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Call of Cthulhu: Murder of Crows

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Average Rating:3.6 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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Call of Cthulhu: Murder of Crows
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Call of Cthulhu: Murder of Crows
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Joshua O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/19/2017 12:08:19

I ran this not as a standalone but as a red herring in the also crow-themed Watchers in the Sky by Pelgrane Press (Trail of Cthulhu, but I ran it for Call). It worked great as a red herring, but I'm glad that's all it was because on it's own, it's a little thin.

Pros: Very well developed characters and a very fleshed out town. You are there.

Con: The story is very short and simple and straightforward. If you give the players the NPC dialogue, they will quickly figure out the "mystery" which virtually all the NPCs will telegraph with their provided quotes. The big con is that this game is so overwritten for a short adventure. It could be 10 pages long but it is 34, which is bad if you're short on prep time. The added fluff means you can add new elemenbts to teh basic story, but these do not make the plot any more intricate; they're just window dressing. You shouldn't have to read so 34 pages of background for such a short, simple, straightforward adventure. A Chaosium adventure at 34 pages would involve a lot more scenes and plot development.

I wouldn't buy this again, and I'll think twice before buying more games in the series. For the prep time, it didn't deliver enough.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu: Murder of Crows
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by jim t. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/09/2011 12:49:55

I found this this to be a mediocre adventure. With no help from me, my players, (1 noob and 2 players with a small amount of XP) were able to figure out the bad guy about 30 minutes in. After that it was pretty much going through the conversation motions until the fight showed up. Even then, I kicked the end battle into play far ahead of schedule as my players were growing bored of talking to the locals, none who had anything vastly different to say from one to the next.

The investigation as written was severely lacking. This was literally show up, talk to each local, check their name off the list, wait for the boss fight and then leave. This is normally fine if you have decent action or suspense to break it up, but there isn't a ton of action to be found. The suggested attacks during the meat of the adventure did cause some headaches for them, at one point I had them scared to even go outside any buildings, but that kind of suspense can only be held for so long.

With all that said, I found the layout appealing, the text well written, only marred by some rather annoying typos.

At the $6 sale price it is worth a shot, if only because I personally found the setting (remote mountain town) rather appealing. I'd avoid it at the regular $12.99price. Even then, the Keeper should be prepared to embellish as needed. I purchased the sequel The Doom From Below at the same time and have plans to run it in a few months. Will review it afterwards.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu: Murder of Crows
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/19/2010 13:11:06

"Murder of Crows" is a short, but sweet introductory adventure for CoC. It features 2 handouts, a map of Bethlehem and 4 pregens. The investigators are called in to find out what has prompted huge amounts of crows to besiege the peaceful town of Bethlehem.

While the adventure generates an awesome tension via the birds and other, paranormal occurrences and manages to pull off a constant feeling of paranoia and rising tension, it is, unfortunately not without its own flaws.

The mood is awesome (that cannot be stressed enough!), but the investigation is too easy:

There is a macguffin document (which, the adventure states, the keeper should leave out, if it's too easy on the players) to to be found that flat-out states whom to blame for the situation. Unfortunately, this is one of the handouts.

The villain is quite frankly the first one to be suspected by any experienced investigators. There are red herrings, but they are a bit obvious.

There is an easy solution, though: Make the villain an insane victim and put the true source of the siege in the hands of another person in the town. That way, you get an awesome finale and can add a scene where the investigators return to the town to find the true enemy.

The formatting and prose are clear, concise and high-quality, the pictures are nice and capture the mood.

There are some minor typos in the background of one of the pregens.

For the idea and the mood, I'd give 5 stars. Awesome. There is an idea called "River of Vermin". Need I say more?

For the rather bland and much too easy investigation (that in my opinion serves as a backdrop for the mood), that unfortunately uses a CoC-trope in an otherwise original and innovative adventure, I'd give 2 Stars.

In the end, I settled on 3 stars, just because the mood and shock-ideas are awesome, innovative and just plain cool. A Keeper for an experienced group has to expand the investigation, though.

Any keeper planning on running an innovative Hitchcockish or paranoia-laden adventure should give it a try.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu: Murder of Crows
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Markus W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/01/2008 07:41:13

The setting is nicely fleshed-out, the atmosphere is creepy and there is room for one or two nice moments of pure horror. Although it may seem blunt, I like the fact that the scenario has a mechanic for the keeper to quick-start the showdown, that's perfect for one-shots and cons, where you have a time frame.


As a keeper, I think I shall put in a red herring or two, because it seems a little obvious that the only person missing from town is the bad guy. That said, players can be really blind for the obvious. I think I will clarify and expand on the clues for the investigators. Just to make sure which persons in town will know what about the actual facts, and which will lead the investigators in the wrong direction. Not sure which direction that will be.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu: Murder of Crows
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Andrew N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/19/2008 06:53:37

A decent scenario release but not ground-breaking or earth shattering in CoC terms.

Liked: Some very good touches in the characterisation/ way NPC characters are described for the ref . Good layout and technical writing skill.

disliked: ... but plot a bit uninspiring. Also, too much leading by the nose - much like in a typical D&D campaign, the villain is broadcast too heavily.

Overall Solid , but unoriginal plot lets down what is otherwise a nicely thought out scenario pack. The overall design bodes well for future releases from the team., and this would make a useful filler adventure.

Whilst the plot might be uninspiring to experienced CoC players, this might well make a good first scenario for groups transitioning from other RPGs.

Experienced Groups 6.5/10 Beginning Groups 8/10

In conclusion: Worth a buy but not a must-have.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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