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Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos - Pathfinder
by Monica G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/26/2019 11:42:26

Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder is an amazing sourcebook for the Pathfinder role-playing game. It's written by Sandy Petersen, the legendary game designer behind the classic horror role-playing game Call of Cthulhu. The book adapts H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos and its related horror themes to Pathfinder rules. The result is a thorough sourcebook that provides some great new rules from player options and playable races, to magic spells and items, and of course gods, cults, and monsters.

The book starts with an introductory section on horror in role-playing games. It has some great advice for story-telling in the horror genre, and it's something that every game master should read. From there the book goes straight into player options, presenting four new races: ghouls, gnorri, zoogs, and dreamland cats (yes, you can play a cat with magical powers with these rules)! The book doesn't offer any new classes, but it does offer new options for the barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, rogue, sorceror, witch, and wizard classes. These mostly come in the form of archetypes that fit into the Cthulhu Mythos--things like cultist clerics, researcher rogues, and mad artist bards to name a few. There are options for mythos-related animal companions, familiars, and eidelons.

From player options, the book goes into mechanics and rules for running games. As anyone familiar with H. P. Lovecraft's writing would expect, there are rules for sanity, which are fairly simple and fit well with Pathfinder. There are some nice rules about visiting the dreamlands as well. The section on magic has quite a few new spells, even for classes from Pathfinder supplements, such as magus, occulist, alchemist to name a few. There are over 3 dozen horror-themed spells, many similar to what you would find in the Call of Cthulhu rulebook. On top of that there are another 2 dozen rituals that use rules similar to those in the Pathfinder Occult Adventures sourcebook. The rituals include such mythos-related things as enscribing protective magic symbols, summoning ancient gods, and brewing space mead. As well, there is a great section on magic items and artifacts--many of which are rather horrifying such as pickled eyes that act as a potion to enhance vision. There are rarer and more powerful artifacts from the Cthulhu mythos, such as lightning guns and migo brain cannisters. Of course, the section on magic ends off with a collection of mythos books, such as the R'lyeh Texts and the Necronomicon. The last half of the book is full of loads of villains for your players to fight. There is a section on cults dedicated to the elder gods, run-of-the-mill monsters, and even the elder gods themselves. The book even has an index of monsters from other Pathfinder books that fit into the genre. Each monster has a written description to read to your players to give your game the feel of a horror story. The amazing thing about this book is that it has enough monsters to keep your players busy from levels 1-20. At higher levels, the elder gods present challenges above a 20 challenge rating, some topping out around 30.

Given the rich content of this book, from the character options and magic, to the lengthy bestiary, it really acts as something of a campaign guide. With just this book and the Pathfinder core rulebook, it would be possible to run a campaign for several years taking players up through 20th level. That's quite a feat for one sourcebook. Even if you don't plan on running an entire Cthulhu-themed game the book makes it easy enough to pick and choose a few things for a horror-themed story arc or single adventure. If you're a DM or a player who is looking to play something darker than your standard Pathfinder character, this book is for you. I highly recommend it for any DM who is running a long campaign. You'll want to change up your game at some point to keep it interesting, and this is a great way to introduce horror to your fantasy setting.

Read our full review and rating at GeeksAGogo.com!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos - Pathfinder
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Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos - Pathfinder
by Elliot S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/12/2018 15:05:53

In the previous version of this review, I bemoaned the artwork, which mostly consisted of photos of minis. This has now been rectified, and replaced with glorious artwork, far more in keeping with the theme and tone. Excellent.

As far as content goes, the spells are very flavorful, and the new races look interesting. I haven't had much time to dig into the detail, of which there is a lot, but it's sure to prove a valuable and entertaining resource.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos - Pathfinder
by James E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/22/2018 23:22:33

8/22/18 Update: The book is objectively better now that the old, painted figurine art has been replaced.

Disclaimer: I backed the Kickstarter that created this product and paid the full price there for both the physical and digital copies of this product. As a crowdfunding backer, I received a physical copy well in advance of its wider public release (and, in fact, had it at the time of this review). I was given a free copy of the digitial version of this product here on DriveThruRPG for the purpose of this review.

Now, there's a lot to get into with this product, and I'm not sure I actually have the space here. That's why my full review of this product can be found over in the Discussion tab, where I go into great detail about what you can expect to find throughout this particular book. If you're not sure whether or not you want this product, I strongly recommend hopping to the other tab and reading that in full - by the end, you should have all the information you need.

As a briefer summary, however, this is primarily a GM product. While it includes some player-focused options, including archetypes, feats, and the like, many of these are most appropriate for things the players will face (unless your game is all about being servants of Mythos things, in which case this is the best Pathfinder supplement on the topic, period).

Aside from common things like archetypes and spells, this book features grimoires, unique artifacts, a new Dread mechanic, and best of all, Elder Influences. These are a new type of challenge within the game, about halfway between a monster and an environmental effect, and they represent the way that Mythos creatures can impact the world by their mere presence. Reality itself gets weird when these things show up, and many of them are a serious challenge for even high-level parties. For example, Hastur the Unspeakable has an effect where each of his manifestations can only be observed - and affected - by one person. Sure, the raging super barbarian may be able to smash his way through, but will the squishy sorcerer find it quite so easy? Perhaps not. And he's far from the worst threat the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones offer.

This book is worth full price for the Elder Influences alone, but they only comprise a part of this hefty tome. There are also a variety of new creatures, new races (including a cat race, which works better than you might expct), and references to mythos stuff published in other books so you don't have to go digging through all of them.

Put simply, this book is the best Mythos-themed product for Pathfinder. Period. If you want Cthulhu, or anything related to Cthulhu, this is the book to get. For manufacturing reasons, physical copies of this weren't widely available at the time of this review. I have mine, and they should be more widely available to the public once the second printing arrives, but when I wrote this you may be limited to the PDF version. (That said, the hard copy is pretty nice - good quality paper, a cloth bookmark, and crisp printing for the illustrations.)

Overall, I'm extremely happy with this product, and I think it was absolutely worth my initial investment. The rules content (i.e. the huge majority of the book) is fabulous, and the updated art is much nicer than the old miniature pictures were. I rate this product 5/5 and strongly recommend it to everyone who wants more Mythos in their Pathfinder.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Silence from Sommerisk - An adventure for characters of all levels
by JEROME M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/06/2018 20:05:08

I picked this up so I could use some ideas to run the Cosmic Horror Campaign from Paizo Publishing. Once I cracked the book, I found a really neat start up adventure to introduce cosmic horror into one's campaign. What sets this apart from most starter adventures is that it is easily adapted to any level of play! There are handy reference tables with each encounter that explain how to scale each individual encounter from level one all the way to level twenty!

I managed to glean enough information to use elements of this adventure in the Cosmic Horror Adventure Path. In reading through the book, it looks like it would make for a good addition to any campaign or work easily as a stand alone adventure, for any level.

It should go without saying that you need a copy of Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder in order to run this adventure as all of the creatures are contained in the bestiary in the main sourcebook. The adventure does not provide monster stats.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Silence from Sommerisk - An adventure for characters of all levels
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