Agnes (Zebra), Marie (Pizza), Pete (Wings), and Trish (Me) vs. Cthulhu. Dunwich with Dark Pharaoh.
This didn’t go well at all. Pretty sure Nyarlathotep read how easy I thought his Final Battle would be last session, and sent Big C to remind us who’s boss. It seemed like every Encounter threatened great harm (Cursed, Devoured, etc.), our dice were sent from a dark place, and in a rookie panic, we were all burning Clues to “survive”.
Agnes was Wanted from Turn 1 for the rest of the game, because the game kept taking Clue tokens from her Seal bank. She received a Retainer thanks to her “I’ll Vouch For My Friend” Relationship with Pete, which covered her Wanted bribes, but lost it three turns later.
Trish tried to get Pete to scrounge the Camera from the General Store, but she had to have her Encounter first, so as to not “bury” the Camera with her shopping discards. Cthulhu disagreed, and she ended up with a Mail Order Encounter, which is just a fancy forced shopping trip, so bye-bye camera. In the following two turns, Wizard’s Hill put an extra Clue on Gardners’ Place, and then removed them with its own Gate. Trish fails her story, and about three minutes later, she finds the Magnifying Glass. (Listen, you can hear the game chuckling!) By the time I was able to deliver the Mail-Ordered Understudy’s Script to Agnes (who just gave it back to Trish), we were in such dire straits that I never wanted to take the time to boost both Trish’s Speed and Will high enough to ever stand still and read it.
Pete was able to scrounge a Shotgun and an Ancient Spear, so Wings was armed and happy. So Cthulhu dropped a Formless Spawn on top of her, and slogged her rolls to goad her into losing all of Pete’s starting Clues and most of his Stamina. That remote Gardners’ Place Gate was a Dreamlands one, so Pete slowly made his way to Dunwich. But crossing the covered bridge over Bishops Brook transported him to somewhere else: draw a Mythos card and move to the Gate Location on it. Wings drew the Historical Society, one of three locations as far from Dunwich as you can possibly get (and a statistically COLD Mythos card too!). He’d never get back up there in time. Don’t tell me this game ain’t alive.
Marie had moved to the Library to attempt to pass her Spell-gathering Story, and actually found a Wither on that turn, so Cthulhu used overdue book fines to scare her off. She tried her luck at the Silver Twilight Lodge, and was approached by Carl Stanford. Pizza has never had a great experience with the Order—he may consider a Membership a “black cat” card—and balked even though there was only one solution: take the Membership, or be beaten unconscious. And yet, it took a minute for him to make that decision. “You keep staring at that card, thinking you’re going to find a way out,” I taunted. “They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” That got me an amused glare. “Which do you hate more: this (Lodge Membership, left hand), or this (Injury card, right hand)?” Meet acolyte Marie.
Of course, then Marie ended up back at the Library (from a Historical Society lift) with a choice: Lore (-2) Check for 1 Spell or Sneak (+1)  Check for draw-2-pick-1 Spell. Marie was at Lore 4 and Sneak 2: I would ask the statisticians to calculate me the more favorable attempt. Pizza chose the latter, and failed. The following turn, the Doom Track hit 5, even with Marie using her Witch’s Blood and Agnes taking out Barnabas Marsh: both Marie and Pete failed their Stories together.
Agnes moved to Dunwich to cover for Pete’s absence, and a skull with a star-shaped hole in it drove her insane, failing her story and ejecting her from Dunwich as well.
Five Open Gates, four failed Stories, three Clues left in play (all in Dunwich), two dollars between the four of us, and one Dunwich Horror in a pear tree on Sentinel Hill while Cthulhu just LAUGHED at us.
Lost Carcosa knocked Trish down to 1 Sanity in one roll. I came out, utterly failed my Gate Roll—I honestly cannot remember if Trish scored a single minor success during that WHOLE GAME—and wasted my Watcher of the Blue Pyramid just to get a Seal on the board. Clearly I did not comprehend that Cthulhu had already decided that we were not to have ANY satisfaction with this game, and popped too many Gates in no time.
We had decent enough armaments—a Shotgun, double Withers (+8 for Agnes), a Flamethrower—but I’ll be damned if our dice weren’t unashamedly trying to kill us now. When you collectively roll more ones than an entire Yahtzee game in four rounds, that’s your dice not even attempting to hide their murderous worship of the other side. We were pathetically able to nick Cthulhu down to Doom 7 before we started dropping out. Pete (with Duke, faithful to the end) survived for one last round alone before…
…dinner? Wait, it’s not even DINNER yet?!? Ohhhhhhhhhhh…that was baaaaaaad…