Let's Study

[Let’s Study: RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha] Part 4: Game System & Skills


Now we get to the part where we find out how to get things done in RuneQuest!

The Game System chapter opens up with a discussion of Time in the game. It’s a surprisingly detailed take on it, differentiating Real Time (actual amount of time that passes in-character and as a player, like when you’re delivering a speech in-character) from Narrative Time, and combat measures of time such as Turns, Rounds and Skill and Ability Times.

Ability Use

Fans of Chaosium’s games will find this very familiar. The basic mechanic of the game is a percentile roll against a difficulty set by the Skill or Ability’s corresponding rating. Unlike in Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition, Characteristics are rated from 3 to 18, and their ratings are multiplied to get the final rating to be rolled against. A part of me prefers having everything scale to 100% like in Cthulhu, but it’s not a dealbreaker.

Rolling equal to or lower to the rating is a success, and rolling above that is a failure. Critical successes occur if the roll is 5% of the modified chance of success, with “01” always counting as a critical success. Likewise, Fumbles happen when they roll equal to 5% of the adventurer’s chance of failure, and always occurs on a roll of “00.”

Augmenting Abilities

One of the neater mechanics in RuneQuest is the fact that when appropriate, you can use a skill, passion or rune, to augment another ability of the same or different type. This means that for example, a roll to attempt to make an impassioned speech to spare a kinsman’s life can be augmented by the orator’s passion of love for kin.

To augment, one simply has to roll the augmenting skill, passion or rune first, with the results adding a bonus to your second actual roll to perform the act in question. Success can net you a bonus of anywhere from a +20% to +50%(!) on the roll. However, failing in the augmentation roll means that you penalize your skill roll as well.

It’s a simple mechanic, and yet it elegantly ties together the role of emotion, motivation and know-how into a single mechanic.


Damage is handled next, with a discussion on hit point totals and the hit location system. Some games offer hit locations as an option, but in RuneQuest it’s baked into the core of the game, leading so some very interesting maimed characters further into the story. Some players don’t like having too much detail on this as it slows the action down, but I appreciate the level of detail since every hit means something.


Healing in RuneQuest can take the form of magic, which is handy in the sense that it can be used more often, and First Aid, which is a measure to heal a little bit of damage and to stabilize the dying. Outside of those two, you have to resort to natural healing.

Also there’s mention of magical resurrection for the recently dead available in RuneQuest, but it’s not widely available.

Conditions and Damage

The last part of the chapter covers a whole host of discomforts, from falling damage, being set on fire, exposure to temperature extremes, drowning, poison and disease and all sorts of other fun things that happen to Adventurers.


The following chapter is the Skills chapter, which details the various skills in the game, with their base chance, and a description of what the skill actually does. There’s a surprising amount of detail baked into the descriptions, with movement rates and how certain mechanics should be invoked in situations involving each skill.

It’s a hefty chapter, but one that a GM will do wise to study in detail as there’s a lot of small rules tucked away inside each of the descriptions. That said, this is one of those situations where having a PDF is an advantage as you can get away with doing a quick search through the file rather than flipping through it manually.

The rules of RuneQuest are about as solid as it can get. Decades of play have pretty much honed it to the point that the designers know that it works. There’s some really good elements like the Augmenting rules that I found to be more interesting than the old “I spend Willpower for a boost” rule more common to more recent rpg designs.

That said, it can be a bit intimidating to people who are more used to storygames. I still hope that they’ll give it a chance however, as there’s a great payoff to engaging with the mechanics and seeing everything just work.

Next up, we’ll be taking a look at combat in RuneQuest!

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha is available in PDF from Chaosium or DriveThruRPG for only $27.95

For those interested in the hardcover, I’d recommend buying from Chaosium as they’ll be issuing a coupon for those who bought a PDF to discount the price from the physical copy!

[Let’s Study RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha] Part 3: Homelands


Today we’ll take a quick peek at the setting chapters for the RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha core book.

The book introduces us to Dragon Pass, the main theater of stories of Glorantha, though the chapter is quick to promise that supplements will be giving more information on the other homelands available to this enormous setting.

The homelands discussed therefore are: Esrolia, Grazelands, Prax, Sartar, Lunar Tarsh,
and Old Tarsh. Each of these homelands in turn is presented in a format that discusses their geography and nature, as well as the stereotypes, attitudes, politics and helpfully for those unfamiliar with Glorantha, common names for characters from each Homeland.

