Cthulhu: Dread Sleeper of R’Lyeh

Casebook filed Nov 13, 2009 by Dr. Armitage (per request by CC Chamberlin)
Property of Miskatonic University, Special Archives

Something is amiss in the town of Arkham. An aura of depression hovers over the town, as if brought in by the front of steel gray clouds that have been drenching the town in a light but steady rain for the last two weeks. Sad, unpleasant stories filled with personal tragedies seem to dominate the newspapers, and you sleep fitfully every night.

Still, you were unprepared for the sense of dread you felt when the telegram came through. Your good friend, Henry Waxford, has suffered a breakdown, and his wife has summoned you, in hopes that seeing an old friend will help revive the man.

You met Henry a long time ago at a tiny studio that was showing some of his work. His meticulous still lifes, with their great splashes of vibrant color showing cornucopias of food, flowers, and grain, had moved you, and you struck up a conversation with him. His manner was as vibrant and cheerful as his paintings, and his good nature made you fast friends for several years before family and other interests caused you to drift away from him. Thinking back on his pragmatic, thoughtful nature, you wonder what could have caused him to have a breakdown.

As you reread the telegram, guilt wracks you, for it has been a long time since you walked through the once- beautiful French Hill district to his modest home – you should have visited earlier. Immediately, you sent back a message saying that you would be happy to help. You only hope that you can.

Foil the plans of a Cthulhu cult who wants to raise Cthulhu from his slumber at R’Lyeh. Good beginner case for 1-3 players.

Cthulhu: Dread Sleeper of R’Lyeh was the first casebook written for Arkham Investigations. It is designed to be both an introduction to the game for new players as well as an example for people looking to write their own casebooks.

Casebook Versions

The following versions of the casebooks are available for download:

Language Title and Description Download
English Version 1.3
English-language version with fixes and clarifications.
German Version 1.3
German-language translation of version 1.3, courtesy Stefan.

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10 Responses to “Cthulhu: Dread Sleeper of R’Lyeh”

  1. Alex.V says:

    First Case Investigation I’ve ever tried.
    I enjoyed myself to much that I just had to leave a comment somewhere.

    Played through this investigation as a 3 man team and everything worked off without a hitch. Many great moments, surprisingly good writing (in Lovecraft’s own style!), and well thought out plot points. This case had us guessing the whole game through.

    A big thank you to everyone involved in these wonderful Arkham Investigations project.

  2. Craig P says:

    I’ve been interested in the idea of these case books since I stumbled across them and we finally got a chance to play it last night. We had a four-player group and lost one character part way through. We also had a terribly bad run of luck on the timeline progression dice early on, with moving on a day almost every single turn for half the time line. This left us a little short of time and we were oh so close to completing the investigation (about three more turns would have got us to the end) when the endgame dropped on us.

    It really succeeded at it’s intended goal of cranking up the tension towards the end of the game, and this despite the fact that my group were taking things far from seriously.

    The writing was excellent, although there were a few small typos (most almost would pass without notice; I think one was something like having “have” instead of “halve”). There was also one point where the vignette flow didn’t quite work and relied slightly on our realising the intention in order to leave the vignette (I think it was vignette L, where instructioins said to return to L2, but L1 was the section that allowed for the “exit”). The endgame descriptions were particularly noteworthy for their atmospheric imagery.

    The various new mechanics worked extremely well and most cleverly for the various scenarios. The “team combat” works much better to give an “outnumbered” feel to things (the character we lost was alone against six foes which realistically should have been extremely tough to handle anyway). The whole case book design is excellently illustrated in this piece and while I cannot recommend it highly enough for people who like the idea of something to add to their AH games, it is nothing short of essential for anyone wanting to write their own case book.

  3. Guillaume A says:

    I have been looking at this expansion for a while. I made my first game three days ago and it went great !!! It really changes the game in a more coherent plot. The common actions and combat in the vignettes are also excellent ideas. Contrarily to Craig P, we were very lucky with the time line and finished the investigation easily.

    I loved it very much. Excellent job !!

  4. Greta says:

    Good afternoon. I ask a pardon for bad English. I have translated this adventure, and also base rules on Russian. Also has played together with the friends, all were delighted simply. It is a pity that the project develops so slowly after all it is remarkable idea.

  5. Guillaume A says:

    We have translated this book-case into french. I also changed slightly the connections between the vignettes so that more aspects of the investigation are easier to reach (not necessarily to solve though). As always, french versions can be found at:

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  7. Corey Papastathis says:

    This is exactly what I bought the game for. It has been almost a year since anyone posted here, but I hope that this site continues. To help out, I created a google doc that has a lookup for the paragraphs of Dread Sleeper of R’Lyeh. Great ideas. I hope to have a few of my own to submit shortly.

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