BackerKit

Cultists of Cthulhu

Created by Sixpence Games

Cultists of Cthulhu
Photo original
515 backers pledged $57,248.26 on Kickstarter

A horror boardgame of teamwork, and betrayal set in H.P. Lovecraft's Miskatonic University. Now fully funded and with Stretch Goals!

Raised in Kickstarter
$57,248.26 / 515 backers
Raised in BackerKit
$7,445.00 / 520 backers
Estimated Shipping Date: February 2016
Uploads 2f593b20ab505c2789ec9aa91be00c88d5 2fcultists 20box 20cover legacy square thumb
Cultists of Cthulhu
It is a dark and stormy night. A lightning bolt has shattered the Elder Sign over the entrance to... more »
$60.00
Uploads 2f6441be0e317abeca6b34bf1ac671a149 2fmusic legacy square thumb
Music Recital
Old folks may disapprove of it, but college kids know that there' s just something magical about ... more »
$20.00
Uploads 2f276d8551a3959dd1c8c37a078a9e433a 2fartgallery legacy square thumb
Art Gallery
There is a gallery showing at Miskatonic University, and the campus is covered in pieces of art. ... more »
$20.00
Uploads 2f8484dcf7ead444f55e8ae67ed1ac6dbc 2ftomes legacy square thumb
Tomes and Spells
There wouldn't be much point in having this amazing library if nobody ever read anything in it, r... more »
$20.00
Uploads 2f23362bf2b17e67b04e457146e66cee42 2fdunwichhorror legacy square thumb
The Dunwich Horror
In this all new scenario, the Cultist is either Wilbur Whateley or an agent of his, sent to retri... more »
$20.00
Uploads 2ff2476dbd4fc3fde9c7efcdb5cd7ac55a 2fyith 20 1  legacy square thumb
Great Race of Yith
this scenario is unique in that it is not played on its own, but can be added to any other scenar... more »
$20.00
Uploads 2fe570e18d177080ef5468fa4b50a86bda 2fcharacters legacy square thumb
Character Pack
Four extra characters: the hobo who hangs out on campus, the groundskeeper, a townie who tends b... more »
$20.00
Uploads 2fcb1456007c6898b42acec97814f1e9fe 2fartofcultists legacy square thumb
Art e-Book
Not gameplay related, this is an ebook showing not only all the art in the game, but how the art ... more »
$10.00
Uploads 2f327e0242e176e4b9515df9accadd4fb0 2fdiploma legacy square thumb
Miskatonic University Diploma
Not gameplay related, this is a custom diploma declaring you to have graduated from Miskatonic Un... more »
$25.00
Uploads 2f5db38e175db4810b8396e95aca607008 2fprof 20p 20box legacy square thumb
Professor Pugnacious
The first game from Sixpence Games! In this deckbuilding game featuring fast paced, simultaneous ... more »
$40.00
Tipjar 0f2407d0546d1df2111e630b7da72dbb legacy square thumb
Tip Jar
Show your project creator some extra love.
$1.00
Uploads 2f229d7b6dcf6a50a73f836ea7a5c4961e 2ftreachery 20on 20the 20trains 20box legacy square thumb
Treachery on the Trains - Professor Pugnacious expansion
The sinister, shadowy Traitor lurks unseen. The train takes you barreling through one Event after... more »
$15.00
Uploads 2f14d2839cbde99e540c9f84cd6bab88d3 2farmies 20of 20the 20undead legacy square thumb
Armies of the Undead - Professor Pugnacious promo pack
The Vampyre commands a horde of Zombies, who will infiltrate your deck without you realizing! Can... more »
$5.00
Uploads 2f488e9d3c57d1c6270ba7bc9a297cbb88 2fmythos 20monstrosities legacy square thumb
Mythos Monstrosities - Professor Pugnacious promo pack
The Shoggoth shudders into view. With the Necronomicon in hand, can you endure the Unnatural Geom... more »
$5.00
Uploads 2fb3a67119154b97a0267d9c98329df7c1 2fgreat 20detectives legacy square thumb
The Great Detectives - Professor Pugnacious promo pack
Can you catch the Criminal Mastermind? Become a Gumshoe, graduate to Great Detective, and find out!
$5.00
Uploads 2fbc18e56a2a263ed1b7833f203fe9826a 2fage 20of 20industry legacy square thumb
Age of Industry - Professor Pugnacious promo pack
It’s the Industrial Revolution, and as a Captain of Industry, your outputs have never been higher... more »
$5.00
Uploads 2fd197d19795cf252dd250d18fd53009bf 2fks 20exclusive legacy square thumb
Crowdfunding Exclusive Professor Pugnacious promo pack
Add several unique twists to your Professor Pugnacious game with this promo pack, exclusively ava... more »
$5.00

Learn About Our Project:

All Stretch Goals reached! Now for one last super secret stretch goal at $70,000!



