Category Archives: APOCTHULHU

Free APOCTHULHU Fiction #2

Here’s another Lovecraft-related short tale of mankind’s Apocalypse, this time co-written with one of his (then very young) protegés, Robert H. Barlow. Not too many people know about Barlow, but in the latter years of HPL’s life he was a welcome friend to the (basically totally broke) Lovecraft, hosting him on several extended stays in Florida. HPL in turn encouraged the young man in his ambitions to become a weird fiction writer — this Apocalyptic story, “Till A’ The Seas” is one of the products of this shared passion.

When Lovecraft died in 1937, Robert Barlow was named as his literary executor in recognition of the ongoing kindness and generosity he had afforded HPL — though this assignation eventually counted for little as August Derleth approached the monetizing of the Cthulhu Mythos with a kind of singlemindedness that would brook the involvement of no other parties. Still, that’s a story for another day (and if you can see parallels with this money-grubbing theft and more recent developments in the game publishing industry, that is *definitely* a topic for another discussion).

In the meantime, here’s a tale of the end of the world written by the teenaged Robert Barlow, and almost certainly heavily rewritten by Lovecraft.

Click here for the 4-page PDF version of this typeset version of “Till A’ The Seas”, extracted from the WIP APOCTHULHU core rulebook.

 


Free APOCTHULHU Fiction #1

We are right now in the thick of layout for the core APOCTHULHU rules, which will be quite a weighty tome once it’s done. One thing we have decided to include in the front of the book is some representative Mythos fiction which paints some kind of picture of what the “End of the World” looks like from a Lovecraft perspective.

Because the fiction we’re using is all in the public domain, we thought it would be cool to also release the individual (typeset) stories as free downloadable PDFs. So … here’s the first one: H.P. Lovecraft’s odd prose poem of mankind’s downfall. Yep, it’s HPL’s “Nyarlathotep” (1920). In case you weren’t aware this is the piece of weird fiction where everyone’s favourite many-masked Mythos meddler was first introduced, or at least where the name “Nyarlathotep” was first published.

Click here for the 4-page PDF version of this short-but-mindblowingly-effective tale of hinted annihilation.

Another APOCTHULHU fiction freebie tomorrow!

 


First Review of APOCTHULHU QS

The first review of the APOCTHULHU Quickstart rules was just published over on the Rolling Boxcars blog. It’s a bit of a mixed review (some pros and some cons), and definitely worth a read.

The TL;DR summary is that the reviewer generally praises the game’s rules and the presentation of the Quickstart, but is less sure whether the idea of a game blending horrors of Mythos encounters with everyday grimness of Post-Apocalyptic survival is something for everyone.

Of course we are also keen to hear what you folks, our loyal readers, think of the game … and whether you think that the central concept is TOO dark and gritty for your gaming group to enjoy. Drop a comment below if you have an opinion.


Released Today: APOCTHULHU Quickstart

The APOCTHULHU Quickstart PDF is available right now on DriveThruRPG. The 73-page PDF contains literally everything you need to get a game of Post-Apocalyptic Lovecraftian goodness up and running for your gaming group.

More specifically, it includes:

  • A streamlined version of the full APOCTHULHU rules (which will be released later in the year)
  • Rules for creating new characters (called “Survivors” in the APOCTHULHU parlance)
  • A set of six fully-detailed pre-generated characters
  • A suitably creepy sample Post-Apocalypse setting (“This Fecund Planet” as featured here in the blog in February), and
  • A 25-ish page scenario by Chad Bowser set in the same Post-Apocalyptic world.

The whole thing is a “Pay-What-You-Want” title on DTRPG, which means you can grab it for free if you want. Indeed, if the current world situation finds you in difficult circumstances we really WANT you to grab it for free. Alternatively, if you are interested in contributing some funds to allow us to make the core rulebook even cooler and prettier, your generosity will be very much appreciated by all of us here at Cthulhu Reborn.

Also today we have created a support page here on Cthulhu Reborn to provide resources for APOCTHULHU. Right now it contains a fillable autocalc version of the character sheet as well as pre-filled character sheets for the six-pregens included in the Quickstart. Feel free to grab these files if you think they’ll make it quicker and easier for you and your friends to dive into the game.

