Cthulhu Awakens October Update
over 1 year ago
– Wed, Oct 12, 2022 at 02:53:41 AM
We have two updates in one for you today! Our regular monthly update from developer, Malcolm Sheppard, and information about the launch of the Pledge Manager this week!
FIrst up, here's Malcolm!
Hello, backers—and ouch!
I recently had a back and leg injury re-assert itself and it’s kind of slowed me down this month, so unfortunately, I have less movement to tell you about than I’d like. Still, I’ve been plugging away at development, and here’s what I’ve got to tell you:
Cthulhu Awakens is fully written and currently in art and layout. When it’s finished, we’ll be doing proofing, then we’ll get it printed. Three issues of DREADCRAWLS—that’s 0, 1, and 2—are ready for layout. (Issue #0 is the early backer reward.) The book for the Game Master’s Kit, a book of grimoires called Unexpurgated Texts, is still in editing.
- I just received the second draft back for the Cthulhu Awakens Quickstart, which features a British WW2 scenario with a folk horror edge, with a story by Bram Stoker Award nominee, film critic, and folk horror expert Howard David Ingham. You can find more of their work at Room 207 Press: https://www.room207press.com
- The final draft of Cults of the Mythos came in. I’ve started final development.
- While I’m continuing development of Brinkmanship, the 1960s-era scenario, I’ve also decided to expand it—the work and research has taken me to some interesting places. The core idea and setting are interesting enough to me that I believe making it around one and a half times its original length works.
We also had a meeting this week where we discussed where exactly we’ll be taking the line, and we’ve made a few tentative decisions, but what do you think? After everything we’ve announced, what do you think we should we do next?
~Malcolm Sheppard, Cthulhu Awakens developer
Pledge Manager Update!
We finally have all the missing pieces in place and are starting the "smoke test" for the Backerkit Pledge Manager today! A smoke test means that roughly 5% of backers across all tiers will receive their survey later today, so we can make sure that everything is working as intended and catch any last-minute issues before the remainder of the surveys go out later this week. We are currently planning to send out all surveys on Thursday October 13th! Just in time for our ThursdAGE livestream (2pm Pacific time, on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter!).
Thursday is also when the Pre-Order store will go live, so any late backers or anyone else who missed the campaign will still have a chance to pick up the game at the crowdfunding campaign prices!
We will be sure to post another update on Thursday when all systems are go.
September 2022 Update: Various Conspiracies
over 1 year ago
– Wed, Sep 14, 2022 at 12:25:02 AM
We have another progress update for you this week, from lead developer, Malcolm Sheppard!
Cthulhu Awakens is fully written and currently in art and layout. After that we do a bit of proofing, and it goes in the printing queue. Three issues of DREADCRAWLS are, as stated, in the layout queue—that’s 0, 1, and 2, with 0 being the early backer reward. I mentioned this last month as well.
As for everything else:
- The book for the Game Master’s Kit, a grimoire grimoire (not a typo!) called Unexpurgated Texts, is in editing.
- I recently finished first draft development on the Cthulhu Awakens Quickstart, which features a rural British Second World War scenario and of course, the usual light rules and pre-generated characters.
- · The second draft of Cults of the Mythos arrived yesterday. I will be developing these and looking at systems from an upcoming and for now, unnamed AGE project for inspiration for certain cult-related systems. Or maybe I’ll step back from full “mechanicalization.” What do you think? Cult rules where you roll dice, or not, or some third option?
- I’m currently working on a revision of Brinkmanship, the 1960s-era scenario. I’m finishing off Alexander Thomas’ work because I screwed up: When I outlined it, I misremembered some things about 60s Asian politics, which meant moving the adventure location to [REDACTED], which is funny to insert because the adventure’s about the CIA.
- For those of you interested in expanding your pledge via Backerkit, we discussed an interesting option to sweeten the deal today.
Things are basically on schedule. The 60s adventure is a bit behind, but DREADCRAWLS is significantly ahead. In any event, that’s how it is, and I’ll talk to you again next month!
August 2022: Back From Gen Con and It Was (Not) Dreadful!
over 1 year ago
– Wed, Aug 17, 2022 at 01:33:54 AM
Green Ronin Publishing went to Gen Con this year, and I went with them—it’s been a while! Masked and vaccinated, we presented a number of new things at the booth. Relevant to Cthulhu Awakens, which uses an evolution of the Modern AGE system, was several recent releases for that line:
Cyberpunk Slice, a short supplement covering the cyberpunk genre.
Five and Infinity, an adventure series for the Threefold portal fantasy/horror/SF setting, also for Modern AGE.
- He hardcover Modern AGE Mastery Guide, a manual for both players and GMs allowing you to customize Modern AGE and participate with high quality performance.
“Yeah, nice going slipping these promotional mentions into the update,” you might say, “but what about Cthulhu Awakens? Well, it so happened that we went over art and design proposals for the DREADCRAWLS zine series. You may remember that in addition to the early backer reward of DREADCRAWLS #0, we’re doing two more issues—and in fact, we brainstormed more of them at Gen Con, but we’re going to see how these first few do.
