Red Eye of Azathoth — a Call of Cthulhu Adventure Review

The coming of a scarlet comet every 100 years is the harbinger of grave cosmic events, coinciding with the efforts of an insane sorcerer and some alien nightmare creatures to either enslave humanity or summon forth the slumbering chaos deity at the center of the universe. See if you can do something about that.

I haven’t played the Call of Cthulhu RPG in quite some time, so I’m not going to speak to the specific mechanics here. I can address the story, the writing and the overall presentation, however. And wow, does it all look pretty excellent.

This is actually a series of adventures, each one coinciding with the arrival of the comet on the 87th year of each century. They can be run as one-shots with no difficulty. However, you can actually run them as a campaign. The first one takes place during a Viking raid in 887, the second in 1287 Japan. Then you move on to 1487 Spain, 1587 Roanoke, and 1887 Arizona Territory. How can one group of investigators span Viking raids, the Spanish Inquisition and the Wild West? Reincarnation, of course.

A quick look through this book reveals some beautiful, detailed maps of various encounter locations. A few minutes of reading reveals evocative passages describing the beauty and horror of life amidst encroaching cosmic entities. This was published by Open Design, and they’ve set the quality bar pretty high. Red Eye of Azathoth sails right over the bar. And by the way, check out that insane cover image!

This really looks like a lot of fun to play, offers up Lovecraftian adventure in a variety of settings, and even includes printable player handouts. My one reservation is that the plot, when extended across all five adventures, gets kind of complicated and hard to follow. Combined with the fact that your investigators are being constantly reincarnated in different forms (and for different reasons), it might be difficult to achieve really solid role-playing and character development. These might work best as one-shot doses of sanity-crushing pulp adventure, and that ain’t half bad.

One Response to Red Eye of Azathoth — a Call of Cthulhu Adventure Review

Comments are closed.