In Development, Patreon, Releases 0 comments on Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

Mother’s Love has been a massive leap of faith for me—one where I have wavered on many decisions. In the outcome, I’m deliriously pleased that it has turned out so well. I hope that you can come and see it in person at UK Games Expo, supporting the continuation of The Cthulhu Hack line.

Up to Three Faces of the Wendigo, The Cthulhu Hack was all me. I might have used the springboard of others in publishing something, like Convicts & Cthulhu, but essentially it was me doing the writing. Wendigo took that to another level—as I joined with two other writers. Even then, I used existing artwork to round out the final product and created some of the other elements myself.

When I decided to extend the ideas presented in The Dark Brood—my very positively received take on the entity Shub-Niggurath—I chose to leap into the abyss and bring on-board three writers broadly unknown to me and commission the majority of the artwork. Last September, there was definitely a moment when I thought, “Should I have done this as a Kickstarter?

I was commissioning three pieces of original writing, with three pieces of original art, plus a map—and at that time I didn’t really have a clue what I was putting on the cover, although I had a fallback. I knew that I would need to do all the editing and layout myself, with some dependable friends to provide proofreading, but the content would all be commission work.

That was scary.

It grew more scary as time slipped by. Passing Dragonmeet at the end of the year. Then rolling into the New Year. I could feel the presence of mid-year and Expo, a looming shadow. I realised that it needed to get done before then, because there’s some measure of fanfare and gamer-access at an event pulling in attendees in the tens of thousands. That face-time with existing players and newcomers makes all the difference.

As the final texts came in—after multiple tweaks and shuffles—invoices were raised, paying for word and art. That remained really scary. I’m still worried, I’m not afraid to admit. When you invest so much money—for which I have my publisher All Rolled Up to thank to no small measure—and time—time enough for me to sketch out, playtest, write and publish another investigation—in one thing, the outcome demands even more of you. Now I have the promotion to consider—the exposure, the play, the reviews…

If early feedback has anything to offer, it’s positive. I’m torn by the delight of seeing the hardback for the first time on Friday—a decision made because if you’re all in, why not really go ALL IN—and the prospect of the remaining work to come. And remembering that there are other projects yet to come, great stuff that means I don’t really have time to stand still—Deadbeats. Island of Ignorance. De Cultis Ineffabilibus. And the SecondfinalEdition.

I hope you enjoy it.

Adventures, Releases 0 comments on Mother’s Love Hardback

Mother’s Love Hardback

All Rolled Up have just taken delivery of the new hardback investigation collection for The Cthulhu HackMother’s Love.

A 76-page collection of three investigations, written for The Cthulhu Hack but usable with any system. The book is hardback with a red ribbon bookmark, with a wraparound cover by Wenqing Yan.

The collection of three brand new investigations are all set in the late 20th and early 21st Century.

Deep Roots – In 1950s Canada, officers of the law and Children’s Services investigate a double murder and kidnapping that seems to connect back to an abandoned orphanage, in the backwaters of lumber country.

Gift of the Flesh – A team of animal activists seek to infiltrate the abattoir of a company growing rich on the sale of luxury meat products, with evidence of shady practice and possible bribery of European food standards regulators.

Ggantija – In celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death, theatre director Peter Catterick organises a special performance of The Tempest held in the Neolithic Temples at Xaghra. But rehearsals descend into dark events and suddenly the actors find themselves pursued by something far worse than critics or paparazzi.

All Rolled Up has posted Mother’s Love up in their web store. Copies will also be available wherever All Rolled Up/Just Crunch Games attend conventions in the UK.

http://www.allrolledup.co.uk/catalog/product.html?fold=mothers-love&file=TCH-Mothers-Love-HB

Adventures, Releases 0 comments on Mother’s Love

Mother’s Love

Mother’s Love is the new release for The Cthulhu Hack, featuring three investigations in (relatively) contemporary settings:

  • investigating murder and kidnapping connected to a backwater orphanage in 50s Canada;
  • actors gather together in celebration of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary on the islands of Malta; and,
  • looking into the shady practices of a Greek business and an abattoir as part of an Animal Rights movement.

