Lovecraftesque Second Edition

Lovecraftesque Second Edition

The eldritch horror game where you create the mystery at the table. A GMless tabletop game that creates a gripping horror mystery in a single session of play. Surprise each other with brand-new eldritch horrors and guide your character to their doom.
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The eldritch horror game where you create the mystery at the table

A research ship voyages into the heart of a distant black hole.

A mother realises her child’s imaginary friend is all too real.

The owner of a dilapidated mansion discovers dark secrets hidden in its past.

A bereaved Roman merchant investigates cults in the last days of Pompeii.

A WWII evacuee finds concealed horrors in the bleak moors of the North.

An artist travels to the Yucatan coast in search of her missing husband.

We are going to tell a story together. The story of a lone individual stumbling upon clues to a terrible evil. At first they dismiss it, but piece by piece a picture emerges, until suddenly it becomes impossible to deny. They plunge into shadow, they recoil in horror, but it is already too late. The horrifying truth is laid bare and they are consumed by darkness.

A mock up of the Lovecraftesque core box
How the game works
Lovecraftesque is a GMless tabletop game that  creates a compelling cosmic horror tale in a single session of play.

It's the perfect pick-up game, playable in one evening: ideal for conventions, games nights, a palate cleanser between RPG campaigns or for that evening when nobody feels like GMing.

2-5 players each share control of a single character who is the witness to the terrible horror you will create, and each contribute to the horror itself.

The players take turns to play different roles. Sometimes you’ll be the Witness, portraying the fears and doubts of the central character. Sometimes you’ll be the Narrator, generating weird clues using the deck of creative prompts, building a mystery one clue at a time. Sometimes you’re the Whisperer, dripping atmospheric detail into the story.

As the mystery builds, clue upon clue, you’ll each write down your secret theory of the horror. You use your theory to guide the clues you create.

At the terrifying finale your collusions and collaborations will reach fever pitch. You’ll reveal the shocking truth behind the clues and drive the main character towards the inevitable and bleak ending.

Lovecraftesque has exciting scenarios by authors like Ken Hite (The Dracula Dossier), Jonathan Sims (The Magnus Archives) and Lynne Hardy (Call Of Cthulhu). Or you can build your own setting at the table using the game’s core deck.

Lovecraftesque is easy to learn and teach, simple and intuitive to play, with hundreds of prompts to fire your imagination. It's suitable for seasoned roleplayers and newcomers alike - board gamers in particular will find it an accessible route into storytelling play.

It can be played solo or with a group of 2-5 players, in around 2 hours.

Brand new cards help streamline gameplay and inspire your group

A new edition

Lovecraftesque is created by Josh Fox and Becky Annison of Black Armada Games, the award-winning publishers who brought you Wreck This Deck, Last Fleet, Flotsam: Adrift Amongst The Stars and Bite Marks.

This is the second edition of Lovecraftesque. It keeps everything that worked about the old edition, but with a new card-driven approach.

The game is groaning with inspiring creative prompts to help you build your story. It includes location and character cards to create your starting setting. You’ll also get a hand of mystery cards to generate the clues from which your horror is built. Like the first edition, these also include special cards that allow you to break the game’s rules and shake up the story.

The rules and instructions for playing the game are mapped out on cards, with a central board so you can always see where you are in the story. The old first edition teaching guide is now baked into the core rules so that every line of the rulebook is designed with learning and teaching the game in mind.
What's In The Box
The core box contains:
  • Around 90 A5 pages of rules and teaching text, with full colour illustrations and hidden UV art throughout.
  • The illustrated game board with Story Track and hidden UV art
  • The 90-card Core Deck consisting of Location Cards, Character Cards, Mystery Cards, Rule Cards, Role Cards and Story Cards
  • Six quick-start scenarios consisting of 80 additional Location Cards, Character Cards and Mystery Cards
  • Story Token and Active Player Token
  • UV flashlight (batteries included)

Page and card numbers are approximate, based on a late-stage version of the game.