Each of the Homeland is treated at some length, with each one also hosting a map of the region, and lovely artwork that presents the various costumes and appearance of the people of the area.

The best details lie in the individual regions under a Homeland, however. As a complete novice to Glorantha as a setting, I know nothing about it, and I felt just a bit overwhelmed at the details, and I suspect that having more experience in running games perhaps at a local level will help me find my feet.

Each of the Regions has notes on culture and what clans occupy them, as well as notes on locations with interesting features or history. It helps that each of these locations have some sort of interesting feature at least, and a plot hook to consider at most.

The Homelands section of the book is quite the eye opener, with a look at the key locations of Dragon Pass. The details are pretty heavy, but I’ve heard things about the Guide to Glorantha having an incredible amount of information to fill in any blanks I might still have.

That said, the regions are interesting, and there’s plenty of things going on to power so many different campaigns. Much in the way that I ran L5R, I could get away with having games centered around a single Homeland, or a Clan within that Homeland, and take things from a domestic level first until I’m confident enough to scale up. Regardless, from a GMs point of view, it’s a majestic sandbox with plenty of space to grow into.

Next up, we’ll be taking a look at the rules for RuneQuest and maybe dive into combat as well!

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha is available in PDF from Chaosium or DriveThruRPG for only $27.95

For those interested in the hardcover, I’d recommend buying from Chaosium as they’ll be issuing a coupon for those who bought a PDF to discount the price from the physical copy!

[Let’s Study RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha] Part 2: Character Creation

Character Creation in RuneQuest is a journey in itself. Taking the form of an 8-step process, forming an Adventurer is also a process of self-discovery for the character, as the first 2 things you do are to choose a Homeland and Determine Family History. I found myself surprised at just how much was already established even before I could get to determining characteristics.

And so without further delay, let’s get started on our example character!

Step One: Choose a Homeland

A character’s homeland determines their customs, language and religion. I’m going to start off with an Adventurer hailing from the homeland of Sartar, a hotbed of adventurers. I’ll note that the Suggested Occupations are: Farmer, Noble, Priest and Warrior.

This also determines my character’s starting Passions:

  • Love (Family) 60%
  • Loyalty (Clan) 60%
  • Loyalty (Tribe) 60%

Technically these are meant to be made more specific but I’ll leave these open for filling out later.

Step Two: Family History

Those familiar with Lifepath type systems will be completely at home here. But rather than just your character’s history, this section goes over the experiences of your chosen grandparent and parent before you came to be as well.

There’s a lot of rolling in this section, as each major historical milestone has a table to roll in to determine the events.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll only go over the key events. I’ve decided to go with the history of a Grandfather (Occupation: Farmer) and my character’s Mother (Occupation: Priest.)

Grandparent’s History:

  • Year 1561 – Grandfather was born
  • Year 1582 – Present at the Battle of Grizzly Peak, Killed by Lunar spirits, gain Hate (Lunar Empire).

Parent’s History:

  • Year 1613 – Fought in Starbrow’s Rebellion and survived
  • Year 1619 – A normal year
  • Year 1620 – Killed in a battle with a neighboring Homeland, gain Hate (Homeland)

Your History:

  • Year 1622 – The Great Winter, Year 2, Nearly froze to death and survived only by joining the rebels and fighting and surviving the Battle of Auroch Hills. Gain Battle +5%
  • Year 1623 – Fought in the Seige of Nochet, Gain Battle +5%
  • Year 1624 – Fought in the Battle of Pennel Ford and fought with great glory. Gain Devotion (Deity) and add +10% to Battle. Pledged undying loyalty to Argrath as the White Bull and to Jaldon Goldentooth. Gain Devotion (White Bull) and gain Loyalty (White Bull) at 70%.
  • Year 1625 – Nearly killed in battle. Gain +5% Battle, gains a distinctive scar

It’s one heck of a history, and while my character’s grandparent and parent led less… interesting lives, the recent history of the character already makes them out to be pretty competent!

Step Three: Rune Affinities

Every character in RuneQuest is associated with the Runes. In this step, we choose the Elemental and Power / Form Runes that our character is associated with. Runes are important as they influence how much control your character has over magic of that rune. Runes are also used to augment certain actions  but we’ll get to that during the rules entry.

