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Cold & Dark
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/04/2022 18:28:20

Five stars! This was obviously a labor of love from its creators- the setting and attention to detail alone were worth the price. I enjoyed it so much that I purchased the hardback version elsewhere, and am currently custom-building a few character models, in 1/6 scale. I really hope we see more!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cold & Dark
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Solo Game Master's Guide (PDF)
by Marley G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2022 10:00:16

This is an interesting book about the theory behind solo rpgs, why to play them, and some author tips to make running a solo game easier. The claim that there are 70+ pages of essential tables is a bit misleading. There may be 70+ pages with tables on them (I did not go through and count) but they are scattered throughout the book randomly and are often small, half page sized tables that are used as an example of the topic of the previous paragraph. Again, not bad tables, but far from the claim of 70+ pages of essential tables. You will be hard pressed to remember what tables are in the book or be able to find them easily, since they are so scattered.

This is a great book for people who want to read about solo roleplaying or who are trying to figure out how to do solo roleplaying better.

This is not a great book for actually solo roleplaying. I honestly feel a bit misled about the contents of the book based on the description. Again, not a bad book, but not at all what it was marketed as.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Solo Game Master's Guide (PDF)
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Five Leagues from the Borderlands (PDF)
by William B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2022 09:02:38

I'm just finishing up reading the rules, and they are superb. Based on the also superb Five Parsecs From Home 3e, Five Leauges From The Borderlands 3e also adds in some concepts I enjoyed from Rangers of Shadow Deep.

Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a good solo RPG, and I am no exception. I have played traditional RPGs solo with oracales, random tables and such, and Ivan has distilled the experience down to a manageable, playable, fun formula.

A few minor quibbles.

  • Races. I mostly like them, but I would have preferred he just use the D&D races. I can't really get my head around the Preen. I have never had a birdman in my vision of fantasy.

  • Avatar - No problems with the idea, I would have preferred it be called "Champion," though. I don't like the concept of "Me" being represented in the game world. I'm playing the warband as a whole.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Leagues from the Borderlands (PDF)
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Marseille - PDF
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2022 02:52:38
A trip to dream of - a Mephisto review

Operation Marseille

When Section M receives evidence that agents of the Black Sun are planning a dangerous ritual in Marseille, player agents are sent out to prevent the worst from happening. Stop the occult experiments and then escape the city undetected – that's the simple mission description. However, the mission will offer its unique challenges – as usual.

Operation Marseille is an adventure for Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 that jumps right into the action – where other adventures would end in the finale. The story only takes place for a few hours, but this short time frame will challenge the player characters. Once the Black Sun's plans are thwarted, it's a matter of arriving at the rendezvous point on time and avoiding the enemies looking for the agents. And, of course, other problems plague the characters.

Operation Marseille is fast-paced and finds an exciting balance between the challenge of operating as agents behind enemy lines and a mythos threat from an unexpected direction. Operation Marseille is a well-suited mission for a compact, fast-paced evening of play that can keep players on their toes from start to finish.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Marseille - PDF
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Star Trek Adventures Star Trek: Discovery (2256-2258) Campaign Guide PDF
by Matthew [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2022 00:25:48

An excellent addition to the Star Trek 2D20 game system. It brings the best of DT:D to the TTRPG and supplies some great new content for players and game masters. A must have addition to your collection.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Trek Adventures Star Trek: Discovery (2256-2258) Campaign Guide PDF
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Fallout: The Roleplaying Game - Quickstart Guide - PDF
by Bob V. G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/22/2022 18:27:48

Fallout the Roleplaying Game Quickstart is a PDF with 63 pages (free at DriveThruRPG). This includes 33 pages of rules, one encounter table, 6 characters, a 16 page adventure, and 4 stat blocks. There are no stat blocks for radroaches or eyebot scouts. There is not a decent list for stuff to be found or bought. I soloed this with the Umerican Survival Guide (also at DriveThru) and a yes/no/maybe oracle. I did use five of the six characters that are provided.

