||"Murder of Crows" is a short, but sweet introductory adventure for CoC.
It features 2 handouts, a map of Bethlehem and 4 pregens.
The investigators are called in to find out what has prompted huge amounts of crows to besiege the peaceful town of Bethlehem.
While the adventure generates an awesome tension via the birds and other, paranormal occurrences and manages to pull off a constant feeling of paranoia and rising tension, it is, unfortunately not without its own flaws.
The mood is awesome (that cannot be stressed enough!), but the investigation is too easy:
There is a macguffin document (which, the adventure states, the keeper should leave out, if it's too easy on the players) to to be found that flat-out states whom to blame for the situation.
Unfortunately, this is one of the handouts.
The villain is quite frankly the first one to be suspected by any experienced investigators. There are red herrings, but they are a bit obvious.
There is an easy solution, though: Make the villain an insane victim and put the true source of the siege in the hands of another person in the town. That way, you get an awesome finale and can add a scene where the investigators return to the town to find the true enemy.
The formatting and prose are clear, concise and high-quality, the pictures are nice and capture the mood.
There are some minor typos in the background of one of the pregens.
For the idea and the mood, I'd give 5 stars. Awesome. There is an idea called "River of Vermin". Need I say more?
For the rather bland and much too easy investigation (that in my opinion serves as a backdrop for the mood), that unfortunately uses a CoC-trope in an otherwise original and innovative adventure, I'd give 2 Stars.
In the end, I settled on 3 stars, just because the mood and shock-ideas are awesome, innovative and just plain cool. A Keeper for an experienced group has to expand the investigation, though.
Any keeper planning on running an innovative Hitchcockish or paranoia-laden adventure should give it a try.
[3 of 5 Stars!]