Inside Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition

Call of Cthulhu is getting the first major overhaul of the rules in 20 years in the upcoming 7th Edition. At a seminar at Continuum, July 21, 2012, developers Paul Fricker (author of the monograph Gatsby and the Great Race and the scenario Dockside Dogs, contributor to Cthulhu Britannica) and Mike Mason (editor of Cthulhu Britannica and the defunct Whisperer magazine) shared some of the changes we can expect.

You can listen to full audio at Yog-Sothoth.com. Here’s a summary.

Mike Mason, left, and Paul Fricker at Continuum 2012. Photo from Yog-Sothoth.com

NOTHING’S FINAL

That’s the first thing to take away. Paul and Mike say clearly that what they’re describing is what they sent to Chaosium and what they hope will be the shape of the game, but that’s in Chaosium’s hands.

Chaosium’s Dustin Wright echoed that in a separate email: The rules are likely to change, maybe a lot, by the time they are published.

Dustin said Chaosium expects Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition to be published in 2013, but there’s no firm date yet.

STRUCTURE

As Paul and Mike put it together, Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition includes a core rulebook, a “slimmed-down” version of the core rulebook, and a separate players book with rules particular to player characters.

They restructured and rewrote the rules from the ground up. They revised everything to fit together more coherently than the 6th Edition, which was built out of the original rules as they evolved over time and a lot of individual rules and chapters that appeared originally in scenarios and campaign books.

Paul and Mike set out to strip the rules down and build them back up again, while keeping the game backwards-compatible so players don’t have to abandon 30 years’ worth of Call of Cthulhu publications.

“It’s the same game,” Mike says of the revisions, “and you’re making the same rolls, more or less, but it’s how you interpret those rolls and the rolls you can make.”

CHARACTERISTICS AND SKILLS

Characteristics in 7th Edition are strictly percentile scores. There’s no Intelligence 12 with an Idea roll of INT x 5 or 60%; you have an Intelligence score of 60% and that’s your roll.

Skills have been reworked entirely, many of them consolidated, particularly combat skills. A single Fighting skill covers Fist/Punch, Kick, Grapple, Head Butt, and hand-to-hand weapon skills. A single Firearms skill covers Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and so on. Fast Talk is gone; Charm and Intimidate are in. The rules will include conversion notes to use old characters in the new rules.

Importantly, the 7th Edition rules call on the Keeper and the players to be explicit about what a skill roll means and what will be the consequences for succeeding or failing. That’s usually good advice in Call of Cthulhu, but it’s crucial in the system Mike and Paul have built.

In their system a player can “push” a failed skill or characteristic roll, getting a chance to try again by agreeing to more dire consequences for failure. If you push a skill, failing the retry won’t just mean you don’t get what you want, it means you also might encounter some new threat or dangerous trouble. Player-Keeper communication is key when the players have to decide whether it’s worth pushing a failed roll.

All the minor penalties are gone. Instead there are three levels of success and the Keeper says which one the task requires: success at a standard roll with the full rating, success at half the rating, or success at one-fifth of the rating. Each value is meant to be recorded on the character sheet for each skill and characteristic for easy reference in play.

Interestingly, the hoary Resistance Table is gone. Instead, in opposed tests the Keeper sets the difficulty based on how good the opposition is. If your opponent has about a 40% skill or characteristic rating, you’d roll at your full skill rating to overcome. If your opponent has something like 90%, you need to roll one-fifth your skill to overcome.

THE LUCK ROLL

“Pushing” a skill or characteristic isn’t the only way to turn failure to success. In 7th Edition, the Luck roll becomes a resource you can spend to adjust the results of skill or characteristic rolls.

Let’s say you need to roll 60 or less and you roll 63. You can spend three points of Luck to boost your odds enough to succeed after all. But now your Luck score is three points lower — if you need to make a Luck roll it’s that much less likely to succeed.

The 7th Edition rules mean to make the the functions of the Luck roll more explicit. Paul says, “It’s strictly for external circumstances beyond the player character’s control. So, you’re in the old house, you hear something upstairs. ‘I’m going to run to the kitchen. Are there any knives there?’ It’s a Luck roll.”