We begin by choosing 3 Elemental Runes as Primary, Secondary and Tertiary picks. Since I’m looking at a worshipper of the Storm King Orlanth, I’m going with Air as my Primary, with Earth and then Fire as the Secondary and Tertiary picks respectively. The fact that I hail from Sartar gives me an additional +10% to Air.

Elemental Runes

  • Air 70%
  • Earth 40%
  • Fire 20%

Power | Form Runes on the other hand are listed as dualities that add up to a total of 100, when one figure of a pair increases, the other decreases by the same amount and vice versa.

After a bit of thinking as to what would make a fun Sartarite Warrior, let’s go with:

  • Harmony 50 | Disorder 50
  • Stasis 25 | Movement 75
  • Truth 75 | Illusion 25
  • Fertility 50 | Death 50
  • Man 50 | Beast 50

This pretty much puts my warrior clearly in the realm of the pro-active fellow with a penchant for honest and calling things as he sees them.

At this point I get to spend an additional 50% on my Runes. My final tally ends up as:


  • Air 70
  • Earth 60
  • Fire 40
  • Harmony 50 | Disorder 50
  • Stasis 25 | Movement 75
  • Truth 75 | Illusion 25
  • Fertility 60 | Death 40
  • Man 50 | Beast 50

Step 4: Characteristics

Now we’re somewhere more familiar. RuneQuest Characters have the following Characteristics: Strength, Constitution, Size, Dexterity, Intelligence, Power and Charisma. Generating these Characteristics is usually a random roll, but the Gamemaster’s Guide supposedly has other methods to generate them. Characteristics range from 3 to 18.

After coming up with the characteristics, you may apply bonuses from your Primary and Secondary Runes, as well as some Homeland bonuses.

This is what my Sartarite Warrior has after a bit all of that:

STR 15
CON 14
SIZ 16
DEX 11
INT 16
CHA 11


We then derive my Sartarite’s derived attributes:

Magic Points: 8
Hit Points: 15 (Total)
HP (Per Location): Each Leg 6, Abdomen 6, Chest 7, Each Arm 5, Head 6
Healing Rate: 3
Damage Bonus: 1d4
Spirit Combat Damage: 1d6
Maximum Encumbrance: 14
DEX Strike Ranks: 3
SIZ Strike Ranks: 1

It looks pretty good so far. We’ll tackle the specifics of Strike Ranks in combat later when we get to the combat rules, but it seems our Sartarite is a pretty strong hitter.

Skills Categories Modifiers

Based on the raw Characteristics, we then derive the base chance for skill groups. Each is done by comparing the character’s Characteristics scores to a table, taking into account the total modifiers by having differing characteristics. It’s a bit tedious, but I understand the thinking behind this design and I have to admit that it’s pretty amusing to through this exercise.

  • Agility Skills Category Modifier: +/-0%
  • Communication Skills Category Modifier: +/-0%
  • Knowledge Skills Category Modifier: +/-0%
  • Magic Skills Category Modifier: -5%
  • Manipulation Skills Category Modifier: +5%
  • Perception Skills Category Modifier: +5%
  • Stealth Skills Category Modifier: +/- 0%

Not too shabby, sure there’s a penalty to magic but it looks like my Sartarite is something of a Conan.

Skill Base Chance

At this point, we modify the base chances of the skills on the sheet based off the Homeland. I was surprised at just how many skills got modified in this step but it made sense that each culture was going to impart its own set of skills native to those who live in a given region.

Step 5: Occupation

Now that we’ve gotten all the intrinsic parts of the character down, let’s move on to what they do. A character’s occupation answers this question. I chose the Warrior occupation, and looking it up reveals that I need to choose between Cavalry or Infantry, and again into Heavy or Light. I’ll opt for Light Infantry then, as they seem to be better associated with Orlanth.

For those familiar with Call of Cthulhu, the Occupations in RuneQuest are generally the same, with a package of skills, passions and gear to start with and are added to the existing character.

Step 6: Cult

Again with the focus on religion being a very big deal in RuneQuest. Like Occupations, this is another template layered over the character, imparting skills, but more importantly Runes, Passions and Magics available to each cult. As mentioned before magic is available to everyone, and as such every character has access to certain spells depending on their Cult.

