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, including creating twisted entities for Mutant Futures, lurking Murkling for Barbarians of Lemuria, Chitinoid Chaos for Marvel Super Heroes, and snake guardians for Bloodshadows. Alternatively, you can make a roll or two to spice up some of your existing adversaries and antagonists. As a review of From Unformed Realms on RPG Geek said –  “it’s an evocative and easy to read source of inspiration for just about any otherworldly monster. I like how it cuts straight to the weirdness – horrific or simply dangerous – and lets you build the monster around those core abilities. I fully intend to use this in fantasy games – at least high-fantasy ones, where ‘realism’ isn’t a concern.” From Unformed Realms is a system-free toolkit suited for many settings and…

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 for your adventures.

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 formats in the past – physical and PDF. In the last week, it was released as a physical book in the UK. For information, I have read this supplement through a couple of times with plans with run it in the near future. This is not a review – this is a view, based on my reading and interpretation of the materials. First Impressions In my opinion, the adventure won’t require much prep for The Cthulhu Hack – which I’ve always presented as the strong point of the system – as key clues and locations appear in small capitalised text and the few stat-blocked antagonists can slide over to TCH on the fly. At heart, the adventure either hurts hard or will require some cautious and somewhat structured investigation – you’ve no need to worry about complex conversion for prolonged gun battles…

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 “smokes” and “flashlights”. Now, these don’t necessarily represent actual cigarettes and flashlights, but they do represent your character’s ability to continue an investigation (flashlights) or their ability to get information or charm someone (smokes). Each of these traits has a usage die, and every time you use an ability that links to one of these traits, you roll the usage die for it. So, for example, if you are searching for clues, you would roll your flashlight usage die. If you run out of the “flashlight” trait, then you have exhausted your investigative ability, your leads, or whatever else is appropriate. This is great because it never leads to a moment where the adventure stops dead because of a failed check for clues. You will…

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 remaining time I’ll be at Table 2959 in Entrepreneurs’ Avenue. I will have quite a lot of The Cthulhu Hack, including the new red box. I will have various other coloured boxes and plenty of books, Insanity Dice, dice trays, messenger bags, and the prototype copy of a fancy Character Creation Deck. I’m more than happy to chat – AND I will definitely try to barter for game stuff through Twitter. Following @cthulhuhack on Twitter and watch out – I’ll post what I want and what I’ll give for it… and the first one to answer back and bring the item around will get a bit of a bargain. The ENnies Awards I might have mentioned that The Haunter of the Dark has been nominated in the Best Electronic…

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 generating odd details like a ship names, types of debris, and failing systems. It won’t replace an adventure – but, at a pinch, it will create the seed for an encounter, the in media res moment for a mission, or distract the players just long enough for you to improvise the meat of something else.

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 longer process. As The Cthulhu Hack now features four books on Lulu, it means you can also take advantage of their various ongoing and occasional offers. Most of the time you will find TRGE15 offering a BUY 3, GET 4th FREE offer. At the moment, if you want to buy these and more, JULYYAY could offer you a more substantial discount.

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 open play, convention gaming, and more than 1,000 downloads. Centred around survival and investigation, the game keeps mechanics simple and character generation simpler. New flexible character generation. New optional rules. Expanded format with an adventure and 2-page example of play to get you up and running. And backed by the usual range of supplements and adventures, all compatible whatever the edition – including horror generator From Unformed Realms and adventure design guide The Haunter of the Dark (nominated for a 2017 ENnie Award). More than twice the content of the original in the same page count! Take Lovecraft and the Mythos back to basics – and may Cthulhu have mercy on your battered soul! The Cthulhu Hack v1.5 on RPGNow

The Haunter of the Dark on Sale!
Sale / July 13, 2017

In celebration of the nomination of The Haunter of the Dark for Best Electronic Book by the Judges’ Panel for the ENnie Awards, you will find the PDF discounted by 25% on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. The offer will run until OneBookShelf kicks off Christmas in July – one of their biggest sale events of the year – when the whole Cthulhu Hack range should be discounted for the duration of the event.

From Unformed Realms – New Review
Reviews / July 11, 2017

A quick new review has gone up on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG for From Unformed Realms, posted by Tore Nielsen: Since From Unformed Realms is essentially system-less, it serves as a great resource for creating new strange monsters for many games. I have personally used it for The Black Hack itself, and for Portal Rats, but not for The Cthulhu Hack itself (yet). Next up I plan to use it for Macchiato Monsters. Link to the review for From Unformed Realms.