The contents of the box: the rulebooks, board, and cards
The Virtual Playroom
Lovecraftesque will have a virtual playroom for those who find it convenient to play online. We intend to make this available through Roll20. While we have a prototype playroom which you can see in the screenshot below, the Roll20 playroom is not yet finished.

Backers who want the virtual playroom can pledge for Lovecraftesque Virtual Playroom (£20 / ~$25) or, to get the physical game and the virtual playroom, pledge for Lovecraftesque Boxed Set and Virtual Playroom (£45 / ~$55).

Prototype playroom used during the playtesting of Lovecraftesque 2e.
Gorgeous New Illustrations - With Hidden UV Art!
We have commissioned lush new art from Vincent Sammy and Paul Tomes which will be featured throughout the game's rulebook. Each illustration gives you a glimpse of the kind of horrifying eldritch tales you can create with Lovecraftesque.

We are also very excited that the game will include hidden UV art throughout. Each illustration is beautiful in its own right, but when you switch on your UV flashlight (included in the box) even more terrifying details will be revealed! Plus the rulebook itself will contain hidden tentacles, sigils and gore splattered on every page.

Mockup of what the book will look like under UV.

A sample of the gorgeous art you'll see in the Lovecraftesque rulebook

Brand New Scenarios

To celebrate the new edition we have commissioned a dozen new scenarios from writers around the world, created some new ones ourselves, and updated some of our favourites from the first edition. These are not stretch goals - if the project funds we will produce them all. Six scenarios are included in the core game, and the rest are available in expansion packs of four scenarios, which you can buy as add-ons to your pledge.

Scenarios included in the core game

The core game includes six scenarios that open the door to eldritch horror in a range of fresh and exciting settings:
  • A Place In The Country by Lynne Hardy. The Norton Hotel Consortium plans to turn Rowan Hall into a luxury hotel and spa. But what mysteries lurk within the dilapidated hall and gardens? And why is its current owner so desperate to sell? 
  • Echoes of Vulcan by Darla Burrow. It is strange days in Pompeii. Phantoms walk the streets, doors open to tunnels where once they opened to courtyards, and birds fall dead from the sky. Something awful is coming, but what is it and how does it connect to the mysterious Cult of Mithras?
  • Ex Nihilo by Joshua Fox. A spaceship is sent to explore the last frontier of science by entering the black hole V616 Monocerotis "Mon". The journey into the singularity is even more terrifying than expected.
  • Mr Giggles Comes To Dinner by Misha Bushyager. Your kid won’t shut up about their 'imaginary friend's' exploits. So far, so normal, until you start experiencing them too.
  • On Ilkla Moor Bah'tat by Becky Annison. Ilkley Moor is a dark and foreboding place for a young world war II evacuee miles from the city she called home. What lurks in the soothing waters of the suspicious Hydro Hotel and are the locals friendly or ready to offer her up on a plate?
  • The Chicxulub Horrors by Santiago Villa. In the coast of Yucatán where an ancient meteorite has created a gargantuan underground crater that is now a web of tunnels, a man disappears. During the art boom of the 1930's in Mexico, painter and muralist Hervé Pelletier has gone missing and his wife, Amaranta Vera, has arrived at Chicxulub Puerto, a town nestled over the crater's dead center, to look for him.

