🐙 Call of Cthulhu
Call of Cthulhu (CoC) is a horror tabletop role-playing game released in the 1981. The core themes are mystery, investigation and survival.
CoC 7th edition is the latest ruleset. The core game system receives updated from time to time. 7th edition was released in 2014.
CoC starter set is a good way to start. The starter set contains 3 short scenarios for around $25. The first scenario is for solo play and the second requires only two players total. Starter set doesn't include full rules, only the ones needed for the scenarios.
After completing the starter set scenarios, get:
- Call of Cthulhu Keeper Rulebook - Hardcover - $55
- Call of Cthulhu Investigator Handbook - Hardcover - $45
- Call of Cthulhu Keeper Screen Pack - $30
- (or the PDF versions of the books)
Excellent scenarios after you feel comfortable with the rules:
- Alone Against the Dark (a solo-adventure)
- Masks of Nyarlathotep
- Beyond the Mountains of Madness
Call of Cthulhu is like the horror movie "The Thing",
Pulp Cthulhu is like the "Indiana Jones" action movies.
Pulp Cthulhu or simply Pulp is an extension to the CoC ruleset to make it more combat oriented and, well, weird. The hardcover costs about $45.
All CoC scenarios can be converted to Pulp with varying degree of effort, the rules include instructions for that. Combat-heavy CoC scenarios may work even better with Pulp; and there are scenarios specifically crafted for Pulp.
In general, CoC horror is best in small bursts where your character might die while Pulp is better for long campaigns of heroic action.