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 slight algorithmic disparity between RPGNow and DriveThruRPG keeps Popular Electrum Pick out of reach at RPGNow, despite The Cthulhu Hack securing it on the DriveThru site a couple of weeks ago. Definitely an odd number, whatever it is. I awake each morning and check the page to see if TCH has finally tipped the balance to level up! On a more general level, I really appreciate the support! I released the game a little under 4 months ago &#...

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A small release on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG today in the form of the Outpost Drop Table generator for free settler / colonial outposts, suited to pre-modern adventure environments – like The Cthulhu Hack: Convicts & Cthulhu – but open to other possibilities. Drop five or six 6-sided dice into the table and read off the result, which tells you the building and something unusual about it – like the strange native burial moun...

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Sense of Purpose
Playtest / August 14, 2012

While I didn’t manage to run a playtest session last night, I did participate in a Cthulhu Dark (Graham Walmsley’s excellent one-page system for running uncompromising Mythos sessions) adventure. While the Keeper (probably) had a plan and a map, I don’t think the adventure had much more preparation. No, I tell a lie – a sensed a hint of a Esoterrorist adventure in there with one very specific and memorable sce...

Stench of the Sea
Modventure / August 9, 2012

Our first adventure module presents an adventure site for you to introduce into your own world, a jumping in point for a whole new campaign, or simply a one-off adventure to fill a few sessions. Set against a generic fantasy backdrop, the small settlement of Brinwan seems, at face value, to offer little more than a vacation in the woods, off the beaten track. The locals fish and mine in the hills to the north, but to a passing advent...

In Place, Typeface, White Space
RPG Design / August 7, 2012

At the weekend, I spent some time wandering around Waterstones and a branch of W H Smith fingering my way through various books, manuals, magazines and newspapers. While I have a draft of my adventure module that stills demands attention, I admit to have become side-tracked with the business of layout. I have been working on The Stench of the Sea as a boring old Word document. I’m looking to reformat into something slightly mor...

Playtesting the Stench 2
News / July 31, 2012

The playtest of my adventure module took a slide out into left field last night, as we lost two players and gained three to the vagaries of the real world. I think, under the circumstances, I managed to get it back on track under the pretext that one of the players not in attendance owed money, favours or anything else besides to the three newcomers. One, a Priest of Norn, had a warrant on Paraxis the Humble, our resident charlatan, ...

Another Dimension
News / July 26, 2012

Non-player character motivation came into focus during the playtest session I ran last Monday, short as that session was. In the two hours played, the characters not only had the opportunity to meet the village smith and the tavern keeper, but also Archer, the settlement owner and administrator. I originally intended Archer as a simple landowner looking out for the well-being of his workers. A harsh, but fair, man, he had a history f...

No Expense Spared
RPG Design / July 25, 2012

The ‘No Expense Spared’ character sheet for the System I Made Up ruleset used for the playtest on Monday. Assign 3-2-1 to the top boxes, then choose four traits associated with those attributes. Want to wrestle a giant crab? Then roll Body + Heave. How about working out what all that screaming might be about without getting too close? Maybe a Soul + Sense. Need to cast a quick sonic blast spell? Then get that Mind + Recal...

Playtesting the Stench
Playtest / July 24, 2012

If the game session last night has anything to teach me it is that you can’t underestimate the value of a playtest with a diverse group of players. I had a group of four and we played the initial element of the Stench of the Sea adventure module I have been working on. I think we may have worked our way through about two or three pages of the module proper. Given that we played for two hours, that might say more about the focus...

Flashcards
RPG Design / July 22, 2012

I have always believed in simplifying the role playing experience for myself whenever possible. The business of GMing a role playing game holds too many complexities and points of preparation to make it any harder. If I read an adventure, I will take notes. I will litter the text with highlighting, Post-It notes, sticky bookmarks or index slips. I will photocopy bits for personal reference, or transcribe important elements into a not...

Much, Too Much or Much Less
RPG Design / July 20, 2012

I believe that different game-masters and storytellers seek varied levels of detail from the supplements, adventures and modules that they buy. I think some will appreciate layers of atmosphere and flavour, while others prefer sparse, concise descriptions that get the point across without labouring it. I know that I prefer something with a solid sentence or three of flavour, followed with reasonable detail on features and pertinent e...

Picture This
RPG Design / July 19, 2012

I spent most of the last weekend drawing pictures. Despite my plans to complete the first draft of my planned adventure module, I ended up concentrating on the visuals. In practice, I know I didn’t waste any time here. A picture, as we all know, paints a thousand words – so, I think I managed close to 10,000 words this weekend. Only kidding.

Welcome to the Crunch
News / July 17, 2012

Just Crunch Games is a small UK-based role playing game outfit set up by Paul Baldowski. Having spent the last 30 years playing role playing games, the last 20 writing about them, and the last 10 writing for them – I have decided it might well be about time to occasionally write a new supplement or book on my own terms.