From publisher blurb:
So what is this all about? Does the world really need a new Lovecraft RPG System?
Some folks that have lurked here for a while will already have some context about why we spent the best part of a year making a new iteration of the D100-based rules engine first published in our APOCTHULHU RPG.
It’s definitely true that several fantastic tabletop RPGs exist with various influences from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. Some of them have huge libraries of published supplements stretching back decades. If you’re a player of one of those games and you are 100% happy with the rules engine they offer, then we heartily support you sticking with the game you love — we absolutely would, too.
If, on the other hand, you are a would-be game writer or publisher (or even a “homebrewer”) who has ambitions that are not easily achieved within the licensing regimes for existing games, our 100% open (as in Wizards of the Coast OGL flavor of “open”), Cthulhu Eternal might be your new best system.
We have long wished for a great set of English-language RPG rules that would empower creators to self-publish their original ideas and stretch the boundaries of the cozy “island” that most Lovecraftian RPGs have traditionally settled upon. Such a system exists in German (the absolutely awesome FHTAGN RPG) and that example inspired us to make something similar. Cthulhu Eternal is the result.
What’s in each Cthulhu Eternal SRD?
The idea of each System Reference Document is to provide a full set of rules — in text form only — that would allow someone to run a game set in the nominated era, and covering events that are common to Lovecraft-y game adventures.
In a nutshell, the 100-pages of each SRD is broken up like this:
Part One describes the rules of the game, and comprises:
- A lengthy section describing Protagonists (the generic name given to player characters in Cthulhu Eternal games). This includes a description of all the game attributes that define a Protagonist — characteristics like Strength, Intelligence, Power, Charisma, etc., as well as Skills, Protagonist Bonds to other people and to communities, ratings for their relative access to Resources, as well as ratings that measure their mental stability.
- A detailed but streamlined system for Combat, covering all the ways that Protagonists and their adversaries can attempt to deal damage, or avoid the hostile intentions of others.
- A comprehensive Sanity system, which attributes damaging effects to Protagonists (and other characters) that result not just from encounters with the bizarre and/or Unnatural, but also from more mundane horrors such as witnessing or participating in violence.
- Simple systems for describing special forms of equipment or vehicles that might become important to play.
- A set of rules to allow players to explore what their Protagonists do during Downtime — times between adventures when they can interact with their loved ones, attempt to learn or recover, or even to plumb the depths of the Unnatural (not recommended).
Part Two of each SRD is designed for Game Moderators, and includes:
- A system of game mechanics describing Maddening Revelations of the secret or hidden nature of reality, whether found in musty old tomes or chiseled into the walls of an ancient Mesopotamian ruin.
- A set of rules for Supernatural Effects which might arise from encounters with extra-dimensional horrors, or via human dabbling into Rituals which unlock vast and generally unpleasant forces.