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The Children of FearClick to magnify

The Children of Fear


A Campaign Across Asia For The World’s Best Horror Game!

A mysterious telegram plunges the investigators into an epic journey of intrigue and horror.

"Unreservedly recommended... a gem and an instant classic" (Paul St John Mackintosh)

"This is another campaign you are going to want... Loaded with hand-outs, pre-generated characters, new monsters, new spells, and a ton of resources, The Children of Fear is more evidence that Chaosium has cracked the code on how to make a massive, sprawling campaign accessible." (Andrew Logan Montgomery - Exploring the Otherworlds of Fiction, Magic, and Gaming)

"A fantastic campaign, full of twists and more than a few gut punches. Hardy has struck a fine balance between crafting an experience ready to play as written and allowing Keepers the chance to storycraft to their own tastes." (The Gaming Gang)

"A huge and beautiful undertaking... definitely promising to take a place alongside Masks of Nyarlathotep and Horror on the Orient Express as one of the greats of Call of Cthulhu." (Never Read the Latin)

What's Inside

The Children of Fear is an epic, multi-part campaign for Call of Cthulhu. The scenarios within explore myths and legends of Central Asia and Northern India.

The Feast

A Modular Campaign

Three investigators looking at a map

This player-led campaign allows the investigators to determine the journey they take. In addition, the plot is designed to be flexible, allowing for different scales or types of Cthulhu Mythos involvement—all the way from the Outer Gods themselves down to a more low-key, occult-focused series of adventures. Guidance is provided for the Keeper to tailor the exact nature of the threat to best suit their group’s tastes.

A Rich and Varied Tapestry

Explore Asia Through The Cthulhu Mythos

Award-winning art

The Children of Fear covers in detail the sights, encounters, and dangers found in Peking, Sian, the Taklamakan, Peshawar, and Kham. Investigators will travel from China, through Northern India, and on to Tibet. With detailed appendices covering travel, non-player characters, spells, a reference bibliography, and more, the book gives you everything you need to authentically create a unique experience at your gaming table.

Investigator Map of Tibet

Maps, Handouts, and Characters

Man holding a spear with still-living heads

A wealth of player hand-outs and maps enhance both the player experience and immersion. The Children of Fear includes six pre-generated characters so players can jump right into the action. A host of non-player characters, all with their own agendas, accompany new Cthulhu Mythos monsters for use in any Call of Cthulhu scenario.

Dob-dob - The Fighting Monks

Fighting Monks

Warning of Mature Content

Pulp Cthulhu Compatible

For a different experience, this product contains guidance on how to enjoy it with Pulp Cthulhu.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (1)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Acea S June 28, 2023 2:15 pm UTC
If you want to check it out before you buy it, Kindle Unlimited has this as a free read currently. I know that is only if you have Kindle Unlimited but I have been eyeballing this book for some time and wanted to check it out. My group is currently on a long homebrew campaign but I am getting items to add to or use when they complete the current storyline. I like the idea of the pdf edition here because with the Unlimited it is hard to print the handouts because it limits how much you can 'swipe' from the Kindle version. I wanted to read it first because mixed reviews and what.
Customer avatar
Acea S July 02, 2023 1:05 am UTC
Oh, and also the format on the Kindle is super wonky.
Customer avatar
Michael L April 07, 2021 12:18 am UTC
Not a bad Scenario but not very Lovecrafty. Does feel like a COC scenario
Customer avatar
Melvin S October 28, 2020 6:00 pm UTC
This campaign is unplayable as it stands.
It seems that the author has deployed all his know-how in order to remove all agentivity from the players. No matter what the players' ideas, desires, or the results of the dice rolls, some things have to happen this way anyway.
In addition, the book is literally full of information that is completely useless to the GM. It seems that the author wanted all the research he did on the historical, social and cultural context to appear in the book. When you read it, you can't help but have a feeling of useless filling.
Customer avatar
David M October 30, 2020 9:33 pm UTC
Author is Lynne Hardy, so it she not "he". Personally as a Keeper this sort of historical, social and cultural context is what allows me to paint a more convincing picture of what life would have been like in Asia in the 1920s, rather than just going from location A to B, with little detail. I don't consider it padding, it what I play and run CoC for.
Customer avatar
Melvin S November 01, 2020 2:52 pm UTC
I'm sorry, I didn't see that the author was a woman.
Concerning the historical, social and cultural information, I agree with you, they are of primary importance. They help to make a campaign setting truly alive and authentic and thus promote immersion.
But I expect from a RPG book, that this information will be put in relation with the campaign. That the information be presented in such a way as to facilitate its mobilization by the GM. That it be explained how to integrate this information into the situations that the table will experience.
If the book simply presents the information in the manner of a history/anthropology book, then it does not make the GM’s work any easier, although this should normally be one of the first criteria when writing a campaign that is intended to be played (and not just read).
The book requires as much work on the part of the GM to digest this information and anticipate the ways in which it can be disseminated throughout the campaign as a book that is...See more
Customer avatar
David M November 01, 2020 6:31 pm UTC
Not sure where you are getting railroading from?

