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[Call of Cthulhu] So what do I need to buy?

g33k

Registered User
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Don't buy Call of Cthulhu is the first good step.
Purchase Raiders of R'yleh, which is a 1000% better in every way.
Erm. Very much a matter of perspective, I'm afraid.

The mechanics of RoR appear to be derived largely from the MRQII/Legend/RQ6/Mythras branch of the d100 family tree. Many people like those, and find them "better in every way."

For other gaming groups, those mechanics are a Hard Nope (for those wanting a quick overview, the Mythras folk at TDM have a stripped-down quickstart, Mythras Imperative (alongside some nifty other freebies).
 

Rogerd

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Erm. Very much a matter of perspective, I'm afraid.

The mechanics of RoR appear to be derived largely from the MRQII/Legend/RQ6/Mythras branch of the d100 family tree. Many people like those, and find them "better in every way."

For other gaming groups, those mechanics are a Hard Nope (for those wanting a quick overview, the Mythras folk at TDM have a stripped-down quickstart, Mythras Imperative (alongside some nifty other freebies).
CoC has very much lost it's way a long time ago, sadly. Other games have risen up to replace it, hell Delta Green is also far superior to the original, the Laundry being another. The list very much goes on, and on, of games that have kept the integrity of what the game should be.
 

Wharrgarble

Comunista para Cristo
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Don't buy Call of Cthulhu is the first good step.
Purchase Raiders of R'yleh, which is a 1000% better in every way.

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videopete

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Here is the thing, CoC has a huge library of supplements to work with, and because the foundation of the game never really changed, you can use pretty much any resource published for prior editions with just the quick reminder that all you have to do is multiply the stats by 5 to get the percentile points (i don't particularity like that but it makes it easy for the math dumb who could not understand a resistance chart.) The rules are stupid simple, I was able to run a game for a group of gamers that don't speak English as their first language, and my wife who only played because she loves me, and I made faustian deals with her. So far I have the Pulp Cthulhu, Down Darker Trails, and Terror Austrias, and they are all awesome books. Really the making stats percentiles is my only silly gribble, the mechanics are top notch, and includes mean to avoid failure spirals, and the adventure stagnation.
 

General_Tangent

Roof Dweller
Validated User
Aside from the earlier comments about the Keeper book, you may find the GM screen useful.

Plus there was an adventure put out for Free RPG day which should be worth considering.
 

SunlessNick

Mildly Darkened One
Validated User
So, in other words, you kinda need the Investigators book, too. ;)
The Keeper's Book provides complete character generation, and everything needed to run the game. What the Investigator's book offers is:
  • [*Extra advice on creating backgrounds and personalities.
  • A lot (a lot) of new occupations.
  • Longer skill descriptions.
  • A chapter on organisations for Investigators to belong to (ranging from media to scientific, to law enforcement to gathered victims of circumstance).
  • The 1920's sourcebook.
Whether you need it depends on whether you need those things. IMO it's not necessary, but it's definitely worth it.
 

General_Tangent

Roof Dweller
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And I forgot to add that there is a chapter in the Keeper's book that has conversion notes for the previous editions, so all the old books are still useful.
 

Zed

in Berkeley, California (he/him)
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If you want to play the current 7th edition, you can check out the free quickstart rules. You can get away with just the Keeper's handbook.

While there are more rules differences between 6th and 7th than there were between previous editions, the previous rules still work just fine. I like the 5.5/5.6.1 versions (close to identical but 5.5 was the paperback and 5.6.1 the hardcover) better than 6th (just for layout/readability -- the rules are vanishingly close to unchanged) and you can find them fairly cheap, e.g., Call of Cthulhu 5.6.1 for $20.
 

Mark D. Eddy

It's Twagic.
Validated User
Heh. I had a $50 Amazon gift card, so just grabbing the Keeper book didn't actually take any money out of my pocket. I'll see what happens when it gets here, and my group gets back together after summer craziness.

I think that the one friend who was really pushing for CoC has some older edition stuff, too, so I'll be checking what he has and the Keeper book's edition comparison notes so we're all on the same page.
 

DavetheLost

Registered User
Validated User
The really nice thing about Call of Cthulhu is you can run good and lengthy campaigns with just the core rules of any edition. I don't hav the current starter set so I can't speak to how long a campaign you could run with that. I don't know if it has character generation rules which are he big need for campaigns.

The supplements, published adventures, etc have always been optional expansions and add ons, you can enjoy the game without them. Most of my play was just the core rules.

The other nice thing is that the game plays just fine with different editions being mixed at the table. 1-6 are similar enough that players can mix and match without conversion. Some skill descriptions are different, some other numbers are different, but if the group is not nit picky about that it works well. 7e requires a bit of conversion, but I don't think it is difficult.

If you don't already have CoC, or access to a very inexpensive copy of a previous edition, I would recommend starting with the 7e Keeper's Book as that is the current edition.
 
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