Step 7: Personal Skill Bonuses

This is the customization step of the game, where the player can add +25% to any four skills and +10% to any five of their choosing.

Step 8: Other Information

Finally we get to fill out the remaining details such as name, age and gender. In addition we also get to roll on a neat Family Heirloom table.

As you can tell, character creation isn’t really something you breeze through in RuneQuest. That said, I did enjoy myself thoroughly in making a character, with the Family History being a high point in it. I can see a campaign starting off with a full session devoted to simply building characters and hashing out relationships. It’s not a negative in my book as I’ve always encouraged players to work things out early on as they put together their characters.

Next up we’ll be looking at the Homelands Chapter, where we take whirlwind tour of the setting of Glorantha and the various tribes and cults that live in it. After that then we’ll pop the game open and examine the rules.

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha is available in PDF from Chaosium or DriveThruRPG for only $27.95

For those interested in the hardcover, I’d recommend buying from Chaosium as they’ll be issuing a coupon for those who bought a PDF to discount the price from the physical copy!

[Let’s Study: RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha] Part 1: Introduction & Glorantha

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RuneQuest itself, is a myth for me. Despite having bought into the hobby back in 1989 or so with Star Frontiers, my best real start as a serious RPG player happened in 1997. This meant that my exposure to RPGs were limited to White Wolf, Legend of the Five Rings, and Dungeons & Dragons, at best. With the internet, a whole world of RPGs became known to me, and one title in particular kept coming up:


I’ve tried to review it before… I have a partially completed take on RuneQuest 6th on this very blog, but somehow 7th has seized my imagination, and I bought it right away. With such a long history, and so many fans, it’s got to be good, right?

And that’s what we’re here to find out.


The introduction chapter opens with a quick primer on what to expect from the book. There’s a short note on myths and how it plays a central role in RuneQuest and especially in the game’s home setting of Glorantha. It doesn’t go into too much detail just yet, instead quickly introducing primary concepts on gameplay such as any materials necessary and how to read the dice.

Things get interesting as soon as the book outlines a few primary concepts in the game. The first on the list being that violence has consequences. While perhaps obvious at first glance, it’s really a call out on just how deadly combat can get in the setting, and a reminder to players to approach combat very carefully.

The chapter continues to talk about how everyone has magic thanks to the relationship that mortals have with their gods and the central roles that community and religion play in the world of Glorantha.

So far all of these call-outs are hitting all the right notes for me. I’m going to step back a bit and compare this with one of my favourite RPGs: Legend of the Five Rings. Both of these games have a rich mythology that informs the relationship of mortals and their gods, player characters are (usually) people with an important role to play in their community. Both games also feature fairly deadly combat, leading to sessions where players spend more time looking for alternative solutions, but enter combat with grim determination.


The next chapter details the setting of Glorantha. It’s a short chapter, but it does give a good explanation of the setting. I like that early on it reminds you that in RuneQuest, myth is real and might as well be science in the eyes of the inhabitants of the setting.

It’s a good opening before they show you a diagram of the world itself, which certainly looks like something out of ancient myth. A squarish world sitting on an ocean with a dome above for a sky and the underworld beneath it. It makes for some vivid imagery, and admittedly has that tone of authenticity if you compare it to other world myths that detail the cosmos.

But beyond that, the chapter also gives a quick look at Gloranthan society, technology, races and money. These all get a short writeup and I suspect it’s because Chaosium has already published huge books to talk about Glorantha in glorious detail.

The chapter ends with a look at Gloranthan History, starting from a creation myth to the more current events and conflicts that have impacted the world. What I liked in particular is that even after the creation myth, the sense of the fantastic never left the histories. Even recent events were tinged with the impossible and the epic, preserving that sense of wonder that I hope I can carry into the game when I run it.

Next up, we’ll be throwing ourselves into the Character Creation chapter and put together our own adventurer to travel Glorantha in search for glory and adventure!

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha is available in PDF from Chaosium or DriveThruRPG for only $27.95

For those interested in the hardcover, I’d recommend buying from Chaosium as they’ll be issuing a coupon for those who bought a PDF to discount the price from the physical copy!

