On the Shelf Review – Castle Bravo

Pelgrane Press’ latest release for The Trail of Cthulhu takes us back to the Fifties and the days of atomic testing in the Pacific.  The crew of an escort carrier near Bikini Atoll stands on the deck to observe the latest test.  But the detonation will bring more than the terror of mutually assured destruction…

Castle Bravo details the struggles of crew members of the USS Bairoko against the anomalies unleashed via the atomic testing.  Author Bill White sets out to emulate the atomic horror of the Fifties, but ends up transcending it as  combines Mythos horror with the scares of the atomic age.   The scenario begins slowly, but soon the horrors mount and the investigators are dragged into a mad play of temporal distortions, quantum mechanics, and personal transmutations.

The scenario offers compelling characters in a unique situation.   All of them are associated with the military, which often raises questions of proper portrayal when used in scenarios – for example, how to maintain player autonomy while effectively modeling the chain of command.  This is one point on which the scenario could be made more GM-friendly.  A few notes to this effect, along with the Operational Readiness mechanic by which ship resources can be used, might help players to take on their roles more effectively.  Nonetheless, the actual play of the scenario should give investigators plenty of opportunities to take control of the situation.

This scenario is a a strong addition to the Trail line, and it will certainly make for a memorable evening of play.

Published in: on May 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

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