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Trail of Cthulhu
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Trail of Cthulhu


Trail of Cthulhu won two Ennie awards for Best Rules and Best Writing, as well as receiving an honourable mention for Product of the Year.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons, even death may die."

- The Necronomicon

You uncover mysteries in dusty libraries and bloody crime scenes. You walk the mean streets of Chicago or hack through the jungles of the South Pacific. You battle vile cults, or recoil in terror at the alien enormities they worship. You follow the clues wherever they lead, whatever the cost in life or sanity. But do you dare to follow...

The Trail of Cthulhu

Trail of Cthulhu is a complete game of investigative horror set in the 1930s based on the work of HP Lovecraft. The game uses an adpated and enlarged version of GUMSHOE system which offers a laser-like focus on investigation, with characters driven to explore and investigate, even at the expense of their own health and sanity.

Using the revolutionary GUMSHOE investigative roleplaying system, this game features:

  • Sanity which measures your blissful ignorance of the true nature of reality, and Stability which defines how robust your mental health is.
  • Investigative abilities such as Cop Talk, Interrogation and Occult which help you find the awful crypt, and maybe even tell you what you might find there.
  • Drives such as In the Blood and Arrogance to get your character into that crypt at night.
  • General skills such as Sense Trouble, Filch and Scuffling to get you out again.

Keepers are offered:

  • Rules you can tune to Purist cosmic despair, or to lurid two-gun Pulp
  • Comprehensive support for adventure and campaign creation, as well as suggestions for improvisation.
  • Three exciting campaign frames, for tweedy academics, jut-jawed G-men, or grimy traffickers in the eldritch, plus "The Kingsbury Horror," a complete introductory adventure.
  • Techniques to run the game and maintain the atmosphere of mystery and malice.

And we reveal a new view of the Mythos:

  • Gods, tomes, and magic, presented with mystery and drama in mind, and including Cthulhoid lore never before revealed in any game
  • Alien races, including their spoor, their killing techniques, and the forensic clues their victims reveal.
  • The original grim horror setting - the 1930s - set against depression, looming war and totalitarianism.

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Reviews (10)
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March 9th, 2015
Call of Cthulhu is a favourite amongst my group, and this game takes the original concepts while drastically improving the mechanics and allowing for a more focussed investigative horror experience. I quite like the simplicity and the way the rules work [...]
January 20th, 2015
Trail of Cthulhu is a fun and easy system for investigative and thriller games. One of the biggest weaknesses (at least in my opinion) with Call of Cthulhu is there is the potential of missing 1 single clue and being unable to advance at all in the scena [...]
Roger L. [Featured Reviewer]
April 14th, 2013
Trail of Cthulhu (im Weiteren: ToC) ist vor ein paar Jahren angetreten, ein weiteres Cthulhu-Spielsystem neben Chaosiums Langläufer Call of Cthulhu zu etablieren. Inzwischen gibt es umfangreiches Material für Spieler von diversen Autoren. Wir haben [...]
February 1st, 2013
Having played and run Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu back in the *ahem*, well, a few years ago now, I wanted to see what the fuss was about with this updated version. Well, for a start, Trail of Cthulhu isn't an update of the original. Instead Ken Hite prese [...]
Michael H. [Featured Reviewer]
August 3rd, 2011
I really love Trail of Cthulhu. I think it manages to capture the feel and style of HPL’s stories, particularly when played in Purist mode, with rules built to complement the stories. GUMSHOE is a perfect fit for investigative type adventures, and well- [...]
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Product Information
Rule System(s)
Publisher Stock #
File Size:
10.32 MB
Original electronic
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These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

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File Last Updated:
February 06, 2009
This title was added to our catalog on April 30, 2008.
Publisher Info
Pelgrane Press
Pelgrane Press
Publisher Average Rating