Halloween Hootenanny XVI – Dread Roleplaying Game – Return to the Cabin in the Woods

Game summary for October 28, 2023, Return to the Cabin in the Woods campaign, Dread Roleplaying Game, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: Angelino Gambino (Human played by Peyton Harmon), Cory Bennington (Human played by Preston Harmon), Elijah Sutton (Human played by Parker Harmon), Jack Williams (Human played by Josh Jenkins as secondary), James Robertson (Human played by Peyton Harmon as secondary), John Nelson (Human played by Casey Scruggs), Loretta “Fancy” Walker (Human played by Katy Jenkins), Paulie DiMarco (Human played by Andrew Renfrow), Thomas Jensen (Human played by Shane Bradley), and Victor Wolfe (Human played by Josh Jenkins). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

The group arrived at Myers & Krueger Cabin Retreat in upstate Vermont during early October.  The retreat, nestled in the remote woodlands, had been converted into an off-the-grid rehab retreat for online addictions.  For this particular group, online gambling.  They were impressed by the expensive cabin with its large logs, massive windows, enormous heated pool.  A nearby boathouse sat on edge of Crystal Lake, a stable and maintenance shed lay behind the main structure. 

Their van driver, Clive, dropped them at the entrance, and a bubbly, attractive, middle-aged Asian woman named Alma Katsu came down to meet them.  She was so excited to welcome them.  So excited!  Meanwhile, Clive drove off to get another group from nearby Eden, Vermont. 

The guests began getting to know one another, picking bunkmates, and exploring a bit.  Fancy went to the stables and fed one of the horses, which got her yelled at by the maintenance man, Abraham Stoker.  Paulie and Cory decided they would bunk together.  The group looked around a bit and met Mary Shelley, the culinary expert.  She was cooking some kind of stew with the secret ingredient, no meat!  Several of the group went on a short hike in the woods.  Thomas found himself a large staff, and Angelino found himself a smaller stick which he used a rock to shape into a stake-like object.  While in the woods, they saw several deer and a rabbit.  Meanwhile, Fancy went to soak her toes in the pool, and several others at on the porch and relaxed.  Some of the group roamed around and seemed to collect some apparently odd things. 

They regrouped in the main hall as storm clouds came rolling in and rain began pattering down.  Alma found a weird rubber hamburger on the table, which perplexed her.  They had dinner, talked, and the power went out.  The storm raged, and the power went out.  Alma said it was strange because most of the power lines are underground here but there is a generator in the shed.  They thought perhaps Abraham would fire it up soon.  They searched around and found a candle inside.  In a while there was a horrendous volume of cries from the stable, perhaps from the horses?  They sent Alma to investigate.  A few minutes later she returned drenched in blood.  She collapsed on the floor, and they looked her over.  To their shock she was bleeding from what appeared to be a shark bite? 

They found some first aid materials and tried to patch her up and found a way to light the gas logs to keep her warm.  Looking around they found two other awkward items in the room they swore were not there before.  One was a plastic pumpkin, and the other was a Native American headdress.  Some of the group went to shed to try and get the generator running and look for some means of communication.  Inside, they found Abraham, dead.  He had been scalped and throat slit.  They fired up the generator, turned on the radio, and tried to call for help.  They collected several tools and returned to the group. 

The group began seeing and being chased by weird monstrosities.  One was a large black bull with glowing red eyes.  When it opened its impossibly wide maw, it revealed row upon row of shark teeth.  Another was a ghostly Native American woman who wore a headdress over her scalped skull and carried a wicked knife.  Finally, there was a scarecrow-like figure with a jack-o-lantern head. 

Several of the group began revealing they knew about the supernatural forces at work here and needed to enact some kinds of rituals to banish these entities.  They revealed they needed to collect several different items, some of which they already found, and needed willing assistants to complete them. 

Victor, Angelino, and Paulie, fled to the boathouse and started to enact Angelino’s ritual, which required the final ingredient of mammal excrement.  Angelino popped a squat to get that last ingredient as the shark-bull crashed through the wall and bit him in half!  It ran off with half his corpse.  The other two rushed to try and finish the ritual, which in part required crushing salt and glass together and snorting it.  Victor completed the ritual and gained some sort of horrid connection with the bull!

Meanwhile, the group sought to gather the materials for John and Fancy’s rituals.  They completed John’s, which seemed to weaken the power of the spirits.  Emboldened, they completed Fancy’s ritual as well, which seemed the wrong thing to do.  The scalp taker appeared, merged with Fancy for a moment, grabbed John and ripped into him.  She scalped him and stabbed him repeatedly before hurling him through one of the windows!  The spirit then left Fancy who seemed to not know what happened. 

Dr. James Robertson, a survivor of the apparent crashed van of other guests, stumbled up to the door.  He seemed to be aware of Angelino’s ritual but claimed it didn’t work right because the wrong person completed it.  He said they needed to do it again, but it must be him.  They dodged the angry spirits, and Victor, Paulie, and James ended up back in the boathouse.  Victor was able to somewhat control the shark-bull and keep it at bay, but they were still under assault from the scalp taker and pumpkin carver.  They started working on the ritual and were viciously attacked by the scalp taker.  Victor drowned himself in an effort to break the link to the shark-bull and hopefully send it back to hell.  It didn’t work.  The other two were able to dodge the scalp taker long enough to enact the ritual again, linking James to the shark-bull. 

Meanwhile, the pumpkin carver was wreaking havoc at the cabin, hurling spiked pumpkins and covering the cabin in vines.  Thomas had had enough, and he set his staff on fire and smashed it through the face of the pumpkin carver, dismissing it back to the netherworld!

They then tried to enact Fancy’s ritual again, which seemed to summon another monster!  A wicked blue-haired clown appeared and transformed into a giant mosquito!  It buzzed around and eventually crashed through a door and used its proboscis to impale and drain Elijah’s bodily fluids until he died!  Several of the group fled down the road and ran into another crash survivor, Jack Williams.  They all turned and fled to the van where they found all the passengers and Clive dead.  The van had been rammed by the shark-bull.  The scalp taker appear in the mirror and slaughtered Cory while the others fled!  The rest of the group left the cabin and were chased by the clown mosquito.  It buzzed down out of the sky, and they beat it with oars, wooden spoons, and their bare hands until it was ripped to pieces!

The groups were able to meet up back at the van, and Fancy was able to summon the scalp taker with her apparent link to it.  It would not attack her, but it also refused to let the others go.  It wounded several but the group discovered that although their attacks went through her body, when struck on the head, her skull shattered and banished the demon!  

As the sun began to rise, the group realized those left standing had survived the night and fled down the road!