A decent day spent in the company of Messrs Bryant & Johnson, or at least their alter egos detectives Proctor & Esterhazy of the Shanghai Municipal Police.
This time the intrepid duo are prevailed upon to act in the interests of a senior member of the Chinese underworld which by chance dovetails with a current official case, the grisly murder of a local condiment magnate.
Things initially proceed smoothly for the pair with their investigations leading them to the tramp steamer which a murderous foreign gang & their supernatural allies are using as a base of operations. At this point instead of handing the affair over to the correct authorities Proctor & Esterhazy wing it using local gang muscle and despite a favourable outcome manage to alienate their official employers, certainly to the detriment of any further advancement in the police force.
This is the first time I've run this particular scenario & to be brutally honest it showed. Things started off with the social interaction & investigation part of the session running smoothly enough. Where it did fall apart was the grand finale, the ship. This really was an absolute balls up on my part, making as I did several cardinal errors. Firstly I assumed that the players would pursue a certain course of action when tackling the ship despite having made other options available for them. Secondly the ship that I chose had a poor layout for a tense denouement , one that led to an unfortunate stalemate that I hadn't anticipated. Thirdly I tried to wing it when things started to unravel & made a complete fuck up of it mainly because I had failed to prepare sufficient contingency plans, probably the most serious failing of all.
In many ways the day was a useful exercise, at some point in the future I hope to publish my Call of Cthulhu Shanghai scenarios in some form and ironing out these wrinkles is an important part of realising this dream. On the other hand I do want my players to enjoy themselves and not waste a day helping me sort out some crappy self inflicted problems.
Despite the slight balls toward the end I think we had a good day, plenty of off game chat, cups of tea & a decent lunch so not a complete disaster after all