Texas in the Roaring Twenties is a study in contrasts. Cities throng with industry at the same time cowboys ride the range. Houston and Dallas vie for technological supremacy in electronics, aviation… and military hardware. In the self-proclaimed Free State of Galveston shipping barons expand their empires alongside the largest concentration of speakeasies, vice dens, and amusement parks in America. In San Antonio opulent hotels crowd the Alamo as the city's burgeoning Latino population demands recognition. Throughout west Texas 10,000 acre ranches are patrolled by cowboys indistinguishable from those generations ago… until you notice that they carry tommy guns.
There is a shadow over Texas.
Twenty-five years ago the island was all but destroyed by a hurricane and tidal surge. This horror is all but forgotten… except by the amphibians living deep off shore and itching for revenge against the surface dwellers.
In San Antonio everyone still remembers the Alamo, and many remember the string of other Spanish missions built by the Spanish hundreds of years ago. But few remember the hidden mission, lost in the desert, expunged by the Vatican… and biding its time. The ghosts of the Alamo remember, and they are getting restless.
In Glen Rose Darwinist scientists and Creationist preachers contend over the significance of fossil footprints created by ancient dinosaurs or angels… But there are stranger still trackways described up until now one only in the Necronomicon.
In Marfa floating lights hover over the trails to the west. In Houston zookeepers import strange animals from around the world. In Jefferson a dying city retreats into dreams of mounds created by no known tribe. In El Paso rebel Pueblo Indiana continue their assimilation, while their degenerate brethren begin to crack open suspension chamber in a hidden subterranean city. In Amarillo oil drilling has discovered a bonanza of helium… The world clamors for access but deep below something is displeased. When the stars are right Enchanted Rock sings, the catacombs beneath Austin rustle, the skies above Palo Duro canyon buzz, and the swamps of Beaumont howl.
Texas needs a new kind of seeker, somebody who can investigate these shadows and survive to tell the tale. Seekers who can fight the monsters concealed in plain sight. And ultimately seekers who can act with their sanity and resolve intact in the face of situations stranger than anything imagined.
Seekers can be cattle barons or cotton sharecroppers. They can be oilfield geologists or circus performers or trolley drivers or modern-day cowboys. Or they can be Easterners thrust into a whole new environment far removed from the familiar halls of Miskatonic University.
Welcome to Strange World Cthulhu: Shadow Over Texas.
Shadow Over Texas is a major new role playing campaign based on monster hunting in Texas in the Roaring Twenties. It is based on the Strange World game engine and is compatible with a variety of game systems including Dungeons and Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, and These Strange Worlds.
Rules for character creation, scenario creation, encounter resolution, combat, and magic. Numerous narratives provide examples of gameplay.
Rules for Strange Tolerance and its impact on morale, sanity, and health.
Conversion guidelines to other gaming systems.
Biographies of historic Texas citizens… including their brushes with the mysterious.
Equipment lists and descriptions including the mundane and Lovecraftian: Everything from Dornier Murkurs to moonshine stills and lightning guns to brain boxes.
A lengthy sourcebook for Texas in the 1920s including city profiles, history, economy, culture, inhabitants, and technology. This includes over a hundred detailed setting descriptions.
Player and non-player character profiles for over seventy professions.
Profiles for adversaries, dangerous animals… and monsters inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft
Over fifty adventure seeds including a dozen detailed seeds and a complete multi-adventure campaign:
Cyclopean Trackways: Fossils and Ichthiol investigations in Glen Rose
The Hidden Mission: Battle at San Antonio's lost mission
The Pageant of Pulchritude: Murder and kidnapping at the Galveston Splash day beauty pageant
The steam dreadnaught battleship Texas versus Dagon. The world's most advanced battleship fights Dagon and the Deep ones. But what are the Secret Service on board?
The enchanted fungi of Llano: Explorations at Enchanted Rock lead far astray
The Amarillo Semi-Polyp Helium Heist: The Semi-Polyps remained in their underground cities for millions of years… until 1923 when natural gas drillers near Amarillo found them
The Great White Apes of Texas City: An expedition to Africa's Grey City returns to Houston… But customs finds the ship empty.
The framework for this ongoing campaign is also presented. This includes five pre-gen seekers (Easterners exiled to Texas from Miskatonic University), a detailed description of a headquarters, and an outline for a serious of adventures and encounters that will take them throughout Texas.
Shadow Over Texas is a complete re-engineering of the writings of H.P. Lovecraft that focuses on "canon": situations and a pantheon actually described in his novels, short stories, and letters. Players should count on surprises and shattered expectations, as well as elaborations on some of Lovecraft's sadly neglected creations.
The Texas source book includes over 100 adventure seeds. In addition, a complete campaign volume is included. This campaign should take over six months to complete and includes seven complete adventures. More adventures will be added as stretch goals. The current adventures include:
Each adventure can be played individually or linked as part of this “Empty Cabinet of Curiosities” campaign.
Glen Rose: Cyclopean Trackways
Galveston: Splash Day Panic
San Antonio: Shades of the Hidden Mission
Houston: The Lost White Apes of the Grey City
Amarillo: The Semi-Polyp Helium Heist
Athens: Temptations of the Six Pointed Lone Star
Enchanted Rock: The Enchanted Fungi
Jefferson: Beyond Lake Caddo Mounds
Fort Davis: The Fort Davis Talkie
Austin: The Lost Librarians
Marfa: The Diabolical Angels
Odessa: An Antimagnetic Tint
Bonus game: Battleship Texas versus Dagon!
Naval warfare rules for 1920s ships and Lovecraftian entities. This includes an optional Battleship-based role playing adventure: Coolidge Must Die