[Let’s Study: Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition] Part 6: Playing the Game, GM Chapters and Review

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Finally we’ve reached the half of the book dedicated to Keepers. At this point, I’ll be switching gears and going over a quick blurb of what to expect on each of the following chapters, rather than going deep into detail as most of it is refinement and advice specific to running the game.

Given that we’re 7 editions into Call of Cthulhu, it’s gotten quite expansive, and there’s a lot of good advice to go around, especially when running for this particular take on the horror genre.

Playing the Game

I happen to like the approach the Call of Cthulhu takes in this chapter, working with the assumption that there will be newbie Keepers trying to run this for the first time. There’s good, common-sense advice included here, from putting a group together, to dealing with unsavory historical elements and setting the mood for a proper horror game.

In addition there’s more specific advice for running Call of Cthulhu, imparting insight to how the system is used, how you can take advantage of Pushing a roll to build tension, and some great stuff on interpreting success and failure in a given skill roll.

The chapter then goes into the details and advice on how to handle Action and Magic, and how to make sure that you build that air of horror into your custom scenarios.

Tomes of Eldritch Lore

This chapter goes into the listing and details involved in the Mythos Tomes. There’s some snappy advice on how to describe Mythos Tomes and the experience of dabbling in their contents, followed by a list of Mythos books, and their attributes, such as the Sanity Loss incurred when studying them, and other details.


As a logical follow up, this chapter lists the various spells for Call of Cthulhu that can be learned through the Mythos Tomes. The spells are all very colorful and quite… disturbing, and you can easily see what kind of insane cultist would consider using (or learning) such powers.

Artifacts and Alien Devices

Being the Cthulhu Mythos, there’s room for both arcane artifacts and strange alien devices used by the various species outside of man. This chapter is full of interesting and flavorful entries of the various items that Investigators might stumble upon on their investigations, or be subject to if they’re ever so unfortunate.

Monsters, Beasts and Alien Gods

Perhaps the favorite chapter of any Keeper, this is the bestiary that gives the stats of all the Mythos beasties from the Mi-Go all the way to The Great Cthulhu himself. It’s also lovingly illustrated (definitely a plus!)

At a certain point the numbers on the various Deities of the Cthulhu Mythos are somewhat overwhelming as some stats hit 3(!) digits when it comes to their values. Needless to say when an Investigator comes up against The Great Cthulhu himself, you might as well give up on any hope of a direct confrontation.


The book ends with two scenarios that the Keeper can run right out of the box. A part of me laments the fact that The Haunting is no longer here (It’s now part of the Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quickstart) but it does introduce two new scenarios to try. Both of these are fairly extensive, and are set in the default 1920’s era.

Each is complete with the kind of thorough scenario data that CoC is famous for, from NPCs to maps and timelines, all of which help the investigators put the clues together.


The book wraps up with helpful appendices from items and weapons lists, a glossary and even rules summaries of the key mechanics for the entire game. Finally there are two sets of character sheets one for the 1920’s and one for modern Call of Cthulhu scenarios.


While my experience with Call of Cthulhu was initially as a player with the 6th Edition (and the amazing Masks of Nyarlathotep Campaign), the new 7th Edition was the one that I really bought into as a Keeper.

As I understand it, a lot of older Keepers might prefer the older version, but I find 7th Edition to be a great entry level product for a new Keeper. The book takes the time to walk you through each of their design choices and provides a lot of great advice on how to use each of the mechanics provided to deliver a genuine horror experience.

The art and layout of the book is flavorful, and easy enough to read. The full page and two-page spread color artwork is fantastic, and I deliberately avoided posting those here as to not spoil the surprise.

Call of Cthulhu is a veritable cultural institution in the hobby. While D&D might dominate the Fantasy RPG space, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not getting into Call of Cthulhu.

When done right, the payoff for well run Call of Cthulhu scenario is priceless.

You can pick up a PDF copy of the Call of Cthulhu Keeper’s Rulebook from DriveThruRPG for only $27.95

[Let’s Study: Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition] Part 5: Magic


Unlike many fantasy RPGs, magic is not something to be taken lightly in Call of Cthulhu. Most of the time, Investigators will find themselves on the receiving end of the weird and dangerous powers used by the cultists and minions they’ll encounter.

What is Magic?

