Thursday, June 4, 2015

12 Game June: Call of Cthulhu (Week 1)

Like with several of the games that come up to review Call of Cthulhu (CoC) has a ton of different editions.  Since there is no way on Earth I could read let alone review all of those in a single month I'm just going to cover the one I already have in my library, Sixth Edition.  It also doesn't hurt that this is the edition that the setting "Achtung! Cthulhu"  uses which helps since it also has everything stated for Savage Worlds.
On first opening the book it is immediately apparent that this game will be dripping with atmosphere and I would expect nothing less. The book opens with the actual H.P. Lovecraft story of Call of Cthulhu giving readers who some how have this game yet aren't familiar with it's source material a chance to really get a feel for the kinds of stories the name Cthulhu should bring up.  Normally I'm not a huge fan of short stories in my role playing games (I'm looking at you Shadowrun), but in this case between putting it completely separate from the rules and the fact that it's the actual literary works that inspired the game rather than puffed up fan fiction I feel like it really works here.

As far as the layout of the book go everything seems to flow well and is definitely a nice change of pace from the nearly archaic formatting of the last few games.  The only issue I've had so far is with the font they like to use for heading different sections.  It sounds like a small gripe, but they decided to make it look like an incredibly stylized script to the point that more often than not its easier to read the first sentence to find out what the section is about rather than translating the font.

I will admit I'm not 100% done with reading this one either as this is a dense read and at times comes off dry meaning powering through the entire book in an entire sitting probably won't happen, but sometimes fitting an entire game in a single boo takes time and for the most part everything is at least concise.  Looking it over the game runs on a percentile (d100) based system which I had already expected as I have some experience with Eclipse Phase and other Basic Role Playing system games. That said I do find it interesting that Attributes are generated using the 3d6 method from many D20 based games, but they then convert that number into something usable for percentiles rather simply without referencing any charts or tables.  I'm still wrapping my head around the saves mechanic, but every game has one aspect that's a bit tricky for me so this is no different.

In the end I have to say so far this game is giving me exactly what I expected.  Nothing has blown me out of the water yet, but nothing has disappointed me either.  In fact my players are already itching to give this one a try and most have gone ahead to rolling up their characters a week early.

1 comment:

  1. I was recently introduced to Call of Cthulhu and I enjoyed it.