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The Cthulhu Hack
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The Cthulhu Hack

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What's The Cthulhu Hack?

It's a standalone game of investigation horror, pitting ordinary people against the sanity-shattering horrors of Lovecraftian gods and monsters.

It's a fast and simple system, with just two mechanics - Saves and Resources - that handle your ability to escape threats and to manage your dwindling faculties for investigation and sanity.

Why Choose The Cthulhu Hack?

Role-playing offers a lot of games set against a backdrop of Lovecraft's mythos; The Cthulhu Hack focuses on simple, accessible rules and mechanics designed to emulate the slow spiral of self-destruction that dominates Lovecraft's original tales. Campaigns becomes about the over-arching threat against the whole of humankind, rather than the insignificant lives of just a few investigators.

What's in the Core Book?

Revised and expanded since the original 2016 release, the 52-page core book offers:

  • simple mechanics to handle threats and investigation, using a standard set of seven polyhedral dice (from 1D4 to 1D20)
  • read-to-play archetypes for quick pick-up play or a fast and flexible character creation system to tailor Investigators to your specific needs
  • a range of tweaks to the core mechanics, both standard and optional, to tailor the game to your style - including Wealth, Fortune, Adrenalin and Shock
  • a shambling horde of Mythos horrors - including Mi-Go, Deep Ones, Shoggoth and more - to challenge your Investigators
  • a complete and updated adventure - Save Innsmouth - as well as a 2-page example of play

Want More?

If you want to learn more about the game itself, check out an example of adventure conversion of The Haunting and the rough-and-ready conversion guide for other popular Mythos games on the Just Crunch Games website [external link, use the Search to find a ton of articles], or give the game a test run with the Quickstart Nocturnal Rites.

After that, you can create new horrors using the tools in From Unformed Realms, delve into creating your own investigations using the ENnie nominated The Haunter of the Dark, disturb the spawning sack of the cult of Shub-niggurath in The Dark Brood, or dive right into a bunch of ready-to-run investigations in the award-winning Three Faces of the Wendigo and Thro' Centuries Fixed.

Join the Google+ The Cthulhu Hack Community group to field questions, post your session reports, and provide feedback on this and other releases.

Reviews from Other Sites

Paul Maclean - "The Cthulhu Hack… at The Breakfast Club we love it!" (Cthulhu Breakfast Club /, at AireCon 4)

Steven Robert - "If you want at least a little bit of butt-kicking, or if you like tossing dice, The Cthulhu Hack is the clear choice." (RPGGeek)

Eric Dodd - "I welcome the appearance of The Cthulhu Hack to the crowded Lovecraftian RPG mantlepiece. If you liked the simplicity of Cthulhu Dark but felt you needed a few more tools and levers to build a game around, without having to track 40 or 50 skills or detailed weapon statistics, then The Cthulhu Hack might be just what you’re looking for." (RPGGeek)

Mike Hill - "The bottom line is that I will actually play this game. I download a lot of projects that never make it off the hard drive." (The World According to CARP)

Simon Burley - "The Cthulhu Hack hit my doorstep today and it's bloody good!" (author of superheroes classic Golden Heroes)


  • Created with The Black Hack: This is a standalone product, including the Open Game License material of The Black Hack.
  • The core rule book file is digest-sized, scaled to A5. Save Innsmouth was previously available as a standalone product.
 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (3)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Frank T July 31, 2018 5:26 pm UTC
I'm having problems with the links in this paragraph from "Want More?"

example of adventure conversion of The Haunting,
Just Crunch Games,
rough-and-ready conversion guide.
Customer avatar
Paul B July 31, 2018 5:40 pm UTC
It would appear that while it wasn't necessarily true in the past, the site now appears to strip away all hyperlinks. You can follow the Just Crunch Games link and use the search in the top right, using Haunting or conversion as your search term.
Customer avatar
Frank T July 31, 2018 5:45 pm UTC
Paul, do you mean search the Just Crunch Games section of Drivethrurpg? Or search on the website? Sorry if I am missing something obvious.
Customer avatar
Frank T July 31, 2018 5:59 pm UTC
Ok, I figured it out after tightening the straps on my thinking cap. ;)
Customer avatar
Nathan C February 20, 2018 5:45 am UTC
Sorry to bother you, is the POD version coming back anytime soon or am I just missing it?
Customer avatar
Paul B February 20, 2018 6:44 am UTC
No bother at all! I haven't overcome the hurdles of making a POD version available here, because the process keeps running into errors that I'm having trouble resolving through the pre-print stage. However, you can get a fine print edition from All Rolled Up's web store (with matt cover and off-white pages) or Lulu (with gloss cover and white pages). The moment I can get the issues resolved, there'll be POD here, too.
Customer avatar
Paul B July 08, 2018 1:38 pm UTC
Files have been submitted - including all the latest updates to content and the revised cover image. Fingers crossed!
Customer avatar
Paul B July 31, 2018 4:49 pm UTC
Softcover option now available to order! Latest version of the Core Rules with the latest version of the cover.
Customer avatar
Jeff W November 25, 2017 3:48 pm UTC
Seems the new HD as Resource (HDR) document isn't quite complete. One of the usage examples is truncated that starts with "A robust investigator" ... ends with "reducing the attack to 9 damage, which means the player" ... which means the player what ? Figure it would have been nice to also have the details on healing when running HDR. I get that the character can heal 1HD daily by themself ... which would be a step up ... but what if they receive external healing, one step up ( limited at HD max ) per HD of the heal ? I'm looking at using HDR generally, I love that this removes yet another distinct mechanic from the game and makes things just that much more consistent.
Customer avatar
Paul B November 25, 2017 5:26 pm UTC
Thanks for the catch - I have amended the section boundary to show the bit that was missing and added a bit of an experimental note about healing, which I leave to individual groups to tweak to taste.
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