Importantly, spent Luck points don’t come back on their own. You can get them back only by calling on a new attribute called Connections during play.

CONNECTIONS

Connections are things that are important to the character. A Connection could be anything — a person, a place, a thing, an abstract idea. “It might be your dear old mum,” Paul says. “It might be the house you grew up in. It might be your dog. If you want to play it, it might be your trusty .38 revolver. Faith in the Lord. Abstract concepts. Whatever is important to your character.”

You can call on a Connection to refresh Luck points, but only once in a given game session for each Connection. The amount of Luck you can refresh by calling on a Connection depends on the length of the game session, one point per hour of play. Or for a one-off, standalone game session, a flat five points.

Each character starts with three Connections. You can gain more through play, mostly by experiencing indefinite insanity due to catastrophic Sanity loss. Each indefinite insanity adds a Connection: Fear of Rats, maybe, or some kind of delusions. You can invoke that Connection, playing up the insanity, to regain Luck points.

But you can have no more than five Connections. And once you hit five, if you suffer another insanity, rather than adding a new Connection it corrupts or perverts an old one. So your Connection to dear old mum might get warped and ugly as your sanity erodes.

INSANITY

Insanity is often played for laughs in traditional Call of Cthulhu games, but Paul and Mike want insanity in 7th Edition to feel increasingly dark, not silly. At the same time they wanted to codify more explicitly what happens to characters who go insane.

With an indefinite insanity, not only do you gain a Connection for that insanity after you recover from the initial, short-term breakdown — the Bout of Madness, as Paul and Mike call it. You also are subject to further breakdowns, further Bouts of Madness, any time you suffer SAN loss later.

As for the shape of insanity in the game, they deliberately set out to take cues more from fiction than from medical manuals, delusions being more interesting to play than, say, catatonia. The form of a Bout of Madness depends on the circumstances. The rules include guidelines for the Keeper.

THE IDEA ROLL

The Idea roll is still in the game, but it’s used a little differently. As Paul puts it, “It’s not, ‘Make your rolls. Oh, you failed. Give me an Idea roll. Oh, you failed that. Oh well, I’ll just tell you anyway, then.’”

The players can always ask for an Idea roll to gain a clue if they feel stymied. If the Idea roll succeeds, they gain the clue. If it fails, they still gain the clue — but the way they gain it puts them in danger.

Advice in the book about scenario design helps the Keeper set up the clues in such a way that the Idea roll won’t often be necessary.

COMBAT

It sounds like the combat rules have gotten a pretty serious overhaul. The traditional exchange of attack roll and defense roll is gone. Attacks are opposed skill rolls. The default result, if the combatants’ rolls are equivalent — both succeed, both fail, both succeed at 1/5, whatever — is that both take some damage. A lopsided result, where, say, you succeed at 1/5 but your opponent fails, means less damage for you and more for your opponent.

Grappling is gone as a separate skill or subsystem. Paul explains, “There are rules that cover things you might want to do, but there’s not a generic Grapple skill. It’s just Fighting with setting a goal.”

The Dodge skill is still there, but it’s mainly useful for trying to get out of the encounter altogether. You can attack or dodge, not both.

Characters are a little more resilient in 7th Edition. Death occurs at a negative hit point level equal to the HP score. If you have 11 HP, you die when you reach -11, not at zero. Along the way you become incapacitated and might be bleeding out, but there’s a larger buffer before death.

The core rulebook includes advice for the Keeper on considering the ramifications of how readily you kill characters. You’re encouraged to think ahead on what your goals are and how that should affect your scenario design.

CHARACTER MOTIVATIONS

The motivations for player characters putting their lives in so much danger gets deliberate attention in 7th Edition. The players book includes a chapter on building investigator organizations as a reason for characters to work together, a common motivation for them to investigate supernatural horrors, and a way to bring in replacements. It includes a number of examples.

On a more personal level, of course, Connections can be used to motivate characters. And the players book includes advice for players on designing characters to suit the game and to facilitate them becoming Investigators.