So … don’t delay … head over to DTRPG and nab yourself a brand new RPG. The Apocalypse has never been more Lovecrafty.


What Makes A Lovecraftian Apocalypse?

The book project that eventually morphed itself into the (soon to be released) APOCTHULHU RPG had a simple enough goal — to create a selection of game scenarios that were at the intersection of the cosmic horror of H.P. Lovecraft and the Post-Apocalypse sub-genre.

That sounds like something pretty easy to define, right?

Turns out, not so much. While Lovecraft’s fiction is full of non-specific prophecies of the fall of mankind and the return of the Great Old Ones (or other similar future agents of human extinction), they are short on details. On the one hand, this is fantastic when it comes to leaving ample room for game scenarios to paint different versions of the dystopian worlds left after the Apocalypse comes. But it does make it difficult to pin down exactly what features of a Post-Apocalyptic setting would make it resonate with Lovecraft’s sweeping visions of cosmic indifference and the mechanistic inevitability of mankind’s demise.

I mean, does the kind of world that features in your average post-Nuclear Holocaust story have that kind of “Lovecrafty” vibe? Maybe. What about your average “Walking Dead” kind of Zombie Apocalypse? Eh, maybe not so much. And what about the world presented in traditional Post-Apocalyptic RPGs like Gamma World? Almost certainly not.

Dean modelling Apoco-Hoodie

We thought a lot about this point while we were designing the APOCTHULHU game. In particular we thought a great deal about the problem of what might make an Apocalypse feel like it has a connection to Lovecraft’s world view.

Fortunately, while it’s true that the “Old Gent from Providence” dealt mainly in sketchy outlines when it came to describing life after the end of the world, there are two notable exceptions to this rule. Both are “stories” (or more accurately prose poems parading as stories) which describe a heightened version of how the world fell into oblivion and what came next. The first is something many readers will probably have encountered — the prose poem “Nyarlathotep” which HPL wrote in 1920 almost as the first part of (what would eventually become) his “Mythos” cycle. In this short piece, Lovecraft paints an eerie and slightly surreal sketch of how Nyarlathotep came from Egypt, touring around putting on a show demonstrating the modern marvels of electricity. Those who see this show are forever changed by it, while at the same time the world seems to be corrupted by these same forces … leading to a terrifying (if briefly sketched out) demise for humanity.

The other Apocalyptic tale which Lovecraft had a large hand in writing is a piece written in 1935 ostensibly by Robert Barlow (HPL’s young friend who generously hosted him on several trips to Florida late in Lovecraft’s life and who was appointed as HPL’s literary executor only to be somewhat gazzumped by August Derleth). With Lovecraft’s obvious assistance Barlow wrote a story called “Till A’ The Seas” which is a two part piece which is part prose poem and part story. It describes a future world in which the Earth has been devastated by the sun becoming hotter and hotter. In this world a few people survive, and the second half of the piece tells the tale of a few of them … in particular Ull, the man who would eventually prove to be the last survivor of the human race. The story ends on a massive downbeat tone with Ull perishing and the entire planet eventually lapsing into a state of “death.”

The last few paragraphs of this story have such a “Lovecrafty” type of depiction of the ultimate extinction of our world that they’re worth quoting here:

“And now at last the Earth was dead. The final, pitiful survivor had perished. All the teeming billions; the slow aeons; the empires and civilizations of mankind were summed up in this poor twisted form – and how titanically meaningless it all had been! Now indeed had come an end and climax to all the efforts of humanity – how monstrous and incredible a climax in the eyes of those poor complacent fools of the prosperous days! Not ever again would the planet know the thunderous rampaging of human millions – or even the crawling of lizards and the buzz of insects, for they, too, had gone. now was come the reign of sapless branches and endless fields of tough grasses. Earth, like its cold, imperturbable moon, was given over to silence and blackness forever.

“The stars whirred on; the whole careless plan would continue for infinities unknown. This trivial end of a negligible episode mattered not to distant nebulae or to suns new-born, flourishing, and dying. The race of man, too puny and momentary to have a real function or purpose, was as if it had never existed. To such a conclusion the aeons of its farcically toilsome evolution had led.”

