• This game is under the Supernatural, Horror & Historical genres.
  • The game system is Call of Cthulhu 7e.
  • This game contains mature content.
  • The GM has marked this game as containing personal and intellectual property.
    If the GM leaves or deletes the game nobody else will be able to continue the game.
Broken Dreams - Call of Cthulhu in Harlem
An artist, a writer, and a piano player shared a flat at 116th and Lenox where they all dreamed of success, of making a name in their field, of making a living. Then Lydia Thorn came into their lives. She was a singer, a songbird, an incarnate angel. Her voice was so pure, so golden, it could carry you to the gates of Heaven itself. All three fell in love with her.

It was the artist, that she fell for. Clayton Morris had always been a dreamer. As a young child, he dreamed of escaping his father’s wrath and violence. As an orphan, he dreamed of being on his own, making his name as an artist. As a painter, he put his dreams on canvas and began to gain a reputation. And Lydia dreamed of making a career with her dreamy voice, and they dreamed of growing old with each other. They married after less than a year and the other two friends, happy for the couple despite the sorrow of not being chosen, moved out.

Clay and Lydia’s creative spirits made for natural chemistry—they became each other’s muses, driving one another to creative heights neither would have achieved alone. Their careers began to advance.

Last year, not long after they were married, Lydia’s talents began to pay dividends. She sang in the choir at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, which led to singing at rent parties and gigs at the smaller clubs. She was auditioned at the Cotton Club and other popular establishments. She was right on the verge of success.

A few months ago, Lydia was on her way home from a gig. As she crossed 116th Street, a Plymouth turning from Lenox onto 116th full of drunken sheiks and flappers struck her and she was dead.

Clayton became withdrawn, avoiding his friends and even his sister, Pearl. He had an exhibit already in the works at a small gallery and that went forward, but at the opening he was listless and melancholy, telling his friends that there didn’t seem to be any point with Lydia gone. The couple of times David and Terry went to the apartment were painful. Their friend was obviously not working but also not concerned about money. A patron had come into his life: Aubrey Raeburn, a rich young white man who was taken by Clayton’s talent and prepared to support his work.

Then, as happens, the three friends lost touch. Now Pearl, Clay's sister has asked them to come see her. She's worried, even scared. She needs their help.

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Call of Cthulhu is a horror/investigation game published by Chaosium and their Harlem Unbound setting is placed in Harlem NYC during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. It is expected that the players will portray minority individuals as they try to figure out the mystery and deal with the horrors they uncover.

There is new hope growing in Harlem, but deeper and darker motivations are also stirring. Along with white exploiters and criminals creeping into Harlem, ancient fonts of corruption, previously lying dormant in the suburbs, now begin to infect a new generation with the whispered secrets of Ancient Gods and eldritch lore. Almost-forgotten cults recruit new members and ancient volumes are cracked open to tempt, incite, and exploit. Old terrors are uncovered and unleashed in this new era.

Let me share this from Chris Spivey, author of Harlem Unbound:
"This game…actively encourages players and Keepers to take on roles of minorities. …Harlem Unbound does not gloss over racism in the name of gameplay. Racism is part of the world and part of the game. …I tried to write the book in such a way that it would be approachable to all gamers, but respectful of the truth of history and racism without making a mockery of the pain and perseverance of so many people."

I intend to honor the author’s intention and to approach this setting seriously and sensitively. It will still be a Call of Cthulhu horror/investigation game and (I hope) fun for all on that level.