Blood Brothers is a somewhat unusual scenario collection from Chaosium. First of all, it’s not exactly a Call of Cthulhu collection such even though it’s labeled as part of the game line; while it uses the BRP ruleset, the scenarios are all non-mythos. Secondly, it’s firmly tongue-in-cheek, since the scenarios take their inspiration from late, late night horror B-movies. The book opens with various tweaks (replacing CoC sanity rules with stuff like “his hair turns white instantly”), ja providing optional 3-D rules (“the GM grabs the appropriate object from the table and moves it back and forth towards the player while making a ‘weeeooo-weoooo’ noise until the player finishes laughing or stabs him in the neck with a sharpened pencil”).
With those starting points the quality could be anything under the sun, but I’m happy to report that on the whole this is a good and very fun collection. Most (all?) are best suited for one-shots, since incorporating most of these in a “normal” campaign might be difficult. The quality varies, of course. Some are nice stylistic experiments but not necessarily great game tools (“Nemesis Strikes Back!” for example, there the PCs are mostly in the roles of spectators to events), and some just didn’t really grab me. On the other hand, many of these sound like a lot of fun given players who agree to the theme and play up the “B-Movie” vibe. Hey, a scenario titled “Ancient Midget Nazi Shamans” can’t be all bad, can it? Actually, it’s one of the better scenarios here, taking cues from the movie Gremlins and other sources. “Dead on Arrival” is a nice zombie homage, “Honeymoon in Hell” is a good “Island of Dr. Moreau” -style romp, and “The Dollmaker” gives us creepy dolls and an interesting scenario built around them. The book ends with a (B-Movie) sci-fi scenario, “Horror Planet”, which is both pretty good and has a suitably crappy title (all old late-night scifi/horror movies seem to have really bad titles, for some reason).
So. A bit of a mixed bag, but an amusing read and should provide good low-prep fun for GMs who need a one-shot to run some evening. Best served to players expecting a serious Cthulhu scenario, of course; the GM can get much amusement from watching the players try to figure out what mythos horror is behind the events (when it’s actually nothing of the sort).
There’s also a follow-up book available (titled “Blood Brothers 2”, unsurprisingly), and it’s supposed to be even better.
Fatal Experiments is a collection of three Call of Cthulhu scenarios. It has some problems, but also contains good bits.
The first one is “Tatterdemallion”, where a playwright (or was it a film director?) invites a bunch of guests to his Hollywood home to witness the first performance of a new play. Since the play is called “The King in Yellow”, it should come as no suprise to experienced CoC players that the results aren’t all that pretty. It’s a fairly cool scenario with some nicely creepy and atmospheric bits, and is easily the best scenario in the book. However, some of the details are a bit wonky: if the PCs end up in Carcosa, they need to do some very non-obvious things in order to survive, some of them a bit silly. I would run the Carcosa part in a much more freeform fashion than what is outlined here. In any case, this is a very decent “Hastur Mythos” scenario.
Unfortunately, it’s downhill from there. The next one, “The Songs of Fantari”, is… well, pretty bad. It’s totally railroaded, and that railroad leads up to enforced imprisonment and experimentation on by some nasty beings, with little hope of escape other than by some strange Deus Ex Machine ways. What’s the point of this thing? In addition, the scenario bills itself as “suitable for beginner players”. Maybe if you want to teach them to avoid CoC for the rest of their lives. Otherwise, skip this one. The starting plot, concerning strange “siren songs” which have possibly caused some fishermen in a coastal village to vanish, is quite ok. The events leading on from that are not.
Lastly we get “The Lurker in the Crypt”, a big scenario with lots of good and lots of bad. People have been vanishing in New York, and signs point toward something lurking in the sewers. The actual truth unveils slowly and is nicely intricate, and it’s also quite freeform; there are multiple groups of “bad guys” at work here, and the PCs may even manage to negotiate some sort of temporary alliance with some of them. That’s the good part. The bad? Well, it’s stupidly overpowered. The bad guys will make mincemeat out of pretty much any PC group, and the “end dungeon” of the adventure” almost goes into D&D territory. The scenario does note that the PCs need to recruit the police (or such) to help here, but… how likely is that? And would that lead to an interesting game, with police strike forces doing the hard bits behind the scenes (the police would have no reason to let civilians tag along)? In the end, it’s an interesting and fairly intricate bit city -based scenario, with severe power level scaling problems. With some GM work in toning that down, this one should be quite usable.
