The 7th Edition Guide to Cthulhu Invictus
Take your Call of Cthulhu game back in time to the Age of the Antonines, The Golden Age of Imperial Rome. Battle sinister cults, unspeakable horrors, and alien gods across the Roman Empire, from the misty shores of Britannia to the bustling markets of the Arabia, deep in the forests of Germania and across the stacks of the Library of Alexandria, from the Pyramids to the Parthenon, from the Colosseum to Hadrian's Wall, from the trading ports of North Africa to the coast of the Black Sea. Adventure, glory, death, and madness await.
It is a time when nearly two fifths of the Earth's population lived within the borders of one of the greatest empires in recorded history. At its height, the Roman Empire stretched north to the Germanic territories, east to Asia and Arabia, south to North Africa, and west to Britain and the Iberian Peninsula. Unified by laws and bureaucracies, protected by powerful armies, the citizens of the Empire enjoy the comfort their great civilization provides... while most are mercifully unaware of the terrors lurking all around them.
Few know that permeating every corner of the Empire lies a cosmic horror, a darkness older than the Sphinx and mightier than the Titans. Uncaring beings of incredible power, served by human worshipers and inhuman minions. Wherever their shadows reach corruption, madness, and death follows.
But there is hope. Heroes and heroines of the Roman Empire, who somehow learn of the threat and rise up to fight against it. From learned scholars to lowly slaves, from the benches of the senate to beneath the arches of the Colosseum, from the legionary camps of the border provinces to the steamy bath houses of every city, there can be found those willing to give their lives in order to protect mankind. With torch, sword, and mystic arts they battle powers awesome and insidious, forces mysterious and deadly, and with each victory they win, the Empire is preserved another day.
This is Cthulhu Invictus.
A Brief History - In 2004, a monograph was released that added a new era of play to the Call of Cthulhu RPG universe. Cthulhu Invictus - Horror Role-Playing in Ancient Rome took Keepers and investigators alike to a new world of cosmic horror role playing.
Five years later, in 2009, Cthulhu Invictus - A Sourcebook for Ancient Rome, was released. This greatly expanded upon the original material and made Cthulhu Invictus an official setting for the Call of Cthulhu game line.
The Relaunch of Cthulhu Invictus - It is now 2017, and once again Cthulhu Invictus is about to be reborn. Chaosium has granted Golden Goblin Press, a three year contract to take over the Cthulhu Invictus line. We are thrilled and honored to have this opportunity to usher in this third incarnation of Cthulhu Invictus, as a fully incorporated 7th edition setting.
Enter Golden Goblin Press - Our love for the setting is well established. Our third Kickstarter (launched in September of 2014) was the Cthulhu Invictus collection De Horrore Cosmico. Also, our founder and president Oscar Rios (that's me) is the author of The Legacy of Arrius Lurco, the only campaign for Cthulhu Invictus to date (produced by Miskatonic River Press in 2011). Here at the Goblin Lair we've running Cthulhu Invictus adventures for more than a decade. We are eager to bring our love of this amazing setting to the newest edition of the Call of Cthulhu core rules.
What to Expect - This is more than a re-skinning of the Cthulhu Invictus for the 7th edition. We are remaking the game from the ground up, with a revamped skill list, new professions, optional rules, and a drastically overhauled combat system. We expect the finished book to be somewhere in the range of 80,000 words. At the time of this campaign's launch seven of the eleven planned chapters and the included scenario are already written and in the initial editing phase.
Some Examples :
New Living Standards, Cash and Assets, such as:
Status 51 – 79: Upper Middle Class
You have amassed, inherited, or were born into enough wealth to qualify for equestrian status. While you still must work and aren’t considered “wealthy”, you lead a comfortable life. You can travel for leisure purposes, and you enjoy going on holiday in the country or provinces once or twice a year. You likely own a couple dozen slaves and employ a number of free citizens.
Social Class: Equestrian
Starting Coinage: Status X 10 Sesterces
Daily Expenses: 700 Sesterces
Accommodations: A comfortable home in the city and a rustic villa in the county for when you want to get away and relax.
