Category Archives: Random musings

Achtung! Cthulhu for 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu

A few days ago I was surprised to find emails from DriveThruRPG in my inbox with links to free copies of three new products. As it turned out Mödiphiüs had just released an updated version of their Achtung! Cthulhu game for 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu, and as one of the original backers I was eligible for a free copy. The core rules consist of the Investigator’s Guide (a 128-paged PDF containing all the rules needed by the players) and the Keeper’s Guide (a 216-paged PDF with the background, new rules for WW2 combat, a bestiary, and everything else the GM needs to run this game).

Achtung! Cthulhu is – as the name implies – a Call of Cthulhu game set into World War 2. The horror of war and the atrocities of the Nazis are combined with Lovecraftian cosmic horror. The characters are Allied soldiers or agents of Allied services fighting both the Axis and the Mythos creatures weaponized by them. The setting also helps to solve one the issues that often crop up in Call of Cthulhu games: why should the investigators travel the world, risking their lives and their sanity, while at the same time jeopardizing their jobs and relationships? Delta Green solved the issue by making the investigators members of a government conspiracy. In Achtung! Cthulhu you’re playing the soldiers fighting a war. Unfortunately I haven’t had the time to actually play Achtung! Cthulhu yet, but now I can at least do so with the latest iteration of the Call of Cthulhu rules. If you enjoy Lovecraftian Horror and have an interest in WW2, you definitely should check Achtung! Cthulhu out!

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While checking out the official Mödiphiüs site I was also reminded of Achtung! Cthulhu Skirmish, their tabletop miniatures game in the same setting. Miniature skirmish games have always been a mixed bag for me. I love playing those games, but I am not particularly good at them. They can also quickly become a huge money and time sink. I have to admit that Achtung! Cthulhu Skirmish looks quite tempting and the miniature prices are very reasonable. If you are into these kinds of games, you definitely should give it a look.

What are your thoughts on Achtung! Cthulhu? Have you actually played the RPG or the miniature game? Please share your comments below.

Some thoughts on Invisible Sun

A couple of days ago Monte Cook Games finally released their roleplaying game Invisible Sun in digital form. Until then the PDF version of the game was one of the exclusive Kickstarter backer perks. The digital edition not only contains multiple PDFs with over 1000 pages of text, but also countless cards in a printer-friendly format and handouts for all the props included with the physical version of the game. The price tag is at $99.


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This may sound a lot and quite a few people have been arguing that its way too much, but this is not the issue I am having with the game. Invisible Sun is a surreal fantasy game, a game in which characters wield unimaginable powers, a game which is supposed to change your perspective on what roleplaying games could be. This might to a certain extent be quite pretentious, and a bit of hyperbole, but the people who read or even played it, seem to like it a lot. So what’s the issue?

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My issue with the game is that aside from either getting the $99 digital copy or the $250 physical one (aka the Black Cube), I have no way to find out more about the game. Sure, I can watch the videos Monte Cook Games has uploaded to YouTube, or I can read one of the few reviews out there. Having a reasonably priced starter set or perhaps even some free quickstart rules would make it much easier to find out whether Invisible Sun is worth my money or not. With a game at such a high price tag, I just want to be really, really sure, that the game is for me.

Is the price itself fair? Undoubtedly so. Monte Cook Games creates awesome products and I never regretted putting down money for any of their books. Especially the physical copy of the game is probably quite cheap considering how much material you get. I’d love to get my hands on a copy, but at the moment, a $99 or $250 minimum to get into the game, just seems too much for me.

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By the way, I just noticed that Invisible Sun is actually the #1 best selling title on DriveThruRPG at this moment. I don’t know how this is measured, just by the sheer number of purchases or is the price factored in? Still, it’s pretty impressive.

What are your thoughts? Are you intrigued by Invisible Sun, but shy away from the high price tag? As always every comment is highly appreciated!

UPDATE: My friend Roberto aka Sunglar let me know that there’s actually a preview for Invisible Sun available for free on DriveThruRPG. I haven’t had the time yet to fully read it, but it seems to give a good overview on character creation, the magic system and some of the “fluff”.

We have to be better than this!

Update #2: Zak has posted his statement regarding the accusations here

Update: Vivka Grey, a woman, who lived with Zak and Mandy for a while, and who also was featured in the “I hit it with my axe” show, also shared her experiences with Zak on her FB page. 

I’ve struggled with this post for quite some time. Sometimes writing about important topics is incredibly hard. Sometimes you just don’t want to keep quiet, but you also don’t have the right words. At this moment, I feel angry, sad and ashamed. So what is all this about? Mandy, the ex-girlfriend of  the (in)famous Zak S. has written a lengthy post on Facebook about her relationship with him. And as it turns out, he has been abusing her physically and mentally for years.

For anyone who was interacting with him, it was quite obvious that he has an abrasive nature, to put it mildly. He can’t stand being criticized, he’s a bully and a troll. But still a lot of people respected him as a creator – including me. Eventually I got tired of his behavior and openly stated that I am done defending him. But even then I thought that his online persona was more of an act. I believed that behind the mask he was wearing, there was a kind and caring person.

When I read the post about Zak’s abuse, the thing that shocked me the most was that I wasn’t that surprised. At this point I realized that I should have seen it all along. There have been so many signs which a lot of us chose to ignore. We have to be better than this! Damn, I should be better than this! It’s so easy to overlook one’s terrible behavior because we enjoy the product they created for our favorite games. We try to rationalize why we still support someone even though we know we shouldn’t. In a way we help people like this to continue abusing others.

It was extremely brave of Mandy to share her story. She has been living in an abusive relationship for years and her abuser even used her as a shield. At this point there’s not much I can do to help her, aside from believing in her, and sharing her story, so that others don’t have to suffer the way she had to. We also should stop supporting people like Zak. We should not buy his works, invite him to conventions, interview him for our blogs or podcasts, interact with him on social media. Most importantly we should support the victims and believe their stories.

Do I think that things in the RPG community will finally change for the better? No. I am almost 100% sure that there are still many RPG fans who will support their favorite creators to the end, even if they turn out to be terrible people. For some their favorite “elf games” are more important than the lives of other people. That’s the harsh reality. But that doesn’t mean we should stop struggling. We have to try to be better than that!