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The Cthulhu Hack: Valkyrie Nine
by Jay [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/14/2024 17:31:27

This seems like an interesting scenario to run, but it is badly in need of a map.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Cthulhu Hack: Valkyrie Nine
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Sanction Core Rules
by William [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2024 00:42:27

As a fan of the Dee Sanction, I could not wait for this one to come out and I was not disappointed.

It is wonderful to me the level of depth you can get from such a rules light game format.

As great and compact as it is, I would just like to say that for some people who have not been hacking the Dee Sanction to play games outside the original setting, there could have been just a few more examples of non-typical resources.

The Agency is a great example, but I do hope somewhere down the road there is a list of possible resources to pull from.

If you are looking for a game that is fast and fun with a falter forward style of narrative play, this game is for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sanction Core Rules
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Cthulhu Hack: The Haunter of the Dark
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2023 14:09:37
The haunter returns - a Mehisto review

The Haunter of the Dark

The story The Haunter of the Dark by H.P. Lovecraft not only provides the title, but also the starting point for an adventure, which was revised for the 2nd edition of Cthulhu Hack. The book consists of three parts.

The first part of the book deals with how to use stories like The Haunter of the Dark to develop adventures for Cthulhu Hack. In addition to the approach of taking the story, analyzing it, and adding footnotes, it shows how to use it as a role-playing setting. The introduction also describes, in general, how such stories are usually structured and how this structure can be used as a template for building adventures. In doing so, the “onion model” is also described here, which summarizes the layers of dangers and revelations and thus visualizes the layers of such a story.

The concrete analysis and treatment of the story The Haunter of the Dark makes up the third part of the book. This chapter reprints the complete original story and marks it with footnotes and references to possible tests, backgrounds, story ideas, and so on. Thus, one reads the story of Robert Blake, who is attracted to an abandoned church and stumbles upon the legacy of the Starry Wisdom sect. On the other hand, it presents notes and ideas on how to use this template for the game. Thus, one learns about the tests and challenges that would have affected the protagonist if he had been a character of the role-playing game.

The main body of the book in the middle is such an adventure, Horrible Abysses, which acts as a continuation of the original story. The player characters get on the trail of the missing Robert Blake and have to realize that the horror he faced still lingers. This story focuses on the investigative work about Blake's disappearance and St. John's Church, so the adventure offers many approaches and scenes to solve the mystery before an inevitable confrontation. An interesting approach here is that there are several explanations and backgrounds for the mythos antagonist, the Haunter, which the game master can choose from.

In addition to the specific adventure, The Haunter of the Dark offers a practical approach to using existing stories from the mythos as a basis for role-playing. It presents this concept in detail, using the titular story as an example. With this combination, the book offers an compelling sourcebook for Cthulhu Hack, which has been somewhat revised and supplemented for the 2nd edition but, in essence, corresponds to the earlier edition.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Hack: The Haunter of the Dark
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Cthulhu Hack: From Unformed Realms
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2023 08:37:03
Fast formed monsters - a Mephisto review

From Unformed Realms

From Unformed Realms is a small, system-independent add-on to generate monsters of the eldritch horror genre or bizarre creatures for the Cthulhu Mythos. This extension is based on several random tables, which can be used to roll for different properties of the monsters. The resulting elements are primarily about the descriptive properties and characteristics of the monsters. Even if these characteristics can have game-relevant effects because they can be, e.g., natural weapons or similar features, no game statistics or rule mechanisms are presented here. The tables revolve around extremities (including natural weapons), sensory organs, skeleton, bodily fluids, appearance, and other features. Within these sections, there are always several subgroups, each with six traits, some of which can be further differentiated by additional rolls. For example, with body fluids such as saliva or sweat, there is the possibility that these are corrosive, poisonous, freezing cold, etc. All these characteristics have in common that they are bizarre, dangerous, or both.

The idea of From Unformed Realms is to define the appearance and bizarre features of such horrific creatures. This approach works fast on the one hand and generates hardly predictable monsters on the other. However, this expansion leaves the task of creating game statistics for the resulting creature to the game master.

As an appendix, a few additional random tables are presented to tie these creatures into a story and define certain backgrounds.