In the core rulebook, a chapter on scenario design includes advice on writing scenarios to motivate characters.

MONSTERS

Paul and Mike say the monsters of the Cthulhu Mythos are essentially the same, though their combat stats are changed to reflect the new rules.

Monsters are presented with advice for the Keeper on using them in play and adjusting them to suit the needs of the scenario and the campaign. Mike and Paul stress that it’s the Keeper’s job to decide what’s right for the game; the Keeper ought to take ownership of the game just as the players should take ownership of how they play their characters. “You’re the Keeper,” Paul says, “make it how you want.”

Mike says the longstanding monster categories are gone: “We’ve taken away descriptors like ‘lesser servitor race’ or ‘greater independent race.’ They mean nothing to me, and I’m certainly pretty sure they meant nothing to Lovecraft. There’s some sort of hierarchical system of codification of races that . . . make no sense in the Mythos. So we just took those away and now it’s like, a mi-go’s a mi-go.”

MAGIC

For 7th Edition they stripped out a lot of the spells that crept into the rulebook from scenarios over the years but weren’t crucial to the game. (Mike: “Our favorite is Call Fish.”)

Each spell has a baseline description. But each includes guidelines for making it more powerful. Spellcasters with higher Cthulhu Mythos skill and lower Sanity scores, and nonhuman monsters, can do more with magic. But it’s up to the Keeper to set the overall power level of magic and to decide how accessible it will be to the player characters.

As a rule of thumb, using magic costs Sanity, which makes you more prone to picking up new insanities, which become new Connections (“Can’t resist ancient arcane tomes”) that redefine your character in play.

SUMMARY

“It’s still Cthulhu as you know it,” Mike says. “It still plays the same, in a sense. What we’ve done is hung some bells and whistles, and tweaked some bits that we felt didn’t work so well. It’s the same game. We didn’t set out to write a new rulebook. We set out to refresh the rulebook.”

Paul adds, “Sandy Petersen wrote a great game. We’ve just tried to help it along.”

Paul and Mike will run 7th Edition games at GenCon in August and at Concrete Cow in September.

What do you think?

24 comments for “Inside Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition

  1. July 24, 2012 at 4:52 am

    COMMENTS FROM DAN HARMS:

    ‘I have mixed feelings about the changes described in the podcast. Some of them sound like steps in the right direction. Others feel as if you’re strapping a spoiler onto a Model T – they might be impressive, but they feel out of place to me. It’s difficult to assess a rules set one hasn’t played or seen in context, but I can give it a try.

    ‘Luck as a resource – If 4th edition D&D has taught us anything, it’s that not everyone wants to handle resource allocation with regard to their characters. I suppose some people could opt out of it by simply not using the points. I’d also be concerned that this could break the tension in some situations, as people decide whether they want to allocate points. If Luck is still tied to Power, that could become even more of an important statistic than it already is.

    ‘Then again, if you are going to use such a system, regaining points through the investigator’s contacts and creative use of phobias is a good way to handle it.

    ‘”Pushing” skills – This is a welcome innovation, though I think it will require some excellent Keeper guidance as to what is appropriate.

    ‘Skill consolidation – I like combining the hand-to-hand skills into one, though I’d draw the line at weapon skills. I think one of the assumptions behind the previous CoC rules has been that being good at several things in combat should be expensive when it comes to character creation.

    ‘Large pools of negative HPs – I understand the authors’ statement that greater lethality balances this out, but one’s visible on the character sheet and the other is not. I wonder if characters will be more willing to take chances. Also, it raises the question of whether non-combat damage is being changed similarly.

    ‘Sanity – Cutting out “silly” insanity and other inappropriate forms is fine with me. This is another one where the actual implementation will be important.

    ‘Other elements – trying to remove math from the game, percentile stats – are elements I’ve tried to use in my own games, so they are quite welcome.

    ‘Finally, people who think they can say anything definitive about an unread draft rules set is just kidding themselves. That includes me.’

  2. JavaApp
    July 24, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Those are a significant amount of changes. More changes then in any previous edition, in addition to the fact that that they are significant in degree, as well as amount. I hope Chaosium playtests the hell out of this one.

