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Achtung! Cthulhu: Serpent and the Sands. RPG Review

Achtung! Cthulhu: Serpent and the Sands By Modiphius, C2023, Price: £12.00, Website

Review by: Seth Stauffer

There are few better places to search for occult artifacts than Northern Africa. Ever since ancient Egypt’s ruins were uncovered they have continued to captivate the popular imagination. Dark forgotten tombs, powerful pharaohs, curses, and a long legacy came to light when the sand was cleared aside. Those remains also got the Nazis’ attention because in Serpent and the Sands from Modiphius players will send agents into the desert to thwart a bizarre plot. 

An effort was made to cover a lot of territory in this two-part book. The book’s first half is setting and supplemental information clarifying Northern Africa’s role during World War 2 and its significance to Achtung! Cthulhu. There’s a great deal crammed in here, character options for players, new threats to torment PCs, and all kinds of fun worldbuilding. It’s a quality venture to provide gamers with a means to broaden their campaigns. 

Some of this book’s details add excellent depth to the game. For example, the descriptions of what a desert looks like, beyond the images of dunes. Or the attention paid to creating a 10-part campaign that puts the players through their paces in a variety of ways. Everyone behind this book worked to craft something to enlarge the A!C experience for gamers and not just provide a history lesson.

Where this falters is the fact that it’s oddly organized. It is two books inside one cover. There are two separate Tables of Contents, rather than just one. Halfway through the book, there is just another Table of Contents. Why? What’s more, there is one appendix and no index. I wasn’t always sure where to look for information, especially when I wanted something quickly. Truthfully, this probably should have been two separate books, but as it stands, having one Table of contents for the whole book rather than for each half of the text could be helpful.

While it could have put together a bit differently, the content is good value. There’s loads of substance in this book and the price would justify either half of the book. All of the background, equipment, and player options help expand the possibilities for gamers. Adding a solid ten-part campaign is just (chef’s kiss) a fantastic one-two punch of gaming material.  For A!C fans, this would be an excellent addition to a collection and a way to keep the game night going for quite a while.

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