REVIEW: Achtung! Cthulhu for Call of Cthulhu

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It’s not often that I review an adventure, but this is something I couldn’t pass up. Great Old Gods from beyond, mysticism, adventure and intrigue, all set to the backdrop of the Second World War?  Let’s take a closer look at Achtung! Cthulhu, Zero Point One Part One, The Three Kings from Modiphius and see if this adventure is worthy of being stowed by top men, or if it melts at the sight of your players!

PULP WITH TENTACLES

The setting isn’t terribly fleshed out here, but it isn’t supposed to be – it’s an adventure, not a sourcebook. It does a good job of giving the Game Master a firm grasp of the immediate setting. It points out where the differences in this alternate timeline, which is helpful since many major World War 2 players feature prominently in the world, with important changes.   The flavor texts are well written and give a glimpse into the world from the character’s perspective.  It doesn’t go into as much as the ‘big picture’ as I would want, but it covers everything the player and GM would need for that precise scenario.

They give you a bunch of starter characters that mesh really well. Not to spoil too much about the story, but you start off as paratroopers trying to find and contact the Czech resistance and find out what’s going on, storm the castle and save the day. Because this involves Things Man Was Not Meant To Know, things get crazy fast. Each stage of the story is presented well, with all the appropriate places labeled and each scene able to be moved around and arranged as the players totally screw up the rotation. The adventure is tailored well to the Call of Cthulhu system, focusing a lot on investigation, roleplaying and the occasional luck roll as opposed to combat after combat. The fights that do break out, they are important to the story and move everything forward. The horror aspects towards the end are quite horrific, and quite fitting with the theme.

TWITCHING IN THE WIND

The art in the packet is hit or miss. The maps themselves are well made and Modiphius was kind enough to have two versions of maps available (the latter being a part of a set of handouts for the players).  Some of the themed pictures are solid and fit the theme, but some of the other art looks a bit rough and unfinished. It could be my year of art school in overdrive, but the difference between some of the pieces of artwork is pretty noticeable.

The new rules section brings up a few nice flavoring options, although I’m certainly glad the idea of torture is considered optional. The parachuting and alertness rules are simple but effective and stuff I would totally steal for any other Call of Cthulhu game.

YOU HAVE PURPLE ON YOU

So, what did I think about this module, overall? I like the setting and the writing. It’s something I would definitely run people through, although I’d want more information about the world, so I’d know how to tune the campaign without making the next few adventures obsolete. The art is hit or miss, but serviceable.

If you like the Call of Cthulhu setting and want to get some World War Two intrigue and action in your games, this is a good choice. They capture the setting and bring action, intrigue and adventure to the usual “you go insane, everyone dies” Call of Cthulhu game that we adore.

BUY THIS GAME IF: You like the Call of Cthulhu system and want to punch it up with some Indiana Jones, or want to move your 1920s game forward a couple of decades.

You can buy the game right now through DriveThruRPG! If you’d prefer the Savage Worlds version, you can buy it here as well.

[A copy of this adventure was supplied by the publisher for the purposes of review]

About Matt

This user has been playing video games all his life, just like everyone else on this site. What makes him different? His lack of pants, for one. His indepth knowledge of RPGs and horror games for another. His favorite tabletop RPG is Legend of the Five Rings, his favorite game series is Silent Hill and his Steam game collection is out of control.