Scenarios for Achtung! Cthulhu

I really love the Achtung! Cthulhu setting for Call of Cthulhu from Modiphius Press. It’s also for Savage Worlds (using Realms of Cthulhu), but I started into the mythos through the original game and it just doesn’t feel like Cthulhu to me unless I’m rolling percentile dice.

Modiphius has put out two amazing long-term campaigns (Shadows of Atlantis, which I’m currently running, and Assault on the Mountains of Madness which is eagerly awaiting a chance at the table) as well as a series of short scenarios that can be part of a linked campaign or stand-alone. Already looking to expand the options, however, I went through other published Call of Cthulhu scenarios looking for scenarios that you could easily use for an Achtung! Cthulhu game.

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First of all, here are the scenarios published for Achtung! Cthulhu to date.

Date Adventure Location
Summer 1939 Zero Point: Three Kings Castle Karlstein, Czechoslovakia
August 1939 The City of Broken Dreams (Shadows of Atlantis) Vienna, Austria
June 1939 Into the Mouth of Truth (Shadows of Atlantis) Rome, Italy
July 1939 A Light on the Horizon (Shadows of Atlantis) Egypt
August 1939 A Look at the Past (Shadows of Atlantis) Peru
December 1939 The Roof of the World (Shadows of Atlantis) Tibet
February 1940 A Precious Jewel (Shadows of Atlantis) India
March 1940 Fire & Brimstone (Shadows of Atlantis) Isfahan, Persia
Summer 1940 Zero Point: Heroes of the Sea Dunkirk, France
June 1940 The Island of Splendour (Shadows of Atlantis) Greenland
Spring 1943 The Trellborg Monstrosities Trellborg, Finland
Winter 1944 Kontamination Kalterherberg, Germany
Early 1945 Assault on the Mountains of Madness Antarctica

Quite a haul. You can run a group of players through the entire war from the first days (Zero Point: Three Kings) through the final gasps (Assault on the Mountains of Madness) if you have enough time. There’s a gap of two and a half years, though, where nothing is available. The final two parts of the Zero Point series purportedly will cover 1942

Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I

The Curse of the Yellow Sign campaign has three different Acts that each have to do with Carcosa and the King in Yellow. The later acts have to do with contemporary and near-future scenarios so they are out of the running but the first Act, Digging for a Dead God, features Nazi (by default) soldiers in British-occupied Africa during May of 1939. Because this happens so early, it’s great for setting the stage for a larger campaign.

If you want to work through the Zero Point scenarios one by one, this could lead to the plot of Three Kings from the other side. What the German soldiers encounter in the jungles of Africa could wind up in Castle Karlstein later; the Section D investigators won’t know what they’re looking at, but the players will…

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The Realm of Shadows

This book contains four scenarios: Kith and KinProvender of the God, Charnel House, and When Darkness Falls. The first three all take place in Greenfield, MA (more or less) but the final scenario takes place in Cayenne, the capitol of French Guinea. Since this happens in 1940, this is a great way to transition a group into the war effort. Groups used to Call of Cthulhu games in Arkham might be comforted (you know what I mean) to be in Massachusetts again, and you have them follow this trail of scenarios to wartime French Africa. After they enter the fray there, they might hook up with European mythos investigators and enter true Achtung! Cthulhu territory.

As far as timing, this makes sense for the fall of 1940, right after the conclusion of Shadows of Atlantis. If you’re playing with a constant group of PCs, this is an opportunity for retiring one set (or killing them off) and starting up a new bunch right before America gets into the war.

Where Byakhees Dare

This scenario, found in the monograph Toying with Humans, takes place in March of 1943 (so thoroughly in the midst of the war) and focuses on a company of British soldiers searching for an American general shot down over the Swiss Alps. This is an excellent introductory scenario to the world of World War II since it’s contained and relatively uncomplicated.

It also works as a good side mission for an ongoing Achtung! Cthulhu campaign, particularly if Castle Straussberg is exchanged for Castle Karlstein. This might explain why a group of experienced mythos-savvy soldiers are being sent on a chase into the mountains when there is Black Sun activity to fight. The powers-that-be know that they thwarted another plot at the Czech castle and want their expertise again.

Shadows of War

terrors_calldiety_sml_e04c1f15-e9c6-41c9-9d7a-030d57ef27fdThis Chaosium monograph is focused on scenarios in and around World War II with four one-shot scenarios set somewhere along the Mediterranean Sea. The writers are clear that “there is no plausible way (we can see) of linking the scenarios into a campaign…” but that is just fine for a group in Achtung! Cthulhu looking for isolated scenarios or side missions off of a larger campaign.

