Saturday, May 20, 2017

(Review) De Horrore Cosmico by Golden Goblin Press

It was a little under two and a half years ago when 420 people backed Oscar Rios and Golden Goblin Press' Kickstarter for De Horrore Cosmico: Six Scenarios for Cthulhu Invictus.  I was one of those 420, and I've finally gotten around to giving the book a solid once over

Cthulhu Invictus, Lovecraftian role-playing during the Roman Empire, is a unique setting that, outside of the work from Mr Rios, has largely gone unloved.  Mind you, the 1890's Cthulhu by Gaslight is a mere afterthought through most of the CoC's existence, and that at least is part of the main rule book!

In De Horroe Cosmico, the writers attempt to make the historical setting more accessible to fans of CoC/Lovecraft and the traditional 1920's/modern focus.  Each scenario in the book is based off of one of Lovecraft's stories, converted to fit under the shadow of Rome's rule.

In a similar style to my review of Tales of the Crescent City, I'll do a quick overview of each scenario and a StatCheck breakdown, listing what skill checks are written in the scenario, maxium SAN losses/gains if all situations are encountered/obtain, as well as any special bonuses, Cthulhu Mythos knowledge that can be gained in the scenario.

The Vetting of Marius Asina  by Jeffrey Moeller
Based off of Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family.  Characterss are put to task to investigate the family of a local senator aspiring to higher office.

Cthulhu Mythos x3
Fast Talk x3
Natural History x3
Occult x3
Persuade x8
Spot Hidden x2
Status x1

Max San Loss:  5-36
Max San Gain:  4-26
Bonus:   +8% Cthulhu Mythos
Possible extra skill checks in Occult, Navigation, Other Language (Opar) and Other Kingdom (Opar).

Doom  by Chad Bowser
Based off The Doom That Came to Sarnath.  A retired Roman Legionaire suffering strange dreams fall victim to an unusal buglary of his household.

Civics x1
Cthulhu Mythos x1
Dodge x1
Fast Talk x4
First Aid x1
Insight x2
Library Use x1
Medicine x1
Natural World x1
Occult x1
Other Lang: Greek x2
Other Lang:  Hieratic x2
Persuade x5
Stealth x1

Max San Loss: 6-59
Max San Gain: 1-8
Bonuses:  Cthulhu Mythos +13%, Natural World +5%, Occult +5%

Murmillo  by Oscar Rios
Inspired by Shadows over Innsmouth.  Investigators must find a young patrician attempting to become a gladiator after he has run off to join an obscure gladiator school.

Climb x1
Fast Talk x3
Hide x1
Listern x1
Occult x1
Other Lang: Germanic x1
Persuade x4
Repair/Devise x1
Sneak x5
Spot Hidden x6

Max San Loss:  5-47
Max San Gain:  7-43

Kith and Kine by Phredd Groves
Inspired by Rats in the Walls and Whisperers in Darkness. Unrest in Brittania as a rival clan has taken over land of a clan allied to Rome

Art x1
Listen x1
Natural World x5
Other Lang:  Brythonic
Other Lang:  Punic
Repair/Devise x2
Spot Hidden x4

Max San Loss: 4-45
Max San Gain:  2-8

The Devil's Mouth by Stuart Boon
Based off In the Mountains of Madness.  The characters are sent to investigate a disappearance of a Roman diplomat deep within the wilds of Caledonia.

Astronomy x1
Craft: Cooking x1
First Aid x1
Insight x1
Medicine x2
Natural World x1
Other King: Caledonia x1
Other Lang: Pictish x4
Persuade x2
Ride x1
Science: Metallurgy x1
Spot Hidden x5
Status x1
Track x3

Max San Loss:  7-48
Max San Gain:  3-14
Bonus:  Cthulhu Mythos +5%

The Case of Tertius Orestious Sedonicus by Penelope Love and Mark Morrison
A family is looking for scholars in medicine and/or those who can work discretely.

Civics x9
Climb x1
Empire x3
Fast Talk x1
First Aid x1
Insight x3
Listen x3
Library Use x1
Medicine x5
Persuade x3
Potions x2
Repair/Devise x1
Sneak x2
Spot Hidden x7
Status x2

Max San Loss:  6-35
Max San Gain:  3-22
Bonus:  Cthulhu Mythos +8%

Patron Mi Patrone
Six Patrons for establishing storyline in Cthulhu Invictus.  A very useful addition.

All in all, Golden Gobln does a fantasic job putting the work together.  The scenarios are put together well and are plot directional, without being railroady. The artwork, maps, and handouts are solid and properly convey the Cthulhu Mythos in Rome to unfamiliar Keepers.   My only complaint is that others may find the retellings of classic stories in Invictus times to be trite and unoriginal at worst, or predictable during play, at best.  I believe that they would be wholey wrong in that opinion, but knowing that the scenarios might not be the best for everyone, i must give De Horrore Cosmisco Four and a Half Gnomes on the Five Gnomes Gaming with the Gnomies scale.

De Horrore Cosmico is available through Golden Goblin Press.  Minor conversion notes to Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition were part of the stretch goals for the Cthulhu Invictus 7th Edition Kickstarter and that's status is unknown to the writer at this time.

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