Initial game set-up is inspired to the opening of the Call of Cthulhu novel by HPL.
A City on the Pacific coast of the US, 1949.
Abel Gammell, head waiter at the Sun Palace Hotel, dies after a short illness. His testament leaves all he had to two of his co-workers at the Sun Palace, the heroes of this story:
Bessie, lead singer of the hotel band (and amateur boxer)
Carlos, accountant (previously student at a seminary)
Both start the game with Insight (aka Insanity) = 1. This is the only stat in Cthulhu Dark.
Among the scarce possessions of Abel, there is a large box full of diaries and notes, going back to when Abel lived in Germany, before the war. Some of the notes are in Hebrew, but most of the diaries are in English. The last pages show that Abel was troubled by the discovery of some kind of secret society, or cult, well rooted in the City. In particular, he suspected this organization to be responsible for the death of one of his few friends, David Bukowski. David disappeared a few months earlier and Abel was sure he was killed.
As Bessie and Carlos don’t know yet, this cult is at the service of inhuman entities. Following the card-based NSAABH system, the heroes will investigate this mysterious cult trying to discover:
Who is the leader of the cult
SPADES: 1.A Politician; 2.A Clergyman or woman; 3.An Artist; 4.The Owner of the Sun Palace Hotel; 5.A Professor
What is their main meeting place
CLUBS: 1.A Mountain Lake; 2.A Graveyard; 3:A Mansion; 4.A Warehouse; 5.The Sun Palace Hotel; 6.A Church
What is the inhuman horror they serve
DIAMONDS: 1.Cthulhu; 2.Fthaggua; 3.The Deep Ones; 4.The Mi-Go
As can be seen, I slightly modified the number of cards in each group with respect to the 5,5,5 standard. I do not want to have too many options for mythos creatures, so I only use four cards for them, adding a sixth option to the “place” suit. The total still is unchanged: 15 cards; no particular adjustment to NSAABH is required.