Preview of the Citadels Of Shadow scenario pack

Citadels of Shadow

This expansion pack focuses on those who rule and those who struggle against them. Who wields power? What atrocities will they commit to keep that power? What terrible forces lurk in the shadows of their throne? The expansion includes four scenarios:
  • The Hidden Cabinet by Helen Gould. A scenario about whispered rumours, duplicitous politicians, and what really happens in the corridors of power. What will you find behind these closed doors?
  • The Sea Hungers by Thomas Manuel. It's Bombay in 1728. As the East India Company recovers from a ferocious defeat at the hands of legendary pirate admiral Kanhoji Angre, a naive, young marine discovers a sinister plot involving sacrifice and spirals of blood.  
  • We serve and protect by Kenneth Hite. A long hot summer of protests rocks the streets of Chicago in the 1970s, and you rock with them. Until the cops pen you in, snatch you up, and take you to the precinct house, where worse things than rubber hoses wait in the basement. The Chicago Police Department serves and protects... but what inhuman entity do the cops who have you serve? What dark secrets do they protect?
  • Wolfshead by Joshua Fox. Sherwood, Nottinghamshire, in the 13th century. A hapless cutpurse robs the wrong person and finds themselves in possession of a strange item. Now they have the Baron's men hunting for them - but that may not be the worst thing that stalks the night.

Preview of the Echoes Of The Past scenario pack

Echoes of the past

This expansion pack explores lost histories and the shadowy past. What dark secrets may be unearthed, or forgotten traumas brought back? The expansion pack includes four scenarios:
  • A Witch's Love by Michele Gelli. Caterina Sforza (1460~1509), ruler of Imola and Countess of Forlì, political leader and alchemist, was a tough cookie. She held hostage the Vatican’s conclave and she’s said to be a witch who had a well to dispose of bodies of “discarded” lovers. Can Caterina’s presence cross space and time? Can her love change the destiny of a team of archaeologists that are investigating her old castle?
  • Nothingness has a thousand endings by Bryan Thao Worra. In this scenario, the witness takes a step into the 1990s Southeast Asian refugee community in a working class neighborhood in the US to resolve a mysterious debt of uncertain consequences.
  • The Copycat Canal Murders by Becky Annison. Ritual murders spanning a century are investigated again in the age of DNA profiling and AI. Will the truth of the horrifying secrets on the foggy banks of the canal finally be revealed?
  • The Outer Gods by Nick Bate. The year is 23XX. Humanity has colonised the Solar System aboard reality-rending liveships, warding themselves against unearthly things hiding in the dark through ritual and prayer. Monette is one such liveship, a salvager investigating the sudden reappearance of a lost generation ship. What will they find aboard the deadship Yog-Sothoth?

Preview of the Waves Of Darkness scenario pack

Waves of Darkness

This expansion pack plunges you into the cold, briny waters of oceans near and far. Who knows what strange things lurk beneath the surface? The expansion includes four scenarios:
  • Atlantis Swallowed by Becky Annison. Thousands of years ago and the sea levels are lapping at the heels of Atlantis. With greater technological prowess than anything a modern civilization has seen, they are confident they can hold back the waters. But a deeper rot has seeped in through the cracks.
  • Blow Ye Winds by Sasha Sienna and Jonathan Sims. In 1831, the British port of Peterhead processed the butchered blubber of over a thousand whales a year, hunted and killed off the coast of Greenland. Dr Andrew Campbell has left his landlocked life behind to serve as surgeon on the whaling vessel Sanguine, but his first voyage will not be an easy one as a strangeness begins to affect the ship.
  • The Siren's Caw by W.H. Arthur. Every summer, visitors from London and beyond are drawn to the seaside resort of Brighton. Are they called here by the eldritch forces from beneath the waves, or is there something even more sinister from across time and space?
  • Through The Waters, Darkly by Josh Fox. A research and exploration base has been set up at the bottom of the deepest place on Earth: the Mariana Trench. The small team of scientists are isolated in the cold depths as they explore the last frontier of our planet. Isolated, yes: but not alone.
pledge levels

The Lovecraftesque core box and virtual playroom both come with a set of six scenarios. The remaining twelve scenarios are available as expansion packs of four scenarios.

The contents of each expansion pack and scenario are detailed above under "brand new scenarios".

You can get the expansion packs as add-ons for the prices shown below: 
  • £7.50 as expansions to the virtual playroom 
  • £12 as a pack of 52 cards in a printed tuck box
  • £13.50 for both the virtual and physical versions

Alternatively, you can get a full set of expansion packs with these pledge levels:
£40 for the "virtually everything" pledge level, which includes all three virtual playroom expansions
£75 for the "everything" pledge level, which includes the physical and virtual versions of all three expansions

These pledge levels represent a significant discount compared to buying the expansion packs individually.

