The remit for Three Faces of the Wendigo – write an adventure with the Wendigo at the heart of it. In the hands of three writers you get three chilling takes on the same theme with a very different perspective. Each writer – Richard August, John Almack and myself – came at the tale independently. John kicked off and completed his investigation, “Lovely, Dark and Deep“, first – a story set in the Jazz Age, bu...

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“That stern quality of the tangled backwoods which can only be described as merciless and terrible, rose out of these far blue woods swimming upon the horizon, and revealed itself. He understood the silent warning. He realized his own utter helplessness.” – Algernon Blackwood, “The Wendigo” Three authors. Three chilling tales of malevolence and inhuman appetite for The Cthulhu Hack. Three Faces of the Wendigo feat...

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The essential core books for The Cthulhu Hack in a PDF bundle offer. That includes two adventures – Save Innsmouth and The Hacker of the Dark – along with character creation, character advancement, creatures, magic, new horrors, investigation creation guidance and character sheets. Everything you need to start playing your own games with new horrors and guidance on using Lovecraft’s own stories as source material for your adv...

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For those moments when your players hit the JUMP button too soon or warp right out of the path the adventure has set for their rendezvous with doom, Brace For Impact! takes a leaf out of the random table book established by From Unformed Realms. Brace For Impact! offers 18-pages packed with tables presenting high sci-fi encounter seeds based at the point of arrival for your unsuspecting characters, with room for taking notes and generating odd...

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I’m pleased to announce the release of four books to Print on Demand through Lulu. From today, you can find The Cthulhu Hack, From Unformed Realms, The Haunter of the Dark, and Thro’ Centuries Fixed under my “Author Spotlight” on Lulu. In practice I hope that makes it simpler for those not in the UK to get hold of these books in print. I will also look to add them on OneBookShelf, but that requires a slightly longer pro...

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‪I have released the new version 1.5 of The Cthulhu Hack on RPGNow, available to everyone and accessible to all with the existing edition in their onsite Library. Fast, flexible Lovecraftian tabletop horror upgraded. This is Lovecraftian roleplaying for the gaming group with no time for thick rule books and endless mechanics! It’s entirely the same system as that released in 2016, but honed and refined over more than a year of open play,...

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Rather than paper sheets, new boxed sets will come with A6-sized dry wipe cards. You can still print your own sheets, obviously, but these will provide a reusable alternative. Cthulhu Hack Dry Wipe Character Card They’re laminated on one side and they work with any dry wipe pen — or even felt tips. I would recommend the Staedtler Correctable pens (available from All Rolled Up, along with all the in-print books for The Cthulhu Hack)...

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Today sees the release of a FREE Quickstart for The Cthulhu Hack, the game of investigation and cosmic horror. The Quickstart contains:A 2-page overview of the game and its core mechanics A 2-page overview of the game and its core mechanics A 2-page quickstart encounter “Nocturnal Rites” Two pre-generated characters A sheet of simplified character sheets The character sheet works just fine as an alternative for the existing designs but simplif...

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Two powerful figures square up for a final debate certain to spell defeat for one – and recent media attention seems to have swung hard one way. The investigators have a chance to uncover the truth, but they have precious little time to do it and an immovable deadline looming. I’ve been a fan of Nathan Hill since I picked up a copy of his excellent sci-fi game Foreign Element – and then ran an adventure on a suspiciously oran...

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You wake groggy; your body stiff, your sight obscured. You stir; vigour oozing slowly back into your muscles like you’ve slept for an age. As your vision clears, you find your surroundings unfamiliar, the colours and light queer. You struggle to call out for help, but cannot find the words; You struggle to remember much of anything – were you drunk? Drugged? Sick? Perhaps, with hindsight, you were better not knowing… ThroR...

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Next week, I’m releasing a new adventure for The Cthulhu Hack through RPGNow and DriveThruRPG, entitled Thro’ Centuries Fixed. It’s another contemporary adventure, like Save Innsmouth, and well suited to one-off play; it could also be adapted to a different setting / period and might be used as the kick-off to a campaign. For those interested in adapting adventures, this one has roots in another adventure released under Creat...