ENnie Awards – Vote for Best Electronic Book
Events , News / July 11, 2017

The ENnie Awards voting opened today. and will runs until 11 PM EDT on 21st July. The Judges’ Panel nominated The Cthulhu Hack: The Haunter of the Dark for Best Electronic Book – and I would appreciate your support with a vote. Better still, a “1” Vote would be really great. The Great Cthulhu will look favourably on your future. Reviewers have spoken very highly on the qualities of this guide to creating Lovecraftian adventures. Eric Dodd, RPGGeek – “Very interesting and worthwhile read for anyone who wants to take Lovecraftesque stories and turn them into adventures for any system. Good reading of The Haunter of the Dark, exploring its themes in a number of directions. Well worth reading and stealing for story ideas and reviewing methods for any analysis of stories. Along with other general books like Stealing Cthulhu, The Haunter of the Dark is recommended to anyone trying to write an adventure in a true Lovecraftian style.“ This year, I’m going to be at Gen Con, helping on the All Rolled Up stand in Entrepreneur Avenue and running games – of both The Cthulhu Hack and Monte Cook Games’ Predation. It would be a dream visit to attend the ENnie Awards as well and have…

The Cthulhu Hack – New Version, Old Stock
News / July 11, 2017

In the process of updating to the new edition of The Cthulhu Hack, I’m now closing on a completed version of the whole text. However, I haven’t got to the point where I can get a new proof or order fresh stock – so, that means that I have had to take boxed sets Out of Stock over on All Rolled Up’s web store. I hope that I can get the proof very soon and turn all those boxed sets back on. In the meantime, you can stick get single copies of The Cthulhu Hack or boxed sets with just the rules. However, even those will be running short soon. No pressure on me to get that version edit done, right?

2017 ENnie Award Nomination
News / July 4, 2017

My thanks to ENnie Awards judges for nominating The Haunter of the Dark for Best Electronic Book. I hope I can count on your votes 11th – 21st July! You can check out all the nominated products on the ENnie Awards website.

Sales at UK Games Expo
Events , Thoughts / June 5, 2017

Just Crunch sales of The Cthulhu Hack through All Rolled Up at UK Games Expo exceeded expectations, though I think I need to moderate the sales patter! Setting down individual books, whether sold by themselves or as part of a box, this is the numbers in total from the three days of the event: Overall, on a gut feeling rather than any hard stats, I think the sales rate was about 1 in 5 pitches, maybe 1 in 4. My throat would tend toward the lower rate of success! UK Games Expo provides a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and sell your game to a wider audience. If someone listened and walked away without buying, I hope they’ll remember my spiel about the game and come looking later for the PDF or pick up the game through All Rolled Up. The games I ran in the evening definitely felt valuable – both as a chance to introduce new people to the game (and, indeed, to gaming in the Mythos in general) and an opportunity to playtest new ideas. I recommend the approach to independent game designers – to both sale by day and run games, whether as a demo alongside the stand or…

Cthulhu Hack at UK Games Expo ’17

UK Games Expo sprawled across the last weekend. I have spent much of that time standing up, behind the Just Crunch Games stall, regaling people with the virtues of The Cthulhu Hack. As if getting up at 6.30am to hit NEC Hall 1’s floor for 8.30am wasn’t enough, I also signed up to GM games in the 8pm slot (a scant two hours after the trading hall closedown at 6pm). Evening Games I ran two sessions of “Operation Header” from Cubicle 7’s ‘Covert Actions‘, a scenario supplement for the Kickstarter funded ‘World War Cthulhu: Cold War‘. As it was only released to backers as a PDF last week, I figured (A) no one was likely to have read it and (B) I could show how easy it was to convert any Cthulhu game’s scenarios to TCH on the fly. While I considered running a different adventure on the Saturday, I enjoyed the Friday game and it seemed silly to not give it another run out. To be clear from the outset, the version of the adventure I ran stripped out a lot of the finer details from the adventure purely out of necessity. I had 4-hours (at most) to introduce…

OSR Extravaganza
Sale / May 28, 2017

For the next couple of weeks – until June 11th – RPGNow and DriveThruRPG has an Old School gaming sale on, which means you get at least 15% off the core Cthulhu Hack PDFs. Right now you can get The Cthulhu Hack, The Haunter of the Dark, Save Innsmouth and Thro’ Centuries Fixed for at least 15% off. From tomorrow, you will also find From Unformed Realms — not strictly a OSR title, but seems fair enough to include it in the sale — on sale with the same 15% off the current price. That’s the core – character generation and core mechanics, creating horrors, creating adventures and two investigations. And those wanting physical copies who plan to attend Check out the Just Crunch Games store or throw the net wider and check out the whole OSR Extravaganza!