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Achtung! Cthulhu: Heroes of the Sea - Call of Cthulhu $14.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Achtung! Cthulhu: Heroes of the Sea - Call of Cthulhu
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Achtung! Cthulhu: Heroes of the Sea - Call of Cthulhu
Publisher: Modiphius
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/08/2014 09:04:12
Set amidst the turmoil of the Dunkirk evacuations, this adventure sets the heroes against more than the Nazi hordes. Sent into Dunkirk just as most of the British were leaving, the intrepid investigators are in search of a missing secret agent who has vital intelligence regarding a threat known only as Operation Needle.

It opens with notes from the author about the delights and dangers of setting an adventure against the backdrop of World War 2 - to catch the excitement and make a good game without trivialising a time when many good people lost their lives - before launching into the background of the adventure itself. Section D, the characters' employer, does not know much about what their missing agent has discovered but are convinced that it's something that they need to know, hence the mission with which they will be tasked. This is followed by details of what is actually going on, a foul plot indeed to drown the escaping British troops by arcane means. The scene is set well, with copious details of the real history of Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Dunkirk, complete with atmospheric illustrations, a comprehensive timeline of events and a map of the Dunkirk bridgehead. Even before you get to the adventure proper, there is plenty of scope for encounters that may prove hostile, even deadly, to the unwary.

Next comes the actual adventure, presented as five 'episodes' which can be played through as appropriate based on character actions. Scattered throughout are options galore to enable you to cope with just about anything that the characters might decide to do. There are even a couple of different ways to get them involved - what if they are Germans? Or the more traditional academic sort of investigators rather than soldiers/agents? Although the real timeline for Dunkirk is provided it is recommended that the Keeper be flexible and fit it around the adventure, rather than rushing the adventure to accommodate historical fact.

There is plenty for the investigators to do during the adventure, and despite the setting much is 'traditional' investigative fare although there are of course plenty of opportunities to engage in combat. There's even the chance to get aboard a U-Boat, whilst the investigation should take them beyond the confines of the waking world into a very strange realm indeed. The options continue thick and fast, with notes as to how to handle any eventuality from them solving the adventure before reaching Episode 4 to what to do if they get captured...

Four pre-generated characters are provided for groups who wish to dive straight in to the adventure. On the rules front there are some new skills and spells which might prove useful during the course of the game as well as notes on shell shock and how to handle guardposts and skirmishes effectively. Several tanks and other warlike vehicles that may be encountered are presented. Finally, some in-character resources in the shape of the initial briefing pack and loads of handouts - all very atmospheric and looking the part.

It's an exciting adventure, blending the Mythos skilfully with known history and delightfully open-ended, with good support for the Keeper whatever the investigators do; it would be difficult to derail the adventure, even if they might end up changing the course of the war! Of such things are good alternate histories made...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu: Heroes of the Sea - Call of Cthulhu
Publisher: Modiphius
by Mysterious B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/01/2012 13:24:44
This nice little one shot takes investigators to the beaches and villages of Dunkirk on the eve of the evacuation efforts. This adventure does provide a feasible, even if pulpy, explanation of why Hitler hesitated in not wiping out the British Expeditionary Force in 1940.

Included are new rules for doing the game of spies in the 1940s and even the suggestion how one might transpose some of what The Laundry RPG does so well back in time. Save, there is nothing remotely jokey or humorous about the scenario (although, I would not put it past some players to find a way). New equipment and some new skills are included.

Because of the real world constraints the adventure the events operate on a very tight timetable but in no way are players being railroaded and the locales while highly local – offer up players many excellent opportunities for role playing, as well memorable environments.

The art is better than first instalment and includes some real nice props/playing aides. Where this adventure does a little flat, like, the first is in the area of character portraits (both of PCs and NPCs) and also in the description of the NPCs. For it to have a truly pulp feel (which is one mode of play clearly spelled out as an option) – there must be truly memorable villainous NPCs. And, well, the NPCs here are not terribly memorable – they are more just adversaries and once their secret is determined the adventure does fall flat a bit as it becomes a race against time.

Several different possible endings are suggested which is always a good thing in a Cthulhu adventure… It is suggested that the adventure can be paired with the first one but other nothing suggests that the players have been doing much together in the bowels of MI5 since the last adventure. Maybe, it is left to creative Keepers to run a World War Cthulhu campaign linking up the actions of players that will take them to Dunkirk. However, none of this distracts from an excellently written and plausible adventure in which players do not outweigh the heroic actions of real solders which is always a danger when dealing with something already quite horrific as WW2.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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