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Posted by Raine Hutchens on Sep 17, 2012

Lose Your Mind With Cthulhu Dice

I know that Cthulhu Dice has been out for a while now, but that hasn’t stifled my excitement for it. Since I went to Gen Con I’ve wanted to grab the little game for myself but have not been to a shop that had it in stock. This past weekend I went on a trip to Saint Louis and wandered into a game store in the mall who happened to carry it. The game itself is relatively small, and it’s pretty cheap. I picked up my copy for just $7, but I will tell you that I get more than my money’s worth with it.

Cthulhu Dice is a simple dice game from Steve Jackson Games where players take the roll of cultists trying to attack each other. There’s no real combat factor in the game, you simply make supernatural attacks against opponents, forcing them to lose their sanity. Once a player loses all their sanity (you each start off with three sanity points) they are driven mad by Cthulhu. The last player to have at least one sanity point on the board wins the game.

When you pick up a copy of this game you’ll get a rule sheet, a special 12-sided Cthulu die, and a small bag of glass beads used as sanity points. The instructions sheet is very straightforward and lays out everything you’ll need to know about the game to get started. The rules are pretty basic: each player will take three beads to represent their sanity points. A random player will take the first turn, during which he will declare another player to make an attack against. Then he’ll roll the Cthulu die. Depending on which symbol the die lands on, different effects will happen and they are resolved immediately. Then the player who was attacked gets to swing back at their attacker, rolling the die and applying the effect as well. Then the next player, going clockwise, will take their turn as the game proceeds. If a player is mad when they make an attack, the victim must roll back against the caster, though he cannot be hurt due to being mad. Any player who is mad cannot be chosen by a sane player as a victim to be attacked.

Each of the signs that come up on the Cthulhu die has a different effect, and it takes place immediately:

Yellow Sign – Lose one sanity to Cthulhu.

Tentacle – Take one sanity from your victim. The caster takes a sanity from the victim even if the victim rolls the tentacle. If the caster is mad, they do not gain the sanity and it goes to Cthulhu instead.

Elder Sign – Take one sanity back from Cthulhu. If the caster is mad, this is how he will become sane again.

Cthulhu – Everyone loses one sanity to Cthulhu!

The Eye – Choose any of the effects listed.

Gameplay is very short and sweet, but it’s always a ton of fun. When I first opened the game I had it running and everyone knew well how to play within ten minutes. We managed to get about three or four games in within 45 minutes or so. For seven bucks you can’t really beat the fun that comes with Cthulhu dice, especially if you’re a fan or follower of the Ancient One. There are different styles of the game each with their own unique die and bead colors, so there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking into the game, you can pick it up on its official website.

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