Cost: variable magic points Casting time: 1 hour By opening your inner eye, the caster, a willing participant, or unwilling bound victims can learn about the sights best unseen. The caster spends as many magic points as they wish. For every two magic points spent this way, the target of the spell gains 1 point in Cthulhu mythos. In addition to the normal sanity losses, the target loses three points of sanity for every point of Cthulhu mythos gained in this way. If the target is unwilling, the cast and the victim make opposed POW rolls to cause the spell to take effect. Alternative names: Yog-Sothoth’s blessing. akashic record recovery, learn without eyes
Cost: variable magic points Casting time: Instantaneous The caster glares at a target it can physically see and attempts to brake the targets mind. Spend a number of magic points. The target and the caster make opposed POW rolls. If successful, the target is mind be begins to break. The target must make a SAN roll. The target losses magic spent/double magic spent sanity points and is subject to temporary and indefinite insanity effects as normal. Alternative names: Gifts of the dark. Elder Ones Kiss, Visage of the Gods
Basics– Come here kid, want to try to some Cthulhu? The Call of Cthulhu starter set is a basic intro box set for Cthulhu. It’s got multiple scenarios, character sheets, and basic rules to help you start playing in about 15 minutes after opening it. It even has dice!
Mechanics or Crunch– Do you like 7th Edition? Do you want to learn it if you don’t know it? If you like 7th Ed, then its 5/5. You don’t get character generation or most of the big rule book, but you do get enough to play. If you haven’t played before, you get a solid intro to the rules. And if you are completely alone and don’t want to start your first game as a keeper (the GM/DM of the system) with live players, there is a solo adventure that teaches rules and will help you play. I love this. 5/5
Theme or Fluff– Welp, for theme, its Call of Cthulhu from Chaosium. I like their stuff and think they have a good grasp of Lovecraft, so it’s an easy review-SOLID WORK with the stories and rules! 5/5
Execution-Check out our unboxing here: https://youtu.be/436RBEYEK0s That’s the pieces you get: handouts, rules, characters sheets, and even dice! It’s done in the style I like as I think Chaosium does good layout, formatting, and text. It’s honestly everything you absolutely need to start playing. 5/5
Summary– I miss box sets. The base books are always fun to hold or download, but box sets are always a fun way to get into a game or get a setting to play with. This is Call of Cthulhu. I run this monthly, so I love the base system. This is just an amazing way to get new players and keepers in quick. Plus for 25 bucks, it’s a steal with four adventures AND dice. If you want a cheap way into to CoC and to get running in about 15 minutes, here is your easy way to do it. 100%
TL; DR– Solid Book of bad guys, set ups, and tools 100%
Basics– Ia! Ia! Cults of Cthulhu gives you… exactly what it says! This book is a book of four different cults, adventures to go against each cult, and tools to build your own cthulhu cult.
Mechanics or Crunch– This book is VERY much a Keeper’s book and not a players’ book, and that’s ok. This book has new monsters and stats for them, variant spells, and tips for building your own cult. I am honestly impressed by the depth of ideas for building a cult. I play too many fantasy games where the idea of how a cult is financed doesn’t come up. But here, how the money happens is a very important way to build your cult. Even optional crunch for Pulp Cthulhu is presented! Players will find nothing in this book, but Call of Cthulhu doesn’t really ever give players much more beyond the basic investigator book. The crunch doesn’t disappoint in this one. 5/5
Theme or Fluff– Again, this is a Keeper book, but built in a fun, informative way to help the Keeper build a world. Each of the four presented cults have real depth and personality with individual people and their goals presented. My one minor negative is like most Cthulhu books, you really only get the 1920s as a playground. It’s the most popular time for Call of Cthulhu, so I understand why, but I do seriously appreciate the one modern cult that is presented here. Also, adventures! There are four adventures against these four cults. So even if you need a one shot, this book has you covered. 5/5
Execution– I don’t think Chaosium has ever disappointed me. Hyperlinks, solid handouts, easy reading, separate files, pictures of monsters, and everything else makes this the whole nine yards. Its 25 bucks as a PDF, which is a decent chunk for a PDF, but even if you just used this for four one-shots, that brings the price down to manageable levels of any other market adventure for CoC. And it seems that Chaosium is listening and , while I love them, the handwritten notes are hard to read, Chaosium is making just nice plain text ones as well. My one complaint is I want pregens for each of the adventures, but that is just begging for more on an already solid product. 5/5
Summary– Cthulhu is gonna be the main draw for a game called Call of Cthulhu, so why not have some humans doing bad things for him? This book is a solid resource that, even if I just wanted some quick adventures and handouts, is well worth the price of admission. If you want to build your own cults, then this is the book you might want to check out as well. NOW DO YOG! 100%
Cost: 24 magic points; 2D10 Sanity points, 10 POW Casting time: 24 hour This spell allows a mortal to begin to reverse a tragic event but always at great cost. The spell requires much from he caster, but the bodies of those affected by a massive loss of live must mostly be whole. These unfortunate souls are brough back as zombies with limited memories of their old life but extreme memories of their violent ends results in them being driven insane. Alternative names: Familiar return, Mass Resurrection
Cost: 10 magic points; 1D10 Sanity points Casting time: one hour A ghoul that changed from a zombie must have first created through a separate evolve ghoul ritual and feed a freshly killed human within a day of its death. Once the spell is complete and the ghoul feed, the ghoul violently shake and rots off its outer layers resulting its the person the zombie was created from emerging as a blood covered mess. The human will be completely health however, but over time will develop odd ticks and mannerisms as the underlying person slowly becomes an aspect of Yog-Sothoth. Watching this transformation requires a sanity check (2/1d10) by anyone who did not cast the spell. Alternative names: The Grand Change, At Promised Gift, Aspect of Creation
I have an idea for something new and fun. Let’s throw this up to the players!
