I played two games of Follow last week and by tooooootal coincidence we picked the Rebellion both times. When I’m playtesting, I often sit back and see what quest the other players choose, because: playtesting. What quests people choose or reject can be very informative.
The same quest, twice in a row? Boring, right? Nope, because even starting with the same quest the results could not have been more different…
“You don’t join a cult to make friends…”
For the first game, our group had been playing quite a bit of the Eldritch Horror board game, so we thought, why not play a Follow game with the same concept? Save the world from the awakening, unspeakable horror, as you do?
But then we reconsidered: we keep losing at Eldritch Horror, so why not side with the winners for a change? Our fellowship was the cult awakening the elder god. Yep, our Rebellion was against humanity. All of it.
We set our game in the 1920s, because that’s always a classy era for some Call of Cthulhu action. Our cult called itself “the Lighted North” in reference to the idea that Kanaguk would descend upon the Earth from the aurora borealis at the North Pole. We were a young cult and our org chart was in beautiful disarray. Lots of vying for authority and disagreement about exactly what the theophany of Kanaguk would entail. Would all humanity perish? Would the Chosen be elevated to thrones of power beside Him? It? Whatever. We each had our own vision of that future and were utterly certain the others were wrong:
“You are not the Chosen One!”
“Fool! Kanaguk chooses no one. We are all dust before Him.”
A pivotal contribution was our second “what makes our quest difficult?”: we introduced the Order of Julian, a Templar-like secret society that has been around for centuries and was completely on to us. Our first challenge was to uncover their mole in our cult, which we failed. That set up the idea for the rest of the game that the Order still had a spy in our ranks and was always a step ahead of us. Basically screwing us at every turn.
Our other difficulty: The Time Was Not (yet) Right. Yep, the stars have not aligned. Are we journeying to the Arctic to do the ritual anyway? Even if we lack the critical component and even if the Order of Julian knows exactly what we’re planning? Oh yes we are, because you don’t join a cult to make friends, or to learn patience either.
Lose/Lose/Lose. The world is saved, from us. Yay!
Next up: cars and crowbars.