Praise for Lovecraftesque

A masterclass in what horror can be in TTRPGs. Wonderfully collaborative, with a sense of creeping, building terror that reveals itself at the climax like a perfect jump-scare. Don't miss this one.” 

–Jeff Stormer (Party Of One podcast, Anyone Can Wear The Mask)

“Run, don’t walk. 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)

“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)

“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.

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)

“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)

"I picked up Lovecraftesque in its first edition. At the time, I was idly (but not hopefully) looking for a game that would allow me to play out slow-burn cosmic horror without the baggage of heavy combat, an existing mythos, or a calcified "right way to play". Lovecraftesque not only met but exceeded what I considered impossible expectations. 

It's not a game about going in, guns blazing, trying to save the world from the unknowable and the unknown. Rather, it asks us to put ourselves in the shoes of a fundamentally ordinary person (the witness), faced with the frighteningly extraordinary (the narrator and the whisperers), and asks what we do from there. I love Lovecraftesque for how generous it is with its play, and how it encourages us to find the weird in the everyday." 

–Jacqueline Bryk, freelance creative and English-language editor for Kult: Divinity Lost

"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)
Watch And Listen To Lovecraftesque Play

Audio podcasts of Lovecraftesque actual play

The below are playthroughs of Lovecraftesque first edition except where otherwise noted - the gameplay is very similar but the card mechanics have evolved a lot in the new edition.

Video playthroughs of Lovecraftesque

Here is a playthrough of Lovecraftesque second edition on Actual Play UK:

A Lovecraftesque second edition solo AP I'm doing on the Black Armada YouTube channel (this is the first video in the series, you can find the rest on the channel):

Playthrough of Lovecraftesque second edition on Plus One Exp:

The below are videos of Lovecraftesque first edition - the gameplay is very similar but the card mechanics have evolved a lot in the new edition.

The Team

Josh Fox: Game Designer, Lead Writer and Project Director.
Josh Fox (he/him) is the designer of Last Fleet, Flotsam: Adrift Amongst The Stars and countless smaller games. He is also the business end of Black Armada Games and frequent organiser of such indie initiatives as Black Armada Tales, Games On Demand and the UK Indie League. Josh loves space, horror and space horror especially the most.

Becky Annison: Game Designer.

Becky Annison (she/her) is the award-winning designer of Wreck This Deck, Bite Marks and many other games. She loves werewolves, sassy fighter pilots, horror and games that make you cry. In her day job Becky fights climate change and in her evenings she practices mixed martial arts.

Vincent Sammy: Lead illustrator

Vincent Sammy (he/him) is a freelance illustrator who specializes in the genres of horror and science fiction. He was shortlisted for a BSFA award in 2015 and the BFA Awards in 2021 and 2022. He resides in Cape Town, South Africa with his wife and daughter.

Paul Tomes: Illustrator

Paul Tomes (he/him) is a illustrator from Derbyshire, has always loved RPGs, and is now putting all those years of half-dreamed ideas to good use. Previous work in Cthulhu Hack 2E, the Liminal Casebook, and a variety of
other publications.

Nathan D Paoletta: Layout Artist

Nathan D. Paoletta (he/him) is a graphic artist, game designer and independent publisher hailing from Coupeville, WA. In addition to helping other creators bring their vision into being, he publishes his own games, including the award-winning World Wide Wrestling RPG. He posts pictures of his dog to instagram @ndpaoletta and obsesses over The Rockford Files on Two Hundred a Day. Find out more at

Mo Holkar: Copy editor, proofreader

Mo Holkar (he/him) is an editor, game designer, and writer based in the UK. Role-playing-wise, he is all about the drama, in a good way. You can find a bunch of his games and articles on his website at

Helen Gould: Sensitivity editor, author "The Hidden Cabinet"

Helen Gould (she/he/they) is a London-based writer, editor, and sensitivity consultant who has contributed to projects from Rowan, Rook and Decard; MacGuffin and Co.; Golden Goblin Press; Stygian Fox; and many others. You can also listen to him playing Pathfinder over on the Rusty Quill Gaming podcast.

