Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: RPG Coasters 2, Cthulhu.

Alexander Ingram has just launched his second RPG Coasters Kickstarter! The theme this time? Cthulhu. For the uninitiated, the name is pronounced in some circles as kuh-THOOL-hoo. Now be careful when saying that to loud, as it may awaken H.P. Lovecraft’s Elder One from its eternal madness. That said, per mythos the human tongue cannot accurately pronounce it anyway.

The Call of Cthulhu was first published in the February, 1928 edition of Weird Tales. The creature was an elder god held inside a sunken city named R’lyeh, which featured bizarre, non-Euclidean architecture. Fast forward to 2017 and this sort of material is a wonderful playground for role-playing games. When beings such as Cthulhu threaten to break free of their cosmic prisons, investigators and adventurers must put a stop to it! Well that is what the GM tells you anyway, before your character becomes a blithering idiot from cosmic madness.

“It seemed to be a sort of monster, or symbol representing a monster, of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing.”
― H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

With that background, Lovecraftian novice and veteran alike can appreciate this new RPG Coasters theme. I love to review cool gaming swag, and these gorgeous coasters stand apart. Full disclosure, Alex sent me this set to review ahead of the Kickstarter launch. So, consider this a sneak peek if you are marinating about pledging. These are identical in construction to the fantasy themed coasters which I reviewed here. If you want to see how the coasters match up to different types of drinking vessels, I encourage you to visit that link.

Alex does all the work personally on these coasters in his basement workshop. The coasters are offered in beautiful hardwoods of Cherry, Hard Maple, and Black Walnut. The latter seems to really make Cthulhu pop on my sample Keeper coaster! These same materials were offered and delivered in the first RPG Coasters Kickstarter.

“seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters.”
― H.P. Lovecraft, The Call Of Cthulhu

One of the things that really jumped out at me with this new set was the level of detail. The coasters and all the artwork on them are CNC (computer numerical control) routed by a several machines Alex created in his shop. The Antiquarian coaster may be my favorite since it contains an interpretation of Lovecraft’s own sketch from 1934. For reference, the etching on the coaster is about an inch tall!






If you are fan of Lovecraftian horror, these coasters are the perfect conversation piece for your table. As seen above, available now are the Antiquarian, Criminal, Keeper, Parapsychologist and Private Eye. The full set, not including the stand, is a $40 pledge. The stand is an add-on for $10. Maybe you just want one coaster to fend off a wayward Shoggoth? There is a $10 pledge level for a single coaster! Below you can see some of the artwork waiting to be unlocked from its eldritch prison:


I’ve had RPG Coasters in the Game Tavern for over a year now. Everyone that visits comments on how cool they are, or inquiries about where we got them. Not only are they epic gaming swag, but they are pieces of furniture. The holidays are still far away, and the Kickstarter looks to deliver before then. Why not surprise that relative or friend that has everything? Or just treat yourself to a glass of bubbling madness on a Cthulhu RPG Coaster!

“Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.”
In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.
― H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu





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