Tabletop Feature: Comparing the 20th and 30th Anniversary Editions of Call of Cthulhu

On August 10th, 2011, Chaosium released the 30th Anniversary Edition of Call of Cthulhu. Call of Cthulhu is the oldest published RPG by the same company and with the same rules format out there. The 30th Anniversary Edition looks great, with its brown leatherette covering and interior pages with 90 gsm matte art paper and black ink. However, this isn’t the first Anniversary Edition of the game. Ten years ago, on August 20th, 2001, Chaosium released a 20th Anniversary Edition of the game in GREEN LEATHER and pages made to look like those of a weathered tome. I own both, although the contents are exactly the same from what the book contains down to the page count, both have a look and style that seperates the two. I thought it would be fun to show a comparison of the two and see which version you, the readers, like best.

Part 1: The Front Covers

The 20th Anniversary Edition is on the left and the 30th Anniversary Edition is on the right. Click on the pictures for a larger, more detailed view.


Part 2: The Spines

Here you can see the difference between the two spines. Notice how much thicker the 20th Anniversary Edition is. This is due to the page material in that book. Note that slightly different font on each spine as well. Finally, the 20th Anniversary Edition has The Yellow Sign on it, while the 30th Edition has an Elder Sign. Again, click on the picture for a larger, more detailed view

Part 3: Thickness

Two points of interest here. the 20th Edition book is much thicker (almost twice as thick, in fact), but the 30th Edition is longer and wider.

Part 4: Title Page

This one page is the biggest difference between the two books. This is the only interior page where the art or verbiage differs at all. Notice the 20th Edition gives an exact date of publication while the 30th Edition is numbered. The title pages also show you the difference in the paper, ink colour and style of each book.


Part 5: Table of Contents

Not much to show here other than the paper and ink differences. The reason I chose this was simply to highlight that it’s the exact same book contentwise. notice how nothing at all differs on the Table of Contents. This means if you have the 20th Anniversary Edition, you don’t need the 30th. Unless of course, you collect Call of Cthulhu gaming books or something.


Part 6: Interior Stats & Art
This is the last part to look at. I chose the Ithaqua page from both books as it is my favorite Great Old One. Again, this is simply to highlight that both books are exact the same content wise, but the paper and ink differences between the two make each stand out from the other.


So there you go. After seeing the exterior and interior differences of both, which do you prefer? I prefer the 20th Edition simply because it’s so unusual. A green leather cover with blood red ink? Truly innovative and out there. At the same time, I can see why someone might prefer the 30th Edition as brown leather is more subdued someone might prefer the glossier pages of that version.



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One response to “Tabletop Feature: Comparing the 20th and 30th Anniversary Editions of Call of Cthulhu”

  1. […] page by page, which for the sake of you, the reader, I have (Much like when I went through the 20th and 30th Anniversary Editions of Call of Cthulhu) There are several other things corrected. If you have the 2.5 errata sheets for example, […]

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