After lunch today, I had some time over and decided to pay a visit to my favourite FLGS in town. They recently moved to new expanded premises and I wanted to check out the new store. And wow. There they were – the new shiny editions of my long time favourites Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green.
I have only seen these books in pictures, so it was nice to feel them physically and browse the contents. Very colorful, very shiny and very heavy full color hardcover books. Top quality, and very desirable. Sadly, they didn’t have the 7e Keeper book for CoC, but they did have the screens for both games.
Standing there in the shop, I almost whipped up my card to buy it all, despite having promised myself to buy fewer games and play more of the ones I have instead. The joy of finding such cool games, and in an actual shop – I mean, I haven’t bought an RPG book in shop since the early 2000s. However, I also got to think about some things and decided to write this blog post.
As a side observation, it seems that in last 5-8 years or so, the trend in the RPG publishing world is to publish fancy new editions of core rules. This is true for both the d20 (D&D) as well as the d100 (BRP) worlds. I mean, how many versions or variants of D&D exist at this time? Old school, new school, variant school…the list goes on.
And in the BRP world, the Mongoose RuneQuest (and Legend) SRDs have given rise to a plethora of very similar variants of the same game: OpenQuest, Legend, Renaissance, RuneQuest 6, Mythras and now Delta Green. So while Chaosium keep their original d100/BRP rules under tight check, the Mongoose SRD is open for others, thus opening up for new or variant game iterations using the d100 engine.
OK, now we move back to Call of Cthulhu…
I have followed the long creation and publication process of Call of Cthulhu 7e since it first was announced. And now when it’s here I’m on the fence about getting it. Why? Well, firstly I was utterly unimpressed with the free CoC 7e Quickstart rules as I felt much more connected to the older rules and also I didn’t feel that the changes were all that necessary. And don’t get me started on what they did to my beloved The Haunting… Another thing is that with my trusty old rules (I use a 5.6 rulebook for the players and a 30th Anniversary 6th ed rulebook for myself) we can in reality play in a wide range of settings using the same core rules:
- Modern (Cthulhu Now)
- Ancient times (Invictus)
- Medieval (Dark Ages)
- Modern conspiracy variant (Delta Green)
- WW2 (Achtung!Cthulhu)
And that’s only the ones that I have on my shelf!
If I should move over to CoC 7e, there’s always that little conversion thing that isn’t very hard, but it’s there nevertheless. And it’s annoying. And I’m not going to buy the same books one more time – I did that with RuneQuest, which basically made me so annoyed that in the end, I decided to scrap the game altogether.
The new Delta Green rules make more sense for me however. The old rules were basically a thing to bolt onto the existing CoC rules, which are at their core and feel very 1920s Lovecraftian, and sometimes the CoC/DG concept felt less than optimal. The new rules seem slicker and more adapted to the setting. I also hope that the game master’s book (Case Officer’s Handbook) will update the DG setting to account for all the things that has happened in the real world since the first DG book was published back in 1997.
I guess I’ll buy both of these games eventually, but I also see some problems with this. I mean – I can play them both already, using the old CoC rules. As I see it now, I will probably mine CoC 7e for ideas to use in my 6e games. And maybe, I’ll play some dedicated 7e games further up the road, and…
*die roll*….failed SAN check… Bookathouggha the Magnificent just ordered his puny minion to buy books… Must resist, the other deity Wifeathoggua will be furious…
…who am I fooling here, really? I know where I’ll go today after work… *whips out credit card, drooling*…
(This post was written yesterday)