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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The Wheezing Winze
Extras / September 23, 2012

While the release of Stench of the Sea contains several maps, I’m always up for creating more – and they might find their way into a future update of the supplement – who knows. Here we have a floorplan for the Brinwan’s inn, The Wheezing Winze. Run by Colm Wain, with his wife and twin sons, it serves as the main meeting place and drinking hole for local farmers and fishermen, as well as travellers. Colm and f...

Stench of the Sea RELEASED!
Modventure , Releases / September 22, 2012

The adventurers probably come to Brinwan not expecting a great deal, and a first encounter with a mildly insane goat herder doesn’t change that expectation. However, just as the characters secure rooms and dinner for the night, something monstrous crawls from the sea and the matter of unexpected deaths in the local mine come to light – potentially leading them down the road to adventure (although based on playtesting, you...

Voltari’s Respite
RPG Design / August 20, 2012

Yesterday, after spending most of the day scribbling, scrawling, drawing and fretting, I published a one-page encounter. Voltari’s Retreat isn’t a replacement for Stench of the Sea by any means, just something to tide people over while I finish my work. Aaron McLin made a couple of very relevant points over at Google+ about Voltari’s Retreat. Firstly, the text should say garderobe, without the ‘U’. I wil...

Voltari’s Retreat
One-Pager / August 19, 2012

While I continue to work on Stench of the Sea, I have tinkered with ways to create quick and simple maps. Right now, I find I get maximum creativity and quickest results using a Sharpie and a packet of sticky notes. I have some stickies bigger than the ‘standard’ size and some smaller – and, combined, they let me outline an area on the big ones, then zoom in on the small ones. I originally tried posting an encounter...

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...