Tag Archive | "lovecraft"

Billzilla

Flee in Terror with Innsmouth Escape!

Posted on October 6, 2009 by

In Twilight Creations’ board game Innsmouth Escape, one player takes on the role of the human trying to free her friends and flee from the accursed town infested with frog-like worshipers of Cthulhu, while the rest play the nefarious Deep Ones themselves, intent on keeping their dark secret away from the prying eyes of outsiders.

The board is a simple six-by-six grid. Some of the squares are marked with symbols indicating places to rescue human captives, obtain equipment and have encounters (all for the human player) and to spawn Deep Ones, summon a Shoggoth (more on that later) and draw cards for the Deep One player(s).

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Megan

Trail of Cthulhu RPG Review

Posted on July 30, 2009 by

The Introduction dives straight in to the basic premise, that ancient and insane deities exist and are still trying to invade Earth and that someone has to stop them, whatever the cost to life and sanity. It then moves on to the burning question: there’s already a Call of Cthulhu RPG dealing with just that, so why a new game? The answer lies in the Gumshoe ruleset, developed by Pelgrane Press for the purpose of running games based around investigation and discovery, and built so that any adventure depending on certain clues being found will have those clues found! It’s designed for people – Keepers and players alike – who want to concentrate on figuring out what the clues mean, rather than having to wonder if they actually have all the clues. This game also aims to enable two styles of play – the Purist style of intellectual analysis which enjoys watching the horror unfold knowing that it will end in madness; and the Pulp style which allows for a more physical approach, value the actual struggle against evil… and pays a bit more regard to character survival. The best games mix a bit of both – certainly Lovecraft’s writing did! – but as parts of the rules favour one or the other style, they are marked so players can choose the bias they prefer, if any.

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Flames

Malleus Monstrorum RPG Review

Posted on June 19, 2009 by

“The Malleus Monstrorum: Creatures, Gods & Forbidden Knowledge” is a supplement for the Call of Cthulhu RPG by Chaosium Inc. The book includes entries on all of the creatures described in the works of H.P. Lovecraft as well as other authors who dabbled in the Cthulhu Mythos, such as Ramsey Campbell and Clark Ashton Smith. Also included are some of the critters created specifically for CoC adventures and supplements.

Overall the Monstrorum is an excellent book, not only for CoC players, but for any fan of Lovecraft or the Mythos. It is a great source of adventure ideas just in reading the creature descriptions and story excerpts. Fans of the source material will enjoy having so many bizarre creatures in one volume, while those new to the Mythos will find themselves looking up the source material to learn more about the Elder Gods and their servants.

Review by Michael Erb

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CthuluTech RPG Review

Posted on May 26, 2009 by

In Jaws, Roy Scheider’s character tells us that “we’re gonna need a bigger boat.” That is
the chief message underlying CthulhuTech. We’ll explore the meaning of this later on. The Cthulhu mythos has seen some amazing variations since it’s conception nearly thirty years ago. The core rules evolved through six editions, not including solid side ventures like Delta Green. One of the hallmarks of these games is the sheer horror that comes when facing something you, well, can’t really beat. Chuck your stick of dynamite, hope you blow it up before you blow your sanity roll, and get the heck out of Dodge. I’ve always felt that these games were the Anti-Dungeons and Dragons based simply on the bleak outlook of the mythos and the mindset of the players.

Review by Todd Cash

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Billzilla

Where the Deep Ones Are Review

Posted on May 6, 2009 by

The classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak has been parodied before, but rarely as successfully as in Ken Hite’s Where the Deep Ones Are. Ostensibly a childrens’ book, Deep Ones is a story of a boy who rebels and is banished to his room in punishment, subsequently discovering a hidden world that calls to him enchantingly.

Instead of Max, we now have Bobby, a boy who loves to eat fish. He also wears a frog-like costume with several tentacles dangling from the face, and it’s mentioned more than once in the text that he has a cousin named Larry Marsh. This boy is well on his way to becoming a Deep One himself, which parallels the story of Shadow Over Innsmouth, on which the actual tale of Where the Deep Ones Are is partly based.

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Flames

Adamant Entertainment Receives Call of Cthulhu License

Posted on April 27, 2009 by

Adamant Entertainment is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Chaosium Inc. to produce supplements and adventures for the CALL OF CTHULHU roleplaying game.

“Call of Cthulhu has long been a touchstone in my personal gaming history,” said Gareth-Michael Skarka, owner and director of Adamant Entertainment. “It was one of the first games that I played, and I continue to come back to it through the years, so I’m incredibly excited to be able to add Adamant’s voice to the Call.”

