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Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rules

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Horror Roleplaying in the Worlds of H.P. Lovecraft

The Great Old Ones ruled the earth aeons before the rise of humankind. Originally they came from the gulfs of space and were cast down by even greater beings. Remains of their cyclopean cities and forbidden knowledge can still be found on remote islands in the Pacific, buried amid the shifting sands of vast deserts, and in the frigid recesses of the polar extremes. Now they sleep — some deep within the enveloping earth and others beneath the eternal sea, in the drowned city of R'lyeh, preserved in the waters by the spells of mighty Cthulhu. When the stars are right they will rise, and once again walk this Earth.

Welcome to Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start Rules, a booklet that collects the essential rules for Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition and presents them in abbreviated form.

This book comprises a complete basic roleplaying game system, a framework of rules aimed at allowing players to enact a sort of improvisational radio theater—only without microphones—and with dice determining whe­ther the characters succeed or fail at what they attempt to do. In roleplaying games, one player takes on the role of the gamemaster (or Keeper, in Call of Cthulhu), while the other player(s) assume the roles of player characters (investigators, in Call of Cthulhu) in the game. The gamemaster also acts out the roles of characters who aren’t being guided by players: these are called non-player characters (NPCs).

From its origin, Call of Cthulhu was designed to be intuitive and easy to play. Character attributes follow a 3D6 curve, and the other Call of Cthulhu mechanics are even simpler. Virtually all rolls determining success or failure of a task are determined via the roll of percentile dice. This means that there’s less fiddling with dice of different types, and the concept of a percentile chance of success is extremely easy for beginners and experienced players to grasp.

Use this booklet to play  Call of Cthulhu immediately, and to discover the improvements to the system. Games rules, an updated character sheet, and a classic adventure are included.

What the critics say

"Call of Cthulhu is, for me, the best RPG ever created irrespective of genre. Yet I do recognise that its approach to heroism is not for everyone. Buying an enormous rulebook without being certain of whether one likes it or not might not be as prudent, so here's the answer. Eleven pages of rules, which can be clearly understood in under an hour…" — Antonios S. Review.

"There's a reason why [‘The Haunting’ scenario, included in the Call of Cthulhu Quickstart] has been in print constantly for nearly 30 years and has been a rite of passage for nearly every Keeper in that time." — Seth Skorkowsky.

"Call of Cthulhu is one of the greatest of its kind… the Quickstart Guide is a great introduction to the game." — Geeks A Gogo

Play remotely on Astral Virtual Tabletop

In addition to the Quick-Start PDF, you receive a link to play through the scenario included in the Quick-Start on Astral Virtual Tabletop. Just follow the link after checkout to unlock the game on Astral. The Astral version includes pregenerated character sheets with automated rolling into chat, and built-in GM advice for running the scenario. Astral is a free, in-browser virtual tabletop.

Cthulhu on Astral TableTop

Call of Cthulhu Logo for 7th Edition

Designed for 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu. Get the rulebook here.

Check out all our 7th Edition Products.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (18)
Discussions (8)
Customer avatar
Gerard B September 22, 2023 7:29 am UTC
Why has this become $0.04 for the PDF? Can't remember seeing this before.
This is still available for free on
Customer avatar
Philipp R January 22, 2023 7:57 am UTC
Any chance to get the assets for Foundry VTT - as Astral is shut down, that would be awesome!
Customer avatar
Benjamin A July 15, 2022 8:10 pm UTC
Is the POD based on the 40th-anniversary version?
Customer avatar
Jean-François H October 19, 2020 7:57 pm UTC
Merci beaucoup.
Customer avatar
Dave T October 11, 2019 11:33 am UTC
Here is a video review that I made of the 7e system as a whole:
Customer avatar
Petter F August 25, 2018 4:41 pm UTC
Why is there a photo of Roald Amundsen labeled as a Dilettante? I wouldn't call the leader of the first expedition to reach the South Pole that...
Customer avatar
Dan D July 22, 2018 6:55 pm UTC
I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a premade character to use. However, I lasted 74 paragraphs on my first try! In a recent Tunnels & Trolls adventure I got on here, Goblin Lake, I only lasted 4 paragraphs on my first attempt. I missed too many very important rolls in this COC adventure. My character died but somehow managed to take them out with me. I enjoyed it. I played it over a three day period. The base percentages for 7th edition can be found in the character sheet that comes with it. Those have changed a bit since 5th edition.
Customer avatar
Tyler C January 21, 2015 6:23 am UTC
Does anyone know when the official publication of 7th Edition will be?
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File Last Updated:
July 15, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on April 08, 2014.