  3. John Scott Tynes
    July 24, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Interesting stuff. I’m not excited about the enlarged role for Luck because luck is just not a concept that has much currency in Lovecraft. Raising it up to such mechanical prominence feels wrong. I’d instead suggest changing the concept to Hope. “I hope there’s a knife in this kitchen!” The erosion of Hope over an adventure actually has some thematic weight and I would then explore a connection between Hope and Sanity — so the lower your Hope, the more vulnerable you are to failing Sanity rolls. That keeps the basic workings of the system but really transforms the thematics in a way that I think would be meaningful at the table.

    • July 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

      We should design our own HPL-based roleplaying game and see if there’s room in it for something like that.

    • gtrevizo
      July 24, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      Way back in 2009, I came up with this: http://furrylogic.livejournal.com/30236.html

      Insane Effort
      In the spirit of Insane Insight, this rule allows a character to become so obsessed with a task that they lose all focus on reality but become much more likely to succeed at the effort. A player can flip-flop the result of any skill roll in exchange for losing 1 Magic Point and risking 1D6 points of Sanity. If a character goes insane as the result of an Insane Effort roll, they become fixated on succeeding at the task for the duration of the insanity or until brought back to sanity through psychoanalysis, drugs, and other treatments. Insane Effort cannot be used on Sanity checks, and can only be used in situations where the character is likely to develop a fixation on the task.

      The reason this works for me and the Luck mechanic doesn’t is that it only allows the player to improve their roll at the cost of their Sanity, whereas pushing Luck takes away jack all. And as CoC is supposed to be a Lovecraftian horror game, where the most common narrative is for the character to either die or survive but go insane, this feeds directly into that narrative: make the choice of eating the roll and likely suffering death, or burn through your sanity and survive to come out of the experience a changed man. The Luck mechanic does none of that, and only adds another track (along with HP and SAN) by which the game has to wear down to bring the characters into true danger.

    • July 20, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      I agree absolutely.
      and what is the CONNECTION refill your failing attributes crap?

      the roll is the role and the role is the role
      Wise role playing is it’s own reward.

  4. MarkSwift
    July 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I have had the pleasure of playtesting the new rules and can confirm that they are awesome. When you only have four hit points left and you need to kill a half-goul on your next turn so he can’t finish you off, being able to use luck to bump up your roll is a real bonus. And the three tier success system is excellent, nothing beats the feeling of rolling a fifth of your spot/listen when listening out for approaching were-soldiers.

    • gtrevizo
      July 24, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      See that’s precisely my problem with the Luck mechanic, Mark. If I only have 4 HP left and I need to kill a half-ghoul on my next turn so he can’t finish me off, I want the tension of either beating that half-ghoul in combat by a razor’s edge or dying because my character is but a man in world full of terrors that can easily destroy me. I don’t want a resource management game of balancing a Luck pool – that’s not horror, that’s just accounting.

      CoC has lasted as long as it has because it is an unforgiving game where the players can lose their characters easily on a bad die roll in combat or when facing the Sanity-destroying Mythos. This Luck mechanic changes all that and for reasons I’m not clear are even needed in CoC.

      • MarkSwift
        July 26, 2012 at 2:55 am

        You could make the decision before playing not to use your luck points, it is up to the individual player how they manage their resources. The downside of using luck points to make a failed role a success, is that you are more likely to fail future luck roles, so happy player now could mean dead player later. So the tension will come in the end anyway.

        • gtrevizo
          July 26, 2012 at 11:13 am

          How often do Luck rolls come up in your games, Mark? For me, both as a player and Keeper, they don’t seem to come up that often. I can only remember a couple of times that rolling Luck really mattered in a life-or-death decision; and, in both times, it was when the Keeper was fudging things to try and keep an investigator that was about to die alive. So I’m wondering if Luck is used differently both others than what I’m used to.

          • MarkSwift
            July 26, 2012 at 11:35 am

            Is there a torch in the glove compartment, is there a rock nearby that you can use to throw at a man possessed? Luck can often come up if one of your players says “is there….”, depending on how you are feeling at the time you may want to say “make a luck role”. I suppose that games differ greatly depending on each keeper. But as I say, you don’t have to use the points if you don’t want to.