As a whole, this is at most a mediocre collection. All of the scenarios have problems, ranging from “a few weird bits” to “stupid railroad that will only annoy players”. On the flipside, two of these should provide many fun gaming sessions, even if one needs a bit of work.
Arkham Unveiled is a Call of Cthulhu sourcebook which has been released in different forms three times to date. The first 1990 edition (which I have) details the town of Arkham, keeping faith with Lovecraft’s stories as far as possible, and also contains four scenarios. The second “compact” printing leaves out the scenarios, and the third one adds d20 stats and also replaces one of the scenarios with another one.
Anyway, it’s a 1920’s small-town sourcebook, and a damn fine one. While the art is quite shoddy (at least in this edition), the attention to detail and quality of the writing is great. The book contains lots of links to the various Lovecraft stories, noting which location (and time) certain stories take place, so the GM can incorporate parts of them in the game if he/she wants to. There’s a ton of information here, starting from general notes on life during the prohibition going on to house-by-house detail of the town, along with numerous NPCs ready to be used in games. It’s a ready-to-run home base for Investigators, as long as the GM is willing to use a town that may be overly familiar to some (via the stories).
The scenarios are all good, in my opinion. The first one borrows from “Herbert West, Reanimator”, with the PCs going after some shady experiments possibly being done by someone. The second is a bit weird for this book, though it’s a very good as such scenario; it’s set well outside the city, off in the wild hills, and as such has little to do with this city sourcebook. It’s not quite “hillbilly horror”, but goes a bit in that direction. The last two scenarios are both excellent and make good use of the town and some NPCs there.
Since this is the first edition of this book, the later ones may correct some omissions or errors in this one. Not that I spotted many such, but I’m sure that GMs actually using the town maps and location indexes will spot quite a few. The newest edition replaces the “reanimator” scenario with another one, which is a somewhat strange choice: as noted, the second scenario is really the one not quite fitting in here due to its location.
The Golden Dawn is a sourcebook on Victorian Era Call of Cthulhu, written by the intrepid Investigators at Pagan Publishing. Not surprisingly (based on the title) it concentrates on the real-life mystical society “The Golden Dawn”, which was active in 1890’s England and had such luminaries as W.B. Yeats and Aleister Crowley as members. Of course, this is a Cthulhu supplement and not a historical treatise, so the book pointedly avoids detailing the intricate rituals and detailed beliefs of the actual society, and instead points the curious reader to other reference sources – apparently, the society had massive amounts of ritual and such. I think just providing an overview was a smart choice, most people aren’t all that interested in Hermetic esoterica, especially then most of it was apparently invented “from thin air” by the founder (who claimed they came from a non-existing German original chapter of the order).
Assuming the history detailed here corresponds to actual fact, it’s darkly amusing to see a “mystical society” which claims to seek “secrets from beyond” eventually fall to such banal things as office politics, internal cliques and personality clashes. Since this is a Cthulhu sourcebook some links in that direction are given, but to Pagan’s credit they did not directly tie the Golden Dawn into any specific Cthulhu cult or such — which would have been a bit boring. Instead, they portray the members and mostly well-intentioned seekers of mystical secrets and/or personal power (much like many Masons of the time), and have the society be largely clueless about the “real” secrets of the universe. They discover some tricks relating to astral projection, and stumble across some Mythos spells, but largely they are just stumbling in the dark, spouting mumbo-jumbo and trying to impress each other, thinking they are following secrets from the (mythical) Rosicrucians. Some are nutcases and some are quite unpleasant people, but they are not Cthulhu cultists chanting “ie! ie! ie!” around some altar.
The book is intended as a foundation for a game where the PCs are low-level members of the order. As such, it’s a great package: it contains a ton of information about the general organization of the Order, the most important members, the real-life history of the Order (versus what initiates are told), and other details which should help flesh out the scenario. Many historical people are presented, but their CoC stats are left out: you won’t find Aleister Crowley’s Cthulhu stats, here, sorry.
While the first half of the book contains background details on the Order and hints on how to run games with it, the second half gives you four scenarios to run. They are all very good and quite different from each other, and also perform the admirable feat of both using historical “important NPCs” in them and giving the PCs (mostly) free rein in how to proceed. The first concerns a (possibly) haunted room in a mansion, with W.B. Yeats himself recruiting the PCs along to help. It has a very evil twist, and may well result in a PC death or two. The second looks into the myth of Black Annis, a witch supposedly burnt at the stake in the old days. It’s also quite dangerous, especially if the PCs aren’t paranoid enough. The third takes place in Paris, at the Opera. Yes, there is also a Phantom involved, but it’s… not what you’d expect. Very nice and twisty little scenario. Last there is a scenario which concerns the possible return of King Arthur. Yes, that Arthur. Except that… well, forget all mythological preconceptions here, the Arthur given here is a) much more historically likely than the glorified man of the myth and b) a total murderous bastard. So yes, you actually have a scenario where you can have King Arthur murder the PCs (and/or sacrifice them to Mythos entities). Good stuff.
