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Mark Morrison's Deadwave
by A. M. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2018 22:53:13

The download was flawless, and the one thing I really found OK or better were layout & roleplaying stats. Deadwave delivers a crude & obvious horror, alike Zombie-Apocalypse, escaped lunatic killer, or monster-hunter aka gut-the-nextbest-orc kinda crude & mindless kinda storyline. The author insists that vengeance (revenge) and hatred are powerful, but fails to make any true connection to the Cthulhu mythos AND does not even reach the prose, game mastery, or detail level and considerations of roleplay we got from Chaosium in the first edition of the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game. Same with Trail of Cthulhu, as again ir has a much better grasp on what roleplaying actually means.

Others may like the concept, but I think it is completely misplaced in Call of Cthulhu, as there are games focused on the quick, mindless, and brutal kinda violence-worship. Well, actually I would still consider this too dumb and ill-prepared, when coming as a WoD-Slasher idea or with raging Sith thugs wielding red lightsabres... Bad work, to me not even worth a real review.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mark Morrison's Deadwave
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Mark Morrison's Deadwave
by Haydn B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2017 17:49:53

Deadwave is a great little adventure that can slot in nicely into just about any campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scenario Upgrade Pack: "The Stars Are Right!"
by Haydn B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2017 00:58:58

An outstanding resource for anyone wanting to run The Stars Are Right using the current edition of the rules and setting it in the present day.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scenario Upgrade Pack: "The Stars Are Right!"
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Convicts & Cthulhu: Ticket of Leave #6
by Perry T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2017 01:39:04

Another smashing low cost Ticket of Leave.

Highly recomend all Convicts & Cthulhu materials



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convicts & Cthulhu: Ticket of Leave #6
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Deluxe Handout Pack: Island of Ignorance
by Perry T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/13/2017 12:49:57

Cthulhu Reborn have excelled themselves in creating a fantastic set of handouts to complememnt the excellent Golden Goblin Press "Island of Ignorance – The Third Cthulhu Companion".

Highly recomended



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Handout Pack: Island of Ignorance
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Convicts & Cthulhu: Ticket of Leave #2
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2016 18:58:02

Full disclosure: Australian colonial history and Lovecraft are two of my hobbies, so how could I fail to love this setting?

This second scenario for Convicts & Cthulhu outlines the Great Power politics between France and Britain, especially around the Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. The source material is well researched and the writing clean and clear aside from a few editing glitches.

Essential reading for lovers of historical gaming, RPGs and fiction.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convicts & Cthulhu: Ticket of Leave #2
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Geoff Gillan's The Machine King
by Bruce R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2016 13:50:55

Very well done module. I haven't run it yet but, it is extremely thorough with lots of attention to small but important details. I would have gladly paid for this excellent package



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Geoff Gillan's The Machine King
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Convicts & Cthulhu: Ticket of Leave #1
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/02/2016 21:24:23

The sheer authenticity of Convicts & Cthulhu makes it a truly excellent source book for setting the scene and one that is engagingly written. The underlying historical research is amazing -- this is more early Australian colonial history than entire classes of Australian children learn! -- and sufficiently gritty to make you wonder what was going on in the backstreets of Sydney at the time. Forked lightning frozen in the sky, violent and inhuman murders from one end of the colony to the other, prophetic visions, rumours of undiscovered cities, the birth of would-be unicorns...all true -- or, at least, all actually reported as having occured. C&C makes for a fascinating read from that standpoint alone. The production standards are good with detailed maps and illustrations of a high quality. The location descriptions and details are well conveyed. The scenario hooks on offer are extensive and there is helpful advice on character classes and skill sets appropriate to the era. The Aboriginal contribution to the history of the time is not neglected and everything from weapons to Yowies (the Blue Mountains sub-species, anyway) is covered. With this book in hand, early colonial Sydney is the place to be when it comes to bringing on the Shoggoths.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convicts & Cthulhu: Ticket of Leave #1
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Geoff Gillan's The Past Is Doomed
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2016 05:04:30

