Tag Archive for: monster

The Cthulhu Awakens Menagerie

Cthulhu Awakens Monsters
Cthulhu Awakens
is a game of fear and weirdness, and that includes the people you meet, from mortal conspirators to otherworldly monsters. I thought folks might like to see all the listings with full game statistics provided in Chapter 9 of the book.

Mundane Creatures: Entries that might exist even in a world without the Mythos

  • Assassin
  • Burglar
  • Clever Crook
  • Enforcer
  • Guard Dog
  • Hooligan
  • Police Detective
  • Police Officer (Uniformed)
  • Security Guard
  • Socialite
  • Soldier
  • Veteran Private Eye

Touched by the Mythos: Individuals who’ve been radically affected by the Cthulhu Mythos, as resisters, victims, or pawns.

  • Angry Civilian
  • Cult Adept
  • Cult High Priest
  • Eldritch Scholar
  • Minion
  • Witch
  • Yithian Operative

Mythos Entities: The monsters and aliens of Cthulhu Awakens. These have expanded entries including extended descriptions and story hooks.

  • Blended
  • Deep One
  • Deep One Hybrid
  • Dimensional Shambler
  • Ghoul
  • Ghast
  • Gnoph-Keh
  • Godspawn, Major
  • Godspawn, Minor
  • Gregarian
  • Gug
  • Mi-Go
  • Night-Gaunt
  • Primordial
  • Shoggoth
  • Skotomorph
  • Tendril From Beyond

In addition, you can use creatures from Modern AGE, especially the Enemies & Allies book, in Cthulhu Awakens with minimal adjustments. Use Gritty Health in default games or convert Cinematic Health to Fortune if you’re using Fortune. Assign combat stunts using the packages in Cthulhu Awakens—something new to how AGE describes creatures we introduced in this game.

Cthulhu Awakens With Modern AGE

Cthulhu Awakens in Modern AGE

Art by Natalie Bernard

As part of the AGE System family of games, Cthulhu Awakens is substantially compatible with Modern AGE, our multi-genre modern era RPG. In fact, Cthulhu Awakens was originally designed as a Modern AGE supplement, but eventually merited being broken out into a dedicated game. Nevertheless, the two games are similar enough that we’ve offered Modern AGE books as part of the campaign, because it’s relatively easy to use them together. Here are some notes about doing just that.

Mode: Modern AGE includes special rules for three modes. “Realistic” Gritty Mode, the low-key enhanced reality of Pulpy Mode, and the larger than life Cinematic Mode. Cthulhu Awakens notes that in Modern AGE terms, it is pre-set to Gritty Health (it doesn’t improve with level) but Pulpy Toughness (your character can absorb blows from things like edged weapons as well as fists, but not bullets).

Enemies & Allies: The core Modern AGE book and its supplement Enemies & Allies provide a whole bunch of pre-generated NPCs and strange beings for your use beside Cthulhu Awakens Mythos-based counterparts. Use the Cinematic Mode stats if you use Fortune in Cthulhu Awakens (and covert their Health to Fortune) and Gritty stats otherwise (but Cthulhu Awakens’ rules for Toughness) and the entries are usable as-is. Enemies & Allies in particular includes game statistics for criminals, government agents, renegade scientists, strange psychics, and various mythic and weird creatures.

Powers: Magical Arcana from Modern AGE provide a more traditional version of magic compared to the dangerous eldritch workings of Cthulhu Awakens, while eldritch workings can be used in Modern AGE with no special rules. Modern AGE psychic powers convert to Cthulhu Awakens counterparts easily. The extraordinary items and other options for powers in Modern AGE supplements allow you to add superhumans, cyberpunk augmentations, and other genre variations to Cthulhu Awakens.

Stunts: Cthulhu Awakens and Modern AGE take different approaches to stunts. Cthulhu Awakens uses a small, tightly curated list of streamlined stunts, while Modern AGE takes an expansive approach. You can swap approaches or mix and match for the stunt options you prefer.

Adventures and Settings: Cthulhu Awakens could be just one world in the Modern AGE Threefold setting, and various adventures for Modern AGE would be suitable for Cthulhu Awakens with minimal conversion.

