Ruth, over on the Illuminerdy, reviewed the Doomsday Edition of Cthulhu Apocalypse. Thanks Ruth! You can find the entire review on the Illuminerdy. Ruth says,
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“I found the Apocalypse Machine engaging in its versatility. It allows for an immense variety of apocalypses with even more resulting situations. A lot of post-apocalyptic writing, even in gaming, locks you into a very specific vision of the apocalypse. I think when it comes to horror gaming, the effectiveness depends in part on what people find personally horrifying. The machine allows a GM to tinker to her and/or her players’ fears about the end of the world and provides ample support for creating whatever world they end up in.”

“That part of the book fascinated me more because it had potentials I haven’t seen in most other post-apocalyptic games. What I appreciated most about the scenarios was that the path they followed was one which again diverges from the “standard” post-apocalyptic game settings.”

“Ultimately, if you want to play Trail of Cthulhu but you’re tired of stopping the apocalypse and want to try something different, this is the book for you. I found it thorough in imagining how things might play out, throwing off suggestions while leaving room for your improvisation. The character-building section was a strong Trail hack. And whether or not you play the scenarios as written, reading them will help any GM who’s trying to figure out how to run post-apocalyptic Investigations vs. post-apocalyptic shoot-em-ups.”

Pick up Cthulhu Apocalypse at the Pelgrane booth at GenCon, or pre-order in the store (PDF included).

On November 2nd, 1936, the world died.

Finally, the stars had come right; and things that lurked under the seas for eons rose to claim their rightful place. Now, they rule the earth, stalking it like titans.

Millions of women and men died—yet you survived, doomed to wander the ruins, searching for answers. What went wrong? Are there others like you? How can you stay alive? And is there a way to put this right?

Cthulhu Apocalypse is a survival horror supplement for the Trail of Cthulhu roleplaying game that takes Investigators into a terrifying post-apocalyptic world.

Using the award-winning Apocalypse Machine, GMs can destroy the world any number of ways—including the death rays of alien tripods, a plague of white flowers, or the rising of Great Old Ones—and run adventures of investigation and survival in a land transformed beyond recognition.


Cthulhu Apocalypse
includes:

  • The Apocalypse Machine, an award-winning GUMSHOE sandbox setting that gives you the tools to create your own global catastrophe—from the first strange rumblings to the final, cataclysmic event—along with Drives, Occupations, and more for adventures among the ruins.
  • Five adventures in the aftermath of disaster, taking Investigators through Britain, across the sea to America, and beyond the veils of reality as they struggle to survive. (Previously published as The Dead White World.)
  • Three adventures set years later, as the few survivors find their humanity cracking and moulting in the process of becoming something new. (Previously published as Slaves of the Mother.)
  • Eight all-new scenarios that give your players the choice as to whether—and how—humanity survives in this strange new world.
Stock #: PELGT40 Author: Graham Walmsley, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan
Artist: Alessandro Alaia Pages: 216, hardback book – includes PDF

Buy

Slaves_Cover_finalThe long-awaited conclusion of the Cthulhu Apocalypse campaign.

Three years ago, the world died.

Horrors now stalk the empty and overgrown streets of the civilisation that once existed here. The passage of three long, strange years has transformed the world into an unrecognisable landscape of horrors. There are a few survivors, living in the ruins of the past, but under the unfathomable pressure of the Mythos, their humanity is slipping away, cracking and moulting in the process of becoming something new.

Will the Investigators survive to the end – or will they even want to?

Slaves of the Mother contains the final three scenarios for Graham Walmsley’s Cthulhu Apocalypse. Written by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, it is supported by the Gold ENnie-winning The Apocalypse Machine campaign setting for Trail of Cthulhu.

