Today we’re looking at Chapter 5 of the Achtun! Cthulhu Keeper’s Guide which goes into all the fun details about the various Secret and Occult Societies in the setting.
The chapter opens with a look at a small selection of interesting occult societies per nation, again covering America, France, Britain and Germany. Each country gets a writeup of one or more secret societies, and each society has a large plot hook in it regarding their affairs. A few of these have writeups for relevant NPCs in the groups, statted according to the system you’re interested in.
This chapter gets even more interesting the moment the book goes into Section M, a crew of occult investigators working with the British against the Germans. Their history and characters are given the full treatment here, and provide a spot of fictional color to the book. After several chapters of timelines, this kind of more personal approach is a welcome one.
America’s Majestic follows up next, with its own colorful account of its history, operations, headquarters and heroes.
What follows next is detailed account of two German secret societies, starting with The Cult of the Black Sun.
The Black Sun are the German’s Occult arm, dedicated to terrible sorceries and forbidden paths, calling on various blasphemies to do their bidding. They are the sorcerous arm of the Nazi War Machine. They’ve got powerful backers in the form of some of the more well-known Elder Gods of the Cthulhu Mythos, and that makes the Black Sun a very interesting opponent for player characters.
Aside from the well known leaders and personnel of the Black Sun, the chapter also details their troops and other, more unique and monstrous forces.
The Nachtwolfe are the other secret society covered here, and serve as an interesting counterpoint. While the Black Sun focuses on foul sorceries, the Nachtwolfe are more in tune with occult artifacts and lost technologies. This makes them a fearsome asset to the German forces. It’s intresting how the Nachtwolfe are related to the Black Sun and how they’ve become their own thing, and the tensions between the two are well explained.
The Nachtwolfe also have their heroes and troops detailed, with interesting technologies that can wreak havoc in any normal battlefield.
This is the chapter that really caught my attention. While the timelines and details were great for historical accuracy, I found the chapter on secret societies to be the one that could inspire the most. I’m especially amused by The Black Sun and the Nachtwolfe. The’re excellent opponents, and as a GM, I’m glad to be able to throw something that feels a little more theatrical than the usual Nazi soldier to my players. It will certainly make their encounters with either society much more memorable.
For those interested and would like to follow along, you can get a copy of the Achtung! Cthulhu Books in PDF format from DriveThruRPG
- Investigator’s Guide (Savage Worlds and Call of Cthulhu version) $14.99
- Keeper’s Guide (Savage Worlds and Call of Cthulhu version) $22.99
- Investigator’s Guide (Fate Core version) $14.99
- Keeper’s Guide (Fate Core version) $22.99
- Achtung! Cthulhu Guide to the Pacific Front (Savage Worlds and Call of Cthulhu version) $14.99