Tag Archive for: Cthulhu

The Cthulhu Awakens FAQ, Version 0.5

As we recently announced, we’re making a new standalone AGE System game, Cthulhu Awakens, which will start crowdfunding over at Kickstarter on February 15, 2022. Go here to sign up for alerts. But one of the challenges of the press release format is that we have just a page to present a mixture of high level information, distinctive zingers, and necessary clarifications. That’s why this FAQ exists! A variation of it will probably find a home in the FAQ of the Kickstarter itself, after launch. That’s why this is version 0.5.Cthulhu Awakens The AGE RPG

What Is Cthulhu Awakens About, Anyway?

Cthulhu Awakens is about roleplaying in the Weird Century, a span running from the 1920s to the present that features increasing influence from bizarre, terrifying forces. The greatest of these are the Outsiders: Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, and other entities who exist within both our own realm and the Unseen Dimensions that make the invisible majority of existence. The ancient Earth was a battleground between competing alien colonists from across time and space, and past participants such as the Yithians and Mi-Go still operate from the shadows—along with secret societies of the dead, sorcerers, and even human operatives from other universes called demimondes. Cthulhu Awakens treats the Mythos as components of a century-spanning setting for open-ended roleplaying.

Is It a Supplement or What?

Cthulhu Awakens is a standalone original roleplaying game using the Adventure Game Engine, containing the full rules for play. It’ll be a hardcover in the 270-300+ page range.

Is It a Licensed Game?

Cthulhu Awakens expands upon elements of the Cthulhu Mythos found in the public domain and uses Green Ronin’s own AGE System, so there was no need to license anything.

What is the AGE System?

Originally designed for the licensed Dragon Age roleplaying game, AGE is short for the Adventure Game Engine. All AGE games use standard six-sided dice (d6s) for everything. One die—called the Stunt Die or Drama Die in various AGE games—is visually distinctive. To do something, roll 3d6 + bonuses to meet or beat a target number. If any of the two dice match, the number on the distinctive die becomes stunt points that can be spent on special effects ranging from a cutting remark to a powerful blow in combat.

What AGE Games are Cthulhu Awakens Compatible With?

The other AGE games Green Ronin currently have in print are Fantasy AGE, Modern AGE, Blue Rose, as well as the licensed roleplaying games for The Expanse, and Dragon Age. Fantasy AGE and Modern AGE have optional settings, while the others have specific ones. Cthulhu Awakens is at least partly compatible with elements of all these games, particularly Modern AGE, as the game began life as a supplement for that line. Many elements can be introduced with no changes at all. This is why some Modern AGE offerings will be included in the Kickstarter. However, Cthulhu Awakens does do a few things differently, and has a substantial number of original systems—and some of them work well with Modern AGE, too.

What Level of Realism or Modern AGE “Mode” Does Cthulhu Awakens Use?

Folks who know Modern AGE know the game has three “Modes,” or preset rules options, based on the degree of “realism” groups want to use in their games. Cthulhu Awakens’ pre-set Mode is a combination of Modern AGE’s Gritty and Pulpy, in that your character’s Health doesn’t go up over time, but sometimes, you can grit your teeth and bear getting stabbed—but not shot.

Cthulhu Awakens also includes an option for more heroic characters called Fortune that makes protagonists tougher and luckier. Fortune was originally designed for The Expanse RPG but works well for more action-focused Cthulhu Awakens campaigns.

How and Why Does Cthulhu Awakens Deal with Lovecraft Being a Racist?

H.P. Lovecraft was a white supremacist whose racism was notable even in his time, as attested to by letters from his own friends. Our position is that anything in Mythos sources that reinforce these elements are lies or errors as far as the setting of Cthulhu Awakens is concerned. Standing against that kind of discrimination is morally obligatory, and it leads to more interesting possibilities than treating Lovecraft’s work as “canon.” In general communication we’ve had to emphasize this both because of Lovecraft’s notorious reputation and to ward off various people with terrible opinions, not to congratulate ourselves for not following the example set by a long-dead racist. Cthulhu Awakens isn’t a purist game and was designed from the basic position that as important to the Mythos as he was, it doesn’t belong to him anymore. He’s dead. It belongs to all of us now.

Aren’t There Already a Bunch of Mythos Games Out There?

There are! And lots of them are fantastic. Some of them emphasize investigation. Others are essentially a tribute to the works of Lovecraft’s circle, the era they take place in, and their approach to the Weird Tale, and many bake a cycle of discovery, horror, and loss into the mechanics, essentially framing the basic story ahead of time. Cthulhu Awakens takes a more open-ended approach; we provide deep support for the Weird Century period, but ultimately encourage you to tell whatever stories you wish. Plus of course, we wanted to express our own fandom and run our own games using the AGE System, which we rather like.

Is there “Madness?” “Magic?”

No—well, there’s Alienation, and eldritch workings (oh, and separate psychic powers too). They’re not quite the same as what you might expect.

