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Masks of Nyarlathotep - PDF

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Dark Schemes Herald the End of the World

Reanimation of the classic Call of Cthulhu campaign.

The new edition of Masks of Nyarlathotep is a complete revision and updating of this epic multi-part campaign set in 1925, in which steadfast investigators must unravel secrets and battle the minions of darkness in an attempt to stop world-shattering events from destroying humanity.

Get the Omnibus PDF Edition!

Masks of Nyarlathotep has been comprehensively revised and updated for use with Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition, but may also be run with the Pulp Cthulhu supplement.

  • Global campaign covering seven countries in five continents!
  • Packed with encounters, side-track adventures, detailed adversaries, geographical information, and more!
  • Presented in full color, with new artwork, maps and floor plans, and ready to use player handouts.
  • Appendices collect spells, tomes, artifacts, and travel advice.
  • Ultimate edition, packed full of advice and tips.

Masks Internal Page

Requires the Call of Cthulhu Keeper’s Rulebook (7th edition) to play, and is optionally usable with Pulp Cthulhu.

The original six-chapter campaign featuring adventures in America, England, Egypt, Kenya, Australia, and China have been developed and updated by Mike Mason, Lynne Hardy, Paul Fricker, and Scott Dorward, and feature enhanced and new encounters, sub-plots, and on-point guidance for the Keeper.

The Expedition #1

Now written to be playable with either standard Call of Cthulhu or Pulp Cthulhu, the text guides the Keeper and allows for both gritty or action-packed pulp styles of play.

The Introduction chapter features a new foreword by Mask’s creator, Larry DiTillio, and goes on to provide an overview of the campaign, it’s key players and their goals and differing agendas, and the important locations the investigators will travel to while they seek to understand the mystery unfolding before them. Additional material looks at the dark god Nyarlathotep, his cults, and his role in the campaign. Guidance is also provided on running the campaign, including considerations of historical depictions, pulp or standard play styles, and lethality level (just how much danger should the investigators’ face). Rounding things out is plenty of advice on creating investigators for the campaign, replacement characters, and ten ready-to-play investigators for those wishing to dive straight into the adventure.

PC Images

Search for Pyramid

Complete with a Brand New Chapter...

Set in Peru, this new scenario takes place in 1921 and provides an exciting introductory prologue to the campaign, where the investigators meet Jackson Elias, the industrious and charming author, whose researches lead into the globe-spanning mystery. Embarking on an expedition to find a lost South American pyramid, the investigators come face to face with ancient horrors that foreshadow the task ahead.

Map of Peru

... and Even More!

And for an added bonus, a Grand Conclusion chapter helps the Keeper to determine just how successful the players have been in tackling the dark schemes of Nyarlathotep’s cults, as well as discussing ways to extend the campaign in a variety of ways.

Each chapter has been tirelessly crossed-referenced to help those running the campaign to keep track of the many locations, characters, player handouts, and items thrown up by the players’ investigation. With new appendices collecting spells, tomes, and artifacts, running the campaign is easiest it has ever been.

We have added Detailed New Appendices!

Running Masks of Nyarlathotep has never been easier thanks to these extensive appendices:

  • Travel – detailing travel times across the world, means of transport, rest and recuperation for traveling investigators, travel events, and also guidance for investigators wishing to learn new skills and improve existing ones.
  • Spells – collects campaign-important spells together for handy reference, with over 30 spells detailed. Including Call the Black Sphinx, the Seal of Nephren-Ka, and the Ward of Anubis, to name but a few.
  • Tomes – during their investigations the investigators may come across a wide range of Mythos tomes, each bulging with forgotten and dark wisdom. This appendix gathers all of the tomes encountered in the campaign, with over 20 detailed listings, each providing background the tome, the lore within, and relevance to the campaign’s plot, be it the dreaded Necronomicon or the abhorred Black Tome.
  • Artifacts – just as there are numerous tomes to be discovered, there are also plenty of strange artifacts to be found (some useful, some deadly). Here, fifteen artifacts are gathered, from the Mask of Hayama to the Headdress of Eyes, from the Adornments of Nitocris to the very strange Device of Rods, Wheels, and Mirrors. 

This Massive PDF Package Includes:

  • Masks of Nyarlathotep Book - 666-page PDF Omnibus of both volumes
  • 6-page Keeper Screen you can print out to fit over your existing Call of Cthulhu Keeper's Screen
  • 12-page NPC Portraits pack with 105 portraits
  • 85-page Keeper Reference Booklet
  • 96-page Handout Booklet with Maps and Pre-generated Characters
  • High-resolution images of the amazing covers by Sam Lamont and Rhys Pugh
  • 10 Pre-Generated Characters with Character and Background Sheets 

What are you waiting for? Go Save the World!

Downloads for this Product

Keeper Reference Booklet
NPC Portraits
Character Sheet

Play online with our Licensed Partners

Do you play on a Virtual Tabletop? Our partners offer products for playing this scenario online.

