Frequently Asked Questions
Raiders of R’lyeh is a tabletop RPG (roleplaying game). In it, each player assumes the role of a character (called a player character, or “PC”) in a horror adventure setting. One of the players takes on a special role as a type of referee (the “keeper”). His or her job is to design the adventures, build the environments, and assume the roles of characters in the setting that are not the heroes (these characters controlled by the keeper are called non-player characters, or “NPCs.”) The keeper also arbitrates the rules in the game, using a specific game system. Dice rolls and good role-playing determine whether certain choices and actions that characters make succeed or fail.
In Raiders of R’lyeh, players get to play adventurers and investigators travelling the world and doing things like looking for ancient artifacts, fighting spies, discovering conspiracies, and escaping horrible secrets and monsters. As the game borrows inspiration from sources like Raiders of the Lost Ark, lost world fiction, old ghost stories, Robert E. Howard and other adventure pulp, and especially the weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft (such as Call of Cthulhu and Out of the Aeons), it is very much an “Indiana Jones meets Cthulhu” type of game.Last updated:
In the rewards section, there are a myriad of options. If I want “the game” in a print edition, preferably in color, what should I get?
The Raiders of R’lyeh Gothic Black & White is the complete game. It is meant for people that really liked the old editions of Call of Cthulhu and other old school RPGs, where everything was included in one book. And it is going to be a really beautiful looking book.
We are not yet offering a color edition, but one is planned as a stretch goal if we meet our funding. You can always back the Gothic Black & White book, and update your pledge if a color version is offered later. (And did I mention how beautiful the Gothic Black & White will be?)
Some people really like having their role-playing games split into two books, one for the keeper and one for the players. They like this so that players get one book with just the rules and setting material that pertains to them, while the keeper can have all of the monsters, secrets of the setting, adventure templates, magic and mysteries in his own book (out of the hands of spying adventurers). So we accomodated that preference with full color Adventurer (ie player) and Keeper Guides. For now, these are available as PDFs.Last updated:
You have mentioned that the Keeper and Adventurer Guides have content that is not in the Gothic Black & White, and vice versa. I am worried that if I buy one version over the other, that I am missing content.
The last thing we want is for anyone to feel that they are missing out by getting the Black & White. The intention of the Black & White book is that people could get the print edition of the game at a reasonable price. Also, the Black & White was something that we thought would really appeal to sandbox gamers especially (but not exclusively). So with the Black & White we decided to pack in more adventure templates, so that people buying just that book felt they were getting some bonus material in their edition.
Some people prefer to have their rules split, one for the players and one for the keeper; any additional material in those books is intended to give those backers some bonus material for buying two separate books, and definitely not as an attempt to eliminate content from the Black & White edition.Last updated:
Considering that the rewards are slightly complicated, I'd prefer a chart, where I look up what I get in each reward.
Okay. I added one. Please let me know how this works for you (check above, under the “rewards” heading, for this chart).Last updated:
One, the setting. 1910 is amazing, and if we do this right, we have plans to cover The Great War in a later expansion.
Two, our game uses independently moving factions, open-ended clue structures, wandering NPCs, an open setting, and a focus on exploration and story hooks, over pre-scripted narratives that push characters through a series of investigation checks. In other words, the setting itself dictated to us that this would work very well as a sandbox.
Three, while some games have added specific rules to fix perceived problems with running a mythos investigation, we focus on handling failed investigation checks with the setting and adventure design (not with the game system itself). We include guidelines for letting players run in unanticipated directions, and for allowing failed investigation checks with interesting consequences to the setting. If you’d like to see some of the design philosophy that influenced our investigation checks, check out Kevin Crawford’s amazing games (especially Red Tide, Stars Without Number, and Other Dust).
Four, since our rules are at least partly derived from open licensed systems (with our own twists), our rules are consequently open license (meaning you can take them and make your own games with them).
A last note: our rules are lightweight, and based on the same percentile system that Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, Openquest, Mongoose Legend, The Company (and much more) is derived from. You can grab our Keeper Guide and have a really nice 1910 campaign setting, NPCs, maps, equipment and weapons to use with the game of your choice. Take the sourcebook if you want to stick with your own game.
In coming weeks, we will illustrate these concepts more in our updates.Last updated:
The first and most important element of a sandbox campaign is something that isn’t there — namely, an overarching plot. There is no foreordained commitment to any particular end state for any particular event. If there is any point during an evening’s play at which a PC can “do the wrong thing for the story” or “lose the plot,” then what’s being played isn’t a pure-strain sandbox game.
The second element of a sandbox game is that it is about what the players do. The focus of the players is the center of the campaign, and everything else in it simply exists to give them meaningful choices and interesting things to catch their attention.
The third element of the sandbox campaign is that it is alive. Things happen even when the PCs aren’t there to see them. Actions have reactions and choices have logical consequences. The players regularly experience the consequences of their past choices, good and bad, and also see those choices play out on the world around them.
These three elements combine to form the essence of a sandbox game. The PCs are in a world that can go on without them, but one that is also ready to change and respond to the actions they take. The only limits on what they can achieve are those dictated by their own wit, cunning, and luck.
The above answer to “What is a sandbox?” was paraphrased from Kevin Crawford. If you want to explore sandboxes on your own, I highly recommend checking out Kevin Crawford’s work at Sine Nomine:
If you would like to try a scifi sandbox RPG, grab Stars Without Number. If you want a post-apocalypse sandbox RPG, grab Other Dust. If you want a dark fantasy sandbox RPG, grab Red Tide (my personal favorite of his).
I also highly recommend Rob Conley’s blog, Bat in the Attic. Here is a great article on creating your own fantasy sandbox:
Also, check out Conley’s maps (on the same blog). Do a Google search for sandbox RPGs and blogs; there are quite a few out there.Last updated:
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