A New Edition of Lovecraftesque, the Classic Storytelling Game of Creeping Cosmic Horror

Lovecraftesque is a storytelling card game of creeping cosmic horror, emulating the tone and pace of eldritch horror stories. The game will guide you to create the story of a lone individual who stumbles upon clues to a terrible evil. It creates slow-building, brooding horror that the main character at first dismisses, until all too suddenly it becomes impossible to deny. The ending will certainly be bleak, and the main character is likely to meet their doom.

A new edition

When we created Lovecraftesque in 2014, it broke the mold of eldritch horror TTRPGs. A GMless game where the mystery and the horror emerged over time from clues created by all the players. A Lovecraftian game that directly challenged HP Lovecraft’s racism and deconstructed negative ideas about mental health that had become synonymous with cosmic horror. It made a big splash, winning the Gioco Dell’anno (game of the year) and becoming a finalist in the IGDN indie groundbreakers. Lovecraftesque’s model of emergent mystery has been adopted by other games including Brindlewood Bay, Apocalypse Keys, Bleak Spirit and Cobwebs, and influenced others such as Stealing The Throne, The Sol Survivor and many more. It has come to be regarded as a classic.

But it was also our first major publication and despite these groundbreaking innovations, we shrank back from the financial risks involved in creating the game we really wanted to. Lovecraftesque second edition is that game. The new edition provides hundreds of prompts to guide and inspire players to create unique and original cosmic horror mysteries. It streamlines the teaching process, enabling your group to learn the game as you play it. And there are tons of brand new scenarios you can use with the game. The crowdfunding campaign for the new edition launches in October.

Lovecraftesque Features:

  • ~180 cards in the core game, providing hundreds of creative prompts to inspire your group.
  • ~48-page rulebook lavishly illustrated by Vincent Sammy and Paul Tomes, with hidden UV art
  • Streamlined play structure and teaching text to make it even more accessible and easy to learn.
  • New rules for solo play, legacy/campaign mode and much more.
  • 18 brand new scenarios by diverse authors.

Team Members

Josh Fox and Becky Annison – Designers

Nathan Paoletta – Layout

Vincent Sammy and Paul Tomes – Illustrations

Social Media Links

Black Armada on Twitter, Facebook

Josh Fox on Twitter, Mastodon, BlueSky, Instagram

Becky Annison on Twitter, Mastodon, BlueSky

Black Armada online store

Lovecraftesque Links

Link to the project landing page on Backerkit

Media coverage and reviews of the first edition:

Actual plays of Lovecraftesque:

Josh says:

My favourite experience in any TTRPG is uncovering a mystery. But my other favourite experience is creating a mystery and revealing it to my friends. Lovecraftesque is the game that scratches both those itches. Over the years I’ve played the game so many times and every time the story drips with atmosphere, intrigues me with weird clues and horrifies me with a mind-blowing finale. Creating the second edition of Lovecraftesque has been wonderful for me – it’s an even slicker, more evocative experience that is the game we always wanted Lovecraftesque to be. Playtesting the game I’ve enjoyed seeing new players and veterans alike have a blast with the updated edition.

Becky says:

What if we made a cosmic horror mystery game, but without a Game Master? Back in 2014 that was the starseed from which Lovecraftesque was born; we had no idea it would end up here. Lovecraftesque is designed to gently support you and your fellow players in making a dark cosmic horror story that is uniquely yours. I love the fact the game supports the players creating their own satisfying and surprising mystery stories again and again in new and weird ways. With nearly 10 years of play we’ve learned more about what makes the game really sing and updated it to create an even more seamless experience. I’m so excited to be able to bring it out in its final and terrifying form!

What People Are Saying

“Lovecraftesque is, in my view, both the greatest game of cosmic horror *and* the greatest engine for telling emergent mysteries out there. Lovecraftesque 2e is better than the original in every way.” –Nick Bate (Chiron’s Doom, Stealing The Throne)

“This is hands down one of the best systems I’ve seen for running Lovecraftian horror. It deals with the subject matter and the people at the table respectfully and beautifully weaves mysteries together in a more effective way than I’ve ever seen before.

In every scene a clue is found based off one of the prompt cards and each player quietly, privately scrawls down their assumption about what’s going on in the mystery. The thing is, there’s no set answer. Because everyone starts out with their private assumption and updates it according to how things play out, you all end up making the same mystery together without directly telling each other what you’re doing. It’s a mystery that didn’t have an answer when you began, but couldn’t have been anything else. It’s like magic.” –Charlie Etheridge Nunn (Who Dares Rolls)

“Lovecraftesque captures the feel of unsettling tales of horror like no other game I’ve played, and its collaborative mystery creation tools are unmatched! I backed 1st edition and I’ll be in again for 2nd!” –Morgan Davie (a|state 2nd edition, Paranormal Wellington)

“Lovecraftesque opens up fascinating new avenues in the well-trod territory of cosmic horror by introducing semi-competitive elements to a shared storytelling game, as players’ oft-contradictory theories about the session’s mystery jockey for supremacy within the narrative space. Moreover, both the premise and rules of the game are extremely approachable: I’ve used this game to introduce both non-gamer friends and RPG-illiterate students to the genre of roleplaying games, with great success!” –Sharang Biswas (Avatar Legends, Honey and Hot Wax)

“Lovecraftesque is one of the best Horror games available. Its narrative, numberless structure grants an ease of play that makes it easy for new players and veterans to tell stories of existential and alien suspense.” –Ross “Hawklord2112” Kingston (Stories Unlimited)

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