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RPG Spotlight: Fate of Cthulhu

3 Minute Read
Oct 23 2020

Grab your leather jacket, this week we’re traveling back in time to save the world from the great old ones with FATE Of Cthulhu.

Fate of Cthulhu is one of those games that’s just a little different than what you expect it to be. Yes, it’s a Lovecraft based Cthulhu game with all of the great old ones and a healthy dose of horror. Of course it’s those things. But it’s also not.

The year is 2050 and twenty years prior a series of monstrosities rose from the sea, walked out of the desert, and came down from the mountains causing natural disasters, wanton destruction, and waves of erratic and violent behavior among humans. Within a month humanity was reduced to small pockets of survivors. Scientists have developed limited time travel and that’s how your team of adventurers will travel back to stop the apocalypse before it starts. It’s Cthulhu, yes, but it’s also Terminator. It’s a little horror, but mostly this is an action-adventure game. And in my opinion, that’s a very very fun concept for a game.

The world and story are far from the only thing that this FATE take on the Cthulhu mythos has turned on its ear. When the book was first published earlier this year the publishers created more than a little buzz regarding their acknowledgement and criticism on the racism of the creator of the universe from which this universe draws its inspiration.

But what about the game? Well, it’s a FATE system game so you’ll need the proprietary + and – D6s. Players roll 4, add the successes, subtract the failures, and add any applicable skills and see if you have beaten the difficulty set by the GM. But FATE of Cthulhu is also a stand-alone corebook, so you don’t need to own the FATE Core to play and FATE of Cthulhu could, in theory, be your first introduction to the system. And why not? My first encounter with FATE was a Pokenon game; I was a jigglypuff.

As a stand-alone book it comes equipped with all of the tools you will need to successfully travel through this world including mechanics for corruption, timeline building, personal character stress, and that very specific Elder brand of technology and magic.


All in all this is a Cthulhu game for 2020. It celebrates the things about the stories that we love while shining a light on and directly tackling the aspects that have aged like milk. This is a game that says that we can have our cake an eat it too. It’s a game that knows that we are better than we were in the 20s and 30s and that our media can be, too. Plus, it let’s us be Cthulhu hunters instead of befuddled journalists slowly losing our collective grip on reality, and that’s pretty cool.

If you’d like to play FATE of Cthulhu for yourself, you can learn more on the Evil Hat Productions Official Page.

Have you played FATE of Cthulhu? How would you compare it to other Lovecraftian games? Do you like he concept of traveling back in time for an action game more or less than the classic reality bending? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Adventuring!


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