Taking inspiration from these two scant examples of Lovecraft’s depiction of extinction of the human race — either at the hands of bizarre alien gods, or just due to the blind and unstoppable processes of cosmic decay — we’ve tried to put position APOCTHULHU as a game that is about less traditional Apocalypses than those found commonly in RPGs.

It’s not really a game that tries to be a Zombie survival horror game, nor is it really one which aspires to look at life after mankind’s own hubris or scientific blunders render the planet uninhabitable. You can probably use the rules in APOCTHULHU for those kinds of games, but it’s not what it’s designed for.

The kinds of “end of the world scenarios” where cryptic forces descend from the stars are, however, quite fitting for the Lovecraftian vibe. As are Apocalypses where ancient things rise up from hidden places in our earth … and yes, also those where the dreams of alien horrors force mankind to bring about its own downfall (perhaps by nuclear or biological blunders). Those are areas we’ve tried to develop in our sample settings as well as in the detailed lists of inspirational movies / TV / comics / novels / stories that form an appendix to the core APOCTHULHU rules (coming later in the year).

We hope that those ideas about what makes for a “Lovecraftian” Apocalypse are broad enough that you can pick up the game and still make a bunch of different types of game settings … but that all of them ooze the same kind of cosmic dread that is central to HPL’s (and Robert Barlow’s) vision of our world’s demise.


APOCTHULHU Rises This Friday

Our team of tireless Apocalypse Builders has been working on APOCTHULHU for a long time (since December 2017, in fact). So it feels a bit surreal to be finally announcing that the very first part of this epic project is just about to be released to the world.

Yes, that’s right — APOCTHULHU is almost here.

Well, at least the APOCTHULHU Quickstart is almost here. We will be releasing it on DriveThruRPG this Friday.

The Quickstart is a 73-page PDF which gives you everything you need to start playing a game of APOCTHULHU. The PDF will be a “Pay-What-You-Want” release … and we’re planning a softcover version later in the year.

As well as having a cut-down (but feature-complete) version of the game mechanics, the QS contains:

  • Rules for creating Survivors (the player characters in the panoply of possible Mythos Post-Apocalypses you can play),
  • A Two-sided character sheet,
  • Six Pre-Generated Survivors,
  • A ready-to-use Post-Apocalypse setting (in fact, it’s one of the four we previewed here on the blog back in February), and
  • A fantastic pick-up-and-play scenario by Chad Bowser called “Amber Waves”.

Except for dice (or online dice substitutes) it contains absolutely everything you need to take the APOCTHULHU game rules for a spin, either for a one-shot run of the supplied scenario or for an extended scenario of your own invention.

In the lead up to the Quickstart release this Friday I thought I’d share some additional info in the coming days regarding the game and its approach to tackling the subject of “Lovecraftian” Post-Apocalypse gaming.

As you’ll note from the description of the QS, one unusual thing about APOCTHULHU is that it isn’t a game which is tied to a single Post-Apocalyptic setting, but rather a set of rules for bringing any number of different such settings to life. This was an early design choice we made. The reasoning behind that was fairly simple … we noticed that there are an awful lot of different ways in which Mythos fiction hints that our world might end. Even in Lovecraft, there are hints of several different nightmare scenarios which “are foretold” as ways in which the unthinkably alien forces of the Mythos might unseat mankind from his illusion of pre-eminence. Picking just one such setting as the Apocalyptic fall of humanity inherently sidelines a lot of *other* cool ideas which would be equally fertile springboards for game scenarios. Furthermore, picking one possible dystopian future as the basis for our game would make it difficult for folks to use APOCTHUHLHU as a vehicle for playing things like “the continuation of classic campaign X, in the event that the Mythos Investigators *didn’t* save the day after all.”

