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Harlem Unbound - Second Edition
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Harlem Unbound - Second Edition


Investigate the Cthulhu Mythos during the Harlem Renaissance!

Chris Spivey's ENnie-winning breakthrough book is back and better than ever!

New York City.

Prohibition is in full swing and bootleggers are living high. African-Americans flee the oppressive South for greener pastures, creating a new culture in Harlem. The music of Fats Waller and Duke Ellington pours out of the city’s windows, while women in stylish skirts and silk stockings, and men in white gloves and Chesterfield coats crowd the sidewalks. There’s a feeling of possibility in the air, like never before.

But, even in this land of promise, Harlem is a powder keg, ready to explode. While classes and cultures collide, the horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos lurk beneath the streets, creeping through dark alleys and hidden doorways to infect the hopes and aspirations of the unwary.

Can you hold it together and keep the terrors at bay for one more song?

The Cotton Club

The Skinny on the Goods…

Harlem Unbound 2nd Edition is expanded and improved from the first edition. New areas are shown below:

  • Seven scenarios (four new to 2nd Edition).
  • Unique occupations tailored to Harlem.
  • New Mythos monsters to terrify your players.
  • Ready-to-play investigators.
  • Random plot generator.
  • Crash course on addressing race in gaming.

Harlem Auto

What the Critics Say About Harlem Unbound 2nd Edition

"An essential Call of Cthulhu 1920s supplement, expanding not just the game we love, but how you view the entire genre and society itself."—Mark Morrison, Call of Cthulhu writer (Horror on the Orient Express, Reign of Terror, Terror Australis, etc)

"Harlem Unbound gives raw material for creating journeys as well as destinations... [it is] a strong labor of love that combines both passion for a vital time and place in American history with a deep pool to draw various strains of horror, both familiar and unfamiliar, into the Call of Cthulhu game. I love this book and cannot recommend it enough."—Never Read the Latin.

"Style 5/5, Substance 5/5: Anyone who already bought and enjoyed the first edition should definitely get the second: there's so much more material that it presents almost literally double the content, depth, playable material, and sheer value. For anyone who doesn't have it, Harlem Unbound belongs on just about every Call of Cthulhu or cosmic/investigative horror gamer's shelf..."—Paul StJohn Macintosh, RPGNet review.

"Harlem Unbound understands what it is to create atmosphere… this game is set in the world of the Cthulhu Mythos, but more explicitly, it’s set during the Harlem Renaissance... Classes and cultures brush up against each other in a melting pot on its boiling point–and then layer the eldritch horror of the Mythos underneath all of that, and you have a recipe for a game that’s rich and wonderful."—Bell of Lost Souls.

"1920’s Harlem turns out to be a great place to set a game. You get prohibition and gangsters, you get zoot suits, lindyhop, jazz music, flappers and the Cotton Club... the intention is not that you play investigators from elsewhere who pass through Harlem en route to traditional adventures in New England. The intention is that you play characters from Harlem, who are connected to Harlem and bound up in the explosion of creativity that is going on there... For $22 (PDF) you’re getting a great setting, some fantastic gaming advice and scenarios that will provide your table with at least many sessions of top quality gaming."—

"A R’lyeh different perspective"—Dicebreaker.

"Somewhere along the line Cthulhu campaign settings have made the realization that it isn't all about having a backdrop for horror. Investigators have lives, loves, and reasons to fight the forces of the Mythos. Thus, the richer the setting, the more incentive the players have to care about it, and frankly it doesn't get richer than Harlem Unbound."—Andrew Logan Montgomery, Exploring the Otherworlds of Fiction, Magic, and Gaming.

"Don’t play CoC? Get Harlem Unbound anyway; the history and reality that it adds to any real-world campaign is essential and is presented agnostically with respect to system... Am I happy I bought it?: There are no other gaming purchases I’ve made that have been as personally impactful in a very long time. You can have fun with a lot of games, but this one will make you a more informed human being."—Tumbleweird.

