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Call of Cthulhu – Getting Started

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Call of Cthulhu is the world’s best roleplaying game of mystery and horror.

In Call of Cthulhu, you take on the role of everyday people who become investigators of the unknown - whether they are prepared or not. The mysterious places, people, and situations you encounter are often not what they seem - you and your friends are the only thing standing in the way of diabolical cults and cosmic monsters from beyond space.

Investigators of the Unknown

Call of Cthulhu investigators come from all walks of life: from journalists, librarians, and school teachers, to private eyes, taxi drivers, and hobos. They face mysteries that cannot be explained by rational or scientific means and which concern ancient and forgotten lore that humanity was not meant to know.

Female Investigator

Your investigator is unique. You choose a number of elements that make up your investigator, including:

  • Your occupation.
  • Your skills.
  • The people in your life who are important to you.
  • Locations that are meaningful to you.
  • Items you carry of personal significance.
  • Your ideology and beliefs.

Over the course of play, your investigator improves their skills based on the choices you make - but beware - encountering the strange horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos can leave its own marks and scars. Be it tomes of forbidden lore, unnatural spells of power, or alien entities - all such things will test an investigator’s mind and body.

Investigators are heroes making a stand against insurmountable odds and, perhaps, saving the world as we know it.

The Cthulhu Mythos

Ancient and unimaginable beings from beyond the stars; monsters made manifest from outside of time; and mortal cultists who worship both, their minds twisted by forbidden knowledge.

Exposure to such horrors can result in madness: While WE might crave both comfort and the truth, only one or the other is possible.

Mythos Monsters

As your investigator discovers more about the Cthulhu Mythos, their mind may become affected and corrupted as they try to reason with things humanity was not meant to know. Measured as Sanity points, your investigator’s resilience to trauma and horror has a bearing on how the shadows of the Cthulhu Mythos haunt their lives. As their perception of reality becomes twisted, they begin to realize the world they thought they knew is a lie.

Game Mechanics

Call of Cthulhu is a skill-based system with a focus on character development and simple but evocative mechanics.

It uses percentile dice (D100) to determine success and failure, so a Stealth skill of 50 means you have a 50% chance of success. This makes it very simple to understand your likelihood of succeeding at any given task, regardless of your experience with roleplaying games.

When you succeed, you’ll have a chance for that skill to improve as your investigator learns by doing.

In the game, you must work together to solve mysteries, avoid grisly death, and win the day, using the resources and contacts your investigator can find. Sometimes luck is on your side, but, in the end, it’s your choices that determine the fate of your investigator.

The Call of Cthulhu Starter Set

The Call of Cthulhu Starter Set is the perfect way to begin your journey into the horror of the Cthulhu Mythos.

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In the box you get:

  • Book 1: Introduction and Alone Against The Flames—a solo introductory adventure, teaching you the basics of Call of Cthulhu as you play through a mystery.
  • Book 2: Call of Cthulhu Starter Rules—the essential rules, everything needed for starting play.
  • Book 3: Adventures—three starter adventures for your players to explore.
  • Ready to Play Investigators—five ready to play game characters.
  • Blank Investigator Sheets—ready for creating your own investigators.
  • Roleplaying Dice – a set of seven polyhedral dice for use in the game.
  • Player Handouts – a set of ready to use props.

So what are you waiting for? Embrace the Horror today!

More Questions?

Get started today with the Call of Cthulhu Starter Set!

Want to Start Investigating?
Call of Cthulhu Quickstart front cover

Try the Ennie-Award-winning Call of Cthulhu Quickstart Rules & Adventure for free! This booklet provides all the info you need to begin play, from basic rules, character creation, and a full adventure, letting you begin your investigations.

But for a more complete experience, we recommend the Call of Cthulhu Starter Set as it contains evenings of great play for you and your friends.