For just over a week, you can get the whole lot for around $25, offering you a total of six adventures, three adventure seeds, 20 Mythos entities (and a book of tables to obfuscate and customise them) – and the tools to use the game’s simple rules to run all the other Mythos adventures you have around with minimal effort.
As I found on my recent trip to the Tierra de Nadie game convention, in Spain, gamers use these simple rules for their kids – and I had some enthusiastic converts coming back day-after-day for a chance to play the game (which landed me with eight players for a session, which worked out in the end, despite the slightly uncomfortable temperature!).
Not only can you use The Cthulhu Hack to run Mythos adventures, it works well for straight horror and investigation games (drop the sanity wrecking to shock for an easier ride). And, being based on the core of The Black Hack, you have an easy road to yet more customisation by crossing the system or just mashing the system with any number of other Hacks.
And there will be more to come, not least of which will be another set of three adventures coming by the end of this year.
Take a dip – the Core Book will set you back less than a fancy coffee – and celebrate simple gaming in the midst of Lovecraft’s cosmic nightmare.
Perhaps the exciting of Christmas got the better of me – but today I realised that I hadn’t posted about Christmas in July over on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.
If you haven’t been already, this is your chance to stock up on Summer time game reads and fill that tablet/Kindle with all the PDFs the plastic shell will contain. I daresay it might be creaking a little already, but I’m certain you can eke out an extra dimension or two for more room, right?
Christmas in July features the whole range from Just Crunch Games, both The Cthulhu Hack and wider releases. Right now, getting 25% off everything makes it a deal better than the normal bundle offers – so, don’t delay. You have until the end of July to fill up your shopping cart with bargains.
I’m not committing to a finalised version yet – but after two years of organic development in the appearance across the range, it seems about time that uniformity emerged from the cosmic chaos. Well… just a little bit.
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.
As it happens, the event scoops up a bunch of material regardless and applies a sale saving – and that meant that several individual products had a better price outside the Bundles than they had inside them. It made sense to nip in and make adjustments – then after the event ends, the Bundles will return to their original state (which will still provide a saving over buying the individual books).
And, if you already have some of the books, the DriveThru (and RPGNow) site will adjust for what you have and only charge for the rest.
Oddly enough, as a collector of games I’m relieved they put this functionality in place, as I have dim and distant memories of once buying a PDF in a bundle only to discover that I already had it. Annoying, but something I’m OK with – because if I wanted it in the first place I clearly valued the material enough to reward the creator/publisher for their efforts. Sometimes, it’s nice to leave something more than expected in the Tip Jar!
In the Bundle offers, The Cthulhu Hack includes:
The Core Bundle – the Core Rules, From Unformed Realms and The Haunter of the Dark – is now $12, saving $2.85 (off full price of individual PDFs).
The Unformed Bundle – From Unformed Realms and The Dark Brood – is now $6, saving $1.90 (off full price of individual PDFs).
The Investigation Bundle – The Haunter of the Dark, Save Innsmouth, Thro’ Centuries Fixed, and Three Faces of the Wendigo – is now $17, saving $4.52 (off full price of individual PDFs).
And, I’m maintaining the reduction off of The Cthulhu Hack Investigations bundle in the All Rolled Up web store, while stocks last. Once the original slim version of Save Innsmouth is gone, it’s gone. That’s about $17.60 plus postage, or £13 (saving £4 or – approximately – $5.45 off the full price of individual printed books).
You can save 31% on the PDFs of the whole Cthulhu Hack range in the RPGNow and DriveThruRPG Halloween event.
That means you get hold of the core rules, From Unformed Realms, The Haunter of the Dark, Thro’ Centuries Fixed, the Outpost Generator and Save Innsmouth considerably reduced – perhaps fill out your collection?
In the meantime, I continue to wrestle with the next release – three new adventures – as well as the proofing for POD books through OneBookShelf and a character card set through DriveThruCards. All far more traumatic than the average Halloween movie…
Gen Con, the ENnies, OneBookShelf and Patreon – all worth a moment and a mention.
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 Book category of the ENnies. The voting happened already – but, you will have the chance to pick up a physical copy of the book at Gen Con; in addition, OneBookShelf sites – RPGNow and DriveThruRPG – have the PDF up at 25% off. The book has been tinkered with slightly, in light of my attempts to get it released as Print On Demand, with a scattering of additions and tweaks.
What is it?
Well, The Haunter of the Dark provides thoughts, guidance and structure on taking Lovecraft’s stories and mining them for adventures – whether hooks, motivations, characters or whole investigations. The second half includes an annotated text of the original story, littered with ideas and icons highlighting where clues, motivations and seeds lie. The first half runs through structure and a sequel to Lovecraft’s tale. And in the middle – 9-pages of random tables to help you creatively with little details.
Both an adventure based on a Lovecraft short stories, and a manual on how to write an adventure (of the sandbox kind) based on written fiction, this module has something for every GM/Keeper. [RPG Geek]
On a side note, The Cthulhu Hack MUST be so close to a Gold Popular Pick Award on RPGNow… So close!
