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!

Awards, Sale 0 comments on Belated Celebrations of Success Sale

Belated Celebrations of Success Sale

In a thoroughly belated celebration of success, as Winner of the UK Games Expo Awards 2018 People’s Choice Award for Best Roleplay Game Adventure, you can find Three Faces of the Wendigo available for 20% off the normal PDF price at RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.

It was a pleasure to receive the support of gamers across the long weekend of the Expo and I appreciate every support offered – whether you’re picking up the latest supplement in PDF, grabbing a boxed set at an event, or running a game using The Cthulhu Hack at a convention.

If you have picked up a copy in PDF, I would appreciate reviews posted on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG, so gamers interested in the product can hear a bit more about what you thought. I appreciate the chance to talk with gamers at events about their experiences and sharing ideas on the Google+ community. If you leave a review (click on the product link on the right of the page, log in at the site, and then leave your review on the page), I hope we can expand the reach of the game even further.

Right now, I’m marshalling the creative forces behind the next trilogy of investigations, their focus on the cult of Shub-Niggurath, as first hinted at within the pages of The Dark Brood. Three great writers, new to the pages of The Cthulhu Hack, presently slave over the drafts of three fine adventures – and I’m getting the cold shivers already. Fear not, the horrors of the Wendigo might well pale in the face of what is to come…

News 0 comments on Cthulhu Hack Update

Cthulhu Hack Update

The Cthulhu Hack had a 2nd birthday last month and the line continues to grow. At the core, we have the three core books, along with two books of adventures, and other books filled with campaign materials, like The Dark Brood and Convicts & Cthulhu. Good moment for an update.

The Cthulhu Hack Website

It seemed like as good a time as any to put together a separate site – using the cthulhuhack.com domain – to showcase the books and link to the sources from which you can buy them. That means I can focus the content here on development articles, news, event updates and other such posts.

Right now, the site has the main six books, but I’ll be adding the other materials soon. Each item has a short summary on the content and then buttons to take you off to where you can get hold of PDF or physical copies.

If you would like to see any other information on this site or want to see the books available through other channels, drop me a note through the Enquiries link.

More Cthulhu Hack

With The Dark Brood released in time for UK Games Expo, my mind turns to the close of the year when I plan another physical book release. I think a further PDF only product might be possible along the way, but fully expect the next book-in-hand supplement to arrive by late October, in time for Spiel.

At the moment, I have more than one product jockeying for position. I would ideally like the October release to be another set of investigations like the award-winning Three Faces of the Wendigo. However, I also have a supplement in progress about more non-Lovecraftian campaigns, steeped in pulp and magic, and a revision of the historical Australian setting book Convicts & Cthulhu.

I’m also open to suggestions – and even offers of writing talent! – from any interested parties. If you have an idea and want to pitch it for consideration, drop me a note through the Enquiries link.

French Cthulhu Hack

At this point L’Affaire Deluze by Les XII Singes doesn’t really need me to promote it, as the crowd-funding for the French edition of The Cthulhu Hack and associated campaign materials and adventure stormed through the basic target in about a day and now closes in on the 30,000 € stretch goal of a global map for the campaign.

If you’re up on your French and would like this sumptuous package of goodies, including maps, play aids, art book and more, head on over to Game On Tabletop to check out the details.

Black Hack Second Edition

On a side note, the heart of The Cthulhu Hack arose from the core mechanics of The Black Hack. More than two years down the road, David Black and Peter Regan of SquareHex have the Kickstarter for the Second Edition up and running – and you might want to drop over to see what they have to offer.

The Cthulhu Hack has found a route of its own in the meantime, so don’t expect a sudden and massive change to the mechanics in the current edition when the new Black Hack comes out. Paths have forked, but obviously once the game lies in your hands you can mix and match whatever elements work best for you.

Heck, I’ve been eyeing up giving The Mecha Hack a read to see whether I can cleanly and simply merge with TCH for some giant robot versus the Great Old Ones world-wrecking action…

Awards, Events 1 comment on Wendigo wins Popular Choice Award

Wendigo wins Popular Choice Award

I’m over-joyed to report that Three Faces of the Wendigo won Popular Choice Award for Best Role-playing Adventure at UK Games Expo this past weekend.

I have had a tiring but exciting time, meeting hundreds of gamers from amongst tens of thousands of attendees to the event in Birmingham, UK.

The biggest gaming event in the UK, the Expo has become a genuine high point for the tabletop year and I had a great time. Winning the award for Wendigo was definitely the cherry on the cake… or the generous scoop of ice-cream of the Cthuloid green jelly.