Assets: Status X 500 in Sesterces
Travel: By wagon, your personal mount, or a slave-drawn litter. You can afford to hire a boat to take you where you need to go.
Revised Professions include:
Centurion / Legionary
You are the power and the glory of Rome, a well-trained disciplined soldier of the Empire. You serve within the legions, from the mists of Britannia to the sands of Syria, drilling and guarding the lands along the Rhine, Danube, or Nile rivers. Against foreign invaders, domestic revolts, or renegade legions, your steel, blood, and bravery have ensured Rome’s dominance over all foes. Your shield defends civilization against the barbarian hordes and preserves the Pax Romana.
Centurion – You are one of sixty of your legion’s Centurions, mid-ranking officers who form the backbone of the army. You are a fighting man and an excellent soldier, likely promoted due to merit. You command about one hundred men who look to you for leadership when the fighting starts. In battle, the enemy will look to you as well, with your signature transverse helmet crest, as their prime target.
Legionary – You are a rank and file soldier, one of the countless marching under your legion’s standard. You hope to live out your twenty five years of service and retire with a nice pension, but until then, you keep your eyes open, your mouth shut, and your kit close at hand. If you’re skilled (more than 40%) at a useful craft (such as plumbing, carpentry, forging weapons or armory, cobbling, or cooking…), you could be promoted to Immunis and ply that trade for your legion. This gets you out of the worst jobs, like latrine duty, hauling firewood, and overnight guard duty.
Occupation Skill Points: EDU X 2 + STR X 2
Status: Centurion 30 – 40 / Legionary 0 – 20
Suggested Contacts: Publicans, civilian suppliers, public officials, other Legionaries / Centurions
Skills: Art / Craft, Climb, Empire, Intimidate, Jump, Spot Hidden, Shield, Sword, Pilum, Throw
Revised Skills Include:
Empire (25% or 15%) : This is the investigator's basic knowledge of the empire they live in, its geography, cultures, laws, government, history, religions, and mythology. This skill should be used to find out where to get a permit or license; who needs to be bribed in order to expedite said permits, have charges dropped, or fees waived; and if the taxes you are being charged are, in fact, correct. This skill also helps an investigator know which racing faction did best last year, what the latest fashions in Syria are, what wine is all the rage in Italia, or when the next gladiatorial games are. This skill can be used to remember what the next holiday is, when the Empire was founded, or where the last military victory was won, and against whom.
The difference in the starting skill amount depends on whether an investigator is from an urban or rural background. If the investigator grew up in a city such as Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Londinium, or Massilia, they begin play with an Empire score of 25%. Investigators who come from rural settings, such as small farming villages, fishing ports, or remote mining towns, begin play with an Empire score of 15%, as intricate laws, histories, and social details seldom affect their lives.
Pushing Examples: The investigator doubles the bribe amount, argues with the official over the tax amount, or makes their best guess at when a particular holiday falls or what the local fashion is.
Sample Consequences of Failing a Pushed Roll: The investigator is arrested for trying to bribe an official or avoid paying their taxes, or makes a social fool of themselves for wearing the color that has been out of fashion for three years, or praising a gladiator who died three years ago.
For the fans of the Cthulhu Invictus game, everything you love is going to remain and be expanded, because we love it as well. Rough spots (every game has them) will be sanded smooth, changed, or dropped to make the game stronger. For those interested in exploring the world of Cthulhu Invictus for the first time, this project is an excellent way to begin.
Our Production Team - This project's primary author is Oscar Rios, with Lisa Padol as our primary editor. We're excited to have Mark Shireman, who created the look of Tales of the Crescent City and Tales of the Caribbean, as out Layout Artists and Art Director.
We are thrilled to be working once again with Alberto Guerra, who is doing our cover and interior illustrations. He has a great deal of experience illustrating the world of Cthulhu Invictus, as he was also the cover and interior artist of The Legacy of Arrius Lurco, De Horrore Cosmico, and Tales of Cthulhu Invictus.
We welcome back Stephanie McAlea, who handled cartography in De Horrore Cosmico and The Legacy of Arrius Lurco.
