Advise a noob?
So, I wanna get into call of cthulhu and am generally the only member of my group with the patience to GM. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend which books one will need to start off a game in a fairly modern setting? I'm looking around at the options and I can't tell which one's a sourcebook and which one's a dungeon master's guide or what...
As a longtime CoC player and Keeper, all you absolutely have to have is the Corebook. The newer editions 5.6E and up have a fairly good information for the modern era and all the Mythos information you can handle. All the best supplements are long out of print, but since you stated you wanted to do modern era, its not like you need to know about music, cars, weapons, or laws of the 20s. However, the two volumes of the Keeper's Companion are extremely useful and happen to be in print. Other than that, you do not need to run out and purchase a mound of books to have a successful campaign.
You definately need to look for books called Cthulhu Now (These are mostly Chaosium, and that's easiest at first). When I first started playing in the 1990's, these campaigns were set in the 1990's. I agree you DEFINATELY need the percentile core book first
If you haven't already I'd also suggest reading a good chunk of Lovecraft's stories... and maybe some by his more noteworthy conspirators, such as Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti and Karl Edward Wagner.
I've been using (very loosely) the Delta Green for some modern flair. I love the DG setting/concept, but getting ahold of the materials to run a full DG game is tricky at present.
That being the case, my games have been "modern CoC" with DG in the background supplying info and missions. The players, thus far, are basically friendlies vs. Being full blown agents.
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If you do want to read Lovecraft's work, I would recommend getting it in hard-copy. The reason for this is that the e-version of his collected works is several thousand pages long and has a tendency to cause lag on kindles, nooks, etc...
I also discovered that The Call of Cthulhu silent move that was made a few years back is available on Netflix Streaming. So if you have the service, check it out. The movie is creepily neat.
You can get his full works for FREE on a e-reader, however.
Cthulhuchick.com I think has his stuff assembled for you... or pay an extra 2 dollars and get some of his collaborations as well from a site like barnes and noble. I get absolutely zero lag on my nook simple touch, which is the slowest e-reader out there, I believe.
I would recommend Clark Ashton Smith's work as well to supplement the lore.
If you are looking for two authors who have pulled back the veil of mystery (often times not so smoothly...) on some of the mythos creations try Lin Carter and August Derleth, as well... though they aren't quite considered purists by some, they are still quite good at what they do.
Last edited by IbexWarrior; 04-26-2012 at 12:50 PM.