Relevant To Your Interests: Do That Cthulhu That You Do So Well

Okay, so historically I’ve not been the biggest H.P. Lovecraft fan, and I’m certainly not nearly as obsessed with the Old Ones or Cthulhu as other nerds tend to be. But two things happened in the past month or so — first, I played Eldritch Horror. This is Eldritch Horror:

It’s very involved and I loved it. It’s a group game, where you’re all playing on one team against the box instead of each other, and WE ACTUALLY BEAT IT. I was so proud of us. Then, after getting way into The Black Tapes, I also got into Tanis — which features a lot of Old Ones mythology. This all happened kind of at the same time, and it made me way more open to Cthulhu as a nerd icon.  So this month, relevant to my interests and yours, I give you the Cthulhu starter pack.


 The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft

hplovecraftfiction

I’m such a sucker for pretty books. This certainly is one. While technically the only piece of Lovecraft fiction that mentions Cthulhu by name is The Call of Cthulhu, a short story, the Ancient Ones are all over his fiction. The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft ($25) will get you that short story and all other scary tentacled beings from beyond human consideration. And if you, like me are all, but Lovecraft was totally a misogynist, racist, and anti-Semite but you’re like ugh, Cthulhu is kinda cool, watch for Inclusive Cthulhu. Hopefully we’ll be getting more info on it this month.


The Games of Cthulhu

Leave it to nerds to make a bunch of boardgames out of a mythos we love. I already talked about Eldritch Horror, a more streamlined version of Arkham Horror. Here’s a few more:

Elder Sign

elder-sign

Another cooperative game for 1-8. Grab it for $34.

Munchkin Cthulhu

munchkin-chtulhu

Much less cooperative—standard “be kind of a dick” rules apply, with the added bonus of Cthulhu-themed cards. Tagline: “Kill the monster, steal the treasure, stab your buddy and go mad.” Pick it up for $20.

Gloom Cthulhu

gloom-cthulhu

Like the original storytelling game where the object of the game is to make your own family as miserable as possible, but this time you make your Lovecraftian explorers as miserable, horrified and mad as you can while keeping your opponents happy, healthy and alive. Good for those who like telling stories and have dark humor. Buy it for $18.

Call of Cthulhu 7e

call of cthulhu

A tabletop roleplaying game named after H.P. Lovecraft’s original short story, Call of Cthulhu lets players play the role of investigators. Like Dungeons and Dragons, one person has to run the game—in this case they’re called The Keeper instead of Dungeon Master. If you’re interested, grab the Quick Start Guide ($10) and some thematically-appropriate dice ($13). RPGs with a good queermo Keeper are also a great way to take great stories and queer ’em up, even if they aren’t viewed that way in mainstream Nerd Culture (and even if the original author was kind of a wad).

And as soon as Unspeakable Words Deluxe is issued, I’ll let y’all know. But right now a copy of the original costs more than $200 and that makes me very, very sad.


The Accessories of Cthulhu

cthulhu accessories

Just real quick, if you want to totally immerse yourself in Cthulhu, here’s a dice/deck box ($40), a Victorian-style Cthulhu print ($11), a set of cufflinks ($41) and an iron on patch for your denim vest ($5).

Staff Writer for Autostraddle, Part-time Faculty at The New School (teaching digital storytelling), Managing Editor for Scholar & Feminist Online at Barnard Center for Research On Women. Follow me on Twitter @AEOsworth or on Instagram, also @AEOsworth.

A.E. has written 543 articles for us.

19 Comments

  1. Cthulhuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!! 😀
    I am one of those Cthulhu nerds, and this post has made me happy 🙂

    Also! Me and my brothers tend to run Call of Cthulhu games off of an adjusted White Wolf system. It works very well, and I can recommend it.

    Also! Cthulhu Munchkins ^^ Cultists unite!

  2. Speaking as a gamer, I’d be remiss not mention one of my favorite all-time games here, Bloodborne. It’s tough-as-nails and PS4 exclusive but handles Lovecraftian themes better than any other game I’ve ever played. If you’re not afraid of being horribly murdered by creatures behind human comprehension you really ought to pick it up.

  3. http://geekandsundry.com/the-best-rpg-of-all-time-is-call-of-cthulhu/

    too true:

    there are no sane and moral things in life, there are only those that degrade your sanity slower than others.

    we are each other’s eldritch abominations

    Evilly laughing while inflicting -6d6 SAN, with a save to 1d6, by mere reminiscing and sharing your life’s happiest moments before falling asleep gets old exactly the same way as a flavour of ice cream or a piece of clothing gets old.

  4. Lately I’ve been OBSESSED with this mobile app, “Cthulhu Virtual Pet”, which is basically a Tamagotchi game but much more eldritch abomination-y. I’m surprisingly attached to my lil Cthulhu, highly recommend.

  5. Everything I know about Cthulhu is based on my roommate who used to knit them and leave them around our apartment.

    These games look awesome and soon I’m going to know a lot more!

    • Also I have some mid-late 80s version of Call of Cthulhu I found at a library book sale. The game and books were clearly of a piece but I had to pay for each of them separately. It looks well-loved and I’m not sure it has all the components still. I haven’t rounded up people to play it, but maybe I should bring it home from my parents’ place when I visit next month.

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