It is a dark and stormy night. A lightning bolt has shattered the Elder Sign over the entrance to Miskatonic University's library, leaving open the path for unspeakable eldritch horrors to encroach upon our world. Are you an Academic, investigating these strange happenings and trying to preserve your school, yourself, and your sanity? Or are you the Cultist, secretly plotting the downfall of your so-called "friends"?

After the success of our first game, Professor Pugnacious, I wanted to try something more ambitious, and thus, Cultists of Cthulhu was born. Cultists of Cthulhu is a semi-cooperative game for 3-6 players. All but one of the players are Academics, working together to accomplish the scenario-specific goals, while the final player is the Cultist, who pretends to be an academic while secretly working to kill the other players.

"That's the kind of stuff I talk about for months later, and that's what this game is. It's mechanically sound, it's got a lot of narrative, and it's a lot of fun! If you like this kind of game, if you like Betrayal at House on the Hill, if you like Arkham Horror, if you like Dead of Winter, you're going to love this game." - Undead Viking


"Really, really good... I really like this game. It's a game that has a lot of opportunities to provide a fresh experience every play session...the hidden role here and the whole traitor element just works so well in this game. It's very easy to play, very easy to set up, and it's one that I think will be hitting your table quite a bit if you decide to back it. [Cultists of Cthulhu] has all the markings of the next big thing in Cthulhu tabletop gaming." -Let's Level Up

"If you're a Lovecraft fan, you probably enjoy 1)imagining a world filled with unspeakable horrors, 2)vicariously experiencing madness, and 3)feeding your friends to the Elder Gods. On all three counts, Cultists of Cthulhu delivers!" - Carlos Hernandez, designer of Banzai Sumo and Meriwether

"This could be the next Arkham Horror." - Nina Salvador, Doomed Legion Games

"This is very cool, good job." - MC Frontalot, the World's 579th Greatest Rapper

"Cultists of Cthulhu has unique gameplay mechanics, a fun setup that is enjoyable just by itself, and has plenty of theme to intrigue the most die-hard fans of the genre. It scratches the RPG itch too! Definitely check it out." - Rocco Privetera, designer of Ninja Dice

  • 45 minute to 3 hour playtime, depending on which scenario you choose, yet less than 10 minutes setup time
  • Unique roll-and-reroll mechanic provides interesting, meaningful decisions every turn
  • Unique combat mechanic introduces new twists every fight
  • The map is laid out and the goals are known at the beginning of the game, so the Academics can plan their strategy
  • The Cultist knows who they are at the beginning of the game, so they too can play strategically
  • Anyone could be the Cultist, preventing "Alpha Player Syndrome": you have to cooperate, but can't just let one person make all the decisions
  • The game state changes significantly each round, so you must make decisions on your turn, not just mindlessly execute the strategy you came up with
  • 4 Scenarios (The Fungi from Yuggoth, the Cult of Cthulhu, the Esoteric Order of Dagon, and the Coming of Nyarlathotep), 3 Cultists per Scenario, 12 Characters, and a dynamically constructed 39 tile map means you'll never play the same game twice!



The players first choose a Scenario and each pick a Character. Then the map is built in real time, according to simple Carcassone-style rules (doors must touch doors, etc). 

A timelapse of three different maps, out of billions of total possible map setups
A timelapse of three different maps, out of billions of total possible map setups

After building the map, everyone receives a Role card saying whether they are an Academic or the Cultist. If you are a Cultist, your Role card says at what point on the Star Chart you can reveal yourself and what happens when you do. If you are an Academic, your Role card says what Madness you will acquire during the course of the game.

If you are an Academic, you are trying to complete the Elder Sign and accomplish the other unique Scenario goals. If you are the Cultist, you are trying to kill all the Academics!

On your turn, you draw an Event card based on your location (indoors or outdoors) and then take two actions: Move, Attack, Steal, Use an Item, Use a Room, or attempt a Scenario Action. Once everyone has had a turn, the starting player draws two Star cards, chooses one to play, and shuffles the other back into the deck without revealing it. Any monsters on the board go, and then the next player becomes the starting player and the next round begins.

Events and Star cards move the Star Chart forward, and when it reaches the secret number that only the Cultist knows, the Cultist can reveal themselves, transforming themselves into or summoning one or more horrible monsters and wreaking havoc on the Academics! 

