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Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Dead White World $6.95
Average Rating:3.5 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Dead White World
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Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Dead White World
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/07/2017 08:28:50

This book contains the first three adventures of a twelve-part campaign, Cthulhu Apocalypse that presents an horrific end-time in which life on earth is almost wiped out to be replaced by Mythos creatures. Only the Investigators stand in the way of utter disaster...

Five pre-generated Investigators are provided (in somewhat narrative form, best to transfer them to regular character sheets before giving them out), or players may create their own. Some advice for certain aspects of the characters is given. Everyone starts on a train going to Dover, with many intending to go to a wedding there. Next, the supporting cast of NPCs is listed, with brief notes and ideas for how to role-play them effectively including mannerisms and style of speech. This preparatory section also includes some notes on game mechanics specific to this campaign. One neat trick is that along with a hook, each adventure begins with a question. It is suggested that this question is read out to the group, giving direction as to what they ought to be investigating.

The first adventure is Dead White World, which begins with a train journey, is punctuated by an earthquake, and ends up with a large proportion of the world's population dead or dying. The question, unsurprisingly, is What caused this apocalypse. Opening with the Investigators regaining consciouness and realising that the train they were travelling in has crashed, they are soon plunged into an eerie world where everyone that they find is already dead. And there are these strange white flowers everywhere...

Rather oddly, after leading the Investigators around Dover as they try to find out what is going on, the final clues are to be found on a ship. Yet the adventure ends with them back on land and finding a Royal Mail van... there's no hint about how to get them on shore (more earthquakes and the cliffs falling into the sea never mind what else is going on is, to my mind, an invitation to seek sea room not return to the land), yet that's where the next adventure begins.

The next adventure is Letters From Ghosts and revolves around letters from recently deceased friends and family of the Investigators that are found in the aforementioned Royal Mail van. How did they get there? That's the question. The entire clue chain comes over as rather forced and requires the Investigators to take a precise series of actions to end up where it is intended that they should go. On the plus side, there is a marvellous opportunity to mess with your Investigators' heads. Use it to full effect. It's all really a bit strange, even given the overall premise, but persevere: there are clues to be found and places to visit, even survivors to meet... ultimately Blackpool, the setting for the third adventure.

The final adventure in this book (remember there are more to come in the campaign) is Sandgrown. The earlier clues have led the Investigators to believe that they have to go to Blackpool to stop an invasion - the question being, how? Here, they find some more folk who have survived so far (or have they?) and eventually, after a few mind-blowing sights, discover the awful truth of the one way in which they can stop the invasion.

The whole thing is a slightly uneasy mix of very little direction yet expecting the Investigators to go to specific places and take an interest in particular things. The underlying concept is excellent if a bit final. The world as you knew it has most definitely ended, there's no changing that. Resources are good, and there are some really inventive ideas here. With the right group, you could have an epic and memorable campaign on your hands.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Dead White World
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Chris F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/16/2012 13:13:41

This review contains mild spoilers

As with many modules, there is both good and bad to be found here, although in this particular case, the good is neither so good, nor the bad so bad to tip the scales significantly toward one extreme or another. Instead, what we have is an interesting and promising, if also flawed scenario.

The campaign provides good framework and backstory for a post-apocalyptic Cthulhu mythos game, there is potential for outstanding individual scenes, and with assistance from the module, a commited keeper can likely create an atmosphere of dread and wonder within the context of the tale. The writer (and indeed the module is quite well written as well as asthetically well-designed) provides ample opportunity for interesting imagery to be evoked. Still, depending on one's group of players, I have at least some doubts about how effective a botanical apocalypse will be in terms of evoking horror. The deadly flowers are an odd choice of plague, and as my gaming group has made a habit of mocking the much-maligned film "The Happening" (also centered around plants gone bad), I'm at least a bit concerned that the flowers may produce some eye rolls rather than chills. At least that's me. To be fair, your results may vary.

