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Call of Cthulhu

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Call of Cthulhu is a role-playing game from Chaosium, based on the Cthulhu Mythos stories written by H. P. Lovecraft and others in the 1920s and 1930s. It takes its title from "The Call of Cthulhu", a story by Lovecraft.

The setting of Call of Cthulhu is our world... or mostly so. Typically the time and place is New England of the 1920s, the setting of many of Lovecraft's stories. Playing in other eras (up to the present) is possible, and the protagonists may travel of course -- sometimes to places that are not on this earth. The players take the roles of ordinary people, drawn into the realm of the mysterious: detectives, thieves, scholars, artists, war veterans, etc. Often happenings begin innocently enough, until more and more of the workings behind the scenes are revealed. As the characters learn more of the true horrors of the world and the irrelevance of humanity, their sanity inevitably withers away. (The game actually includes a mechanism for determining how damaged a character's sanity is at any given point.)

It is quite common for a player character to die in gruesome circumstances or end up in a mental institution, and players must often start with a new character. While arguably being more realistic, it also makes it hard for players to bond with their character.

For the limited time they stay healthy, characters may be developed still. Call of Cthulhu does not use levels but is completely skill-based.

In 2001, a stand-alone version of Call of Cthulhu was released by Wizards of the Coast, for the d20 system.

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