Just for an example the first mini scenario in Sian there are at least three different plot hooks leading to the scenario, and they can even ignore the whole thing without it ruining the campaign, then there are at least four different ways to get to the conclusion, and at least two different ways to resolve it.

Chapters 3 to 5 can be done in any order.

Heck Chapter 2 has suggestions for if the investigators don't bother to get involved in the Campaign at all and go back to Peking or wherever the originate from.

Where are you getting the idea the players are railroaded at any point? It seems at least as open as any of the previous large CoC campaigns (more so than a lot of CoC campaigns I've seen), Orient Express is on literal railroads following a timetable and it is viewed as a classic.
Customer avatar
November 02, 2020 3:22 am UTC
"This campaign is unplayable as it stands." I don't know man. Your "review" seems a little overwrought. It doesn't seem like you've ever picked up a Chaosium Call of Cthulhu book before. I expect a lot of historical, cultural and social information from their books, with the caveat that it's in the service of a fictional game. In other words, I'm not going to cite it in an academic paper, but I'll certainly feel more knowledgeable about the subject area after I'm done.
Customer avatar
Oliver K November 03, 2020 1:52 pm UTC
Given my own impression of CoC campaigns, what is considered a classic in CoC is often... not very good compared to other RPGs, even in the Cthulhu genre.

I find the original poster's comments helpful, I usually get more out of outright criticism than from the people who defend something. Because I have seen people defend things I really disliked because of an emotional attachment to a system or whatever that I didn't share.

That said, I will also consider what you said about the non-railroadiness of the campaign. That is good to know and definitely more detailed than the usual responses to criticism, thank you for the effort of answering in detail.
Customer avatar
Melvin S November 04, 2020 9:57 am UTC
There is a real problem with the involvement of investigators. Investigators really have no reason to do what they are asked to do. And the author is aware of this, since the campaign includes several inserts that explain how to deal with investigators who do not feel involved and who do not want to do what they are asked to do (change people," "resume the campaign once the cataclysm has occurred).
The first chapter is superfluous, since it does not even create a cohesive group with sufficient motivation to ensure that players do not ask the question during the campaign "why would my character agree to do this". In addition, all the information provided in Chapter 1 can be acquired later. In other words, this chapter does not fulfill the purpose of a scenario for the introduction of a major campaign.

The so-called freedom to do chapters 3 to 5 in any order one wants is in fact a misery hiding place. It's a hunt to reconstitute an artifact, a quest that is given by a rather...See more
Customer avatar
Hilmar P November 13, 2020 11:41 pm UTC
"There is a real problem with the involvement of investigators"
This is the original sin of any scenario, and especially for a campaign.
Interesting discussion, very helpful. I can only speak about the intro chapter, and lamentably the criticism of it is quite true. While the setting is fascinating and worked out in great detail, the intro scenario per se does not deliver...
Customer avatar
Francesco M March 12, 2022 9:04 am UTC
There are good GMs...

... and GMs who cannot use campaign books and source books.

The players need to find their own motivation - with the help of the GM

The suggestions - yes suggestions - is how to solve the campaign if the players mess it up. Any story that requires key items or events to happen are like this.

That's not the same as railroading or taking away player agency or having NPC do all the work,

GMs always need to think on their feet.
Customer avatar
Francesco M March 12, 2022 9:08 am UTC
" I have seen people defend things I really disliked because of an emotional attachment to a system or whatever that I didn't share."

Or maybe they had valid reasons to

The campaign has some flaws, but it's not unplayable and all of the criticisms Melvin has can be easily solved by a little creative GMing
Customer avatar
Melvin S June 19, 2022 9:16 am UTC
First of all, I would ask you not to make such a childish judgement as "yes, but you are a bad GM". You don't know me, so let's stick to a debate about the campaign, and not something else.

It is clear that an adventure is never played out as written, and that the GM must always do some creative work to make the material his own and to turn it into something that will excite the table in the sessions he leads.
But when the campaign has many structural flaws like the ones I pointed out for Children of Fear, the GM's creative work is no longer going to be about taking ownership of the adventure, enriching it to make it even cooler (and more suited to his or her tastes and those of his or her players), but about having to fix the adventure simply so that it can function properly.
A parallel could be drawn with game systems and the famous rule zero. A GM can always change the rules of a game to improve it, but a good system is expected to provide a satisfactory game experience without...See more
Customer avatar
Chris J October 26, 2020 8:36 pm UTC
So far I'm loving it. One small detail that I really appreciate (and it makes me a super nerd, I'm sure) is using the old school Chinese names for locations as they appeared in the 1920s and then followed up by the proper pinyin. As someone who speaks Chinese, I find this pretty cool and it makes it easier for me to know what some of the words actually are (let's face it, the Wade-Giles pinyin system or whatever system China used in the 1920 sucked massively for native English speakers.)
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File Last Updated:
March 17, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on October 24, 2020.