Green Ronin Announces 'Cthulhu Awakens' RPG

Green Ronin has announced a new standalone Cthulhu mythos tabletop RPG. It will come to Kickstarter in February, and is described as an inclusive take on Lovecraftian canon, powered by by their in-house Adventure Game Engine. The game takes place at any time in the last century, which it describes as the 'Weird Century'.

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Green Ronin Publishing is proud to announce that its latest AGE System roleplaying game, Cthulhu Awakens, will begin crowdfunding on Kickstarter on February 15, 2022. Cthulhu Awakens is a complete roleplaying game where a diverse set of protagonists confront the horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos. It will be a 270+ page full color hardback book, with additional material unlockable through Kickstarter stretch goals.

Cthulhu Awakens deviates from Lovecraftian “canon” in the interests of creating an inclusive setting fit for the roleplaying campaign medium. In the game the original Mythos stories hinted at the truth, but it was obscured by their authors’ biases and fallibilities. Cthulhu Awakens creates a distinct vision of the Mythos that provides a new springboard for Cosmic Horror roleplaying. It allows you to play at any point between the 1920s and the present day, through a period it calls “the Weird Century.”

Cthulhu Awakens is a stand-alone RPG powered by Green Ronin’s popular Adventure Game Engine (AGE), a dynamic and easy to learn system whose games include Fantasy AGE, Modern AGE, Blue Rose: The Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy, and the licensed RPGs Dragon Age and The Expanse. Cthulhu Awakens evolves the Modern AGE rules, customizing them for the Cosmic Horror genre, but the game is also substantially compatible with other AGE RPGs.

“The Cthulhu Mythos is one of the pillars of modern roleplaying,” said Green Ronin Publishing president Chris Pramas, “so with the success of Modern AGE it was only natural we explore it, but we wanted to make sure we had the right team and a distinct, inclusive direction for the game.” The writing and design team for Cthulhu Awakens includes Sharang Biswas, David Castro, Elizabeth Chaipraditkul, Hiromi Cota, H.D. Ingham, Khaldoun Khelil, Danielle Lauzon, Ian Lemke, Monte Lin, Jack Norris, and Malcolm Sheppard.

The February 15, 2022, Kickstarter will not only fund a physical release of the book estimated by the end of 2022, but it will also include stretch goals for things like adventures and VTT token packs, plus options to explore other AGE System games at a discount. The campaign also features a special offering for backers in its first 48 hours.


H.P. Lovecraft, creator of the Cthulhu Mythos (beginning with the short story The Call of Cthulhu in 1928) is well known for his racist views which are reflected in his works. Much of the Cthulhu Mythos itself, including Lovecraft's own work, has been in the public domain since the 1980s.
 

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eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
Well, in terms of very specific business decisions, you'd have to ask the people doing that, which you can easily do by email or social media, if you feel like it. If you don't, cool. Like, I don't know which prior Kickstarters you're dissatisfied with because you didn't say, and even if I did, I probably don't have the specific knowledge. As for this one, which comes in 20 days, I have a feeling that more information will come out in, say, the next 20 days. It's not really my job to take your money, so you don't have to hand it over, no worries. I don't know where GIVE ME MONEY NO QUESTIONS ASKED was in the FAQ, which would defeat the purpose of it. In any event, if you have a specific question--say, a salient point, there are people (mostly not me) you can ask! If this is some kind of angry challenge, I'm not interested! Cheers!

In terms of asking that I prove this game has things 13 other RPGS don't within the confines of a forum post? 1) Sure it does. I look forwward to talking about it more in that spacious period of 20 days. 2) Fundamentally, the game is the way it is because it pleased the team writing and designing it to make it that way. AGE is fun, I know it pretty well, and there are some ideas that came out of interacting with the source material critically from the start, instead of to flavour a genre, create a process to emulate a genre, or act as a more direct literary exploration, that I look forward to sharing.
Thank you.
 

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MGibster

Legend
I don't know how it compares to other forms of open ended gaming in a 100 year timespan that assumes classic Mythos fiction is unreliable, biased narration, but I applaud your appreciation of the term Alienation. We bopped around a few ideas before settling on it last year.
I think Alienation is a better descriptive word to use for what happens with exposure to cosmic horror than "sanity" loss.
 

eyebeams

Explorer
Player rolls and gets triple 6s
Player: my investigator will use 6 stunt points to push the shoggoth 20 feet back. Take-li-li that, sludge face!
1) If it fits the cardinal rule of stunts needing to have a story explanation, that sounds badass! Can't explain it, can't do it!
2) We don't use the term "investigator" that way. You may be thinking of another very fine game that probably has different, albeit legit and cool design goals.
3) 6 SP is a 12 yard push. Hope this helps!
 


