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Call of Cthulhu [Hardcover]

Sandy Petersen , Lynn Willis
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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By A Customer
The works of master horror writer H.P. Lovecraft of the 1920s have influenced almost every single good horror writer to date, from Ann Rice to Stephen King. COC is likely the best RPG ever put to print, and the publisher Chaosium just makes things easier for players by adding content from their various supplements with each new edition. A typical game session has your characters snooping around for clues, and interrogating various NPCs (non player characters), and then implementing a course of action. The climax of a campaign also often (unfortunately for players) includes one of the hideous deities of the Cthulhu Mythos, such as Azathoth, Cthulhu himself, Dagon, or, possibly the worst, Nyarlathotep, trickster god with a thousand avatars or "masks". COC is the only game that has ever given me, as the gamemaster, chills reading a supplement in the middle of the day. I also recommend picking up one of the numerous Cthulhu Mythos anthologies of short stories. Prepare to be scared
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another 5-star review Jan. 12 2004
Doesn't it tell you something, that *every* review for this edition of this book gives it 5 stars? (Some of the out-of-print editions have reviews here too.) And let's face it, us RPG enthusiasts are not the sort of folks to shy away from criticizing.
Some people will say the Basic Roleplaying rule-set is outdated. It's true that games like Unknown Armies and Godlike are pretty cool, and I know people who are using those rules for their CoC games. But just try introducing a newcomer to those rules, or getting someone who's only played D&D before to convert. They get dizzy, I tell you. Nope, for a simple, elegant rule-set that just about anyone can grasp right off the bat, Call of Cthulhu's Basic Roleplaying has still got it, after more than 20 years. The rules fade into the background, where they belong.
And unlike other games with their multivolume core rulebooks and endless splatbooks that you *need* if you want a fully fleshed-out campaign, everything you really need is right there in this one rulebook. Heck, every time Chaosium does a new edition, they comb all the supplements for spells, monsters, skills, and so on, and add them into the new edition--to save you time and money! Chaosium even printed the entire short story, "The Call of Cthulhu," in this edition, so newbies can get a taste of what it's all about.
If you've got an older edition of CoC, you don't need to buy this one--the rule changes are quite minor. Unlike D&D, a new edition doesn't make everything you already know obsolete--"editions" of CoC are back-compatible with older editions and old supplements. Chaosium does new editions to keep the book in print and to make it a little better every time, not to force the fans to spend money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Unforgetable Experience March 10 2003
By A Customer
I first read these tales in an "Armed Services Edition" of HP Lovecraft stories, back in 1944! Sitting underseas in a US Navy Submarine in the South Pacific, scared to death, and lonely for home, these stories gripped me so completely, I forgot my real fears of war.
That old book, now tattered and yellowed with age, was read by my son and daughter, who now want to pass it on to my grandchildren. It's time for me to replace it with a new Penguin edition before is falls apart, totally!
Lovecraft's writing has many weaknesses, flowery language, poor characterizations and vague plots. I see all these faults now, but they never bothered me when I first read him. Women don't seem to be a part of Lovecraft's world, and that is a shame. His stories were too short to correct these faults. Modern full novels, in the Lovecraft tradition, like "The Riddle of Cthulhu," are written with many of HPL's faults corrected; like the inclusion, for example, of unforgetable characters, romance and a believable plot. Still, the "Call" is the source and the classic horror book. You must experience these classic stories, then move on to today's modern "Lovecraft Style" novels!
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