World War Cthulhu: Cold War – What is Section 46?

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"What is Section 46? That, my friend, is a very dangerous question. A question like that, asked to the wrong person, could get a man killed. Or worse. But sometimes, to find the truth, you have to ask dangerous questions – today I've delved a little deeper into the setting to find out about Section 46, the illicit organisation that the investigators belong to during the Cold War."

Read on to find out more.

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World War Cthulhu: Cold War is currently funding on Kickstarter. It is a Call of Cthulhu setting full of thrilling espionage, tense horror and sudden betrayal set at the height of the Cold War in the 1970s. The tangled webs of the spymasters tear and rejoin, double and triple agents make their moves and counter-moves, and it’s hard to be sure which side you’re really working for. Nuclear destruction hangs over everyone, and a few people at the heart of western intelligence continue their personal battle against the insidious influence of a much older enemy…

The Kickstarter runs until Tuesday, 21st July, and there are some great books for you to get your hands on – including a deluxe, limited-edition copy of the core setting book. You can pledge your support here.


Throughout the Second World War, a shadowy spymaster known only as ‘N’ operated within the British military, using the resources of the Special Operations Executive to wage his own war against an older and less human enemy than the Axis. While N’s motivations may have been murky, those loyal to him won small victories, possibly setting back the inevitable on a number of occasions.

Section 46 of the British Secret Intelligence Service was proposed by N as a continuation of various aspects of the SOE at the end of the war. In particular, he wanted to preserve his connections to intelligence agencies in allied countries. N's personal network had spread through OSS agents trained by the SOE at Camp X in Canada, into what would become the CIA, as well as other Western and Commonwealth intelligence services. Section 46 was crafted to keep Network N active under the cover of international cooperation. Unfortunately, Section 46 was never sanctioned and has never officially existed. Its name exists more as a symbol than any official organ.

N has since been given a peerage and a seat on the Joint Intelligence Committee to keep him quiet. He uses his position to try to direct those loyal to his unsanctioned cause, syphoning intelligence and resources their way, but this is a risky game. The US and American intelligence communities are still smarting from decades of blunders and betrayals, and they are more paranoid than ever about potential moles; the fact that such a mole may be working for Section 46 and not the Soviets will not save them from prosecution or worse, and, unlike Kim Philby, they cannot simply flee to Moscow when the game is up.

There are secret members of Section 46 in a number of international intelligence services, some dating back to the days of SOE and the OSS, others more recent recruits. While they know that the fight against the Mythos is vital, they also know that humanity faces potential destruction from itself. This means that they are not simply subverting the intelligence services to N's end – they also need to do their actual jobs. Those who use resources in SIS, the CIA or other agencies to tackle Mythos threats do so following N's tried-and-tested technique of piggybacking on existing operations without completely derailing them. This means more than ever that members of Section 46 find their priorities and loyalties divided when in the field.

This means that few missions, if any, will not involve a more standard espionage objective. Agents may have to go completely off-mission sometimes in pursuit of Mythos objectives, which will place them at risk of coming to the attention of enemy counter intelligence or their own security services. No one ever said that being a spy was easy!

section 46

"Shh, what was that? I thought I heard something, in the alley outside. You’d better go, before anyone sees you. Come back later when I’ll have some information about the campaign book, codenamed ‘Yesterday’s Men’."

Of course, we can’t do it without your help and support, so please keep spreading the word, sharing the Kickstarter on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and talking about it in your favourite gaming forum! By spreading the word, you’re helping us make it the best setting it can be, with a fantastic core book and some great supplements to support it.

About World War Cthulhu: Cold War

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We're launching a brand-new setting for Call of Cthulhu, set at the height of the Cold War in the 1970s, one of the most paranoid and chaotic conflicts of the 20th century.

If you love the novels of John Le Carré (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy et al), shows like Homeland,The Americans and The Sandbaggers, or comics like Greg Rucka’s Queen & Country then this is the Call of Cthulhu setting for you!

But we need your help to bring this setting to life with a bang, create the best core setting book possible and develop awesome expansions. As a backer, you can choose from a range of rewards including a copy of the hardcover core setting book, a deluxe edition of the core book, and a range of supplements to really get you started! There’s loads more detail about what’s included below.

The Cold War setting forms part of our wider World War Cthulhu line, which covers a range of conflicts (see here for more info). You don’t need any other World War Cthulhu products to play Cold War – it is a standalone setting – but it forms a part of the over-arching World War Cthulhu narrative. You will need a copy of the Call of Cthulhu Rulebook though.

We want to bring you a fantastic new hardback setting book filled with evocative background, intriguing mysteries, inspirational advice and stunning artwork, to really do this era justice. Not only are we offering you the chance to get hold of the World War Cthulhu: Cold War hardback core book, but also to get a very limited-edition deluxe copy of the book too.

If you’ve seen any of our books before, you’ll know we pride ourselves on our high production values, and World War Cthulhu: Cold War will be no exception. Cubicle 7’s previous Call of Cthulhu products come very highly recommended, and have won ENnie and Origins Awards.

As well as the award winning core Cubicle 7 team, we’ve assembled an awesome team of industry heavyweights such as Mike Mason (Call of Cthulhu line editor at Chaosium), Paul Fricker (co-author of Call of Cthulhu 7th edition), Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan (line developer for The Laundry RPG and author of The Darkening of Mirkwood for The One Ring) and Scott Dorward (line developer for World War Cthulhu). We’ll have amazing art from the likes of Jon Hodgson, Scott Purdy and others.

You can find out more about the campaign here.


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