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Trail of Cthulhu: Castle Bravo



HelipcopterIt's 1954, and you're a sailor or scientist aboard the USS Bairoko, an "escort carrier" detailed to support secret nuclear bomb tests in the Marshall Islands. The bomb goes off in the Bikini atoll, the ship gets a light dusting of radioactive fallout, and now the crew is acting crazy, distress calls are coming in from monitoring stations around the blast site, and strange blips are showing up on the radar screens. What do you do?

Bill White writer of Castle Bravo, and creator of the Ganakogok RPG says:

I think of Castle Bravo as Lovecraft meets atomic horror. I forget where I saw this--maybe the Illumina tus trilogy--but somewhere it's been pointed out that some of Lovecraft's monsters can be read as prefiguring horrors of modernity. When Azathoth is described as a "seething nuclear chaos," in other words, what else can we picture but a roiling mushroom cloud rising over ground zero? One of Castle Bravo's playtesters, a fellow named Sam Zeitlin, made a similar point. "Maybe," he said, "the real horror is the atomic bomb."

I give Pelgrane Press high marks for its playtesting process; I got a huge number of detailed reports from GMs and players telling me what they liked and disliked about the adventure, and I was able to use many of their suggestions to make running it easier for the Keeper, and to improve the storyline. I revised the playtest draft extensively after running it at Dreamation in February 2010. If you played a previous ve rsion, you will not recognize the adventure; it's much more coherent as a narrative, more tightly focused as a design, and creepier as an experience while still preserving the central Lovecraftian conceit.

The adventure in its final form takes advantage of that insight, and I think the adventure is satisfying as a result.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (5)
Discussions (0)
Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
January 27th, 2017
This adventure is set in 1954, rather more modern than most of Trail of Cthulhu, and it sets the Investigators as sailors and scientists off on a cruise to watch an atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll. Needless to say, after the first test shot in the ser [...]
Michael H. [Featured Reviewer]
July 12th, 2011
Castle Bravo is a 32-page adventure for the Trail of Cthulhu RPG, written by Bill White and published by Pelgrane Press. It is available only in pdf format, and is priced at a very reasonable $5.95. While it has an attractive color cover, the interior [...]
November 8th, 2010
I bought this ebook this on the strength of the few reviews I was able to find: sadly, I found myself disappointed in spite of the glowing praise others had given Castle Bravo. I won't disparage the quality: I agree with the other reviewers that [...]
October 6th, 2010
Making the investigators deal with '50s ideas of nuclear safety, before any Mythos horrors show up, appeals to me. Some reinterpretation that, I suppose, is reasonable but not compelling and a few scenes that have the potential just to become silly. 3. [...]
NB N. [Featured Reviewer]
July 2nd, 2010
As with all of the Trail of Cthulhu scenarios I've purchased, Castle Bravo is top notch. I'll give you fair warning. I ran this as a one-shot and it ran 4.5 hours with some serious cuts in material. If you want to include all/most of the hooks and plot [...]
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19.75 MB
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File Last Updated:
May 25, 2010
This title was added to our catalog on May 25, 2010.