The Golden Dawn (Supplement)

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Front Cover

Publisher: Pagan Publishing

Product Code: 1004

Publishing Year: 1996

Pages: 192

Cover Price: $19.95

Author(s): Scott Aniolowski, Garrie Hall, Steve Hatherley, Alan Smithee (Kevin A. Ross), John T. Snyder, John Tynes

Artist(s): Dennis Detwiller, Daniel Gelon, John T. Snyder, Heather Hudson

Setting(s): 1890s

Format(s): Softcover

ISBN: 1-887797-02-5


This sourcebook presents an alternative view of Victorian London, one revolving around the real-world Hermitic Order of the Golden Dawn. This famous occult society is presented in detail, allowing Investigator characters to be either members of the Order or interested outsiders.

Unlike most adaptations of real-world societies to games, this book does not aim to intricately intertwine the Golden Dawn with the existing universe of Call of Cthulhu. In particular, there is little to directly connect the occult beliefs and practices of the organisation with the Cthulhu Mythos. Instead, this belief system is mainly presented as a standalone "setting" in which Victorian occult scenarios can be played.

The book is divided into an introduction, a "Resources" section, four scenarios and a collection of appendices.

The Resources section contains information about the Golden Dawn society, broken down into:

  • Victorian London,
  • Call of Cthulhu & the Golden Dawn
  • A Keeper's History of the Golden Dawn
  • A Timeline of the Golden Dawn
  • Important Members
  • Meetings & Meeting-Places
  • The Library & the Cypher
  • The Outer Order Curriculum
  • The Inner Order Curriculum
  • The Astral Plane
  • The Once and Future King
  • Other Mysteries of the Dawn

The four scenarios contained in the book are listed below.

The book contains over forty pages of appendices (including Player Handouts). The appendices are:

  • Appendix A: Bibliography & Suggested Reading
  • Appendix B: A History of the Golden Dawn (Players' Version)
  • Appendix C: Creating Victorian Investigators
  • Appendix D: The Outer Order Curriculum (Players' Version)
  • Appendix E: The Inner Order Curriculum (Players' Version)
  • Appendix F: Miscellany (Photography in the Victorian Era, Swordfighting Rules, New Skills, New Spells)
  • Appendix G: Player Aids (Handouts for the four scenarios, special Character Sheet)
  • Appendix H: Calendars & Notes (calendars for the years 1893 to 1900)

Scenarios: The Room Beyond, Hell Hath no Fury, La Musique de la Nuit, Sheela-na-gig

Front Cover Text

A Sourcebook of Victorian Occult Intrigue for Call of Cthulhu From Pagan Publishing

Back Cover Text

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?
--from William Butler Yeats,
"The Second Coming"

Join the most notorious occult society of Victorian England -- The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn -- alongside luminaries such as W.B. Yeats, Aleister Crowley, and others. This book includes extensive source material (including rules for astral projection and Hermetic Magick) and four Call of Cthulhu scenarios offering a look at the dark side of Victoria's Empire.

Licensed by Chaosium, Inc.

Comments / Trivia

Dedication: This book is dedicated to "The New Victorians" -- Tim Powers, James P. Blaylock, and K.W. Jeter -- whose (literally) wonderful novels inspired these fin-de-siecle adventures.

The section on Victorian London is a reprint from Cthulhu by Gaslight, and credited to William A. Barton

Two of the scenarios presented in this book (Hell Hath no Fury and Sheela-na-gig) are linked and collectively form part of a longer tale called "The Once and Future King"; the Sheela-na-gig / One & Future King material presented in The Golden Dawn sourcebook was further carried on by Garrie Hall in 'The Whisperer' magazine # 1-2 (1999-2000)

It has been suggested that the several sections of this book written by Kevin Ross "Alan Smithee" due to creative differences between members of the production team. The Smithee name is a commonly used pseudonym in the film industry, where it most often denotes a director who has requested his/her real name not be associated with the finished product because they do not approve of some element of its final presentation.


Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

Source Material References

References to Mythos creatures, tomes, artifacts, and Lovecraftian locations that appear within this book's scenarios are described in the pages detailing these scenarios. There are, however, numerous such references made in the source sections (and thus not associated with a specific scenario). These references are detailed below.

Creatures: Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth, Umr at 'Tawil (all mentioned in a very short section suggesting possible links between the Golden Dawn mythology and the Cthulhu Mythos; apart from this there are no Mythos references in the source sections)

Sourcebook New Rules

New Spells: Create Witch-Kin, Fatal Luck, Invisibility, Pentagram Ritual, Spirit Vision, Summon/Bind Elemental Spirit

New Skills: Astrology, Cartomancy, Dowsing, Etiquette, Alchemy, Geomancy, Hexagram Ritual, Talisman Creation, Wand Creation, Exorcism, Astral Travel

New Creatures: Astral Parasites

Comment here to Keepers about this book. Comments on specific Scenarios and Campaigns go on their respective pages. Keep DISCUSSION on the talk page.