AGE games intended to be hacked and customized! Do what you like, using the common framework of AGE to find your way, and you’ll find immediate support for Cthulhu Awakens through Modern AGE.

The Gregarian – Cthulhu Awakens Entity Preview

The Gregarian!

Check out the Cthulhu Awakens Kickstarter for more details!

When insects and worms feast on the remains of certain psychics, sorcerers, and certain strong-willed individuals, they sometimes copy the residue of that individual’s personality, and a Gregarian is born. These flesh-eaters develop a collective will, and even acquire some of the deceased’s knowledge. Here are the Cthulhu Awakens statistics for these entities.

Gregarian

Abilities (Focuses)

Accuracy 1, Communication 3 (Deception, Disguise), Constitution 4 (Tolerance), Dexterity 0 (Forgery, Stealth), Fighting 1, Intelligence 5 (Occultism, Research, Theology), Perception 2, Strength 1 (Climbing, Intimidation), Willpower 3 (Self-Discipline)

SpeedFortuneHealthDefenseArmor RatingTough-ness
10424210015
WeaponAttack RollDamage
Ritual Blade+01d6 + 2 IW

 

Qualities

Combat Stunts: Trickster

Alienating: When it reveals its true nature to an individual or establishes a hive contact (see below), the Gregarian provokes a TN 11 Entities Alienation Test. It usually hides its true nature with a mask, and although this might be discomforting, a masked Gregarian doesn’t provoke Alienation.

Absorbed Occultism: A Gregarian knows one eldritch working, but no praxes, after absorbing this information from whoever it devoured, or from whatever eldritch lore it instinctively hoards.

Hive Contact: By concentrating on an individual within 20 yards, the Gregarian can use the Activate action to contact that person’s mind. The target can resist contact with a TN 15 Willpower (Self-Discipline) test. If they succeed, they shut out contact for the rest of the encounter. If the Gregarian makes contact, they can communicate with the target through projected images and other sensory perceptions, though not words. This exposes the Gregarian’s true nature to the target, activating its alienating quality if the target hasn’t already witnessed its undisguised form.

Living on the Fringe: Gregarians are practiced at covering their tracks. Other characters suffer a penalty of -2 to any tests to find information about Gregarians or their activities.

Swarm: As they comprise of a swarm of insects, worms, and other small vermin, a Gregarian is impervious to bullets taking no damage, and takes half damage, after applying Toughness, from all other forms of damage except for fire, electricity, and attacks or hazards that target an area, such as grenades or sudden flooding. Area-effect hazards and damage sources inflict double damage after applying Toughness.

Equipment: Dagger, Fragments of Occult Lore, Tattered Robes, Wax Tablet and Stylus. Notepad and Pen, or Smartphone.

Threat: Moderate

5E Jamboree!

Mix-and-Match Green Ronin’s 5e Fantasy Offerings

Green Ronin publishes a lot of games. It figures: We’re gamers, and we like a lot of games! We also publish material for a number of different game systems. While the Adventure Gaming Engine (AGE) System sees a lot of use these days, and is as close as we get to having a “house system,” Green Ronin also supports the d20-based Mutants & Masterminds, the Chronicle System of Sword Chronicle, and standalone systems like Ork! The Roleplaying Game.

Among all of those game systems, Green Ronin also publishes material compatible with, or based on, the Fifth Edition of the World’s Most Popular Roleplaying Game. We have some experience in that area, having worked directly with Wizards of the Coast on the Out of the Abyss campaign and the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide sourcebook, and having worked with Matthew Mercer on the Tal’dorei sourcebook for Critical Role.

Our 5e products include The Lost Citadel, Book of the Righteous, the 20th anniversary edition of the Death in Freeport adventure, and The Blue Rose Adventurer’s Guide, bringing the romantic fantasy world of Aldea to 5e. We’ve just finished production on a new 5e edition of The Book of Fiends as well, and wanted to look at some of the ways you can mix-and-match our Fifth Edition offerings and use them in your own games. So, let’s take a look!