The 76-page PDF also comes with a separate 12-page collection of maps, blueprints and handouts.

Available now on DriveThruRPG—with release in limited edition hardback and POD to follow.

And to celebrate the release of Mother’s Love—the All-Mother Bundle includes the Core Book, From Unformed Realms, The Dark Brood and Mother’s Love at 20% off the normal price for those PDFs.

DriveThruRPG—All-Mother’s Bundle

Bundle offer available until May 13th, 2019.

Releases 0 comments on Valkyrie-9 in Print

Valkyrie-9 in Print

All Rolled Up will have new stock in store for The Cthulhu Hack from sometime next week, as print copies of new investigation Valkyrie Nine come in.

The PDF release of Valkyrie-9 can be found at DriveThruRPG, but for a physical book you will have the option of placing an order through the All Rolled Up web store or catching us at an upcoming convention.

In the meantime, layout continues on another release, Mother’s Love, that will feature not just one, but three, new investigations. We’ll keep you informed as get closer to release.

Patreon, Releases, Thoughts 0 comments on The Cthulhu Hack in 2019

The Cthulhu Hack in 2019

I’m not inclined to make predictions or promises! For me, 2018 proved to be a workhorse year where a fair amount got done but not as much got published as I might have hoped.

For my part The Dark Brood was published – a short guide to the Cult of Shub-Niggurath – along with the GM Reference screenThe Dark Brood has been well received with some good review feedback – and I’m absolutely up to expanded on this material in the future.

On a broader scale, Les 12 Singes published The Cthulhu Hack in French, kicking off their Dark Monkeys collection. The Spanish edition of the game, from Mindscape Publishing, will emerge early next year, and you can expect news on a German version, following some very positive discussions at Spiel and a signed contract!

On top of all that, I kicked off the Paul Baldowski is creating role-playing content for The Cthulhu Hack on Patreon in late November. The idea was to support the ongoing development of The Cthulhu Hack in a building block fashion; so far, in 6 weeks, it’s generated two extended entities – the Dimensional Shambler and Rhan-Tegoth – plus an optional rule for Special Abilities. There’s another entity write-up in progress – and the creative fuel will mean a lot for releases in 2019.

For the last several months, I’ve been holding up the progress of the next set of investigations. I’m absolutely to blame for this because the process of reviewing and providing feedback has been one I’m not great keeping on top of. However, all four writers have had feedback this past week – so, January should see a finalised set of adventures, and most of the art should be in place, too. On that basis, I have expectations of a Spring release for Mother’s Love.

The three adventures continue on from The Dark Brood, taking the business of Shub-Niggurath and spinning it out across the globe. Like Three Faces of Wendigo, the investigations don’t specifically make up a campaign – but a GM can make of them what they will; you’re responsible for introducing any connective tissue to make them into a joined up campaign if you want.

Another bubbling work-in-progress will come in the form of a optional rules set, the dread tome De Cultis Ineffabilibus. Part of this will be bestiary-related, something for which I owe my Patrons thanks. The time spent in creating back story, plot hooks and new mechanics around Lovecraft’s many creatures will make this an interesting addition to the arsenal of anyone running The Cthulhu Hack.

While the publication of the current edition of the Core Rules added extra mechanics and optional rules, many ideas remain. New material hovering in playtest include mechanics for additional creatures, magic, tomes, combat and more – with some material lingering half-formed as marginalia and scattered notes. You can also expect an adventure or two, and a guest writer will provide some of the material – primarily around adding a little more pulpy action to your Cthulhu Hack investigations.

Then we go further afield – with the possibility of two setting supplements. One has been around for a while, but will see a re-write and a re-title: a return to penal colony Australia in Island of Ignorance. This will include updated and expanded material on character creation, with a brief overview of the flavour and material of the environment, as well as an adventure and a bunch of expanded creatures. The original supplement came out with 6-months of the original edition, so you can expect some updates.

The other supplement, tentatively called The Dark of the Moon, sees The Cthulhu Hack heading into the vast darkness of space. At the moment, this includes material to expand character creation, additional mechanics for handling the environment, new and expanded entities of the Mythos, and at least two adventures.

