By Paula R. Stiles
Jackson, M. The Innsmouth Lighthouse RPG. 1Page Adventures. The Dice of Life: July 13, 2009.
The story: The Innsmouth Lighthouse has served mariners for centuries. But in the past few days, all contact with the Lighthouse has been cut off. A law enforcement team sent in has disappeared without a trace. Cannibalistic cultists of Dagon appear to have taken over the lighthouse for a dark purpose. Your job is to stop them from completing their mission. If you can.
1Page Adventures is a series of rpg games put out by a site called The Dice of Life. The rpgs in this series are short scenarios downloadable as one-page pdf files (hence the name of the series). They are free, apparently put out mostly for the joy of gaming (though I’m sure the site’s owners and users wouldn’t mind finding fame and fortune in the process). There are two other scenarios so far: Occurrence at Chesereu (another Mythos rpg) and the first 1Page Adventure, The Spider Caves of Grinlock (a sword&sorcery scenario, also by Jackson, much like older computer rpg Realmz). Neither seems to be related to The Innsmouth Lighthouse, the second in the series.
The Innsmouth Lighthouse has 13 mini-scenarios corresponding to the 13 rooms in the lighthouse, which string together into a choose-your-own-adventure-style story. Each mini-scenario has a conflict and/or decision (usually involving cultists angry at being disturbed in their feasting on human flesh, but also involving things like captives being turned into cultists and deadly, living statues) that the gameplayers must resolve before moving on to the next mini-scenario. The pdf file includes a numbered map of the Lighthouse with the numbers corresponding to the mini-scenarios. The Innsmouth Lighthouse is designed as a one-page adventure that can stand alone, but, from the comments on the site, it can also be fitted into a larger rpg game. The most likely suspect, of course, is a Mythos game like Call of Cthulhu, but you could probably fit it into any Occult-related rpg. It would probably fit quite nicely into the Supernatural rpg that we reviewed in early October, as either a Sam-and-Dean adventure or one involving original hunters. The site even has a Google group so that players can post “stat blocks” for whatever game system they are using. This indicates that the scenario is not system-specific. Use whichever one you fancy.
From the above, you can tell that The Innsmouth Lighthouse is intended to be as flexible as possible, and to appeal to as wide a range of gamers as possible. The one-page pdf format also makes it a quick scenario with everything included and ready for use. On the flip side, this means the scenario uses a lot of short-hand and seems geared for more experienced gamers. If you are coming fresh to rpgs, you should first become familiar with a system using a much-larger game. The stripped-down format of The Innsmouth Lighthouse could be intimidating for a newbie.
That said, The Innsmouth Lighthouse looks like a fun scenario. The descriptions of the rooms have definitely-creepy charms for Mythos fans. I also like the idea of the one-page adventures that can either stand alone as a short rpg game or be fitted into something larger. It’s cleverly done. Even better than that it’s free. You can check it out at: http://www.thediceoflife.com/2009/07/1pageadventures-innsmouth-lighthouse.html
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