semi apology on a format point, commentary on Seventh Edition.

I have copied the contents of the blog onto a word file (which is where I currently write new entries.), and just recently rereading, was appalled at the state of the typing on the early entries. I tend to post it pretty much as written, stream of consciousness typing, and there are occasional lapses in sentence structure (I won’t apologize for run on, convoluted sentences; that is one of the risks you take) and some of the typos are clearly the result of my fingers not being able to keep up with my mental composition speed.

I plan to start reviewing and revising, at least making them more readable for new readers, and I apologize to those of you who have put up with the weaknesses in my presentation in the past, and my thanks for those of you who waded through it.

I don’t remember the exact point where I started writing it in word first, but will doublecheck until I get back to this point for completion’s sake.

Now…for those of us who signed up for the Call of Cthulhu Seventh Edition Kickstarter, the pdf proofs have been made available, the full product hopefully soon forthcoming. (the projected release date of the final draft pdf and the hard copies from the printers is within the next few months, and it seems a reasonable projection at this point.). They have asked for feedback, and at least one forum has been very willing to give that. Some of it is nitpicky, some of it is less so, but this is a labor of love for all involved, including the supporters. We all believed in the product and the project, and it is a great thing to behold. I have voiced my concerns on the forum, and will condense my own comments here, and at least discuss what I see as some of the major issues that I’ve seen come up in the forum discussions.

The Seventh Edition consists of two Rulebooks for the core game, one specifically for Investigators, focused on character creation and gameplay from the player’s point of view. The other is for Keepers and contains the rest of the ruleset, and guidance for play. (yeah, I know 90 percent or more of the people reading this not only know this already, but there is a small chance that some may not). I read both books before I started posting, though I was impressed within minutes.

The art tends to fall into two groupings, the first large, detailed full page (or more, chapters fronted with two page spreads, several single page images throughout as well.) the other smaller images, placed inside the text columns, generally illustrating a point referred to in nearby text. The smaller images have a variability in detail, some of them very low key, and some of the forums postings have responded to these simpler images with negativity. But they are fine for what they are, and I have no problem with them.

The overall layout is crisp and wonderful, I only found one small place where the pdf did not display right for me (it does fine on my computer, but on my kindle fire one of the chapter introduction spreads, the text only displays a few letters). In over seven hundred pages, only one minor graphics glitch on a minor reader, not bad at all, and I expect that to work fine in the final edit).

It is a proof, the index has not been built yet (that is being done at this time), and the cross references in the text are held by placemarkers, all part of the process. A fair amount of the buzz in the forums at this point involves what was included and what was excluded. The removal of the text of the story Call of Cthulhu from the Rulebook has bothered some. My personal issue was with the removal of the classic scenario ‘The Haunting’ from the rulebook. While I could have accepted that on an editorial basis, I find it problematic that it is frequently referred to in the Keeper’s book text for examples of how scenario structure and rules applications work at certain points. The easiest correction to this would be the re-inclusion of the scenario; failing that, a line edit is called for and all of the references need to be changed to one of the two remaining scenarios (I also admit, I like the thought of at least three scenarios in the rulebook, even if one of them is the classic that was an introduction to the game for so many of us.)

Onto the rules themselves. For a large part they look and feel like a refining of the prior rules. The basic concepts are close enough that it is fairly easy to convert most things from the earlier editions to the Seventh. Not, admittedly, quite as easy as between many earlier editions, but it is a very deep retooling at work here. I’m not going to go into specifics here, but there is very little in here that isn’t a refinement. Chase rules and combat rules at first glance seem more complex, but they allow for greater flexibility in allowing for variability of actions. The Sanity rules step back a bit from the leaning towards realism that the game had been taking, going to something a bit more ‘cinematic’ for lack of a better word, but this actually suits the game. Normal insanity is one thing, in life, something not in any way trivial, but the madness the knowledge of the Mythos brings in the game is a madness brought about by awareness of a different functioning of the universe than the human mind can comfortably process, so it is logical that while it may include more conventional mental problems, it does not need to automatically follow those protocols. The resistance table of old has been replaced by a more streamlined system of cross referencing relevant statistics in the opposing target and determining the difficulty level of the roll based on that. Ultimately I will say the new edition is a fit ‘heir to the throne’. I will definitely be shifting over to the new edition, as soon as I can legitimately purchase a few copies of the investigator’s handbook for my players.

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One thought on “semi apology on a format point, commentary on Seventh Edition.

  1. I am disappointed to hear that The haunting is not to be included in this edition. It has been included in every version since the first, and is included in the 7th edition quick start rules, I have just run my first game with a group who are new to cthulhu and the Corbitt house was a great success with them, it has been around so long it seems almost like a right of passage.

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