Amidst the fall of snow and a swirling storm of parcels and letters, something dark and unwholesome lurks, waiting. So little time remains and not a chance for anyone to receive these valuable tomes, grimoires and books of esoteric guidance by mail.
Here’s a chance to pick up the whole bundle of goodies from The Cthulhu Hack published in 2016 – either for yourself or gifted to a friend. When you Checkout, tick Buying for someone else? (low on the right) and you can enter someone else’s email address – passing the curse of the Elder Gods on to almost anyone!
This special Festive Bundle product contains the following titles.
The Cthulhu Hack – core rules of fast-to-play horror investigation
From Unformed Realms – crafted random tables for generating fresh horrors or their spoor
The Cthulhu Hack: Convicts & Cthulhu – creating characters and adventures in 19th century Australia
Outpost Generator – drop table for generating settlements in the Outback
The Cthulhu Hack: Quickstart – Nocturnal Rites, a demo-length adventure and guide to TCH mechanics
Save Innsmouth (Chapter 0) – a one-shot contemporary adventure and student documentary
The Haunter of the Dark – a guide to crafting adventures from Lovecraft’s fiction
Thro’ Centuries Fixed – a contemporary adventure off the coast of Maine
With a total value of $14.86, RPGNow and DriveThru also deduct anything you might already have from the bundle. The full Festive Bundle is price: $11.89, which saves you 20% off the normal price ($2.97).
In a spirit of celebration, the Christmas decorations have gone up around the office and the house, and I’m sat here wearing a silly Star Wars themed Christmas jumper. While we all celebrate at different times and for different reasons, I think we can all agree we’re all a little bit closer to When The Stars Are Right.
Normally £18, you can pick up all the books for £16, including:
44-page The Cthulhu Hack core book, for character creation and the lite mechanics of the game
20-page From Unformed Realms, an intricate array of tables to generate new horrors or their spoor
88-page The Haunter of the Dark, a guide to turning Lovecraft’s stories into tabletop adventures
36-page Convicts and Cthulhu setting book, taking the horror to 19th-century penal colony Australia
10-page Save Innsmouth, a modern investigation into corporate greed and the heritage of America
All in mono throughout on 80gsm off white bookwove with 250gsm matt laminated covers in full colour. If you have picked up a copy of The Cthulhu Hack before you won’t have one of these – unless you already have a full set of books – as single copies are gloss laminated.
In celebration of the 96th anniversary of Lovecraft’s short tale The Cats of Ulthar, I offer up a few cat-related spells for those who favour the feline and care not for the loss of sanity that fascination brings:
Comprehend Cat (1st level) : You understand feline language; Advantage on your Flashlight rolls for one minute/lvl. Cat’s Footing (1st level) : Saves to avoid threat from climbing, jumping or falling have Advantage for one hour. The Wisdom of the Sphinx (3rd level) : Ask a Nearby cat three questions. Ulthar’s Fortune (3rd level): Give one target Nearby a reroll on any one die roll. Night’s Howl (5th level) : Instil pain and fear in all who listen Nearby. 1d4 damage/level and panic for one moment/level. Wisdom Save halves effect.
In addition, given the good fortune of the Cats of Ulthar after the declaration of the burgesses and the prayers of Mene, I offer up a 24-hour flash sale on all Just Crunch items – 10% off everything in the RPGNow/DriveThru store.
As I didn’t mention it in the post yesterday about the 30% off sale, I thought it worth a mention now! Consult Appendix Z: Interstellar Travel Events generates a twist on emerging from your preferred interstellar travel method, whatever system you happen to us.The very reasonable review by Megan sums it up:
The very reasonable review by Megan sums it the functionality and flexibility of the supplement, serving as a means to create a moment of randomness when your players might be praying for a smooth exit from transit:
Like battle plans, scenarios never survive first contact with the enemy… er, sorry, characters… and it’s always handy to have something to come up with on the fly to cope with untoward choices. Roll your dice and it soon will be THEM dealing with the untoward events!
Designed as a generic resource for any game system that accommodates interstellar travel, the concept is simple. Just roll three six-sided dice – either serially, or if you have 3 of different colours, all at once. One gives the section, then another a sub-section within it and the last the detail of whatever is going on. It seems more complex to explain than it is to actually do, sorry. Naturally, you can just read through and select something that seems appropriate, or you may prefer to use this as an aid to adventure planning rather than troubleshooting pesky characters who do not go where you expected!
