New Luck Spends for Pulp Cthulhu

I love the Luck rules in Call of Cthulhu, and especially those in the Pulp rules. Here are three new Luck Spends and a modification to an existing rule. Feel free to use these (or not) in your own games!

“Keep Calm and Carry On!”

Cost: 20 Luck

A player may spend 20 Luck points to avoid the effects of Temporary or Indefinite Insanity. A subsequent loss of 1 or more points of Sanity will trigger insanity as normal.

Alternative names: “Oh dear. How sad. Never mind…” or “Always looks on the bright side of life! [sung]” or “Everything is AWESOME!” or “Hakuna Matata! [also sung]”

“Mumbo Jumbo!”

Cost: 10 Luck

A player can spend 10 Luck points to buy a POW roll to resist any spell where success would otherwise be automatic or to add a bonus die where a POW roll to resist a spell is already granted.

Alternative names: “Pshaw!” or “Hocus pocus!” or “Inconceivable!”

“Jump the Queue”

Cost: 10 Luck

At the start of a combat round a player may spend 10 Luck points to add +50 to their Initiative for the remainder of that round (only). This is in addition to any other bonuses (or penalties) in-play such as the +50 bonus for having a firearm readied.

Alternative names: “Was that fast? I thought that was fast…” or “Faster than a speeding bullet!” or “Shhhhmokin! [wearing suitable face attire]”

And here’s that modified rule…

“It’s Only a Scratch!”

Cost: 10 Luck per 1D6 hit points (modified from 20 Luck for 1D6 hit points in the official rules)

Description otherwise as per the Pulp Cthulhu rule book, p.61.


I decided to add “Mumbo Jumbo” to balance the Pulp Cthulhu rules when it comes to magic. Although Pulp Heroes benefit from improved survivability due to their double hit points and the changes to Major Wounds (and Death), the same doesn’t apply to spells, which land just as hard, and often without any roll whatsoever to resist their effects.

I’ve halved the Luck cost for “It’s Only a Scratch!” because my players just don’t use it. 1D6 hit points isn’t much for an average Pulp Hero. Dropping the cost to 10 Luck and making it clear that multiples can be bought might be just the incentive they need!


Finally… a HUGE shoutout for the amazing PULP-O-MIZER cover generator which I used to create the snazzy thumbnail for this blog post. I will certainly be using it again in the future! (Or the past, if I get my time machine working…)

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