The rating of From Unformed Realms strongly depends on the individual attitude towards random tables. Those who like random tables and also want to generate eldritch monsters for their game round will get a comprehensive set of random tables to quickly and easily define bizarre monsters. Also, those who need general inspiration for describing their cthuloid horrors will find the tables a useful tool simply by using characteristics as a source of inspiration. However, those who value "canonical" Cthulhu monsters or for whom game statistics are more important than description will not enjoy this expansion.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Hack: From Unformed Realms
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Cthulhu Hack Second Edition
by Eric R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2023 03:56:23

The rules are solid and the art by Paul Tomas look great! Saying this, art pieces made by AI disappoint me and colored page headers don't really fit for lovecraftian horror themed game. Hopefully will run Cthulhu Hack 2e soon!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Hack Second Edition
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review. Version 2 of the PDF is solely illustrated by Paul Tomes and Andrés Sáez Martínez. The V2 PDF contains no generative AI artwork.
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The Dee Sanction: The Harrowing of Harlow Hall
by Thomas B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/23/2022 19:50:37

So this short little adventure is perfect for the Dee setting (which to be fair noting the Author, you would expect). I love the low prep approach and the feeling I could just pick it up and go. The monster is very Dee, and the challenge the players face has exactly the right level of you really are the lowest of the low vibe to it. Loved it and its worth the price to boot.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Dee Sanction: The Harrowing of Harlow Hall
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The Dee Sanction
by Bob V. G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2022 04:35:27

A few days ago I soloed my way through Dee Sanction (RPG 70 pages). This dice system (not the d20) is described as an award-winning tabletop role-playing game about serving Queen and country in the late Tudor period (the year 1585). While kingdoms vie for power and the Church splinters under the pressure of reform, folklorish creatures emerge from enforced hiding seeking revenge against those who imprisoned them. I used Four House in Chaos (DriveThruRPG, free/pay what you want) as the solo engine. This RPG does include an investigative adventure and I did use it. I rolled up four characters.

Here are the highlights. So, they received their quest. They did not have any choices about that. Because of their troubled past, they started with limited gear. Manaen the doctor only started with twine, a short staff, and a repaired hourglass. When they reached the farm (where the quest item is supposed to be located) they talked to the farmer and searched the farm. Manaen wanted a better weapon, so he did take a shovel from the barn. It was his intention to put it back. He now loves this weapon and it is always close to him. The first time that he got to use it was when they discovered a disturbed patch of ground. He started digging at that spot and found a buried wooden shrine (the quest item was not in this shrine). Later, he found another odd patch of ground. When he moved in position to dig there, he disappeared from sight and ended up in another “realm”. The other three characters did join him there. So, weird stuff did happen and they completed the quest. However, they did create a new problem which they will eventually have to deal with. That would be for a later quest. Give this unique setting/game a try!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Dee Sanction
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for your kind and generous review. I appreciate that you gave the game a try and I'm intrigued by the use of a solo engine to play; I've not tried to use one myself.
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The Dee Sanction: The Sight
by Colm M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2021 08:30:27

"The Dee Sanction" has raced to the top of of my favourite games to run. Atmospheric, creepy, grotty, funny, and with wonderfully flawed and fragile player characters. Its setting allows for a vast ensemble of fascinating historical figures to make appearances. It’s terrific stuff, and a game anyone interested in mystery/horror/historical TTRPGs should have on their shelf.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Dee Sanction: The Sight
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The Cthulhu Hack: Rhan-Tegoth
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2021 13:36:52
Terror through time - a Mephisto review

Rhan-Tegoth

Rhan-Tegoth is a sourcebook for Cthulhu Hack that revolves around the entity of the same name. Originally a sorcerer-king, he became an entity that exists throughout the ages after being captured by his enemies. This small book briefly introduces Ran-Tegoth's backstory and provides gameplay statistics for the entity. In addition, there are some ideas on how Ran-Tegoth's influence manifests and how the entity can be incorporated into a campaign. A few small game mechanics like a new special skill and two spells round things out.

While Rhan-Tegoth introduces a mythos entity and its various facets in just six pages, there remains the feeling that it would help to know the original story, as otherwise the introduction remains somewhat vague and not all references are clear.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Cthulhu Hack: Rhan-Tegoth
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The Cthulhu Hack: Mother's Love
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2020 13:39:34

Three stories about a dark mother - a Mephisto review

Mother's Love

Even though Mother's Love sounds like a heart-warming title, knowing that this is an adventure book for Cthulhu Hack quickly twists this feeling. Of course, the book is about Shub-Niggurath, whose spawn and cultists are the central theme in the three adventures. In one case, the story revolves around a missing child, and an orphanage in northern Canada (Deep Roots), another around a theatre troupe that is in mortal danger on Malta (Ggantija), and the third one combines the mythos with Greek myths (Gifts of the Flesh)...

