Archives for : June2013

Cthuhlu returns, well he’s trying not once, but twice!

So folks, it’s been busy here… I go away for a few days then I hear that Great Cthulhu wants to take over the world.

How is he going to take over the world? Well he’s not using legions of cultists (well he could be if I think harder about this), he’s using KickStarter….

As of today (12th June 2013) there are TWO different projects running.  One by Chaosium for the 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu RPG rulesbook, and the other by Sandy Petersen called Cthulhu Wars (Boardgame) (and Sandy is also involved in the Chaosium project, busy man!).

Those of you who follow this blog will know that last year I backed the Orient Express project (still waiting for it) and I’m a big fan of Cthulhu ever since playing the 3rd edition RPG rules back in the 80’s.

Anyway so let’s investigate these projects.  Today I shall investigate the 7th Edition RPG, so i make a roll…… an 08!  Not bad and below my Library Use skill of 41.

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition

This is my personal favourite and was the first of the 2 Cthulhu projects I backed.  I have sitting on my shelves two copies of the GW printed 3rd Edition (don’t ask me why I have 2 copies) and I have the 25th Anniversary Edition (Green Leatherette) and a softback 6th Edition.  That’s plenty so why do I want more?

Sadly 2012 saw the passing of Lynn Willis.  A chap who has been instrumental in the CoC universe since it’s inception and I believe they saw this as the opportunity to look at the rules and bring them upto date with the newer/updated rules sets out there.  I also believe they want to issue a new version with new blood involved to allow them to rejuvinate the brand.

So what’s so special then about this?  Well you could read it on the KS project located here, but I’ll recap things for you.

  • Character Creation has been revamped to make it easier and to add more ‘life’ to your character
  • Skill Rolls now have graded difficulty, gone are the guessing that this is hard to take erm 20 off your skill
  • Opposed rolls.  No longer do you need to use your brains or look at the chart, it’s now on the character sheet
  • Pushing skill rolls.  You may now re-attempt some skill roll you failed if you can justify it, but it may be even harder..
  • Plenty of new advice for Players and Keepers
  • Improved Sanity Rules
  • Combat Melee has been revamped.  Now we have Combat maneuvers rather than the Grapple Rules.
  • Chases have been updated with (hopefully simpler and quicker rules)
  • Mythos have been updated!
  • Spells have been revamped
  • New scenarios
  • Completely redesigned/vamped layout.

That’s quite a lot and sounds like they’re going in the right direction.  These days I prefer to play the simpler rules such as Savage World, but CoC has a great history and atmosphere…

On top of the revamped Keeper’s Rulebook they’re also releasing an Investigators Handbook, aimed, oddly enough at the players.

Here’s a list of some of it’s main contents:

  • 10 Chapters detailing the creation of characters
  • More than 100 Occupations
  • Investigator Organisations
  • Advice for players
  • Reference Chapters
  • “Life as an Investigator”, which provides examples taken from the Investigators Holy Bible, “The files of the Theron Marks Society”

That sounds like an excellent addition to the Keeper’s Rulebook, I just hope it really expands upon the main rules rather than muddy them up and confuse the main rules like some expansions do.

Now these main books are coming out in 4 different forms.  You have PDF (for those (like me) who tend to use a tablet rather than a book), Softback, Hardback and for the Kickstarter only, a special Leatherette Edition that’s very similar to their anniversary editions.

30th Anniversary Edition

Now that I’m writing this the project has been ongoing for a few days (16 days to go) and has easily reached it’s starting goal level of $40k.  That figure was of course way too small to cover all of this, but it’s small enough for the project to be an early success that then makes people happier that they will receive their stuff and thus back it…

That means that they’ve had stretch goals added and as of today ($225k reached) a rather lot of them have been unlocked.

To once again save you the bother, here’s the list in minor detail:

  • Arkham Country Map – 3 full colour maps
  • Scenario Floorplans – Updated and enlarged over the originals that were to be included.
  • Keeper’s Rulebook Colour Plates – New colour plates to be added to the Keeper’s Book.
  • 7th Edition Keeper Screen – Added to all pledge levels that will receive a printed Keeper’s Book.
  • Two Colour Layout – Both books receive 2 colour layout upgrades.  Certain pledges will receive a dice bag with custom dice.
  • Keeper’s Screen Map Set – Those pledges receiving the Keeper’s Screen will receive 3 maps
  • Big-Big Art Boost – more art for the main books, plus the ability to purchase ‘the direction’ of a piece.
  • The Evidence File – additional content for Keeper’s to bring life to their games.  Keeper’s Rulebook will also receive an enhanced Index.
  • The Phobia Deck – a set of oversized cards detailing the Phobias.  Added to the pledges receiving the leatherette rulebook.
  • Nameless Horrors – a PDF of 7 newly written scenarios.  Print copies are added to certain pledges.
  • Cthulhu Through the Ages – a PDF detailing Cthulhu in other periods of history.  Available to every pledge that receives the Investigator Handbook.
  • The Curious Character Deck – a set of oversized cards detailing various Characters (Cultists, Mobsters etc).  Added to the pledges receiving the leatherette rulebook.

Phew!  That’s it for the moment.