One of my PCs was Tallman the mutant. During the first day of adventuring he fell through part of an old bridge and did take falling damage. Later during a chaotic combat he did get shot by another party member (he is a big target). During this same day, Hazel triggered a grenade trap. She did take damage and lost hearing in her right ear. She also broke the only lock pick in a lock (she was having a bad day). There was a total of three combats and they did complete the first quest (rescue). They went back to Listening Post for healing. The PCs did a lot of walking during the second day. They encountered the clerics of Theszolo, a wandering trader caravan, and a mutant eating larvas. On the third day they entered the town of Bleakford. They killed a monster, completed the second quest, watched a big battle, and killed the Big Bad (a robot with a human brain). They now had complete control of the enemy base (the third quest). They turned it over to the knights when they arrived. The craziest item found during those three days was a foldable pool for a large dog. They do not have a dog. Give this free quickstart a try! -



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fallout: The Roleplaying Game - Quickstart Guide - PDF
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Solo Game Master's Guide (PDF)
by Shane F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2022 13:39:16

This is an excellent guide on how to get started and keep playing solo RPGs. My first impression on skimming through was there wasn't a lot of usable crunch but when I really read it I realised I had missed the point. This is not a book of random tables, an oracle or even a step by step guide. It is an excellent and thought provoking list of concepts that will really help me (as an experienced solo RPGer with creative block) get started again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Assault on the Fuhrer Train (PDF)
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2022 22:03:04

Just as a disclaimer, I have not run this scenario for my group yet, and I don’t think I’ll have a chance to for some time, so I’m writing this review now just based on my readthrough for those who might be interested in purchasing this scenario.

I absolutely love the concept of this scenario: A daring assault on a highly-guarded, futuristic train carrying none other than the Fuhrer himself! It fits the pulpy tone of A!C perfectly and the premise alone is sure to get your players excited. Unfortunately, while the bones of a good adventure are certainly here, I think the module leaves a bit to be desired as written.

One important thing to know about Assault on the Fuhrer Train is that it's not really meant to be a standalone adventure; rather, it’s meant to be an introduction to the Forest of Fear campaign that is supposedly coming soon. While I am excited for that campaign and will definitely check it out when it releases, I wish that this scenario had been written with the intent of being more of a one-shot; after all, I think that’s how most groups will want to run it. There’s definitely nothing stopping you from running it as a one-shot, but that will require a good amount of rewriting from the GM. Without going into spoilers, if you want this scenario to be satisfying as a standalone scenario for your players, you’re going to have to basically rewrite the entire ending of the adventure. I wish that Modiphius had written Fuhrer Train first and foremost as an independent scenario and tacked on the links to Forest of Fear as an optional ending B, but I guess they really wanted to plug their new campaign.

The plot for this scenario is pretty straightforward: A young member of the French Resistance escapes German captivity, but not before learning a valuable secret. It seems as though the Fuhrer himself will be aboard a train that will be passing through the nearby forest. Enticed by this opportunity, the local Resistance leader immediately orders a strike on the train, and that’s where the PCs enter the picture.

The scenario comes with 5 pre-generated characters, but almost any type of party composition would work for this scenario and there’s nothing keeping you from throwing this mission at your existing PCs. As you might expect, the scenario is pretty on-rails (no pun intended), but there are some opportunities for a creative GM to throw some unique challenges at the players. There are some interesting things for your players to find on the train, and I like the way that the threats escalate from simple German soldiers to more dangerous enemies.

Overall, I liked this scenario and I’d place it about on-par with the other A!C modules, which is to say it’s pretty solid but not mind-blowing. It shouldn’t be $10 as it has about the same amount of content as the other modules which are priced between $5 and $7.50. I can’t help but feel like Modiphius is using the cool premise of this module as a means of charging more money. If the ending didn’t tie in to Forest of Fear so directly, I’d probably rate it higher, but as it is I recommend Fuhrer Train, as long as you don’t mind having to write your own ending.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Assault on the Fuhrer Train (PDF)
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Player's Guide
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/07/2022 02:45:26

https://www.teilzeithelden.de/2022/05/26/ersteindruck-achtungcthulhu-2d20-modiphius-horror-im-zweiten-weltkrieg/

Cthulhu im Zweiten Weltkrieg - das ist die Welt von Achtung!Cthulhu. Spielende schlüpfen in die Rolle von alliierten Kämpfer:innen, die die Welt nicht nur vor Nazi-Kultist:innen sondern auch vor Kreaturen des Mythos beschützen müssen. Seit letztem Jahr gibt es diese düstere Spielwelt auch für das 2D20-System.

Seit etwas mehr als einem Jahr ist Achtung!Cthulhu 2D20 nun schon auf dem internationalen Markt. Es ist ein Pulp-Horror-Setting, das zuvor schon mit den Regeln von FATE und der 6. Edition von Call of Cthulhu zu haben war und das nun mit dem 2D20-Regelsystem von Modiphius kombiniert wurde, unter dem schon allerlei andere Rollenspiele erschienen sind. Wann es eine deutsche Übersetzung geben wird, ist zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt noch unklar.