The three stories are quite varied, even though the same mythical entity lurks at their core. Deep Roots is a pretty classic story, that can quickly come to a bad end. Ggantija skillfully uses Maltese history combined with bigger conspiracies and presents the players with a hard challenge. Gifts of the Flesh combines a different myth with Shub-Niggurath and thus takes the characters into a somewhat surreal setting.

Even though I liked the basic idea of the last adventure much better than its elaboration, and as the story of the first adventure is quite conventional, from my point of view, the episode on Malta offers a great combination of action and thrilling background. Mother's love offers three exceptional interpretations of a Mythos power for Cthulhu Hack, which unfortunately doesn't come close to the – in my view – outstanding predecessor Three Faces of the Wendigo. Despite this comparison, Mother's Love still offers three challenging adventures for Cthulhu Hack.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Cthulhu Hack: Mother's Love
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The Cthulhu Hack
by pat e. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2019 20:29:46

Picked it up to run a halloween adventure for my family. It really nailed the mythos horror vibe and was super easy for some relatively novice players to pick up and run with. I'm looking forward to running another game soon.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Cthulhu Hack
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The Cthulhu Hack: Valkyrie Nine
by John A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2019 16:28:15

Written by Paul Baldowski, creator of The Cthulhu Hack and contributor to several sourcebooks for the Paranoia RPG, Valkyrie Nine is a short investigation for The Cthulhu Hack system with additional rules for handling its futuristic setting and player character generation.

The investigators are all AI-controlled repair drones (think astromech droids from Star Wars or service robots from Silent Running) that are activated in medias res during a major system failure at a lunar mining base. But not everything is as it seems. Without giving away the plot, the players must work within a time limit in order to deal with the situation and save the surviving crew from the literal unseen forces against them.

The author helpfully provides copious playtest notes and GM guidance such as using sounds when running the scenario. Appropriate counters or miniatures could also be placed on the overview maps to represent where everyone is in the sandbox environment of the Valkyrie station.

One thing I would have liked is a copy of the drone unit character generation rules from the background section included in the handouts. The five pregenerated characters still allow a large amount of customization on the part of the players.

While it could use another round of editing, both the unique setup and "Tomato in the Mirror" surprise conclusion will make this scenario a memorable investigative experience for both the GM and players.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Cthulhu Hack: Valkyrie Nine
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review, John. I have updated the main Valkyrie Nine and the separate handout downloadable to include a separate one-sheet PDF Character Guide. I hope that proves helpful. --- Paul
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The Cthulhu Hack: Three Faces of the Wendigo
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2019 12:51:40

The following review was originally published in Mephisto 69 and translated from German (find orignal German review below). More reviews can be found in the Mephisto 69 Online Add-On (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/261389/Mephisto-69-Online-AddOn).

Three Faces of the Wendigo

Winter, cold and cannibalism are the three keywords that characterize the Wendigo within the Cthulhu myth. In Three Faces of the Wendigo, published for Cthulhu Hack as a short adventure volume, revolves around this creature in three stories. Sometimes the investigators go on a hunt for a cult (Wolves in the Mountain), sometimes they go on a hunting trip (Lonely, Dark and Deep), and then the investigators are stranded in a small city (Tainted Meat).

What all adventures have in common is that they confront the characters with really bad horrors and are not for weak minds. I liked the three adventures around the Wendigo - especially the bizarre idea of the last adventure - very much from the gamemaster's point of view.

Deutsche Version

Winter, Kälte und Kannibalismus sind die drei Stichworte, mit denen der Wendigo innerhalb des Cthulhu- Mythos charakterisiert wird. In Three Faces of the Wendigo ist für Cthulhu Hack ein kurzer Abenteuerband erschienen, der sich in drei Geschichten um diese Kreatur dreht. Mal machen sich die Investigatoren auf die Jagd nach einem Kult (Wolves in the Mountain), mal geht es auf einen Jagdausflug (Lonely, Dark and Deep) und dann stranden die Investigatoren in einer kleinen Stadt (Tainted Meat).

