Actual Play: Call of Cthulhu – Dig to Victory!

Trench warfare in World War 1 was horrific. Millions died from disease, chemical weapons, barbed wire, machine guns and other forms of industrialized death. However, the British tunnelers dug massive underground systems to support the soldiers and to undermine German trenches. In this scenario, a few men from the 117th tunneling company found themselves tunneling to something far more dangerous than the Germans.

Content warning: descriptions of racist terms

This is a playtest for an upcoming book by Pagan Publishing and was run at Gencon 2008.
Keeper: Adam Scott Glancy
Players: Greg Stolze
Ross Payton
Tom Church
Allan Goddall
Kevin Pezzano

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  1. Hi, Ross. I was one of the Arc Dream guys (Allan Goodall, who played the medic). Kevin Pezzano was the other Arc Dream player (and he was the character with the most dramatic “fate”).

  2. My favorite moment is way over in the 250s: “We’re British. Anyone south of Dover is a wog!”

    Pizza and fascism FTW!

  3. Thanks for posting this! Very fun stuff. Next time they need to schedule the awards ceremony so it doesn’t conflict with a game. (grumble, grumble)

  4. Great game. I was almost disturbed by the amount of knowledge the Keeper had on the scenario and on the subject matter. The game itself did drag on for a bit 320 min is a bit much.

  5. Man that was awesome and hilarious! yet another reason i need to start running CoC for my buddies (although they would all just start killing everyone they meet hehe)
    was great every second 🙂

  6. I feel like I learned a lot about WWI listening to this. Lots of excellent detail, compelling suspense, and a horrific end. The sound effects were great! Thanks for posting and please share more!

  7. I had to stop about 20 minutes in when the group decided to demonstrate their ignorance of WW2.

    The 90,000 French killed in combat before the June 22 armistice are not amused by your “surrender monkey” jokes. The other 300,000 French casualties during the war aren’t all that impressed, either.

  8. A few estimates
    Total military deaths.
    Philippines 57,000
    Finland 95,000
    France* 217,600
    Poland 240,000
    Romania 300,000
    Hungary 300,000
    Italy 301,400
    UK 382,600
    US 416,800
    Yugoslavia 446,000
    Japan 2,120,000
    China 3,800,000
    the Nazis 5,533,000

    10,700,000 soviet troops say that you should shut the hell up. Cause they lost almost 50 times the number of soldiers. they had 20 times more civilians die in the war then all of the French deaths in the whole war.

    France also failed to show resistance to the militarization of Rhineland by Hitler; whose troops had orders to withdraw if France showed some balls. Instead of resisting they ran off to Britain. Then at the League of Nations meeting they did not even favors sanctions against them Germany.

    As a side note are you counting civilian deaths? Cause the French lost a total of 567,000 people in the war.

  9. That is of course not counting the 1,800,000 French captured in the Battle of France

  10. Those WW2 figures are very informative. But wasn’t this a WW1 scenario?

  11. Yes but I think the French got there surrender monkey “cred” from WW2.

    Plus you and your blatantly true facts make me look bad…. 😉

    ( this may be double post my bad)

  12. Was this all before or after they woke that thing up?

  13. You’ve earned yourselves a new listener! This scenario was fantastic, I absolutely loved the Keeper’s attention to detail.
    My favorite lines?

    Keeper: You need to move up with the rest of the group, because way back there, you stand a strong chance of surviving the scenario, and we can’t have that.

    Keeper: And you’ll continue to laugh/cry for the next fourteen combat rounds…
    Player: Or the rest of your life…whichever happens first.

  14. This is great. What book is it coming out in? I’m getting it!

  15. The scenario will be published in a collection we are calling “Horrors of War” and it will likely be published in 2010. We may publish a single scenario from the collection in 2009.

  16. I’ve come slightly late to the party on this podcast, but thought it was really excellent. The details of the tunnelling companies and their equipment was really well researched, the background was vibrant and the idea of the Great War as providing a realistic context to why a PC is interested in the occult in the 1920s sounded eminently plausible. And I particularly loved the logic in “He won’t be able to bleed on the stonework…because he’ll be on fire”.

  17. I thought I knew a few things about WW1, but found out I don’t know that much after all. The keeper dude really knew his stuff, and I enjoyed the attention to detail. I did enjoy some of the banter between the players, but I wish they hadn’t talked quite so much, because I was trying to listen to the story and they kept talking over the keeper.

  18. Great. I’m going to run it very soon. There’s one thing I probably just missed. What was the drums thing in the deeps? I really loved tension it provided and whole idea of sound beyond the wall is brilliant, but what it meant to be exactly?

  19. I think it’s meant to be the dumb spawn carrying on with the rituals in a half-assed way, since the real priests who knew what it all meant had been killed off.

    It was probably a tradition to bang the drums and have some good old fashiond sacrifices or orgies at midnight to drums, and now all the spawn can do are bang a few drums and give each other encouraging thumbs up signs. 🙂

  20. I can’t believe it took me this long to listen to Dig to Victory. Awesome episode, I love the whole claustrophobic underground tunnels *under* the trenches thing. The Captain must have made some good rolls- I kept expecting drawn-out screams…

    So… Horrors of War, will it be out this year? 🙂

  21. Rumour has it there will be a “Christmas Truce” teaser scenario released by December 2014, prior to the publication of volume one of Horrors of War next year. I will certainly back the Kickstarter when it finally goes live!

  22. I like listening to these while I do yardwork. Mr. Glancy’s combination of “in-depth historical lecture with monsters at the end” always makes for a fascinating listen. And pulling weeds never seems too bad compared to what the characters in the scenario have to deal with.

    I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, either – the Path of the Toad seemed like it could be a deep one cult rather than formless spawn. I like the (recurring) theme in Glancy games that the cultists and even the monsters make their own mistakes.

    It was interesting to hear the playtest notes at the end, too. I like seeing how scenarios are refined over time and by contact with different players. Well (cautiously and often hilariously) done to all the players in this session, too.

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