Achtung! Cthulhu 2020
A new year brings a new look and feel for one of our most beloved RPGs
Achtung! Cthulhu is Modiphius' oldest original RPG. It was our very first Kickstarter and the game which helped found the company over seven years ago. It's Lovecraftian World War II with tentacles and has provided thousands of hour's worth of chilling play for fiendish Keepers and audacious Allied Investigators alike.
Yet five years is a long time in role-playing gaming, tastes change, mechanics move on and Achtung! Cthulhu was starting to feel a little frayed around the edges. It was still tied to Sixth Edition Call of Cthulhu and Savage Worlds rules, and outside of the Living Campaign releases and the excellent Code of Honour, hadn't had a major campaign book for a little while.
High time for a reinvention and reinvigoration then! It's always been a privilege to work on Achtung! Cthulhu but doubly so to steward it through its newest reincarnations. We definitely wanted to keep existing fans happy and on board which is why Bill Heron did such sterling work updating the Keeper's and Investigator's guides for Call of Cthulhu 7th edition (and also why we were also delighted to give away free copies to Kickstarter backers and anyone who'd bought the originals). You can expect print editions to follow this summer.
However, our in-house 2d20 system also gave us some marvellous new opportunities too: to reinvent Achtung! Cthulhu the way we love to play it: rollicking fast-paced, two-fisted pulp adventure featuring larger-than-life Allied heroes, dastardly Nazi villains, mysterious eldritch forces, ancient tomes and hideous secrets, and mind-melting creatures from the outer dimensions that would shatter your sanity twice before breakfast and not even blink their thousand eyes.
And over the past year and a bit, as the 2d20 version has started to take shape, that's exactly what we've been aiming to do. We've had superb support from 2d20 system designer Nathan Dowdell who's custom tailored the existing 2d20 system to Achtung!'s exacting requirements, plus some wise guidance and plenty of great practical GM advice from Sam Webb, Modiphius's head of RPGs. It's also been a huge pleasure to work with a such a wealth of writing talent including Richard August, Brad Bell, Richard Gale, Benn Graybeaton, Bill Heron and Mari Tokuda, who've really helped bring the new setting to life.
But what you're really interested in, no doubt, is all the shiny new toys you'll get to play with as both player and GM in Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 when it debuts.
We'll start with the lore: A!C2d20 is now focussed around six major factions: the Nazis have Black Sun and Nachtwölfe; the Allies Section M and Majestic, while two new Mythos factions have also emerged to play a major part in the Secret War, the Deep Ones and the Mi-Go. Black Sun and Section M were the main focus in the past games, but Nachtwölfe and Majestic have now stepped forward into the light too and there's also a real focus on the new Mythos factions. All have freshly written sections exploring their expanded lore and back stories, with additional details of their plots, goals and bases, to provide what we hope is a really intriguing and flavourful setting for you to get your teeth into.
Elsewhere, there's a completely new system for generating your own heroes of the Secret War with a comprehensive approach which mixes archetypes, backgrounds, characteristics and talents, to create unique combinations authentic to the World War II setting. We've exciting new chapters like the much expanded Secret Weapons of the Secret War, a new Horrors and Monstrosities chapter brimming with fearsome creatures and otherworld entities ready to offer transitory power in exchange for your very soul.
Finally, we've also developed a completely new magic system, embodied in the spell books of Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, and Yog-Sothoth, which are countered by the allies adopting Celtic and Runic traditions plus the untapped potential of psychics to take the sorcerous fight back to the Mythos. There's also a myriad of new tomes and forgotten artefacts whose dread pages and ancient secrets may be best left undelved (though we know that's not really going to stop you).
Finally, the 2d20 system itself has been stripped down and is ready for action in a new fast-paced, gloriously pulpy setting dripping with atmosphere and authenticity. Never fear, behind the scenes there's real depth and plenty of crunch in the mechanics if you want it, as well as solid guidance and advice on GM-ing the new system.
But you'll still be using it to pull off once-in-a-lifetime shots, survive insurmountable odds, defeat the worst machinations of the Nazi occult menace and be ready to go toe-to-toe with the very worst that Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth and even dread Cthulhu himself can throw at you.
With a wealth of existing and newly commissioned art, illustrations and assets to draw on and a real evolution of the design, this is both a brand new look and feel for the game. There's also an extensive planned programme of new 2d20 adventures, campaigns and missions to explore including a major new campaign called Forest of Fear, set in the Ardennes or Battle of the Bulge in 1944, plus new one-off adventures and more campaigns and source books planned.
We’re also currently open for adventure pitches in conjunction with the excellent Unofficial Achtung! Cthulhu Facebook Group so you can still get involved if you hurry. Or why not just sign up here for all the very latest on both 7th Edition and 2d20 Editions?
With a carefully curated mix of evolution and revolution, we're hoping this truly is Achtung! Cthulhu two-point-zero, kind of fitting for 2020 really, a major leap forward for one our most beloved and original role-playing games . We can't wait to share the results of our endeavours with you later this year.