With the first supplement for World War Cthulhu: The Darkest Hour, Europe Ablaze, shipping imminently to stores and pre-order customers, we asked line developer Scott Dorward to pick his three favourite things in it.
Scott: One of our main goals with Europe Ablaze was to provide plenty of variety. Each scenario is set in a different country (or, in one case, on a ship in the Mediterranean), with missions of sabotage, assassination, diplomacy and containment complicated by varied Mythos threats. The tones differ sharply as well, from desperate and bloody action, through grim nihilism and on to the near-surreal. This breadth of variety does make it tricky to pick just three things about it though.
Andrew: [threatening Scott with a Dread Curse] Pick 'em!
Scott: OK, OK! I think my three favourite bits are the play in The Play is the Thing, the monsters in We Will Remember Them and (courtesy of Paul Fricker) the mission itself in Stowaways.
1. The King in Yellow: Walt Ciechanowski has come up with a unique spin on The King in Yellow for The Play is the Thing. The idea of encountering a purportedly benign variant of the play feels like being handed a deadly viper with the promise that its venom glands have been removed; trust will only take you so far.
2. Sympathetic Monsters: The monsters in Paul Fricker’s We Will Remember Them are horrific, but also pitiable and poignant in a way you rarely see in Mythos tales. No matter how much of a threat they pose to the investigators, they remain relatable in a way that makes them all the more disturbing.
3. Courtesy of Paul Fricker: “One of the things that attracted me to World War Cthulhu was the dual-mission structure of the scenarios – one military and one Mythos. For me, when playing Stowaways, this added a whole new layer of intrigue to the game. I found I really enjoyed the uncertainty about whether and how the two missions were linked.”
About Europe Ablaze
On the 16th July, 1940, Winston Churchill told Hugh Dalton, the newly appointed head of the Special Operations Executive, to “set Europe ablaze”. With this simple instruction Churchill set in motion some of the most dangerous and brilliant actions of the Second World War. The men and women of SOE performed acts of sabotage, subversion and espionage so extraordinary that if they were portrayed as fiction, they would beggar belief. These agents pushed bravery and human endurance past limits that most of us can only imagine.
Europe Ablaze presents six missions demanding such resourcefulness and determination, all set in the European theatre of operations. Some are inspired by SOE missions or historical events, while others take a more imaginative view of the conflict, but all are rooted in the all-too-real horrors that the Second World War brought about. All of them also add that special twist that being part of N’s network demands, and the dangers of the Mythos will prove at least as deadly as a bullet from the Gestapo.
Europe Ablaze is an anthology of six Call of Cthulhu scenarios set in the Second World War. Softcover, 144 pages, written by Walt Ciechanowski, Scott Dorward, Paul Fricker, Andy Nicholson, Nick Robinson and Matt Sanderson. Cover by Jon Hodgson, interior art by Scott Purdy, design by Paul Bourne.
You can download The Angel of the Abyss, a complete, free adventure by Matthew Sanderson, taken from our Europe Ablaze. Good luck… you’re going to need it!
Find out more about World War Cthulhu
Buy the World War Cthulhu Fiction Anthology
Buy World War Cthulhu: The Darkest Hour RPG
Europe Ablaze Pre-order + PDF
Europe Ablaze PDF
Find out more about the scenarios in Europe Ablaze