As a whole, it’s a great book. It details a fascinating little Victorian secret society, while concentrating on making it a good base of operations for a game (as opposed to a historical treatise). I loved the foreword which directly states the reason they are not detailing most of the rituals etc: “they are pretty dull”. Instead of boring recitals of Latin phrases, we’re given a nicely organized info packet on the Order and the times it existed in, topped off by four very good scenarios. The only minus point here is the fact that this is a very specialized sourcebook, you can’t directly use much of this in a “normal” Cthulhu game, other than as historical trivia. Some of the scenarios might be translatable, but many contain so many Victorian tropes that it would require a bit of work.
Oh, and Crowley was a nutcase. But you already knew that.
Mortal Coils is a collection of Call of Cthulhu scenarios from Pagan Publishing; unlike some previous collections, these have not been printed before in Unspeakable Oath back issues, but get their first publication here. Since this is from Pagan I expected high quality, and for the most part that’s exactly what I got. There are no real stinkers here and some are really really good, but as always in a scenario collection the quality varies and (even more importantly) “good” is often a relative concept in these things. What might work wonderfully for one GM and play group may fail spectacularly for others.
The scenarios are connected by a theme of someone (or something) having vanished and/or died, but otherwise they are all over the place. Most take place in the “classic” 1920s period, but the locations vary a lot. The majority are set in the U.S. but two are set abroad. The detail level is high (especially in John H Crowe III’s scenarios, it’s a trademark of his), and likewise the difficulty level is on the high side; in some cases, the scenarios seem a bit too daunting to me, at least as written. While some can probably be integrated into an ongoing campaign, I suspect most of these would work best as stand-alones (either because of scenario requirements or because of lethality).
Vigilante Justice (by John H Crowe III) starts off the lot. It posits one of the PCs being married to an NPC, and also has the PCs playing natives of small-town Kentucky, limiting integration options a bit. The child of one of the PCs has been kidnapped, and authorities are no help (the office of “sheriff” did little investigation or police work in those days), and time is running out. It’s a nice enough scenario, but it quite difficult as written and the main bad guys get little-to-no actual description here – I understand they are detailed in some other sourcebook, but that’s no help here. On the other hand, that detail isn’t necessary here, since the PCs will be involved with “subordinate” minions.
A Murder of Crows (also by John H Crowe III) is a bit better, in my opinion. Two brothers have vanished into the Louisiana swamps, and the PCs are tasked with figuring out what happened. There are some red herrings thrown out to confuse the PCs, while the actual antagonists here are quite well-entrenched; the PCs need to be very careful in what they do. The depiction of the cult-infested small town in the middle of a swamp is great, and some of the small details here are wonderfully disturbing. Some extra bits seem a bit too weird and maybe unnecessary (I mean really, a lost bunch of Confederate soldiers?), but may work out well in actual play. A nice scenario, but also quite potentially lethal.
Nightcap (by Jeff Moeller) is interesting and different. Heavily based on the Dreamlands, it involves a mysterious flask found in the forest and some strange goings-on in back-country Kentucky. It’s quite an imaginative little thing, and the ending (involving “Teddy”) is potentially both terrifying and utterly weird. It has a few “GM traps” involving the nature of the bottles themselves, but nothing that can’t be worked around. A good little side trip to throw at PCs too used to looking for Cthulhu influences under every bush.
God of the Mountain (by Michael Cisco) is one of the best scenarios here. It’s also quite unusual and deliberately designed to foil normal player expectations. The PCs hear of the disappearance of two brothers in Peru while searching for the lost city of Tahaun, and the PCs are sent to investigate (it’s presumed they have motive to do so, via various means). What they find there is eerie, subtle and quite lethal – and probably also something the players aren’t prepared for. A real gem of a scenario, but also potentially quite lethal. Might be best run as a one-shot.