Adamant will be releasing two new settings for the game: THIS SCEPTER’D ISLE, which brings the horrors of the Mythos to Elizabethan England; and SHADOWS OF THE RED HAND, a full treatment of 1920s gangland Chicago. Award-winning game designer and mythos author Ken Hite will be developing Adamant’s line of CALL OF CTHULHU products, which should be released in late 2009 and early 2010.

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Billzilla

Cthulhu Goes to the Movies

Posted on February 24, 2009 by

Once in a while a movie comes along so epic, so terrifying, that its review requires two authors. Call of Cthulhu (2005) is just such a movie. Produced by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, this modern silent film treatment of the classic Lovecraft tale is remarkably effective: creepy but not gory, atmospheric but well-paced. The film is in black and white “Mythoscope,” meaning it’s artificially aged so as to seem vintage, and the soundtrack may be played in “Mythophone”, so that the music seems aged to match the film. Bill and Tracy offer their views below; Bill is a longtime Lovecraft aficionado, while Tracy prefers monsters of the Universal or Japanese vintage.

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Flames

Midnight Harvest (Call of Cthulhu) Review

Posted on February 18, 2009 by

“Midnight Harvest” (OWC4003) is the second of three Call of Cthulhu adventures currently available from Super Genius Games. While “The Doom From Below” suggested ways to tie the other two adventures to it, this adventure does not. In this modern-day adventure designed for four to eight investigators, players are introduced to the town of Five Lanterns, Rhode Island (suggestions for running the adventure in either the 1890s or 1920s strengthen the book’s introduction) as it celebrates its annual Halloween bash. Of course, this is a CoC adventure so expect cultists, mad dreams, and more from the Things Man Is Not Meant To Know.

I like to start out with the book’s artwork and layout. The book’s cover art by Zak Plucinski depicts a group of trick-or-treaters going on their merry way while a dread skeletal figure looms just beyond their reach.

Review by Todd Cash

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Flames

Death in Luxor (Age of Cthulhu) RPG Review

Posted on January 8, 2009 by

Goodman Games has a new Age of Cthulhu series, which starts with Death in Luxor. Set in 1924, this adventure centers around a group of investigators as they explore a murder/suicide and the events that could have provided the catalyst for the violence. This adventure comes in at exactly fifty pages (including cover art) and, due to its structure, is a hefty read.

The author, Harley Stroh, also directed the game’s art, which is one of its strongest features. The cover art provided by Eddie Sharam depicts the adventure’s more Sanity-blowing moments and is, quite simply, one of the better cover pieces I’ve seen in ages.

Review by Todd Cash

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Flames

Arcanum Imperii: A Script for Cthulhu Live 3rd Edition

Posted on January 3, 2009 by

Arcanum Imperii is a Cthulhu Live 3rd Edition script set in ancient Rome designed for a dozen or more players that includes introduction, timeline, prop, and costume information and character stats and bios for more than 30 characters. This download comes with three different variants of the game script — color, black-and-white, and background-free — and each of these comes in low-resolution screen-friendly and high-resolution printer-friendly versions.

Arcanum Imperii is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Billzilla

Shadows of Cthulhu (True20) RPG Review

Posted on December 31, 2008 by

I was so excited to learn that an RPG treatment of the sanity-blasting horror of H. P. Lovecraft had been made available using the True 20 rules that I went online and bought a copy within days of the discovery. Shadows of Cthulhu, designed by Russell Brown and published by Reality Deviant Publications, is a great way to introduce D&D gamers to a taste of something different without forcing them to learn an entirely new game system. In that vein its important top note that Shadows is not a complete game in itself: a copy of the Green Ronin Publishing’s True 20 Revised Rules will be required in order to play Shadows of Cthulhu.

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Flames

Age of Cthulhu: Death in Luxor Available Now!

Posted on December 13, 2008 by

In the age of the pharaohs, a great and unfathomable evil rose from the murky depths to cast its gibbous shadow over ancient Egypt. At the cost of his empire, Ramesses III imprisoned the horror beneath the sands of Luxor, where it has slumbered ever since.

In 1924, a team of visiting archeologists unearthed the last remaining testament of that ancient mystery, only to unleash a terror from out of time. Now death stalks the dusty streets of Luxor and a new age of horror is at hand. Can your investigators succeed where the mightiest of pharaohs have failed? Or will they fall victim to Luxor’s secret past?

Death in Luxor is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Flames

Age of Cthulhu Preview from Goodman Games

Posted on December 9, 2008 by

Goodman Games’ first Age of Cthulhu adventure, Death in Luxor, is at the printer now.

