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APOCTHULHU Terrible New WorldsClick to magnify

APOCTHULHU Terrible New Worlds

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"And I saw the world battling against blackness; against the waves of destruction from ultimate space ..."

The APOCTHULHU roleplaying game has been especially designed to transport gamers into terrifying, devastated worlds where the forces of the Cthulhu Mythos have gained control. Usually to the utter detriment of mankind.

This supplemental volume brings together four different near-future Lovecraftian dystopian settings, providing a detailed "mini-campaign" set in each fallen world. Each campaign offers many hours of gaming in a dark and desperate world in which small groups of Survivors strive to eke out a living against the terrible new forces that have engulfed the globe. By their brave actions, there just might be some hope for our doomed race ...


APOCTHULHU: Terrible New Worlds showcases four diverse Post-Apocalypse campaigns:

  • A Small Price by Dave Sokolowski & Dean Engelhardt
  • Hold the Flood by Christopher Smith Adair
  • A Throne of Corpses by Emily O'Neil
  • ...even death may die ... by Fred Behrendt & Dean Engelhardt

For each campaign, detailed background is provided to describe exactly how the world has been unmade by the horrific forces of the Cthulhu Mythos. Sometimes the scattered groups of Survivors know this tale of devastation all too well, other times they remain ignorant of the true causes behind the Apocalypse. Player handouts are provided to quickly convey everything an average Survivor in these nightmare worlds would know.

The bulk of each campaign is made up of a complete and detailed adventure which takes a group of Survivors from their daily lives of scavenging and drops them into a terrifying series of encounters, mysteries, and peril. They will be forced to confront the forces that poison the planet ... perhaps striking a blow against them that could bring a semblance of normality.

Each campaign will take many game sessions to complete; for groups that prefer quick play each campaign includes a set of pre-generated Survivor characters. Each is also lavishly furnished with player handouts and evocative images which help convey to players the full horror of the world which is now their home.

An Important Note About Print Editions

Terrible New Worlds is offered in two different print editions. While the content is the same, the cover format and the interior presentation differs between versions. Please choose carefully when purchasing, to ensure you get the version that best suits you. The two editions are:

  • Hardcover, Color cover + Full-Color Interior
  • Softcover, Color cover + B&W “Clean” Interior

The “Clean” interior of the softcover dispenses with all page borders and backgrounds, leaving the edges of pages plain white. The difference between the interior look is illustrated below:


Title page for A Small Price


In the first campaign, our world has fallen under the dominion of a peculiar race of sentient shadow creatures. Five years ago, a series of simultaneous explosions all around the world threw vast quantities of dirt into the atmosphere ... and somehow also brought the Shadows. These terrifying creatures can lurk inside normal earthly shadows, but much prefer to seep inside a human host. Anyone so possessed has a tell-tale "second shadow" that sometimes betrays the presence of their "dark passenger."

The campaign revolves around a group of player character Survivors that unexpectedly finds themselves alone and pursued by the Shadows ... only to stumble upon a society which seems to have rather neatly found a solution to the Shadow threat. Indeed their community has considerable resources, and many ideas about how the tenebrous scourge might be tamed. What seems to be a utopian society in this dark world turns out to be poisoned by something even more terrifying.

Title page for Hold the Flood


The second campaign in Terrible New Worlds takes place in a world that has suffered from a horrible pandemic which devastated the globe five decades ago. While that terrifying plague brought an immense toll of death and suffering, 50 years on the disease has mostly burned itself out leaving a world where some form of rudimentary civilization has begun to again blossom. One testament to this is the existence of entertainments -- considered a purposeless luxury during the darkest years. One such famous example is Professor Mysterioso's travelling carnival, which employs the player character Survivors in this campaign.

During the carnival's long circuit of tours from settlement to settlement, it has suddenly found itself the victim of a resurgent outbreak of the plague everyone thought mostly tamed. Is this sudden crisis something to do with the settlement where they recently performed a run of shows? Or is there some deeper mystery at play? Can the assembled weirdos of the carnival troupe get the bottom of the conundrum and find a way to reverse the alarming spread of the infection ... or is Mysterioso's circus doomed?

Title page for A Throne of Corpses


The third campaign in Terrible New Worlds sees a near future where a terrible and permanent winter has descended upon North America -- and as far as anyone knows, the whole world. It started gradually, but the unseasonable and entirely inexplicable cold was unstoppable. Critical infrastructure couldn't stand up to its relentless freeze, and neither could the services that kept people informed. As electricity, internet, and gas networks all fell, so too did civilization. And then came the flying lizard creatures which people named "Shantaks."

A couple of years have passed and the city where the Survivors live is a frozen wasteland of snow-shrouded ruins. Raiders and religious nuts prowl the city, and so too do the Shantaks. When the Survivors find their cozy community thrown into turmoil they must choose which of the other groups of desperados to ally themselves with. The more they learn about what is secretly going on around the city, the more they come to suspect that something far WORSE is coming. Perhaps it is time to finally take a stand and try to undo whatever unnatural damage was done to the planet ...?

Title page for even death may die

...even death may die...

The last (and longest) of the four campaigns in Terrible New Worlds begins with the world in a mostly recognizable state. It's a few years into our own future and an organization called Deep-Sea Exploration Foundation is in the final stages of testing a prototype bathyscaphe capable of extended trips to the very deepest rifts in the ocean floor. The player-characters are all high-profile figures associated with the much-publicized shakedown mission of DSEF's craft, the Hierophant.

But nothing can prepare the crew -- or anyone else for that matter -- for what transpires while the Hierophant is at the very bottom of the Pacific Ocean. When they return to the surface, the world is not the same as when they departed. But can they navigate back home?

Collectively these four campaigns showcase the flexibility of the APOCTHULHU system and show the diversity of Lovecraftian Post-Apocalypses it can fuel. Why destroy the world in just one way, when you can destroy it over and over in many different ways, each more fiendish than the last?

Intrigued by these campaigns, but would prefer to give the APOCTHULHU game system a test-drive first? Well, you can! Check out the APOCTHULHU Quickstart, available as a Pay-What-You-Want PDF or Softcover book.

An APOCTHULHU resources page can be found on the Cthulhu Reborn site which offers items to supplement the Core rulebook and make it easier and quicker to start playing.

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Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Michael S August 21, 2021 11:59 pm UTC
Is there going to be a POD option added?
Customer avatar
Dean E August 22, 2021 12:23 am UTC
Hi Michael, we definitely will be making this book a print title in some form. Because of DTRPG's recent changes in print pricing we will need to do some investigations into the best way of doing that to make it affordable to our customers.

So ... yes, but not until later in the year.
Customer avatar
Guy R August 31, 2021 2:02 pm UTC
it's beautiful from the previews--PDF doesn't work well for me as the sole-option, so the sooner it gets to POD, the better!
Customer avatar
Thomas L September 05, 2021 3:15 am UTC
Congratulations on the new book Dean. Definitely looking forward to a POD option.
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This title was added to our catalog on August 21, 2021.