Includes a 7th Edition Cthulhu Invictus Scenario
Blood and Glory, by Oscar Rios - In the city of Rome, investigators make ready to enjoy three days of games at the Colosseum. However strange, tragic, and shocking incidents cast a shadow over the festive event. Can the investigators get to the bottom of these mysterious happenings and put a stop to them in time to save the day?
Backer Level Rewards Chart
We have many stretch goals planned for this campaign:
STRETCH GOAL ONE, EXPANDED CONTENT ($21,500 / UNLOCKED) - The book will include 10,000 words of additional content, including more monsters, cults, patrons, investigator societies, spells, arcane tomes, and investigator professions. This will increase the minimum size of the project to 90,000 words.
STRETCH GOAL TWO, INTERIOR ART EXPANSION ($23,000 / UNLOCKED) - This will be a 30% increase in our commissioned interior art, including full illustrations and spot art (such as examples weapons, armor, tools, etc.).
STRETCH GOAL THREE, FURTHER TALES OF CTHULHU INVICTUS ($28,000 / UNLOCKED) - An original Cthulhu Invictus fiction companion, Further Tales of Cthulhu Invictus, ten stories of battling the Cthulhu Mythos in Ancient Rome a sequel to Tales of Cthulhu Invictus (see Add Ons). This book is already written, is about sixty thousand words, and is in the initial editing phase. All backers at and above the Libertini backer level receive a digital download of this book. Once this stretch goal is unlocked physical copies can be added onto your backer rewards for an additional $12.
The line up is -
The Apotheosis of Osirantinous by Ed Erdelac
The Sybil at Cumae by Penelope Love
Turning the Tide by Tom Lynch
Outposts by William Meikle
The Eighth Hill by Christine Morgan
Poisoned Gifts by Konstantine Paradias
What the Moonlight Brought by Joe Pluver
The Eye of Cybele by Peter Rawlik
A Special Day by Oscar Rios
The Doom that came to Suetonius Colonia by Lee Clark Zumpe
STRETCH GOAL FOUR, A SECOND BONUS SCENARIO ($30,000 / UNLOCKED) -An original scenario by Chad Bowser (co-creator of Cthulhu Invictus) shall be added to the core book. This stretch goal will likely increase the size of the finished book to above 100,000 words.
We are Food for Worms (Alimentum Vermibs Sumus) - As plague grips Rome a deeper fear envelopes the populous. The bodies of some of the dead, carted out of the city to be quickly and safely disposed of, have begun returning to Rome of their own accord. Even worse some say they've seen the mad emperor Nero, dead for over fifty years, strumming his lyre as he wander the streets of Rome! Can the investigators get to the bottom of this and stop Nero Redivivus (a Returned Nero) in time?
STRETCH GOAL FIVE, INVESTIGATORS OF THE EMPIRE ($31, 500 / UNLOCKED) – Once unlocked every backer entitled to digital rewards shall receive a bonus PDF collection of eighteen 7th edition pre-generated investigators, with original black and white character portraits by Alberto Guerra, and character backgrounds by Oscar Rios. These include the dozen pre-generated investigators Golden Goblin Press (and before that Miskatonic River Press) has used in conventions for many years now, along with six brand new ones. They are as follows:
1. Vatinius Papus – Centurion
2. Atilius Calcus – Laborer
3. Curtois Fronto – Surgeon
4. Drev of Narbo – Slave
5. Dulius Nasica – Vigilis
6. Livia the Dark – Courtesan
7. Malachi ben Zakai – Bodyguard
8. Macrion of Corinth – Scholar
9. Mennad the Mighty – Gladiator
10. Olcia Nazarilla – Patrician
11. Tarquinius Sulla – Merchant
12. Sabina of Baetica – Bath House Attendant
13. Calvina Evodelia – Entertainer (NEW)
14. Tadius Lepiuds – Courier (NEW)
15. Jacome of Valentia – Slinger (NEW)
16. Fadia Memorella – Priestess (NEW)
17. Herminius Rusticus – Finder (NEW)
18. Conri of Lugdunum – Auxiliary (NEW)
STRETCH GOAL SIX, DE HORRORE COSMICO 7th EDITION CONVERSION PDF ($32,000 / UNLOCKED) – Every backer at and above the Manes of the Dead II backer level will receive a PDF of 7th Edition conversions for De Horrore Cosmico. It will include 7th edition stats for every NPC and encounter listed in the Golden Goblin Press Cthulhu Invictus scenario collection De Horrore Cosmico. This should allow keepers to more easily run the collection’s six adventures, and utilize the six included patrons.