Der folgende Ersteindruck basiert auf der Lektüre des Gamemaster's Guide und Player's Handbook sowie dem Erstellen von drei Charakteren mit den Teilzeitheld:innen Norbert, Marie und Alexa.

Der Mensch ist nicht die einzige intelligente Spezies in der Welt von H.P.Lovecraft Die Spielwelt: Doppelt hält besser!

Die Charaktere in Achtung!Cthulhu 2D20 haben es nicht leicht. Zum einen leben sie in der Welt des H.P. Lovecraft, in der neben Menschen noch andere intelligente Spezies auf der Erde existieren, die stärker, älter und viel, viel bösartiger sind als der gemeine H. sapiens, und zudem noch außerirdische Gottheiten ihr Unwesen treiben. Zum anderen müssen die Held:innen auch noch die freie Welt im Kampf gegen Nazideutschland verteidigen. Beides ist, wie man sich leicht vorstellen kann, für die geistige wie körperliche Gesundheit eher schädlich. Das Player's Handbook enthält eine Beschreibung des Settings, die allerdings knapp genug bleibt, um Spoiler zu vermeiden. Der größere Teil dieses Buches besteht aus den grundsätzlichen Würfel- und Kampfregeln sowie den Regeln zur Charaktererschaffung. Viel detailliertere Informationen über die gegnerischen wie auch die verbündeten Fraktionen im "Geheimen Krieg" stehen im Gamemaster's Guide.

Die Prämisse ist einfach: Da wurden die Szenarien klassischer Cthulhu-Spiele aus den 1920er in die 1940er Jahre und an die Fronten des Zweiten Weltkriegs verlegt und mit einem Schuss Dieselpunk garniert. Wer hier ein plumpes Pulp-Rollenspiel erwartet, in dem strahlende alliierte Held:innen links und rechts mit Tentakelmonstern verbündete Nazibatallione zerlegen, irrt sich: Das Setting ist in der Tat subtiler und erinnert im Ton mehr an Call of Cthulhu als Hollow Earth Expedition. Die Autor:innen des Systems haben ihre Geschichte-Hausaufgaben gemacht und orientieren sich in der Rahmenhandlung grob am tatsächlichen Verlauf des Krieges, ohne sich mit historischen Details übermäßig aufzuhalten - es sei hier verziehen, dass bei aller Aufmerksamkeit die berüchtigte Wewelsburg bei Paderborn von Westfalen nach Bayern verlegt wurde. Und auch der Cthulhu-Mythos ist fester Teil der Spielwelt: Orte wie Arkham und Innsmouth existieren ebenso wie das entsetzliche Plateau von Leng in den Traumlanden.

Dies bleibt allerdings den meisten Menschen verborgen: Normalerweise begegnen dem Mythos nur außergewöhnlich begabte, verrückte oder vom Unglück verfolgte Personen. Selbst ein Weltkrieg läuft im Allgemeinen auch ohne den Einfluss außerirdischer Götter. Jedoch gibt es darüber hinaus auch noch den "Geheimen Krieg", der quasi unter der Oberfläche, beziehungsweise unter dem Deckmantel des normalen Kriegsgeschehens stattfindet. Und weil doppelt genäht immer besser hält, kämpfen die Charaktere nicht gegen eine, sondern gleich gegen zwei Fraktionen von Mythoswesen und zudem auch zwei verschiedene Gruppierungen von Kultist:innen auf der Seite von Nazideutschland.

[spoiler]Die Deep Ones, bekannt aus Lovecrafts The Shadow over Innsmouth, kämpfen vor allem gegen die Übernahme ihres unterseeischen Lebensraumes und ihrer heiligen Stätten, während die insektoiden Mi-Go die Erde selbst erobern würden. Auf der Seite der Nazis verfolgt der Kult der Schwarzen Sonne insgeheim das Ziel, den Alten Gott Yog-Sototh zu befreien, die "Nachtwölfe" hingegen kämpfen mit atlantischer Technologie für Adolf Hitler - aber auch gegen die Schwarze Sonne, die, wenn sie ihr Ziel erreichte, das Ende der Welt einläuten würde.[/spoiler]

Auch die Alliierten setzen im Kampf gegen Mythoskreaturen magische Gegenstände ein - zum Beispiel verzauberte Dudelsäcke.

