This work is a massive resource for anyone running World War Cthulhu, which draws on earlier works, especially Cthulhu Britannica: London, World War Cthulh: The Darkest Hour and The SOE Handbook, although you don't need any of these products to use this book in your game. (They might help, though!) The idea behind the book is that the characters are Londoners who are caught up both in the reality of war and the horror of the Mythos. They might be civilians or involved in the emergency services, Home Guard or Civil Defence Volunteers, or part of Network N. Whoever they are, they have to cope with the dangers of the Blitz as well as concerns about those they know who are fighting, threats of invasion... and the Mythos which, while not involved in the war, is happy to take advantage of the fear and chaos it causes.
The Introduction goes on to present a brief history of London during the war, outlining the various phases, and to talk about Network N and in particular those members of the organisation active in London, known as Auxiliries. The next chapter tells you how to create such a Network N Auxiliary. A neat idea is presented, that you could start a campaign with a bunch of Auxiliaries then, as time (and the war) progresses they could advance to full-blown agents and be sent on missions as detailed in The Darkest Hour and the Europe Ablaze book of adventures. There's plenty of ideas here with new professions, new skills and a range of organisations to join that are specifically tailored to London.
The next chapter is Wartime London, which describes everyday life in London during the Blitz. This provides plenty of background against which you can set and run your plots. Everything from air raids to crime is touched upon, there's plenty of atmospheric material to make your wartime London come to life. There's also a selection of notable individuals, many from the entertainment world although Winston Churchill is also included. There are also some interesting places to visit, complete with plot hooks to send the party there or provide some interesting action whilst there. Everyday shopping and the procurement of equipment is covered, with attention paid to rationing and increased costs due to scarcity.
We then move on to a chapter on Mythos Horrors. London has always had more than its fair share of strange cults and beasties, and the war only makes it worse. Ghouls abound, and there's a weird bunch called the Rat Catchers whose life-mission is to capture them. You can meet leading members of the Rat Catchers as well as those of less-wholesome cults. Monsters too, like a long-forgotten imprisoned shoggoth released by falling bombs... Here too are artefacts and tomes, not least the British Museum Restricted Collection. Strange places to explore, odd people to meet: this Chapter will help add a Mythos spin to your London.
Then comes Battles on the Home Front, a chapter jam-packed with advice on creating adventures and even whole campaigns set in wartime London. If that's not enough for you, three complete scenarios are provided to get you started: Midnight Sunrise (mid-1940), Captive Audience (February 1941), and The Meat Trade (a scant month later). These are no outlines, but complete and ready to run with all the resources, NPCs etc, you will need. Each has a solid Conclusions section with ideas for incorporating the consequences of the party's actions into further adventures.
There's plenty here to get a London-based campaign up and running, or to provide a solid percursor to a full-blown Network N campaign that sends the party all over Europe fighting Nazis and the Mythos alike.
Return to London page.
Reviewed: 12 December 2017