While we all await its arrival, Goodman Games has posted previews to help you explore the mysteries of Luxor, starting with the mysterious Old Persian (pdf preview).

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Flames

The Doom from Below RPG Review

Posted on December 2, 2008 by

The Doom from Below is a stand-alone (ish) Call of Cthulhu scenario from Super Genius Games. It can be, with minimum effort, tied directly to the events in their previous adventure Murder of Crows. The PDF weighs in at 38 pages (35 of these pages are pure meat) and seems quite generous for a one-shot adventure intended for four investigators.

First, a little blurb about the adventure itself. The Doom from Below takes investigators to the depths of a two-hundred foot chasm. The descent itself is semi-treacherous while The Things Not Meant To Be Seen at the bottom are even creepier.

Review by Todd Cash

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Billzilla

Tour de Lovecraft: the Tales Review

Posted on November 24, 2008 by

Howard Phillips Lovecraft is one of the few authors of the horror genre who has been dissected rather thoroughly (Edgar Allen Poe being another). Kenneth Hite, who’s made much of his living as both a critic and a Lovecraft enthusiast, has a few things to say on the subject, and they make for very interesting reading. Tour de Lovecraft — the Tales is an engaging breakdown of all 51 of Lovecraft’s mature prose fiction, from 1917’s The Tomb to Lovecraft’s last work, the Haunter of the Dark from late 1935.

This is not a book of literary criticism, as I first assumed, but rather criticism of literary criticism. Hite takes pains to offer quotes and examples of criticism from a number of noted Lovecraft scholars, and offers his own opinions that don’t always mesh with those notions. In effect, the book breaks Lovecraft’s work down into what might be considered Hite’s Top-10 list of Lovecraft’s work. Hite spends time analyzing Lovecraft’s most effective tales.

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Billzilla

Hardboiled Cthulhu Fiction Review

Posted on November 19, 2008 by

Hardboiled Cthulhu is billed as an anthology of “Two-Fisted Tales of Tentacled Terror”, and mostly it delivers. However, the quality is quite uneven, though in some cases pretty creative. For example, “Eldritch Fellas” by Tim Curran, a “Goodfellas” pastiche with the Great Old Ones as mobsters, while initially amusing, was far too long. It wasn’t really clever enough to justify its genre-bending inclusion here.

Likewise “Day of Iniquity” by Steven Shrewsbury is neither particularly hard-boiled nor terrifying.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Cthulhu Rises…and rolls some dice.

Posted on November 17, 2008 by

It is a good time to be a Cthulhu Gamer. Lots of very cool new stuff has hit the shelves in the last couple of weeks. I did a review of the new Cthulhu Rising board game from Twilight Creations last week.

The fun does not stop there, the Great Old One has been spotted all over the gaming world recently…

Everyone knows I’m a big fan of Skirmisher Publishing’s Cthulhu Live series and we have a handful of reviews on the site including The Old Man of Damascus and the 3rd Edition Core Book.

Well they just came out with a new script called Sight Unseen, which looks very, very cool.

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Flames

The Doom from Below for Call of Cthulhu

Posted on November 11, 2008 by

That Which Lies… Deep in the New England woods lies a perfectly circular chasm plunging hundreds of feet into the earth. Is it a marvel of nature or the remnant of some ancient maleficence? As the investigators explore the depths of this haunted pit they face geologic dangers, bizarre subterranean creatures, and a message from […]

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Matt-M-McElroy

Cthulhu Rising Game Review

Posted on November 6, 2008 by

The stars are right and the time has come to summon Cthulhu from the watery depths…

A new fast play game from Twilight Creations feature the classic theme of cultists vs. investigators for two players. This particular game is quick to learn and plays pretty fast. The entire rules fit on a single sheet explaining different turns and victory conditions for each side.

The game board is simple with some fairly classic Lovecraft-inspired artwork.

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Monica Valentinelli

Four Shadows (Trail of Cthulhu) Music Review

Posted on November 3, 2008 by

When you listen to instrumental music or a movie soundtrack in the background while you’re playing game, it’s very challenging to find music that fits a Cthulhu game. Part of the problem is that there are a lot of droning, repetitious soundtracks that sound the same from song to song. The other side to that, of course, are the soundtracks so recognizable that no matter how softly you play them, every one of your players knows what songs you’re playing. In gaming, music often plays multiple roles to heighten or enhance a mood, to “speak” to the theme of the game and to be playable whether the dice is rolling or not. In a lot of ways, music played for any game has to have a lot of variety because there’s a lot of activity going on in game that will “drown out” the music playing in the background.

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