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From now through June 29th, the premium color format of this title has been marked down by up to 25%! For more values, visit our Premium Color Book sale page.

"The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them ..."

Mankind likes to believe itself the foremost power in the world, and the universe beyond. But this is a prideful illusion. A lie. Long before we rose from the slime, other powers far greater held sway upon our planet ... and those same powers were always destined to one day return to their pre-eminence. APOCTHULHU is a roleplaying game which explores a world in which one such horrific re-emergence has already occurred, leaving the world in a Post-Apocalyptic torpor.

APOCTHULHU is a tabletop roleplaying game that is designed to allow you to explore many different past or future worlds where the Mythos somehow took control. Perhaps human civilizations fell when Shub-Niggurath bestowed a terrible gift of fertility on the Earth? Or when Nyarlathotep’s words seduced superpowers into mutual annihilation? Did R’lyeh rise, waking you-know-who?

APOCTHULHU is built upon a simple yet elegant D100 system. Players take on the roles of everyday people who are Survivors in a Post-Apocalyptic world. Game mechanics emphasize the lethality of life in the fallen world, in terms of threats to health and sanity. Rules also cover scavenging equipment and resources, often the only way Survivors can obtain scarce supplies.

By investigating horrors of the Post-Apocalyptic world and defeating their schemes and agents, Survivors might just guarantee their community lives to carry on the fight. Or they might unearth secrets that can one day overthrow the Mythos overlords.

The APOCTHULHU Core Rulebook is a beautifully and extensively illustrated 330-page book, presenting the rules of the game and copious resources for running it.


The book contains a full and detailed set of game mechanics, streamlined and tailored for running any kind of Lovecraftian Post-Apocalypse, whether that be future, present-day, or even a "historical apocalypse":

  • Character Options: Flexible character archetypes allow you to build a wide range of different types of player-character Survivors, from fearful former office-workers to grizzled road warriors.
  • Scavenging: Finding useful resources in the Post-Apocalyptic wastelands can be hard -- the game offers mechanics for determining what's easy to track down and what's not. And what unspecified "stuff" might be pulled from your Survivor's personal swag of belongings when the need arises.
  • Societal Bonds: In a world without defined social structures, sometimes the only thing a Survivor can count on are the bonds he or she has with individuals around them, and the bonds with community groups. Both are explicitly represented by game mechanics.
  • Simple But Deadly Combat: The world can be violent, but engaging in combat is never a safe option, rather a last resort that might just leave both the winner and loser permanently scarred (or dead).
  • Sanity Mechanics: Lovecraftian games always feature the perilous cost of learning the truth about the horrors of the world, but in a Post-Apocalyptic world not all horrors are hidden ... nor are they necessarily uncommon.


The APOCTHULHU Core Rules are designed to support games set in a broad range of Lovecraftian Post-Apocalypse settings. As such there is no one "core" game setting, but rather the book provides resources for building or adapting games in many different settings:
  • Build Your Own: Advice and guidelines are provided for GMs who want to take their own original idea for a Post-Apocalyptic world and turn it into a fully-fledged game setting.
  • Pre-Defined "Example" Apocalypses: Eight settings are described with detailed descriptions of the origins of the Apocalypse, details of life of the setting, and some representative horrors, supernatural wonders, and "tomes".
  • William Hope Hodgson's "The Night Land": An extended "sourcebook" chapter provides a lengthy description of the bizarre far-future Apocalyptic world described in Hodgon's 1913 novel. Adapted by legendary designer Kevin Ross.


In addition to setting details, the core APOCTHULHU rulebook contains two fully-detailed "ready-to-run" Lovecraftian scenarios. Each is set in its own world:

  • "Kick The Can" by Jeff Moeller: The end of the world came when the night of fire prophesied by a crazy doomsday cult ACTUALLY came to fruition. The PC are among the few who survived in cult-furnished bunkers; a year on, strange radio messages summon them. Should they listen?
  • "A Yellow And Unpleasant Land" by Jo Kreil: A "historical apocalypse" set in an alternative version of 1890s Britain. Queen Victoria is gone, as are the staid traditions of the Victorian age. In its place is hedonism and decadence, mandated by a new King ... a King in Yellow.

Whether you want a ready-made one-shot, or an ongoing campaign of gritty survival horror, APOCTHULHU is your gateway to nightmarish versions of humanity’s past or future.

Do you have what it takes to be an Apocalypse Survivor?

Intrigued by the idea, but would prefer to give the APOCTHULHU game system a test-drive first? Well, you can! Check out the APOCTHULHU Quickstart, available as a Pay-What-You-Want PDF or Softcover book.

An APOCTHULHU resources page may be found on the Cthulhu Reborn site which offers items to supplement the Core rulebook and make it easier and quicker to start playing.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (3)
Discussions (9)
Customer avatar
Amit A June 11, 2021 5:50 pm UTC
Should I get the hardcover or the softcover?
Customer avatar
Dean E June 12, 2021 1:20 am UTC
Hi Amit,

That's definitely a good question - and hopefully some of our previous customers can share their own impressions below.

As far as looking at which option is more popular, I've just gone back and looked over sales data for 2021 so far ... looks like Hardcover sells a bit more (62% of sales vs 38% for softcover).