  • No Pasaran! is set before the actual war during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. If you have any Spanish investigators they could be drawn into the mythos during this campaign (perhaps setting up later scenarios like the Peruvian ones in Shadows of Atlantis).
  • Goodnight Vienna is set in September 1942, which is great for filling that gap mentioned earlier. Investigators are aboard an American bomber running out of fuel and needing to set down.
  • Later in the war, Thracian Gold features investigators trying to save priceless archeological treasures in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria in September 1944. This works well as an introductory scenario for investigators destined to go through Assault on the Mountains of Madness.
  • Isle of Lost Souls is set immediately after the war on a small Greek island with more archeological finds. This could be a way to transition wartime investigators out of the war (perhaps moving towards a Delta Green campaign)

World War Cthulhu: Europe Ablaze

You might look at World War Cthulhu as a rival series to Acthung! Cthluhu and you wouldn’t be wrong. They’re produced by different publishers and both books have different frameworks for including soldiers fighting the mythos during the war. I like Achtung! Cthulhu better because it has more background and structure to it but if you prefer World War Cthulhu this list works as a collection of scenarios for that as well. If you don’t know which one you’d like better, check out this discussion thread for a comparison by a very knowledgeable community.

In the World War Cthulhu core book is an excellent little town, Saint-Cerneuf-du-Bois on the border between occupied and Vichy France, that provides a very detailed setting for a series of mythos encounters. This is a great location for behind-enemy-lines Allied investigators and French resistance investigators alike… or Vichy investigators and their German allies if you prefer. Encounter suggestions are given as well as a series of scenarios leading to an encounter with the God in the Woods (spoiler alert: he’s rather goat-like).

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The bulk of published WWC scenarios, though, is in the book Europe Ablaze which features six different scenarios that make for some great one-shots or side missions during a larger Achtung! Cthulhu campaign.

  • Sleeper Agents is set in Rennes, France in “early to mid 1941.” This seems like a strangely vague time period since at the beginning of the year everything is business-as-usual in France and by the summer the Allies are invading Vichy territories. Regardless, this is a great follow-up for investigators who were at Dunkirk in the summer of 1940 during Heroes of the Sea.
  • The second scenario in the book, The Play is the Thing, won’t surprise anyone familiar with the mythos: it’s about the King in Yellow. It’s set on Malta any time between June 1940 (when the Allies start assaulting Malta) and November 1943 (when the Allies take it). It might work well as a follow-up to the European chapter in Shadows of Atlantis, coming back to the original European team (if you’re switching) or continuing the story altogether after Greenland.
  • We Will Remember Them takes place during 1942 in Norway, making it a really awesome lead-in to The Trellborg Monstrosities in 1943. Bear in mind, though, that this is an especially brutal scenario and you should have a back-up plan if no one survives.
  • Also set in 1942, Lift Not Thy Hands takes place in Occupied Belgium and will likely fit in with the later capters of Zero Point (which has been firmly European-focused so far). On the other hand, the smuggling network that the Belgians have for getting downed Allied airmen to Spain could be a way to bring back No Parasan! from Shadows of War (above) if you ran that.
  • The Angel of the Abyss focuses on Operation Harling which means it’s great for connecting to the other scenarios in Shadows of War which deal with Bulgaria and Greece.
  • Lastly, Stowaways brings the investigators into the midst of a tense POW-exchange hosted by Spain in October of 1943. This is right between the timelines for Shadows of Atlantis and Assault on the Mountains of Madness so if you’re really ambitious and want to try these two long campaigns you might use this as a “palate-cleanser” in between.

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Ancient Midget Nazi Shamans

I haven’t actually been able to get my hands on this scenario from Blood Brothers, so I’ll leave the summary to Brandi Weed who wrote up a nice review of the whole book:

Well, this one certainly has the best title of all the adventures… It’s supposed to be based on Gremlins and related “little beasties running amok” films of the 80s (like Critters), with WWII soldiers rescuing what they think is a child who has been tortured in Nazi experiments but is in fact a member of a foul and ancient dwarfish race (think Tcho-Tchos). One of the soldiers decides to adopt “little Klaus,” and bring him back to his nice suburban town in the States, with horrible consequences to come.

So this is an end-of-the-war scenario and it would probably be hard to justify experienced agents making such a dumb mistake. This might be best as a case of discovering other people’s mistakes, possibly with American agents returning home (or European agents taking leave) and realizing that the mythos horrors didn’t end with the war.

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