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Burning Luck Reviews - Call of Cthulhu Starter Set


First Post
Call of Cthulhu Starter Set
By Mike Mason and Friends

Today, In our FIRST review, we will uncover some sanity blasting mythos knowledge while we take a look at The Call of Cthulhu Starter Set from Chaosium Inc.

Starter sets have been a nice addition to collections for new and old gamers alike for a long time now. This starter set has a great collection of material put together for your horror (enjoyment?). So what do you get in the starter box you ask?

- Modified Call of Cthulhu (CoC) 7th Edition Quickstart Rules

- Alone Against The Flames - A solo adventure
- Three additional scenarios to play with one or more other players
- Blank Character Sheets
- Pregenerated Character Sheets, in color
- A handout booklet for the three scenarios
- Dice!

The starter box set comes with five premade characters printed with color portraits. The characters have nice range in terms of occupations and backgrounds. The pregens are ready to play immediately if you don’t roll up a character first. All of the sheets are printed on high quality paper that is nice and thick. That being said, we are sure they would laminate just fine if you want them to last forever. A full set of dice is included for any roll you might need to make during play. Additionally included is a Bonus/Penalty die to use when in certain situations during an investigation. This helps a lot to have if you haven’t amassed a hoard of dice over years of playing...yet. One thing we noticed was that the pictures show some green Cthulhu themed dice but the set that comes in the box are plain. One minor issue encountered was the plastic bag the dice came in creased some of the page tops in the booklets, but nothing a heavy book on top couldn’t straighten out.

Book One - Alone Against The Flames
This is a solo gamebook where you play the main character and proceed through a harrowing trip to Arkham. Decisions you make during play will affect your story ending for better or worse. Players will also need Book Two - The Rules, to reference during play. AATF plays quickly and easily so as to get you right into the meaty bits of the story. Although meant to be played solo, we find it is always a good time to play with one or more people who have not tried the game. It makes for a fun team decision game that quickly devolves into raucous laughter and finger pointing when making a wrong turn.

Book Two - Introductory Rules
This rulebook is a modified version of the CoC 7th Edition Quickstart Rules. Here you can learn about the setting for a CoC game, making a character, the rule system, and where to go after reading this book. Overall a great quick resource to always have at the table for new players.

Book Three - Paper Chase and Other Adventures
We now come to the penultimate reason(s) to buy this Starter Box. Three scenarios are provided in this booklet as follows:
Paper Chase - A One on One scenario meant to be played between two people.
Edge of Darkness - A scenario for a party of 2-5 investigators, heavy on handouts and the Mythos which is a great introduction to Call of Cthulhu
Dead Man Stomp - A more complex scenario for a party of 2-5 investigators that is an awesome and informative introduction to period gaming in the 1920’s set in Harlem
The scenarios presented have a good range of tone and subject matter as well as varied location settings. These particular scenarios have not always been easily available to purchase at times until now collected here. Updated and revised it is interesting to see how much more material is presented to the players new and old. The three scenarios in their original forms totaled just about 18.5 pages whereas the updated scenarios total a whopping 67 pages! There is a lot more artwork, on 41 pages to be exact (handouts included). The greatest part about the updated scenarios is how much more help is provided to a player just starting out running these scenarios. There is one last booklet that is just a compilation of all the handouts from book three. This is a nice resource to have when running the scenarios as you don’t have to hand over the keeper’s copy during play.

The Call of Cthulhu Starter Set is an investment that pays off many times over. Get this if you want to start gaming with the Mythos. Everything you need to play and start checking out the rules, plus a good bit more; a slam dunk for me at around 25 USD. Overall a great purchase and a steal when it comes to a lover of the Call of Cthulhu RPG like me. Now go check it out and start rolling SAN Checks!


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