Nick Bate: Technical editor, author "The Outer Gods"

Nick Bate (he/him) is an Australian game designer living in the UK. He is the creator of Stealing the Throne (epic giant robot heists!) and Chiron’s Doom (ill-fated expeditions to a mysterious monument!), as well as games about daring sky pirates, dimension-hopping explorers, and illegal mech racing. He likes space nonsense (including the scary kind).

Bryan Thao Worra: Author "Nothingness Has A Thousand Endings"

Bryan Thao Worra (he/him) is an award-winning Lao American writer, who represented the nation of Laos at the London 2012 Summer Games. He was president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association for 6 years and was the 2022 Poet Laureate of NecronomiCon Providence. You can visit him online at:

Darla Burrow: Author "Echoes Of Vulcan"

Darla Burrow (she/her) is a game designer, editor, and librarian from Ottawa, Ontario. She has written games like Vampire Roommate and Dear Great Cthulhu, Please Stop Giving Me Superpowers. Darla is owned by two cats, The Floof and Mewt, and spends most of her time offering them adoration and dried minnows. Find Darla's stuff on itchio and drivethrurpg.

Kenneth Hite: Author "We Serve And Protect"

Kenneth Hite (he/him) has designed, written, or co-authored 100+ roleplaying works, including Trail of Cthulhu, Bookhounds of London, The Dracula Dossier, the Delta Green RPG, Night’s Black Agents, The Fall of Delta Green, Bubblegumshoe, and Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition. His other works include the two-volume Tour de Lovecraft, Cthulhu 101, The Thrill of Dracula, The Cthulhu Wars for Osprey, the “Lost in Lovecraft” column for Weird Tales, an annotated edition of Chambers’ The King in Yellow, and four Lovecraftian children’s books. Half of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff podcast and an Artistic Associate at Chicago’s WildClaw Theatre, he lives in Chicago with two Lovecraftian cats and his non-Lovecraftian wife, Sheila.

Lynne Hardy: Author "A Place In The Country"

Multi-award-winning games designer Lynne Hardy (she/her) first discovered roleplaying games at university. Over the last few decades, she has worked for Nightfall Games, Pelgrane Press, Cubicle Seven, Modiphius, and Green Ronin—amongst numerous others—as a writer, editor, or both. She now works for Chaosium Inc. as Associate Editor for the Call of Cthulhu RPG and Line Editor for the ENnie award-winning Rivers of London: the Roleplaying Game.

Michele "Mix" Gelli: Author "A Witch's Love"

Michele “Mix” Gelli (he/him) is professionally in the TTRPG field from the early beginning of the industry. He graduated in computer science with the first dissertation about videogames in the University of Bologna’s history.  He’s a book designer with huge expertise and he founded Narrattiva (merger of the Italian words “narration” and “active”), the first company that introduced “indie” TTRPGs in Italy.

Misha Bushyager: Author "Mr Giggles Comes To Dinner"

Misha Bushyager (she/they) is a longtime gamer and designer working on making sure the next generation of geeks sees themselves represented. She's one of the founders of New Agenda Publishing and a founding curator for More Seats at the Table, a newsletter highlighting gender marginalized designers. She worked on Orun, #Feminism, Fate of Cthulhu, Lovecraftesque, Misspent Youth: Sell Out With Me, Masks: Unbound, and the as yet unpublished larp Nightingales.She's a writer, editor, sensitivity editor, and panelist for tabletop RPGs and larps. You can find her on Twitter as BGGameworks or on her website

Santiago Villa: Author "The Chicxulub Horrors"

Santiago Villa (he/him) is a Colombian writer and journalist who has been a foreign correspondent in Ecuador, South Africa and China, besides conducting extensive reporting in Colombia. He has played role-playing games since age 10, mostly as a game master, and his tastes lean towards historical, horror, and occult settings, preferably all at once.

