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Call of Cthulhu Keeper Rulebook - Hardcover

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The World’s Best Game Of Intrigue, Mystery & Horror!

The Old Ones ruled the earth aeons before the rise of humanity. Traces of their cyclopean cities can still be found on remote islands, buried amid the shifting desert sands, and in the frozen wastes of the polar extremes. Originally they came to this world from the stars. They sleep now, some deep within the earth or beneath the sea.

When the stars are right they shall again walk the earth.

Chaosium Unveiled: Inside Inside Call of Cthulhu Keeper Rulebook

Watch the unveiling video to see the book for yourself. Remember that you get the PDF when getting the physical copy.

Call of Cthulhu is the world’s best game of secrets, mysteries, and horror. 

Playing the role of steadfast investigators, you travel to strange and dangerous places, uncover foul plots, and stand against the terrors of the Cthulhu Mythos. You encounter sanity-blasting entities, monsters, and insane cultists. Within strange and forgotten tomes of lore you discover revelations that humanity was not meant to know.

You and your companions may very well decide the fate of the world.

The Keeper Rulebook, contains the core rules, background, guidance, spells, and monsters of the game. It is everything you need for Call of Cthulhu at your fingertips, and will enhance all of your games. The Keeper Rulebook is intended for use by the Keeper of Arcane Lore—the Game Master who will present the scenario to the other players.

The other players—the Investigators—will benefit hugely from a copy of the Investigator Handbook, which contains expanded rules for character creation, skills, occupations, equipment, and a primer on 1920’s New England—the signature setting of Call of Cthulhu.

Monsters, Beasts and Alien Gods!

The Dark Young

A bestiary of mythos entities to pepper your Call of Cthulhu scenarios and campaigns. Each entry contains full rules for using that monster in the game. Whether it’s a lowly Mi-Go, a flesh-changing Deep One, or the great Cthulhu himself, you’ll find background details, stats, special rules and spells to effectively dispatch these wicked beasts upon your hapless investigators.

Call of Cthulhu statistics for the Dark Young

Tomes of Eldritch Lore

The Tome

Whether at your local library, or among the forbidden bookshelves of a twisted cultist, the Keeper Rulebook provides a wellspring of books for your investigators to find. Rules for reading, researching, and discovering spells come alongside detailed entries for over 20 tomes. Every tome listed in the Keeper Rulebook can serve as the basis of its own story, and to inspire your very own cults to face off against your investigators.

Tome - Cthulhu in the Necronomicon


The Scream of Sanity

Full rules for the Sanity system that sets Call of Cthulhu apart from other horror games. The Sanity system measures each investigator’s capacity to comprehend the incomprehensible. It mechanizes the way the human brain can break upon discovering mind-bending truths we were never meant to discover. With each loss of sanity, the investigators will change, and their character will shift and grow. Sanity is the backbone of narrative character development in Call of Cthulhu.

Sanity Loss Example


Two complete scenarios, handouts and pregenerated characters allow you to jump right into the action, or kick off a new campaign.

Amidst the Ancient Trees

Amidst The Ancient Trees - The investigators join a search party for a kidnapped girl, and must venture into the woods of Southwest Vermont in pursuit. What they discover is far worse than they could imagine.

The Horror in Ink

Crimson Letters - The death of a professor at Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts sets off a chain of events that echo through the entire city. The investigators must solve the unexplained death of the academic before things get out of hand.

Downloads for this Product

Character Sheets

Play online with our Licensed Partners

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Watch Live Play: Call of Cthulhu Keeper Rulebook

Curious about the scenarios? Watch the Live Play on the Stream of Chaos

What The Critics Say

Call of Cthulhu - Keeper Reviews

  • The stars are right for the best edition of the best role-playing game in the world.

    — Antonios S., Call of Cthulhu Review.

  • "Call of Cthulhu is now the Pepsi of RPG franchises, alongside D&D’s Coke, and the game’s success is part of the revival of Lovecraft and Lovecraftian fiction."

    — Paul StJohn Mackintosh, Greydog Tales., The Legacy of Lovecraft.

  • "The Call of Cthulhu RPG has been in print from the same publisher since 1981. It is the horror RPG that all other horror games are judged by."

    — Powell’s Bookstore., Call of Cthulhu RPG.

  • Call of Cthulhu has been called “one of the best roleplaying games of all time”(Geek & Sundry But something that’s overlooked about this classic horror RPG… is that it’s also one of the most versatile and well-researched historical RPGs around... I mean honestly, you can now play CoC in more time periods than your average season of Dr Who.

    — Games Vs Play., 5 Reasons Why.

  • "…one of the most iconic tabletop roleplaying games of all time."

    —, 10 hugely influential figures you didn't know were Mormon.

  • "The ultimate horror RPG, Call of Cthulhu is a stone-cold classic of the tabletop."