I hope some of this helps answer your question.
Customer avatar
Amit A June 24, 2021 11:25 pm UTC
Hi, thanks for the response ... I went for the hardcover in the end ... However I am getting more physical copies of the quick start before the July price-hike for my group ... digittal is all very well and good ... but you just cant beat that feeling of a physical copy in your hands

Thanks again CR team
Customer avatar
Dean E June 25, 2021 2:11 am UTC
Amit, you are a legend :) Thank you very much.
Customer avatar
Johnathan C October 30, 2020 12:39 am UTC
If I have already bought the PDF, is the discount already applied or will this be in a email to me as a voucher or discount link for purchasing the physical book? Thank you. I really like the product so far.
Customer avatar
Dean E October 30, 2020 6:12 am UTC
Hi Jonathan,

We have already sent out a round of discount vouchers via email (using the customer email tools here on DTRPG). These have gone to all customers who haven't blocked publisher emails ...

If you haven't seen one of those emails by now, it's quite possible that you were missed during that initial mailout. I'd suggest first looking in your spam folder and if it's not in there, contacting us directly via (where we can get the voucher code sent out to you manually).

We definitely DO want to get discount vouchers out to everyone who purchased the PDF prior to the print editions going live. We might need your help in doing that, though. So please bear with us.
Customer avatar
Johnathan C October 30, 2020 7:40 pm UTC
I didn't find anything on drivethrurpg or in my email. I emailed you at the address above. Thank you for your quick response.
Customer avatar
DIOGO A September 10, 2020 12:51 pm UTC
Will there be a POD option ?
Customer avatar
Dean E September 14, 2020 2:39 am UTC
Yes, we are working to create a POD print version that will be sold here.
Customer avatar
Josie K November 14, 2020 2:00 pm UTC
POD option is now available
Customer avatar
Neil S September 10, 2020 1:17 am UTC
will this be sold on amazon
Customer avatar
Jason W September 07, 2020 6:54 am UTC
Why can't I print the character sheets?
Customer avatar
Dean E September 07, 2020 7:12 am UTC
Perhaps you're trying to print pages from the APOCTHULHU Core v1.0 PDF that (as noted in other comments here) was accidentally released with some permissions disabled?

If that's the case -- grab the v1.0a version of the core book PDF, which should have been added to your order.

Alternatively, if you're having problems with printing the standalone interactive sheets (i.e., the ones in the Resource ZIP files bundled with the core book), you should experiment with another PDF reader maybe. I've confirmed that those files *do* print fine with the full (desktop) version of Adobe Reader. Other readers may not handle those interactive sheets in the same way.

If none of those suggestions help, feel free to drop us an email at and we can see what's going on.
Customer avatar
Dean E September 07, 2020 7:25 am UTC
Minor correction -- just realized that the interactive sheets aren't in the resource pack. They are separate downloads from the APOCTHULHU Support page on the Cthulhu Reborn site (

That page also has blank versions of the sheets as standalone PDFs
Customer avatar
Jędrzej G August 25, 2020 3:08 pm UTC
Will it be available on roll20? I mean character sheet - not the book
Customer avatar
Dean E November 22, 2020 9:35 pm UTC
There are now APOCTHULHU character sheets on Roll20.
Customer avatar
Eric W August 24, 2020 5:45 pm UTC
Will this be available in print soon?
Customer avatar
Dean E August 24, 2020 10:57 pm UTC
We're currently working hard on the print version, but given the prep-time needed by printers it probably won't be released until late in 2020 (we're aiming for November). We wish it was quicker, but that's the pace that printer-things move at.
Customer avatar
Mark T September 30, 2020 2:25 pm UTC
Hi there! Do you have some kind of notification list to let people know when the print version will be available? I'm very much looking forward to getting my hot little hands on this beast of a book, for the d100 mechanics (something I love from the original CoC game) and for the Nightland sourcebook in particular! But I can't stand reading PDFs. So, if there's a notification list, please put me on it! is my email address. I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Gary F August 22, 2020 10:58 pm UTC
What BRP is the basis for this? Big Gold Book? Delta Green 2e? Call of Cthulhu 7th? Thanks!
Customer avatar
Dean E August 23, 2020 12:48 am UTC
The term "BRP" is a bit murky and imprecise in this context. While BRP spawned the D100 concept, there have been several other games that have been written over the years which have *no* direct lineage from BRP but rather have been written from the ground up to be new games that include similar D100 game mechanics. Some of those have been released under the (Wizards) OGL, and it is from *those* sources that APOCTHULHU derives its heritage.

The OGL lineage goes roughly like this: Legend RPG (Mongoose, 2011) -- Delta Green RPG (Arc Dream, 2016) -- APOCTHULHU (Cthulhu Reborn, 2020).
Customer avatar
August 21, 2020 2:30 pm UTC
Printing disabled? And NOT noted in the available information ... c'mon guys, not everyone wants to read this on a computer or tablet, some of us old fogeys still prefer a printout!
Customer avatar
Dean E August 21, 2020 2:44 pm UTC
Hmm. That's not how it's supposed to be -- printing was definitely originally enabled for the files. We'll get it fixed and update the files ASAP. Apologies.
Customer avatar
Dean E August 21, 2020 3:04 pm UTC
New version of the PDF uploaded with all security wrappers disabled -- this should let you print, add comments, and anything else you'd normally do with a PDF. Check your library if you don't get an automatic update notification.

We're not sure exactly how this got into our published PDF, but the updated version should fix things. If it doesn't, let us know and we'll try again.

Thanks to the original purchaser for letting us know ...
Customer avatar
August 22, 2020 6:44 am UTC
Works fine now! Thanks.
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This title was added to our catalog on August 20, 2020.