One of my main goals with this game was to make it so you make at least one new interesting, meaningful decision every turn, yet still have that fun, thematic element of randomness. To that end I came up with a new Ability Check mechanic. There are three possible results on the dice you roll: Good (which is good for the group), Bad (which is bad for you as an individual), and Weird (which is weird and bad for the group). After rolling, you may reroll either all of the Weirds or all of the Bads, but not both! This forces you to make a trade off between the good of the group and your own personal well being, and provides the Cultist an opportunity to sabotage the group while potentially maintaining plausible deniability. For more details see the full rules.

 Announcing our first stretch goal: at $40,000, every copy will come with the two player mode for free!

Art Gallery There is a gallery showing at Miskatonic University, and the campus is covered in pieces of art. Some are beautiful, while some are horrifying, but all will leave an impression. This contains a new type of card, the Work of Art, which are spread around the map. Examining them can grant you bonuses, or scare you out of your wits, depending on how discerning your taste is. Contains 25 Art cards, 1 Cultist Card (Pickman's Model). A subset of art cards are placed face down in rooms on the map, and when examined, are revealed, and have an effect on everyone in that tile, and remain for the duration of the game. $20

Music Recital Old folks may disapprove of it, but college kids know that there' s just something magical about that Jazz. Includes a deck of 13 Music Cards and rules for how to use them. Music is an optional rule: play the 15 minute soundtrack, which functions as a timer. Every 15 minutes a loud, easily noticable bell will prompt you to draw a new card from the Music Deck. Music cards can be good or bad for the Academics, and are resolved by whoever the current player is. $20

Tomes and Spells There wouldn't be much point in having this amazing library if nobody ever read anything in it, right? Includes Forbidden Book Cards which are hazardous to read at best, and at worst, outright maddening to try to understand. If you do understand them, though, you just might get access to the new selection of Spell Cards. The Forbidden Books are the Book of Eibon, De Vermis Mysteriis, Unaussprechlichen Kulten, and Cultes des Ghoules, as well as an alternate version of the Necronomicon. Also contains 13 Spell Cards and rules governing how to use them. $20

The Dunwich Horror - In this all new scenario, the Cultist is either Wilbur Whateley or an agent of his, sent to retrieve the Necronomicon from the library and use it to unleash the terrifying, invisible Dunwich Horror upon the world. $20

The Great Race of Yith - this scenario is unique in that it is not played on its own, but can be added to any other scenario, creating two Cultists working at cross purposes. The Yith want to abduct your minds to learn from you, and the Academics and the other Cultist want none of that! $20

Character Pack - Four extra characters: the hobo who hangs out on campus, the groundskeeper, a townie who tends bar at the local watering hole, and one secret character! $20

Art eBook - Not gameplay related, this is an ebook showing not only all the art in the game, but how the art evolved over time, from first sketches to final product. $10

Miskatonic University Diploma - Not gameplay related, this is a custom diploma declaring you to have graduated from Miskatonic University, with a degree in your chosen major. Note: this is not included with the $150 reward tier, you've got to add this on separately if you want it. $25

Professor Pugnacious - The first game from Sixpence Games! You can see more info about it on its old kickstarter page or this review from Let's Level Up. Note that this game has nothing to do with Cultists of Cthulhu apart from being designed/published by the same people, and that it does not come with the $150 reward tier, you've got to add this on separately if you want it. $40


Want to get into the Cosmic Horror mood? Looking for something to help you pass the time before your copy of Cultists of Cthulhu arrives? Here are a few of my favorite stories from the Cthulhu Mythos that I offer as suggested reading. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

  • The Call of Cthulhu. There's a reason the whole thing is named after this story. It's a really great, gripping yarn, with a broaderscale than you might expect. 
  • The Dunwich Horror. This story gave us our first glimpse at the Miskatonic University library and its dread contents, including the fabled Necronomicon. 
  • The Fungi from Yuggoth. This is actually a collection of sonnets. Poems about space monsters! 
  • The Colour Out of Space. This is a delightfully creative story that really puts the focus on the "Cosmic" part of Cosmic Horror. 
  • At the Mountains of Madness. This is probably Lovecraft's best story. It's certainly my favorite. It really captures the sense of dread at things unknown and alien. Strongly recommended. 
  • The King in Yellow. I should probably put at least one non-Lovecraft story on here, and this collection of short stories by Robert W. Chambers fits the bill nicely. The stories are interconnected through the titular play, and the effect is to create the same scale of dread that surrounds the Necronomicon all in one go.