With all that in mind we tried to build a game that would support any kind of Mythos “End of the World.” Do you want to explore a world in which civilization fell after Shub-Niggurath bestowed her terrible gift of fertility on the land? Or would you prefer an Apocalypse where Nyarlathotep’s smooth words seduced global superpowers into mutual annihilation? Would your players find it fun to explore the ruins of the world left behind after R’lyeh rose heralding the return of Great Cthulhu? All of these things are possible settings for APOCTHULHU.

Now there are perils to building a game which has no deeply-embedded “world” associated with it, the biggest being that the GM has more work to do in establishing the setting. We’ve tried to counter that in APOCTHULHU in two ways. First, the core book — which will be out later in the year — has a lot of material which aims to streamline the process of defining and establishing a custom Post-Apocalyptic setting. The second approach we’ve taken is also providing a diverse set of “pick-up-and-use” game settings that our awesome writers have already outlined. Several of these pre-defined settings are also further fleshed out by way of “ready-to-run” scenarios. The goal is to provide a spectrum of different resources: if you’re a world-building kind of GM, you have simple, elegant and flexible tools to customize things to your heart’s content. If you’re after a one-shot, the scenarios have you covered … and if you’re somewhere in the middle, the pre-defined settings are an awesome springboard for your own creative elaborations.

The Quickstart has a slice of most of these elements — it has a stripped back version of the core rules, which you can use in any Post-Apocalyptic setting you like, it has a pre-defined setting called “This Fecund Earth”, and a ready-made scenario called which is tied to that setting.

We hope that you’ll grab yourself a copy of the APOCTHULHU Quickstart when it hits the virtual shelves on Friday, to see for yourself how much fun the Mythos Post-Apocalypse can be. Well, maybe “fun” isn’t the right word …

 

MORE PREVIEW INFO TO COME


APOCTHULHU Creeps Closer

Back in February we spent some time sharing sneak peaks at some of the content for APOCTHULHU, a brand new RPG that we’ve been working on for … er … quite a long time (we started back in 2017, but that seems a lifetime ago).

Since February, everyone’s lives have been a bit of a jumble, but our plucky APOCTHULHU team has kept moving forwards on finalizing text and graphics for the first release in the product line — the APOCTHULHU Quickstart rules. All going well, this should be out within the next month.

Recently we completed the cover design for the Quickstart. Here it is:

Most of the layout for the Quickstart has now been done, so I can say with some confidence that it will be a 72-page book and contain:

  • A cutdown (but fully-featured) version of the APOCTHULHU game rules,
  • A nifty two-page character sheet,
  • Six pre-generated APOCTHULHU Survivors (complete with full character sheets),
  • A sample Post-Apocalypse setting — actually one that we shared here on the blog back in February
  • An awesome introductory scenario by Chad Bowser

Here’s a sneak preview at one of the pages that’s gone through almost-but-not-quite-final layout. As you can see we have tried as hard as we can to make the books in the APOCTHULHU line visually pleasing while retaining high contrast between text and background.

The Quickstart will be released first as a PDF, then later as a softcover Print-on-Demand book. We’re cautious about promising timely turnaround of physical books at this point — based on how long international shipping is taking, we expect print proofs to take their sweet time getting to us for review.

For the PDF we will be supporting PDF layering which means you can easily switch off glossy background textures altogether (if the classic look is more your thing).

Finally, because everyone seems to have to put together promo videos for their new game to be taken seriously, here’s our first experiment at video promotion. This really is just an audio-visual teaser … but we will be creating another video or two which melds similar snazzy visuals with some voice-overs that tell you actual things about the game! Facts in ads? There’s something wrong with me, I know!

 


Kevin Ross, Monstruwacan

I mentioned the other day that we had a big, BIG, announcement that we’ve been keeping under our hats for a week or so. Something very exciting. Here it is:

Kevin Ross — perhaps the most prolific and well-regarded author of Call of Cthulhu material in the history of the game — is writing a sourcebook chapter for the APOCTHULHU core rules!

I have been trying to entice Kevin to write something for Cthulhu Reborn for quite some time, but he is a very busy writer with a long waiting list of people who want to make use of his many and varied talents. But, we have struck lucky on this particular occasion and inveigled ourselves into his schedule … and it was all thanks to William Hope Hodgson.

