The classic Call Of Cthulhu Boxed Set gets the luxury treatment

For an entity like the great Cthulhu, forty years in a short time. They were here when the stars were born. They will be here when our short time on stage is over.

For the game that bears his name, Call of CthulhuIt is an anniversary to be celebrated. Few role-playing games last as long as Dungeons and Dragons and Call of Cthulhu is the rare surviving sibling. It is a game that has reshaped the legacy of the source material for thousands of people.

One of the Chaosiums celebrations of his historic game was a reproduction of the classic box set who introduced so many fans to Cthulhu and the other monsters of the dark environment. It recently landed on our shores and the company sent me a deluxe version to review, with even more old-school goodies to check out. For those fans who want to go super deluxe, the folks at HP Lovecraft Historical Society have them too.

Call of Cthulhu Classic Box Set Kickstarter

The classic box set includes a collection of small but essential items: rulebooks, character sheets, character flats, and a few historical notes for context. The materials are technically modeled after the second edition box set, but the creators started with that version that always felt incomplete. One of the included books is a short guide to the 1920s, as the game was initially modern with the writings of HP Lovecraft.

The setting of the Roaring Twenties offers a great mix of the familiar and the exotic. New players can enjoy exploring the history of the world and the environment, but still have a frame of reference for modern ideas. It also ensures that the story slides effortlessly from the gruesome to the historical time and time again.

What struck me about the original materials was how much pulp action was built into the game from the start. I expected the action to focus on the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts. While many adventures start there, the guidebook and world map from the 1920s is an indication that many of these adventures are world-traveling adventures where Indiana Jones wouldn’t look out of place.

Call of Cthulhu Classic Boxed Set Deluxe

The Deluxe edition makes the box bigger and contains more classic materials. the power of Call of Cthulhu are the cases that work like great horror stories in this or any other system. The deluxe box contains reproductions of five: The Asylum and Other Stories, Trail of Tsathoggua, Shadows Over Yog-Sothoth and two Cthulhu Companions.

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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 Old Ones that players must fight against. even the entire campaigns can be taken apart and used within a larger campaign of the game.

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

Call of Cthulhu Classic Boxed Set Prop Set

One of the things that drew me into the game was the props. Decades before things like Hunt-A-Killer, it was cool to find a clue and hand over an actual newspaper clipping or pages of a cursed journal. It’s something I carried on when I ran my version of this game, and it’s a joy to see players eagerly reading a clue or examining an illustration for hidden details.

The prop cutouts in the original are very simple. The luxury box didn’t kick them with professional handouts that look great and read well. But for the table that wants movie-quality props that everyone can pour over, HP Lovecraft Historical Society is pursuing its ambitions Masks of Nyarlathotep propbox with one covering the adventures here.

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Call of Cthulhu Classic Gamer Prop Set doesn’t just have newspaper clippings; it has a whole paper to disassemble so the clippings in each adventure have the right touch and feel, complete with vintage advertisement on the back. Diary pages are quite wrinkled to look old or unkempt. The cursed artifact auction brochure looks like it came straight out of a bidder’s briefcase.

Between these three experiences, longtime fans and newcomers alike can look back on one of the most influential RPGs out there. One that combines the rigors of campfire stories with the thrill of escaping a crumbling temple and the personal experience of telling a character’s tragic story. The Classic Call of Cthulhu boxes will be available on Chaosium’s website and regardless of the conventions where they appear.

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