World War Cthulhu: Cold War - What do you do?

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World War Cthulhu: Cold War - What do you do?

Post by Andrew » Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:27 am

In World War Cthulhu: Cold War, you play intelligence agents for one of the Western powers, working to counter the Soviet threat, but you are also part of Section 46, fighting against the agents of the Mythos. You serve many different masters – your various intelligence chiefs, the mysterious N, the enigmatic H appearing to you in your dreams, intelligence officers pursuing their own agendas and assets looking to turn the tables – and this is reflected in how a mission plays out in the game.

In a mission, you will be tasked with both an espionage mission and a Mythos mission that you must accomplish. These missions will often be contradictory, requiring hard choices to reach the best outcome in a desperate situation. You might have to go completely off-mission in pursuit of their Mythos objectives, bringing you into conflict with enemy counter-intelligence or agents from your own side!

For example, your mission might look like this:
  • Your team have to plant a bug on an office used by Soviet agents, but at the same time rifle through the archives there to find evidence of local cult activity.
  • Or, you’re sent to tail a suspected mole, but at the same time pick up a dead-dropped grimoire left for you by your own informant.
  • Or you’re sent to Cuba to extract a compromised agent, but whilst you’re there you’re tasked with stopping the Cult of Dagon’s midnight meeting with Deep Ones.
If you’ve played our Second World War setting for World War Cthulhu – The Darkest Hour – before then you’ll already be familiar with the mission structure. But, in the Cold War, with the paranoia and tension turned up a notch, there’s an added complication in that the lines of loyalty are not so clearly drawn. You can never be entirely sure about where your orders have come from, their validity or whether the whole thing is some sort of elaborate trap. The investigators will rarely feel confident that they are doing the right thing for the right people.

Take that last mission – say it’s the CIA who have sent you into Cuba, with N piggybacking his mission against the Deep Ones onto the back of the Americans’ own agenda. But what if you’ve received a tip off that the CIA handler has already been turned? Can he be trusted? Do you call the mission off? And which part of the mission does this compromise – after all, has he been turned by the Russians… or by an agent of the Mythos?

At any given time you will have at least two objectives on the go, but you’ll also have innumerable questions to answer as a team. Can we trust these orders? Do we know if we’re meant to follow them? Which mission is more important? Can we afford to fail?

Whose side are we really on?

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