This is a creepy adventure full of ambience and oddness. It has an unusual but appropriate feel for a cthulhu scenario. Certainly worth getting to check out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Geoff Gillan's The Past Is Doomed
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Convicts & Cthulhu
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2016 17:03:29

This is a great Cthulhu setting and being Pay What You Want, the price is right. There's one free adventure available which is worth getting. Cthulhu and 19th century Australia go along great together!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convicts & Cthulhu
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Convicts & Cthulhu: Ticket of Leave #1
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/23/2016 04:01:20

This is a great little adventure, well written and presented. Along with the full game book it partners with it's definitely worth getting for any Cthulhu fan out there.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convicts & Cthulhu: Ticket of Leave #1
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Scenario Upgrade Pack: "In The Shadows"
by Bret K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/08/2015 08:16:14

I really appreciate this product being made available as it rescues some otherwise potentially unplayable scenarios from obscurity. "In the Shadows" was best known not for being a collection of three scenario (at least one of which is a classic in my opinion) but for the fact that the handouts were utterly unreadable and nearly impossible to even photocopy. Considering the very low price that the original book can be had for on this site, I think Keepers should definitely give "In the Shadows" another look - these revamped handout really do make a difference and, at just over $2 per scenario, are a truly great value - especially for those hungry for material using the 7th Edition rules.

Well done - it is great to see this scenario collection effectively 'reborn' if you'll forgive the pun.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scenario Upgrade Pack: "In The Shadows"
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Mutable Deceptions, Vol 1: Jazz Age Newspapers
by Thomas A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2015 11:01:15

Fantastic product - very easy to use, and a great and quick way to make fun handouts for 1920s era games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mutable Deceptions, Vol 1: Jazz Age Newspapers
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Deluxe Handout Pack: Island of Ignorance
by Dimitri A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2014 12:14:09

If you want to make your rpg session gain some life, the props will help you. Deluxe Handout Pack have some very useful props.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Deluxe Handout Pack: Island of Ignorance
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Geoff Gillan's The Machine King
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/28/2014 07:03:31

Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/08/28/tabletop-review-the-machine-king-call-of-cthulhu/

The Machine King is an adventure that was originally designed back in the late 90s for Dreamlands book that never made it out of the planning stages. Why, I have no idea. I can only go off the Author’s note that starts of this long adventure. Since then, the adventure has been though lost to a flood, found, rebuilt from the ground up and now released as a freebie via DriveThruRPG.com. The fact that The Machine King is free is reason enough to download it. I mean, even if you never play it or outright don’t like it, it’s a free addition to your Call of Cthulhu collection. It’s not a bait and switch where the free adventure is used to actually hard sell some upcoming books or requires half a dozen or more sourcebooks to be playable. Nope, all you need is a CoC core rulebook, although the edition this was designed for is not stated in the text. Anything pre-seventh and you’ll be fine though.

The Machine King is a combination Cthulhu by Gaslight and Dreamlands adventure where characters will time in both setting. Of course, the Dreamlands in this adventure is not the standard one that you usually find in Call of Cthulhu, but its own pocket dimension with different rules, creatures and atmosphere. In many ways, The Machine King doesn’t feel like a Call of Cthulhu adventure at all. There are no standard Lovecraftian foes or creatures to encounter, and the mood of the piece is notably different from what you usually encounter with CoC adventures. There is certainly a steampunk vibe for much of the Dreamlands section of the adventure and the Cthulhu by Gaslight climax will be greeted by delight or disdain – depending on how much you like fighting a giant killer robot in the middle of London. This is definitely going to be one of those hate them or love endings, based on one’s play style and how staunchly you keep to Lovecraftia in your games.

In many ways The Machine King looks at the horrors of the Industrial Revolution through the eyes of a nightmare, showcasing the exploitation of the masses, and how early industry focused on production over the safety and working conditions of the employees. Now this does not mean that The Machine King is espousing a Luddite stance. Indeed, the Luddites do make an appearance in the adventure, but they are treated and portrayed crazy extremists. So don’t be looking for a political philosophical message hidden between the lines here. It’s just that the Industrial Revolution and the early machines of that era are good fodder for a horror story, that’s all.

