the straight scoop from the well of chaos…

By Published On: April 14, 2016

The Stars Are Right:
New Chaosium delivers on Kickstarter Promise

When Greg Stafford and Sandy Petersen returned to take over the reins at Chaosium in June last year, they announced that fulfilling the much-delayed Call of Cthulhu 7th edition Kickstarter was their key priority. This also became the first priority of the new management team from Moon Design Publications (Rick Meints, Jeff Richard, Neil Robinson, Michael O’Brien) who joined the Chaosium ownership in July.

Finally then, the stars are right: on April 10, the last of the four shipments of Call of Cthulhu being sent around the world arrived at its destination! Once the cargos clear customs, distribution centres in the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK will begin sending Kickstarter backers their rewards at last.

“It’s been a long and challenging road getting to where we are now, but the physical editions look and feel wonderful”, said Rick Meints, Chaosium president.

In a Kickstarter update last October, Meints let frustrated backers know that when Greg and Sandy assumed the management of Chaosium on June 2nd, 2015 no books were being printed, let alone shipped. There was, simply, no money. Moon Design has provided the funds out of their personal pockets to both produce and ship the backer rewards, as well as settling numerous other debts Chaosium incurred to writers, editors, and artists. “We are doing this to save Chaosium, the company we love and grew up with”, said Meints.

Chaosium enabled backers to follow the ships’ progress with the #ShipsofCthulhu hashtag, and two particularly dedicated Call of Cthulhu fans were even on hand to photograph the arrival of the final ship at Southampton yesterday (best Twitter comment,”DAMN – that’s a lot of books”)

What’s in the initial Call of Cthulhu shipment and how do I make sure I get my stuff?

This initial shipment consists of:

Keeper’s Rulebook (Hardcover, Softcover, Leatherette)
Investigator’s Handbook (Hardcover, Softcover, Leatherette)
Keeper’s Screen Pack
above three items in a slipcase
Nameless Horrors Softcover book
Petersen Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors (Hardcover and Softcover)

Rick Meints explained to backers why other rewards items from the Kickstarter were not part of this initial shipment, “We wanted to get the core products to everybody as quickly as possible, while working within the limits of an extremely tight budget. T-shirts, mugs and the like were not included because if a packing slip or customs invoice for this first shipment had any mention of a ‘non-book’ item the whole shipment could be unfairly subject to import taxes, customs duty, or VAT, and nobody wants to pay that if it can be avoided.”

In order to be included in the first round of processing and delivery, Kickstarter Backers should respond to the Backerkit email by 12 noon GMT. If everything is in order and you don’t want to change anything, this will only take a matter of minutes.

Important note: we will not ship your rewards to an unconfirmed and possibly incorrect address, so please complete the survey! (Kickstarter backers who don’t confirm their address won’t lose their rewards, they’ll just be sitting in a box in a warehouse until they confirm their address.)

Instead of shipping all of the rewards from a single location, and at a much greater expense, the new Chaosium has spent a great deal of time and effort setting up a four location fulfillment network with warehouses in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This was also done to ensure fewer damaged and lost parcels.

Preorder Call of Cthulhu Now

For anyone who missed the Kickstarter, the 5 initial shipment items are also now available for preorder via BackerKit. Preorders will close at the end of April, or shortly thereafter. Once the Kickstarter Backers have been sent their initial shipments, pre-orders will then be processed, followed shortly after by distribution and retail orders.

New Chaosium delivers on RuneQuest Kickstarter too!
Free Extra Content announced for Old School RuneQuest Pack

Chaosium President Rick Meints announced today that shipping was about to commence for the RuneQuest Classic Kickstarter, the reprint of the iconic RPG.

The Kickstarter, which successfully concluded in late December 2015, commemorated both Chaosium’s 40th anniversary in 2015 and kicked-off the 50th Anniversary of Glorantha celebrations in 2016.

“The RuneQuest Classic Kickstarter has had an ambitious delivery schedule. We started delivering the core rewards as PDFs in January as promised, and we are delighted to have all of the core rewards printed and ready to ship to backers through our fulfillment network”, said Meints.

Kickstarter backers will be receiving the RuneQuest 2nd Edition rulebook (in hardcover or leatherette), player handouts, GM screen, and the “Old School RuneQuest” (OSR) pack, consisting of four classic supplements and The Sea Cave, a previously unpublished scenario from the era by Greg Stafford.

