Question Regarding Call of Cthulhu Editions

Scottius

Explorer
On a recent shopping excursion I was fortunate enough to find a used copy of the Call of Cthulhu corebook in good condition. I've played in several campaigns previously but had never actually bought the book as I'd not been the one running it. I picked it up with an eye towards using it to run my gaming groups annual Halloween session.

My question is, how much difference is there between the various editions? The copy I picked up is a 6th edition core book and most of the supplements I've been looking at online are 7th edition. Is it easy to use those books between editions or would I be better off considering going ahead and snagging a copy of the 7th Edition corebook if I want to use the supplements?

Also, any general tips from those with more experience with this game would be appreciated. I feel I've got a pretty good handle on it since I've read the majority of Lovecraft's work and have played quite a bit of the game but this would be my first time GMing a session.
 

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Michael Dean

Explorer
There are some differences that are significant; characteristics are percentiles in 7th, for example, and use of bonus or penalty dice like advantage and disadvantage in DnD 5e. It's easy enough to convert. But overall, the reason I'd recommend 7th is that it's in a beautiful format and laid out so well that it makes using it a real joy.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
I think 7th edition may be the first new edition that introduces a few "significant" changes.
Compared to D&D, however, these changes are still trivial and it should be rather easy to modify supplements to work with other editions.
 

All the older supplements you'll find via auction sites, used bookstores etc will work with 6e. Only new stuff is actually designed for 7e as part of the licence requirements. If you can divide by 5 you can run the new scenarios with 6e (basically STR, CON etc are the older stats x5. All the skills are the same or very similar (slight name changes over the various editions). The new Luck mechanism allows for spending it to change certain dice rolls and Pushing a roll allows a second chance if the PC can justify it by a different approach to the problem. So smallish changes really, but the new material is much better presented with full colour illustrations and a nicer overall look.
 

I'm using the Call of Cthulhu edition that still follows 3.5 rules. It is completely compatible with third edition, they merely introduced a new sanity mechanic. So yeah, I'd say thats a pretty significant difference. With later editions the game became its own thing, with its own rules.
 

My question is, how much difference is there between the various editions? The copy I picked up is a 6th edition core book and most of the supplements I've been looking at online are 7th edition. Is it easy to use those books between editions or would I be better off considering going ahead and snagging a copy of the 7th Edition corebook if I want to use the supplements?

The three main CoC variants are 1e, 2e-6e and 7e.

1e is notable for its life path char gen. 2e-6e differ mainly in skill names, starting percentages, implementation of shotgun damage, and the continued rewriting of spells to become less icky.

The other differences are the graphic presentation. The GW-version 3e is well regarded, and 5e is my personal favourite having Chaosium's strong early 1990s design.

The conversion between 6e and 7e has already been covered and its easy enough to do on the fly. My advice, don't worry about it.

If you are on a budget I would advise sticking with 6e - all pre-7e scenarios and sourcebooks are compatible with it. There are years-worth of material already published before worrying about 7e material. And there hasn't been a lot of unique 7e material released yet either.
 

Scottius

Explorer
The three main CoC variants are 1e, 2e-6e and 7e.

1e is notable for its life path char gen. 2e-6e differ mainly in skill names, starting percentages, implementation of shotgun damage, and the continued rewriting of spells to become less icky.

The other differences are the graphic presentation. The GW-version 3e is well regarded, and 5e is my personal favourite having Chaosium's strong early 1990s design.

The conversion between 6e and 7e has already been covered and its easy enough to do on the fly. My advice, don't worry about it.

If you are on a budget I would advise sticking with 6e - all pre-7e scenarios and sourcebooks are compatible with it. There are years-worth of material already published before worrying about 7e material. And there hasn't been a lot of unique 7e material released yet either.

Thanks for the all feedback so far everyone!

So the two books in particular I was looking at getting in addition to the corebook are the Mansions Of Madness & the 1920s Investigator's Companion as I've heard that the first has some good 1-2 session adventures in it and the second is a handy reference book for the players. Are the latest versions of these two books 7th edition or pre-7th edition? It sounds like it shouldn't be too hard to convert either way if needed but I'd like to know. I checked the Amazon entries for both books but they don't really mention edition at all.
 

So the two books in particular I was looking at getting in addition to the corebook are the Mansions Of Madness & the 1920s Investigator's Companion as I've heard that the first has some good 1-2 session adventures in it and the second is a handy reference book for the players. Are the latest versions of these two books 7th edition or pre-7th edition?

Mansions of Madness is a solid collection of scenarios for 2e-6e rules. Some of them are for experienced investigators however. Actually to be fair, most CoC scenarios are for experienced investigators. Only until recently were scenarios specifically for new investigators published.
1920s Investigator's Companion is for 5e-6e. Loads of extra occupations, gear, etc.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I'm using the Call of Cthulhu edition that still follows 3.5 rules. It is completely compatible with third edition, they merely introduced a new sanity mechanic. So yeah, I'd say thats a pretty significant difference. With later editions the game became its own thing, with its own rules.

I guess you're joking. Please tell us you know Call of Cthulhu predates D&D 3.5 by 20 years...
 
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I guess you're joking. Please tell us you know Call of Cthulhu predates D&D 3.5 by 20 years...

51W238F6B8L.jpg

D20 Call of Cthulhu.
 


Ehhh, pretty sure I didn't phrase it like that at all.

What I said, was that the D20 version is a much older edition, and there have been many other editions since then. I'm not sure what edition they are at right now.
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
Ehhh, pretty sure I didn't phrase it like that at all.

What I said, was that the D20 version is a much older edition, and there have been many other editions since then. I'm not sure what edition they are at right now.
You still sound like you believe the D&D Call of Cthulhu game is part of the same line of editions as is discussed here?

Just by bringing up this completely unrelated game - a conversion from BRP to d20 - it's easy to misunderstand you, since d20 CoC has nothing to do with what the OP is asking for here.

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 

You still sound like you believe the D&D Call of Cthulhu game is part of the same line of editions as is discussed here?

Just by bringing up this completely unrelated game - a conversion from BRP to d20 - it's easy to misunderstand you, since d20 CoC has nothing to do with what the OP is asking for here.

I didn't know if that was the case. I got the impression that the OP was asking about Call of Cthulhu in general.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I didn't know if that was the case. I got the impression that the OP was asking about Call of Cthulhu in general.
He is. But he's talking about the editions of the main game. He said he picked up 6th edition. That should clue you in he's not talking about supplements for Trails of Cthulhu, Cthulhu Dark or indeed d20 Call of Cthulhu :)

He worried about different editions of that game line. Bringing in completely different game engines won't help.

But we're golden now since we're now all on the same page :)

PS. The list of "call of Cthulhu games" is quite impressive. I couldn't even find a single source detailing all of them. So here's two:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_of_Cthulhu_(role-playing_game)#Licenses
http://www.hplovecraft.com/popcult/games/rpg.aspx
 

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