Common Courtesy (by Jeff Moeller) is another unusual scenario. A young woman has disappeared, and the case may potentially involve his recently-deceased husband, and the fact that the marriage was both recent and unusual – the husband was quite openly gay. Investigating the matter will bring the PCs head-to-fist with a strange group of the deceased husband’s relatives. The relatives are both (very) foreign and have some very strange notions about proper burial rites. The scenario is constructed so that simply using blunt force or involving the authorities is sure to result in a bloodbath (with high probability of PC deaths), and the sneaky approach is also difficult. There is a peaceful solution, but it will involve some heavy sanity losses for everyone. Quite a clever and evil little scenario, all things considered.
We Have Met the Enemy (by Rebecca Strong) is the weakest of the bunch. It’s not bad, none of the scenarios here are, but neither is it up to the level of the others presented here. The action involves one “Uncle Freddy” (related to a PC) having been murdered, and the PCs (of course) investigating. The base idea here is decent: it tries to set up a situation where the PCs need to do some not-so-nice things in order to prevent even worse things. The problem is that the whole thing is very linear, and it assumes the PCs do some very specific things (which actual PCs are quite unlikely to do, without heavy prodding). Also, the “bad things” aren’t probably all that disturbing in the end, to your average bunch of PCs. Again, it’s not bad, it’s just… very mediocre.
Dream Factory (by John Tynes) is (barely) the longest scenario in the book, and it’s both complicated and quite good. The action takes place in the “dream factory”: Hollywood in the transition where silent movies were just about to be eclipsed by “talkies”. A young and promising starlet has vanished, and the PCs are hired to trace what happened. Possibly involved are a bunch of (ex) boyfriends, jealous co-actors, doting “mentors”, foreign “genius filmmakers”, and a cult (or two). As noted, it’s a complex scenario, but it does also provide comprehensive notes on NPCs, timelines and such as help for the GM. It’s a difficult case to actually solve and can go in lots of different directions, but there is material here for a pretty awesome game, provided the GM is familiar enough with all the different plot lines and characters. Good stuff.
Mysteria Matriis Oblitae (by Dennis Detwiller) involves a researcher at the University of Mexico City receiving a photograph of a bizarre creature, originating in a distant rural Mexican village. The bloody Mexican revolution of 1910 has left many of the villages in the area as burnt-out husks, and not many outsiders visit the region in the first place. Enter the PCs, tasked by the University to investigate this new zoological find. Well, surprise surprise (or not), they find more than they bargained for. The intersections of this story and actual Mexican history add some extra interest, and the scenario provides both playtest notes and notes on what would happen if the PCs do some specific (and possibly obvious) things, up to “get the military involved”. There is a definite Delta Green feel to this thing, even though it’s set in a historical Cthulhu setting.
So there. A very good (though not flawless) collection of Cthulhu scenarios, covering a lot of styles and themes.
The Realm of Shadows is another Cthulhu campaign from John H. Crowe III, published by Pagan Publishing. It’s set in the 1940s and the slowly escalating World War II provides a nice backdrop – the war doesn’t directly impact many things here, but it does give interesting context to several things and explains some plot elements later on in the campaign. The book is (very) loosely connected with Coming Full Circle, a previous campaign by the same author, in that this one can be played as a continuation and some small plot links are provided. It’s an extremely loose connection, though, this campaign mostly stands on its own.
The plot here centers on ghouls and ghoul cults. Unlike many “big plots” in Cthulhu scenarios, there is no impending “rise of the Old Ones” or such end-of-the-world stuff here. If the PCs fail… nothing all that horrible happens, at least in the short run. In the longer run things get a bit more grim, and various small-scale victories (or losses) encountered here will of course be very significant to the PCs. This approach is quite refreshing, though it does bring with it a few problems with PC motivation; after the initial scenario, the GM needs to do some work to make sure the PCs are set up to have motivation enough to pursue hidden things on their own. Things which have been hidden for ages, and are very good at staying hidden.
Events begin with the PCs getting hired by a worried doctor in a small New England town, whose wife has run away and taken their daughter with her. Strange previous behavior by the wife, added to the strange physical deformities ailing their daughter, makes the doctor suspect something sinister is going on. Is it just a case of marital problems coming to a crisis point? Of course not, this is Cthulhu. It’s a clever opening for the campaign; it’s quite low-key but has plenty of potential for action and is quite open-ended in how the PCs may approach things. At the end of it all, the PCs will hopefully have leads on a possible ghoul cult infesting some parts of Massachusetts.