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As RPGNow / DriveThruRPG have kicked off their Halloween event, I’ve added The Cthulhu Hack Halloween Bundle to your options. If you have something already, the site deducts that from the whole — so, you can round out your collection. The bundle includes: The Cthulhu Hack – Fast-play system of investigation and cosmic horror From Unformed Realms – Detailed generation of random horrors and their hideous powers Convicts &...

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It seemed appropriate to have an adventure out in time for Halloween. I didn’t want to constrain myself to a Halloween specific theme – I just wanted to write something suitable for a session of play to serve as quick horror fodder or an introduction to The Cthulhu Hack. Save Innsmouth is that adventure –  to be released at Spiel tomorrow and RPGNow / DriveThruRPG from Friday, 14 October. You’re all students at Arkham’s renow...

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My pressing need to prepare for upcoming conventions and exhibitions means that I’m really happy that the printer has managed a lightning turnaround on getting the proof out for The Haunter of the Dark. The printed version won’t be available to buy until late October, unless you happen to see me at any events between now and then (specifically, in Essen). In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek – and you can grab the PDF o...

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The Cthulhu Hack: The Haunter of the Dark takes HP Lovecraft’s final Mythos tale of doomed writer Robert Blake and guides you, in clear steps, through the process of turning it into an adventure for The Cthulhu Hack. With that approach in mind, you can then use the same tools and guidance to create classic adventures in mystery and horror. The supplement includes: an adventure outline—a sort-of-sequel to The Haunter of the Dark, Lovecraf...

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Reading and re-reading, I hope to have The Cthulhu Hack: The Haunter of the Dark up on One Book Shelf websites for this weekend. Despite proofing and best intentions, I won’t get it perfect before release… Otherwise, it’ll never go out. I’ve proofed myself and cast it around for further critical feedback. If I hit the button tonight it’s all down to me if I missed something. What is The Cthulhu Hack: The Haunter o...

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The House of Hell
Conversion , Solo Gameplay / November 18, 2017

It was an experiment in the possibilities of solo gaming that occurred to me at work. I genuinely have no recollection of why this struck me when it did, but I had the thought that one or two of the classic Fighting Fantasy books might provide an interesting challenge as solo sessions for The Cthulhu Hack. Recently re-released, could I fend off the threat of the House of Hell? And how? What adjustments did I need to make? Hapless Wan...

Strength of the Wendigo
Adventures , Releases / November 18, 2017

The remit for Three Faces of the Wendigo – write an adventure with the Wendigo at the heart of it. In the hands of three writers you get three chilling takes on the same theme with a very different perspective. Each writer – Richard August, John Almack and myself – came at the tale independently. John kicked off and completed his investigation, “Lovely, Dark and Deep“, first – a story set in the Ja...

Three Faces of the Wendigo
Adventures , Releases / November 14, 2017

“That stern quality of the tangled backwoods which can only be described as merciless and terrible, rose out of these far blue woods swimming upon the horizon, and revealed itself. He understood the silent warning. He realized his own utter helplessness.” – Algernon Blackwood, “The Wendigo” Three authors. Three chilling tales of malevolence and inhuman appetite for The Cthulhu Hack. Three Faces of the We...

Halloween Savings
Sale / October 20, 2017

You can save 31% on the PDFs of the whole Cthulhu Hack range in the RPGNow and DriveThruRPG Halloween event. That means you get hold of the core rules, From Unformed Realms, The Haunter of the Dark, Thro’ Centuries Fixed, the Outpost Generator and Save Innsmouth considerably reduced – perhaps fill out your collection? In the meantime, I continue to wrestle with the next release – three new adventures – as well...

Twixt Stats and Saves
Q & A / October 3, 2017

Following the brief review of Tainted Meat (which I ran at Concrete Cow) posted on Department V, I have been giving occasional thought to character stats in The Cthulhu Hack. I was less keen on the disconnect between the usual OSR six stats, and the Flashlights and Smokes. It’s easy to assume that a high INT character is going to be a top investigator, only to find that really it’s the number of dice you put into Flashlights that mat...

September Setting Sale on RPGNow
Sale / September 17, 2017

September is the time for changing up your game’s setting – and for The Cthulhu Hack that means picking up your copy of From Unformed Realms and doing something unexpected with it. As a toolkit, you might create a whole creature from scratch, allowing the dice to guide the physical make-up of the monstrous entity and then adding the stats later. Mark Chance has posted a bunch of uses for From Unformed Realms on his blog, ...