Aldarc

Legend
And more details...

The more I read, the more interested I am in it. I like the direction this is going.
I'm considering the idea of a Cthulhu Awakens game that isn't really about the Mythos or investigating it at all but, rather, just having it as sort of a background element that unfolds in the game as the PCs are doing other action-adventure heroics.
 

ruemere

Adventurer
This might clear things up.

Hey there,

The FAQ left me with a few questions:

1. EU shipping. Are you planning to have an EU distribution partner for physical copies of the game?

2. Are you planning to have a blog with some juicy bits? If so, could you give us a link?

3. My personal favorite take on Lovecraftian horror is Silent Legions by Sine Nomine with its make your own mythos approach and yet I still love the reinventing the known by Pelgrane Press with Esoterrorists, Fall of Delta Green, and so many more. Do you plan on helping people go beyond the familiar tropes? Not asking for details, mind you, just would like to know if you plan to experiment.
 

Kind of surprised this is what Green Ronin is doing next. Seems like a crowded area. But honestly their decisions as of late just perplex me. Still cannot believe they never brought their most popular franchise Freeport to 5E.

I confess, the broader GR strategy confuses me too.

Mutants and Masterminds was huge for them for a long time, but the third edition got almost no support for a long time after release other than tiny and wildly overpriced pdfs, belated print compilations of those pdfs, or conversions of 2e books with largely recycled material. The whole M&M line is basically dead now, there hasn't been a new release for a couple of years despite promises. There's a patreon (I'm a supporter, though i often question why i bother any more) but all it offers is 3e stat blocks for never-converted 2e villains, and the odd liveplay or chat stream. How do you just abandon what was probably the most popular superhero game system at a time when superheroes have never been more culturally prominent?

Then they went hard into AGE and licenced properties. Dragon Age, Game of Thrones, the Expanse. But licenced games based on TV shows have an inherent lifespan - once the show wraps (or once everyone's finished the video game), interest fades. (I still reckon they should have pushed hard for the Warhammer 40000 TTRPG rights, because that's an IP that hangs around, and besides, Wrath and Glory is a bit of a dud and GR probably would have done better) They brought Blue Rose to 5e but not Freeport, which was a D&D setting to start with and which would be a much better fit. And now a veer sideways into cosmic horror, competing with (conservatively) 20 other products?

They were my favourite 3rd party developer for a long time. I own pretty much all the M&M line (I'm a big fan, which might be one of the reasons I'm crabby about how it was treated) and i bought a lot of their d20 supplements too. But what they've been doing over the last few years isn't anything i really understand. I mean, they don't owe me anything and obviously AGE is working for them financially or they wouldn't be doing what they're doing, and good luck to them. I'm just confused about what sort of company they're trying to be and what their strategy is. AGE as the new GURPS, with an AGE game covering every possible genre and property?
 


Mutants and Masterminds was huge for them for a long time, but the third edition got almost no support for a long time after release other than tiny and wildly overpriced pdfs, belated print compilations of those pdfs, or conversions of 2e books with largely recycled material.

I think the M&M line took a huge hit when GR could only keep the DC license for a few years before losing it. 3rd Edition became all about the DC-branded core books and then that went away and they had to pull all the non-DC rules out of those releases and rebundle it all into the Heroes Handbook. While it is still a good system, I believe all of that chased a lot of newer players away, the ones who came to the game because of the DC branding.
 

I think the M&M line took a huge hit when GR could only keep the DC license for a few years before losing it. 3rd Edition became all about the DC-branded core books and then that went away and they had to pull all the non-DC rules out of those releases and rebundle it all into the Heroes Handbook. While it is still a good system, I believe all of that chased a lot of newer players away, the ones who came to the game because of the DC branding.

I'm not sure that's the case. M&Ms heyday was definitely during its second edition, there were loads of high-quality sourcebooks coming out, the third-party supplement market was booming, and it'd largely overtaken Hero as the leading points-buy, relatively crunch-heavy supers RPG. It was the 2e->3e transition that was the turning point, and not because of any flaws in the 3e system.

