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Miskatonic University: A Handbook to the Pride of Arkham (Call of Cthulhu roleplaying) [Paperback]

Sam Johnson , Philip R. Rogers , David Grilla , Alex Thomas , Paul Carrick

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Book Description

Nov. 30 2005 Call of Cthulhu
MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY is a small, seemingly typical New England college nestled in the bosom of conservative Arkham, Massachusetts. A poor cousin to such hallowed institutions as Harvard, Brown, and Princeton (the term “Ivy League” won’t come into use until 1936), Miskatonic nonetheless offers coveted degrees in a wide variety of subjects and boasts high academic standards.

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Miskatonic University: A Handbook to the Pride of Arkham (Call of Cthulhu roleplaying) + H.P. Lovecraft's Dunwich: Return to the Forgotten Village (Call of Cthulhu roleplaying)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Chaosium Inc (Nov. 30 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568821409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568821405
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 21.1 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAYBE THE BEST SUPPLEMENT YET! April 4 2006
By Tim Janson - Published on Amazon.com
Miskatonic University...that renowned institution of higher learning made famous (or infamous) in the tales of the Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft and others, comes to life in this fantastic supplement for the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game from Chaosium. Within these pages you'll find everything you'll need to attend, work at, or investigate the hallowed and haunted halls of Miskatonic. This is without a doubt a long awaited supplement for this horror RPG. The designers of this supplement have brought Miskatonic to life and created a setting that will excite players for a long time.

The first chapter begins with a lengthy history of the university and its founding in mysterious Arkham, MA, in 1690. Noted is the role that the town of Arkham played in the witchcraft hysteria of 1692 as some residents fled Salem to come to Arkham. Even one of Miskatonic's founders would be accused of witchcraft. Miskatonic's history and expansion is traced from its founding right up through the 20th century. A campus guide and detailed map notes the locations of all the buildings on campus including the dilapidated "Witch House" at 197 E. Pickman St. There is a lengthy section on Orne Library, one of the most important buildings, which provides maps of each floor, profiles of employees and frequent visitors as well as the noted collections housed there. These include some of the most famous tomes of dark lore in the world including The Book of Eibon, the Malleus Maleificarum (Hammer of the Witches), Nameless Cults, and, of course, the Necronomicon. Stats are provided for each book that detail sanity checks for reading them, weeks to study, and the spells/benefits gained once the book has been completed.

Thinking of attending or working at Miskatonic? Then chapter two gets you started with details on campus life, where to live and dine, social life, student organizations, honor societies, academic clubs, and secret societies. For those looking to join the Miskatonic staff there are details on faculty tenures and salaries. Each school is briefly profiled along with the important staff members. Chapter three further fleshes out life in and around Miskatonic with detailed information on topics such as tuition, financial aid, student employment, grades and report cards, academic requirements, and more. New skills such Cryptography and Zoology are included as well. There's even a section on creating a student investigator character.

All this leads up to chapter four, the Miskatonic Secrets! There are mazes of sewers and tunnels under the school, many predating the schools founding. What lies within those tunnels is up to the players to find out. Tunnel maps and the various entrance and exit points are noted. Information on known occultists, secret cults such as the Esoteric Order of the Dragon and The Witch Cult, and various legends and mysteries are included and can make for great adventures. There are over a dozen adventure hooks in all in this chapter and the Keeper should have no trouble coming up with his or her own.

Chapter five is a lengthy introductory scenario as players, either students or faculty characters, investigate the mysterious death of a student who was found dead in the Orne Library. The adventure moves briskly and gives players a great feel for the Miskatonic atmosphere and its abundant secrets. Finally the appendices include over two dozen new spells, as well as additional skills and playing information.

One of the things I loved about the book is the interior art. Interior art in a role-playing game supplement is often unimportant and thus sometimes done haphazardly, but note here. The artists did a magnificent job of capturing the look and feel of 1920's/30's New England. Further, and maybe it's just me, but the character in most of the portraits look a bit crazy if not outright sinister which only adds to the dark mood of the setting. While the information is abundant, the designers didn't make it all encompassing. There is still a lot of room for the Keeper to improvise and shape Miskatonic anyway they desire. Bottom line: this is a fantastic setting that truly captures the essence of Lovecraft's work. Highly recommended!

Reviewed by Tim Janson
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's time for a whole new class of students Feb. 9 2007
By Preston Halcomb - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The Miskatonic University sourcebook is a VERY useful item for anyone who plays Call of Cthulhu and wants an 'intellectual' character. I know that the information provided on Lovecraft's signature school provided a wealth of background for my CoC investigators. This book, combined with HP Lovecraft's Arkham (ASIN 1568821654), provides all the information you need to adventure in the shadow haunted city of Arkham.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tome Worthy of the Pride of Arkham! June 1 2014
By The Last Hobbit - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Clocking in at well over 200 pages, Miskatonic University is one of the "must have" supplements for Call of Cthulhu. Countless non-player characters, plot seeds, locations along with an extensive history of this (in)famous college make it useful for any classic-era CoC game. Natrually, it lends itself well to running a campaign based around a group of characters who are attending Miskatonic as students and gives a remarkable level of detail regarding life on campus.

So whether your characters are heading to the famous Orne Library for research, taking a few classes to polish up their education, or joining professors and explorers on one of the famous Miskatonic University expeditions, this supplement has got something of use for your Call of Cthulhu campaign. You'd be downright mad not to pick it up.
5.0 out of 5 stars during its most fun period. Lots of great scenarios and maps to ... Aug. 19 2014
By Jana L. Conkle - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Don't let the modern clothes on the dude on the cover fool you-- this is 1920s M.U. during its most fun period. Lots of great scenarios and maps to enhance your RPG experience.

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