          • July 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm

            To answer Mark’s point – I think the proper answer to both those questions is “Yes!” or better, yet, something more suspenseful where the character keeps looking as IT gets closer and closer…

            I did recently have someone make a Luck roll to see if they could find a piece of camping gear at a site, but that’s because the camper was established as incompetent.

            I’m sure there’s more to this rule than “you find this object that would likely be there anyway,” but I’d rather just give people what they need rather than make it an aspect of a resource management ruleset. They’re playing Cthulhu, so they’re screwed already.

    • July 20, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      I wonder if you are old enough to have played the original rules the Mr. Peterson devised?
      Classy.
      clever, fun, scary.
      the three tiered and connection things seem to take a lot of flavor and style and trade it for cheap cheats.

  5. Sean Whittaker
    July 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Well I guess we can safely conclude that Gil isn’t a fan of Trail of Cthulhu …

    Just to play Devil’s advocate I’ll suggest that nearly all CoC games do, in fact, revolve around resource management: the resources being managed are usually the PCs’ time, sanity, money, and allies. Well-written CoC scenarios should put the PCs under pressure to manage those resources much of the time, in order to ratchet up the narrative tension.

    I’m not categorically opposed to a game mechanic that covers the age-old CoC problem of a key botched Skill roll. But I would observe that any competent Keeper should plan and design scenarios without such bottlenecks, or know not to demand a skill roll when it’s not appropriate. Yet this is not something that is explicitly spelled out anywhere in the existing core rules.

    Lastly, I’m similarly dubious about emphasizing luck as a renewable resource for PCs to use in combat, for the reasons you state above.

    • gtrevizo
      July 25, 2012 at 2:20 am

      I’ve never played or run a good CoC scenario that ever ended on whether the players managed their time, money, or allies properly. While that kind of management can be useful to build tension, all of the best ones I’ve been a part of usually ended in some frantic action, hinging mechanically on tense die rolls to save the characters’ lives, their sanity, or the world itself. And that likewise reflects Lovecraft’s fiction, whether it’s Olmstead failing that last Constitution roll while running out of Innsmouth, Danforth failing his SAN roll when looking back at the Mountains of Madness, or Johansen making his Pilot Boat roll to ram the Alert into what he believed to be Cthulhu himself.

      I do believe that the Spot Hidden bottleneck is an issue, but the failure of this kind of approach for me is in it’s making that an issue for *all* skill rolls. This impulse to create mechanics to micromanage success into all of the players’ actions, to handhold them through every random process so that no player need ever suffer a GM too blind to realize when a skill roll isn’t necessary and too stubborn too correct that mistake – it has good intentions, but it’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Trail of Cthulhu has perfected the resource management system, and I can see how it works for certain gamers; but, it’s not the one true way, and there are much easier and less invasive ways to deal with the Spot Hidden bottleneck in CoC.

      Ultimately, this is supposed to be a horror game, where the possibility of failure builds terror for the players at the table as the Mythos creatures terrorize their characters in the game. If the game is going to be so drastically changed as it would be with this Luck mechanic, it should at least involve some kind of direct cost that amplifies the horror. Losing points from your Luck pool does nothing for that, but losing Sanity would at least build more horror into the story that’s developing in game.

  6. mograg
    July 26, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I don’t want Call of Cthulhu to allow me to “push a skill” or use my Luck as points or bennies to succeed in a roll. If I wanted that, I’d go play some other variant of the game. Call of Cthulhu is simple, unforgiving, and has worked just fine for the last 30 years. Game mechanics don’t intrude on a Call of Cthulhu session. They do what they need to do swiftly and then get the heck out of the way. I don’t want it to be otherwise.

    Call of Cthulhu has been a classic gem for 30 years that even now continues to generate great adventures and supplements using the tried and true rules system. They “got it right the first time.” I really, really hope that Chaosium takes a sober, long look at what is being proposed and does not just hit the “go” button.