Blue Rose Adventurer's Guide for 5EBlue Rose Adventurer’s Guide

The Blue Rose Adventurer’s Guide is primarily a setting book, in the vein of our work on the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. It features material on the world of Aldea, particularly the nation of Aldis, the Sovereignty of the Blue Rose, and its surrounding lands. (You can find out much more about Blue Rose and its setting elsewhere on our website.) The goal of the Blue Rose guide was to introduce the world of Aldea to 5e players and provide an additional, alternative setting, rather than an alternate game system.

That said, the book does contain a wealth of game system material to account for the differences between Aldea and various other 5e fantasy settings. In particular, it offers new character ancestries (and its own take on handling ancestry) for the peoples of Aldea. Each character class has a new subclass suited to the setting, and there are unique backgrounds, specific modifications of the magic rules, magic items, and a Corruption system that reflects the power of Shadow, to name a few.

Even if you don’t use Aldea as a setting for your 5e adventures, the game system portions of the book are easy to import to other settings. The lands and peoples of the world of Blue Rose could also be places for plane-hopping characters to visit, or part of some distant land on the far side of the world where they currently adventure.

Book of FiendsBook of Fiends for 5E

The Book of Fiends is a massive tome of the most vile denizens of the lower planes, not just the familiar demons and devils, but also daemons, qlippoth, Fallen celestials, and more. They range from minor low-level threats to godlike rulers of their own infernal realms and everything in-between. The Book of Fiends is a supplementary catalog of foes for a 5e campaign, especially one focused on fighting the forces of corruption and evil, such as Out of the Abyss, or a campaign like Descent into Avernus where the heroes descend into the lower planes themselves to fight their inhabitants! Who can’t use more fiends as foes?

The Book of Fiends dovetails with our Book of the Righteous in that they share the same basic cosmology. The Book of the Righteous works in conjunction with 5e planar cosmology and mentions the Abyss, Gehenna, Hell, and their various fiendish denizens, while the Book of Fiends details them. So the two books form two halves of the same cosmology for a campaign setting: the mythos and religion of the world and all of the forces of evil aligned against it.

The Book of Fiends connects with Blue Rose’s Aldea: The seven Exarchs, the great daemons of Gehenna, are also known as the Exarchs of Shadow on Aldea. The various daemons can serve as further darkfiends for your Blue Rose games, and you can plunder the dark depths of The Book of Fiends for other foes for your Aldean heroes. Fiends also offers its own Corruption system associated with infernal temptation. Use it in place of the Corruption rules from Blue Rose Adventurer’s Guide, or for a specific kind of corruption associated with the Exarchs and their minions.

The Book of Fiends also comes with a chapter of character options: subclasses, feats, spells, and backgrounds usable in any 5e setting where the forces of evil are abroad. The Blue Rose Adventurer’s Guide specifically points to them as possible options for corrupt and Shadow-aligned characters in that setting.

Book of the Righteous for 5EBook of the Righteous

The Book of the Righteous provides a complete pantheon and cosmology for a 5e fantasy setting, along with numerous interconnected deities, faiths, and religious practices. It’s a fantastic resource to mine for options and inspiration, even if you don’t adopt the entire thing wholesale.

Like Blue Rose Adventurer’s Guide and The Book of Fiends, The Book of the Righteous comes with a hefty rules chapter packed with 5e options: at least one new sub-class for every core character class, a dozen new clerical domains, five new paladin oaths, backgrounds, feats, spells, and magic items. It also has celestial and fey creatures associated with the gods and higher planes. The Blue Rose Adventurer’s Guide notes that many of these game options fit well into the world of Aldea and are quite useful there.

Death in FreeportDeath in Freeport for 5E

The 20th anniversary edition of the adventure Death in Freeport offers a self-contained, low-level 5e adventure set in the independent pirate city of Freeport. Since it is a tiny island nation, Freeport is easy to include in any setting you may wish, or usable as a jumping-off point to any mainland you want the characters to travel towards. Freeport’s temples and churches may be devoted to the pantheon from The Book of the Righteous (that’s deliberately left open for you to decide) and the eldritch horrors lurking in the setting can make good use of material from The Book of Fiends. As The Blue Rose Adventurer’s Guide notes, Freeport could well exist among the Pirate Isles of that setting, bringing all of its unique character along with it.