"Chaosium absolutely do not half-ass this new edition of the book, and nor should they have: the original edition of this has been selected for inclusion in the libraries of multiple museums, after all, so we’re talking an RPG supplement of significant artistic merit... With this new edition of Harlem Unbound, Keepers have never been better-supported in presenting this era in Call of Cthulhu."—Refereeing and Reflection.

"An amazing book and one you need in your Call of Cthulhu collection."—Rolling Boxcars.

"Strongly Recommended–This product is exceptional, and may contain content that would interest you even if the game or genre covered is outside of your normal interests."—Gnome Stew.

This PDF package includes the following:

  • Harlem Unbound - 2nd Edition - PDF
  • Handouts and pre-generated characters - PDF
  • Harlem Unbound Investigator Sheet - PDF
  • Map of Harlem with and without scenario locations - PDF
  • Two Scenario Maps - PDF>/li>

This supplement is best used with the CALL OF CTHULHU (7th Edition) roleplaying game
and optionally the PULP CTHULHU sourcebook, both available separately.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (4)
Discussions (8)
Customer avatar
Sebastian O June 08, 2021 7:06 pm UTC
The first edition was based on GumShoe. Does this use GumShoe, or did Chaosium adapt this strictly for CoC 7e?
Customer avatar
Eric B January 14, 2021 4:10 pm UTC
Is this for 6th edition of 7th edition?
Customer avatar
Rick M January 14, 2021 5:40 pm UTC
7th edition.
Customer avatar
Harry M June 15, 2020 9:22 pm UTC
Hi, I just purchased this from the Chaosium site (in order to get the coupon for the printed version), but the download labeled handouts and pregens does not appear to contain any pregens. Are they going to be added later or is there somewhere else that I can find them?
Customer avatar
Wallace E June 02, 2020 3:56 am UTC
Why is the Full-size Preview only a single page?
Customer avatar
Katriel P May 16, 2020 10:58 pm UTC
I love the fact this edition includes more player handouts and character prompts: especially the tailored occupational prompts such as conjure man and singer (and references to practices like rent parties). The blending of Harlem and real-world history but combining it with the Mythos lens also - to me - makes the dynamics of the Mythos more clear - what better place to explore the Mythos and its legacies than in a setting that has always been liminal?
Customer avatar
Craig M April 17, 2020 8:53 pm UTC
Does this contain the GUMSHOE rules for Trail of Cthulhu?
Customer avatar
Michael O April 25, 2020 1:50 pm UTC
It does not.
Customer avatar
Raymond W March 28, 2020 6:53 pm UTC
What are the major differences between the 1st edition and this one? I see there are some new adventure but it would be nice to know more.
Customer avatar
Michael O April 08, 2020 11:26 am UTC
See 'The Skinny on the Goods' in the product description above. That lists the new material in the second edition, which includes four new scenarios.

HU2 is 368 pages - 97 pages longer than the first edition. It also comes with four additional PDF sets of resources, inc 36 page Handouts and Pregens book, plus Investigator sheets, and maps.
Customer avatar
Raymond W April 08, 2020 2:00 pm UTC
I must have missed that. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Matthew M March 28, 2020 11:46 am UTC
Does anyone know if there is a print copy available for this?
Customer avatar
Rick M March 28, 2020 4:23 pm UTC
The book is currently at the printers, and should be for sale on the chaosium website near the end of April, 2020.
Customer avatar
Charles G April 15, 2020 11:33 pm UTC
If I purchase here do i get the discount on the print copy?
Customer avatar
Michael O April 16, 2020 5:59 am UTC
You don't. That is only for direct purchases from the Chaosium website.
Customer avatar
Charles G April 18, 2020 2:49 am UTC
Okay Thank you
how much of a discount off the physical copy?
Customer avatar
Michael O April 25, 2020 1:46 pm UTC
The full price of the PDF.
Customer avatar
Scott B June 04, 2020 1:57 am UTC
Hey there! Wanted to know if there was a delay in releasing the print edition?
Customer avatar
Michael O June 26, 2020 1:38 pm UTC
Yes, the books are printed in Lithuania, and unfortunately Covid-19 has made our international shipping schedule more unpredictable. The hardback version will be available from next month.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on March 23, 2020.