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The Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan
by Raymond W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2016 02:40:44

The Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan is a wonderfully inventive extrapolation of a future Mythos setting where Cthulhu emerges to begin an apocalyptic reign of psychotic madness, and the titular Tsan Chan Empire becomes the primary surviving human civilization. But this is not a story of plucky survivors who prevail against daunting odds - appropriately for a setting with Old Ones stomping around the Earth, things are only slightly less awful for the time being, and doom seems assured. It's very much in keeping with a Lovecraftian interpretation of the future, where our choice is extinction or transforation into something terrible and alien.


This is also the primary weakness of The Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan as a campaign setting: it's bleak as hell. There are no happy endings in Tsan Chan, even less so than in your typical CoC campaign. Some groups will definitely be into this, but it might grow old, after a while. Personally, I would prefer to use TCEoTC as some kind of alternate timeline or planet in another campaign. Or you could just take advantage of the many excellent and atmospheric details, like The Empress: a toxic gelatinous mass as large as a city, godlike in power, but only capable of communicating through cryptic pronouncements and dreams to be interpreted by the surgically-tortured Eunuchs.


There's a lot of great gonzo detail here, and plenty of intriguing dangers and rewards that could be introduced into any campaign. I really like TCEoTC's interpretation of the Tcho-Tcho, and the terrible implications of what could happen if they allied with the ghouls. Traditional Mythos entities are given slightly tweaked interpretations to fit into a coherent setting. Why are the Elder Things giving Tsan Chan access to their technology? Because we have agreed to serve as their foot soldiers against the Shoggoth in Antarctica. Who even Cthulhu might be a little afraid of. It all fits together very nicely, while staying true to what the Mythos is all about. All the while, this creates a setting rife with possible "adventure" (generally ending in madness and mutation or death).


This monograph is mostly setting detail, with very little in terms of mechanics, which is fine for what I'd want to use it for. There are some guidelines on creating characters, campaigns and plot hooks for this setting. The latter are more useful for me since, as I mentioned, I'd probably not use this as a primary setting. Tsan Chan would be a great place to have your players visit through a gateway in a more contemporary CoC campaign, or even via a portal in a more fantasy-oriented game. This is a solid and inventive use of Mythos ideas for roleplaying purposes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan
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S. Petersen's Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2016 22:00:39

A great illustrated guide to lovecratian creatures. This is not a game mechanics or monster stats book. Rather it takes the form of journal entries and encylopedia style descriptions of the major 'things' of the game. Art is beautiful and the information reads a bit like a zoological book. It this required for the Calll of Cthulhu game, no. Would it give Keeper's more information and better art to show investigators, yes.


I think the price was a bit steep for what it is and the fact it is a PDF. Luckily I recieved a free one when I bought the book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
S. Petersen's Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors
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Call of Cthulhu Investigator Handbook 7th Edition
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2016 21:55:22

The 7th edition books and PDFs of Call of Cthulhu have fantastic art and offer updates to the previous rules. The Investigator's Handbook is a great resource for makign characters and giving players background for the standard campaign timeline. If your looking to just play this is the book for you. If your looking for more in depth Call of Cthulhu rules knowledge or looking to run a game, go with the Keeper's Rulebook.


The PDF seems to load slower than most PDF game books I have. I think it is either the hight quality art or maybe the PDF is not optimized. Great purchase and worth the value though.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu Investigator Handbook 7th Edition
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Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition - Keeper's Rulebook
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2016 21:50:11

For me, Call of Cthulhu 7th edition provides a much needed update to the rules. The pdf version of the book is beautiful and the extensive bookmarks come in handy. If your not going to ever run the game chose the Investigator's Handbook instead. The only major downside is that the pdf doesn't appear to be optimized and the beautiful art slows dow accessing pages. Would like to see improvements to page loading in a future update. So great product but could use a bit of tweaking to make it more responsive while reading.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition - Keeper's Rulebook
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The Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2016 22:02:53

A fascinating read, "The Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan" extrapolates a post-Cthulhu society from a few fragmentary mentions in Lovecraft's work. Witthout losing any of the stark horror of the Mythos, this monograph creates a decadant empire that hangs by a thread over a world gone mad. While it may not be for everyone, it will definite find a place in the heart of those who like exotic civilizations with a "Sword & Planet" feel to them.


