From the back cover of the US boxed-set edition:
| Eldritch Horror!
| “…its rugose, dead-eyed rudiment of a head swayed drunkenly from side to side. Its forepaws were extended, with talons spread wide, and its whole body was taut with murderous malignity.”
| —H. P. Lovecraft.
Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos tales are famous internationally. In the Call of Cthulhu game, participants investigate mysterious events about which Lovecraft might have written. Though set in the 1920s United States, the game adventures are new: the players won't know the plots ahead of time.
A typical Cthulhu mystery may be solved in an evening, or extended by the presenter as convenient. This box includes three thrilling adventures.
Box Contents: The Investigators' Book explains roleplaying, how to create characters, and discusses character, skills, occupations, and resources.
The Keeper's Book details the beings specific to the Cthulhu Mythos tales (deep ones, flying polyps, dimensional shamblers, shantaks, Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, etc.), full rules for magic and for the use of the famous books (the Necronomicon, De Vermiis Mysteriis, Unausprechlichen Kulten, etc.) which have fascinated Lovecraft fans for decades. Keepers — who present the adventures — also receive instructions for creating new adventures.
A third book, Sourcebook For The 1920s, has non-Mythos data for the 1920s — prices, distances, maps, thumbnail biographies, and garden-variety bad guys upon which budding Investigators can sharpen their skills.
• Also included: cardstock investigator figures, a world site map, Investigator sheets, and dice used in play. This is a complete game.
• Many more ready-to-play Cthulhu adventures are available.
From the back cover of the UK/US hardcover edition:
| “....but I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea, known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them on the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air.”
| The Call of Cthulhu, H.P.LOVECRAFT
Enter the awesome universe of the Cthulhu Mythos, those dread tales in which magic, science, arcane lore and fetid horror irrevocably sear the lives of those for whom the bizarre and the curious have unseemly attraction. A universe where the veneer of normalcy is ever threatened by the plots and manifestations of the unutterably evil Old-Ones [sic] whose minions strive for the return and rule of their mighty and foul Lord, the Great Cthulhu.
Call of Cthulhu is a sophisticated, open-format game without conventional board or playing pieces, the action and events take place in the imaginations of the players and gamesmaster.
As a player in Call of Cthulhu you are cast in the role of an Investigator piecing together clues and histories of the mythos as move through the world of the fabulous 1920's [sic]. As a Gamesmaster (keeper) you will present this world to the players and control the cosmic horrors underlying the events of the time.
This volume contains all the information needed to play Call of Cthulhu and provide for many hours of fascinating involvement in a world of gothic horror in the true Lovecraft tradition.
Investigator's Book — detailing information for players and gamemasters, full rules for character generation, skills, occupations and resources.
Keeper's Book — for gamesmasters only. Full rules and illustrations for the horrific beings of the Mythos, magic, and use of famous books in the game. Plus further notes to aid play and scenarios ready to use.
Sourcebook for the 1920's — which gives abundant non-mythos data, essential for accuracy and atmosphere. A host of plans, price lists, maps, biographies, distances and non-mythos monsters upon which the inexperienced Investigators can practice their skills.
Cthulhu Companion — additional rules for players and gamemasters; new Mythos lore include many new Mythos monsters; more skills and phobias for players. Plus Sourcebook additions and scenarios.
Colour Plates — eight stunning full-colour prints fully evoking in graphic detail the true horror of Lovecraft's dark visions.