Dem Thema der Dopplung folgend gibt es denn auch zwei spielbare Fraktionen auf Seite der Alliierten: Die britische Section M, gegründet von einem exzentrischen Lord mit exorbitantem okkulten Wissen und nicht minder exorbitantem Vermögen, verteidigt das Vereinigte Königreich von 1939 an. Das amerikanische Department Majestic springt, widerwillig vom Oberkommando der US-Armee mitfinanziert, den britischen Verbündeten erst im späteren Verlauf des Krieges bei, dafür aber mit großer und sehr experimenteller Feuerkraft. Die SC sind dabei nicht an die Grenzen der Vorurteile der bespielten Zeit gebunden: Beide Sektionen setzen laut Beschreibung explizit Menschen aller Geschlechter, Hautfarben, Ethnien und Religionen ein - eine willkommene Abweichung von der rassistischen Weltsicht des H. P. Lovecraft.

Neben Soldat:innen und Widerstandskämpfer:innen brauchen sie auch Spezialist:innen mit Fähigkeiten, die mehr dem klassischen Cthulhu-Charakter entsprechen, etwa in der Archäologie. Die SC sind Angehörige von Spezialkommandos und damit zwangsweise keine strahlenden Pulp-Held:innen: Vielmehr wird von ihnen erwartet, dass sie tun, was eben getan werden muss, um den Krieg zu gewinnen, selbst wenn dies bedeutet, unkonventionelle und bisweilen auch moralisch fragwürdige Methoden anzuwenden.

Das System verwebt gekonnt historische Elemente mit Mythos-Klassikern sowie einigen bis heute beliebten Verschwörungsmythen über angebliche geheime Superwaffen des Zweiten Weltkriegs. Es ist detailreich, lässt der SL aber genug Platz, um eigene Ideen einzubringen.

Die Regeln

Das Haussystem von Modiphius wurde schon für diverse Rollenspielsettings verwendet. Es verbindet narrative Elemente mit festen Regelbestandteilen und ist dabei nicht mit Rechenübungen überfrachtet. Bei Achtung!Cthulhu2d20 stehen die Würfel- und Charaktererschaffungsregeln im Player's Guide und werden im Gamemaster's Guide nur noch einmal zusammenfassend wiederholt, was zu ärgerlichem Blättern führen kann, wenn man die beiden Teile des Regelwerks nur als physische Bücher besitzt. Auch bei zwei nebeneinanderliegenden PDFs ist es nicht gerade praktisch. Fairerweise muss dazu gesagt werden, dass der Gamemaster's Guide allein schon nah an die 300 Seiten kommt, daher kann man dies wohl verzeihen.

Das System begünstigt das Überleben der Charaktere, auch wenn es nicht immer so scheint.

Eine Probe besteht - wenig überraschend - im Allgemeinen aus mindestens 2W20. Diese müssen einen Schwellenwert unterwürfeln, der sich aus den Werten des zur Probe passenden Attributs und der entsprechenden Fertigkeit des würfelnden SC errechnet. Jeder Wert, der den Schwellenwert erreicht oder darunter liegt, gilt als Erfolg. Eine gewürfelte 1 entspricht einem doppelten Erfolg. Im Falle, dass eine 20 gewürfelt wird, kommt dafür eine so genannte Komplikation hinzu - eine negative Konsequenz wie der Verlust einer wertvollen Ressource. Die SL legt fest, wie viele Erfolge gebraucht werden, um die Schwierigkeitsstufe zu erreichen. Hilfe durch andere Spielende und eine Spielmechanik namens Momentum können der würfelnden Person weitere W20 geben, sodass auch Proben mit einer Schwierigkeit von 3 oder höher zu schaffen sind.

Das Würfelsystem begünstigt allgemein den Erfolg der Held:innen, auch wenn es auf den ersten Blick nicht so scheint. Kollege Holger hat eine detaillierte Betrachtung zu den relativen Erfolgswahrscheinlichkeiten der SC im 2D20-System geschrieben. Angesichts des Settings von Achtung!Cthulhu ist es allerdings vielleicht sogar zu begrüßen, dass Begegnungen der Charaktere mit Mythoswesen oder durch dunkle Magie und außerirdische Wissenschaft aufgeputschten Fanatiker:innen nicht ständig im Total Party Kill enden. Ein bisschen Pulp bleibt also doch im System, auch wenn dies Cthulhu-Purist:innen wie Blasphemie vorkommen mag.

