Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Trifletraxor

BERLIN 61 - Four Nations, Two Sides, One City. Who Do You Belive?

Recommended Posts

berlin-61.jpgBerlin 61 is an espionage horror setting explores the darker side of post war europe, where magic and demons are worshipped by cults and sorcerers, and good men and women draw the line between good and evil. Includes information on life in the city during the cold war, key locations, and special organizations. Battle spies, assassins, cultists and the Dark Herald Kototh. A great back-drop for espionage adventures in the 1960 style, and silver age superhero action!

By Christopher Barnhart. 130 pages. Published by Chaosium July 2008.

Edited by Trifletraxor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Berlin 61 is a 132 pages long espionage horror setting. This beetle review will first take a look at the content of the book, then the layout, and then end it all with a Triff says summary.

C O N T E N T :

Chapter 1: Introduction (page 5-8) :b1::b1::b1::b1::b2::b2:

A short overview of the supplement and the setting.

Chapter 2: Berlin '61 (page 9-40) :b1::b1::b1::b1::b1::b2:

This is the "setting" chapter of the book. It describes the history and daily life in post-war Berlin in good detail, with an extra focus on the most well-known landmarks in the city to flavour your campaign. It also gives a very good description of the different organizations and fractions in the city (CIA, US Army, KGB, Red Army, Stasi, etc.), within the perspective of the setting.

Chapter 3: Mythos (page 41-70) :b1::b1::b1::b2::b2::b2:

Here a description of the mythology of the Kotothian pantheon of gods, together with descriptions and stats for a lot of supernatural creatures from the Kotothian mythology. The later part of this chapter feels like an attempt to make some CoC mythology up from scratch, which is not fully succesfull.

Chapter 4: Rules (page 71-92) :b1::b1::b1::b1::b1::b2:

This chapter covers character generation, new skills, some pulp adventure guidelines, and rules for creating James Bond-like gadgets with unusual or semi-supernatural abilities. They should probably never bee shown to the players, as they can surely be abused, but these rules present a great framework for the GM to work with.

Chapter 6? (should be 5!): Equipment (page 93-102) :b1::b1::b1::b2::b2::b2:

Rules for using the setting for a supers game, with some allready flesh-out NPCs. For those who like supers...

Chapter 6: Equipment (page 103-129) :b1::b1::b1::b1::b1::b1:

The is where the book really shines. The author have obviously done a lot of research and shares a wealth of knowledge on the subject (his military background probably came in handy with this chapter). Everything from daily items and cost of living to detailed descriptions and tables for weapons, explosives, various body armors and helmets, gas masks, and any type of gear and equipments kits that can be of use in this setting. This chapter makes the book worth the cost alone. Great work Barnhart! ;t)

L A Y O U T ::b1::b1::b1::b1::b2::b2:

Less illustrations than with the GORE edition, but greatly improved. The book have some nice pictures giving the book the perfect cold war and espionage feel. The text layout is also good.

T R I F F S A Y S :

I recommend the book to anyone who thinks an espionage or an espionage-horror setting in post-war Berlin sounds interesting. I would also recommend it to anyone who plays in settings during WW2 or the cold war period, if only just for the equipment chapter.

Final verdict: 5 beetles - :b1::b1::b1::b1::b1::b2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its doubtful Trifletraxor. I dont really think there is much demand for more B61 stuff. And moving across the globe to a new job isnt helping much. Heck I cant even make time to play a game, let alone make more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its doubtful Trifletraxor. I dont really think there is much demand for more B61 stuff. And moving across the globe to a new job isnt helping much. Heck I cant even make time to play a game, let alone make more.

That's a shame. Where in the world are you located now PK?

SGL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the background sounds interesting, what I am looking for is something for espionage akin to what the issue 2 Worlds of Cthulhu article so excellently did for the Old West: set up a bunch of character archetypes for the espionage genre (agent, handler, technician, etc.) and a few rules tweaks for the specific genre. Would chapters 4 & 6 of Berlin '61 provide enough to say with conversions of characters run old stuff from TSR's Top Secret?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mysterioso, I think B'61 does provide decent background information, much of it pulled from real sources on life in Berlin during the 60s and gear and equipment of the time. You will find it a good starting place at least for information on the city and setting. However, the initial idea was for Cthulhu horror behind the Berlin Wall. That of course is now falling to a more pulp/b-movie sci-fi genre.

The new goal of B'61 is to create a classic Sean Connery James Bond setting that mixes with some Cthulhu, some Steam Punk, some Hellboy and some sci-fi.

If you like alternate histories like Tannhauser, Dust, Harry Turtledove, Fatherland and so forth I think the new direction I plan to take it will be appreciated. But it wont be dynamic alternate history, so more along the lines of things that not everyone is aware of but are kept secret from the masses and so forth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chaosium has stated that they do not believe B61 warrants/needs any more support. While I may still continue with B61 as a project, it looks like it wound be under a different banner, perhaps Gore or MRQ2 or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While still uncertain on Chaosium's interest in B61, I have been busy at work on the project. I have about 50 pages or so of new material and information and what not, not to mention those two adventure booklets that I never finished editing (if I can find them again LOL, damn cluttered computer).

But for those of you interested, Berlin '61 is being transformed.

When all is done, Berlin '61 will stand as a supplement for what I am working on now, not the other way around.

It is going a more lighthearted pulp action adventure feel over the prvious dark noir horror feel, though many of the aspects will remain (Rote Nazi, Office Nine, Brotherhood of the Cloth, Kototh and such) but it will be more of a b-movie Doc Savage/Indiana Jones sorta style to it. I hope to post some samples by end of the year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Work is still underway on both the new setting/game/genre spinning out of Berlin '61 (simply called '61) and the long over due Encounters Manual. The Encounters Manual is weighing in currently at 67 pages and looks to bloat to about 75 pages in all, if I decide to throw the x-mas advenutre into the thing then that will push it up to about 85 pages. It is shaping up pretty nice, even if I say so myself with plenty of interesting locations, some horror, some adventure, stats, NPCs and hints and clues at how the world of '61 will be shaped!

Look for the Encounters Manual to be released as a independent book (PDF) via Lulu (and probably soft cover option as well) in January, or if I am lucky, Dustin will decide to make it a monograph, which of course will delay its release a bit I imagine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...