“Backers will be in for a bit of a surprise,” said Meints. “Because our printer advised us it was more cost effective to print each of the OSR books as 24 pages, we searched out and added bonus content related to the originals – an extra 20% of content without any extra cost.”

Shipping will be done through Chaosium’s four location fulfillment network, with warehouses in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For full details, see the update at the RuneQuest Classic Kickstarter page:

Missed the Kickstarter? Preorders for RuneQuest Classic will close soon:

Pregenerated Characters for Call of Cthulhu 7e
Want to run our Organized Play campaign A Time to Harvest but don’t have time to create characters?

In our GM resources section at we offer a selection of pre-generated Mistaktonic University students ideal for the campaign. The list include students of physics, paleontology, metallurgy, languages, geology, English, Classics, archaeology and anthropology.

We also offer a more widespread list of pregenerated characters for your other Call of Cthulhu campaigns. Backgrounds include valet, taxi driver, spiritualist, professor, private investigator, police detective, pilot, musician, member of the clergy, journalist, drifter, doctor of medicine, dilettante, criminal, author, aristocrat, antiquarian, alienist, actor and academic.

These pre-generated investigators are available in downloadable zip files. They are “almost ready” to use: they are generic, allowing your players to customize them in terms of age, appearance, sex, and backstory notes.

Many thanks to Ben Wilson for creating these.

Eldritch Chrome – now available as Print, E-Book and Kindle

We are in the process of making fiction titles from Chaosium’s catalog available in E-book and Kindle versions. The Cthulhu-Cyberpunk anthology ELDRITCH CHROME is the newest available in these formats (as well as good old-fashioned print).
Unquiet Tales of a Mythos-Haunted Future

DURING THE DECADES since H.P. Lovecraft first wrote of the Cthulhu Mythos, many authors have crossed his themes into other genres, enhancing his original vision with stories taking place in the distant past, in the far-flung future, and in myriad places in-between.

Cyberpunk tales are written in dark, gritty, film-noir styles. Their protagonists live and die at the bottom echelon of an electronic society gone awry. They may be seedier, poorer, and less inclined to make moral judgements than stoic Lovecraftian New Englanders, but in Cyberpunk-Cthulhu tales they encounter the same horrors as their more-genteel predecessors.

Confronting monstrous entities and fiends from beyond space and time, the Cyberpunk-Cthulhu hero may wield high-tech weapons and have other advances at his or her disposal. To beings where time has no meaning and whose technologically is so advanced that their actions seem supernatural or powered by magic, no human finds an advantage.

This is the Cyberpunk-Cthulhu world—mythos horrors lurk at the edge of society, mythos-altered technology infects human beings, dark gods lurk in cyberspace, and huge corporations rule society while bowing to entities inimical to humankind.

Selected and edited by Brian M. Sammons & Glynn Owen Barrass. Cover art by Daniele Serra. 272 pages.

Available as Trade Paperback from Chaosium:

Available as E-Book (EPUB, MOBI, PRC) from Chaosium:

Available for Kindle from Amazon:

Available as Watermarked PDF from DriveThruFiction:…

ISBN-10: 1568823894 ISBN-13: 9781568823898

Licensee Focus
Campaign Coins: Medallion of Ithaqua

Our good friends at Campaign Coins are now offering the Medallion of Ithaqua, an artefact of horror and dread from the pages of the award-winning Horror on the Orient Express. Once you touch it, you can never let it go…

You can also get your hands on Innsmouth Gold from Campaign Coins too!

Cursed treasure from the terrible town of Innsmouth. Some say that it comes from the sunken city of Y’ha-nthlei, down in the lightless depths below the waves…

Prince of Sartar
The Lunars must be stopped. They must not get these treasures!
The latest installment of the Prince of Sartar web comic…

What is Ab Chaos?
(…from Ab Chaos #7, May 31 1992)

Ab – Latin “from”
Chaos – (1) Any condition or place of total disorder (modern vernacular); (2) the disordered state of unformed matter which preceded creation (since Milton, Paradise Lost); (3) the dark, empty space which preceded creation (Greek Mythology); (4) the [formerly] Californian roleplaying game company.

Ab Chaos is an informal newsletter for Chaosium fans. Through our history we have tried to serve the players and gamemasters through craft and art as well as (and sometimes at the expense of) marketing and moneymaking. We appreciate your loyalty, and offer this communication to those who are curious about us, beyond the mere “product”.

It is planned to be informal and irregular. We are, after all, not the Orderium.

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