Watchers In The Sky) is set in 1930s England with a focus on inevitable nihilism and despair. Like the previous two scenarios Dance stands alone; good thing too as it won't end well for the investigators. The tone is both wonderfully English, and crushingly Lovecraftian.

Like its predecessors, Dance features a wide palette of clues for the investigators to discover, various means by which they may be discovered and is structured in quite an open ended fashion, allowing the keeper2 and players to unravel the mystery in their own way. In addition, Walmsley presents some of the best write-ups for supporting character in a published RPG; brief, colorful and immediately useful to the keeper. I particularly like the three things the keeper should keep in mind while playing each NPC.

This scenario is bleak. More so even than its predecessors. Players who don't relish the opportunity to go mad in the company of friends, or who want to triumph over adversity best look elsewhere. I would definitely recommend this (and the two earlier offerings) to any fan of Lovecraftian horror gaming, regardless of their system of preference.

  1. Trail of Cthulhu supports two primary modes of play: Purist and Pulp. Purist adheres closely to style of Lovecraft's stories, while Pulp leans towards action.
  2. The name given to GM or Game Moderator in Cthulhu games.
2 October 2010