Eternal Tablet English, by unkown author found in 1926
This tablet was found in a mine in 1926. the author is unknow, but the most remarkable fact is this two sided stone tablet never shows the same text. Each time the tablet is turned over, a new page of text is seen on the tablet reveling more debauchery and horrible knowledge with each revolution of the tablet. France. Only one copy is known to exist and it has been lost since 1933. Sanity Loss: 1D10 Cthulhu Mythos: +4/+8 percentiles Mythos Rating: 30 Study: 20 weeks Suggested Spells: create zombie, Contact Ghoul, fist of Fist of Yog-Sothoth, Shriveling, Enchant Sacrificial Dagger, evolve ghoul, contact Yog-Sothoth, return to life
Cost: 6 magic points; 2D6 Sanity points Casting time: one hour A zombie must have first created through a separate ritual and feed a freshly killed human within a day. Once the spell is complete and the zombie feed, the zombie will enter a torpor where it will begin to violently shake, distend, and tearing flesh as it elongates and transforms into a ghoul with the whole process closely related to a the process of becoming a werewolf. It will gain all statistics of a ghoul and retain more memories of its past life. Watching this transformation requires a sanity check (2/1d10) by anyone who did not cast the spell. Alternative names: Ritual of the Awakening Mind, Undead Communion, Food of the Undead Gods
I have an idea I need for an adventure, but I need a way to help the adventurers get more brain power…..
Brew Thought Philter Cost: variable magic points; 1D6 Sanity points Casting time: 1 hour Through a concentrated mix of effort and mental strain, you extract magic power from your self or a restrained victim. This power is condensed in to a shimmering blue liquid that you can place into any container of your choosing. Your or the victim lost one point of magic per magic point put into the brew. These points are restored normally. The liquid lasts for a week per point of magic extracted. If the magic power is extracted from yourself, no additional sanity is lost. But, if the magic points are extracted are extracted the victim loses two points of sanity for each point of magic extracted.
This shimmering blue liquid restores the mind’s power. Upon drinking this brew, you los 1d6 sanity and gain magic power back equal to the number of magic points invested in this brew.
Basics– What’s that ahead on the trail? Down Darker Trails is a wild west source book for Call of Cthulhu. This book has information for both the game master and players to build anything, from gunslingers to wild west cults serving dark gods all across the west. Let’s look at the parts.
Mechanics or Crunch– This book is an interesting and well done mix of old and new. Arguably there are LOTS of reskins of stuff we have seen before, but honestly, that’s what I need. I need to know what the fire rate for guns in that time was and and the prices. There are some major changes between 1880 and 1920, but the damage really doesn’t change that much in this game. That said, this book adds a lot of new stuff, from spells to real life states for characters, to excellent new options for investigators/players. I like everything that is here and it adds the right amount of depth and crunch for a game in this time. 5/5
Theme or Fluff– I like what’s here, but I have some minor issues. I mentioned before that there is a lot of reskinning for the time. That’s true and it’s true here too. But, I don’t see anything crazy new here regarding the mythos. It doesn’t invent a ton of new monsters or elder things. Lovecraft didn’t do a ton out west, so thats part of it, but I would like to see more new in the story of the mythos. That said, what is here is excellent. Amazing history summaries, great write ups on persons of the time, solid respect to the cultures of the west and its people, and character options that will let a person who is new to the old west beyond Back to the Future III into the world of what really went on out there. There is always more to be learned, but as a first pass into this world and the idea that a book can’t continue for forever, this is a great way to build mythos into the west and the west into the mythos. 4.5/5
Execution– Chaosium knows book publishing with the art, layout, readability, and book mechanics like hyperlinks and such all on point. This book even has real pictures of people from the time to so you can see the real faces of the west. Furthermore, since the real west was a lot more racist than the fun and wholly-pretend cowboy and Indians I played as a child, the book treats the indigenous peoples of the west with respect in art, writing, and design. 5/5
Summary– This is a phenomenal book. I love Call of Cthulhu, and recently lots of my video games have been old west as well. The pretend old west is fun, but the real west is far more entertaining and deep. This book gives me the keeper/gm the tools I need to merge those loves and it gives my players the tools they need to jump right in as well. I have some minor issues, but like all the products I love that quibble about it comes down to wanting more. What I do have is a well done book with crunch and stories to build a fun western adventure and a book that easily revealed its secrets. If you want cowboys in the mythos, then you need this book. 96%