What The Critics Say

Masks of Nylarathotep - ENnie Winner

Masks of Nylarathotep - Selected Reviews

  • "When Masks first came out [in 1984], it was the best. In the years since, rivals to the throne appeared. The new edition vanquishes them. Masks of the Nyarlathotep is the best. Full stop."

    — Vintage RPG, Masks of the Nyarlathotep - Vol 2 Review.

  • "For something which had already established itself early on as an rpg classic, Chaosium have gone and ratcheted-up this one to 11."

    — Whispers from the Ghooric Zone, The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.182: The Masks of Nyarlathotep.

  • "...this new edition of Masks will set the bar for roleplaying campaigns for some time to come... the new Masks of Nyarlathotep is everything that fans of Call of Cthulhu would want from an update of one of the most compelling RPG campaigns ever written. For players it will be a defining experience of what an RPG can be, offering an immersive, multi-faceted adventure into the heart of both cosmic and human darkness. For Keepers, the book is meticulously researched and provides all the resources and tips for running this holy grail of campaigns."

    — Games vs Play, First look review – Masks of Nyarlathotep 5th Edition.

  • "The Greatest Roleplaying Campaign Ever? If Masks of Nyarlathotep is the campaign by which all other Call of Cthulhu campaigns are measured, then Masks of Nyarlathotep: Dark Schemes Herald the End of the World just raised the bar."

    — Reviews from R'lyeh, The Greatest Roleplaying Campaign Ever?.

  • "Should you get Masks?... This will be an adventure you and your RPG friends will be talking about 20-30 years after the event. If you played Masks years ago and want to play it again, yes. The best commercially available RPG scenario has got better."

    — The British Fantasy Society, Masks of Nyarlathotep: Call of Cthulhu. RPG review.

  • "The fifth edition design team of Mike Mason, Lynne Hardy, Paul Fricker, and Scott Dorward has managed to the unexpected; they have released an edition of Masks of Nyarlathotep that actually improves upon the original. This is the same thrilling--and often terrifying--Masks that you know and love, but in every measurable way it surpasses any iteration before it. It looks better, reads better, and with massive amounts of support for the Keeper, runs better. If you play Call of Cthulhu, you need to own it. If you don't play Call of Cthulhu, now is the time to start. Masks of Nyarlathotep once again sets the standard for what a complex, lengthy RPG campaign should look like, and with products like these Chaosium reminds us exactly why it is as storied an institution as it is. Masks is a classic car rebuilt from the ground up with modern parts and the original's soul."

    — Andrew Logan Montgomery, Exploring the Otherworlds of Fiction, Magic, and Gaming, Masks of Nyarlathotep Review.

  • "HOLY COW! You took the time and made this thing amazing… The 7th edition Masks of Nyarlathotep is an phenomenal product."

    — Throat Punch Games, Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Masks of Nyarlathotep.

  • "…a grand campaign that spans the globe as players go searching for the lost Carlyle Expedition by chasing down clues in newspaper clippings, photographs, and other resources. The campaign lets the players determine their direction and while it has a deadly reputation, it’s one that most fans of Call of Cthulhu remember fondly as they talk about how they died or went insane."

    — Geek & Sundry, 6 Monster-hunting RPGS that kick undead butt.

  • "...blends the globetrotting pulp momentum of an Indiana Jones movie with the dark cults and uncaring gods of the Cthulhu Mythos… It’s good to see a fan favorite campaign back after all these years."

    — Geek & Sundry, The Best of 2018's Tabletop Roleplaying Games.

  • "Everyone should play Masks of Nyarlathotep. It's one of the best roleplaying campaigns ever written - and now it's easier than ever to play."

    — The Vintage Podcast, Masks of Nyarlathotep (Again).

  • "A touchstone campaign for Call of Cthulhu, much as the original Ravenloft adventure is for Dungeons & Dragons."

    — Refereeing & Reflection, The Greater Festival of Masks.

  • "No - This Is A Rite Of Passage... Those who make it to the end of the campaign will look back with a mixture of trepidation, disbelief, and pride. In-game, the world will never learn of the investigator’s sacrifices. Round the table, the rose-tinted esprit de corps will linger for an age. 5 Stars"

    — Zatu Games, Masks of Nyarlathotep Slipcase Review.

  • “Masks of Nyarlathotep remains one of the greatest RPG supplements of all time.”

    — Grimdark Magazine, Review: Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: Masks of Nyarlathotep.

  • "...a milestone for Call of Cthulhu and for RPG campaigns. It expanded our ideas of what roleplaying game adventures could be and raised the standards for the industry and the RPG art form."

    — The New York Review of Science Fiction, Lisa Padol., Masks of Nyarlathotep Review.

  • "...the holy grail of horror, and in my opinion the best, most frightening, atmospheric, awesomely realized campaign for any game."

    — Dennis Detwiller, Tips on running Masks of Nyarlathtep.

