…In reply to my question Tillinghast mumbled that this permanent glow was not electrical in any sense that I could understand…– H. P. Lovecraft, “From Beyond,” 1920.
“Permanent”? Hmm… Let us suppose (for the purposes of fun) that Crawford’s machine isn’t just permanently ‘charged,’ but the entire house is in fact now a permanent tear in the fabric of reality:
“–she turned on the lights downstairs after I had warned her not to, and the wires picked up sympathetic vibrations.”
I would argue that the ‘permanent’ glow and the ‘sympathetic vibrations’ in the electrical wiring of the house are hooks upon which one could hang a sequel scenario:
That once activated (perhaps in its improved, final state), the machine can somehow function without current, (though perhaps at a lower level of effect). Like using an electro-magnet to create a permanent magnet.
That the wiring in the house, once accidentally tuned to the vibrations of the improved machine, would also create a ‘permanent’, low-level effect.
All this being said, and since these events take place in November of 1920 (early in the Golden Age), perhaps one could plot a return to “the ancient, lonely house set back from Benevolent Street.”
Crawford is dead, so the house could pass to his distant relation (perhaps a PC or NPC), or be taken by the city. Either could then experience strange goings-on and call for some investigation. I’d really like to give the PCs the red herring of a ‘traditional’ haunted house set-up, but then have them discover this is the old Tillinghast place, where the alleged hypnotism murders took place, etc. Maybe the ‘ghosts’ only appear when the lights are on? Perhaps the old wiring is being brought up to code, or the voltage has recently changed, increasing the effect?
“Parts of Boston, Massachusetts along Beacon Street and Commonwealth Avenue still used 110 volts DC in the 1960s…” –Wikipedia
“…and talked with undying leaders of the cult in the mountains of China…”
It occurred to me that this period and location might make an interesting sandbox for investigators. In retrospect, the Chinese Civil War is more complicated than one might suspect (no surprise), though I think the GM could almost make up anything they want to serve the story and likely have no player “Well, actually” them, OR be able to find some kind of supporting evidence via a web search. If it sounds fun, I say do it. Also, it gives you an excuse to relish archaic spellings like “Thibet” and “Peiping.”
Cthulhu cultists (naturally)
Nationalist / Republican Chinese
What: Investigators are called to a mysterious monastery in the mountains of China. Perhaps an approaching army threatens a priceless collection of Buddhist scriptures? Or maybe what appears to be a humble Buddhist monastery on first glance is in reality a cover for the insidious cult of Cthulhu, pulling strings behind the scenes to make mankind “free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy.” Or perhaps there is a Great Old One sleeping underneath the (actually legit) monastery, and the monks need help to keep it sleeping. This also allows a possible connection to various Hollow Earth tropes.
When: Since the ‘deathless Chinamen’ are apparently immortal, an adventure with this setting could be staged at any time you desire; however, the ‘golden age’ of COC and the forces involved might fit best within 1926-1941. This covers the start of the Chinese Civil War to America’s entry into WWII, after which one presumes it would be more difficult (though not impossible) to casually insert a group of Westerners. Just before and even early in WWII, American servicemen were inserted into China on their own civilian passports, via commercial flights (Pan Am) from the East coast of the US, down to South America, across to West Africa, then to Egypt, then India, and finally through Burma into China (if I recall correctly).