Nordic Cthulhu by candlelight
This was an impulse buy from the Thirsty Meeples store in Bath. I'm a long-time Cthulhu fan, and have recently bought "Whispers in the Dark" for 5e Dungeons and Dragons. The front cover of the Vaesen rulebook could be something out of either product line, and the artwork is a key feature for the game and the setting. Inspired by the work of the artist Johan Egerkrans and his book "Vaesen: Spirits and Monsters of Scandinavian Folklore" the games takes as a setting a slightly alternative mythic Northern Europe in the 1800s. Initially funded through a kick-starter, everything needed to play the game (except some d6 dice) is included in the 230 pages.
Character creation is very straightforward, using a set of attribute and skill points derived by a character's age, which are then applied against occupational templates. There is sufficient scope for customisation to allow characters with the same occupation to have a very different feel, and some lovely touches (characters have a trauma and a dark secret).
The game mechanics, driven by d6 rolls, are easy to pick up and don't get in the way of the role-playing.
The main rulebook includes a campaign setting based on 19th century Uppsala in Sweden, along with a great chapter for gamesmasters on how to run a campaign and structure a gaming session.
The real joy of the book is the section on the Vaesen, the mythic creatures of the region. There is plenty of guidance on incorporating the creatures into the gameplay, and their relations…