  • "Considered by many the War and Peace of roleplaying, Masks of Nyarlathotep changed the way in which roleplaying campaign were designed. It coupled a complex, non-linear plot with such an incredible amount of historical detail and invention that made the experience of playing it an absolute delight and, in many ways, a life-changing experience."

    —, Featured Author: Larry DiTillio.

  • "...widely considered one of the best RPG adventures ever made"

    — Gizmodo, Call Of Cthulhu Was The First Role-Playing Game To Drive People Insane.

  • "So shockingly revolutionary in its design and ahead of its time in 1984, that forty years later most of the industry is still incapable of replicating its success... to exaggerate only slightly: Before Masks of Nyarlathotep, you could either design a dungeon or you could design a plot. After Masks, RPGs had taken their first step into a wider world."

    — Justin Alexander, Scroll for Initiative, From the experts: the greatest RPG adventures of all time.

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PDF Product Name: [RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha - PDF]
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7th Edition Call of Cthulhu
Year Released:
Page Count:
666 plus many handouts
Full-color PDF
Larry DiTillio, Lynn Willis, Mike Mason, Lynne Hardy, Paul Fricker, Scott Dorward
Cover Artists:
Sam Lamont, Rhys Pugh
Caleb Cleveland, M Wayne Miller, Jonathan Wyke, Victor Leza, Eric Lofgren, Petr Stovik, Löic Muzy
Andrew Law, Olivier Sanfilippo
Andrew Law, Nick Nacario
Nick Nacario
  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star 5
    A Masterwork of Storytelling

    Posted by Alexander Rybitski on 2nd Jul 2018

    It is frustrating that the first two reviews on this page were by people who had refused to check the product all together, simply because of the price. Should either of them read this, let me explain a very important detail that I think you may have missed: This is a massive work. It is, essentially, the size of two books. The full work is worth $130 for the PHYSICAL copy. It is huge. As most PDFs are usually half the selling price of the physical copy (or less), this is a BARGAIN for the sheer amount of content present. Not only that, but in buying this through the website, you are effectively getting the physical copy at 50% off when it comes out. Please reconsider your decision. Now, on to my review: I have never run Masks. I have never played Masks. Up until today, I had never even heard of Masks. I am fairly new to the RPG scene, and have only ever experiences Call of Cthulhu in it's 7th Edition form. I do, however, have a deep love of Lovecraftian horror, and Nyarlathotep is a favorite of mine. With this beast being 30 years old, and it STILL being in demand after all this time? Simply put, I had to check it out. I was not disappointed. This book is so carefully constructed as to make the scenario all the more smooth to run. The art is gorgeous, the storytelling engrossing, and options for how to run the experience itself are nothing short of extraordinary. As someone who struggles to write the sort of world-spanning, multi-layered mystery like that present in Masks, you can imagine the sighs of relief I've uttered as I flip through the pages and explain "Brilliant!" every chapter. This book not only fuels my inspiration for running it, but for writing future mysteries/campaigns as well. It will take me some time to chew through this monster, but once the deed is done I foresee an experience unlike any I've ever had at my table. Come this fall, I will be lighting candles and huddling my friends in the dark of my apartment to weave this tale of horror. Even now, I am giddy at the thought of their reactions. Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!

  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star 5
    Excellent production

    Posted by Matthew Perry on 2nd Jul 2018

    I normally do not leave reviews but it ticks me off to see non-customers using the review system as an attack platform. Its one thing to not like the product you purchased, but just sad to low ball reviews on something you have no intention of purchasing. Quick review: It is very apparent that at lot of time and love went into this new edition/handouts, and the quality is outstanding. Hopefully going to get this to the table in a month or two after I consume all the information. Keep up the good work!

  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star 5
    Great product! Ignore low reviews!

    Posted by Unknown on 2nd Jul 2018

    I'm one of the first 4 reviewers, and I notice two of the others gave the item very low scores simply because of the price being too high in their view. It seems likely that these people chose to give a low review without buying the product or seeing the content (Which is fantastic and well worth the price.) Don't trust the reviews of people who don't own the product and don't want to pay for it!

  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star 5
    Amazing work

    Posted by Paul Bond on 2nd Jul 2018

    As someone who actually bought this (unlike a few above me) the level of quality and workmanship here is astounding. Fabulous reworking of a classic adventure, countless hours of content, beautifully rendered and illustrated, and a worthy successor to an all time great campaign. Money well spent for the CoC enthusiast. You can absolutely see the work that went into it, which easily justifies the price (the same as many video games that will deliver far less long term enjoyment).

  • Full Star Empty Star Empty Star Empty Star Empty Star 1
    Crazy Price

    Posted by Jonathan Randall on 2nd Jul 2018

    I was really looking forward to this but £45.61 for a PDF is ridiculous! I will wait for the physical release and see how much is expected for it. I want to support the game but that price is silly.

  • Full Star Full Star Empty Star Empty Star Empty Star 2
    Too expensive!!!

    Posted by Charles Holzheimer on 1st Jul 2018

    Sixty dollars for a PDF?? Nope!