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Call of Cthulhu Starter Set

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Some with long memories may remember my old thread: Call of Cthulhu Starter Kits?  – well it seems 12 years on Chaosium are planning a Call of Cthulhu Starter Set.

 

call-of-cthulhu-starter-set-cover.jpg

 

Quote

This Starter Box contains everything you need to start playing Call of Cthulhu—the tabletop roleplaying game of mystery and horror.

 

Players take on the role of investigators of mysteries, uncovering dark secrets, encountering strange monsters, and thwarting sinister cults. Together, you and your friends create and develop a story in which each of your characters plays a leading role, which could be foiling some dastardly plot or stopping horrors from beyond space and time!

 

Roleplaying gaming is a social pastime. Everyone works together in a team, each playing an investigator character. One player runs the game—the Keeper of Arcane Lore—who referees the game and presents the story and adventure plots to the other players. Think of it a bit like acting in a drama, but where there isn’t a script. Dice and the rules of the game determine the success or failure for your character’s actions—all while you are propelled into dramatic and nerve-tingling situations! The emphasis is on having fun.

 

Contents:

  • 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 six polyhedral dice for use in the game.
  • Player Handouts – a set of ready to use props.
  • 4 classic adventures

 

Price: $25 USD / £24

 

Source: https://www.magicmadhouse.co.uk/chaosium-call-of-cthulhu-7th-edition-starter-set-p291956/

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Pookie

Two of the other adventures are 'Edge of Darkness' from the Call of Cthulhu, Fifth Edition and Call of Cthulhu, Sixth Edition rulebooks, plus 'Paper Chase' from the Cthulhu Companion.

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Tamburlain

Blast from the past.  I think it's still a good model for introducing a game to new players.  And $25 is a good deal.

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sasori

See, it's the sign of the collector in me, not the gamer, when I want to buy this, even though I am far from needing a starter kit!

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willmize

This is a WONDERFUL idea! And yeah, I've been playing for about 40 years, and I'll still buy it.

The D&D 5th Edition Starter Kit was brilliant, and was a great little set of training wheels for folks who had no experience with D&D.

Quality work at a great price.

Well done, Chaosium!

 

- Bill

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paladin2769

I am definitely getting one of these Starter Sets.  Can't come soon enough!

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klecser

Definitely worth that price point, especially for new players.   I assume Edge of Darkness and the other scenarios will get a facelift and better handouts.  Good value.

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Taavi

So is it 3 starter adventures + 4 'classic' adventures (=7) or are the 3 part of the 4?

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paladin2769

Did I miss the potential release date ?

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nclarke

Q3 2018, so anytime prior to Xmas. More details after Gen Con I expect or if Mike Mason pops by. If we see nothing before Continuum I'll try and bug him for a date.

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paladin2769

Thanks.  I have to admit that even though I have everything under the sun for the game (all those adventures and such), I'm still excited over a Starter Set coming out.  I hope it's in a nice sturdy deep box that will hold extra stuff and hold up well.  Or else I might have to transfer it to one of those aluminum boxes I got after reading Paul's original thread!   ;) 

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yronimoswhateley

I'd have to assume that the "four classic adventures" reference is to "Alone Against the Flames" in Book 1 + the three starter adventures in Book 3 (which Pookie indicates should include "...'Edge of Darkness'... plus 'Paper Chase'....")

 

Sounds fantastic - I've always loved these boxed starter sets, I've been collecting them since I stopped borrowing other gamers' stuff and bought my own first set with D&D 3rd Edition, and own a dozen different ones now - I've always been fascinated by what is left over when game publishers strip down their games to the bare bones included in this sort of product, it provides a wonderful snapshot of what the production believes to be the best combination of the essential elements of the game, and the factors and features that they believe will attract new gamers and keep them coming back.  Of course, it's also a nice way to attract new players (and I've always enjoyed gaming with new players, and the new perspectives, fresh ideas, and new possibilities they introduce!)