And along with all this, the Patreon content will continue to trickle out month-on-month – along with playtesting of investigations and mechanics at any events I attend that don’t demand I spend 100% of my time at the stall!

Thanks everyone for your support in 2018 – and you can still grab The Cthulhu Hack at a discount until midnight – and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings!

Events, Releases 0 comments on Lovecraft Special Edition

Lovecraft Special Edition

I’ve created – and teased – the Lovecraft Special Edition boxes. While the white box may well become an on-and-off special, the red (“Red Hook”) deep box is a limited edition because I don’t have access to any more stock once these have gone. I originally used the red boxes for a Gen Con special with a different design (in 2017); these Lovecraft ones will be the last of them.

As a Patron of The Cthulhu Hack, you have first dibs. As a Special Edition, both the white and red boxes run to £10 each. You can order them separately (empty) by sending an email to contact@allrolledup.co.uk or get additional books and accessories to go inside by placing an order through the All Rolled Up web store and noting “Red Lovecraft Just Crunch” (or “White Lovecraft Just Crunch”) in the Where Did You Hear About Us? box.

If you’re coming to Dragonmeet, I’m happy to set the box aside for you. State “Dragonmeet Pick-up” in the Where Should We Send Your Order? box.

Releases, Sale 0 comments on Strange Encounters Bundle

Strange Encounters Bundle

As a Doctor Who fan and a freelance tabletop RPG writer, I always find my worlds colliding. Indeed, even as I watched the first episode of the new series, I was taking notes to add stats for the Stenza!

To start with, I’ve created a simple tabletop roleplaying game called Renegade, just a few hundred words for quick, on-the-fly adventures.

And to help spawn those adventures, try Brace for Impact PLUS From Unformed Realms — combine them for a Chibnall-esque time-travelling role-playing experience.

Consult Appendix Z: Brace for Impact provides 20-pages of random encounters and a time-travelling twist, with the core rules for Renegade tucked away at the end. If you have already picked up CAZ:BFI, you now have extra content – as I added the infinity table (for time-travel shenanigans) and the Renegade rules as an update.

From Unformed Realms adds an essential non-Euclidean touch to your monsters, some more unsettling than others; then again, based on the evidence of one episode that seems the Chibnall way (I remember Day One).

You can pick it all up as a sub-$5 bundle from DriveThruRPG:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/254727/Strange-Encounters-BUNDLE

Releases, Sale 0 comments on The Dark Brood Updated and On Sale

The Dark Brood Updated and On Sale

I’m pleased to tell you that The Dark Brood has been expanded, upgraded and uploading – now 20-pages with a tweak to the cover image.

The Dark Brood offers a selection of content bringing the fecundity of Shub-Niggurath front and centre to your game and loosing her mindless progeny upon the world. The supplement has been expanded from the original release (and in preparation for printing, which will be available through the All Rolled Up web store) and includes:

  • An overview of the Black Goat of a Thousand Young and the manifestations of its presence
  • Six ready-to-play samples of the Dark Brood as examples of using From Unformed Realms to generate endless new monstrosities
  • Three investigation seeds with three suggestions each on hooking your group in and what they’ll uncover
  • Worship and worshippers of the All-Mother, outlining six different follower types, their appearance and abilities
  • Five new Mythos spells and rituals associated with practitioners close to Shub-Niggurath
  • Dozens of ideas on adding the influence of the Dark Brood and Shub-Niggurath into your investigations, which you can use as hooks, flavour, or creative sparks for your next investigation

Written for use with The Cthulhu Hack, the simplicity of the system and light mechanics mean that ideas and content can easily be adapted to other investigation horror systems – or even rolled back for use in The Black Hack and its multitude of progeny!

And right now, as part of the May D&D Sale, this OSR compatible supplement has a reduced price tag until the end of the month, along with most of the rest of The Cthulhu Hack line.

