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Cthulhu Stardust


Close-up of Cthulhu, in David Bowie makeup.

Five years, that's all we've got.

The madman of New England had it wrong.  The Great Old Ones are not underneath the ocean in their death-sleep.  Their ancient city of R'lyeh lies on Mars, beneath Olympus Mons, and Cthulhu is turning slow, malevolent thoughts toward the Earth...

The Rise and Triumph of Cthulhu Stardust and the Leng Spiders From Mars is a horror game of humanity's final days, with a storyline that allows players to enter at any of three points, exploring different types of adventures:

  • Detective stories as Cthulhu explores Earth's weaknesses and the players try to uncover the reasons behind strange occurrences.
  • Guerilla warfare and political machinations as the invasion starts in earnest and it becomes necessary to organize a resistance, either local or global.
  • Post-apocalyptic survival after Earth's inevitable fall.

Nightgaunt - a faceless, slick, demonic creature

What this book contains:

A detailed story of the invasion of Earth, upending Bowie's tale of a saviour in the sky.  Games can be set in any of three points along the story, allowing for vastly different types of campaigns and adventures.

Simple character creation that provides significant flexibility.

A novel system where the players take all the rolls, so Cthulhu Stardust can be played with or without a GM and even solo.

Tables of mutations that characters gain and suffer as they meet more of Cthulhu's minions.

A bestiary of eight monstrosities, none of which take too well to inquisitive groups of adventurers.

What sets it apart:

A novel system that emphasizes the difference between levels of achievement, rather than smoothing them down.  The players can go toe-to-toe with a large monster if they want, but it will not end well.

The characters' exposure to the creatures of the mythos warps both mind and body, making them more powerful but driving them mad.  As they get stronger, the characters realize that they will soon turn against their friends and teammates and must decide what to do.

Shub-Niggurath, chilling and smoking

Familiarity with the David Bowie album or the Call of Cthulhu story is not required, but will be rewarded with careful reading.

This is a Pocket Quest 2023 entry and limited in length.  Please also consider purchasing the entire Space Horror bundle, listed below.

Content warnings: body horror, insanity, loss of humanity, self-harm, the destruction of humanity, and seeing the corruption of Bowie's works.

Now available: "Oracles" - the supplement to allow for solo and GM-less play, or as a book of inspiration for players of Cthulhu Stardust and any other Mythos games.

Cover image for

Image of badges earned.

Also available:

The 2022 Pocket Quest entry, Pinkysworn and its free supplement, Pinkysworn Oracles.  Another flexible game built from an odd premise, this game uses the Ironsworn system to allow you to play in a summer camp where a pinky promise is the most important vow a kid can take.

Cover for Pinkysworn Cover for Pinkysworn Oracles
Pinkysworn Pinkysworn Oracles

A review by Critical Press Media:

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Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Glenn P September 21, 2023 2:02 am UTC
Would it be possible to somehow adapt and meld "Cthulhu Stardust" with "PinkySworn," to derive an RPG where the PC is a KID, who must confront the creatures of the Cthulhu mythos? Perhaps even as an actual INVESTIGATOR (i.e., one who finds him or herself tasked with investigating and unravelling and possibly correcting a specific eldritch problem or mystery within the mythos)?
Customer avatar
Kublai K September 21, 2023 2:36 am UTC
Absolutely! I love the idea.

You may want to choose which system you prefer, as they are quite different. Take the Pinkysworn system if you want a sense of gritty realism or the Cthulhu Stardust system if you want the characters to be overwhelmed by major challenges.

To mesh them, you could take the former's pinkyswear track to show how far the party has gotten through the investigation, and the latter's Eldritch rating to track mutations due to exposure to the Mythos. I think either one travels pretty well to the other game.

For the setting, go nuts. There is a lot of potential in taking a kid's camp during any phase of the Mythos invasion described in Cthulhu Stardust - at first, it could be a camp to which the kids were sent innocently, without the parents knowing the invasion had begun; for the second phase, the kids may have been sent to camp to protect them from the encroaching evil; and for the post-apocalypse phase, the kids could just be the only survivors...See more
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File Last Updated:
July 01, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on July 01, 2023.