As we’ve mentioned here on the blog several times, a key goal of APOCTHULHU is to be a reusable and multipurpose engine that can fuel games set in many different versions of the Post-Apocalypse. When asking around for ideas of example literary or film settings we could use as examples of things GMs could try, Kevin casually replied in an email “of course, you’ll have already considered William Hope Hodgson’s Night Land.”

I must confess, dear reader, that I’d only vaguely heard of Hodgson’s sprawling novel The Night Land which takes in a far future when the sun has burned itself out and the remnants of humanity live in a vast pyramid. It sounded kind of intriguing, but as Kevin described more and more about the weirdly horrific world of the novel — complete with vast and alien horrors that lurk in the countryside poised to devour the last humans — the more compelling it sounded.

After Jo and I picked our jaws up off the floor we hastily asked Kevin whether he might be enticed to write up the Night Land setting as a sourcebook chapter for APOCTHULHU. To our collective excitement, he said yes, and in a couple of weeks’ (!) time we had a letter-perfect game rendition of Hodgson’s bizarre and dangerous world. I could try to describe its scope and grandeur and tremendous potential as a RPG setting, but I’m sure I could not top Kevin’s description:

The Night Land is a dark fantasy world, perhaps the darkest such setting ever imagined. The powers of Evil rule this world, from the least living creature to the Great Old One-like Watchers, to the perhaps even more potent residents of The House of Silence and the glowing vaporous pit of The Shine. Here are entities to rival or even surpass the potency of Cthulhu himself, entities so terrible their mere presence causes men to go mad or rush into their monstrously alien grasp.

All of this makes The Night Land a superb setting for roleplaying adventures. With its brooding atmosphere, its harsh environment, and its host of different horrific creatures, the Night Land as written is like somebody’s dark fantasy roleplaying campaign: a cross between Tolkien’s Mordor, Fantasy Flight Games’ Midnight setting for D&D, and the trenches of the first World War. Stocked with hordes of nightmarish Lovecraftian creatures.

It’s worth mentioning that H.P. Lovecraft waxed lyrical about William Hope Hodgson in his seminal 1927 essay “Supernatural Horror in Literature”, and specifically wrote a review of The Night Land which I still think is one of the best summaries of the novel’s strengths (and weaknesses):

Of rather uneven stylistic quality, but vast occasional power in its suggestion of lurking worlds and beings behind the ordinary surface of life, is the work of William Hope Hodgson, known today far less than it deserves to be. Despite a tendency toward conventionally sentimental conceptions of the universe, and of man’s relation to it and to his fellows, Mr. Hodgson is perhaps second only to Algernon Blackwood in his serious treatment of unreality. Few can equal him in adumbrating the nearness of nameless forces and monstrous besieging entities through casual hints and insignificant details, or in conveying feelings of the spectral and the abnormal in connection with regions or buildings …

The Night Land (1912) is a long-extended (538 pp.) tale of the earth’s infinitely remote future billions of billions of years ahead, after the death of the sun. It is told in a rather clumsy fashion, as the dreams of a man in the seventeenth century, whose mind merges with its own future incarnation; and is seriously marred by painful verboseness, repetitiousness, artificial and nauseously sticky romantic sentimentality, and an attempt at archaic language even more grotesque and absurd than that in [WHH’s other tale] Glen Carrig.

Allowing for all its faults, it is yet one of the most potent pieces of macabre imagination ever written. The picture of a night-black, dead planet, with the remains of the human race concentrated in a stupendously vast mental pyramid and besieged by monstrous, hybrid, and altogether unknown forces of the darkness, is something that no reader can ever forget: Shapes and entities of an altogether non-human and inconceivable sort — the prowlers of the black, man forsaken, and unexplored world outside the pyramid — are suggested and partly described with ineffable potency; while the night-land landscape with its chasms and slopes and dying volcanism takes on an almost sentient terror beneath the author’s touch.

Midway in the book the central figure ventures outside the pyramid on a quest through death haunted realms untrod by man for millions of years — and in his slow, minutely described, day-by-day progress over unthinkable leagues of immemorial blackness there is a sense of cosmic alienage, breathless mystery, and terrified expectancy unrivalled in the whole range of literature. The last quarter of the book drags woefully, but fails to spoil the tremendous power of the whole.