Early in design and development we decided that not only was delineating the relationship between the sort of “literary madness” seen in the stories and mental illness not a great idea for Cthulhu Awakens, but that we also wanted to reexamine what it means exactly when exposure to the Mythos alters consciousness. Alienation is about adapting to the alien rules of the Mythos. Since these are incompatible with ordinary human thinking, which takes place in three dimensions plus time and interacts with a fraction of the universe—the reflexive dream of Azathoth, say some—Alienation produces undesirable effects, but it also leads to bursts of inspiration. With Enlightenment comes Terror.

Eldritch workings are neither science nor sorcery—and both. Workings can be learned, but they’re not things you just put on a character sheet. Given the right text to work from and the ability to understand it, anyone can cast an eldritch working without using up any spaces for other powers and abilities. These are mighty, reality-twisting procedures that require specific components and methods, but they offer everything from immortality to the ability to create spacecraft—or call beings who should not be called.

Why Are You Using Kickstarter?

So, with all of the controversy over Kickstarter’s interest in the blockchain, why continue to work with them? The question is a reasonable one, and in ordinary circumstances we’d love to explore other options and find sources for crowdfunding that are more mindful of environmental impact.

The past couple of years are not ordinary circumstances. The truth of the matter is we don’t have that kind of luxury right now. Kickstarter’s market share is such that, if we want this game to reach the widest possible audience and do as well as it can, there aren’t any suitable alternatives—at least, not yet—for this particular project. We’re focused on doing the best we can with the tools we have, while we explore all possible options for connecting our community of players with our games. In any event, Cthulhu Awakens will be up for general sale after we conclude the Kickstarter. For starters, you’ll be able to back the campaign as a late pledge on BackerKit. The finished print book will be available from our online store, game stores, and bookstores, and you’ll be able to get the PDF from our online store and DriveThruRPG. You will have options, in other words, if you don’t want to use Kickstarter.

How Finished Is It? When’s It Coming Out?

As of this time of writing, Cthulhu Awakens’ core book has been through final drafts and two rounds of development, and it is currently going through a final round of development before it enters editing, to better incorporate some internal innovations in the AGE System. The Kickstarter begins on February 15th. The game will be coming out in the fourth Quarter of this year, 2022.

 

Green Ronin Publishing Announces Cthulhu Awakens RPG Kickstarter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/19/2022

Green Ronin Publishing Announces Cthulhu Awakens RPG Kickstarter

Seattle, WA: Green Ronin Publishing is proud to announce that its latest AGE System roleplaying game, Cthulhu Awakens, will begin crowdfunding on Kickstarter on February 15, 2022. Cthulhu Awakens is a complete roleplaying game where a diverse set of protagonists confront the horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos. It will be a 270+ page full color hardback book, with additional material unlockable through Kickstarter stretch goals. 

Cthulhu Awakens deviates from Lovecraftian “canon” in the interests of creating an inclusive setting fit for the roleplaying campaign medium. In the game the original Mythos stories hinted at the truth, but it was obscured by their authors’ biases and fallibilities. Cthulhu Awakens creates a distinct vision of the Mythos that provides a new springboard for Cosmic Horror roleplaying.  It allows you to play at any point between the 1920s and the present day, through a period it calls “the Weird Century.”

Cthulhu Awakens is a stand-alone RPG powered by Green Ronin’s popular Adventure Game Engine (AGE), a dynamic and easy to learn system whose games include Fantasy AGE, Modern AGE, Blue Rose: The Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy, and the licensed RPGs Dragon Age and The Expanse. Cthulhu Awakens evolves the Modern AGE rules, customizing them for the Cosmic Horror genre, but the game is also substantially compatible with other AGE RPGs. 

“The Cthulhu Mythos is one of the pillars of modern roleplaying,” said Green Ronin Publishing president Chris Pramas, “so with the success of Modern AGE it was only natural we explore it, but we wanted to make sure we had the right team and a distinct, inclusive direction for the game.” The writing and design team for Cthulhu Awakens includes Sharang Biswas, David Castro, Elizabeth Chaipraditkul, Hiromi Cota, H.D. Ingham, Khaldoun Khelil, Danielle Lauzon, Ian Lemke, Monte Lin, Jack Norris, and Malcolm Sheppard.

The February 15, 2022, Kickstarter will not only fund a physical release of the book estimated by the end of 2022, but it will also include stretch goals for things like adventures and VTT token packs, plus options to explore other AGE System games at a discount. The campaign also features a special offering for backers in its first 48 hours.

You can sign up for notifications about the Cthulhu Awakens Kickstarter on its pre-launch page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/greenroninpub/cthulhu-awakens-roleplaying-game

About Green Ronin Publishing
Green Ronin Publishing is a Seattle based company dedicated to the art of great games. Since the year 2000, Green Ronin has been a force in tabletop roleplaying games, publishing such RPGs as Blue Rose, The Expanse, Dragon Age, and Mutants & Masterminds, and winning over 40 awards for excellence. Green Ronin has also worked as a design house for hobby giants Games Workshop and Wizards of the Coast on such titles as Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (Second Edition) and the Dungeons & Dragons (Fifth Edition) supplements Out of the Abyss and the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. 

Press Contact: Troy@greenronin.com

Green Ronin Publishing 

3815 S. Othello St.

Suite 100, #311

Seattle, WA 98118

www.greenronin.com