I think it probably didn't help that when 3rd ed came out, the DC books were released first and the non-licenced stuff didn't come til much, much later. But what really killed it was the subsequent release schedule. There was months or years of just dribbling out Gadget Guide or Power Profile or Threat Report micro-pdfs, and then MUCH later stuffing them in a compilation hardback and re-releasing them as-is. Compared to, say, the 2e Ultimate Power book which was chock full of advice and new mechanics, the 3e Power Profiles books was an incredible disappointment. Very few new powers or flaws etc, no attempt to deal with the system weaknesses that were clearly obvious by then (problems with Shrinking and Weaken, the uselessness of Impervious, some BADLY needed clarifications on Limited Afflictions, the lack of any way to make powers independent...). It was just a lazy, phoned-in release, and the pattern was echoed in Atlas of Earth-Prime and Gadget Guides. Hero High 3e was basically a re-statted reprint of the 2e book with some timeline advancement, and most of the content of the Golden/Silver/Iron Age 2e books were lifted and dropped into 3e books as well. The new default setting of Emerald City was a bit more prescriptive than Freedom City was, and didn't develop anything like the traction. There was a bit of a return to form later with books like the Cosmic Handbook and Superteam Guidebook which actually contained new content, but by then the horse had bolted.

I quite liked the 3e system, and I'd still use it in preference to 2nd. It was clearly a bit rushed (probably due to deadlines with the DC licence) and needed more playtesting to iron out the minor annoying kinks, but it certainly had the right ideas. But GR really appeared to have simply lost interest in the line by then. All the development effort was going elsewhere, into AGE presumably, and it really showed in the quality and quantity of material coming out. GR staffers vanished from the M&M forums, promised products were released at a glacial pace if at all while GR churned out product after product for other games, and the amount of 3rd party material that was being produced (which was enormous in 2e, and often very high quality) rapidly dropped off a cliff as the game steadily died. I think Misfit Games are the only ones who are sporadically bothering these days, though Vigilance Press tried valiantly up until a couple of years back.
 


eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
Full MSRP plus shipping on top, as expected.

Though to be fair, at least this time, looking at the revealed stretch goals you will get an extra PDF in addition. That's better than their normal terms. Progress by inches is still progress, I suppose.
 



eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
That’s pretty standard. Mine are too, as are most Kickstarters I back. Seems an odd thing to have a problem with.
I don't think so.

Respectfully, if I were inclined to back your games, and those were the terms, I probably wouldn't.

Unless there was compelling exclusive backer content, but that's pretty rare nowadays.

If most publishers just use KS as pre-order storefront now, then I think it's perfectly reasonable, as a consumer, to compare the value from Storefront A to Storefront B.

Why wouldn't I?

The common counter-argument to that would be that I'm helping bring a dream to life and that it's not about the money per se. I've seen that alot.

To which, I would say why does that only apply one way? Why is it unreasonable to point out that I'm not getting a good deal when the creator gets a great deal? I mean, they get to charge full MSRP and shipping, while also cutting out the distributors and retailers, those are pretty great margins. You can't knock off five bucks or eat shipping? That's fine, I'll order it later for below retail and free shipping.
 



eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
I
Interested to see what kind of value the stretch goals add. Green Ronin's crowdfunding to date has been "pay us MSRP plus shipping and maybe get a free PDF that most other companies hand out for free with physical purchase already but we don't because we're Green Ronin. "
There you go.

I don't consider getting a PDF of a book I already bought as a "deal". Tons of other publishers give these out with physical copies as a matter of course. I suspect Green Ronin doesn't to, at least in part, create the artificial impression of value.

But hey, I wasn't all negative. I saw they are giving out a PDF of the main AGE book with pledges which is more than I figured they would do. It's something.
 

teitan

Legend
We backed it ourselves. I can’t get into Chaosium BRP anymore and love the Mythos m, barnacles and all along with the new school work like Alan Moore and Lovecraft Country etc.
 

I
There you go.

I don't consider getting a PDF of a book I already bought as a "deal". Tons of other publishers give these out with physical copies as a matter of course. I suspect Green Ronin doesn't to, at least in part, create the artificial impression of value.

But hey, I wasn't all negative. I saw they are giving out a PDF of the main AGE book with pledges which is more than I figured they would do. It's something.
I'm inclined to agree that for Kickstarters, if I buy a physical, copy, I expect a PDF.
 

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