Kevin’s Night Land chapter for APOCTHULHU represents a self-contained sourcebook covering everything about the Night Land setting, from Survivor creation through to a detailed gazetteer of the weird geography of the setting and a statted bestiary of strange horrors. We’re expecting it will stretch to 40-ish pages, maybe a bit more.

William Hope Hodgson fans rejoice! Fans of dark and grim pseudo-fantasy-scifi rejoice! Fans of Kevin Ross rejoice!

Watch this space for future updates about APOCTHULHU and about Kevin’s excellent adaptation of WHH’s epic Night Land setting.


Apocalypse Sketch 4: The God From The Uttermost South

So … we’ve reached the end of February, our self-proclaimed APOCTHULHU preview month. So far we have provided “sneak peeks” of three of the example Lovecraftian Apocalypse settings that you could conceivably use our forthcoming RPG rules & sourcebook to bring to life at your game table. In truth, we’ve tried to design the rules to be open enough to power weird Apocalyptic games in a hugely diverse range of settings — so, the samples we provide in the book (and here) are really just that, examples to get your own creative juices flowing.

The sample settings we have revealed from our book manuscript so far are:

Now, its finally time to reveal the fourth-and-final Apocalypse setting preview. Before we do that, we’d like to thank the people who have given us positive words of encouragement about APOCTHULHU. Even more than that we’d like to thank  the many people who have voted in our poll — the number of folks casting their votes has truly amazed us. It’s also made us double our commitment to making sure that the APOCTHULHU book that we release in the coming months is high quality in terms of both writing and production values. We figure we owe you for the enthusiasm you’ve shown our humble project, and will repay that with the best our team’s collective skills can muster!

Anyway, with all that aside, let me present to you our fourth revealed setting.

Credits for the material from APOCTHULHU which appears below are as follows: the Apocalypse setting description was written by yours truly, while Car 648 and The Neural Netrix (both of which are statted in the actual book itself) are a creation of Chad Bowser.

The God From The Uttermost South (APOCTHULHU Example Setting #3)

In the early 1930s a pair of expeditions braved nigh-unsurpassable challenges to travel to the Antarctic regions – to not only reach the so-called Mountains of Madness but explore the ancient city ruins they contain. These structures, millions of years old, were built by the Elder Things as the heart of their empire. The twin expeditions uncovered a terrible secret that had lain buried for vast eons:  in the distant past, the Elder race had constructed a vast technological marvel, a machine that could attract a powerful Mythos god from space and trap it within a stasis. During a long-forgotten war the machine was used to lure and trap a vastly powerful yet unnamed thing – perhaps a Great Old One, perhaps a more cosmic god. When the expeditions reached the Mountains of Madness, they found that the trapped god-thing was still within the machine, and still alive. The only problem was that long millennia of entropy and decay had left the machine on the verge of permanent failure. Quick thinking was called for by the assembled expedition crew … but sadly they failed to avert the collapse of the machine.

With the ancient trap now ineffective the terrible and unknowable alien power was free to exert its influence across Earth for the first time. It began slowly, ejecting seedlings up into the atmosphere to fall across most of the Southern Hemisphere. Incredible news stories of black eruptions from volcanos in Antarctica hit the headlines. The black pods from these eruptions served two purposes: they devoured living things to channel much-needed energy down to the frozen thing at the South Pole, and they ensnared the minds of people with low character. These men and women worked to help spread the god’s influence still further by arranging for larger and larger samples of its alien flesh to be shipped around the world.

In time entire countries went dark, halting their communication with the world. Those places were ruthlessly depopulated by men and women mindlessly enslaved to the silent will of the alien god. Within a year, all communication from the southern half of the world had ceased and certain countries north of the equator were starting to fall as huge masses of the dark seeds were somehow smuggled into their borders. After another year, the entire world was under the influence of the once-imprisoned god, who had also now warmed from its million years of cold slumber sufficiently to leave its ancient jail.