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cloud64

Speculating is always fun, so for my two-penneth… At first glance it seems like the set contains the Quick Start book, Alone Against the Flames and a scenario book. This would make sense as it simplifies production – the QS and Alone already exist and are in a format that suits a starter set. This would be nice for those of us who already have the QS and Alone as there'd be potential to just sell us the adventure book. But, the wording suggest something different: 

 

We have "Introduction and Alone Against The Flame" – this sounds like an addition to Alone. 

 

Then there's "Starter Rules", with no mention of an adventure – sounds like QS with The Haunting removed. 

 

Finally a book of three adventures, two of which Pookie tells us are Edge of Darkness and Paper Chase, whilst keeping mysteriously quiet about the third. Logically, if my deduction about the rules losing a scenario are correct, it will be The Haunting, but maybe not, maybe something new. Not having The Haunting in a starter set seems odd as it's justifiably considered a great first scenario, but then again, it's available in the free pdf of the current QS Rules, which one presumes will stay available. 

 

The final bullet point tells us there are four adventures in total: Alone + the three in the adventure book. 

 

So, there's at least two old scenarios 7-upped™, possibly a third, possibly something new altogether. I like the idea of separate handouts – this is cost effective for the Keeper as it saves on ink.  

 

On that last point, I'd like to see more handout sets for the scenario books. I do enjoy making handouts – finding a scratchy handwriting font for printing on notebook paper, ageing things with tea, bloodying them with watered-down ketchup, etc. – but it is time consuming. The quality of the full colour handouts in the books is good enough to use as is, but I'm often reluctant to print them as ink ain't cheap. If I could buy them for a few quid though, now that would be tempting, even if they aren't on authentic paper types (that'd be too much to ask, TBF). I'm looking forward to seeing how the Masks  handouts are done, it seems this is the approach being taken with them.

 

Anyway, despite already having run and made handouts for Edge (and The Haunting, if it's included), this set will be tempting to have on the shelf – it'd be rude not to at that price. Damn you Chaosium, what with Masks and RuneQuest Glorantha you are paupering me this year.

 

Forgive my cheeky ™ of 7-upped. You know when something just falls out of your head unexpectedly and it rather tickles you – that. I propose it become the de facto phrase for old scenarios given the update treatment  :)

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yronimoswhateley

I like "7-upped" :)

 

I bet you're on the right track about those speculative contents.  Maybe the unidentified fourth scenario is "The Haunting"?  I'd like to think it's an all-new starter scenario we've never seen before, though.

 

I should add that when I ran through a side-by-side comparison of the 5th Edition and 7th Edition versions of "The Haunting", I quickly realized that the scenario had been rewritten from the ground up - the mechanics hadn't really changed at all between the two editions (the mechanical bits were essentially identical, in fact), but the update to 7th Edition quick-start was no mere cut-and-paste job, a lot of attention was given to reviewing legibility, organization, etc.  I wouldn't be surprised if some of the classic scenarios to be included in this boxed set haven't been similarly rewritten with an eye toward the readability and ease of use of the new and improved 7th Ed. formatting and organization.

 

I really appreciate the attention and support that Chaosium has been giving through 7th Edition for new keepers and players, by way of not just a free quick-start booklet, but also this Starter Set, the beginner-friendly scenarios like "Alone Against the Flames", "Doors to Darkness", and the imaginative "Nameless Horrors", the improved first impressions from the polished and updated rulebooks, and the beginner-friendly facelifts to those classic but aging large-scale campaigns.

 

I've always loved this RPG, but (imho) it's never looked better and never been as beginner-friendly as it is now, and I really appreciate the effort :)

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willmize

They (Chaosium) would NOT be doing themselves a disservice by taking pages, if not reams from the Wizards of the Coast playbook for D&D 5th Edition when it comes to fan engagement, roll out of new products, quality control, etc.  I am not a D&D fan, but man, you gotta show some massive respect with regards as to how they have rejuvenated the old dog.

