Forgotten but not Gone
by Ian Gibson
I used the Bloody Red Tape tale in a Call of Cthulhu session, to an excellent response. Playing on the idea that a friend of the investigators was fading from the memory of everyone who knew him, I was intentionally vague about what details they knew about their friend -- frustrating them until the players caught on to the fact that everyone else was also having trouble remembering details about him. As game time passed, and other characters forgot him entirely, the investigators realized they had to solve his disappearance quickly, or they'd forget, too!
In my twist on the story, the friend had developed an unhealthy obsession with a young lady, who asked a sorcerer to make her problem go away. The investigators finally found their friend being dissolved by an unearthly cocoon, which they destroyed -- too late to save his life, but before he was lost from memory entirely. The final kick was, by then, the investigators had formed a picture of their 'friend' as a creepy stalker. They knew they had known him as a better person in brighter days, but those memories were now gone. It worked perfectly to turn a situation where the characters would normally know more than their players into a chilling moment of contemplation for characters and players alike.
-playing the baffled co-workers and family of the missing man
-discovering his 'empty' apartment wasn't so empty
-ending the horrible cocoon with an electric explosion that knocked out power for six blocks