Classic Call Of Cthulhu box set gets the luxury treatment

For an entity like the great Cthulhu, forty years in a short time. They were there when the stars were born. They’ll be there when our brief stint on stage is over.

For the game that bears his name, Call of Cthulhu, it’s a birthday to celebrate. Few role-playing games last as long as Dungeons & Dragons and Call of Cthulhu is the rare surviving sibling. It’s a game that reshaped the legacy of its source material for thousands of people.

One of Chaosium celebrations of his historic game was a reproduction of the classic box which introduced so many fans to Cthulhu and the other dark setting monsters. It recently landed on our shores, and the company sent me a deluxe version for review, which included even more old-school goodies to peruse. For fans who want to go super deluxe, the folks at HP Lovecraft Historical Society have those covered as well.

Call of Cthulhu Kickstarter Classic Box Set

The classic box contains a collection of small but vital items: rulebooks, character sheets, character apartments, and some historical notes for context. The materials are technically modeled after the Second Edition box set, but the creators started this version still felt incomplete. One of the books included is a short guide to the 1920s, as the game was originally intended to be contemporary with the writings of HP Lovecraft.

The Roaring Twenties setting offers a great mix of the familiar and the exotic. New players can enjoy exploring the world’s history and setting while maintaining a frame of reference for modern ideas. It also allows the story to glide effortlessly from gruesome to historical over and over again.

What struck me about the source materials was how much pulp action was incorporated into the game from the start. I expected the action to focus on the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts. While many adventures begin there, the 1920s guidebook and world map indicate that many of these adventures are globetrotting adventures where Indiana Jones wouldn’t belong.

Call of Cthulhu Classic Deluxe Set

The Deluxe Edition expands the box and includes more classic materials. The strength of Call of Cthulhu are the cases that function as great horror stories in this system or in any other system. The deluxe box includes reproductions of five: The Asylum and Other Tales, Trail of Tsathoggua, Shadows Over Yog-Sothoth And two Companions of Cthulhu.

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Each of these books is a kind of Cthulhu Mythos magazine. They all have scenarios, new rules, and more information about the cursed Ancients that players are meant to fight. even complete campaigns can be separated and used within a larger in-game campaign.

I like the magazine style of each of these books. There are discussions of different versions of the same book, adventures of different lengths, and lots of useful topics for everyone around the table. I’ve played many included scenarios and always had a spooky good time.

Call of Cthulhu Classic Box Accessory Set

One of the things that attracted me to the game was the props. Decades before things like killer hunt, it was cool to find a clue and be handed a newspaper clipping or pages from a cursed diary. It’s something I continued when I launched my version of this game, and it’s a delight to see players eagerly reading a hint or peering into an artwork for hidden details.

The prop cutouts in the original are very simple. The deluxe box gave them a boost with professional documents that look great and read well. But for the table that wants movie-quality accessories for everyone, HP Lovecraft Historical Society pursues its ambitions Masks of Nyarlathotep accessory box with one covering the adventures here.

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Call of Cthulhu Classic Gamer Accessory Set doesn’t just have newspaper clippings; it has a whole paper to tear apart so that each adventure’s clip has the right touch and feels complete with a vintage advertisement on the back. Journal pages are properly creased to look aged or neglected. The brochure for a cursed artifact auction looks like it came straight out of a bidder’s suitcase.

Between these three experiences, long-time fans and newcomers alike can take a peek at one of the most influential RPGs out there. One that mixes the thrills of campfire stories, the thrills of escaping a ruined temple, and the personal experience of telling a character’s tragic story. Classic Call of Cthulhu boxes will be available on the Chaosium website and whatever conventions they appear in.

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