STRETCH GOAL SEVEN: CTHULHU INVICTUS LOGO STICKER ($32,500 / UNLOCKED) – Every backer due to receive physical rewards directly from the Goblin Lair will get a 3” by 4” rectangular sticker of the bold new Cthulhu Invictus logo! More on this as the campaign progresses.
STRETCH GOAL EIGHT, THE LEGACY OF ARRIUS LURCO ACQUISITION AND 7TH EDITION CONVERSION ($34,000 / UNLOCKED) - Golden Goblin Press will acquire the rights to The Legacy of Arrius Lurco from Miskatonic River Press (enabling us to put the book back in print). Every backer due to receive digital stretch goal items will receive a PDF with 7th edition conversion notes for The Legacy of Arrius Lurco.
STRETCH GOAL NINE, 7TH EDITION CTHULHU INVICTUS KEEPER'S SCREEN ($35,500 / UNLOCKED) - Golden Goblin Press will design and produce a three panel keeper's screen (33" x 8-1/2"). It will be designed by Mark Shireman and feature the art of Alberto Guerra. Tables will include skill list, small random Roman name generator, weapons and armor tables, mini-map of the Empire with provinces, and as much more as we can cram into it. All backers due digital stretch goal rewards will receive PDF copies of the cover and interior pages of the screen.
Once unlocked the 7th Edition Cthulhu Invictus Keeper's Screen will be available as an add-on item (to all backer levels permitted physical add-on items) for an additional $15. Backers at the Senatores of the Empire and The Royal Family of the Roman Empire level will automatically receive a physical copy of the 7th Edition Cthulhu Invictus Keeper's screen.
Stretch Goal Ten, Ghosts of Iron Mountain ($36,500) - Golden Goblin Press will release an additional 7th edition Cthulhu Invictus adventure on PDF, which every backer due to receive digital rewards will receive a download code for. It will have three illustrations, a single full page map, and is approximately 7,500 words in length. This scenario will be an backer exclusive for the remainder of 2017, made available to the public only after the new year. This scenario is already written and was play tested at the Goblin Lair and publicly at Carnage on the Mountain in late 2016 (in what became the deadliest Cthulhu Invictus games I've ever run)..
Ghosts of Iron Mountain, by Oscar Rios – High in the mountains of Tarraconensis, one of the three provinces of Hispania, a new mining venture has been halted due to a rash of accidents, sabotage, and murder. Bands of strange creatures roam the high mountain roads. Shadows move about the darkness of the mines as whispers and strange tapping echo below the earth. The region has a dark reputation and been abandoned for centuries although no one really remembers why. Unless the investigators can solve this mystery an entire town faces financial ruin and collapse, but some secrets are best left undisturbed.
Stretch Goal Eleven, Roman Replica Coins ($37,000 / UNLOCKED) - Every backer due to receive physical stretch goal rewards will get a set of our Golden Goblin Press Roman Replica coins. Cast at the imperial mint in far off Australia by our good friends at Campaign Coins.
Golden Goblin Press Sestertius: This would probably cover your expenses for a day or two. Its inscription "Pvnctim et Caesim" translates to "With Point and Edge", basically Stabbing and Slashing. A modern version of this would be "With Tooth and Nail."
Golden Goblin Press Denarius: This would probably cover your expenses for a month or two. Its inscription "Ex Audacia Victoriam" translates to "Out of Audacity We Achieve Victory."
Golden Goblin Press Aureus: This would probably cover your expenses for nearly a year (if you were careful, or a really wonderful night if you were not). Its inscription of Persectati Somnium Dementis translates to "Chasing a Madman's Dream". These were a major part of our previous Cthulhu Invictus Kickstarter, De Horrore Cosmico.
