Lets be creating a character for Call Of Cthulhu RPG 7th Edition. We strongly recommend getting the Investigator’s Handbook. It will give you all the information you need to make a character, including an extended list of professions to choose from!
There are 3 main ways to create a character in CoC.
- Quick Fire Method (Easy)
- Point Buy (Advanced)
- Rolling for Character (Advanced)
Download this chracter sheet to start. This is the standard 1920 Cthulhu era which we will be using as reference.
Developing a character concept.
Start by thinking on what kind of person you want your character to be… Is your character the intellectual type? or is your character ready and trained for combat? This concept will heavily influence the kind of occupation your character choose to be. And with occupation comes the skills your character will likely to have.
You can find a list of occupations in the core rulebook/Keeper’s book, but I think the Investigator’s Handbook is superior for this part. Its list of occupations is much more comprehensive, and you can find them starting on page 68. Some examples of interesting occupations include assassin, antiquarian, book dealer, or occultist. Also be sure to check with your Lorekeeper on the timeline of your adventures. Some occupations might not have existed then!
Selecting your occupation will heavily influence your style of play!
Create your character’s stats.
There are eight basic characteristics you’ll need to fill in, and then five more you calculate after those eight overarching characteristics. Here they are (along with quick definitions): We will use Rolling Method for this…
- Appearance: How attractive your character is and how likeable they are. Charisma! Roll 3D6 x 5
- Constitution: Your general condition of your health. (Note: this is different from HP. HP indicates how much damage your character can take, and Constitution instead references their overall vitality.) Roll 3D6 x 5
- Dexterity: Represents your character’s level of grace and finesse. Think of it as agility. Roll 3D6 x 5
- Education: Your character’s level of education. High education doesn’t necessarily equate high intelligence, and vice versa.
Roll 2D6 + 6, then x 5
- Intelligence: Your character’s ability to put 2 and 2 together and solve problems. This could be detrimental as a person with a high Intelligence characteristic are most likely to understand the nature and gravity of a situation. They will lose Sanity as a result… Roll 2D6 + 6, then x 5
- Power: This characteristic is the strength of your character’s willpower. Roll 3D6 x 5
- Size: Represents your character’s overall size. Size matters when it comes to fitting into a closet to hide or shadowing someone in the dark alleys or intimidating a thug on the mean streets.
Roll 2D6 + 6, then x 5
- Strength: Your physical strength. Comes in handy when punching or rescueing someone! Roll 3D6 x 5
After the aforementioned traits, you’ll be able to figure out your remaining characteristics. Those characteristics are the following:
- Sanity: Your character’s mental/emotional stability, and can be lost or gained in a number of ways. = Power
- Luck: Luck is the “x factor” in Call of Cthulhu. You can spend luck points to raise your rolls and reroll a failed roll as long as it isn’t a sanity roll. The Keeper may even have you roll Luck occasionally to see if you succeed in random tasks. Roll 2D6 + 6, then x 5
- HP: HP stands for “hit points.” These indicate how much damage you can take before being killed or rendered unconcious.
( Constituition + Size ) / 10
- Movement Rate: Your movement rate shows how quickly your character can move. Will come in handy during chase sequences.
Str AND Dex < Size = 7
Str OR Dex > Size = 6
Str AND Dex > Size = 9
Then, If your character is age 40 and up, you’ll decrease your Movement Rate by 1 point for each decade beyond 40.
- (Optional) Damage Bonus and Build: Here’s where a good Size and Strength come in handy. You’ll use them to calculate your character’s Damage Bonus and Build, which indicate how much damage you’re capable of doing and how your Size impacts movement in hand-to-hand combat. This is optional for now, but refer to the table on page 48 of the Investigator Handbook to find out the damage bonus and build values.
- Magic Points= POW/5 This can be spent and regenerated during the game. Usually used to cast spells and incantations or activate artifacts. As a beginner or someone who is just starting out adventuring, you may not be using Magic points yet. As you adventure on, you will have the oppurtunity to learn spells or activate artifacts, which will require the use of Magic points.
Quick Fire Method (Easy)
Now we will get into assigning your skills which preferably should be in line with your occupation / backstory.
Assuming you’ve chosen your occupation, you’ll have eight skills related to that occupation at hand. Here are the nine numbers you’ll put into your eight occupational skills plus your character’s Credit Rating: 70, 60, 60, 50, 50, 50, 40, 40, and 40.
For simplicity sake, credit rating is the amount of money you have and can spend in your intial adventure as an investigator. You flesh out your assets and wealth details on page 57 in the Investigators handbook. You can skip credit rating and money generation for the moment but do consult your Lore keeper as it requires reference to tables and charts if your adventuring requires money.
Now you get to choose four more skills that are more like your character’s hobbies. Choose any four you like, as long as they are fitting for your campaign’s era. Add 20 to each of these skills’ base values (the number already listed by the skills as a default).
Fill in your character’s background information.
Fill in the backstory for the finishing touches. They might not be important in-game but if you exclaim it often, the lore keeper could get creative with the campaign you are embarking on. You can also use these backstories to justify your Push Roll options or to argue your way out of sticky situations!
Turn to page 53 in the Investigator’s Handbook. You’ll find a series of sections you can roll a D10 within to develop random traits. For instance, there are tables for determining your character’s religious beliefs, important people, and important locations – all with a roll of the die.
There your have it! Have fun in CoC and try not to go INSANE… please.