I have kicked off a plan to support expanding the line for The Cthulhu Hack with a call for patrons on Patreon.
I plan to create supplements and adventures for The Cthulhu Hack “off piste”, outside my schedule for other work. These supplements will be self-contained material that expands on the core or provides interesting alternatives that make conversion of other material simpler. A good example would be, say, a setting book for the Dreamlands or Victorian adventures. By creating this supplementary material, you can draw on the wider range of material that already exists for other game systems.
My word-count target for supplements and adventures will be about 5,000-10,000 words, somewhere between Save Innsmouth and Thro’ Centuries Fixed.
When published in PDF, I will make them available Pay What You Want.
However, that requires the support of a group of Patreons. And you can read more on the website at the end of that link, above.
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!
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).
Spiel proved to be an incredible experience, with attendees in the tens of thousands strolling through the doors and weathering the crowds. Some days, you could hardly shuffle for the press of people – and somehow the days flew by. I had the chance to meet so many existing customers of All Rolled Up and Just Crunch Games, while also introducing many, many more to our products.
I think “It’s a fast-to-learn horror investigation roleplaying game that you can read in 20 minutes, explain in 5, and generate characters in 2.” must have tumbled through my lips hundreds of times.
How does it work? “It has two mechanics. Threats hurt your character and you need to save them. If you’re being chased, you Save on DEX. If someone is attempting to control your mind, you Save on CHA. If you roll lower than your score, you succeed. Equal or higher, you get hurt or compromised or just inconvenienced in a bad way.”
“The other mechanic is Usage Dice. When you want to use a resource in limited supply, like Sanity or your focus on Investigation, you roll a die. All resource start with a die, like a 10-sided or 8-sided. When you see a horror or want to search a room, you roll. You always succeed, but a roll of 1 or 2 means you lose resources or lose control for a moment. The die size drops down a level – so, a 8-sided becomes a 6-sided.”
“If you rolled your Sanity, you screamed or blacked out as well. If it’s investigation using a Flashlight or Smokes, you foudn what you wanted, but it’s getting harder to focus or people are hearing about your questions and might just stop talking to you. Roll a 1 or 2 when you get down to a 4-sided die and you go insane, lose focus, or burn all your contacts.”
“That’s it. Those are the mechanics – Saves against Threats and Usage Dice.”
Having said that it takes 5 minutes to explain, I proved it time and again. I had to get it down pat because I doubted my voice would last the weekend otherwise!
I had the chance to speak to a lot of people who have played other Cthulhu-themed games in the past and most walked away with a slim black box. The addition to the explanation here was that all your existing material works fine with The Cthulhu Hack – as skills in Call and Trail broadly come down to search for things or speak to people, and anything else is a response to threat. I have done conversions on the fly with no prep at all — although, I think to get the best payback it’s worth reading through an adventure once and highlighting potential clues from the outset.
(Check out The Haunter of the Dark for more guidance and advice on the read-through-and-highlight process of adventure prep!)
The slim black boxes sold the best, packed with all the current books for The Cthulhu Hack. It feels nice and hefty and worked out at 26 euros including the new adventure, Save Innsmouth.
I got a lot of smiles when I explained the premise of Save Innsmouth – and James Raggi commented that he liked the cover image. I wanted to get an innocuous image on the front with Innsmouth clear and legible. Anyone with a fate idea of where and what Innsmouth is immediately smiled.
“A tycoon plans to bulldoze a town on the coast that has been abandoned since the Feds raided and razed half of it during Prohibition more than 80 years ago. He plans to redevelop the site as a spa resort. Students at Miskatonic University plan to protest the project, and a few make the trip north-east to take video footage of the place – a documentary on the threat to America’s heritage. That place is Innsmouth and… well…”
I sold about half of the physical copies of the adventure – which means I will have stock for the web site at All Rolled Up and Dragonmeet, all being well.
I’m also really pleased that I’ve managed to sell 50 copies of the adventure through RPGNow. It would be nice to go Copper in the first week — so, if you haven’t picked it up, you can grab a copy through RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.
If you have anything to report about the adventure or just want to help promote it, remember to tag your post — anywhere — with #SaveInnsmouth and I’ll track it down!
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 of the Dark?
Well, take an established story and show, in clear steps, how to turn it into an adventure for The Cthulhu Hack.
The book includes an adventure outline—a sort-of-sequel to The Haunter of the Dark; guidance on breaking up (or down) a story; 9-pages of random tables (because they have their purpose); and, an annotated version of the story itself.
The book clocks in around 88-pages, including a scattering of pictures, illustrations, and maps.
The PDF will be $3.99; the physical copy will be available at conventions and through the All Rolled Up web store for £5 (roughly $6.49) plus mailing costs.
All being well, I will have physical copies in-hand for Spiel (for €6).