The lack of illustrations is the only thing keeping this product from earing a full five-stars. A world this rich and strange begs for an artist to render it in full.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Cruel Empire of Tsan Chan
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Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/19/2016 15:15:31

I've been running Call of Cthulhu since 1981, and have more than four shelf-feet of published Call of Cthulhu stuff (including the original saddle-stapled version of this campaign). Of late I've been converting to PDF to enable me to prep games on my hour-long commute and reduce in-game table clutter, hence this purchase.


This PDF represents the expanded version of the original (and first) campaign for Call of Cthulhu, the version published in 2004.


I ran this in the original 1981(?) version and from a brief but targeted reading judge some segments to be now more challenging for the GM than the original. The Scotland episode is particularly over-the-top in infoload, and some of the reasoning presented to the players doesn't bear close scrutiny in the Silver Twilight section. You may have some work ahead if you need tight consistency in your game (and this is a detective-style game at heart).


Looking through my notes I see that the original campaign was extremely lethal, wiping out player characters with the ease of a gatling gun. The GM is going to have to do deep preparation and read ahead and make notes before running any of the episodes so he or she can mitigate the fallout where necessary.


That said, the players who went through the experience with me in 1987 had fun (or so they say) and certain events are trotted out by those "who were there" when we congregate on rare occasions. A GM can't really do better than have people talk about imaginary events as if they were real.


My low star rating is mostly because the standard approach used by Chaosium to make these PDF products results in a basic scan with OCR underneath but no bookmarks. This means a GM will have to "search" for everything he or she wishes to find in-game and weed the false positives for what he or she wants to see.


Bookmarks aren't a luxury in PDF RPG products, they are essential for flipping back and forth as the game plays out.


Better still would be adding an internally hyperlinked contents page as well. PEG and Pelgrane Press can show Chaosium how it is done.


But that isn't how Chaosium has made the PDF products I own so far. Even the brand-new Gaslight, a product born well into the 21st century and authored electronically, was sold in PDF form sans bookmarks.


It breaks my heart because these pre-"finacial collapse" products are extremely high quality in their concept and execution in print form, and this specific product revolutionized what people would come to expect in terms of hands-on clues and handouts from printed scenario/campaign RPG products. Literally a game-changing idea.


Given the lack of bookmarks, I think you will probably be working from highlighted paper copies of whichever part you are playing, like we did in the 1980s.


So three stars for overall quality and user experience.


If you are reading and are affiliated with the publisher, I'd have paid five bucks more for those bookmarks.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadows of Yog-Sothoth
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Keeper's Kit
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2016 12:47:37

I bought this solely for the GM screen but found out only after downloading it that it doesnt contain it. I am rather unimpressed. Save your money



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Keeper's Kit
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Publisher Reply:
While we are sorry that you are disappointed in the product, we tried to be very clear about what the \"5th edition Keeper Kit\" contains. To that end, we did not use the phrase \"GM screen\" or even the word \"screen\" in either the product title, or the detailed descriptions of the contents. If you feel we could be more clear in our description, we would be happy for any and all suggestions. In contrast, our 7th Edition Keeper Screen Pack mentions it has a screen in the product title, and in the contents description.
Snake Pipe Hollow (1981)
by Simon H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2016 06:51:12

A classic adventure from the glory days of Runequest, this is a tough challenge for even an experienced band of adventurers. It's a cavern crawl for sure, but as so often with RQ adventures it's the realisation of the monsters and denizens as characters with a history, motivations and goals of their own that elevates this above the dungeon crawls of it's day.


