Cthulhu Dark - Character Sheet (plus files to make your own)

edited January 2012 in Story Games

I made a character sheet for Cthulhu Dark.

Because that's what I do when I want to learn a new game!

Terry ran Cthulhu Dark twice at Recess and both games went incredibly well. 1 player called it the best game they played at Recess. Another said it was the best game they've ever played! Of course the experience wasn't just the rules, Terry's a great GM, Recess attracts amazing players and provides a high energy environment to game in, and they played Dance in the Blood which is a fantastic scenario (also written by Graham).

{ Download the Character Sheet in PDF form }

What's Cthulhu Dark?

Cthulhu Dark is Graham's rules-light Lovecraftian game.

The rules fit on 1 page, prep takes 2 minutes, and despite this simplicity, it introduces neat rules twists. Check out the Suppressing Knowledge rules to see what I mean. Download Cthulhu Dark here: http://www.thievesoftime.com/news/cthulhu-dark/

Customize Cthulhu Dark's Rules:

Cthulhu Dark includes optional rules you can plug into your game. Download them here: http://www.thievesoftime.com/news/uncategorized/dark-experiments/

If I can customize Cthulhu Dark, shouldn't I be able to customize the character sheet to?

Good point!

Since you might be using different Cthulhu Dark rules than what I'm using, you will want to change the character sheet.

But I don't know how to use Indesign!

But I love Indesign! Ok... I'll take the hit for the team and design it entirely in Microsoft Word! I'll only use free fonts and free graphics (or graphics I create), and set up everything using Styles so you can easily change everything to your heart's content! It will look like you designed it in Indesign but don't tell anyone it's actually Word!

{ Download the files to make your own custom Character Sheet }


Edit: files updated to better match Graham's intended design.


  • Badass, John. Nice work! (And nice work Terry, too!)
  • Awesome. You saved me a lot of work. I am running this with my sis soon! Thanks!

  • That is very cool, and also a very nice summary of the rules. Thanks!
  • That's wonderful! Thank you so much.
  • Fantastic! Was just thinking about taking Cthulhu Dark for a spin... this is just the push I need!

  • The rules on John's sheet are ever-so-slightly different from the ones in Cthulhu Dark. Be a little careful.
  • edited January 2012
    Graham, let me know what to change to make the sheet better fit your design.

    Feel free to post here, whisper, or email me and I'll make the updates asap.

    Also, I highly encourage everyone to read Graham's rules in full. The sheet is not a replacement for the rules but a reference. There are areas that are left intentionally vague in the original rules so your interpretation may be different than my interpretation. Which is the major reason I included the editable files.

    Edit: files updated to better match Graham's intended design.
  • What a great idea!

    At work, when I want to learn a particularly difficult technical concept or system, I imagine myself teaching it to others (or simply get involved with training it to others); this forces me to organize the source material better, internalize it better, and so on.

    This is a great idea. If I only had the skillz. I and some of my friends do something similar in that we create "cheat sheets" for players of the game, but this is way more interesting and visual.

  • John, are you aware of how cool you are, or are you completely oblivious to it?
  • Oooh, I was going to run trail of Cthulhu using the bookhounds of london, but now I just may use Cthulhu Dark instead! So Awesome, John, Graham and Terry. The optional rules are sublime too. Graham, I'll be sure to let you know how they play :)

    Thanks everyone!
  • Thanks John! I used your template to make a sheet incorporating the Harm rules I like to use. Folks can get a copy from my Dropbox.
  • So awesome!

    Thanks for sharing John.
  • I am doing the "People are doing character sheets for my game" dance.

    This is wonderful, thank you.
  • edited January 2012
    So glad you are happy Graham!

    I honestly didn't get Cthulhu Dark the first time I looked at it quickly. It seemed so simple at first, it's easy to unfairly label it as "roll a d6 and make stuff up" but there is so much brilliant subtlety to those rules that really drive play. Most importantly (to me), I really feel like I'm playing a Lovecraft inspired game rather than another D&D derivative experience (I like D&D but I have lots of games for this style of play). I like how Insanity actually matters in a single session of play and eerily grows and grows.
  • If you like Cthulhu Dark, I highly recommend Stealing Cthulhu.

    It's one of my favorite GM books and a great guide to Lovecraftian storytelling. It dissects how to steal, adapt, and combine Lovecraft's ideas to help you build scenarios that captures Lovecraft's specific brand of horror and dread.

    As a bonus, it includes art from Jennifer Rodgers and annotations (which feel pretty creepy like the book itself is a tome one might find in an actual Lovecraft adventure) by Kenneth Hite, Jason Morningstar, and others.

    But I'm biased!

    I like Cthulhu gaming and I really like Graham's work (love Play Unsafe). Judge for yourself. Check out the Table of Contents, Stealing Creatures section, and Azathoth and the Colour.
  • Also, if anyone needs help using the Word file, let me know.

    I used Styles to make editing easier but not everyone is familiar with them. At the very least I can point you to a few online tutorials if you need help or quickly let you know what to do if it's simple.
  • edited January 2012
    Were the sheets ever altered to reflect Graham's changes?
  • They have not been updated as I haven't heard back what to change. I believe what's slightly different is the "Doing Things" rules.

    The default rules are:
    Your highest die shows how well you do. On a 1, you barely succeed. On a 6, you do brilliantly.
    When you investigate, the highest die shows how much information you get. On a 1, you get the bare minimum: if you need information to proceed with the scenario, you get it, but that’s all you get. On a 4, you get whatever a competent investigator would discover. On a 5, you discover everything humanly possible. And, on a 6, you may glimpse beyond human knowledge (and probably make an Insanity roll).
  • All files (PDF and Word) have now been updated to better match Graham's intended design (assuming I'm correct above regarding what was different).
  • Thanks enormously Jenscot - your ideas and files have been very helpful. I've just created an expanded character sheet and rules summary based on your example. Details at:

  • Indeed! Fantastic.

    How do you make the background image work in Word?

    What challenges did you find when designing this in Word? How did you overcome them?
  • edited February 2013
    I'm an editor. I work in Indesign, a professional page layout program. That's how I overcome the challenges of Word. :) The background images are 3D models I rendered in DAZ Studio.
  • Thank you, that's helpful. However, I'm looking specifically for advice related to Word!
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