[Let’s Study Achtung! Cthulhu Investigator’s Guide] Part 3a: Character Creation, CoC 6th Edition

Hello everyone! After a harrowing week of Real Life work and personal concerns, we’re back to our Let’s Study series, picking up with an attempt to make a character for Achtung! Cthulhu using the Call of Cthulhu Rules.

The chapter begins with a short rundown of the possible nationalities that the investigators can come from, and while American or British characters will likely be the choice, there are options to play characters from other nationalities. I was pretty amused to see random tables that could be used to roll for a nationality, but in this case I decided to stick to being a British Investigator.

The next part involves defining what an Investigator does for a living. In Call of Cthulhu, this is defined by their occupation. Achtung! Cthulhu provides several tables of possible occupations, from Civilian, Covert and Military backgrounds.

I figure I might as well try playing an investigator from the Covert Occupations. Rolling a D100, I get a 62… which makes my character a Partisan. I’ll get to the details of that later.

Moving on, I’ll see when and how my investigator first ran into something strange in their life. Again, more tables involved, something that I’m not really adverse to. Rolling a d6 to determine the nature of the Mythos encounter nets a 6… making it when I first became an agent. The next roll on a d10 comes up a 3 with an interestingly written report:

“When they first recruited you, you didn’t imagine you’d be parachuting into occupied Europe, but here you are and with a lot of new friends to help. But there have been reports… At first you thought it was the Germans, but this is something different. You’re determined to find out what is truly going on and stop it, before either the Allies or the Germans think it’s a good idea to use it! What reports have you heard? What have you found out? What good could you do with it if you don’t stop it?”

I think I’ll come back to the specifics of that one later. It’s a great hook though and certainly works well with the character.

Going back to occupations, I rolled up a Partisan, and as one of the Occupations found in Achtung! Cthulhu, I flip on ahead to check out what they’re like.

Turns out that Partisans are guerilla fighters that fought against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War, used to hitting the enemy fast and leaving no prisoners.

Statistically, I get:

Earnings: Low

Connections: Local Population, Rival partisans, SOE Agents

Specializations: Forest, Mountain

Skills: Climb, Conceal, Demolitions, Drive Automobile, First Aid, Hide, Heavy Weapons (Machine Gun), Navigate (Land), Ride, Rifle, Sneak, Submachine Gun, Survival, Swim and Track.

Bonus: Local Hero, Strong Stomach

At this point we revert to the basic Call of Cthulhu character creation system.

Basic character creation in Call of Cthulhu is fairly randomized as well, with various rolls of pools of D6’s to determine characteristics.

Let’s start with rolling for each of the following characteristics:

STR 11
CON 09
POW 10
DEX 09
APP 08
SIZ 13
INT 13
EDU 13
SAN 50

Wow… that’s not so bad.

Let’s work on the derived characteristics:

IDEA: 65
LUCK: 50
KNOW: 65
Damage Bonus: +0

Hit Points: 11
Magic Points: 10
Sanity Points: 50

SKILLS (260 points to spend)

Climb (40%)
Conceal (15%) +30
Demolitions (01%)
Drive Automobile (20%) +50
First Aid (30%) +50
Hide (10%) +50
Heavy Weapons (Machine Gun) (15%)
Navigate (Land) (10%)
Ride (05%)
Rifle (25%) +50
Sneak (10%) +30
Submachine Gun (15%)
Survival (01%)
Swim (25%)
Track (10%)

Overall character creation is still as quick as it is in standard Call of Cthulhu, but with a few interesting mechanical additions that don’t slow down the game.

I’m very impressed with the slew of occupations in Achtung! Cthulhu and how seamlessly they fit with CoC that it doesn’t feel like a product put together by a different group.

The new skills are also a good addition to keep the feel of a world war 2 game, and I can honestly say that with this kind of character creation system you can get a CoC investigator up and running in mere minutes.

The bonuses in particular are amusing ways to add a little something to the character without adding mechanical complexity, definitely a plus for me.

Tomorrow I’ll try my hand at putting together a character using the Savage Worlds mechanics included in Achtung! Cthulhu, perhaps with a different concept than the one I put together here.

For those interested and would like to follow along, you can get a copy of the Achtung! Cthulhu Books in PDF format from DriveThruRPG

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