The adventure itself starts with the Investigators having nightmares about a horrible clockwork like cog filled world and a machine that is about to crush them when they are saved by a young urchin. They wake up and things seem fine. Just a bad nightmare, right? Well that’s until they see the paper a few instances of machines gone amok. Between this, one Investigator having eerie visions of their savior from the previous night beseeching them for help and a new exhibition as the London Science Museum entitled “The Machine Kings,” the characters will be drawn once more into the dark dystopian dream world of the Machine King.

Once in the dimension of dreams, Investigators may find themselves there for the long haul. This part of the adventure is designed to play out over several sessions, making it essentially a mini campaign. Be prepared for that if you decide to run this, especially if players are used to shorter one-to-two session pieces. The adventure lays out an entire world where players may become cogs in the machine, transformed into Overseers or Workers (thus splitting the party) or even engaging in a full scale revolt by the citizens of the this dreamworld. This long scale mid-part of the adventure is only briefly discussed in the text, meaning the Keeper will really have to flesh out these encounters and story scenes to make this part work. After that you have a weirdly done steam engine chase scene where Investigators and the Machine King using dreaming powers to combat each other.

I have to admit, I was very interested in the first half of the adventure. It was your normal weird little CoC adventure full of strange happenings and investigations. However, once you hit the dream world of the Machine King, the adventure just lost a lot of steam, so to speak. The dream world of the Machine King is really fleshed out, but is a weird juxtaposition to go from a very detailed step by step adventure for the first part into what is more a campaign setting than an actual adventure for the second half. Key locations, enemies and events are noted, but there is very little in the way of structure or getting characters from point A to point B. Younger or less experienced Keepers aren’t going to enjoy the dramatic change in writing style or adventure progression and even more veteran CoC Keepers will notice how piecemeal the piece feels. I don’t know. Once you get into the Machine King world, the adventure feels like more of a dungeon crawl/hack and slash affair where you’re either killing machine monsters or being maimed by them. The climax of the adventure with the steam train fell utterly flat for me and the return to the real world and what happens their actually elicited a loud groan from me. The piece just lost me entirely in this latter half and I can’t say I’d ever want to play or run The Machine King as neither the setting nor the events were something I enjoyed.

That said, The Machine King is not all bad. There’s some great ideas here and I loved the first half. It just seems that when you hit the dreamlands that the adventure spirals out of control including too much background information and a description of key events. It’s like they just kept adding more content to where the adventure become supersaturated with things. There are new skills and abilities added to your character sheet (which come in at such a low level you can’t really use them to any effect because of how you “level up” in Call of Cthulhu), along with splitting up the players into multiple groups which can be long and dull for one group when the Keeper in engaging with the other. It stopped being an adventure and more a campaign setting. I loved the charts for Machine Accidents and Mechanical Nightmares. There is also an amazing amount of detail just of the Machine King’s realm. Nine pages of the adventure (15%) are allocated to just the background information of the world (although it’s slammed right into the middle of a scene, completely disrupting the flow of the text and book entirely. This should have been either an appendix or right at the start of the Machine King section rather than appearing abruptly in a way that didn’t feel or look right) and even more are devoted to specific locations, so depth and clarity are not a problem. It’s just not a setting I particularly cared for and the characters, antagonist or otherwise, held no interest for me. There’s some great artwork here and you can tell the Cthulhu Reborn team worked really hard on this. It just wasn’t for me. I think if they had scaled this back a bit instead of trying to cram so much into a single adventure, this would have flowed better and been a more fun experience.

Now, just because I didn’t care for The Machine King doesn’t mean it’s not for you. There’s a lot of content here and the themes and atmosphere of the adventure might be far more up your alley than it was mine. The Machine King is FREE after all, so there is no harm in downloading it and seeing for yourself if you like it. Who knows, maybe you’ll get more out of The Machine King than I did! I’ll give it a thumb’s in the middle because of the sheer size and scope of this piece, even if the content and content alike weren’t for me.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Geoff Gillan's The Machine King
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