What do you get if you mix the horror of H.P. Lovecraft with the Gothic Horror tradition of the Victorian age? You get today's C post, Cthulhu by Gaslight.
I love Victorian era games. They are my favorite actually. Cthulhu by Gaslight has always been one of those rare hard to find treasures. Whether or not you play it as a gothic game, a period horror game, a darkly inspired Sherlock Holmes meets Dracula game, or as a Call of Cthulhu game there is something here for all sorts of horror game fans. It is the chocolate peanut butter cup of horror games; two great tastes that taste great together.
The book is divided up in terms of creating your Victorian age character, the Victorian world, Strange Britain, Gaslight Adventures and an a very nice Appendix on Victorian literature and some handouts.
The Victorian Age Character chapter is typical of a Call of Cthulhu game. Skills and professions are discussed. Some familiarity with Call of Cthulhu is helpful here since this book assumes you have a copy of Call of Cthulhu. Te times assumed here are 1890 to 1900. No discussion on Victorian Age characters is complete, or really can even begin without a discussion on social class, which we get during character occupations. This section is expanded over the 2nd Edition with inclusion of common terms from the age.
The Victorian World covers the world of the British Empire including it's place in the world, a time line of important dates and biographies of important people from the time. My favorite part is the locations in and around London. This chapter is well researched and great for any Victorian era RPG.
Strange Britain is a great overview of the occult scene in Britain in the 1890s. Lodges, Fortean events, and a gazetteer of strange sites in the British isles. All of these are great for all sorts of games. The Cthulhu mythos portion comes later and has some new ideas for old monsters, both mythos monsters and classic ones from the British Isles. The chapter continues with some fictional characters from the time. Though one might want to figure out how some authors can appear with their fiction creations. My favorite part though is the Martian Invasion. H.G. Wells meets H. P. Lovecraft. Some Victorian adventure campaigns are then discussed.
Gaslight Adventures helps Keepers (Game Masters) with some ready to run adventures; "Night of the Jackals" and "The Burnt Man".
The Appendix is full of great information about various sources of information on Victorian England, Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper and Britain in general. Though if I have a quibble it is that the sources are a bit dated, nothing for example from the last few years.
All in all the 3rd edition is a great update of this great game.
You can buy Cthulhu by Gaslight from Noble Knight Games or DriveThruRPG for older editions and DriveThruRPG for the new 3rd ed.