What’s more, Death in Freeport is not just adventure: It has an appendix with game information on the sinister Serpent People, two new magic items (the staff of defense and the wand of escape), and four new class archetypes: the Valor domain for clerics, the terrifying Buccaneer archetype for fighters, the cunning Alley-Rat archetype for rogues, and the preternatural Serpentkin sorcerous origin. Any of all of these could find use in any 5e campaign.

The Lost CitadelLost Citadel for 5E

The Lost Citadel differs from Green Ronin’s other 5e offerings, which are designed for use with the core rulebooks, whereas Lost Citadel customizes more of the class, background, and magic options to suit the setting, along with adding some new options. Nevertheless, all of these options are compatible with the core 5e rules, so you can import Lost Citadel character options into other campaigns or settings, if you wish. The same is true of the book’s extensive collection of creatures, especially undead, which can certainly inspire new unliving foes for Blue Rose, for example.

What’s more, Lost Citadel offers another system for measuring supernatural corruption (do we sense a theme here?). Called Woe, it deals with the price of magic and supernatural knowledge and of places given over to the powers of death and despair. It would be suitable for use to model the effects of some domains of the foes from The Book of Fiends or places on Blue Rose’s world of Aldea where the power of Shadow has grown deep, indeed.

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.

 

Fantasy AGE Bestiary: Pre-Order, PDF, and Preview

Fantasy AGE Bestiary

We are pleased to open up pre-ordering for the Fantasy AGE Bestiary. As with all our Green Ronin Pre-Order Plus products, when you pre-order the print book through our Green Ronin Online Store or through a participating Pre-Order Plus retailer, you’ll be able to get the PDF for just $5.

Fantasy AGE Bestiary:

What does every fantasy RPG campaign need? Monsters! Monsters! Monsters! The Fantasy AGE Bestiary gives Game Masters a plethora of new foes to challenge their players, from classics like the basilisk and minotaur to new monsters like the eldritch crown and shard lord. Each creature is fully detailed, with background information, adventure hooks, game stats, and variants. This beautiful, full-color hardback is the first sourcebook for the Fantasy AGE RPG and an indispensable resource for Game Masters.

PDF Preview: Gatorkin

Like to try before you buy? Check out this free PDF preview of the Gatorkin.

Pre-Order the Fantasy AGE Bestiary today!

(Or buy the PDF for $16.95, if you prefer pixels to paper.)

Mountain Terrors: Thunderbird (Chronicle System PDF)

Mountain Terrors: Thunderbird

Mountain Terrors: Thunderbird (Chronicle System PDF)

Sudden mountain storms may rise up out of nowhere, bringing the possibility of flash floods, mud slides, lightning strikes and similar dangers. Those who know the mountain peaks know to fear these storm, and not simply for the threat they bring: some mountain tempests have at their heart a mighty thunderbird on the hunt, and anything that moves is fair game.

Mountain Terrors: Thunderbird is a bestiary PDF for the Chronicle System, the rules engine that powers our popular A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying game.

Mountain Terrors: Needle Roc (Chronicle System PDF)

Mountain Terrors: Needle Roc

Mountain Terrors: Needle Roc

In the mountain heights hunts the needle roc. Much larger than its smaller eagle cousin, the needle roc is a raptor with a particularly distinctive hunting style: it flies past prey and threats alike, popping the viciously hooked quills along its wings to eviscerate those unlucky enough to have earned its ire. Between its large size, viciously hooked talons and twelve-foot quilled wingspan, this beast is a terror to watch out for.

Mountain Terrors: Needle Roc is a bestiary PDF for the Chronicle System, the rules engine that powers our popular A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying game.

Chronicle System Mountain Terror: Crag Lurker

Mountain Terrors: Crag Lurker (Chronicle System PDF)In the reaches of high crags swept by hot winds, the crag lurker lies in wait. A fierce reptilian predator, it does not discriminate between herd and herdsman, but will feast on both without hesitation. Those who would cross the warm, dry peaks and buttes of the deserts and scrublands must steel themselves against these monsters.

Mountain Terrors: Crag Lurker is a bestiary PDF for the Chronicle System, the rules engine that powers our popular A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying game. Find out more in this free Mountain Terrors: Introduction PDF!