  • When Did the Apocalypse Occur? The spread of the god’s influence started in 1935 but did not entirely consume the world until late 1937.
  • What Event was the Trigger? The original cause was the breakdown of the Elder Thing machinery that had long held the trapped god in stasis.
  • What Changed? The goal of the alien god is to subsume all of humanity into itself, and to kill anyone it cannot mentally integrate into its global telepathic control network. In the Post-Apocalypse world there is no need for communications technology (since everyone gets their instructions via telepathy and nobody has independent thoughts to share with one another). But all other forms of technology are still maintained – there is functioning electrical grids and well-maintained transport networks, both used extensively to harvest brains from captured “dissenters” (those who cannot be integrated) and ship them to wherever the alien god now resides.
  • How Long Afterwards? The game setting takes place a couple of years after the last ‘normal’ parts of the world finally fell to the influence of the alien god and its insidious dark seeds.
  • What is the World Like? Silent, and highly ordered. The controlled members of the human race work as an insect-like hive, following instructions issued telepathically by the once-imprisoned god. Concentration camps have been set up to house anyone who has not been successfully integrated – these people are subject to intensive ‘re-education’ and if that fails, they are slaughtered and their brains extracted as food for the god.

  • What Communities Exist? Not everyone has fallen under the spell of the ancient god; people of high integrity, will, or sensitivity have proven far more resistant. Such people, if they can survive the silent squads which trawl the cities and countryside in search of outcasts, still live a normal life scrounging what little they can safely obtain. Many small societies of such people have sprung up, but the larger the group the more likely they are to be tracked down by the black-suited elite squads.
  • What Mythos Entities? As the influence of the once-imprisoned god has gained dominance, it has become bolder in sending forth other extra-dimensional beings to work side-by-side with its mindless human workforce. Nobody knows whether these horrific alien monstrosities are parts of the god itself, children of the god, or simply allied creatures it has brought from some otherworldly or extra-dimensional place.
  • Is There Any Hope? The Game Moderator can decide whether there is any possibility of putting the alien god “back in the box” or somehow banishing it from Earth. If either of those (nigh-impossible) tasks could be achieved, it may be possible that the humans under its thrall could return to being independent.

Car 648, an example horror for The God From The Uttermost South

Those controlled by the world’s new god use the existing train infrastructure to ship the brains of dissenters to the central collection points. Sometimes, things go off the rails. Each train consists of the locomotive, a tender car, a guard car, and however many cerebral cars are needed. This train only had one.

Car 648 was carrying a supply of brains to the depot. What many don’t understand is that the god feasts upon the psychic energies of the brains, not the gray matter in and of itself. To that end, it’s a common occurrence for the god’s followers to link together the brains into a single psychic entity and torture it, creating even more food for their master.

A landslide eroded the tracks Car 648 was scheduled to use. As the train rolled over the weakened rails, it plummeted off the track and down a defile. The custodians of Car 648, as well as the crew and guards were all killed as the train plummeted. The one thing that didn’t die was the fused psychic entity.

Wounded and alone, in the wilderness, trapped in the train car, it thrashes in the psychic maelstrom, believing itself a veteran of a psychic war that was never fought.

It has access to numerous psychic abilities and could be a friend or foe, depending on how it’s approached and treated.

The Neural Netrix, an example ‘Tome’ / Device for The God From The Uttermost South

Created by the followers of the new god, these contraptions are a series of mental probes inserted into human brains and linked via cables. Each probe can be no more than a foot from the next and each netrix is limited to 256 probes.

Inserting a probe is an incredibly painful process as smaller feeler probes emerge and root their way through the neural pathways of the target brain. Once they find the memories they need – and it’s not one specific memory, it latches onto a different memory in each brain – it begins to interface and all the memories collide, creating a psychic feast for the new god.

What’s Next for APOCTHULHU?

While this is the last preview we are sharing for now, there are more announcements and surprises of an APOCTHULHU flavour that we’ll be making here on the blog (as well as on the Cthulhu Reborn twitter, @cthulhu_reborn). We might even share some more extracts of the book itself … though for now we need to switch back into actually getting this book of Apocalyptic horrors finished and published!


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