 

Stock #: PELGT31D Author: Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Graham Walmsley
Artist: Alessandro Alaia Pages: 76pg PDF

Buy

Kafka reviews The Apocalypse Machine on rpg.net – another  9/10

The sourcebook takes the skeleton provided by Trail of Cthulhu’s Gumshoe rules and warps it to meet the needs of the post apocalyptic world by the addition of a very simple heuristic or tool for creating the end of the world – The Apocalypse Machine. It uses the analogy of dials on some sort of diabolic machine that allows the Keeper to set the magnitude and scale of the apocalypse, as well as controls for the time frame. Allowing the Keeper to create their own specific dead world, it could be bleak like in Comac McCathy’s The Road or still cling onto some vestiges of civilization á la Mad Max. I think it is this degree of control that makes this supplement so unique and what appeals to me – that the apocalypse might be slow and insidious or has already occurred or happened in the distant past.

There is a review of Graham Wamlsey’s opening chapters of Cthulhu Apocalpyse here on rpg.net (9/10)

Everyone was very happy with the scenario at its end. It was bleak, very Lovecraftian, and will be remembered as a gaming highlight by myself for many years to come. A lot of the credit for the excellent series of sessions must rest on the author – Graham Walmsley – who has crafted a horrible situation for players to navigate that is not a familiar Mythos monster charging down upon you, or a cult needing foiling. For this original conceit, I must applaud the author. His many sidebars, ideas, and notes (including the Save Vs. Apocalypse sidebar on escaping Dover as it is destroyed) make the scenario an inspiring piece to run.

by Graham Walmsley

The second part of the new Cthulhu Apocalypse series, Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Apocalypse Machine is a rich sandbox setting, allowing players to construct their own apocalypse, from the first strange rumblings beneath the earth to the final, cataclysmic event. It will take Trail of Cthulhu adventures into a post-apocalyptic world, giving you new Drives, Occupations, a full guide to the Mythos and much more.

Here’s a sample, giving three disasters which might befall the world.

Floods

At first, it was an oddity, the high tides reaching ever higher. The coastal towns were the first to go. We became scared when Venice went under: the pictures in the newspapers showed St Mark’s Square standing nearly a metre deep in water. When Amsterdam drowned, the governments moved to protect New York and London. For a while, sandbags kept back the water, armies of volunteers building the barriers ever higher. But eventually, the weight of the water was too much. When a breach came, there was no way back.

The water drowned the cities. For a while, it was only a foot deep. People moved to the upper floors, swapped cars for boats, and continued their business. But the floods kept rising. An early casualty was drinking water: clean water mixed with sewage and seawater, making the cities uninhabitable. Populations rushed to higher ground. In the United States, everyone moved west: Denver, with its reputation as the Mile High City, was besieged. In Britain, Harrogate became the new capital. Today, if you take a boat, and look down through the water, you can see the drowned buildings we used to inhabit.

What does the flooded world look like?

Tropical, with jungles surrounding lagoons.

Cold, with the tops of buildings poking through vast expanses of water.

Wrecked, with debris and wreckage floating past.

Floods can damage:

Water (although this sounds strange, floods do damage the supply of clean, drinkable water)

Food

Knowledge

Soil

Earthquakes

When the first shocks hit, we knew what was coming. There was nothing we could do. In the middle of the city, you are never safe: you are always close to a wall, gas pipe or rolling vehicle. We stayed still, then watched, as the city we knew crumbled beneath us. Monuments fell, trees were uprooted and a network of cracks ran through every wall, road and marble facade.

What does the aftermath of the earthquake look like?

A mass of warped, leaning buildings.

An endless carpet of debris.

A smoking, soaked bowl of ash, dust and blackened water.

An apocalyptic earthquake will level the cities of the Earth in hours, then burn the remnants in the following days. It strikes without warning. Buildings fall as the ground beneath them liquifies. That initial shock destroys bridges, roads and lines of communication, which prevents the medical and fire services responding. Power lines and gas pipes are severed.

Thereafter, a series of aftershocks hits the city, again and again, until only rubble is left. In the days after, fires spread. With no communication and impassable roads, response is nearly impossible.

Note that, according to modern seismology, a global earthquake is impossible. But seismology in the 1930s was in its infancy. By the standards of the day, no-one would be surprised if an earthquake shook the world.

Earthquakes can lead to:

Floods.

They damage:

Water.

Food.

Knowledge.

Soil.