    • MarkSwift
      July 26, 2012 at 11:42 am

      There are people who really enjoy playing these new rules, so it would make more sense for Chaosium to ‘push the “go” button’ for those who enjoy it, and then those who don’t like it can stick to their old rule-books, then everyone is happy.

      Pushing a role does not necessarily make your path through the scenario any easier, as if you fail on your push role, you could end up dead.

      I think if the sceptics gave these rules a go, they would find that they are extremelly straight forward and easy to follow and rewarding for both players and keepers.

      • mograg
        July 26, 2012 at 11:57 am

        Hi Mark,

        I disagree. By sticking by my old rule-book, while the game moves on to a 7th edition, future game supplements are geared to the new rules. I will feel alienated from the game that I’ve loved playing, running, and writing for over these past many years. Messing with the core rules system will fragment the player base. If I want a different game experience, I’ll just play a different game. I don’t want the “edition rifts” that these sorts of rules changes inevitably produce. The new rules may be extremely straightforward and easy to follow, as you say, but they won’t be the Call of Cthulhu rules for the Call of Cthulhu game that we’ve known for 30 years. A Toyota sedan may be straightforward and easy to drive, but it’s not the same as getting behind the wheel of that classic Corvette, you know?

        Best,

        Brian C.

        • WiseWolf
          July 30, 2012 at 8:54 am

          Hey Brian,

          I still don’t see how a supplement written with 7th cannot be used with the 6th edition rules. Mainly, because the times when you need to use the new rules are focused on sanity, combat and luck; all of them isolated items from a scenario/supplement design perspective. The scenarios ussualy refer to the amount of San loss an event has for the investigators, same applies with 7th, or request some roles for some skills, most of them are in 7th.
          Do you have a clear example of where do you think the new scenarios are not going to be easy to convert to or played with 6th?

          Best,

          Randall

          • Shane Jackson
            September 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm

            The incompatibility of scenarios isn’t the biggest issue that he brings up–it’s the fragmentation of the player base. The game I see described above is going to make it difficult to get new players to play the original version of the game. This has happened before. When White Wolf killed off the original World of Darkness, everyone I know stopped playing those games. Ironically, they didn’t start playing the new WW stuff either. A malaise crept in that destroyed interest in either. I fear the same will happen here.

  7. 13 Rabbit
    July 28, 2012 at 1:05 am

    From my listen to the podcast ,I am excited by how the changes sound.
    I’d also wished to say that whatever you do /produce what have you,it’s obviously not possible to satisfy everyone.Change or even perceived change can be scary, and a lot of people are only happy when whining and complaining about any subject they have decided to dislike at any given moment .
    Sadly the internet supplies these individuals with an audience .

  8. cgutteridge
    October 18, 2012 at 2:21 am

    I first ran Call of Cthulhu around 1992. I own 2nd, 4th & 5th editions. It’s easily my all time favorite game.

    I ran a 7E playtest group. 7E is better rules for the theme.

    We all know that the rules in CoC were pretty broken, although I think much of this was just that they were poorly explained. We just muddled through and let the story carry it, not the rules.

    Turns out things are much less clunky in 7E. I can’t really mention any specifics as it’s under NDA, but the revised rules actually increased the fun, tension and horror (yay).

    I’m really looking forward to when it comes out and be able to introduce people to the game without aplogies about the system!

  9. July 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Fast Talk can NEVER BE GONE
    next… I’m not wasting time doing math for a p[layer to roll 1/5 of his skill against and opposition whose skill is 9-%> a Fight skill is fine but it can’t include hand to hand weapon skills> …unless it’s like a club chair, or something.

    A single Firearms skill to cover pistol,rifle, and shotgun…The weapons themselves have dam. stats… but a world class pistol expert may be nowhere with a rifle.