…which the PCs are expected to trace and foil, in the second scenario. As noted, this runs the problem of too little PC motivation, it’s easy enough to see the PCs just give up and do something else at this point. Depending on how the first part went, the GM may need to do some little legwork here. The scenario itself is quite solid, and assuming the PCs are clever or lucky enough they’ll get plenty of clues, many of them pointing towards South America. There is also a small linking scenario provided, which takes place in the Dreamlands and may provide critical additional clues and is important in piecing things together in the finale.
The last part takes place in French Guiana, location of the infamous “Devil’s Island” prison camp and also host to vast tracts of utterly hostile and mostly unexplored jungle. This last part also gets greatest mileage of the war in the background – flying there is expensive, but the cheaper ship option runs the risk of a submarine attack. Also, the war and the simultaneous dissolution of the French government has had a huge impact here: local prices are haywire, the political situation is anyone’s guess, and attitudes are tense. The PCs need to get there, hire a suitable guide or two (a non-trivial task in itself), and then head off into the jungle to face whatever lurks there.
The end game is potentially explosive, panicy and quite deadly, as befits a Cthulhu campaign. The PCs do have a chance at survival, but the probability of them dying noble (or not) deaths in the depths of the jungle is much higher. The opposition is strong, clever and entrenched, and the PCs need to be clever and careful (or have serious firepower, not easy to arrange) in order to have a chance.
As a whole, it’s really an excellent campaign. It starts up slowly but in a clever way, ramps things up with local investigation, provides mystical viewpoints via Dreamlands links, and finally throws the PCs directly at the heart of darkness. The only weakness, as I see it, is the motivation factor in the midpoint, but that should not be an issue provided the GM does some groundwork in the right direction. Another quality campaign from Pagan, in other words, with the slightly nonstandard 1940s timeframe spicing things up a bit. As typical for a scenario from this author (and Pagan Publishing in general), the attention to and level of detail is impressive. Also typical and awesome is the art by Blair Reynolds – very creepy and atmospheric.
Coming Full Circle is another excellent Cthulhu campaign from Pagan Publishing and the author of Walker in the Wastes (John H. Crowe III). As the author notes in the foreword, it’s almost the polar opposite of Walker: instead of large-scale globetrotting investigation, this is a very small-scale and insular affair. It’s also purposefully not a Cthulhu mythos campaign; the antagonists have their basis in New England folklore and mythology, instead of the Cthulhu mythos as such. There are notes to tie this to the mythos, if the GM wants to… but that’s purely optional. It’s also somewhat unusual in its time period, being set from 1929 to 1939, a decade after the classic Cthulhu period and under the looming threat of the U.S. Great Depression.
Like many other books from Pagan, this is brimming with detail and historical notes on the period, and NPC descriptions are extremely good. This is important since this is a very character-driven and insular campaign, talking place in a (fictional) New England town. As noted in the intro section, this thing plays best if at least one of the PCs is a noted “psychic investigator” or some such, since the opening hook has a local widow contacting the PCs regarding a haunting. It’s assumed the PCs take the bait and go investigate, of course, and the rest of the campaign depends on the PCs forming some sort of relations with the family in question. This might get tricky for the GM; if the PCs just want to do a quick investigation and move on, much of the rest of this might fall flat – so it’s important that the GM uses the piles of local and NPC detail given to try to bring the town and the locals to life.
The campaign consists of four parts, taking place years apart and all (at least somewhat) connected to this certain family (though one of them is only very loosely connected and can be run as a stand-alone as needed). In a way it’s the story of a certain family and the dark things that haunt them, and it’s up to the PCs to figure out what’s behind it all. The final part, the titular “Coming Full Circle”, finally wraps things up and returns to the source of the evil… assuming the PCs are diligent and/or lucky. The opposition is quite dangerous and clever, here.
It’s good stuff, assuming you feel like running a small-scale historical supernatural game. As noted, Cthulhu mythos elements as such are missing here, which can be a good thing to throw players expecting “familiar” Cthulhu tropes off the track. Not quite all of them are missing, though, in order to make things interesting. The amount of detail given should make this fairly easy to prep for, though the GM does need to read and re-read a lot of the information; as noted, using that to flesh out the important NPCs is critical here.
Out of the Vault is a compilation of Call of Cthulhu scenarios from the pages of Pagan Publishing’s “Unspeakable Oath” magazine (issues of which can be hard to get hold of nowadays), with new layout and art. Possibly some tweaks / corrections also, not sure about that; I had read almost all of these previously from the magazines, but it’s been a while so can’t say about possible differences. In any case, it’s generally a very high-class compilation. There are 10 scenarios, mosty from the “classic” 1920s era, and most of them are pretty good. Some few are only so-so, and a few are truly excellent. Many are quite deadly, as is par for the course for Cthulhu one-shots.
