The second of my Call of Cthulhu scenarios to be based on an idle social media post I made, Last Christmas is a one-shot scenario that takes a single premise and stretches into a full-blown investigation.
‘A scenario that is a literal interpretation of the lyrics to Last Christmas by Wham’ was the guilty post that got my imagination working.
“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart,
The very next day, you gave it away.”
So go the lyrics. So what if there was an entity that visited someone who had wronged them a year ago, gave them their internal organs, then was incensed into a vengeance-fuelled rage when they discovered that the recipient of their ‘gift’ got rid of it?
And from that, Last Christmas was born.
The song was a hit in 1984, so I set the scenario in the same year. The NPCs are all based on the members of Wham (including the female backing singers Pepsi & Shirley). The pregenerated characters are all based on characters from iconic 1980s movies, like Top Gun, Desperately Seeking Susan and Ghostbusters.
And I scoured the top 100 of the year and a list of classic festive songs to create a ‘mixtape’ of tracks that Keepers can choose to play during the scenario to accompany the action.
So far, so cheesy (and sooo eighties). The scenario however is semi-serious. It takes the original premise and aims to spin that out into a chilling (literally) festive ghost story.
There are no betentacled Mythos entities, beyond a cursory namedrop of everyone’s favourite puppetmaster Nyarlathotep. Instead, the antagonist is a spirit, a wronged and vengeful one that tracks those that have slighted them in the past and quite literally scares them to death.
As a one-shot, the plot is simple and relatively railroady. The dangers are real however, and the vibe is hopefully somewhere between historical accuracy and homage that evokes a different time and place and shoots it through with a macabre and scary atmosphere that fits into the ‘Christmas ghost story’ tradition.
I had a lot of fun with it, and it’s inspired me to create more oneshots themed around music from the past.
You can pick up Last Christmas on DriveThruRPG here.