A downloadable Tabletop RPG

A Tale of Terror by Sandy Petersen, the godfather of Call of Cthulhu

This scenario is by Sandy Petersen, original creator of the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. It is set in the modern-day in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. 

Accommodating two to six players, The Derelict can be played in a single session. The adventure concerns a missing reefer ship, the Groenland Tropisch, which has been stranded on an iceberg. The thought of a substantial salvage reward drives the investigators to attempt to rescue the ship, but in doing so they attract the attention of a strange and deadly monster. 

To play this you will need a copy of the Call of Cthulhu Quickstart Rules, or Call of Cthulhu Starter Set, or  Call of Cthulhu Rulebook (7th Edition), available to purchase from your friendly local gaming store or directly from Chaosium

I came up with this scenario while reading an old book about Viking explorations of the New World. In one of the tales, the Vikings encountered what they called a “sciapod” (this encounter is described in the scenario). What struck me is that the rest of the saga was all perfectly normal, earthly activity. There were storms, they caught fish, they sighted land, avoided icebergs, etc. Then, out of nowhere, comes this sciapod, and the Vikings treat it as matter-of-factly as a walrus. The only reason I would have to discount the sciapod is that no one since then seems to have spotted them (and lived). But it is a perfectly straightforward sighting.

It makes me wonder how many odd supernatural events we reject from ancient times because “we know better.” But we are willing to believe their non-miraculous accounts, of course. I wonder what we are blinding ourselves to by failing to dig deeper. There are French courtroom cases in which werewolves were put on trial, and these are right alongside other court cases in which no one disputes the validity of the events, for instance. Or 19th century accounts of lights glowing brightly on the dark half of the moon. Things go on beyond our purview. 

—Sandy Petersen

Originally produced for Free RPG Day 2018
51 page PDF
Authors: Sandy Petersen with Mike Mason, Pre-Generated Characters by Ron McClu
Art: M. Wayne Miller
Editorial: Mike Mason, Michael O'Brien

Call of Cthulhu, Chaosium Inc., and the Chaosium logo are registered trademarks of Chaosium Inc. Call of Cthulhu © 1981–2020 Chaosium Inc. Chaosium Arcane Symbol (the Star Elder Sign) © 1983 Chaosium Inc. Chaosium Yellow Sign © 1989 Chaosium Inc. All rights reserved.


23150_The_Derelict_INTERACTIVE.pdf 5 MB


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Hey the Liz character is missing the entire right half of the backstory?