Achtung! Cthulhu Investigator’s Guide Part 1

I backed this project back in Feb 2013, it has long since finished fulfillment, and while I read both the Investigators Guide and the Keeper’s Guide way back then, I didn’t write down any of my thoughts on them. Recently Modiphius Entertainment put together packages to get the print books from this kickstarter at a discounted price, and so I decided to get some of the physical books since I only backed at a pdf level and to re-read the books.

The Investigator’s Guide covers the rules for both Call of Cthulhu Sixth Edition and Savage Worlds, and while I will focus mostly on the Savage Worlds rules, I do have the Call of Cthulhu Sixth Edition rule book as well to make comments on the character creation rules for that system as well. Note, there is another version of this book plus the Keeper’s for Fate Core called Achtung! Cthulhu The Fate Guides to the Secret War that I will also include the relevant parts from it in this review.

Chapter one starts with a handful of paragraphs from the point of view of an example character in the setting.  This vignette is short enough to be skipped or read depending on your taste and give some idea of the setting. After that we get a blurb describing the setting (World War Two plus Lovecraftian horror) and a brief section on house keeping that discusses what you will find in the book (historical setting information, character creation rules and how to identify which rules set is used, and finally a bunch of setting specific equipment). The Fate version of the book drops the section on rules sets since it only covers Fate Core, but spends extra time talking about the changes in terminology for the Fate version. After that is a timeline of events starting with the end of World War One and ending in April of 1945. Throughout the timeline there are what look like post-it notes with interesting bits of trivia. I particularly enjoyed the bit about the Molotov Cocktail, but sadly they did not mention the fish oil explosives that I have heard the Norwegian’s developed in their resistance campaign (at least I hope it is true even if I can’t find any other references to it other than this).
Chapter two covers the culture of the time including such things as popular entertainment (popular music, songs, and popular movies), clothing styles, the black market and life in general, and finally covering censorship. These topics cover the countries of England, France, Germany, and the US (Eastern Europe/Russia, Japan and the Pacific, and Northern Africa are presumably covered in the separate books that were unlocked as part of this kickstarter).

Chapter three covers more historical details with important non military events (important visitors, government changes, and the creation of government offices SOE, etc.) that happen in England between 1922 and 1945. After that we get a similar section on France covering 1930 to 1944. Next up is a similar section on the US covering 1929 to 1945. These three sections give a lot of interesting information about the things that are happening off the battle field such as the development of the British radar defense stations, when the different types of rationing start for each of the countries, and when some of the different treaties are signed between the nations.

Chapter four gives us information on the various military organizations at the time for Great Britain, the United States, France, and Germany. Some of the information covered in these sections are how mechanized the army units are, the statuses of the various navies and air forces. After this, we get into the various intelligence agencies for the countries as well as hints at the agencies that the players are expected to be apart of (Section M for the British and Majestic for the Americans). We also get a section here on the French Resistance. The final section in this chapter covers supporting roles things like the entertainment services (USO, ENSA), Civil Defense organizations, what women do in the civilian and military space, and the various ambulance services.

More to come as I finish re-reading the book over the next couple of days.

Author: Hours without Sleep

I am a professional software tester, who has an interest in programming, computers, role-playing games, history, and reading in general. This is my third attempt at keeping a blog, and I am going to try putting all of my thoughts in one place, and see how it goes.

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