Thanks for my co-writers John Almack and Richard August, Sleyf for one of the interior pieces and Mike Walton for the fantastic, eye-catching cover.

Events 0 comments on UK Games Expo 2018

UK Games Expo 2018

For those attending the big event (in less than a fortnight’s time), I will have all The Cthulhu Hack books with plenty of ‘new’ and new stuff. There’ll be:

  • Three Faces of the Wendigo, which isn’t new but up for the Best Role-Playing Adventure Award, that features three different adventures by three different authors concerning hunger, the wilderness and some tough decisions about survival!
  • the revised Cthulhu Hack Core Book includes an expanded page count for the first time – which allows for a more pleasant and open layout and the addition of more cross-referencing and an index – of sorts, and
  • The Dark Brood, a saddle-stitched smorgasbord of material around Shub-Niggurath, including three adventure seeds, half-a-dozen new spells, several new creatures and dozens of ways to mark the influence of the Black Goat on your game.

I’ll have white and black slim boxes (£25, three core books + character cards) and black or opaque deep boxes (£45, all the books books). I’ll also have Cthulhu themed All Rolled Up, dice trays, Insanity Dice (an updated design), and Cthulhoid dry-wipe counters. Probably other things that I have forgotten… all at booth 1-J26.

Who would have imagined that this spin-off from The Black Hack would be here to start a third year of publication?!

Hope to see many of you there.

That yellow block is where I am, with the main entrance into the hall at the bottom of that wide, white block in the middle. The red circle is the glorious Inked Adventures – and I’m on the other side of that yellow block, bottom right.

Awards, Events 0 comments on Best Role-Playing Adventure Nomination at UK Games Expo

Best Role-Playing Adventure Nomination at UK Games Expo

The Cthulhu Hack: Three Faces of the Wendigo has been nominated in the Best Role-Playing Adventure category at this years UK Games Expo Awards to be awarded at the event that runs from 1st – 3rd June 2018.

The adventure supplement takes the Wendigo myth – filled with supernatural horror, the wilderness, unfettered hunger and the darkness within – and presents three investigations written by three different authors with their own personal spin.

As The Cthulhu Hack runs fast and light, these adventures can all be run in a single (or maybe two) sessions, offering a ready dose of unsettling horror.

The unsettling horror for me would be that I’m shortlisted against two Chaosium adventures for Call of Cthulhu!

As a self-published game designer entering the third year of publishing The Cthulhu Hack I am thrilled to have been shortlisted for this nomination and I ask for your support. As an attendee at the event, you hold the key to the success of everyone shortlisted and I hope you will support Just Crunch Games (and my publishing parent All Rolled Up).

The Heart of the Wendigo

What can you expect from Three Faces of the Wendigo?

John Almack goes down a traditional route, setting hunters against the myth laid down by Algernon Blackwood. In the depths of the wilderness, who is the hunter and who the prey?

Richard August sets off into the mountains, setting the primal urge to protect against the darkness that taints the human soul. You have the means to bring justice but do you have what it takes?

While my own investigation finds a modern village on the edge of the wilds, seeking balance in the face of hard times. When you’re stranded in the back of beyond, who would turn down warmth and hospitality from a proud but hard-bitten community?

Get the book

You will find physical copies of the book available from the All Rolled Up/Just Crunch Games stall at UK Games Expo orw you can order it from the All Rolled Up web store.

Alternatively, you can grab the PDF of Three Faces of the Wendigo from RPGNow and benefit from their current May D&D Sale – as The Cthulhu Hack runs off a familiar Old School base system!

Reviews 0 comments on Three Faces of the Wendigo – Reviews from R’lyeh

Three Faces of the Wendigo – Reviews from R’lyeh

I got the first review in yesterday for Three Faces of the Wendigo from Matthew Pook over on Reviews from R’lyeh.

It can be a tough old deal handling reviews and criticism, but the feedback runs along the lines of generally positive with a last sentence conclusion of:

Overall, Three Faces of the Wendigo is a decent trilogy of one-shot or demonstration scenarios.

I know that experiences and reviews will vary – and I know that of the sessions I have heard back from or run myself that the adventures have gone down well. If you’re interested in checking them out yourself, you can get the PDF of Three Faces of the Wendigo from RPGNow by itself or as part of the Investigations Bundle.

If you’d prefer a physical book, Three Faces of the Wendigo is available through All Rolled Up’s web store.

