Last year Petersen games successfully funded their Cthulhu Mythos for 5e core book, bringing their famous Lovecraftian world into that of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Now they’re Kickstarting the first part of a 4-act campaign titled Ghoul Island. This first act will take players from levels 1-5, slowly taking them from your run-of-the-mill adventure to something more horrific.
Starting in the rundown port town of Resante, players will have to handle their environment, mutiny, and eventually a Deep One as they make their way towards a temple of Ghatanothoa. Future Acts promise the inclusion of more horrors, including a showdown with Ghatanothoa, itself.
Act 1 is broken is 4 parts, each meant to be played in a single evening with the players leveling upon completion of each. Be mindful, this adventure isn’t your typical D&D adventure. It’s meant to be hard. It’s meant to have players making choices that will have dire consequences for themselves, the people around them, and the world. It’s a delicate balance between survival and utter annihilation. Don’t expect happy endings.
The beauty of Ghoul Island is that while the 5e Mythos book is certainly an asset to have, it’s not completely necessary. All the relevant rules needed to play the adventure are included in the book. The major difference between Ghoul Island and a standard D&D campaign in the addition of the Mythos’ Dread mechanics, running the players through several levels of dread from Disturbed to Faint. Now, while it’s not necessary to have the Mythos book, I’d certainly recommend it to help fully flesh out this terrible world and make the most of the setting.
I love seeing what Petersen games have to offer for players of 5e and this introduction in a larger, horrific world the system is a wonderful detour from what most D&D games tend to focus on. Ghoul Island offers a fresh, horrifying adventure that will tax even experienced players, pushing their characters to the brink of insanity…and sometimes over the edge.
A PDF of Ghoul Island Act 1 was provided free for this preview by Petersen Games
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.