We only have a small number remaining, which we are offering as add-on items, but should we unlock this stretch goal we will order fresh stock for many of our backers (those due physical rewards shipping directly from the Goblin Lair, not available to Print on Demand or digital only backers.
Stretch Goal Twelve, Goddess of the White Apes ($38,000 / UNLOCKED) – Stretch Goal Ten, Ghosts of Iron Mountain, be joined by a second original adventure. This two scenario PDF will also get a full color and be titled Fronti Nulla Fides (No faith in appearances). The second adventure is a sequel to one of the most chilling adventure’s Golden Goblin Press has ever produced, and a standout gem in the of De Horrore Cosmico collection. Golden Goblin Press is very proud to present...
The Goddess of the White Apes, by Jeffrey Moeller - Six year ago Marius Asina's political career was rocked by scandal, his family torn asunder in a spree of murder and mayhem. But Marius Asina was only a small piece of a much larger plan. In a far off kingdom a young priestess of the royal bloodline rises in power and plots her revenge against Rome.
Stretch Goal Thirteen, The Clockwork Oracle ($38,500 / UNLOCKED) - This original 7th Edition Cthulhu Invictus scenario will be added to Fronti Nulla Fides (see Stretch Goals Ten and Twelve).
A Clockwork Oracle, By Oscar Rios - In the port city of Corinth the adult children of a wealthy patrician hire the investigators to free their father from the influence of his newest client. This mysterious man seems to be a brilliant engineer who’s been supplying their father with wondrous clockwork machines. Their father claims the latest gift, a fabulous clockwork Jay, tells him the future. Since receiving this item his children believe their father to be bewitched.
Stretch Goal Fourteen, The Final Voyage ($39,250) - This original 7th Edition Cthulhu Invictus scenario will be added to Fronti Nulla Fides (see Stretch Goals Ten, Twelve, and Thirteen).
The Final Voyage, by Charles Gerrard – Investigators are hired to watch over a shipment of silks on a ship sailing from Antioch to Rome. However pirates and thieves quickly become the least of their problems as crew member begin turning up dead, apparently savaged by a monstrous beast. Can the investigators solve this mystery before the mysterious creature claims them as well.
Stretch Goal Fifteen, The Dragon of Cambria ($39,750 / UNLOCKED) - This original 7th Edition Cthulhu Invictus scenario will be added to Fronti Nulla Fides (see Stretch Goals Ten, Twelve, Thirteen, and Fourteen).
The Dragon of Cambria, by William Adcock – The Silures of western Britannia, a tribe with lukewarm dealings with Rome, has officially asked the Roman governor for assistance. This rare opportunity to improve relations with the tribe cannot be passed up. It should be easy to solve their problem; what are the chances that an actual dragon has moved into their territory? William Adcock is the official apprentice of Oscar Rios, and this may be his first published Call of Cthulhu adventure.
Stretch Goal Sixteen, Body without a Soul ($41,500) - This Original 7th Edition Cthulhu Invictus scenario will be added to complete the Fronti Nulla Dides collection (see Stretch Goals Ten, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, and Fifteen).
Body with a Soul, by Oscar Rios - A fabulously wealthy patrician with one of the finest libraries in Rome hires the investigators to locate his most favored client. Appius Marcellus Silvo is an author best known for writing about the exotic corners of the Empire, has vanished while working on his latest book. However, he lead a double life and writes other sorts of books, dark and blasphemous works of erotica for a very wealthy and exclusive audience. Following his trail leads the investigators to the province of Britannia, where the author has drawn the attention of a Great Old One, who has needs of his special gifts.
This long and very adult themed scenario is already about 1/3rd written.I had the great honor to speak to Ramsey Campbell about this, and have received his blessing on it, as I hope to answer one of the greatest mysteries of his mythology.
Stretch Goal Seventeen, Double coins plus two Quinarius! ($42,250) - Should we reach this stretch goal all backers due physical stretch goal rewards will receive double their coin rewards, plus two brand new additional coins (for a total of eight coins). This new official Golden Goblin Press Roman Replica Coin from Campaign Coins will be The quinarius (a small silver coin, worth half a denarius). This new coin will be designed and cast to commemorate this Kickstarter. Also, those ordering an additional set of coins, will get a quinarius as well should this be unlocked.
