This is Cults of Cthulhu (2022), a fantastic and weirdly long overdue sourcebook for Call of Cthulhu (It’s a Call of Cthulhu kind of week!).

Why is it overdue? Well, Cthulhu is a pretty key part of the name of the game, but the big squid was really only featured in one adventure, the first CoC campaign, Shadows of Yog-Sothoth. Since then, if there is a prime antagonist of the CoC game writ large, its Nyarlathotep. That’s a cosmic entity who gets around.

With Cults of Cthulhu, we get the first serious and fairly exhaustive examination of the worldwide Cthulhu cult hinted at in Lovecraft’s story. The overview is provided in an in-universe style by two characters: Mildred Schwartz works off Professor Angell’s original research to provide a history of the cult from the dawn of history to 1930. David Eberhart’s blog builds on Schwartz’s timeline, detailing developments from the ‘30s to the present. This isn’t quite so thrilling to read as the Delta Green timeline, but it is certainly entertaining and feels a bit more usable for a game.

Following that, the book presents five cults in depth. There are two old ones, the Louisiana swamp cult and the Esoteric Order of Dagon, and three new ones, the Elevated Order of Morpheus (a Victorian occult club), the Society of the Angelic Ones (a California cult) and the Church of Perfect Science (a riff on Scientology). Those new ones are the subject of lengthy scenarios later in the book and have a thread connecting them that ends on a deliciously ambiguous note. There is also a robust guide to creating your own Cthulhu cults, something I feel like I could do indefinitely. All this is wrapped up in a handsome package, as well — I generally like Chaosium’s production values these days but this one feels a bit above their average in terms of art.

An instant classic, basically.

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