Cthulhutech – Dystopian Horror Roleplaying in the Strange Aeon
Cthulhutech is one of my favourite RPGs. Set in a dystopian future where the stars are right in a typical HP Lovecraft Cthulhoid manner, it’s a wonderfully evocative setting. For a small-press game, it’s got very high production values, amazing artwork, and an unlucky history with publishers! Here’s the official blurb (from the Cthulhutech website):
2085. Humanity faces extinction. Alien insects from the edge of our solar system, long hidden behind the façade of reality, descend to enslave us. Hordes of unspeakable horrors roll out from Central Asia, laying waste to anything in their path. The church of the fish-god scours the world for lost occult secrets to unleash terrible forces. Dead gods awaken and turn their dreadful eyes toward the Earth. And within hides a cancer, eating away at the very heart of the New Earth Government. This is the Aeon War.
This is the time of Cthulhutech.
Climb inside a thirty-foot tall war machine and rain down hell on the unwavering Migou. Fight tooth and nail on the front lines against the horrific beasts of the Rapine Storm. Seek out the disgusting corruption of the insidious Esoteric Order of Dagon. Explore the dark world of the malignant Chrysalis Corporation and their unseen monstrous agents. Sift through secrets long thought lost and bend the power of the cosmos to your will. Join in symbiosis with something beyond time and space and become a shape-shifting bringer of wrath.
I run a Cthulhutech Edinburgh campaign game (entitled Through the Looking Glass) at ORC (again this is part of my Dark Edinburgh idea). The majority of the background is on the wiki at http://www.orcedinburgh.co.uk/wiki/Through_the_Looking_Glass, as there’s too much to reproduce here!
I’ve also written a Blog article on Running a Cthulhutech campaign based upon my experiences so far.
Here’s some of the adventure summaries:
- Heavy Metal was the first episode to enable me to test out the mecha/engel rules, set in New England in the US. It went fairly well, but highlighted a steep learning curve with the Framewerk rules. A lance of Claymore mecha pilots (plus a Cherub Engel) are sent on a simple search-and-destroy operation. The target: an EOD (Esoteric Order of Dagon) armoured column. Initially a success, events take a turn for the worse when a heavy Migou presence moves into the area, and the lance races to their pick-up point with the Bugs hard on their heels, including a heavy Mantis mecha.
- When the Ocean Wept was a test game involving human OIS PCs, Tagers and Mecha. It used all three in a linked series of adventures, leading to a mecha assault upon an abandoned oil rig in the North Sea. It worked very well at testing out the rules, and giving players a chance to see how each style of game worked.
- The current Cthulhutech game I’m running as part of the Through the Looking Glass series is called The Damascus Road and deals with human PCs discovering what’s happening in the Strange Aeon.
- Official Cthulhutech website
- Through the Looking Glass pages at the ORC Wiki detailing Edinburgh in the Strange Aeon.
- A blog article on Running Cthulhutech Campaigns.