Category: Mechanics

July 22, 2019

Compatibility Hack

The association between The Black Hack and The Cthulhu Hack is a funny old thing. In the 3 years that both games have existed, an explosion of other supplements and expansions of the former have appeared. In the meantime, TCH has drifted along a path of its own. What does that mean? It means that many elements of The Cthulhu Hack are backward compatible with […]

August 9, 2018

All the Dice, No Gimmicks

At the heart of many tabletop games lie a handful of dice. When you write a game, I propose that you should keep it simple, especially as a self-publisher or small scale game company, and stick with dice – because no one wants to spend money on something weird and wonderful for a game that might only play occasionally. What use would you have for […]

July 3, 2018

Removing Investigative Resources

I’m open to discussion about The Cthulhu Hack on many levels. I’m not precious about the rule set and I accept that once released into the wild anyone can do anything with it. In the Google+ Community for the game, Scott Maclure asked: Could [The Cthulhu Hack] remove Investigative Resources, i.e. Flashlights and Smokes, without really affecting the game overall? My response: Not For Everyone I suppose […]

December 26, 2017

Supply Dice

Supply Dice exist for the tension of the moment. The Cthulhu Hack is not about shopping lists and equipment runs. You can, by all means, go shopping, but the finer detail probably doesn’t matter. If you need a change of clothes or a hire car, go for it. The player can track small change if desired and keeping an eye on their checking account, or […]

November 18, 2017

The House of Hell

It was an experiment in the possibilities of solo gaming that occurred to me at work. I genuinely have no recollection of why this struck me when it did, but I had the thought that one or two of the classic Fighting Fantasy books might provide an interesting challenge as solo sessions for The Cthulhu Hack. Recently re-released, could I fend off the threat of the […]

October 3, 2017

Twixt Stats and Saves

Following the brief review of Tainted Meat (which I ran at Concrete Cow) posted on Department V, I have been giving occasional thought to character stats in The Cthulhu Hack. I was less keen on the disconnect between the usual OSR six stats, and the Flashlights and Smokes. It’s easy to assume that a high INT character is going to be a top investigator, only […]

July 24, 2017

Hit Dice as Resource

I put a very short section on Hit Dice as a Resource into the new v1.5 core book. It’s very short. And just today – I realised, too short. The Hit Die What’s in the core book is a fairly abstract and underdeveloped idea – so, use it at your own risk. When you’re hit by something, instead of deducting hit points you roll your […]

May 12, 2017

Opposed Investigation

When you roll Flashlights or Smokes in The Cthulhu Hack, you’re checking to see if the investigator taxes their resources in discovering something key about the situation. When they throw a 1 or 2, they have pushed themselves too far, but they haven’t failed. Whatever they roll, they discover something new and vital in the progress toward their goal. However, what if getting the clue isn’t […]