Charaktererschaffung

Die Charaktererschaffung in Achtung!Cthulhu 2D20 läuft schrittweise ab. Zuerst wählen Spielende den "Archetype" ihres Charakters, also in etwa seine Klasse, seine Herkunft und dann den "Background" (Hintergrund), also in etwa seine Lebensgeschichte beziehungsweise seinen Beruf vor dem Krieg. Dazu kommt noch eine "Characteristic" (Eigenschaft), die den Charakter weiter personalisiert. Das kann eine körperliche Eigenheit sein, eine geistige Eigenheit wie "Bookworm" (Bücherwurm) oder aber ein Detail der Vergangenheit des Charakters, wie eine Kindheit auf der Straße. Die einzelnen Schritte geben dem Charakter Boni auf Attribute und Fertigkeiten, Spezialisierungen, Talente, Equipment oder so genannte "Truths" (Wahrheiten), die ihn näher beschreiben - dazu gehören etwa die Sprachen, die der Charakter spricht. Das Powerlevel des Charakters kann variieren, je nachdem, wie gut die einzelnen Schritte aufeinander abgestimmt sind. Wenn allerdings keine außergewöhnlichen hohen Werte erreicht werden, hat der Charakter dafür eine breitere Basis.

Der letzte Schritt enthält eine praktische Zusammenfassung, in der die Gesamtzahl der vergebenen Punkte noch einmal zusammengerechnet wird, sodass sichergestellt ist, dass nichts vergessen wurde. Das ist leider auch notwendig, weil das Auswählen von Talenten, Wahrheiten, Equipment und Spezialisierungen bei den verschiedenen Schritten von ständigem Blättern bzw. Scrollen gekennzeichnet ist, was die Charaktererschaffung bei aller Einfachheit doch etwas langwierig macht. Ein Abend dafür ist vor Spielbeginn zu empfehlen.

Für jeden Schritt gibt es außerdem eine W20-Würfeltabelle. Wer also keine Inspiration für den einen oder anderen Schritt hat, kann den Zufall entscheiden lassen. Natürlich kann man das Grundgerüst des Charakters so auch ganz auswürfeln. Das Ergebnis kann im Einzelfall etwas seltsam werden. In der Welt des Cthulhu-Mythos ist "seltsam" allerdings kein Hinderungsgrund.

Die Charaktere müssen nicht unbedingt Soldat:innen sein. Erscheinungsbild

Das Layout der beiden Teile des Grundregelwerks spiegelt die Stimmung der Spielwelt wider. Der Hintergrund ist in graubeiger Papieroptik gehalten, mit Highlights in kühlem Blau für den Gamemaster's Guide und militärischem Khakigrün für den Player's Guide. Beide Bücher sind verständlich gegliedert und besitzen ein übersichtliches Inhaltsverzeichnis, das aber leider im PDF nicht interaktiv verlinkt ist. Der Fließtext ist gut zu lesen und verständlich geschrieben, Zusatzinformationen stehen in Seitenkästen und übersichtlichen Tabellen.

Wie an den Rand gekritzelt zieren Zitate beide Bücher, bisweilen solche von Charakteren aus der Spielwelt, zum Teil aber auch historische Zitate, und immer wieder Exzerpte aus den Werken H.P. Lovecrafts. Etliche szenische Illustrationen verdichten das Ambiente zusätzlich. Es ist positiv anzumerken, dass die Illustrationen nicht mit Hakenkreuzen überfrachtet sind. Anstelle des tatsächlichen (und in Deutschland heute verbotenen) Symbols der "Schwarzen Sonne" benutzt das System für die gleichnamige Kultist:innenfraktion ein eigenes Design.

Fazit

Die Spielwelt von Achtung!Cthulhu 2D20 ist, kurz zusammengefasst, die Welt des H.P. Lovecraft, aber zeitlich mitten im Zweiten Weltkrieg, an dem die SC auch in irgendeiner Form teilnehmen. Düsterer als das geht es wohl kaum. Glücklicherweise schafft es das System, dieses Setting in actionreiches Pulp-Rollenspiel umzusetzen, ohne, dass es völlig ins Lächerliche à la Captain America kippt. Die Bösewichte von Achtung!Cthulhu 2D20 sind angemessen gruselig, die Held:innen nicht zu strahlend für das düstere Ambiente.

Die Welt muss nicht nur vor irdischem Bösen beschützt werden.

Beim ersten Durchlesen scheint das System eine gute Balance zwischen Pulp und Horror sowie zwischen Geschichte und Mythos zu halten. Die Spielwelt ist detailreich beschrieben und der Spielleitung werden jede Menge Ressourcen für eine eigene Kampagne an die Hand gegeben, ohne diese aber allzu sehr zu micromanagen. Ob diese dann mehr Inspiration von bis heute beliebten Verschwörungsmythen (Nazi-UFOs über Neuschwabenland!), echten historischen Ereignissen oder den Geschichten H.P. Lovecrafts und klassischeren Cthulhu-Rollenspielen nimmt, bleibt der SL überlassen: alles ist in dieser Spielwelt möglich.