Highlights for me were the bizarre and deadly “Within You Without You”, the cinematic “Blood on the Tracks”… and above all, the crazy and brilliant “In Media Res”. That last one is quite unusual for a CoC scenario and is close in theme and feel to the (also brilliant and unusual) Unknown Armies scenario “Jailbreak”. It throws the PCs (and players) into a very scary situation with no warning, and also wraps up before questions are answered. Creepy and very cool, and also very suitable for a short LARP session; in fact some people have apparently run it as such.
“Modern-day” Cthulhu scenarios aren’t too common, as compared to the “classic-era” 1920s ones…. and the ones that do exist tend to be set in the 1980s or 1990s, which was current when they were written. A Resection of Time is one the few available scenarios in this group – and it’s pretty damn good. Besides being a nice mini-campaign (it’s a bit long to be merely be called a “scenario”, but too short for “campaign”) for Call of Cthulhu, this one would also make a very decent Delta Green scenario with quite minimal modification.
Subtitled “The Strange Case of Kyle Woodson: A Scenario”, the scenario begins with the PCs being tasked to investigate the death of an archeologist specializing in ancient Mayan culture, one Kyle Woodson. As written, the scenario strongly suggests that at least one of the PCs have a strong past connection with Kyle, having been at a dig with him years back. It’s quite doable to have the whole PC group be old archeologist friends / workmates of Kyle (this has implications later on, though I’ll avoid saying what implications to avoid spoilers). Kyle was struck by a speeding car in what seems to be a hit-and-run, possibly an intentional one. However, the autopsy found something very disturbing, so… cue the PCs.
Opportunities for sanity loss abound, and the PCs will fast find that their interest in the case hasn’t gone unnoticed. In the end, it’s likely that the leads will point towards Belize and some old dig sites… and assuming the PCs go there, they’ll find out things they’ll sincerely wish they hadn’t. There is a very nice plot twist at one point, which is improved by some GM foreshadowing in the previous sections.
Like I said, this is a strong scenario. It’s not perfect; some of the initial data about Kyle’s death is a bit contradictory in what seems to be a genuine mistake by the author, but that’s easy enough to rectify. Also, the scenario really needs for at least one of the PCs to have had old connections with Kyle, and to have been on site at a dig with him. Reverse-engineering this into an ongoing campaign might be tricky.
Also as noted, a very competent scenario for Delta Green, with the caveats about PC past involvement still valid.
Cthulhu Now might as well be titled “Cthulhu 80s” – but of course it was “now” back in the day. It’s a sourcebook for playing modern Cthulhu scenarios (my edition is the original 1987 one, there is also a 1992 edition with a different cover). It contains some rules additions and articles, and 4 modern-day scenarios.
The rules additions are mostly skills and such, and possibly useful, though it may be that the latest CoC corebook already contains some of this stuff (not sure, don’t own that). The articles are quite useful; there is an excellent one on forensics, and another quite solid on on modern firearms. Sure, some of the tech has changed since then, but most of it is still relevant as far as I can figure out. The biggest change (in everything) is computers: nowadays they are everywhere and a core component of much daily life, back then not so much.
The adventures are, as often is the case, a mixed bag.
The first one, “The City in the Sea”, isn’t anything all that special. An experimental sub gets taken out for a spin to examine some underwater ruins, with somewhat predictable results. The second one is “Dreams Dark and Deadly” and it’s quite a bit better. A private clinic specializing in dreams and dreaming gets invaded by… something nasty, and not everything is as it seems. A very nice scenario which could develop in lots of different directions.
Thirdly we get “The Killer Out of Space”, in which a space shuttle crashes to Earth and the PCs manage to be on site before the army/NASA gets there. The shuttle crash wasn’t caused by any normal technical fault, and things quickly escalate. There is a nice subtle twist which explains why the players aren’t killed immediately, and one which is also a major clue (if they figure it out). Not bad at all.
Last is “The Evil Stars”, in which a glam / heavy metal band tries to summon a mythos entity via music. It’s a bit corny and very 80s, but could be fun as-is in a retro way… and could also be updated for the modern day without too much trouble.
So. Some articles worth reading and a bunch of scenarios, most of them quite decent and all easy to update for the actual “right now” modern day, if desired. Not a “must get” book by any means, but worth getting if you want to run some modern-day Cthulhu mayhem.