Setting aside this concern, the first and third acts are well structured, and provide several interesting moments (a first glimpse of a monster which-should-not-be rising from the ocean, an exploration of a town become a flowery tomb, the discovery of a ancient and mathematically impossible game of mythos chess) and the ending is especially potent in this reviewer's opinion. My main problem, and that which keeps this review at three rather than 4 stars, is the second act. This act (invloving the Great Race and an odd side story involving psychic time travel) momentarily causes the wheels of a strong story to nearly fall off. I begrudgingly admit that this portion is appropriate for a tale of the Great Race, but feel their inclusion would have been better left by the wayside. The section (which depends upon PC collusion with the GM) feels gimmicky and forced. It doesn't particuarly add much to the story other than provided the players a directive at its conclusion which moves their progress forward. I'm sure a crafty keeper can keep things moving towards the final events without running this portion as written. I find it a striking change in game tone, and an odd and eccentric chapter at odds with the rest of the scenario.

This scenario is ultimately worth a look as a demonstration of how an Apocalypse Machine campaign could go, but could use some tweaking. I will say that I look forward to further installments as the scanario does have potential that was almost, but not quite realized.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Dead White World
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Heiko A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/01/2012 07:21:35

It's a nicely written series of interesting events happening to a group of characters after an apocalypse. Sadly it assumes that players are willing to follow the narrative without diverting from it. Still, I think they had as much fun failing to do so as I had in deciding for how long they'd be able to survive without the help they'd receive following the story. A big plus is that this includes a printer-friendly version of the pdf, something the original Cthulhu Apocalypse book fails to do.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Dead White World
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Scott C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/14/2011 12:46:38

I have only run a group through the first narrative, but we very much enjoyed it. The descriptions and atmosphere were evocative, a key in any Cthulhu game. My only real complaint is one that is typical of modules with pregen characters, and not a major issue at that. Assumptions are made, and advice is given, for what the player characters might do. A necessary evil, I realize. My players, of course, did nothing of the sort. They camped out over night at the train wreck until help arrived, and only when it did not did they actually go on in to Dover. They avoided anything of interest in town to make it to the Inn. It was only in the final scene that they attempted anything out of the ordinary, something that was frustrated by the continuing earthquakes. My players ran their characters as ordinary people (who may have seen a little too much Jeeves and Wooster) and not Investigators. As I said, all enjoyed the game, but in retrospect I think I should have made a little more preparation to adapt to my players and perhaps adjusted their expectations a little as well.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Dead White World
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by PAMPA P. A. J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2011 14:37:53

Despite a good introduction, the whole adventure is a big long railroad and the climax is very disappointing to say the list. The premise, NPCs and situations were simply too ridiculous to be taken seriously by any of my players. I kept shaking my head in disbelief while reading it.

DWW will require a lot of work from the GM (=rewritten almost entirely) to be considered playable.

If you were looking for something along the lines of Day of the Triffids (I know I did) stay away from this scenario. Really.

[1 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
I am sorry you and your group didn't enjoy the game. However, the chance of your players having a good game if you thought it was a railroad and "shook your head in disbelief while reading it" were always pretty low. In the sense that you didn't like it, you differ from our playtesters and other reviewers of the game, both here and on other sites, and I urge potential buyers to consider other opinions before deciding whether to buy it. Just google Dead White World review.
Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Dead White World
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/09/2011 19:08:50

I can never say this enough, "Trail of Cthulhu is the best Lovecraftian horror game out there." Why? It's easy to play, easy to learn, fast, and engaging. Oh, and they have TONS of scenarios you can run for $7 and they are all amazing.

The Dead White World is not an exception. The investigators awake from a train wreck to find the world is dead and oddly beautiful flowers grow everywhere. What will your players do? Find out by buying this book. The best part of this book? It is part of a 3 book arc. But better yet? This book (and I hope the follow on books) is broken into 3 scenes that are easily one session of play each. You don't need to stop mid-scenario or "figure out a break". The investigators will be disoriented, confused, and of course, scared. It doesn't take long for things to get weird . . . and dangerous. Best of all, the book encourages investigators to call their own Stability tests and relish in insanity. It is likely no one will survive the whole campaign and that should be the fun part. How long can you last? Buy this book and find out.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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