Releases 0 comments on The Dark Brood Cover

The Dark Brood Cover

The lurking progeny of the Great Mother, the Eternal Womb, the Black Goat… they lurk in wait. I have work to do to complete the text of The Dark Brood and I have my fingers crossed that I can complete the task in the scant time that remains. However, for the moment, there’s a cover image ready and prepared for sending on to the printer. Once all the work has been completed, the PDF will also get an update on the OneBookShelf sites.

Hang in there with me. I appreciate your patience and your support. Remember that almost all the core books and adventures, as well as the bundles, are on sale and have a discount on them through the month of May at RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. And, as with the Core Book, incremental upgrades and expansions of books you have already purchased will come free once I’ve completed them.

Those who picked up the Core Book in May 2015 have just had the revised v1.6.6 version dropped in their Library for download. Until I do a complete revamp and expansion, I’m right there supporting your gaming, with a developing system that remains true to the desire for fast and simple horror investigations in Lovecraft’s universe.

Releases 0 comments on The Cthulhu Hack Redux

The Cthulhu Hack Redux

I have launched the new version of The Cthulhu Hack core rules through RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. This is not a major revision in terms of content, but has undergone a completely fresh layout and a typeface refresh.

The book has undergone a brisk tweaking around the edge and I have done my damnedest to bring the PDF into the the late 20th century. The electronic version now includes:

  • Hyperlinked table of contents
  • Hyperlinked index
  • Hyperlinked internal page references
  • PDF bookmarking

By all means tell me if I have missed something or if you have trouble using any of these features.

In addition to the linking, the edition includes:

  • Clear marking of Optional rules
  • A note on running campaigns
  • Hit Dice as Resource
  • The return of the Bruiser
  • Brief notes on handling / the flavour of Common and Mythos foe attacks
  • Dealing with Multiple Attacks
  • A new introduction to Save Innsmouth
  • Various tweaks to Save Innsmouth, reminding me this is Chapter 0 of a longer campaign
  • A little guidance about what to grab after the Core book

I hope that you enjoy the updated version and get use out of the bookmarking. I have submitted the updated files to my printer and await the electronic proofs to confirm readiness to go – having these in time for UK Games Expo.

If you already have the Core Book PDF in your online library, download the update. Otherwise, OneBookShelf currently have a May Sale that means you can pick up the Core at a discount. So, head over to DriveThru now before month end.

Releases 0 comments on TCH: Convicts & Cthulhu Redux

TCH: Convicts & Cthulhu Redux

I have had some request recently for copies of the physical The Cthulhu Hack: Convicts & Cthulhu book. At this point in time, no more copies exist. They had a limited run and now, aside from a personal copy, they’re all gone.

As to the PDF version, this will remain available through DriveThru and RPGNow as a Pay What You Want download. I have slated this book for a complete revisit/rewrite in the future. This will essentially take it right down to the base framework and work it back up from there, taking especial note of the changes that have appeared with the release of v1.5 of the Core Rules last year.

This will also mean that I will no longer connect the product to the excellent Convicts & Cthulhu from Cthulhu Reborn. I will rename the book and release as a complete alternate setting, both as a PDF and a physical book. I appreciate the permission to use the Convicts & Cthulhu setting material as a backdrop for my own book. However, it has meant that I couldn’t charge for the PDF and only ever charged at cost – or Pay What You Want – for the book version.

The PDF sales, to date, amount to 865 downloads and, to be open about the figures, after OneBookShelf deductions that has generated sales of $90.96, or just over 10 cents per PDF. I hope you can see why it makes more sense to me to re-write and relaunch as a full version of comparable sale value as the other books in the range.

On the same subject, if you would be interested in writing an adventure set in early 19th century Australia, I’m open to short pitches!

3rd Party 0 comments on Pax Cthuliana

Pax Cthuliana

I’m midway through running the system-free investigation Pax Cthuliana from NEVR publishing (who also publish the Insight RPG). I went through the read through and prep a fortnight ago and ran the first half last Tuesday – which proved sufficient to get a review up and posted on Geek Native.

I mention in the review that the adventure would work fine without a system – all loosey goosey and story-focused – but, at the same time, it doesn’t take too much to nudge a little crunch in around the defined locations and meetings with personalities. You have a bucket-load of superb quality handouts and clues to pass on to the gathered investigators, but that’s not to say they should pay for the insight with a measured taxing of their Resource Dice, using The Cthulhu Hack.