    — Tabletop Gaming Magazine (UK)., Top 10 Roleplaying Games.

  • "God, I love this book... Basically, everything you’d want from a new version of your favorite horror game and the best iteration to date."

    — Vintage RPG., This is the Keeper Rulebook.

  • "It almost destroyed my life and career"

    — George RR Martin., (Game of Thrones).

  • "One of the most well-known and beloved tabletop RPGs on the market."

    — Wargamer, Tabletop RPGs: the best tabletop roleplaying games.

  • "There is a reason why Call of Cthulhu is regarded as one of the greatest roleplaying games ever published. It is a classic piece of design that successfully emulates the singular genre it is inspired by and in doing so, introduced new ways to roleplay and tell amazing stories as well as innovations to the roleplaying hobby that are still influential today. It is always going to be the greatest horror roleplaying game there is, not just because of the Mythos, but because of its influence, innovations, and the simple fact that it can still give you a great playing experience."

    — Reviews from R'lyeh, 1500th Review.

  • "A well-known cornerstone of hobby shops all around the world."

    — The Gamer, 10 Best Tabletop Games Based On Books.

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Year Released:
7th Edition
Page Count:
Color Hardcover
Sandy Petersen, Mike Mason, Paul Fricker, and Lynn Willis
Cover Artist:
Sam Lamont
Jonathan Wyke, Paul Carrick, Rob Gould, Fran.ois Launet, Victor Leza, Charles Wong, Mike Perry, Nicholas Cloister, Antonio Luis, Kalli Schulz; Interior Illustrations: Rachel Kahn, Grilla, Chris Huth, Lo.c Muzy, Paul Carrick, Scott Neil, Jonathan Wyke
Steff Worthington
  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star 5
    Excellent Product

    Posted by George Graham on 5th Aug 2021

    Excellent Production quality with great artwork, these books have been a joy to read. As a returning gamer to Call of Cthulhu i find the rules clear and concise, i particularly like the chase rules. Looking forward to exploring the mythos again with my group. All in all an excellent product.

  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star 5
    Great book and Amazing customer service!

    Posted by Michael N on 18th Nov 2020

    I am loving this new system and the help customer service gave was very much appreciated! :D I also REALLY like how it comes with a PDF! I can cut back on my screen time while I read the lovely physical copy but during prep or game play I can easily search and reference the PDF! What a game changer! :D

  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star 5
    It's Call of Cthulhu

    Posted by Nick Ingham on 27th Jul 2020

    I probably wouldn't be writing this review if I wasn't going to give *this* book five stars. And you probably wouldn't be reading it if you weren't expecting me to. Well, predictably, I am. In terms of production values, this book somehow manages to be even more beautiful than the green leatherete 25th Anniversary edition. When it comes to the system, the Seventh Edition has changed more than previous ones, though not so much as to make previous products hard to use with it (the thing I find unintuitive so far is that Characteristics are now percentile). Skills have been reworked somewhat: some redundant ones consolidated, a new mechanic for bonuses and penalties, the fumble mechanic adapted to an option to gamble with a second attempt at a failed roll. Mythos tomes have been reworked so there is a benefit (and risk of course) for repeated full reading. There is a chase system to go with the combat system (it works fine, and provides an easy foundation should you want to build a custom subsystem for dealing with some kind of major conflict that's become important in your game). The two scenarios are new to this edition. One is linear, using the classic onion layer model, while the other is more of a sandbox (indeed in the latter, the Keeper is given a number of options as to the identity of the main culprit). A predictable verdict or not, the book deserves its five stars.

  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Empty Star 4
    The stars are (mostly) right

