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I’m sure if you’ve listened to a few of our podcasts that you’ve heard Jeff and I talk about playing Call of Cthulhu the Role Playing Game. Well, if you have ever been interested in trying a true horror RPG, here is your chance to dip your toes in the pool without it costing a nickel.

Chaosium has released a PDF of quick start rules to the Call of Cthulhu RPG, and they are aiming it not only at those who have never played CofC, but players who don’t even know what an RPG is. The Chaosium website says the the CofC quick start rules is a booklet that collects the essential rules for Call of Cthulhu and presents them in abbreviated form.

This book comprises a basic roleplaying game system, which for the uninitiated is a framework of rules aimed at allowing players to enact a sort of improvisational radio theater—only without microphones—and with dice determining whe­ther the characters succeed or fail at what they attempt to do. In roleplaying games, one player takes on the role of the gamemaster (or Keeper, in Call of Cthulhu), while the other player(s) assume the roles of player characters (PCs) in the game. The gamemaster also acts out the roles of characters who aren’t being guided by players: these are called non-player characters (NPCs).

From its origin, Call of Cthulhu was designed to be intuitive and easy to play. Character attributes follow a 3D6 curve, and the other Call of Cthulhu mechanics are even simpler. Virtually all rolls determining success or failure of a task are determined via the roll of percentile dice. This means that there’s less fiddling with dice of different types, and the concept of a percentile chance of success is extremely easy for beginners and experienced players to grasp.

You can use this booklet to play Call of Cthulhu immediately. Games rules, pre-generated characters, and a classic adventure are included.

It can be downloaded right now for free at the Chaosium website as a watermarked PDF.

Elliott Miller

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