Combine that with Runequest's highly tactical combat and magic systems and deep links into they mythology of Glorantha and it's no wonder this adventure has such legendary status among RQ fans.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Snake Pipe Hollow (1981)
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Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rules
by James L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2016 10:10:56

This is a very nice face-lift of the CoC quick-start. There really aren't many rule changes, CoC/BRP is still one of the most consistent RPG rule-sets after all this time. I also really liked the new artwork and layout. If this is an indication what the full 7E rule-book will look like, my wallet is ready. 6E really had over-wrought fonts and a really dark look that was hard and painful to read.


If there's only one real downise, it's that at this point it would have been nice to get a new adventure. I can appreciate The Haunting, but assuming it'll be included in 7E like it has been for the past few releases, something new would be nice, especially veteran/returning GMs introducing CoC to new players with this quick-start.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rules
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Call of Cthulhu Quick-Start Rules
by Darren M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2016 11:00:13

So I like role playing games and game mechanics. I remember a time when game mechanics and adventures were easy to engage with and referee. This adventure reminds me of that time. The rules that are included make sense for beginners and vetrans who want to strip it down.


The adventure itself is easy to follow and contains many hooks for further exploration into the Cthulhu pantheon of materials and adventures.


Recomend this product highly! Fun easy engaging, worth the look!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu Quick-Start Rules
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S. Petersen's Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors
by Christoffer N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/04/2016 08:32:37

This book is filled with amazing artwork and lots of fun facts about H.P. Lovecraft's well-loved (and feared) mythos creatures. While the book stands on it's own for those who are only interested in the Cthulhu Mythos, it's also a well-made book for those running Call of Cthulhu games.


Overall I'm very pleased with the PDF version of this book. It's everything I hoped for, times ten.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
S. Petersen's Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors
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Call of Cthulhu Investigator Handbook 7th Edition
by Steven v. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2016 12:41:47

Everything a players needs in order to play Call of Cthulhu without having to buy the main rule book and be tempted to read all the Gamemaster stuff. This latest edition is a great update, well written, and awesome artwork. Highly reccomended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu Investigator Handbook 7th Edition
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Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rules
by Joshua O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2016 21:07:38

First off: VERY few changes in 7th edition. DON'T GET SCARED OFF BY THOSE WHO SAY OTHERWISE. Your old books are STILL PLAYABLE.
These quickstart rules are great. You can play the game for a long time using justr these rules, IF you have a list of occupations because these rules list just a few. So if ypou're on a budget, this plus an oldf copy of the Investigator's Handbook from a previous edition would let you play for yonks. Chargen is simplified, so when switching to the full game, players might want to redo their characters using the full system. As far as I can tell, all of combat and sanity rules are here and they offer all the complexity I need.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rules
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Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Keeper Screen Pack
by Ed S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2016 23:59:48

The Keeper screen text is too blurry to be useful. I'm surprised it's that bad (1 star)


4.5 stars for the included adventures.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Keeper Screen Pack
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A Time to Harvest - Month 1
by Lucus P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2016 07:36:48

I haven't had to chance to "play" this adventure, but I've looked it over and in and of itself, its an "ok" adventure, but what it represents is much more interesting...


As the first of a 6 part/month Living Campaign, its ambitious of Chaosium to try to support this kind of gameplay and for that reason I grabbed a copy alone. The fact its free makes it very much "worth what you paid" to even "a great value."


The design and layout isn't amazing, but its passable. There's little interior art, but again "free book" and art is expensive.


The design of the adventure is a tad more pulpy to me than the standards of horror, but this may be solely because of the creatures choosen as the advisary, as much as anything.


Look -- it's at the minimum, a free adventure for CoC. At its best, you're looking at the first attempt at a live campaign, and THAT deserves your support!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Time to Harvest - Month 1
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