Call of Cthulhu goes into surprisingly interesting detail on the nature of Mythos Magic, and how H.P. Lovecraft came to describe them. The “universal” nature of it is a sign of how it works on a greater reality than the feeble minds of mankind can ever truly understand.

Learning Magic

Often, Magic is learned through study of Mythos Tomes. While the study of such things is the province of the mad, often, Investigators find themselves having to resort to the study of Mythos Tomes out of sheer desperation.

Of course, nobody usually keeps such things in easily digestible formats. Often written by mad scribes and such, the tomes require a great deal of effort to obtain, preserve, translate and study.

Reading Mythos Books

Reading (and studying) Mythos Books is a tricky process, and Call of Cthulhu offers an option to do an Initial Reading of the text, and a Full Study. Initial Readings are faster but not without risk, a successful reading roll gives an idea of the contents of the book but still incurs Sanity loss! Success also means gaining greater insight to the Mythos.

A Full Reading is a process that takes months as it involves careful research and study. No roll is usually necessary for this, but again, Sanity Loss is inevitable. This study grants much more insight to the Mythos, and may occasionally impart additional skills.


Mythos Tomes also contain spells that the Investigators may choose to study and learn. Once learned through the books, they can actually go teach each other how to cast it. Learning Mythos Spells doesn’t incur Sanity Loss. That happens when casting them.

Casting Spells

As mentioned above, casting spells takes a toll on the caster’s sanity. However, it doesn’t rely on Sanity as a cost. Instead, the spell consumes Magic Points, a resource determined by an Investigator’s POW stat.

This is on top of all the other requirements of the spell such as strange reagents and long-winded chanting and ceremonies necessary to enact them.

Call of Cthulhu continues it’s trend of making everything risky and dangerous, players should always feel like their Investigators are on the edge of peril, and the magic system ties in wonderfully into it. The Mythos Tomes are a source of possible salvation or damnation, with spells that could save their lives, or drive them to madness.

Few games have ever managed to pull off that moment where the player is cursing himself for having to learn magic, knowing full well that he’ll probably get shafted, but does it anyway because anything is better than nothing when dealing with the Mythos!

[Let’s Study: Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition] Part 4: Sanity


Today we’ll be taking a look at the mechanic that pretty much made Call of Cthulhu unique: Sanity and Sanity Loss.

But before that, it’s important to note that Sanity as it is portrayed in Call of Cthulhu is not meant to simulate real-world psychological trauma. Instead, it helps to view it as an approximation of how H.P. Lovecraft’s protagonists react in the face of horrifying sights and terrible creatures.

Sanity as Mental Resilience

Mechanics-wise, sanity is your “mental HP” as your Investigator is hammered with encounters involving the horrifying and alien, they are often called to make Sanity Rolls. These checks determine if the character is able to lessen the blow of the Sanity Loss, or takes a bigger hit.

Taking Sanity Loss is a dicey proposition at best, with successively more dire consequences depending on the amount lost and in how short an amount of time. The effects range from involuntary actions, to temporary insanity to being reduced to a permanently insane individual.

Effects of Insanity

As described above, there are a LOT of different things that can happen to an Investigator. Some of these might even mean temporarily surrendering control of an Investigator to a Keeper, or altering background details of an Investigator with irrational entries.

After a bout of madness, the player regains control of the Investigator but now usually has some sort of underlying madness still present. This means that the Investigator may yet slip into more outward manifestations of it should their fragile psyche be bombarded with another mind-blasting encounter.


Thankfully, there are ways to arrest Sanity Loss. Temporary Insanity is resolved with some peace and quiet and decent rest. More… persistent forms of Insanity require Institutionalization.

The Sanity Mechanic is perhaps one of the greatest claims to fame of Call of Cthulhu as a system. While other games have different takes on sanity these days, Call of Cthulhu’s system is elegant in play, and the random nature of how much sanity you lose in an encounter keeps things unpredictable.

In many ways, Call of Cthulhu’s ruleset may be a bit old, but the 7th Edition retains much of what made it interesting in the first place. The mechanics enforce the classic elements of horror: Helplessness, Lack of Knowledge about the Enemy and Fragility, which make it very potent in play.

If you’d like to read along, you can pick up a PDF copy of the Call of Cthulhu Keeper’s Rulebook from DriveThruRPG for only $27.95

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