No assumptions are made about HOW you are traveling between the stars, just that you are doing so, hence, there are no jarring references to a specific ruleset. At most you might be ’emerging into normal space’ – but those sort of encounters are ones that occur in the outer reaches of a planetary system so it doesn’t really matter how you got there. It should be a trivial matter to dress your description appropriately to suit however interstellar travel is conducted in your chosen game.
The actual events are ones that empower you to either make a full adventure out of dealing with whatever is happening or just mention it and carry on with whatever else you want to happen. There are alien encounters, spacial anomalies, system failures on board ship (including something getting soggy… that bugbear of mine, the ‘inertial dampener’ – why do people think inertia can even get wet?) and some truly weird events.
Never be stumped for something to do in space when your characters are getting restless…
With only a few days left before UK Games Expo, Just Crunch Games brings you savings on my back stock of supplements and adventures – so you can get some of the Expo experience without needing to get on a train, plane or into an automobile.
We will have copies of all these adventures and supplements on the stand in the NEC hall, but for many the trip will be a little too far – so I’m offering all of them at 30% off for the next week (until I’ve turned drained but hopefully happy from the far shores of south-east Birmingham).
What is it this sale offers and why should you pick it up?
Consult Appendix Z
The Consult Appendix Z duo offer quick, roll-and-play hooks for a session of play.
So, Another Bug Hunt gives you a versus the alien menace style game with a few dice throws. Mix in some other story generating mechanism, like Rory’s Story Cubes, and you can improv every aspect of an adventure.
There’s this old cruise ship owned by a heritage preservation group. Heck, maybe the Cameron Maritime Foundation raised the Titanic. The Foundation was set up 74 years ago and has spent much of that time raising the money, completing the mechanical process of getting the whole ship to the surface and then rendering it fit for access (although some papers suggest its all a bit of a tax dodge).
Alas, the Krilx got there first, a species from the deep sea vents evolved over millions of years and intent upon protecting the ship which holds the creatures egg clutch in the furnace. The characters have to get on and execute the Krilx with extreme prejudice – but the unit is not without its own dark secrets and sub-missions… someone needs to see this task completed without any record of events.
That’s a dozen dice rolls from the tables on the last two pages. And three more throws of the dice bring the Krilx to life…
The Krilx themselves fall somewhere between a cephalopod and an arachnid, with eight muscular tentacles, used for locomotion, and a mess of smaller pseudopods for manipulation and attack. They have a thick outer skin suited to withstanding the massive pressures from the ocean floor.While the outer skeleton maintains the structure and function of their organs closer to the surface, the
While the outer skeleton maintains the structure and function of their organs closer to the surface, the Krilx take on a sickly gray, leprous look – the result of bacteria from deep-sea vents mutating in the oxygen-rich atmosphere. The bacteria causes rapid damage and major organ failure from any wounds inflicted by the creatures. The Krilx ooze an inky, sticky venom that they use to create traps for food.
The idea of both Consult Appendix Z supplements – Another Bug Hunt and Interstellar Travel Events – is to create a set up for a quick game with a minimum of effort. No specific system intended – nor would you necessarily need one if you just want to play it out as a shared narrative.
The Blessing of St Agnes
The Blessing is a generic mystery adventure, originally written for a fantasy game – however, I have successfully run it before tweaked for a more modern setting. The characters have been approached by a local trader as his only daughter has vanished and he can’t account for her whereabouts. He fears she has either run off with a suitor or something worse.
The investigation takes the characters to a local manor house and into the woods beyond the village where lies the crumbling Chapel of St Agnes.
Right now, this is written without a system and I sell physical copies at conventions with extra handouts included. As it has been some years since last I gave The Blessing of St Agnes a revision, so I’m thinking it might be time.
With that in mind, I have plans to rework it as an adventure for The Cthulhu Hack – but equally usable with The Black Hack. The out-of-the-way village faced with tragedy fits both a fantasy game and a mystery in the 1920s.
If you pick up the PDF in the sale now, you’ll automatically get the updated version when I’ve completed the revision of the file.