Das Regelwerk des Modiphius-Haussystems 2D20 ist gut auf die Spielwelt adaptiert und verständlich mit Hilfe zahlreicher Tabellen beschrieben. Die Charaktererschaffung ist als Schritt-für-Schritt-System logisch aufgebaut. Ein Wermutstropfen ist, dass viel hin- und her geblättert werden muss. Im Allgemeinen sind beide Bücher aber gut gegliedert und ihr Geld für Cthulhu-Fans, die eine pulp-inspirierte Kampagne im Schatten des Zweiten Weltkriegs leiten möchten, auf jeden Fall wert. Spielende brauchen indes nur den Player's Guide, in dem alle Regeln und eine spoilerfreie Beschreibung der Spielwelt enthalten sind.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Player's Guide
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Infinity: Infinity RPG Core Book
by Karsten Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/28/2022 08:05:34

I've been roleplaying for over 20 years and have played and run over 30 different roleplaying systems and no game has ever bugged me like the Infinity RPG. I am directly bothered by the whole concept of the 2D20 system. The Momentum and Heat system limits the ability of the game master to tell an exciting story adapted to the players. Unless he completely abandons this game mechanic. Momentum points are a chore. Worst of all, however, is the poor quality of the rules system. There are very many game mechanics and they are poorly explained. There are hardly any examples and they hardly explain anything. Each piece of equipment and each talent has its own rules, and of course you are supposed to keep all of them in mind. The rulebook then cheekily gives the tip that you as a game master should know the rules especially well. Great! Write simpler rules and explain them better!

Another point are the drawings. They are nice, but totally random. They rarely have anything to do with the text section. Alien races and special human units are not shown graphically, so you have to bring your own background knowledge to know what they even look like.

And this lack of a concept carries on through to the adventures. Again, appropriate graphic representations are missing and there are even two maps where the same building looks completely different (Acheron Cascade). And the adventures can really only be described as story hooks. Since scenes are not always logically connected and there is just so much information missing that the game master would have to write almost everything himself.

The only positive thing about the Infinity game (and all other 2D20 products from Modiphius) is the fluff. We will continue to play and use the fluff, but use a new, a good system for our adventures.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Infinity: Infinity RPG Core Book
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Marseille - PDF
by Ben S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2022 00:46:37

Definitely one of my favorite Achtung! Cthulhu adventures, this begins the characters explorations into the Dreamlands. A very trippy and surreal adventure ensues and the private player hallucination handouts seems especially fun and evocative. As usual the details of the adventure are well thought out, potentially open ended for adventurous DMs and certainly having the option of leading to further sessions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Operation Marseille - PDF
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Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
by Thomas G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2022 12:29:49

Five Parsecs is the game I never knew I always wanted.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Five Parsecs From Home - Solo Adventure Wargaming
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Gamemaster's Guide
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2022 11:23:12

The secrets of the Secret War - a Mephisto review

Achtung! Cthulhu Gamemaster's Guide

The Achtung! Cthulhu Gamemaster's Guide represents the second half of the rulebook for the Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 Edition. It focuses on gamemaster topics and thus on the mythos background and the opponents of the player characters. Thus, the various power groups – Section M, Majestic, Black Sun, Nachtwölfe, Deep Ones, and Mi-Go – are presented in detail, whereas in the Player's Guide, there were only a few snippets of text about these power groups. The descriptions are not only very detailed and give a good impression, but also the story arc throughout the war, and thus the complete metaplot is outlined. Not only are existing adventures referenced, but upcoming events are also touched upon so that the game already presents its larger plot as an overview in this basic rulebook. The entanglements of the power groups, their secrets, development, and connections provide a lot of potential for exciting stories. After all, this background chapter already makes up the book's first quarter.

The second chapter is about the secret weapons used in the Secret War. Here, the developments of Section M and Majestic are found side by side with the occult artifacts of the Black Sun, the Atlantean technology of the Nachtwölfe, and the bizarre devices of Deep Ones and Mi-Go. Even though the primary focus lies on weapons – from swords cane to the Pufferfish grenade to the sniper rifle – one can find other practical items. But, of course, most items are difficult at best for the player characters to acquire – and much of it comes from the arsenal of their enemies. The next chapter explains the subject of magic. While the magical traditions of the Allies are touched upon once again, the focus here is on Mythos magic, which is organized according to three Great Old Ones – Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, and Yog-Sothoth. Then, again, there is the division into combat spells, which are quick to cast and are indeed primarily geared toward combat, and rituals, which allow for broader applications but are also significantly more difficult. Inevitably, the usual Mythos books are also showcased, which can serve as a source for combat spells and rituals.

