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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Player's Guide €19,31 €13,78
Publisher: Modiphius
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/07/2022 15:41:29

I’ve always been a big fan of Modiphius’s 2d20 system, and have played and loved games like Fallout and Conan. I’ve been meaning to check out A!C for a while, but have always been turned off by the price. I’m not sure why, for this game out of all the 2d20 games, they chose to make the barrier of entry so much more expensive. Not only do you need two books instead of one to actually run this game, but those two books are usually much more expensive than any of the other single core books. It doesn’t make any sense considering: A. All of the subject matter here is public domain stuff and B. this game is inherently going to have a smaller player base than something like Fallout or STA because it is a much more niche setting. You would think Modiphius would want to make the A!C books cheaper because of this, not more expensive. While this criticism has nothing to do with the quality of the product itself, it is something that really irks me.

But of course, we should talk about the actual game itself. All of the 2d20 games have varying levels of complexity, and I would put A!C somewhere on the upper end; closer to the high crunch of something like Conan than the low crunch of something like Dishonored. Overall, this is a pretty standard take on the 2d20 system and there’s nothing here that really changes up the formula, but I think that’s a good thing. The 2d20 system works really well as-is for this kind of subject matter. And I absolutely love the subject matter. The whole dastardly-occult-Nazi-cults-fight-two-fisted-pulp-action-heroes setting is just fantastic.

If you like the 2d20 system, you’ll probably like the gameplay of this game. If you don’t like it, you probably won’t, as it doesn’t do anything to shake up that system at all. If you’ve never played a 2d20 system before, I’d recommend you go into it with an open mind. Concepts like “truths” and “zones” might seem a little weird at first, but they start to make sense as you play the game. And, as a side note, I think this book does a better job of explaining what exactly truths are than any other 2d20 book. Which is ironic because some of them, like Dishonored, rely on truths in order to function much more than this game does. But I digress.

That said, I have some issues with the content of the book. The layout and asthetics of the book are all pretty solid. The art that is in here is really good, but I wish there was more of it. The book does a generally good job at explaining the 2d20 ruleset, but drops the ball when it comes to certain mechanics like extended tasks. That whole section is badly explained and really needs a re-write. There are some minor typos throughout, and unfortunately, this book contains one of the most glaring typos I’ve ever seen in an RPG book. It tells you at one point that melee attacks are made using “Agility + Fighting,” and then later says that melee attacks are made using “Brawn + Fighting”. While it is true that technically your GM could have you roll with agility for melee attacks, 9/10 times you’re going to roll with brawn, so this is a pretty glaring error and I don’t know how it made it into the final product. Overall, really not the best explanation of the 2d20 rule system, but not the worst.

The character creation section, though, is quite good and provides a lot of neat options for players to choose from. The combat and magic sections are pretty good, too. One of my favorite unique mechanics to this system is the stress track, and the way that physical damage and mental damage (insanity) are basically combined into one type of HP.

So, overall, while I wasn’t exactly blown away by this book (which, for the asking price, I feel like I should have been), I think it’s a very solid 2d20 game with a very fun theme. If the idea of pulpy WW2 Cthulhu mythos antics appeals to you, I think you’ll like this book.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20: Player's Guide
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