I can see where the Kickstarter money went on this adventure – because few games have such fine play materials and certainly don’t usually stretched to a purpose-written original soundtrack. As I suggest in the Geek Native review, you can do something more yourself with scattered props and red herring paperwork on the tabletop – as you can do with any game. The visceral, hands-on experience really adds something special to the event – which, in this case, will be my last roleplaying game of the year (most probably).

Anyway – check out the Geek Native review and then treat yourself (and your players) to a long evening (or dual session) of Pax Cthuliana. It includes various ideas on expanding the adventure (which I feel play more into the hands of adding a little extra crunch from a system) and the possibility of making this a bookend for a campaign (your choice which end; one definitely would be harder to achieve than the other!).

Releases 0 comments on Bundles of Foreboding

Bundles of Foreboding

In time for Christmas, but also to make it easier to pick up a bunch of The Cthulhu Hack books without searching, I have created three Bundle offers on RPGNow/DriveThruRPG – with a swanky new bundle graphic.

The Cthulhu Hack Core provides you with the essentials – as someone else put it, the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual – for running the game. You get the v1.5 copy of The Cthulhu Hack, the guide in stories and adventures of The Haunter of the Dark, and a horde of random horrors with From Unformed Realms. That’s $13.33.

The Unformed Bundle focus on the creatures and horrors – and can be ported to other games very easily. Here you get From Unformed Realms along with recently released The Dark Brood, which focuses on the hellish progeny of Shub-Niggaruth. That’s $6.66.

Finally, you will find the brand new Investigations Bundle, which combines the guide in stories and adventures of The Haunter of the Dark with five ready-to-play investigations: modern day student hikers documenting the last days of the derelict Innsmouth in Save Innsmouth; locals of a small town on an island off Maine waking without recollection of their purpose, but keenly aware that something’s horribly wrong in Thro’ Centuries Fixed; and three chilling encounters with the Wendigo, served up by three different authors, in Three Faces of the Wendigo. That’s $18.00.

As per standard charging on the One Book Shelf stores, if you have a book already, you don’t pay for it twice. They deduct that individual book (or books) from the total – so, you still save on the PDFs you don’t have.

The Core Bundle

Releases 2 comments on Release The Dark Brood

Release The Dark Brood

The Dark Brood offers a selection of content that brings the fecundity of Shub-Niggurath front and centre to your game of The Cthulhu Hack; loosing her mindless progeny upon the unsuspecting world. Oddly enough, I started writing this as a basic bestiary entry – perhaps even just a single creature post on this site; in many ways, Mark Chance’s posts over at Spes Magna had got me thinking. Mark had posted a few examples of using From Unformed Realms to create creatures and villains for various game systems – and I wanted to bring some of that home to Just Crunch. However, once I got writing, I couldn’t stop. I had four creatures, then five; then I realised that they had a commonality that seemed a gift for writing more about Shub-Niggurath and its strange influences. Before you know it, I had several thousand words and a cover image!

The supplement includes:

  • An overview of the Black Goat of a Thousand Young and the manifestations of its presence
  • Six ready-to-play samples of the Dark Brood as examples of using From Unformed Realms to generate endless new monstrosities
  • Two investigation seeds with suggestions on hooking your group in and what they’ll uncover
  • Four new Mythos spells associated with practitioners close to Shub-Niggurath, including Flesh-to-Stone
  • A collection of more than two-dozen ideas on adding the influence of the Dark Brood and Shub-Niggurath into your investigations, which you can use as hooks, flavour, or creative sparks for your next investigation

Written for The Cthulhu Hack, The Dark Brood has the simplicity to allow simple porting to other investigation horror games; alternatively, the creatures and spells – written with the same system as The Black Hack – can be used with any of the many variants of that game system.

The Cthulhu Hack: The Dark Brood is available now through RPGNow and DriveThruRPG for $3.95. Or grab the Unformed Bundle, which includes both The Dark Brood and From Unformed Realms for $6.66.