Achtung! Cthulhu Dark: The Depth of the Horror

A hack of Cthulhu Dark to reflect wartime espionage and the possibility of overcoming some obstacles through force of arms. For a flavour of the game see a recent Gauntlet Games Now one-shot session:

5 sessions on Sunday afternoons (GMT) in September scaffolded by the adventure published for the Achtung! Cthulhu setting: Zero Point - Heroes of the Sea, written by Sarah Newton, and published by Modiphius.

Attendance at all 5 sessions is ideal but not required; you should RSVP for each session individually. All sessions are scheduled for 3 hours and will be recorded (so long as I have worked out how to do that after Google kills Hangouts on Air) and published to YouTube unless there are objections.

It’s Summer, 1940, and the Nazis have unleashed a Blitzkrieg through Holland and Belgium into Northern France, and cut a swathe through allied forces. The British Expeditionary Force and some French units are cut off with their backs to the sea and ‘Operation Dynamo’, the seaborne evacuation from Dunkirk of as many troops as possible, has just begun. The characters will have to work their way across the battlefields of Northern France in search of Agent: WOTAN, who is reported to have information ‘vital to the fate of Allied forces’.

Sunday, September 1, 2019 3:00 PMSunday, September 1, 2019 6:00 PM Session 1
Sunday, September 8, 2019 3:00 PMSunday, September 8, 2019 6:00 PM Session 2
Sunday, September 15, 2019 3:00 PMSunday, September 15, 2019 6:00 PM Session 3
Sunday, September 22, 2019 3:00 PMSunday, September 22, 2019 6:00 PM Session 4
Sunday, September 29, 2019 3:00 PMSunday, September 29, 2019 6:00 PM Session 5

The X-card will be in use. For more information on the Gauntlet’s safety tools, please refer to our Inclusivity Policy on the website (

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Achtung! Cthulhu Dark - The Depth of the Horror (1/4)
Session 1 had to be cancelled due to a bereavement, so this is now a 4-parter.
Part 1 … It’s May 1940 and the Nazi blitzkreig through Northern France has left an MI6 agent with information vital to the allies stranded behind enemy lines. His Majesty’s Pursuivants dispatch untried academic Arthur Blake and a sophisticated Polish courier, the Lady Zofia Odrowaza, to find Agent WOTAN amongst the chaos of the retreat to Dunkirk. They are escorted my Lieutenant, the Honourable, Philipp Blonde and cockney Sergeant, Wilbur Strauss, of the Grenadier Guards.
Arthur smokes heavily, learns to use a Bren Gun and risks an Elder Sign; Wilbur discovers tank guns are easier to use than you’d think; Lady Zofia ensures a Guards Major realises who is really in charge and demonstraes her capacity to hotwire a Kubelwagen as well as her dedication to getting the information out … at any cost; while Lt Blonde makes some hard choices between his orders and some civilian refugees, before demonstrating heroism that will influence his family’s sense of duty for generations to come …


Achtung! Cthulhu Dark - The Depth of the Horror (2/4)
Her Majesty’s Pursuivants organise a follow-up mission based on the information obtained behind enemy lines last time. They must go to the Belgian seaside town of Nieuport … which was fine when they planned it but King Leopold of the Belgians has just signed a surrender to protect his cities from German bombing. Suddenly Sgt Strauss is escorting 2 agents into occupied territory (again)! Intense Viennese analyst Adriana wins the Sgt’s respect for coming up with a cunning plan while former actress (and student of semiotics), Egglantine, plays a number of parts to get them to the centre of the occupied town in broad daylight. There they surprise, confront, and overcome, plainclothes members of SS Sondergruppe KFW2 and rescue captured archaelogist Marcel DuChamp. Private Reggie Wooster discovers what war is like at the sharp end, all the time conscious that Her Majesty’s Pursuivants have a hold over him that means he has no real choice in his involvement. Sgt. Strauss tears a strip of the upper class lad, who refused the King’s Commission, and that is making Reggie think seriously about the path he is emabarked upon, and that maybe this will not be the ‘jolly jape’ he’d hoped. Adriana races back to British lines with the rescued archaeologisy while the others take refuge in a Nieuport basement with a group of Belgian soldiers determined to fight on …

Achtung! Cthulhu Dark - The Depth of the Horror (3/4)
Arthur Blake returns to Dunkirk and his decent French and reasoned argument enables him to avoid detention by a suspicious German patrol. Re-united with the team a plan is hatched to investigate reports of an SS presence at thev quayside. There follows daring dashes and bloody knife-work before an ancient statue is blown up and disturbing visions revealed. But where, exactly, is the Fish Witch …

Achtung! Cthulhu Dark - The Depth of the Horror (4/4)
…with: @Pearl Zare (she/her), @Paul Rivers, @Will H & @gerrit
Picking up where the last session ended, with Arthur Blake (@Will H), Sgt. Strauss (@Paul Rivers) and Egglantine Chatfield (@Pearl Zare (she/her)) in occupied Nieuport, watching action hero Reggie Wooster (@DanFelder) blow up a half-track and an ancient statue dredged from the bottom of the North Sea … they experience strange effects as the statue’s latent power super-charges the Nazi Dream Gate in the next room. Reggie disappears in search of a safe rendezvous, while Adriana Carnap (@gerrit), the other member of the team, is briefed by Dr Turning at Bletchley Park: he has calibrated his computer, Colossus, to guide her astral projection to the very DreamLands into which the explosion has dropped the rest of the team.
There follow opportunities for suspicion, confusion, hypnotic dream-shaping, a view of how a temple to the Nazi Occult might be shaped by those that dream of such a thing, SS troopers with a strange look in their eye, and a confrontation with the Nazi Fish Witch, before friends have to make hard decisons, Gates are conjured, the horror of war threatens to swallow … everyone, and a U-Boat crew is left with few options …
This was A1 RPG from a great group of players it was a joy to watch work.

This was a joy to watch! And the sergeant’s costume was amazing of course :smiley: .

Is your Achtung! Cthulhu Dark drift publicly available, either as a work-in-progress/ashcan version or as a complete ruleset?

I also wonder whether the rules - or more likely a hack of those - would be a good fit for Achtung! Cthulhu. The split between 2 “psychological” meters (stress and Mythos insight) is good in that setting, but would likely slow down the “pulp” action here. Perhaps treating stress>=4 with more mythos/breakdown/fiction implications is the right way to go, as mentioned in the debrief.


In Cthulhu Dark Green that change was made largely so the game COULD be slowed down if the players wished (and turned into a short campaign). So consider that.


Check out the Delta Dark Green APs on the Gauntlet YouTube channel and see what you think. For me DDG is better at the ‘smaller’ scale more intimate variety of Cthulhu setting … Like Delta Green :wink:. I’m pitching at something that can deal with more explicit action implicit in Achtung!Cthuhlu, and I’m really pleased you enjoyed seeing at work.
In terms of availability it is still for private use. My last couple of play-test games will be during GauntletCon, and depending on how those go I might ask Gauntleteers I trust if they want to give it a go … after that … Time will tell.
Thanks so much for your interest.


I love that this weird little niche is wide enough for multiple games and play styles. Really let’s people tell the kind of story they want to explore. Achtung has a great sense of PULP, something I largely removed from my design.