PHYSICAL ADD ON ITEMS PERMITTED TO EVERY BACKER LEVEL ABOVE PEREGRINI. DIGITAL ADD ONS PERMITTED AT EVERY BACKER LEVEL ABOVE LIBERTINI.
De Horrore Cosmico ($45; Physical & PDF combo, includes shipping / Digital Download $10) - A collection of six Cthulhu Invictus adventures based on some of H.P. Lovecrafts most classic stories. Also includes six NPC patrons.
- The Vetting of Marius Asina by Jeffery Moeller
- Doom by Chad Bowser
- Murmillo by Oscar Rios
- Kith and Kine by Phredd Groves
- The Devil's Mouth by Stuart Boon
- The Case of Tertius Orestius Sedonius by Penelope Love and Mark Morrison
Tales of Cthulhu Invictus ($20; Physical Paperback & PDF/ePub/MOBI copy, includes shipping / Digital Download Only $6) - Long before ivy grew on the walls of Miskatonic University, or the Deep Ones first came to Innsmouth, centuries before the mad Arab penned the dreaded Necronomicon, the malevolent powers of the Cthulhu Mythos plagued mankind. Here are nine tales of cosmic horror set during the time of the Roman Empire. Edited by Brian Sammons.
- Vulcan’s Forge by William Meikle
- Fecunditati Augustae by Christine Morgan
- A Plague of Wounds by Konstantine Paradias
- Tempus Edax Rerum by Pete Rawlik
- The Unrepeatables by Edward M. Erdelac
- Magnum Innominandum by Penelope Love
- Lines in the Sand by Tom Lynch
- The Temple of Iald-T’quthoth by Lee Clark Zumpe
- The Seven Thunders by Robert M. Price
Physical Copies of Further Tales of Cthulhu Invictus ($12, includes shipping)
Tales of Cthulhu Invictus / Further Tales of Cthulhu Invictus Combo ($30; Physical Paperbacks & PDF/ePub/MOBI copies, includes shipping)
7TH EDITION CTHULHU INVICTUS KEEPER'S SCREEN ($15, includes shipping) - Golden Goblin Press will design and produce a three panel keeper's screen (33" x 8-1/2"). It will be designed by Mark Shireman and feature the art of Alberto Guerra. Tables will include skill list, small random Roman name generator, weapons and armor tables, mini-map of the Empire with provinces, and as much more as we can cram into it.
Additional Cthulhu Invictus Logo Stickers ($2.50 each / 5 for $10)
Set of three official Golden Goblin Press Roman Replica Coins ($20)
Golden Goblin Press Sestertius: This would probably cover your expenses for a day or two. Its inscription "Pvnctim et Caesim" translates to "With Point and Edge", basically Stabbing and Slashing. A modern version of this would be "With Tooth and Nail".
Golden Goblin Press Denarius: This would probably cover your expenses for a month or two. Its inscription "Ex Audacia Victoriam" translates to "Out of Audacity We Achieve Victory"
Golden Goblin Press Aureus: This would probably cover your expenses for nearly a year (if you were careful, or a really wonderful night if you were not). Its inscription of Persectati Somnium Dementis translates to "Chasing a Madman's Dream".
Call of Cthulhu is the Registered Trademark of Chaosium Inc., and is used with their permission. www.chaosium.com The names, descriptions, and depictions applied to this supplement are derived from works copyrighted by and include trademarks owned by Chaosium Inc., and may not be used or reused without its permission.
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges are primarily the project not funding and production delays. While we hope to successfully fund and are confident that we will, there are no guarantees. Unexpected challenges, delays, and difficulties find their way into every project. We have learned to deal with each and every issue that comes up; however certain production setbacks may be unavoidable. We hope to have the project delivered on schedule, or failing that, as soon as physically possible thereafter.And, we will always keep you informed. Golden Goblin Press has built a reputation for communicative (expect frequent updates), transparent, and dependable Kickstarters.
Learn about our accountability on Kickstarter.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)