Call of Cthulhu

クトゥルフの呼び声 “Call of Cthulhu” (1986) is Hobby Japan’s translation of the 2nd edition of Chaosium’s game of Lovecraftian horror. I’m told Call of Cthulhu is the most popular TRPG in Japan today. I don’t think this was the case back when Hobby Japan was the publisher, though it did well enough for them to justify an impressive series of supplementary box sets before going out-of-print for a ten year spell. Pictured is an 8th printing of the introductory set from 1989.

For any readers unfamiliar with the game, character generation starts by rolling nine characteristics: strength, constitution, size, intelligence, power, dexterity, appearance, education, and sanity. Having a large size is a significant advantage in melee and monsters can be much larger than humans. The game lacks classes, but one’s occupation determines what skills one is likely to have. There is no level advancement either, though characters can improve their skills. Sanity, which decreases as characters learn more about the Lovecraftian Mythos, distinguishes Call of Cthulhu from other Chaosium games. If sanity is left out one has a serviceable set of rules for a generic modern setting, and the game has been used this way in Japan.

As for the Japanese version, Jun Arisaka translated the rulebook. The JV box set adds a scenario book containing the three short scenarios from the EV rulebook as well as scenarios from the Cthulhu Companion (1983).

Box contents:
• perfect bound rulebook, 80 pp.
• saddle stitched scenario book, 52 pp.
• saddle stitched sourcebook, 32 pp.
• world map, 23″ x 34″
• silhouette sheet, 8.5″ x 11″
• 10 character sheets, 8.5″ x 11″
• dice: 2d10, 1d8, 3d6

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