Cold

The snow never stopped falling. At first, the roads were passable, and we got by with snow-chains. Later, the cars froze into the ground, and nothing we could do would get them out. As the snow deepened, we retreated into the upper floors of buildings. Millions died from exposure, but most remained happy, walking on rivers that had not frozen for years.

Next, the water froze in the pipes. Most of our power was spent melting snow to drink, but then the power lines went, and nobody could dig far enough to repair them. Fortunately, what little water we produced was clean: sewage could not contaminate it, because the sewage was frozen. Skis and sleds became part of everyday life.

As time went by, the crops refused to grow and the glaciers, encroaching from the north, destroyed cities. People retreated south, walking on the frozen sea, fighting over land and food. Many forged forward to the equator, hoping to establish themselves as the first. Soon, however, all of what remained of humanity converged on that small band of habitable land. Now, the nights grow colder, and humanity awaits its end.

What does the icy world look like?

A snowfield, with the tops of once-familiar buildings poking through the top.

A crystal paradise, with icicles glittering in the clear sun.

Grey, with snow falling endlessly from the dark clouds above.

Cold can damage:

Water (that is, the supply of water)

Food.

Knowledge.

Soil.

Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Apocalypse Machine will be released later this year.

We are in need of playtesters for the second part of the Cthulhu Apocalypse series (the first part, The Dead White World, is available to buy now).

The Apocalypse Machine is a campaign setting which allows players to construct their own apocalypse, deciding everything from the initial cause (from droughts to disease to Dagon and everything in between), to the fallout and the eventual survival conditions. The players get to decide why the water in that particular part of the country is unsafe to drink and where fresh crops will still grow and even where they can stock up on shotguns and baseball bats to defeat the Deep One hordes.

The idea of this playtest would be for your group to construct an apocalypse using the Machine and play a session or two in it then let us know how it went. If you’re interested, please email me with ‘Apocalypse Machine Playtest’ as the subject, stating whether you’ve playtested for us before. The deadline for feedback is the end of May.

Matt McElroy over at Flames Rising has put up a preview of The Dead White World. It includes an extract from the first adventure and is a precursor to a week of Pelgrane-themed content (date TBC). You can read the full preview here.

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The winner of the Grand Prize in the Cthulhu Apocalypse Competition is Benjamin Charvet. He gets Play Unsafe, A Taste For Murder and a signed copy of the Eternal Lies Suite. We are sifting through the individual winners, and we’ll announce them soon.

Here are the answers:

1. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
2. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
3. Nyarlathotep, by H. P. Lovecraft
4. The Scarlet Plague, by Jack London
5. The Death Of Grass, by John Christopher
6. A Wrinkle In The Skin, by John Christopher.
7. The World in Winter, by John Christopher.
8. The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham
9. The Drowned World, by J. G. Ballard.
10. The Purple Cloud, by M. P. Shiel
11. The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham.
12. The Call of Cthulhu, by H. P. Lovecraft
13. The Book of Revelation, by John.

In celebration of the release of The Dead White World, the first three scenarios of Cthulhu Apocalypse, author Graham Walmsley has put together a fantastic competition with the chance to win a numbered list of thirteen works of postapocalyptic fiction. All you have to do is figure out which book relates to which symbol. Subtle clues are given and you’re welcome to use the internet and Wikipedia to its full capacity.

We launched this competition to coincide with the release of Cthulhu Apocalypse. The first person to name each work of fiction won the book. However, nobody claimed the grand prize for naming all 13 books. If you can, that prize is yours.

The full map and clues can be found here.

Rules

Submit your entries in this format – number, title, author (e.g. 7. The Postman by David Brin) by email to cthulhuapocalypse@gmail.com

Please submit all 13 book titles in one email. The first person to get them all right wins the grand prize, which includes copies of Play Unsafe and A Taste For Murder, both written by Graham. And perhaps some other things too.

Do not wait until you have all thirteen answers, just send them in when you have them.

The closing date for entries is midnight UTC 1st April 2011.

Feel free to post answers in the comments section for bragging rights but your entry will not be counted unless you email your answer to the below address.

The Map

View Cthulhu Apocalypse competition in a larger map

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