That was the main bit of Cthulhu Awakens activity at Gen Con, but what about outside those four days? Well first off, I redlined the draft for the DREADCRAWLS #2. With 0, 1, and 2 drafted, and 0 and 1 close to finalized text, this part of the project is running smoothly. A “redline,” in roleplaying game development slang, is making developmental notes and request for changes on a draft, which is then sent back to the author for completion.
I also received and redlined Cults of the Mythos, a mostly comprehensive look at the secret organizations that figure in Cthulhu Awakens. Cults of the Mythos was the stretch goal in the Weirdness Overflowing series that funded.
We’re also starting to get some of the roughs for various art pieces. When art direction allows, I hope to share a few of them with you. At this stage we get preliminary sketches in, which art director Hal Mangold and I provide notes on. And finally; we should be getting the Backerkit pledge manager launched soon as well. This has taken a bit longer than expected, as we waited for a few more pieces to fall into place, but we should be able to get that started in the coming weeks.
All in all, progress continues to be steady. See you next month!
~Malcolm Sheppard, Cthulhu Awakens developer
What’s up with Cthulhu Awakens in July?
over 1 year ago
– Thu, Jul 14, 2022 at 05:33:48 AM
DREADCRAWLS #0 is all but finalized. In addition, I got the draft of DREADCRAWLS #1 in as well. Where #0 covers strange places, from cult hangouts to non-Euclidean alien temples—and was given as a bonus to early backers—its sequel introduces a roll-or-choose horror story generator for Cthulhu Awakens. One more issue of DREADCRAWLS is planned after that, and when the time comes, we’ll tell you how you can get them, as they aren’t part of the original Kickstarter rewards. Will we do further issues? That depends on demand.
Meanwhile, Crystal Frasier, Steve Kenson, Ian Lemke, and Chris Pramas join me in devising dread tomes, weird grimoires, unwholesome comic books, and even suspicious video game cabinets for Unexpurgated Texts, a booklet that will be included with the Cthulhu Awakens GM’s Kit. Where the screen and reference cards provide the usual sorts of convenience for such things, Unexpurgated Texts profiles a dozen sources of eldritch lore in the Mythos, not all of which are big leather-bound volumes.
Writers are continuing to work on the 1960s adventure and Weirdness Overflowing: Cults of the Mythos.
The core book is in the initial stages of layout.
What else? We’ll be at Gen Con on August 4-7 in Booth 101. Backers who dug into Cthulhu Awakens’ sister game, Modern AGE, will find the whole line there, in print, including print versions of new releases Cyberpunk Slice and the collected Five & infinity. Cyberpunk Slice is a small supplement covering the cyberpunk genre for Modern AGE, and it requires next to no tweaking to work with Cthulhu Awakens, should you wish to serve up some near future elements—or secret technology from Mythos aliens, perhaps—in your stories. Fine & Infinity is a collection of world-hopping adventures for our Threefold setting, which can also be adapted to Cthulhu Awakens if you want a multiverse of epic scope—but in Cthulhu Awakens, it’s still probably all the dreams of Azathoth.
Thanks for reading, thanks again for backing, and talk to you next time!
June 2022 Update!
over 1 year ago
– Sat, Jun 18, 2022 at 06:34:45 AM
Developer Malcolm Sheppard is back again for this month's progress update!
What’s up with Cthulhu Awakens? Here’s what’s moving in June.
First, in case you missed it: The text of the core, including expansions produced by stretch goals, has been finalized for layout.
The second draft of DREACRAWLS #0 came back. If you remember last month’s update, you’ll know that back then, I received the first draft and redlined it. Redlining supplies developmental corrections and direction for the author. In this case, author Jesse Heinig made the changes and turned it around fast. Doing final developmental editing was easy. Next, we get it formally edited, but I want to get the other issues done first.
Oh yeah, other issues of DREADCRAWLS. Did I mention that before? I think I did. They’re coming. And while the early bird backer freebie benefit doesn’t apply to these, they’ll be ready for purchase in due time. The emphasis for all current issues is producing randomization-friendly tools to help you create story-friendly situations, in the form of locations, hooks, and so on. I love this kind of stuff and am excited to eventually share it.
Writers are currently hard at work on the 1960s adventure and Weirdness Overflowing: Cults of the Mythos. Just yesterday I was working on the GM’s Kit booklet Unexpurgated Texts and one of those eldritch works, a book concerning the self-help movement/religion/moneymaking scheme called Thalassology, present in the setting, was relevant to Cults, so I sent that material to the author.
This takes us to interesting questions of “canon.” Cthulhu Awakens isn’t literary homage, but it isn’t a blatant twist on the Mythos (in space! etc.) either (well, you can in fact build spacecraft, but that’s another story). Rather, the Mythos supplied raw material for the Weird Century game setting, which has specific people, places, and things—and of course, we always assume that our inspirations are unreliable sources. Currently, the emphasis is on keeping things consistent—or at least, plausibly inconsistent, given a world full of mysteries—which leads us to an orthodox set of facts. However, all forms of hard canon break down, as writers fill in the details. Therefore, while initial Cthulhu Awakens releases will strive for reasonably strict consistency, this won’t necessarily be the rule for all time. In any event, the degree to which the setting is subjective and relies on biased reports, rumors, and even deliberate deceptions is up to Game Masters.