The game master chapter addresses not only beginners because here, in addition to the basic concepts of game management, the game mechanics of Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 and their possibilities are demonstrated. There are tips on how to design a scene, as well as a summary of the most important rules and ideas and examples of rule concepts like Truths or the use of Threat. A little less than the second half of the book is devoted to the heroes, villains, and monsters of the Secret War. Here, you will find typical character profiles for soldiers of different units and key characters' backgrounds and game stats, from Badger and Ariane Dubois to Exarch Reinhardt Weissler and Mina Wolff. Thereafter, the book dives into a number of Mythos creatures. While Deep Ones and Mi-Go are presented in particular detail, the usual suspects like Ghouls, Serpent People or Sheehad are not missing. In the end, some of the Great Old Ones, Elder Gods, and Outer Gods are presented. Their statistics are not missing either – some of which are less impressive than one would expect, as the game system simply has hard limits regarding statistics. The question whether you really need game stats for the Great Old Ones is about as old as the different Cthulhu roleplaying games.

Like the Player's Guide, the Gamemaster's Guide offers a very well-done rulebook that provides the gamemaster with everything about the Mythos that is deliberately withheld from players in the Player's Guide. Particularly, the presentation of the power groups, their history, and also their development within the scenario is convincingly presented. Equipment and spells are coherent, and the chapter on gameplay provides good, concrete tips that are not only aimed at beginners. Whether you require the sheer amount of character profiles of various allies and enemies is something everyone must decide for themselves. However, the various Mythos creatures and gods provide a valuable cross-section, even outside the primary opponents in Secret War.

It is also noticeable in this book that Achtung! Cthulhu has ramped up the pulp factor and toned down the horror to make up for it. Here the heroes are better equipped to withstand the horrors of the Mythos. Contact with its creatures and magic spreads less madness and corruption. Compared to the previous editions, the real World War II takes a bit of a back seat, and with its archetypal characters, the game shows itself more as a pulp story or action movie. Thus, the officers of Section M showcase bravery and integrity; the scientists are somewhat cerebral and unworldly, while their opponents are either brutally repulsive occultists or sexy, cold-blooded schemers.

From my point of view, this new direction fits perfectly with Achtung! Cthulhu. On the one hand, the game distances itself somewhat from World War II and thus does not trivialize the actual horrors but provides a background against which fictional pulp heroes and villains can engage in action-packed confrontations with the Cthulhu mythos.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Gamemaster's Guide
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Player's Guide
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2022 14:56:15

Pulp heroes in the Secret War - a Mephisto review

Achtung! Cthulhu Player's Guide

The Cthulhu mythos against the backdrop of World War II – that is the setting of the role-playing game Achtung! Cthulhu. While the war is raging in Europe and worldwide, the "Secret War" is taking place behind the scenes. There, the agents of Section M and Majestic try to stop the plans of the occultists of the Black Sun and the Nachtwölfe. Achtung! Cthulhu focuses on six power groups in the Secret War. The Black Sun is a Nazi occult organization that wants to use the magic of the Cthulhu mythos and the power of the Great Old Ones to win the war and advance its own goals. The Nachtwölfe have split off from them to use the technological achievements of Atlantis and the powers of the Blauer Kristall. Both face opposition from the British Section M and the American Majestic, who fight the occult forces with their agents – soldiers and competent civilians. Finally, the Deep Ones and the Mi-Go are the Mythos factions, alternately allies or enemies of the other groups. It is up to the player characters, who belong to Section M or Majestic, to defy the forces of the mythos as pulp heroes and thwart the sinister plans of their enemies as agents.

With the end of the licenses for the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, Modiphius has brought the setting of Achtung! Cthulhu to the in-house 2d20 system and accordingly re-released the two core rulebooks Player's Guide and Gamemaster Guide. Not only was the rules base adapted, but the setting and focus were also realigned. While the first edition of Achtung! Cthulhu was very focused on playing soldiers and on the historic war, now the player characters are pulp heroes who can be soldiers, but also professors, occultists, and other people who have stumbled into the mythos. Power groups are also more focused, so clearly Black Sun, Nachtwölfe, Mi-Go, and Deep Ones are prominent as enemies (and sometimes allies).

Accordingly, the Player's Guide introduces the six major power groups with brief glimpses in the form of notes and rumors to give a quick impression of the setting but not reveal any secret knowledge.

The central part of the book is the introduction to the 2d20 system. The 2d20 system relies on players rolling two to five d20 to a target number calculated by attributes and skills for tests. Each d20 that beat the target number counts as a success, and some tests require more than one success. The rule is that a 1 is always a critical success, and a 20 is a complication. For each excess success, the player also generates Momentum (see below).

