Cthulhu Awakens Roleplaying Game

Created by Green Ronin Publishing

Spin epic Mythos tales of cosmic horror across the Weird Century in a complete, stand-alone roleplaying game powered by the AGE System!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

May 2022 Update
almost 2 years ago – Sun, May 22, 2022 at 10:26:14 AM

Developer Malcolm Sheppard is back once again for this month's update!

Hi folks, just dropping a line to let you know the state of Cthulhu Awakens.

Immediately before writing this update, I finalized the text for production. This means that after it came back from editing, I performed a review from the first to the last word, before doing a couple of things to the document files to make them easier to move into layout.

I also completed all the art notes related to the project, ranging from illustrations of Mythos creatures, gods, and objects, to more mundane subjects, to maps of the two adventures that come with the book: The Gathering and Unseen Influencers.

Now that these two tasks have been completed Cthulhu Awakens enters the “production” cycle, where the text goes into art and layout.

In addition, I also received and provided notes for the first draft of DREADCRAWLS 0. This is a process called “redlining” since back when you needed to do it on paper, a red pen was customary. Nowadays it takes the form of version tracking and comments on an electronic document. The writer will incorporate those notes into a new draft and if this requires few to no changes from then on, we get into development, editing, and the rest of it. In this case, the first draft was already in fantastic shape, and my redlines were little more than notes to rename a few tables.

That’s where Cthulhu Awakens is at. See you next time!

End of April Update!
almost 2 years ago – Tue, Apr 26, 2022 at 02:25:57 AM

Hi folks,

I’m Malcolm Sheppard, developing Cthulhu Awakens, and I thought it’d be nice to let you know where things are. So, uh, here’s where things are!

The Cthulhu Awakens draft has just come back from the editor. What happens next? A post-editorial review before getting into more art as well as layout and design considerations. Everything is on time. Stretch goals expanding the content of the core book were finalized before it went to the editor.

The Game Master’s Kit booklet featuring eldritch books, Unexpurgated Texts, is in mid-writing, as are DREADCRAWLS 0 and other issues—yes, we’re doing more than one—and Cults of the Mythos. The 1960s adventure is just having its concept shaken out.

One more thing: We didn’t announce it during the campaign, but we are doing a quickstart for Cthulhu Awakens. For those unfamiliar with the term, a quickstart has everything you need to run a Cthulhu Awakens adventure with pre-made characters, a scenario, and pre-written rules. Currently the introductory rules module is finished, and the adventure and pregenerated characters are being designed.

The Quickstart is one of two Cthulhu Awakens projects that weren’t announced during the campaign. I’ll get around to talking about the other one eventually. Cheers!

That's A Wrap!
almost 2 years ago – Thu, Mar 24, 2022 at 03:10:50 AM

Thank you so much to all of our amazing backers who helped fund this project and make it happen!

We even managed to unlock the 1960s Adventure in the last few hours!

We will be back soon with more information on what you can expect next, our roadmap for future updates, the pledge manager, and PDF distribution. And for those of you who were able to join us for our  Final Hours Countdown livestream, thank you so much! We had a wonderful time, and hope you did too!

Eldritch Texts in Cthulhu Awakens
almost 2 years ago – Thu, Mar 24, 2022 at 01:08:53 AM

The campaign ends tonight at 8pm PDT! We've almost secured that 1960s adventure, and it would be fantastic if we can add the second Weirdness Overflowing document as well! 

This will be our last content-focused update during the campaign, but we'll have more updates coming during production to give you additional peeks behind the curtain at what you can expect from the upcoming book.

Art by John Anthony DiGiovanni

As we noted in our update about powers and eldritch workings, anyone can “cast a spell” in Cthulhu Awakens as long as they have a text to work from that contains the proper instructions rendered in a language they can understand. This of course leads us to the question of what these references are, and how they’re presented in the game.

Each text’s description passes on the following information.

Content and Effects: A general description of the text’s contents, followed by any special effects they may have.

Decipher: Ability tests and any other conditions required to understand the text.

Praxes and Workings: Eldritch workings—the “spells” of Cthulhu Awakens—are divided into categories called praxes. Each praxis is a bundle of workings with related effects so that, for example, Geometry is the praxis of manipulating spacetime.

Alienation Test: Studying a text deeply is potentially disturbing and may trigger a test to avoid the effects of Alienation: how the Mythos alters minds who witness its phenomena.

The following example lays out this information about itself. Yes, the Necronomicon is covered, though the entry is too long for an update.

Euler Manuscript of Esoteric Mathematics

Beautifully bound in red leather and inked on cotton parchment, this manuscript holds the lesser-known mathematical musings of 18th Century Swiss polymath Leonhard Euler. The only copy now sits in a forgotten storage room at Miskatonic University’s school of Physics, though MU’s librarians are aware that it was lost somewhere on campus in the 1890s. They have not entirely forgotten to keep an eye out for it. Euler’s contemporaries described its contents as “perverse theology,” and implied it was an attempt to solve physical and metaphysical questions with the same pragmatism Euler devised to his other mathematical work—and that its conclusions were abhorrent to science and faith.