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 0 comments on Three Faces Released in Print

Three Faces Released in Print

After a successful release through One Book Shelf at RPGNow and DriveThruRPG, I’m happy to say that you can also get physical print copies of Three Faces of the Wendigo through the All Rolled Up web store.

It’s easy. Hit Add, then Cart – and you’re ready to buy (unless you care to add anything else into the shopping cart first!). Enter your name, email and address, then someone will come back to you with an invoice for the total payment including shipping/postage.

If you’re coming to The Cthulhu Hack for the first time, you can also buy All Books for 10% the standard price of the individual books – that The Cthulhu Hack, From Unformed Realms, The Haunter of the Dark, Thro’ Centuries Fixed and Three Faces of the Wendigo for £30.

I will make every effort to add the book as a Print On Demand elsewhere, but this takes time – so, I’ll post an update when it’s ready.

Adventures, Releases 0 comments on Strength of the Wendigo

Strength of the Wendigo

The remit for Three Faces of the Wendigo – write an adventure with the Wendigo at the heart of it. In the hands of three writers you get three chilling takes on the same theme with a very different perspective.

Each writer – Richard August, John Almack and myself – came at the tale independently. John kicked off and completed his investigation, “Lovely, Dark and Deep“, first – a story set in the Jazz Age, but far, far away from the bright lights and the music. If there’s commonality in these adventure, it comes from exposure to the distant wilds, the rugged settlements and territories far from the beaten track.

John noted: “What I really like about this anthology is that the relative strength of the Wendigo depicted in each scenario perfectly matches the era in which it is set.” Indeed, the entity at the heart of “Wolves in the Mountain” sets a high watermark in malevolence – but each adventure will have the investigators questioning their slim possibility of survival in the face in the inhuman horrors.

“Wolves” and “Tainted Meat” lie at least a century apart, but both tell a story about communities pushed to extremes and challenged with survival. There’s nothing stopping a GM running each of these investigations with the same group – they’re perfect for filling a trio of sessions with Lovecraftian horrors.

They’ve all been tested in “convention conditions”, so they might equally serve well as one-shot fillers or as games to take to a convention yourself and run in a 3 – 4 hour slot. One adventure comes with pre-generated characters, but the simple character generation of The Cthulhu Hack means that you can get up and running without preparation or use existing investigators.

On top of that, the simplicity of the system means that there’s nothing stopping you from using these adventures with other systems and substituting systems on-the-fly, if you wish. Whatever flavour of Mythos game system you prefer, they scale up or down in either direction – it’s why The Cthulhu Hack exists, not as a replacement but as an alternative. TCH shines when you just want to get your game on at a moments notice, but absolutely works for longer term games if you wish. Other systems angle toward the campaign first and, therefore, guide you through a more structured and thorough character generation.

However you choose to use it, Three Faces of the Wendigo – available now from RPGNow and DriveThruRPG, and soon through All Rolled Up – provides three different adventures, each with their own influences, whether Blackwood, Ithaqua or the rich folklore of the Algonquin tribes. I enjoyed bringing it all together – and I hope you get a thrill out of playing or running these investigations.

Adventures, Releases 0 comments on Three Faces of the Wendigo

Three Faces of the Wendigo

“That stern quality of the tangled backwoods which can only be described as merciless and terrible, rose out of these far blue woods swimming upon the horizon, and revealed itself. He understood the silent warning. He realized his own utter helplessness.”

– Algernon Blackwood, “The Wendigo”

Three authors. Three chilling tales of malevolence and inhuman appetite for The Cthulhu Hack.

Three Faces of the Wendigo features:

Wolves in the Mountain by Richard August

A man staggers into an isolated town with a story of murder and madness. A small group ventures into the wilderness, in search of the truth. But out in the mountains there lies something darker and stranger than they can possibly imagine… and blood. Lots and lots of blood.

Lovely, Dark and Deep by John Almack

Wherein the investigators go on a hunting trip in the Canadian wilderness, but soon wonder who is the hunter and who the prey.

Tainted Meat by Paul Baldowski

Out in the deep woods, a tiny settlement has fought to survive and won. When the travelling investigators arrive, they find proud, tough people and are welcomed with warmth and hospitality. Hard times behind them, why would anyone want to leave?

Designed as stand-alone investigations, suited to running as one-shots or over two sessions. Written for The Cthulhu Hack, adaptable to any game of investigation horror.

These adventures contain mature themes. The Cthulhu Hack: Three Faces of the Wendigo available now in PDF, from RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. Available in print from the start of December – at Dragonmeet (2nd December) and then from All Rolled Up.