The Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game is set in the world of H. P. Lovecraft and places the characters in direct confrontation with the forces of the Cthulhu Mythos. Most commonly the setting is in the 1920′s although earlier and later settings are covered by the rules. The game is somewhat unique in that the ‘heros’ are not particularly special. They are usually everyday people who happen to be caught up in things. The games are also often very focused on an investigation of some occurence, or some great evil. Investigators (as the heros are called in the game) are often called upon to uncover the evil machinations of dark cults, or the malevolent workings of deranged madmen.
The game mechanic is percentile based and is very light. All the rules that you need to play the game are covered in 16 pages. That said, the books come with a wealth of information on running a Cthulhu based game – which can be very useful if you have not read many of H. P. Lovecraft’s works.
Originally published in 1981, the current core rulebook is in its 6th edition. One of the great features of Call of Cthulhu however, is that the rules have remained largely unchanged since 2nd edition. The new editions are merely improving the source material and patching up a few things when required. Almost any edition of the books will give you the true Call of Cthulhu experience.