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Green Ronin’s new RPG Cthulhu Awakens will attempt to transcend cosmic horror’s baked-in bigotry

Mythos minus the mess.

Seattle-based outfit Green Ronin Publishing announced Jan 19th that it is developing a tabletop RPG steeped in the cosmic horror Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft - but without all the racism and other social evils the author tended to truck into his fiction. Cthulhu Awakens heads to Kickstarter on February 15th.

Green Ronin is the publisher behind RPG adaptations of both The Expanse and Dragon Age, along with a fantasy and modern setting built around its in-house Adventure Game Engine, or AGE. Essentially, skills and challenges are assigned a target number, and players must meet or exceed that target by rolling two six-sided dice. If they roll doubles, a third d6 provides a resource for pulling off feats beyond normal capabilities - and looking cool while doing it.

Cthulhu Awakens will also make use of the AGE system as it explores what’s being called “the Weird Century” between the 1920s and the present day. Groups will be able to set their games anywhere along this timeline and experience an alternate reality rife with ancient threats from the darkest corners of space.

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The tabletop space is no stranger to games centered around Cthulhu and Lovecraft’s Mythos. Green Ronin is aiming to differentiate itself by actively curtailing the 20th century author’s widely documented bigotry - much of which inspired and influenced his prolific fiction. The publisher claims Cthulhu Awakens will be a more “inclusive setting” with “distinct visions of the Mythos that provides a new springboard for Cosmic Horror roleplaying”, according to the announcement post.

“The Cthulhu Mythos is one of the pillars of modern roleplaying,” said Green Ronin Publishing president Chris Pramas. “So with the success of Modern AGE it was only natural we explore it, but we wanted to make sure we had the right team and a distinct, inclusive direction for the game.”

The design and writing team includes Sharang Biswas, David Castro, Elizabeth Chaipraditkul, Hiromi Cota, H.D. Ingham, Khaldoun Khelil, Danielle Lauzon, Ian Lemke, Monte Lin, Jack Norris, and Malcolm Sheppard. Many of these members have extensive experience designing for tabletop RPGs with dozens of credits between them. Green Ronin did not detail how they would achieve their attempt on a Cthulhu Mythos with modern sensibilities, so it remains to be seen if the gathered talent can realize the company’s goal.

The Kickstarter campaign for Cthulhu Awakens will go live on February 15th in order to fund a hardcover core rulebook with more than 270 full-colour pages. Green Ronin currently expects the RPG to fulfill by the end of 2022 but did not commit to an exact date in the announcement.

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