This is an excellent adventure timed roughly to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of this great and mighty ship. The author does not provide much in the way of background for the Titanic preferring the Keeper will research this independently through the multitude of books, articles, movies, etc that have been written on this topic. But, he does raise a few salient points that add atmosphere to the adventure and it is that atmosphere that very quickly dispels images of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Wislet and gives the grim reality of what life onboard would have been like. Where the Enchanted World of First Class is contrasted with grim and grimy reality of steerage, and where a Mythos monster is unleashed to an unsuspecting ship. I can, at least, reveal one spoiler that the Mythos entity is not responsible for the sinking.
This game can be played as a pulp or a purist game, I would suggest that it works better as a pulp game as it has many campish elements while remaining true to investigative horror – and given that the horror probably survives the sinking makes it all the more horrific.
The adventure is well written and fast paced, naturally, players know that they are working against a deadline and this added thrill adds a better way of keeping the players motivated especially, if this adventure is run over the course of one night as a One Shot. The emphasis is equally on investigation, as well as the horror. Inventive and imaginative Keepers may indeed come up with additional red herrings and/or distractions from the huge popular culture tropes that exist around the ill fated journey of the Titanic without distracting too much from the overall plotting of the adventure. Which is good, as the adventure is rather on the short side, as readers can observe it is only 18 pages long (fluff and pregens occupying the rest). There is only one picture in the whole adventure and its inclusion is a bit of a mystery. I would have rather that there were pictures of the monster. And, I do purposely use the term monster, as this is a romp of trying to kill the monster rather than a game of existential horror, although, elements could be woven in.
Once again, we do not get character portraits – I am beginning to wonder if I am the only Trail of Cthulhu fan who cannot draw. Anyhow, the author through his descriptions gives a more than adequate description of life on one of these liners was really like. When I ran this adventure with my local gaming group, I found that they were wanting to play this one as a Pulp game and it worked very well in that genre but I could equally see it run a strictly purist adventure.
Because of the uniqueness of the historical event, it can only be used once and the scripting largely allows for this. However, there is enough environment and mood information that would allow a Keeper to set alternate adventures on the Titanic – I have thought about how to do this with the same group that I ran this one with – that they could meet their parallel selves hunting down an all-together different horror.
All in all this is an excellent adventure and worth every penny. And, the fact that the adventure is going to help proceeds from the sale of this adventure will go to the Heroes in the Dark charity** is an added bonus. Keepers who know more about the Titanic will obviously benefit from those who know less, but, in the end the adventure is structured in such a way that only cursory knowledge will be all the player will need…and the Keeper can embellish the adventure with as much or as little detail, as (s)he wants.
** Heroes in the Dark is a nonprofit organization with a clear and simple purpose: to create audio comics to be enjoyed by the blind and sight-impaired. Working with local businesses, comics industry professionals, and recording industry professionals, we are dedicated to creating a chronological history of comics, in audible form