Swords of Cthulhu

You can never have too many options when you’re throwing some Lovecraftian horrors into your campaign. So here’s a new for your old-school games.

Swords of Cthulhu is the latest offering from BRW Games. And yes I did back the Kickstarter. Swords of Cthulhu plays along well and is basically designed around Adventures Dark and Deep as its supplements like The Book of Lost Lore. But don’t let that stop you. Like most old-school offerings, it can get added to to whatever set of specific rules that you may be using.

All right, so what do you get? Let’s start of with additional races and classes. Of course, there’s a Deep-One Hybrid but I do find the Degenerate much more interesting and useful overall as catch-all for remote, isolated, and corrupted weirdos that worship some Elder God. For classes, there’s two options. The Cultist (cleric subclass) and Scholar which is a magic-user “split” class. The Cultist may not be the best for player characters. It does depend on what you want in your campaign. But the class does have a decent breakdown of the power of each of the cults of the Elder Ones. So if you not letting players use it, there’s plenty of information and inspiration for the GM. The Scholar is a bit odd. When a Magic-User reaches 7th then they may become a Scholar. There’s a couple of extra conditions but that’s basically it. They may gain spells and have their own list but they also gain specialized skills that will really add some useful abilities to the character that aren’t part of the normal Magic-User package. This also leads into the section of New Spells all with that creepy Elder vibe. There is a great selection of spells. Something much more evocative than the all the spells that we’re used to. And I’d say ripe to get mixed, matched, and combined with the list from Realms of Crawling Chaos.

Next up, there’s GM advise and the obligatory Lovecraftian Insanity mechanics. Nice but let’s to get to what everybody wants. MONSTERS! I know what some of you are probably saying. “Don’t we have enough crazy monsters already?” No. Why? Well, the Mythos Monsters aren’t standard fantasy fare. Not like Orcs. And as GM, it’s a good tool to various interpretations of them. Not only can you use different one’s in the same campaign. It gives you inspiration to combine them and keep the player characters really guessing and scared.

Magic items, grimoires, and artifacts round out the book. Sure you may seen some of this before but this is an additional take on them so it’s another fine tool in your GM tool box. There’s some really nice ideas in this section. Books with random missing pages. Effects and the usefulness of reading said books. There’ some really interesting magic items too. Some useful and some cursed. I see myself pulling a lot of inspiration from this section.

Wrapping up the book is that section on the Elder Gods themselves. In true old-school fashion, the gods have game stats. If it has HP then we can kill it. Yeah. Nope. But it’s fun to watch characters try.

So overall. It’s a good buy for tools and inspiration if you want weird Lovecraftian campaign. Mixing it up with whatever rules you happen to use should be easy. Right off the top of my head, I’d throw a bunch of this stuff into Hyperborea or LotFP campaign. But that’s just me.

You can grab Swords of Cthulhu in PDF and POD at DrivethruRPG.

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