40th Anniversary Investigator Sheets

New Call of Cthulhu Investigator Sheets

October 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of Call of Cthulhu. In honor of the occasion, we have specially prepared a range of new investigator sheets.

New sheets are currently available for:

  • Standard Call of Cthulhu (1920s and modern-day versions)
  • Pulp Cthulhu
  • Down Darker Trails (standard and pulp versions)
  • Cthulhu Dark Ages (standard and pulp versions)

Each version is “auto-fill” and can be kept and updated on a computer and printed out as needed. Each version is provided in color and black & white format.

While these new sheets will look familiar to Call of Cthulhu players, there are a few differences worth noting. Firstly, the new design allows the sheets to be used with a wider range of PDF viewers on computers and most tablets, as well as in preview mode on most computers. We’ve also increased the text size where possible to make the sheets clearer to read. And, we’ve added a new (optional) third sheet that allows players to keep notes, write extended backgrounds, or record whatever useful information is appropriate. There are also some new features available, which are outlined below.

Call of Cthulhu 40th anniversary investigator sheets were designed by Mike Mason, Matt Ryan, and Max Harrison. Our thanks go to Lynne and Richard Hardy, Paul Fricker, Matt Nott, and others who helped to play test the sheets.

New Sheet Overview and Guide

Page One

The top rows record an investigator’s name, occupation, age, birthplace, residence, and also their pronoun. A portrait box can be found at the top right—clicking on the box when using an auto-fill version opens a dialogue box allowing you to insert an image.

Characteristics come next. The auto-fill versions work out and insert the Hard and Extreme values for you. Next to these are some of the derived statistics:

  • Hit Points: the “Maximum” box is auto-filled by inputting the CON and SIZ characteristics (CON+SIZ divided by 10). The “Current” box is used to record when damage is suffered, and is user input, allowing this number to fall and rise during play.
  • Magic Points: the “Maximum” box is auto-filled by inputting the POW characteristics (one-fifth of POW). The “Current” box is user input, allowing this number to fall and rise during play.
  • Luck: the “Starting” box is user input, as is the “Current” box. The “Starting” box can be updated at the start of a new session or scenario, allowing you to keep tabs on your Luck expenditure.
  • Sanity: the “Starting” and “Current” boxes are both user input. Entering a value in the “Starting” box auto-fills the “Insane” box, which shows the one-fifth value of an investigator’s Sanity; this allows players to note the amount of Sanity loss that would trigger indefinite insanity. Note that the “Starting” box can be updated at the beginning of a new scenario or chapter in a campaign, ensuring that the “Insane” value is always up to date and relevant.

Next, are a row of checkboxes that are used to indicate certain conditions, such as Temporary and Indefinite Insanity, Major Wound, Unconsciousness, and when a character is Dying. At the start of this row is a Max Sanity box, which is connected to the Cthulhu Mythos skill below; it automatically calculates an investigator’s maximum possible Sanity once their Cthulhu Mythos skill has been deducted (Max SAN 99 minus Cthulhu Mythos).

In the middle of the sheet are the skills. Each has a base value provided in parentheses (the default skill level of any character). When a value is input into a skill’s “Reg” box, it auto-fills the “Half” (Hard) and “Fifth” (Extreme) values. In front of the name of each skill is a checkbox to note when a skill has been successfully used and is eligible for improvement. Note that the Credit Rating and Cthulhu Mythos skills do not have a checkbox as these do not improve like other skills.

At the bottom of the page is the combat reference area, noting Brawl and having spaces to insert weapon and firearm types. Inputting a value into “Brawl” in the skill list above auto-fills the Brawl line values in the combat reference area. For the rows underneath, inputting a Regular value in the first box auto-fills the half (Hard) and fifth (Extreme) boxes. The following boxes can be found on the right of the combat reference area:

  • Move: auto-fills when values have been input into the STR, DEX, and SIZ characteristics. The Move value is further modified depending on the value input for Age (at the top of the sheet).
  • Build and Damage Bonus: auto-fills when values have been input into the STR and SIZ characteristics.
  • Dodge: auto-fills when a value is input to the Dodge skill in the skill list. The skill is duplicated here for quick reference during combat.

Pages Two and Three

All of the fields on the second and third pages are user input. Note that these fields do not scale the text. Also, the first line of the Backstory fields do not allow for text entry—input text from the “second” line onwards when using an auto-fill version.

The “My Story” section enables you to write a brief background about your character, while the “Backstory” entries are about specific details, such as how they appear (Personal Description), their mannerisms (Traits), and so on.

Pulp Cthulhu Sheets

The sheets designed for use with Pulp Cthulhu work exactly like the classic versions, although there are a couple of added fields:

  • Archetype: is added (at the top of page one) to input your hero’s archetype.
  • Pulp Talents: text fields are added beneath the portrait box to record your hero’s special abilities.

Auto-Fill: Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve noticed that some fields let me type whatever I like while others seem to restrict what I can enter.

All of the fields on pages two and three allow for the free entry of text, although the amount of text is limited. Most of the fields on page one require numerical values.

Why are two “Dodge” skill boxes shown on the sheet?

Dodge appears in the main skill list and is duplicated in the combat reference area at the bottom right of the sheet. The Dodge boxes in the combat reference area are an automatic copy of the first, providing a quick-reference during combat. You cannot change the value of the copy in the combat reference area, since it is “read only”—if you want to increase or decrease the Dodge value, apply the change to the “Reg” box next to Dodge in the skill list.

Can I Overwrite an Auto-Fill Field?

No. All automatically calculated fields are read only, and you cannot edit their values directly. These auto-fill fields change only when their associated user-input fields are changed, e.g., changing a skill’s “Reg” field automatically recalculates the “half” and “fifth” values.

Why do the auto-fill fields start off as blank?

When the calculated value for a field depends on one or more other (user-input) fields that are currently blank, then that field is itself shown as blank. No sensible value can be calculated because you’re still only part way through making/inputting the character. For example, the Damage Bonus box is blank; adding a value for one of the two characteristics it depends upon (i.e., STR or CON) doesn’t make it show a value, but adding values for both STR and CON causes it to display a calculated damage bonus.

Why is the “99” not showing in the Max Sanity box?

The Max Sanity box only populates when a character has some Cthulhu Mythos skill points (i.e., they have entered a value into the Cthulhu Mythos “Reg” box); once this is done, the Cthulhu Mythos skill value is deducted from 99, and a value is auto-filled in the Max Sanity box.

How do I add a Portrait Image?

Click on the blank portrait box in the top right of page one. A file browser dialogue box opens and asks you to pick an image file to load into the sheet.

What size image should I use for the portrait?

The space on the sheet is 150 pixels wide by 150 pixels high. Picking a file which is much smaller will cause pixilation of the image as it is scaled up; picking a much larger image will cause it to be shrunk down to fit.

Saving an Investigator Sheet

Just select the “Save As” option in the PDF viewer you are using and choose a different file name and location for the completed PDF sheet. Be careful not to overwrite the blank (master) version of the sheet, since you will likely need it next time you create a character. When you re-load a saved sheet, all fields are restored exactly as when the sheet was saved.

Printing an Investigator Sheet

Just select the “Print” option in the PDF viewer you are using to create a hardcopy version. The sheet is optimized for US Letter paper, but you can easily print it on to other sized paper using a flexible scaling print options, if your viewer has that option.