The other type of dice used is the six-sided Challenge Dice, which are blank on two sides, show the effect symbol twice, and offer the values 1 and 2. These dice are used for damage – called stress in this case – with the effect symbols triggering special effects.

Two fundamental game mechanics are Momentum and Threat. Players generate Momentum with good rolls, which can be used to buy additional positive effects for the corresponding roll – e.g., saving time, more information, etc. Players can also save Momentum for the group. The game master, on the other hand, collects Threat to bring special difficulties into play. Players can offer Threat to the game master if they are lacking Momentum.

Another game mechanic is Truths and Complications, which are reminiscent of aspects from Fate and represent a description that has gameplay implications. Complications are Truths that are a hindrance for the player characters. Both go into the calculation for tests.

A final tool for players is Fortune, which can be used to turn d20 to 1, pay for rerolls, and provide other benefits.

The game explains the rule mechanics for combat with initiative, zones, action types, and damage. Achtung! Cthulhu uses stress for damage – both physical and mental – which is quickly removed. However, if a character suffers more than five stress at once, or if his stress counter is completely filled, then an injury results, which has adverse effects as a Truth which is not so easily removed. Three injuries mean defeat. A player can save the character from death or permanent scars by voluntarily admitting defeat, similar to Fate. Scars occur when a physical or mental injury does not heal completely, and the character is affected in the long term by, for example, an amputation, drug addiction, amnesia, or paranoia.

Character creation is done in several steps based on archetypes, nationalities, and backgrounds, which define the majority of the selectable character stats. Thus, an archetype like Commander gets different attribute improvements and skills to choose from than an Infiltrator. This also defines selectable talents. The nationality determines the languages, while the background – as a former profession – clarifies other selectable statistics. Characters are thus created through several steps according to the player's ideas. Thus, as a result, a character can be an occultist from France who used to be a criminal and is defined by having been raised by a cult. Unlike previous editions, the focus on military characters is toned down and mixed with "classic" Cthulhu characters. To further refine the characters during the game, the book offers a large arsenal of talents, each linked to specific skills offering further advantages. Of course, two chapters are also devoted to equipment – primarily weapons and vehicles – with certain qualities defining equipment effects in play. The important thing here is that characters do not so much buy equipment as they get it provided for the mission at hand and have to apply for it accordingly. More exotic items are harder to obtain in this regard. The final topic is magic, which is divided into two sections. Battlefield Magic consists of spells that can be used spontaneously and are aimed primarily at combat situations. Ritual Magic has broader (and deeper) possibilities, but is correspondingly more elaborate. It is noteworthy that there are several magic directions: Celtic magic, rune magic, and ESP skills, which theoretically work the same, but each offers its own sets of spells. Magic-wielding characters can also be traditional mages, researchers, or dabblers, which results in minor rule changes. Traditionalists can only learn spells of their tradition, researchers are more flexible but have a harder time with spells, and dabblers always learn spells in a flawed version first. At the end of the book, there is some background on the military and their units, as well as sample stats for military personnel.   From my point of view, the 2d20 edition of Achtung! Cthulhu made some noticeable changes from the predecessors – not only by changing the mechanics. Player characters have become more pulp action heroes than World War II soldiers, and the new character creation makes it straightforward to create customized yet consistent characters. The rules are coherent, well explained and fit the setting. The stress rules also make this Cthulhu background a little less threatening than classic Cthulhu: dangers lurk here as well, but with a voluntary surrender, a player can always save their character. The use of magic is also pulpier. In addition to Mythos magic (which is not mentioned in this book), other magical paths are introduced, inviting you to create a magical character and use it actively with combat magic. This change is a departure from the classic approach of dangerously corrupting magic in the Mythos universe. The rulebook is well written, has a great layout and the new illustrations are worth seeing. Even though the book continues to offer information on the World War and everyday military life, this info is nowhere near as dominant as in the previous editions.

In my view, Achtung! Cthulhu with the 2d20 edition not only provides a well-defined rules, but the shift in focus away from the reality of World War II towards the more fictional pulp approach is a clear improvement for playability from my perspective. The simple magic without the evil aura of the Mythos is almost a bit too pulpy for me, but the seemingly lacking horror of the game is only to be expected for the Game Master's Guide anyway…

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Player's Guide
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Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of core book
by Mord4k G. M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/29/2022 09:01:02

My only complaint about this game is that there are a few classes that I think of as pretty "core" to the setting and ttrpgs as a whole that are in a suplemental books



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of core book
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