Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Atomic-Age Cthulhu is Chaosium’s 1950’s source book. It contains 9 scenarios, and a chapter about running a CoC game set in the decade of Ike and Happy Days. As of this writing it is only published for 6th ed CoC. I am sure with the big push to convert everything to 7th ed, they will have a new printing soon, but until them I have updated 7 characters for this campaign.
Of the six Occupations I am presenting here the UFO researcher (UFO hunter in A-A C) and the Nazi hunter are pretty much strait conversions.
The book and I have vastly different views on the Beatnik and the beatnik movement. The book portrays them more like proto-hippies, who were deeply into drugs. I see them more as a literary movement. Chaosium is probably closer to the historical reality than I am but I have tweaked them so you can play them either way, or somewhere in between.
The Hotrodder is a modification of A-AC ‘s Greaser and the Illegal is a variation of that book’s Spy/Infiltrator. I talk about the infiltrator as a Soviet Block agent on US or allied soil, but it can easily be reversed and made a NATO agent working behind the Iron Curtin.
The Late-night monster movie host is completely my creation, and I love it. It blends my love for the Mythos and B monster movies together. So if anyone is running a Atomic-Age Cthulhu campaign and wants another person at the seat let me know, cause I would love to play one.
Beatnik: Beatniks are an occupation choice in the 6th Call of Cthulhu, but they seem to see beatniks slightly different than I do. There choices focused more on the drug use and left out the poetry and the traveling. Though drugs could be a part of the lifestyle so could literature. These are people who are trying to find themselves in the post War years. They clash with the American status quoa. Main stream America tries hard to ignore them, but they are also somewhat fascinated with them. They where sun glasses and berets, the men have facial hair and the women where pants. They are friends with people who have different skin colors and are tolerant of gays.
Skills: Arts/craft (Any) Beatnik culture, fast talk, Anyone personal skill (Charm, Intimidate or persuade), Drive (Automobile), Literature, One of the fallowing Arts/Craft (Musical instrument), Arts/craft (Poetry), American geography, or Science (Pharmaceuticals) and any one personal skill.
Credit rating: 05%-25%.
Starting occupational skills: Education x2 and either Dexterity x2 or Appearance x2.
Examples: Jack Kerouac.
Other settings: The time of the beatnik is exclusively the 50’s and 60’s.
Hotrodder: America has had a car culture since the 30’s, but in two decades it greatly grew in two decades, and extended t the youth in the 50’s. And young people with cars love speed. They will take old twenty year old jalopies and soup them up to maximum performance. Cars became a way of lie. Hotrodders drive them, work on them, show them off, listen to songs about them and even make love in them. Their cars almost take on a persona of their own.
Skills: Arts/craft (any), Dodge, Drive (automobile), Fast Talk, Fighting (Brawl) Any one other interpersonal skill (Charm, Intimidate or Persuade) Mechanical repair, any one personal skill
Credit Rating: 10%-40%.
Example: Johnny Zuko form Grease.
Other settings: Though a 50’s icon, they can be seen any time after then.
Illegal: During the fifties the Soviet Union would train spies in the ways and mannerisms of the average Americans. These highly trained agents would then sneak into the US and live out seemingly normal suburban lives and then report back to their masters in the KGB. They would be trained to act just like anyone else on Main street. They would usually have some type of a job that would reveal industrial. Military or governmental secrets.
Skills: American culture, Disguise, fast talk, Any one of the fallowing interpersonal skills (Cham, Intimidate or Persuade) Other Language (English), Firearms (Handguns) any two job or cover related skills.
Credit rating: 20-60%.
Starting skills: Education x2 and Dexterity x2 Intelligence x2
Special: Must be trained by the KGB and infiltrated the United states.
Examples: The family on The Americans.
Other settings: Could be German agents during WWII, but as Soviet Agents from the 50’s to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Late night monster movie host: The LNMMH became a staple of 1950’s TV. They would introduce B grade movies and do humor bits around the commercials. If the host was female, she would occasionally vamp it up with a little sex appeal. The hosts might gain their own cult following. In many cases becoming more popular than the shows they were hosting. Host were often semi-retired actors form the type of movies they were showing, sometimes the local weatherman would fill in to the post. A lucky few have national exposure, but most local celebrity at the best. Since so many of their shows deal with the occult it is natural that they might eventually encounter something supernatural.
Skills: Art/craft (Acting), Art/craft (Any) or Science (Meteorology) Any two interpersonal skills (Charm, Fast talk, Intimidate, or Persuade), disguise, Lore (Movie), Occult, Any one personal skill.
Credit rating: 30%-70%
Starting skills: Education x2 and Appearance x2 or Intelligence x2.
Special: Must have hosted a TV movie show.
Examples: Elvira Mistress of the Dark.
Other sittings: The 50’s are the heyday of TLNMMH, they can be played in anytime past that.
Nazi hunter: The truth is that the world of the 1950’s wanted to let the horrors of WWII just die, and be forgotten. Thousands of Nazi criminals escaped through out Europe, South America and even in a few cases the US. The American State Department didn’t actively pursue Nazi’s until the 80’s. Even Israel who had famously captured and forcefully extradited Adolph Ehrlichman, was very selective on the Nazi’s they hunted for fear of reprisal against Jews. So Nazi hunting basically fell to a small cadre of private citizens who would tirelessly work to out War Criminals and in some cases kidnap them themselves. To the Nazi hunter the slogan“Never Forget” are not just words but a mantra and not even laws will prevent them form getting their justice.
Skills: History, Library use, Persuade, Other Language, Spot hidden and any three of the fallowing (Accounting, Art/craft (Photography), Disguise, Fast talk, Intimidate, Fighting (Brawl) , Firearms (Handguns), Stealth, Track)
Credit rating: 10%-40%.
Starting skills: education x2, and Strength x2 or Dexterity x2.
Special: Must have an undying desire to bring Nazis to justice.
Examples: Simon Wiesenthal.
Other setting: Due to the aging of their prey Nazi hunters cease to be a viable occupation after the 1990’s.
UFO researcher. The modern UFO era started in 1947, when Kenneth Arnold, saw flying objects when fly by Mount Reiner WA. He would go on to coin the term ‘flying saucer.” This led to a new class of enthusiast and researcher, who would go out in the field interview witness, check alleged landing sites and try to find UFO themselves. Books about UFO became instant hits, especially if they added a modicum of scientific backing to it.
Skills: Art/craft (Photography) or Art/craft (Write), Persuade, Any one of the following interpersonal skills (Charm, Fast talk or Intimidate), Listen, Lore (UFOology), Science (Astronomy) Spot hidden, Any one personal skill.
Credit rating: 20%-50%
Starting skill: Education x4.
Examples: John Keel, author of The Mothman Prophesies,.
Other setting: can be in any setting after 1947. This occupation works especially well in Delta Green campaigns, since Grey aliens are a threat in that setting.