    Posted by Unknown on 18th Jan 2018

    As a long-time player of CoC (mostly 5th edition) and Delta Green (back when it was 'just' a line of sourcebooks), I am overall very happy how the new edition turned out, though with some reservations. Character creation remains mostly the same, and they finally move away from having the Education attribute determine how many skill point a character has (which led to ‘brawny’ PCs always getting the short end of the stick). This is a good thing, though ‘hobby’ skill points still are directly linked to INT, which isn’t (stupid folks don’t have hobbies, or rather they don’t excel in them?). I’d rather go for a set number, but that’s not a game breaker by any means. In my mind, CoC was never too much about the system – a working, if rather simple affair – but style, the feel and atmosphere of the Mythos’ world. As such I am in two minds about the changes to the system. Many things seem to simplify the system at a first glance – attributes now have the same range as skills, meaning you don’t have to calculate final values all the time (x3, x5, etc.) – but inflate the number of values you have to juggle; each attribute or skill now coming at full, half, and one fifth value for determining levels of success, etc. So less math, more writing down numbers I guess? They also change modifiers from the usual ‘add/subtract ±10%’ mechanic, by introducing penalty and bonus dice (rolling more than one for the ‘tens’ and having to pick the highest or lowest, depending on it being a penalty or bonus). This works okay, but if it is an improvement over the older system is up to personal tastes. Giving a mechanic and examples for ‘pushing skills’ is welcome; the old ‘how often/when can I re-roll a failed attempt?’ question any GM has heard a thousand times. The combat system has been polished a bit too, though given that combat never was the main focus of CoC, some rules are still as clunky as a Dimensional Shambler’s dance moves; especially the auto fire stuff if wonky, which will frustrate gun-ho types of characters. On the other hand, the whole Built mechanic is a feasible addition (making combat manoeuvres vs huge/strong creatures difficult or impossible; so no sweeping the legs out under a Dark Young). Taking damage and its effects has also been improved, though it remains simple enough, which is a good thing. Putting in a whole chapter of rules concerning chases is not something I would have anticipated, nor will I ever use them probably. The whole chapters has a more ‘pulpy’ flavour than ‘classic’ Lovecraft. But some folks might get some thrills out of them. The rules for insanity have also been overhauled and work fine enough, though I prefer the nastier ideas the new Delta Green or Unknown Armies played with. Still, they put some more thought into it compared to older editions, and they are indeed improved. Also, the whole deal with insanity is probably the most difficult topic to squeeze into a ruleset anyway, so kudos for putting some more thought into it. Magic and the use of tomes retains its basics, but is improved upon (the general theme of this edition I suppose). Grimoires, alien tech, etc. is all good stuff for luring characters to their doom. Stats and fluff for various monster is of course a given, and they added some mechanics using manoeuvres, giving the GM some funky tools to torture its players with. I don’t know why they still bother with actual stats for Great Old Ones, Outer Gods, etc., but this is just a personal preference. In my mind, giving Cthulhu Hit-Points will only bring out the type of player that throws bundles of dynamite at everything that moves and generally drags those cosmic entities down to the limited confines (stat-wise) of their mortal adversaries. Still, some nice fluff and game mechanics for some of their deities, even if some things are either a bit ridiculous (see Cthulhu’s armour), or just a bit arbitrary (‘kills 3 random investigators per round’; not very motivating for players). The appendix flows over with all kinds of background information about the roaring 20s, up to more modern times and gives a GM a lot of fluff to play with. Goody. Lastly, a word or two about the layout of the new edition. Generally, this is a great-looking product, full 4c colour, well-bound; looks good, feels good. The illustrations range from great to mediocre, but are very eclectic, and should have something for every taste. One thing that I found rather ugly are the drop shadows they used with some of their tables, etc. as they are the bog-standard shadows most layout programmes provide for free. And some of the line spacing is off, with a few sub-headlines bleeding into one another. Anyone not having worked as a finishing artist will probably not give a blast about that, though. Overall, this is the best-looking Call of Cthulhu ever, improves on several problems of the older versions without addressing them all, and shifts its focus slightly in terms of ‘look & feel’ of the game, perhaps wanting to attract a larger crowd beyond the ‘cosmic nihilism’ of classic Lovecraftian horror. Some of the system remains as clunky as ever, but Chaosium generally did a great job with enhancing and toffing up their old warhorse for new generation. A step in the right direction, and still the headliner in horror roleplaying.

  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star 5
    Great system beautiful book

    Posted by Codi on 9th Apr 2017

    The Call of Cthulu Keeper rulebook is great. It has a lot of beautiful illustrations and sets out the systems rules in a clear and simple fashion. I just finished running Amidst the Ancient Trees, a premade scenario in the back of the book, and it gave a better understanding of how I want to run my own campaign. I really enjoy this system and glad I bought this book.

  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star 5
    Beautiful - Well Worth Owning!

    Posted by James Gosney on 17th Mar 2017

    This product is simply gorgeous; a high quality, full-color hardback. I've been a Keeper (and sometimes Investigator) since 4th Edition and have bought many an anniversary/special edition of the CoC rules over the past (two?!) decades... and this book looks, feels and smells like one of those special editions. I'm also happy that Chaosium finally adopted the "Player & GM handbooks" format. And though I haven't ran any 7th Edition games just yet, I can tell from what I've read that I'm really going to like the updated ruleset - they're a great step forward!

  • Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star Full Star 5

    Posted by Dave in NC on 27th Oct 2016

    Not only is this a top of the line hardcover book with heavy duty cover, beautiful color artwork, heavy pages and great binding, but they really took the time to ensure that it arrived in excellent condition. When I saw the packaging, I immediately lost 3 points of sanity! The book was double boxed, with spacers at the corners to reinforce the package in case it was dropped. I really appreciate the extra care that went into the packaging to make sure the books arrived in factory mint condition. The game contained in the book is phenomenal, of course. Easy to understand rules, lots of options to customize your game to make it as complex or as straight forward as you and your players want. It really captures the spirit of The Cthulhu Mythos. Lovecraft would be proud!