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I've just started Masks of Nyarlathotep with a few friends, and they are half-way through the "America" chapter.

The best outcome for this part of the campaign, according to the book, would be to

eliminate the whole cult by convincing the police about what happening inside the Ju-Ju House. Let's propose that my investigators, manage to convince Lt. Poole about a death cult operating inside Harlem, with their base being the Ju-Ju House, and Lt. Poole organizes a raid against this cult.

If this happens, they will most likely run into the Chakota which is dwelling in the basement pit. How would 1925 police handle such thing? Obviously, they can not kill the thing (neither can my investigators), what would happen if say 10-12 police officers and a detective storm the building and find there something which is beyond their comprehension?

The reason I am asking this is because I think there is no "best" ending here.

I don't see any way how the police would deal with this situation, and if they do not raid the hideout, the cult can not be eliminated from New York. Even if its leader, and second in command is arrested, without a raid, someone new will take their place, and continue on with their nefarious deeds.

Am I mistaken here?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 17 at 8:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ What edition of the setting are you playing? You have both tags in your question, and the setting was published for multiple editions. Helping folks narrow down the specifics will help them to better answer your question! \$\endgroup\$ – G. Moylan Jul 17 at 17:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am playing the 7th edition, but I don't think that the question is edition specific. The above written example, is plainly an example for the situation I am looking an answer for:) \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Baranyai Jul 17 at 21:02
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The 1920's New York police force surely has the resources to handle pretty major situations (given time to respond). They also have the option of calling in the militia even.

For more information: the MoN Companion provides further details about the police department and the MoN HPLHS radio play script (p.69) details a scenario with the police stepping in.

Based on my police and infantry officer background, I personally envision this progressing as:

  1. Police retreat, obtain backup and surround the Ju-Ju house
  2. They eventually escalate to using dynamite and letting the structure burn down.
  3. There'd probably be at least one initial police casualty, and several of the officers would likely need therapy afterwards.

A scarier option might involve the police fiddling with the other items found in the Ju-Ju house (especially the Mask).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to point out that there are strict laws in the USA about the military being used inside the USA and in this time frame the US army was small and underfunded \$\endgroup\$ – Neuromancer Jul 31 at 23:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Neuromancer On the other hand, it’s canonical that the US armed forces raided Innsmouth and then blew up the nearby Deep One city with depth charges, so... \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Aug 1 at 5:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ State militia (i.e. National Guard) can be used within the US and have access to heavier weaponry than the police. But, we're talking about a one-room encounter here. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Vincent Aug 1 at 14:58

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