    Pushing for success instead of ROLE PLAYING failure. Now… how I did this} IF he player made his fast Talk roll and then couldn’t get past the secretary because the story was lame… so you fail because she appeared to buzz you thru but buzzed security instead.
    OR you fail the roll miserably but I let you pitch the plea/threat/lie and if it’s convincing, you’re in.

    making luck rolls just because you failed is kind of a cheat…guess it depends. Seems like I have let people tell me how they might see a solutions to , say, having been thrown off a ledge (some one below just put up and awning…, grabbed a flagpole, clothes line, Superman… and then allowing a full of p[partial Luck roll… from the article “The 7th Edition rules mean to make the the functions of the Luck roll more explicit. Paul says, “It’s strictly for external circumstances beyond the player character’s control. So, you’re in the old house, you hear something upstairs. ‘I’m going to run to the kitchen. Are there any knives there?’ It’s a Luck roll.”” That’s a waste of game time. It’s a kitchen. assume the knife. LOL I will use no CONNECTION allowances. I’m not spoon feeding anyone. It’s Call of Cthulhu in real world 1920-30′s guns jam, sanity slips, byakee bite, ygolonak wounds don’t heal, star spawn radiation will reduce a person to ooz quickly or slowly depending on where he was standing when the ave was opened. wise game play is it’s own reward.

    SANITY:
    recursing “bouts of Madness”
    Fellas, these are called PHOBIAS and they work just find.
    Any Keeper worth the screen bothers to look these things up and can arrange for affliction tests, therapy, drugs of the day, hypnosis, stuff and commonsense.

    Idea Rolls should never be used to get info the players can’t bother to search for.
    any gamer who announced “I made an idea roll to get a clue” would be told to check his sofa cushions for his lost sensibilities.
    A kinder answer would be a repeat of info already provided, which probably already included said “clue” that, if considered, would inspire investigation… the, ahh, JOB description of
    the IN-VES-TI-GA-TOR.

    Guns.
    guys… a police trainee, or military recruite, may learn the rifle before the pistol and be proficient in both, but the Professor who was robbed walking across campus and went out and bought a 38 (his first and only firearm) will NOT know how to use or have as much skill with, a rifle or shotgun.
    The base percentages in those would apply.
    by that same token, kid growing up on a farm may be very good with the shotgun dad keeps over the door, but have no idea about aiming a pistol.

    Monsters… leave em be… and leave em be from Ed 3 or 4.

    “It’s still Cthulhu as you know it,” Mike says.

    No.
    in truth, no it is not.
    It’s had the corners and interesting character filed off to a nice smooth, generic peg that conforms to a sense of uninteresting, tactical, mechanical NORM.
    and I see little to no reason to make this purchase.

    When I saw “Sandy Peterson” on the cover I was excited and hopeful.
    but it seems his name is all that there is.

    If this had remained a D20 system I could only have been a little more disappointing.

    based on the article above I give it a negative 5 and a big thumbs down. .

    • cgutteridge
      July 21, 2014 at 7:05 am

      As I said, based on play testing it with friends who love CoC it’s really fun. The changes to the rules flowed really well so that tension increased through the stories. The changes to the rules have clearly designed so that they won’t make it impossible to adapt old scenarios to 7th ed and more imporantly you should be able to run 7th ed scenarios in the old rules.

      The “pushing” of rolls is allowing the character to risk terrible consequences to succeed, which naturally made things more tense and compliments the horror theme. Can’t break out of those ropes in the first roll? You can make a second and succeed at any cost but if you fail the roll, you’ll be dealing with a broken wrist.

      In general it meant that our characters got a lot more minor cuts and bruises. Things which they used to have fun roleplaying.

      If you’ve got a really wonderful group you can run an RPG without rules but some of the new character creation means that new players are required to consider their characters connections to the world. This is going to be useful to people making the transition from dungeon-crawling where stats is (to some) all that counts. It ensures that there’s aways something to lose, which as a GM I found helpful.

      Having played the laundry RPG, which also uses Basic Roleplay as a base, but is much more sensibly thought out, I can see how CoC 1-6 could be run, but the rules are not well designed and I’ve always loved the game despite it’s system, not because.

      Also, please don’t use “realism” for an argument. It’s not realistic. It’s horror sci-fi fantasy. The genre has it’s tropes.

      It sounds like you like to play the game in a brutal people-just-die kind of way. Others enjoy pulp. Personally, I like it when the survivors envy the dead.

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