By Peter Bess
So yeah…I just played the Call of Cthulhu, 7th edition RPG by Chaosium for the first time and it was great! My history with RPGs has mostly been limited to playing Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, with a couple of one-shots in other systems like For the Dungeon and Journey to the Whispering Tree written using Powered by the Apocalypse. Call of Cthulhu was a different beast altogether. I have played the board game Mansions of Madness, 2nd edition by Fantasy Flight Games so I had a small insight as to what I was getting theme-wise, but I was excited to see what would happen with the open endedness of an RPG set in that world. I was not disappointed.
When preparing to play the game I began, as you do, with reading the rules that I was given by my Game Master (GM). These were a shortened version of the full rules but still made for some meaty reading as I tried to begin wrapping my brain around a new system.
What? Percentile dice are used as the primary dice in this system?!?! Sweet! I barely ever use those in D&D. Okay, I want to roll low, not high. The lower, the better, because if I roll just below my stat it is an easy success, but if I roll higher then it may be a hard success or an extreme success. This matters when the GM decides how difficult a task may be; I may not succeed unless I roll a hard or an extreme success. (These are the noodly bits, the crunchy bits, and there are more; but where this game shines for me is the same place where D&D shines, where all RPGs shine…the roll play.)
If you have played RPGs you know what I am talking about. There is nothing better than sitting down to a table or on a digital platform like Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds with other gamers and getting lost in your characters and the world of the game. For this to take place you need a game that sucks you in, a world with strong imagery and theme. The sinister world of the Cthulhu Mythos has all you need and more. As our group of investigators slowly stumbled upon the machinations of the game’s villain we went from confused to surprised to repulsed. When a vegetable garden turned into a vile grave and plants began to attack I knew we were in for some revoltant developments. We visited a sanitarium and had a car chase. All of it leading up to the inevitable fight against unspeakable evil. If this one adventure was any example, the new Mansions of Madness, Volume 1 has some great scenarios for this RPG. With a good GM, some excited players, and a solid adventure you are in for a treat.
So what are you waiting for? You can pick up the Call of Cthulhu, 7th edition Starter Set for just $24.99. Grab some friends and enter a world of mystery and darkness where you will do your best to shed some knowledge and light on the road to MADNESS…
You can find Mansions of Madness here: https://www.chaosium.com/mansions-of-madness-vol-1-behind-closed-doors-hardcover/