Sasha Sienna: Co-Author: "Blow Ye Winds"

Jonathan Sims: Co-author: "Blow Ye Winds"

Sasha Sienna (he/she/they) and Jonathan Sims (he/him) - authors of "blow ye winds". Smart games for cool weirdos! Sasha and Jonny are the team behind the award-winning micro-setting collection Odd Jobs, as well as many other bizarre and compelling games. With a focus on narrative, theme and playing with genre, they can't wait to take you on new adventures!

Thomas Manuel: Author: "The Sea Hungers"

Thomas Manuel (he/him) - author of "the sea hungers". Thomas is an award-winning playwright, award-losing journalist, and award-ambivalent game designer from India. He's the host of the Yes Indie'd podcast and the writer of the weekly Indie RPG Newsletter.

W.H.Arthur: Author: "The Siren's Caw"

W.H. Arthur (he/佢) - author of "the siren's caw". W.H. Arthur is an indie game designer residing in Brighton, UK. He writes games on mythology, superheroes and clever wordplay, which can be found on He is also a contributor to the upcoming Dead Horse horror anthology.

Our Funding Target

Lovecraftesque is already written and fully playtested, and most of the art, editing and layout is complete. We are raising money to recoup these costs, and to cover the costs of printing the product. We have set our funding target with this in mind.

The budget for the project if we just fund looks like this:

Shipping And Tax
We will charge shipping after the campaign closes, when we are about to commence fulfilment. Shipping prices for the Lovecraftesque core box are estimated below. While these are subject to change, we will charge you what it costs us, with no profit made on the shipping fee.

Pledge prices are inclusive of UK VAT; customs duties in the US; and EU VAT and customs duties for all EU countries. VAT may be charged on shipping fees where appropriate.

Estimated shipping prices
UK £6-7
US $10-15
Western Europe (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden) £7-11
Rest of Europe £13-20
Canada £21
Australia £16

EU Friendly Shipping, US Friendly Shiping, UK Friendly Shipping
Delivery, Timeline and Risks
This is a low risk project.

We are highly experienced TTRPG publishers, having produced dozens of games. This is our 6th crowdfunding campaign. We pride ourselves on delivering on time and we always keep in regular communication with backers to ensure you know what's going on.


For the physical product, the vast bulk of the work is already done: the text and core cards are already written, edited and laid out. Most of the illustrations are complete. Most of the scenarios are complete and just awaiting layout. Should the project fund, we will be ready to send it to the printers by the end of the year, and we hope to begin shipping the product to customers around the middle of 2024.

The PDF version should be ready sooner, around December 2023/January 2024.

The virtual playroom is less close to completion, but will be quicker to deliver because there is no printing and shipping involved. Although we have produced mock-ups for playtesting, we anticipate the final virtual playroom will take a few months to complete and test. We therefore hope to provide access to the completed virtual playroom around the end of March 2024.


The main delivery risk is around printing and shipping. We are using Longpack Games to manufacture the physical product. Longpack have an excellent reputation and their products are high quality. While international shipping has been a bit rocky over the last few years, things now appear to have settled down and there's no reason to expect major problems.

A factor we're aware of is Chinese New Year. It is almost certain that our printing timetable will intersect with Chinese New year. For 1 month around this period the whole of China essentially goes on holiday and no progress will be made on our project. This is a normal part of Chinese manufacturing: no big deal.

Shipping, particularly shipping cost, is always an important risk to consider. We're working with our usual shipping partner Kixto for everywhere except the US. They've proven reliable and efficient in previous campaigns. We plan to use the well-regarded Studio 2 and Indie Press Revolution (IPR) to handle US shipping. Both have been handling US distribution for us for some years and we've never had any problems with them. We hope to reduce the cost of US shipping by sending East Coast orders from Studio 2 and West Coast from IPR.
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