I confess: I chickened out a bit on my weekend pledge to start Beyond the Mountains of Madness. Upon digging out the BtMoM book, I was reminded of that campaign’s sanity-shattering complexity and extremely large cast of NPCs, and so I decided to lead into it gradually. I ran the first part of The Trail of Tsathoggua instead (Tsathoggua being one of the better Cthulhu mythos names, in my opinion). It features a hazardous journey across glacier-covered wastes in search of a long-lost city (in other words, it shares much of BtMoM‘s plot, but in much more compact form). The plan is to give my wife’s investigator characters a chance to acquire some glacier-exploring skills, then toss them to the wolves of BtMoM.
I will say this: I don’t think I’ve ever played in an RPG scenario where the Climb skill was the most critical one on the character sheet. So far, there’s an awful lot of “if the investigators fail their Climb skill check while on the glacier, they die”–not a lot of room for the GM to step in and handwave away something like that. I assume this will only get worse once we get to BtMoM. Usually, it’s the combat and weapon skills that get maxed out upon character creation. Part of the charm of Call of Cthulhu, I suppose.by