Latest News

If you missed our KICKSTARTER, we will be offering a version of the game soon, so join the mailing list and check out our design journal.

If you are a retailer or distributor interested in working with us, you can contact us here: MAIL (AT) THECIPHERBUREAU (DOT) COM.

Development Schedule

Estimated Completion Date: Our original estimate was pushed back due to rewrites and added material, but you can check with our development journal for the latest updates.

300-page Core Rules Document


Gothic Black & White Edition PDF


Gamemaster Guide


Adventurer Guide


Final Artwork


Dark Swamp Scenario


Secrets of Sargasso Sea


Introduction to the Setting

The year is 1910. It is an age of crumbling empires, dangerous adventures, and rotting decadence. Rifles crack across the untamed Khyber pass, sorcerers stir from eldritch crypts, and dark things dream and lurk in secreted, foetid corners of the globe.

Raiders of R’lyeh is a stand-alone roleplaying game and sourcebook in which mercenary rogues explore forbidden frontiers, unearth ancient artifacts, and outwit villainous scum. Derived partly from the Runequest rules that have been released under the Open Game License, the game is crafted to emulate not only adventure in the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft and his circle of influences, but especially the savage and evocative feel of Robert E. Howard’s Mythos and Weird menace stories.

Attention has been made to keep the game mechanics compatible with other percentile systems — while innovating additional rulesets unique to the setting and atmosphere — so those players wishing only to use Raiders of R’lyeh as an Edwardian era adventure sourcebook will have a new setting to explore and use in their preexisting Mythos campaign, as well as modular adventure, monster and scenario resources for gaming in 1900-1913.

*We need a lot of help getting the word out, so help spread the word (and send us an email at mailATthecipherbureauDOTcom when you do so we can make note of our early contributors), and be sure to join the Raiders Google+ page, the Raiders Facebook page, and the project’s Twitter.

Monster Stats
Raiders Scenario
Raiders Spot Illustrations


What is this game? How do I play it?

Raiders of R’lyeh is a tabletop RPG (roleplaying game). In it, each player assumes the role of a character (called a player character, or “PC”) in a horror adventure setting. One of the players takes on a special role as a type of referee (the “gamemaster”). His or her job is to design the adventures, build the environments, and assume the roles of characters in the setting that are not the heroes (those characters controlled by the gamemaster are called non-player characters, or “NPCs.”) The gamemaster also arbitrates the rules in the game, using a specific game system. Dice rolls and good role-playing determine whether certain choices and actions that characters make succeed or fail.

In Raiders of R’lyeh, players get to play adventurers and investigators travelling the world and doing things like looking for ancient artifacts, fighting spies, discovering conspiracies, and escaping horrible secrets and monsters. As the game borrows inspiration from sources like Raiders of the Lost Ark, lost world fiction, old ghost stories, Robert E. Howard and other adventure pulp, and especially the weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft (such as “Call of Cthulhu” and “Out of the Aeons”), it is very much an “Indiana Jones meets Cthulhu” type of game.

Where I can try a play test?

Check with our design journal for current news and releases.

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