 

- Bill

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MorganBlackhand

I too believe we'll see The Haunting as the fourth adventure. It wouldn't be the same without it!

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MikeM

Hi All

 

The contents of the Starter Set are:

 

Book 1 (read me first!) - Intro and then into Alone Against the Flames.

Book 2 - Starter Rules (these are a slightly reworked and more inclusive version of the Quick Start (i.e. most of the Sanity mechanics were not in the Quick Start rules section, but were placed in The Haunting scenario - in this new version the Sanity mechanics are in the rules).

Book 3 - Scenarios - Paper Chase, Edge of Darkness, and Dead Man Stomp. 

Set of dice and handouts from the scenarios, plus some pre-gen PCs.

 

The whole thing has been designed to take 1 player and turn them into to Keeper, who then can run Paper Chase for 1 (poss 2) person, with each scenario following building on the first (so Edge of Darkness might be played with 2 to 4 people, Dead Man Stomp 3 to 6, etc.). Naturally, everything has been tweaked or rewritten to update to 7e and include guidance and advice for new Keepers.

 

New artwork throughout.

 

The free Quick-Start will remain available - so the Haunting remains unique to that.

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cloud64

I dunno, all those emojis on my iPad and not one for huffing on your nails and polishing them on your shoulder whilst looking smug. Useless. Joking aside, I’m pleased with this as that’s a couple of scenarios I’ve not run, and with handouts too. I was not familiar with Dead Man Stomp, but giving it a quick read through it’ll be interesting to see what they do with it, both to make it easier to run for a new Keeper (it seems a bit on rails but with little about how to stay on the tracks) and to update it for modern social sensibilities (but meeting Satchmo must be left in, even if it might be lost on my younger players). Something new would have been nice, but it’s hard to argue with using something proven. And I like the philosophy of building in Keeper progress; top marks for that. 

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nclarke

Stomp is number 6 on the list of most recommended scenarios behind The Haunting, Edge of Darkness, Crack'd and Crook'd Manse. Sanatorium and Bad Moon Rising so a reasonable choice for a new Keeper kit..

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hwest79

Highly looking forward to this being released. Good price, seems like a great amount of material included. 

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yronimoswhateley

Thank you, Mike!  As much as I like the sound of that hypothetical completely new scenario, it sound like this set will actually include a solid collection of well-liked, time-tested, and solid scenarios, and if those are getting "7-upped" with a modern polish and shine and newbie-friendly support, which can only be good for everyone!

 

I agree, Bill - looking at it especially from the perspective of the younger generations of gamers,  the high production value standards set by the boxed starter sets from the last few editions of D&D and its Pathfinder variant, as well as the failed experiment of the beautiful D20 CoC rulebook, really make them a tough act to follow, especially compared to a vanilla CoC RPG aesthetic that hasn't changed much from the arcane, eccentric, do-it-yourself aesthetics of the pen-and-paper RPG hobby's origins in 1970s.   The folks who produced those D&D boxed sets and core materials really went a long way toward lending that game the air of respectability and legitimacy it enjoys today, and I don't think that learning from that success is a bad idea at all.

 

Don't get me wrong - that's not to knock the older editions of CoC at all: though I was (and still am) an enthusiastic backer of CoC 7th Edition, they can have my 5th Edition CoC core book when they pry it from my cold, undead fingers!  Still, I'm glad to see the modernized Call of Cthulhu get so much TLC from those publishers and creators who have put so much of their blood, sweat, and tears into overcoming all of the obstacles in the way of trying to make the latest incarnation of CoC really shine.

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MorganBlackhand

I like the idea of training the Keeper. The scenario selection is good. There will be some mockup or advance copy at Gen Con?

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Tlalchitonatiuh

This sounds like a phenomenal idea! Anyone have an idea of a release date? Both edge of darkness and dead mans stomp are opening chapters in my upcoming campaign, and I'm tempted to let one of our other gms keep running dnd for a bit before we begin rotating to allow this to release haha

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