The Role Play Haven

Chapter One – New York


Chapter One – New York

Warning: potential Masks of Nyarlathotep spoilers below.

After an old friend sends an urgent message, President Robo's Action Cabinet flies into New York…

Dr Jackson Elias is a Tesladyne alum, an ex-action scientist who has kept in close contact with his old friend Atomic Robo. Recently Dr Elias has contacted President Robo, with a cryptic message alluding to the mysterious disappearance of those involved in the infamous Carlyle Experiment half a decade earlier.President Robo dispatches his action cabinet to New York to investigate and probably punch things.

OK, so like its stepfather, my take on Masks also starts in New York. If we're using Atomic Robo to run this we don't want to define too much of the action, we need to leave some space for the characters to Brainstorm, hypothesis and fill in some of the blanks themselves. Therefore, I can't really yet define exactly what the Carlyle Experiment is (though as a contingency I do have an idea) because you'd really like the players to fill in the blanks as they play.

But, supposing this games plays out something like your vanilla game of Masks, here are some possible highlights…

  • Characters find Dr Elias' bullet riddled body and have a cool fight/car chase scene through the New York streets with Dr Elias' assassins.
  • An investigation reveals that these disfigured and piscine-like assassins are hitmen for Jack 'Devilfish' Marsh's gang operating out of New York's Chinatown. Just in case I'm being too subtle, Marsh's gang are Deep One hybrid gangsters.
  • Investigations will point the characters towards London and the Penhew Research Foundation, and onwards to Egypt and China.
  • Though it might be cool to have the Stumbling Tiger Bar might in New York's Chinatown and to let it be Devilfish's chief hangout?
  • Characters could encounter Erica Carlyle, Roger's heiress sister, and attempt to recover Roger's notes and scientific journals which are no part of Erica's estate, assuming they can make it past Erica's attorney, Bradley Grey.
  • They could investigate the connection between Roger Carlyle and Dr Roy Tam a scientist working for Bell Research Labs in New York. Surely it cannot be a coincidence that in the 1930s Bell Labs were experimenting with radio astronomy and had discovered radio signals being emitted from the centre of the galaxy?
  • They might recover Jackson Elias' research notes covering his trips around the world in pursuit of the truth behind the Carlyle Experiment. They might worry over the slipping sanity of their old friend and the dark fate his notes hint at.
  • They might attend Dr Cowles lecture at NYU on Atlantis, Lemuria and other Antediluvian lost civilisations. For good measure Dr Cowles can throw in a healthy amount of theosophical nonsense pseudoscience on race, and any conclusions you draw between Deep Ones and sunken Atlantis are entirely your own.
  • Eventually they'll confront Marsh's gang of gibbering hybrid mobster. Jack 'Devilfish' Marsh and his gang operate out of the heroin den at the back of Stumbling Tiger Bar in Chinatown, and of course beneath the bar there is a temple to a malignant extra-dimensional entity and a connection to the sewer system and from there, the sea…
  • The PCs should feel free to bring in the FBI and the Federal Government into clean up the streets of Chinatown or perhaps find allies amongst the Chinese gangs of New York?
  • Next time we'll cover off The Mask of Nyarlathotep's fiendish plan for New York.

Bell Research Labs, New York 1936
Dr Roy Tam
Jack 'Devilfish' Marsh and his squamous mobsters
"...a temple to a malignant extra-dimensional entity "
Erica Carlyle
The Hip Sing Tong might be valuable allies
The Earthquake Horror!
President Atomic Robo


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