The Cthulhu Hack Core
Releases / September 9, 2017

The essential core books for The Cthulhu Hack in a PDF bundle offer. That includes two adventures – Save Innsmouth and The Hacker of the Dark – along with character creation, character advancement, creatures, magic, new horrors, investigation creation guidance and character sheets. Everything you need to start playing your own games with new horrors and guidance on using Lovecraft’s own stories as source material fo...

Lost in the Lights
Adapting , Thoughts / September 7, 2017

I have been reading this modern day, Las Vegas-based adventure-supplement with interest. Part-background for a cult, part-adventure – it also contains a bunch of information and several spot rules – the last of which fits Call of Cthulhu, but has less value for The Cthulhu Hack. Lost in the Lights – including the adventure Invisible Sun – provides a lot of potential. It has been available in a couple of format...

Cthulhu Potpourri
Reviews / August 5, 2017

A little review of The Cthulhu Hack, tucked away in a new “potpourri” review of The Black Hack on RPG Geek. Like playing Call of Cthulhu but want something a bit lighter every once in a while? Try The Cthulhu Hack! The Cthulhu Hack is an investigative horror game where the players try to solve mysteries while staving off deadly horrors and creatures from beyond. One of the interesting things that this game includes is ...

Round-up of Events
Events / August 4, 2017

Gen Con, the ENnies, OneBookShelf and Patreon – all worth a moment and a mention. Gen Con I’m in the States next week and then Gen Con the week after. I’m really excited. I will be running The Cthulhu Hack on Thursday afternoon, in three rollercoaster sessions. In addition, you can catch me at the Monte Cook Games stand on Thursday morning (I’m representing All Rolled Up for an hour or so), and most of the rem...

Brace For Impact
Hooks , Releases / July 25, 2017

For those moments when your players hit the JUMP button too soon or warp right out of the path the adventure has set for their rendezvous with doom, Brace For Impact! takes a leaf out of the random table book established by From Unformed Realms. Brace For Impact! offers 18-pages packed with tables presenting high sci-fi encounter seeds based at the point of arrival for your unsuspecting characters, with room for taking notes and gene...

Hit Dice as Resource
House Rules / July 24, 2017

I put a very short section on Hit Dice as a Resource into the new v1.5 core book. It’s very short. And just today – I realised, too short. The Hit Die What’s in the core book is a fairly abstract and underdeveloped idea – so, use it at your own risk. When you’re hit by something, instead of deducting hit points you roll your Hit Die like a Resource. If you roll a 1 or 2, the Hit Die drops a step. If you&...

LULU of Cthulhu
Releases / July 22, 2017

I’m pleased to announce the release of four books to Print on Demand through Lulu. From today, you can find The Cthulhu Hack, From Unformed Realms, The Haunter of the Dark, and Thro’ Centuries Fixed under my “Author Spotlight” on Lulu. In practice I hope that makes it simpler for those not in the UK to get hold of these books in print. I will also look to add them on OneBookShelf, but that requires a slightly ...

Random Tables

I believe random tables have their place in the creative process. Like my collection of Rory’s Story Cubes or my three volumes in the classic Central Casting books by Jennell Jacquays, the table often provides an essential spark to my creative process. I don’t always include a random table in my books, but when I do there’s a damned good reason for it – it’s about introducing a spark or adding some spice...

The Cthulhu Hack v1.5 Released
Releases / July 15, 2017

‪I have released the new version 1.5 of The Cthulhu Hack on RPGNow, available to everyone and accessible to all with the existing edition in their onsite Library. Fast, flexible Lovecraftian tabletop horror upgraded. This is Lovecraftian roleplaying for the gaming group with no time for thick rule books and endless mechanics! It’s entirely the same system as that released in 2016, but honed and refined over more than a year of ...

Your Haunter May Vary
Adapting , Random Tables / July 13, 2017

All Haunters are not born equal. The cosmic horror value of your Haunter may go up as well as down. You know the drill, right? You play a game and when the bad guys make their first tentative appearance the players read between the lines and leap ahead to tactics and strategies. They know how to handle a Deep One or a Shoggoth – and even though the antagonist hasn’t reared so much as a finger or eye lid yet, they’re...