Call of Cthulhu Providence Campaign 17 – The Play’s the Thing: The Pirates of Candle Cove

In London in the summer of the year 1600, a new play has come to the Globe Theatre: “The Pirates of Candle Cove.” But strange things soon start happening. Can an actor, a stage hand, and a musician stop the play or will Candle Cove unfold?

I started running a Call of Cthulhu campaign for students at Appalachian State University in March 2014. The game was set in Providence, R.I., starting in the summer of 1925. The seventeenth session of the game took place on July 5, 2015, with the original scenario “The Play’s the Thing: The Pirates of Candle Cove.” While not technically in Providence or with the Providence group, this interim game has connections with the campaign game that will soon be revealed. My players were Nissa, Kyle, and Hannah.

The role playing journals for the session can be found here:

A playlist of the nine videos of the game session can be found here:


  2 comments for “Call of Cthulhu Providence Campaign 17 – The Play’s the Thing: The Pirates of Candle Cove

  1. November 4, 2015 at 4:28 am

    This was a solid ride of a scenario from start to finish. despite the length I felt engrossed through with all the Cockney role playing and interesting take of the Candle Cove story. I’ve recommended it to a couple of friends who are fans of Candle Cove.

    You seemed to really know the setting of both Elizabethan England and theatre and it all helped to bring this version of the story together. And all your players did a fantastic job, loved all their characters through and through.

    A question that I have is about “The Plays the Thing”, how much of that system was used? It sounded like you integrated elements of it into the game and used Call of Cthulhu for the rest?

    And did you also pull some inspiration from the King in Yellow? I was getting that vibe as the play went along. And what happened to all the kids? just dead or sucked into candle cove?

  2. maxwriter
    November 4, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you! This scenario actually happened because someone had a model of the Globe Theatre that I borrowed in the hopes of using it during gameplay. It took me a long time to figure out how best to implement it and, during that time, I stumbled across Candle Cove and fell in love with the idea of it.

    I was a theatre minor in college and am a great fan of historical role-playing. I’m also lucky enough to be a pack rat and the 2nd edition D&D supplement “A Mighty Fortress” as well as the Call of Cthulhu book “Strange Aeons” (and a lot of actual research) helped me flesh out the era, London, and the Globe Theatre. I try to immerse myself as well as my players in the games I run. I was lucky in the people who came to the game that day – they were awesome!

    I didn’t know “The Plays the Thing” was even an rpg game! I used that as part of the title as a nod towards Shakespeare and because it sounded appropriate. Looking over a review of the game, it does look like some of the stuff I did – though I pulled most from my research (actors editing their lines, changes being made in the play due to needs found during rehearsal and the like). This one is purely Call of Cthulhu, actually, with as much historical accuracy as I could muster (and I’m sure there are numerous errors on my part in that regard).

    Originally, when I started thinking of doing a game in the Globe, I planned to use The King in Yellow. Unfortunately, the timeline of the play didn’t make sense for it to show up in the Elizabethan era, at lest according to traditional lore on the play. Then I found the scenario “The King of Shreds and Patches” in Strange Aeons. I considered running that scenario for bit, but I wanted to really focus on the Globe and make it central to the plot. As the Strange Aeons scenario takes place in 1603 (I believe), I put my own in 1600 so, if the players enjoyed the setting and characters enough, we could also play the published scenario at a later date. It did have an influence, but I borrowed more from all of the writings on Candle Cove and liked the idea of a link or permanent connection to whatever Candle Cove is if the investigators couldn’t stop what was going on.

    I never decided (for sure) what happened to the missing children. The whole Creepypasta Candle Cove and it’s extended mythos seem to indicate something very sinister that related to children and I wanted to incorporate that. Probably a bit of both dead and sucked into Candle Cove (or sucked into Candle Cove and now worse than dead?). I never made the decision exactly, just that it was something terrible. If any of the investigators had tried to find out, then I would have fleshed it out a little more. I’ve not made all my decisions on Candle Cove yet, but it might make a return in future games. Arthur Mitchell certainly did (keep an eye out for The Nickerbocker’s Tale audios, which should be uploaded before the end of the year, as well as upcoming “Come Forth the Shadows” audio, when we return to Providence – lots of connections in these as I like over-arcing storylines).

    Thanks so much for commenting! I get very little feedback. I hope this reply wasn’t too long.

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