We always need volunteers to playtest scenarios for upcoming issues of The Unspeakable Oath.

The basic requirements:

  • You must know the rules for Call of Cthulhu well and have experience running it. (If you have experience with Trail of Cthulhu or another system that we might use, that’s a bonus.)
  • You need to have an active gaming group and your players need to be willing to participate in playtesting.
  • You and (to a lesser extent) your players need to be willing to do a little work helping us improve scenarios.

Usually these are Call of Cthulhu scenarios, but they might also be for Trail of Cthulhu, Shadows of Cthulhu, CthulhuTech, Nemesis, The Laundry, or any other Cthulhu Mythos roleplaying game. If you have a particular preference, let me know when you sign up.

Every so often, each playtest volunteer will be assigned a scenario and have (usually) three or four weeks to play it and send notes. If you can’t finish it and compile your notes by the deadline, that’s OK. You can try again next time.

Please contact the editor to sign up. But first, read the guidelines.


Updated 19 September 2012

Before you sign up for playtesting, please read every word of these guidelines.

By agreeing to playtest for The Unspeakable Oath you are agreeing to abide by the spirit and letter of these guidelines. If you violate the guidelines, we will record your name in the Book of Azathoth, and not in a good way.


1. This manuscript is confidential and under copyright. Do not distribute it to anyone else by email, photocopy or upload.

2. Please refrain from commenting on it publicly. THIS IS NOT A REVIEW COPY. This is an early draft and it may change substantially before it sees print. (Exception: Cursory public comments to the effect of “I’m playtesting this and it looks great!” are always fine.  But if you’d rather say “…and it looks like crap!”, well, please tell me so privately so we have a chance to make it better before we release it.)

3. Please do not tell us about typos, misspellings and grammatical foul-ups. This is an unedited early draft. We’ll take care of all that stuff later.


1. Read it. Read the manuscript first as a prospective GM and take notes as you go. What about it particularly sparks your interest and imagination? What about it leaves you confused or wishing you had more information? Which rules elements are clear and useful? Which rules elements are confusing, contradictory or unnecessary?

2. Play it and take notes. Sit down with your game group. The scenario will probably take only one game session to complete. Introduce them to the setting and to what kinds of characters they’ll play, and their pregenerated characters if we have sent any. Then play the game.

Take notes on the players’ comments as you go. Where are they interested, engaged, or impressed? Where are they confused, bored, or frustrated? What do they like? What do they dislike? Please add those notes to your report.

Please prepare all notes in a single, separate file. Please do NOT just add them to the manuscript or embed them as notes in the original document.

On the first page of your report, please provide the following information:

• Your name as you want it to appear in the playtesting credits.
• Your email address and mailing address.
• The names of your players as you want them to appear in the playtesting credits.

Please email the report to me in a single text document. Word, Pages, and Rich Text Format are fine. Please do not send it as a PDF.

If I don’t get your playtest report in the correct format by the deadline, I can’t guarantee you’ll get credit as a playtester. Please be diligent.


If you send a playtest report according to the guidelines, you and your players will get named in the final product as playtesters. You will also get one copy of the printed product and a copy of the final PDF edition at no charge. You may share the PDF with each player who contributed to the playtest. After the final product has been released, please get in touch with me to make sure you get your playtest copy.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you again for helping us playtest The Unspeakable Oath.

Shane Ivey, editor

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