Modiphius Entertainment is a new British games publisher, established by Chris Birch in 2012 after writing two Ennie Award nominated roleplaying games Starblazer Adventures and Legends of Anglerre (co-authored with Sarah Newton, who we are a big fan of here at miskatonic.co.uk, see our review of The Chronicles Of Future Earth here).
Modiphius Entertainments first project was Achtung! Cthulhu, the terrifying HP Lovecraft-inspired World War Two roleplaying setting, written for use with Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds, and the PDQ roleplaying systems. The first two releases, each an epic adventure in the Zero Point campaign by Sarah Newton have been so popular that three huge campaigns are currently being written for release later this year.
I first became aware of Achtung! Cthulhu when a friend sent me a link to the Achtung! Cthulhu – Charlie Company : Forest of Fear #1 a Beta test and first episode in a fun new free photographic web comic featuring miniatures, terrain and Cthluhu horror. (Find it on RPGNOW here). The basic idea being that the survivors of Charlie Company find themselves alone, forgotten & hunted behind Nazi lines trapped in the “Forest of Fear”. You know exactly how that is going to go down don’t you…
To-date there are two fantastic stand alone adventures available in the Achtung! Cthulhu series which form part of a globe spanning campaign Zero Point. Written by Sarah Newton (Legends of Anglerre, Mindjammer) and converted to Realms of Cthulhu by Dave Blewer (of Sundered Skies fame).
The first of these adventures is Three Kings where you join a band of heroic soldiers, agents, and partisans behind enemy lines on the eve of World War Two, as they discover the unspeakable horrors of Castle Karlstein in occupied Czechoslovakia!
Heroes of the Sea is the second of these standalone supplements. Once again you can take on the roles of soldiers, agents, and resistance fighters in the chaos and carnage of the Battle of Dunkirk, as a sinister conspiracy threatens the lives of the retreating Allied forces!
What stands out about these is the sheer quality – the artwork, the stories, the editorial quality it truly is as good as it gets and I for one can’t wait to find an excuse to play them. What is more they have recognised that there is a wide spectrum of roleplayers out there who like their Cthulhuian encounters served up in different roleplay systems. As such they are providing the materials of this huge and terrifying World War 2 setting Acthung! Cthulhu for four popular roleplaying game systems: Call of Cthulhu, Savage Worlds (Realms of Cthulhu), Trail of Cthulhu & The PDQ System (it is worth noting that at the time of writing the Trail of Cthulhu & PDQ Conversions are currently in layout for Three Kings and not yet available – Feb 2013).
As if this wasn’t enough they have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring forward the publication of the Achtung! Cthulhu – Keeper’s Guide to the Secret War and the Achtung! Cthulhu – Investigator’s Guide to the Secret War.
The Keepers guide is billed as “The essential wartime reference for any Keeper or fan of the Cthulhu Mythos”. within its pages we can hope to find details of “secret Nazi plots, Allied & Nazi special forces & intelligence agencies, mystical missions and wonder weapon development, mythical organisations, campaign and plot ideas, key characters, vile creatures, and new rules for World War Two combat and equipment – a whole shoggoth’s worth of Cthulhu villainy, enough for any Keeper to have his investigators dead, insane, or running for their lives!”
The Keepers Guide is expected to have a huge page count of around 248 pages, depending upon meeting the Kickstarters first Stretch Goal.
Similarly the Investigators guide, aims to be “the definitive guide to the late 30s and 1940s for use by players and Keepers alike. Inside you’ll find a whole kit bag stuffed with cool new occupations, skills, equipment, and backgrounds from all over Europe and the British Commonwealth”. The book will provide details on playing as part of the Allied war effort, or from within the ranks of the partisans or even the Nazi forces as one of the many brave heroes who fought to bring down the regime from within the borders of the Reich! The book is anticipated to have a page count of approximately 128, once again dependent upon meeting the kickstarted goals.
Both books feature the efforts of some fantastic writers: Lynne Hardy, Dave Blewer (Sundered Skies), Alex Bund, Chris Birch, Bill Bodden and Adam Crossingham (best know to some of us for the amazing “Worlds Of Cthulhu”).
On the Kickstarter page it also notes a serious side to the games with the stated aim of; “highlighting the real heroes who fought and died, and so at the end of both books there will be a short section on the World War Two memorials and museums you can visit across the battlefields of Europe to learn more about this period”. This is such an important sentiment when using the WWII genre within roleplaying games and I applaud them for this.
I hope you will take a look at Achtung! Cthulhu, maybe invest in the Kickstarter. I swear on my pet Shoggoth and all its offspring that you won’t be dissapointed.