Stench of the Sea
A much bigger set up in a sort of mini-sandbox, the ‘modventure’ Stench of the Sea provides the elements of a module and an adventure rolled into one. I wanted to experiment with something a bit bigger than a one-off quest by adding in content like non-player character cards, a local fort, a random mine generation system and a really stripped down game engine to handle mechanics.
The adventure setting includes images from Graham Bottley of Arion Games and a map from Tony Dowler. On top of that, I turn my artistic hand to creating a few maps and character portraits myself – as well as the tunnel behind the troglodyte on the front cover!
It’s possible – just possible – that I will also update this to an OSR system of some kind – whether the Hack or something similar. We’ll see what time allows. Whatever happens, if you buy it at the sale price, you get all future updates and tweaks for nothing.
I enjoy writing stuff. I wouldn’t spend time creating the games and supplements that I do if I didn’t get a kick out of doing it. Therefore – you can now get Stench of the Sea on Pay What You Want. If you want to know why, read on – or go grab a copy and then come back.
At the same time, I buy stuff to play with care and attention to my pocket. I read reviews, consider the options, balance the possibilities, and I only pay what I can afford for the stuff if I have the option. That often means that I will hang around eBay for a few weeks, or months, waiting for a second-hand copy to come up rather than buying something brand new. Equally, I will consider Amazon Marketplace or picking up a PDF instead of a hard copy. I have no qualms about reading of the computer or even a smartphone.
In the end, I have a trimmed down library of games that I have purchased because reckon they fit me or suit my immediate needs. I can understand the principle there that many people hold back from purchases because they’re not sure. When you see a product for even a few pounds (dollars, euros, etc.) you might opt for the Wish List rather than the Shopping Cart because you don’t have any reviews to go on. You need someone else to take the plunge before you, and then you need them to write a review.
I don’t know what stats around review writing are, but I’m guessing you don’t get a 1:1 ratio on sales and reviews. I guess you probably get a 10:1 or 20:1 ratio on sales to reviews at best. I have found that wringing out reviews can take a lot of patience indeed, and much personal plugging to get attention. I have actually taken part in the Iron Reviewer Challenge on RPG Geek this year precisely because I want people to have reviews to read. If a bunch of mad people (myself included) pumping out solid reviews every week can make a difference and offer a greater wealth of review material to reference – all the better. I’m willing to make that sacrifice for the needs of the many.
Anyway, where was I going with this, you might ask… Or you may simply have drifted away already. I write because I enjoy it, but people often don’t buy because they don’t know what they’re paying for.
The solution – allow the potential customer to pay what they want for your product, or at least some of your product.
I write Stench of the Sea for the joy of it, and I put a fair amount of thought and time into creating something with a lot of extra facility and support for the gamemaster. Not only does the supplement contain an adventure, it also contains a mini-dungeon (with a map by Tony Dowler), notes on a coastal village where the characters can base themselves for a while, details of the key personalities, their relationships and goals, maps of local monster lairs, reference cards for key personalities, creatures, and treasures, and a system for generating mines and caverns that involves paper clips, a Sharpie and a bit of minor creativity. All crammed into 72-pages.
I thought it worth writing, and I also think it’s worth buying and playing. I ran it for my local group and they thoroughly enjoyed it (mainly because they mercilessly made fun of me for my vanity in publishing this adventure, but also because they’re cruel that way). In the end they didn’t feel it had enough Steam Dwarves and Cloud Elves in it (actually it has none of either, but they demanded them so I added them into the adventure when I ran it).
In more general news, it’s now less than 2 weeks until UK Games Expo 2013, in Birmingham. I’ll be there for all three days, running games on Friday and Saturday, and helping out around the Arion stall (Palace Suite, P51) on the Sunday. I’ll have physical editions of Consult Appendix Z No 1 & 2 and The Blessing of St Agnes. Indeed, the Expo copy of The Blessing of St Agnes features extra hand-outs that it simply isn’t possible to include in the PDF edition (as they’re sticky note-like additions that you obviously can’t adhere to a piece of virtual documentation!).
I’ll also be promoting the brand new All Rolled Up game roll and dice bag, which you can find out more about over on Google+ or at the website – AllRolledUp.co.uk. The All Rolled Up (or ARU) offers a one stop accessory for holding all your dice, pens, pencils, beads, tokens, cards, and more besides. Check out the YouTube videos to see me walk through the details.