Allen Abenteuern ist gemein, dass sie die Charaktere mit wirklich üblen Schrecken konfrontieren und nichts für schwache Gemüter sind. Mir haben die drei Abenteuer rund um den Wendigo – insbesondere die bizarre Idee des letzten Abenteuers – aus Spielleitersicht sehr gut gefallen.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Cthulhu Hack: Three Faces of the Wendigo
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The Cthulhu Hack: The Dark Brood
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2019 12:47:21

The following review was originally published in Mephisto 69 and translated from German (find orignal German review below). More reviews can be found in the Mephisto 69 Online Add-On (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/261389/Mephisto-69-Online-AddOn).

The Dark Brood

Shub-Niggurath is one of the more feared and mysterious great old ones. In the source book The Dark Brood, the entity that produces its countless and bizarre descendants as the Dark Mother or Black Goat of the Woods is introduced for Cthulhu Hack. The source volume is based on the few references found in H.P. Lovecraft's works and ignores many of the developments that have developed within the Cthulhu myth. The book introduces new and terrible creatures of the Dark Mother and rounds it off with matching adventure hooks, spells and some random tables.

Like Cthulhu Hack himself, the presentation is short, without illustrations and with a very Spartan design, but the source book manages to detach itself from the well-known view of the great old man and to deliver its own convincing interpretation, which cannot only be used for Cthulhu Hack.

Deutsche Version

Shub-Niggurath gehör t zu den gefürchteteren und mysteriöseren Großen Alten. In dem Quellenband The Dark Brood wird die Wesenheit, die als Dunkle Mutter oder Schwarze Ziege der Wälder ihre unzähligen und bizarren Nachkommen hervorbringt, für Cthulhu Hack vorgestellt. Dabei bezieht sich der Quellenband als Grundlage auf die wenigen Hinweise, die sich in H.P. Lovecrafts Werken finden, und ignoriert viele der Weiterentwicklungen, die innerhalb des Cthulhu-Mythos entstanden sind.

Das Buch stellt auf diesem Weg neue und schreckliche Kreaturen der Dunklen Mutter vor und rundet das mit passenden Abenteueraufhängern, Zaubern und einige Zufallstabellen ab. Wie Cthulhu Hack selbst ist die Darstellung kurz, verzichtet auf Illustrationen und kommt mit sehr spartanischer Gestaltung daher, doch dem Quellenband gelingt es, sich von der bekannten Sicht des Großen Alten zu lösen und eine eigene stimmige Interpretation zu liefern, die sich nicht nur für Cthulhu Hack verwenden lässt.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Cthulhu Hack: The Dark Brood
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The Cthulhu Hack
by Iván R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2019 15:08:58

Great system, really, give it a try. One of the things that I like most is that as you start to delve in the secrets of the mythos losing your sanity is a reality. Easy to play and very intuitive.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Cthulhu Hack
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Creator Reply:
Hi Iván, I hope the responses received to your question at the Google+ community help. Books get mentioned a lot in Lovecraft's tale - but, they're read far more rarely. Lovecraft seems to use them as a signpost to piles of worm-riddled, half-forgotten lore - but few spend much time actually consulting the texts. It isn't a failing in the Core Book that books don't get a mention - it's just that they're not core to the game, especially given that spells are really dangerous and likely, more often than not, found in the hands of cultists and their monstrous masters. De Cultis Ineffabilibus - originally code-named Unaussprechliche Hack - the book of optional rules and ideas will feature mechanics for additional creatures, magic, pulpier combat and more, with marginalia and scattered notes. The magical part will touch on grimoire and tomes in more detail, but nothing major. The Cthulhu Hack has never been about emulating the Call of Cthulhu RPG - it's about resurfacing the works of Lovecraft based solely on interpretation of the text. The Cthulhu Hack looks to emulate the elements within the Mythos stories that Lovecraft wrote - or co-opted into his universe by editing them. Investigation and Sanity as a dwindling resource, for example, emulates how Lovecraft's protagonists become broken the more they expose themselves to the research and discovery of the unknown. I hope that's helpful. More information to come - with some available now as PDFs-in-playtest to those who support The Cthulhu Hack Patreon. Paul
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