Content and Effects: The Euler Manuscript contains graphs, calculations, and beautiful, full-color illustrations of mathematical theories involving the movement of the universe. Using a series of superficially simple formulae, Euler further claims the nature of the universe must parallel the nature of God—or whatever entity is constructed from first principles, which takes God’s place. Subsequent calculations show that the cosmos is simultaneously moving and unmoving, and in attaining greater self-organization only intensifies its eventual breakdown into chaos. Time only exists as a flaw in human perception designed to ignore these contradictions, and any Creator could only have set things in motion to enjoy their destruction. Nihilism is nothing new, but nihilism backed by rigorous math is another thing entirely.

As a result, upon first deciphering the Euler Manuscript, the reader must make a TN 13 Willpower (Faith) test or suffer one level of the Fatigued Condition. Furthermore, casting from the text reminds the reader that the cosmos is meaningless, prompting the test each time the Euler Manuscript is used for this purpose.

Decipher: The reader must succeed at a TN 13 Intelligence (Mathematics) test.

Praxes and Workings: Geometry (angular travel, counter geometry, hyperbolic rotation), Outsiders (intrusion, outsider correspondence)

Alienation Test: Phenomena, TN 14, when studying praxes from the text.

Eldritch Workings and the Powers of Cthulhu Awakens
almost 2 years ago – Wed, Mar 23, 2022 at 08:06:42 AM

Last night the 48 hour reminder emails went out, and we have reached the $80k stretch goal for the Modern AGE: Enemies and Allies PDF! Can we hit that 1960s adventure before the day is over?

Art by Maurice Risulmi

Cthulhu Awakensprovides three options for characters seeking extraordinary powers. First, the Inhuman Legacy talent represents individuals who discover they’ve inherited certain strange characteristics. They might be related to ghouls, Deep Ones, or some other weird lineage.

Second, some humans and other entities possess psychic disciplines, giving them the ability to alter other minds or the environment through force of will. Those of you familiar with Modern AGE will find some aspects familiar, but not others. Some powers have been changed, and instead of spending points or rolling for fatigue, psychics make a Power Test and Price Test—and the latter can have unpredictable consequences. Still, it’s an option for characters seeking a straightforward taste of supernatural might.

But the strongest “magic” of all can be found in eldritch workings, though these straddle the boundaries between science, magic, and what might be considered a form of ritual worship, whole truly being none of these, as each working represents reaching out into the unknowable for power. All eldritch workings are lengthier actions that utilize challenge tests, but they do not require characters to invest in them as abilities, though they can do so to make casting easier. Anyone can pick up a copy of the Necronomicon and if they can understand it well enough to follow instructions, they can absolutely attempt the workings within. Workings are, of course, horrendously powerful—balance takes a back seat to ripping apart the laws of nature for story reasons, as you’ll see in the following example, with annotations in italics.

Hyperbolic Rotation (Generic name of the working; it can have other specific names)

Geometry (Praxis, or category it belongs to)

This working envisions local spacetime as a hyperbolic manifold, a curved plane wrapped around itself so that the Unseen Dimensions act as a vessel for perceptible dimensions. Rotating this structure can distort the relationship between two points in space, putting them closer together or further apart.

Rote Test: Intelligence (Physics), Intelligence (Computers), Intelligence (Electronics), TN 15 (rolls for challenge tests)

Alienation Test: Phenomena, TN 16 (Alienation Rest required for casters)

Interval: Medium (one minute) (How long each roll in the challenge tests uses up)

Trappings: 1) Top of the line computer loaded with dedicated software 2) Electrically-powered gyroscope 3) Silver wire that must be placed and anchored around the target area in specific configurations (examples of components and conditions required, which may differ based on text and altered by skilled casters)

Effect: In an area with a radius of up to 50 yards per casting rank, the caster can designate a number of alternate spatial relationships equal to their Intelligence + casting rank, with points of intersection no larger than 4 square yards each, though several can be combined for a larger single intersection. This can cause a stretch of road to wrap around itself, or a door on one floor of a building to open to a room on a different floor—or in mid-air. All points must exist within the working’s radius. Within the duration, the caster can use an Activate minor action to shift one spatial relationship with range of their senses so that, for example, they can walk through a door to one destination, then ensure the next person who passes through it goes somewhere else.

This working’s effects last one hour per casting rank.

Magister Effect: It no longer requires an Activate action to shift a spatial relationship. Furthermore, at this rank the caster can fix one or more spatial relationships within the effect duration so that they become permanent, but they can no longer be shifted at will except by another casting of hyperbolic rotation. (When a character has special expertise in the working, they can accomplish this.)

Doom: The working’s area of effect vanishes from normal spacetime, with plausible environmental features filling in the gap. The area of effect now exists in a time and location of the Game Master’s choosing, such as 100 years ago, Antarctica, or Yuggoth, taking any occupants with it. (The potential result of a miscast working.)