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What’s behind the door…?

Yesterday I was checking out Chaosium’s site for some info on the fate of the BRP rule set when I happened to notice that the kickstarter slipcase edition of CoC 7e is actually available directly from them.

I have been planning to get the core books and the screen from my trusty FLGS, but some quick math convinced me that the slipcase set was actually easilly the best value. In that kit, you get the Keeper’s and Investigator’s hardbacks as well as the Keeper’s screen, all enclosed in a pretty slipcase. Furthermore, Chaosium adds all the PDFs for those products as a bonus, further adding to the value.

As Chaosium has an EU shipping point in the UK, the shipping was ok and consequently I don’t have to pay import tax either.

So I ordered the set as a birthday gift to myself as I will get one year older next week 🙂 – [Yeah, rationalization, I know…]

This morning I have perused the PDFs of the books and I must say that I’m mostly positive. Pretty hardcover books (although some of the art is not-so-great). Some neat rules changes. Some unnecessary or unnecessarily complicated rule changes.

Some people have complained that the books have swelled out too much and that they´re too wordy, and I can understand that to a point, especially for veteran players and GMs. However, if I came to CoC 7e with no previous playing experience I think that 7e would be easier to grasp than the older editions. Maybe.

At the same time I feel a bit conflicted about the break between 6th ed (and previous) and 7th ed. I mean, the rules have been the same since my first CoC games back in 1987-88! And for me, that consistency has been one of the things that I really liked about CoC. This game was never about the rules, but about the adventures.

I started with a borrowed copy of the 1st or 2nd ed thin box (I remember there were no magic points back then, you used POW instead). When I had to return it I bought the Games Workshop 3rd ed hardcover which we used for a long time. Then, when 5th edition came out as a major rules revision I got that book instead and we used it for many adventures, among them the major part of Horror on the Orient Express. In my years as a non-playing “RPG voyeur” I bought the 5.6 edition just for reading and then when we started active playing again back in 2010, I got the 30th Anniversary 6th ed rulebook and the new gorgeous Keeper Screen because I wanted a sturdy hardback as my 5th ed book was starting to fall apart.

As much as I like the new shiny books (well, PDFs at least) I also feel a wee bit worried that the game might feel different from before. One example that I noticed today is that the benefit of choosing to play an older professor-type isn’t nearly as attractive as adding years to the character won’t result in as many bonus skill points as before.

We’ll see. The only way is to play. I will definetely give 7th ed a spin and even if we decide to stay with 6th ed, there will be things that I will cannibalize from 7th ed. Most probably, we’ll play some of both in the future.

And I will definitely come back with a little review in the future. Heavily biased of course 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Some first thoughts on 7th ed Call of Cthulhu

  1. I must admit to feeling conflicted about how 7th edition turned out to be honest.
    The rule books needed to be updated and brought up to the same production level as other products on the market but the changes even though most of them are mainly
    re-emphasised rules from the previous editions but the changes that they made to luck and combat do sit badly with me.

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    1. Thanks for commenting mkdingbat. I agree, especially on the combat front. All those opposed combat rolls and bonus/penalty dice are a bit confusing. I guess play will show how good or bad 7e is. But I was just as sceptic towards D&D 5e and it turned out quite ok – I’ve had tons of fun as a 5e player.

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      1. God I need to read my comments before posting but I think you get the general idea. 🙂
        Combat might be better now in Seventh but I had no real problem with the old rules and the new luck mechanic where its a resource that you can spend to adjust failed rolls just seems odd in a game of Horror.
        And I wish you had more time to edit these comments so I look less like a jack ass with my hasty posts. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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