They do have 2 more stretch goals already list but more money is needed to unlock these.  My only issue I have with this ‘extra’ stuff, is that it’s getting a bit thin.  I’d prefer to see the book produced in full colour.  I’d prefer to see more content added to both books, for example equipment prices and availability for the main genres of the game.  Basically I’d prefer to see content that enhances the main books.

So I went for the  NICTITATING NYARLATHOTEP, THE MESSENGER which at current conversion rates is around £215.  I need to add shipping of £15 to this, so do I feel that I’m getting a good deal for my £230?  Yes I think so, plenty of stuff but for £100 for each book I’d be expecting full colour and basically works of art like the Forgeworld Books.

Here below I have linked the KickTraq statistics so that we can see where it’s at, for example since I started writing this blog, it’s gone up another $1k.

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition -- Kicktraq Mini

One thing that I’ve forgotten to mention is the fact they’ve added the Curiosity Shoppe.  This allows you to buy the items that you may not receive if your pledge isn’t high enough, but also stuff that no-one receives automatically, a couple of t-shirts, art direction and maybe something else.

Anyway that’s all for this blog post.  Basically one of my favourite pastimes’ favourite games is receiving a make over, an upgrade, an update.  I welcome that and I want to be helping with it.  I would ask that you all do the same.  It’s a great game, a great brand and it’s responsible for so much of the games (board, RPG and computer) that we see these days.  There would not of been the Hellboy comics either I would think.. anyway I’m going back in time.

So please back it.  Let’s make this the best it can be.


Relics – The NEW rulebook, a first glimpse

So folks what brings me back here during a busy time in my life.

Well I’m happy to say that today I managed to get my hands onto the new Relics Rulebook.

As you may be aware if you’ve followed this blog I am a big liker of Relics because it’s quite different in how it’s rules work (which is copied in other games these days) from the ‘To Hit’ rolls also mean to wound and require you to roll pairs, ie with 2 dice you need 1’s on both or 6’s, as long as it’s a pair it doesn’t matter (well almost).  So I can with my snake eyes dice actually hit and do damage.

Anyway I digress, here’s a picture of the New Rulebook.

It’s the Collectors edition and so the cover is different from the main edition Rulebook and it cost just £22.  This is an absolute bargain when you consider the book is:

  • A5 Hardback – quality hardback with a square perfect bound spine.
  • 176 Full Colour decent quality paper pages
  • ~30 pages of rules using full colour diagrams
  • 13 profiles for each of the factions giving full breakdown of their stats and abilities – so no need to find out what ‘Doom Charge’ might mean.
  • Plenty of photo’s of the superb models
  • Full colour picture art from the amazing hands of Christian
  • Fluff – lots of fluff for everything but if you want more then visit the website.
  • v1.2 of the rules with all known issues resolved, updated rules for morale and more spells.
  • Only 200 Rulebooks printed for the Limited Edition all signed by Gavin

Enough of that, here are some pictures.

Anyway so my thoughts.

The new diagrams are superb and clear.   They functioned very well in the first edition of the rules but now they seriously stand out and are better than the GW versions.

Relics Collectors Edition v1.2 Rulebook - Full Colour Diagrams

The Profiles are expanded.  Each profile now has 2 pages.  Every one contains some concept art so now you can see/visualise what model you want, or find out what models you have plus some have expanded fluff, photo’s of the superb (and superbly painted) models and of course provide all stats, abilities and any spells that profile might have.

Relics Collectors Edition v1.2 Rulebook - Orcnar Profiles

Every page (bar the back pages for me!) are full colour.  Tor Gaming have used a system of tagging each page with the name of the section (top left or top right) and you’ll notice under the faction profiles that each profile has it’s factions logo in the corners of the pages.  Looks like a lot of time has been taken when updating the rule book for this edition and it’s done very nicely.

Now though the biggest change.  My major gripe with the first edition rules was the fact that I couldn’t read most of the fluff and some of the rules due to the lack of double line spacing and then font used.  This has been corrected.  Even though the font size is small (to fit all we need on an A5 page) it’s actually very clear.  I think this has to do with the coloured backgrounds, if so, that’s another excellent decision.

As I told you this is a A5 book, here’s a picture of it against the Osprey Game ‘In Her Majesty’s Name’ which itself is about two-thirds the size of A4.

Btw ignore IHMN it’s crap.

Lastly then the cover.  It looks like the Relics Logo and Tor Gaming Logo are branded in and this Rulebook was some journal.  That fits in perfectly with how some of the fluff is written and if you look at some of the pages you have journal notes as the background… very cleverly done.

Phew.  That’s a lot of praise.

Do I have any complaints?  Maybe a few niggles more than complaints.

I was expecting a ribbon bookmark as part of the book and my other niggle.  It’s a shame we still have a few profiles to be sculpted for each faction.  I am waiting for the Heavy Dragoons so I hope the sales of this rulebook go well as I know producing a book is not a cheap option and the funds could be used to build the last few.

Anyway best thing you folks can do is to pick yourself up a copy.  Looking at the TG website I can see the standard Edition (still A5 Hardback) is £18 and the very strictly limited edition (just 200 printed and I would guess they won’t last long) are just £22.

I welcome all decent comments and questions.