Sunday, January 19, 2014

Armchair Review: The Nazi Occult

The book The Nazi Occult (from Osprey Publishing) is packed solid with adventure hooks and telling details on the occult in Nazi Germany during WWII.

Here's my review as it appears on RPGNow:

It should be pointed out that this book is written as an 'alternate history', detailing a richly imagined and meticulously researched tapestry of Nazi plans, activities, artifacts and personas. 
With that out of the way, this is a must-have for GMs who are planning to run games (or are already running ones) that are set in WWII with a touch of mystical / magical elements, weird science hints, or even Cthulhoid intrusions. It's also a treasure trove of origin hooks for superheroes or supervillains from the WWII / post-WWII era of comic book gaming.
Even a cursory read will clue you into names major and minor in the network of allied and opposed occult factions; a close read will give you a rundown of a multitude of Ahnenerbe activities around the world, major artifacts that passed through Nazi Occult hands like the Spear of Destiny, the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant (with a tip of the hat to our favorite adventuring archaeologist), Nazi mystical rites with occult significance with their exact dates in the timeline, and ties to locations like Agartha and to technologies like the Vril-powered Bell.
If you want to freak your players out with fantastic and horrific adventure elements strongly grounded in history, this is the book for you.

I strongly recommend you pick it up, and read it with notebook or digital recorded in hand -- to capture all the ideas that will be triggered on a page-by-page read of this tome. And, if you're already familiar with the subject matter, you may find inclusions of well-known and lesser known characters from pop culture and gaming culture added into the mix.

3 comments:

Charlie Warren said...

That sounds absolutely fascinating! One of my favorite courses during college was the one about Nazi Germany. One of the requirements was reading a book from the professor's list and sharing our findings with the class. All of the ones I read were very interesting. One detailed all of the different plans that Nazi Germany considered for bringing the battle to American soil. It is amazing to consider how much of our technology can be traced to that dark period of their history. Another good read was the book detailing the Jewish soldiers that fought on the side of Hitler. Some rose very high in the ranks and were "considered German" due to service. My favorite book - and I am sorry to say I can not remember the name - was one detailing the occult interest of Nazi Germany. It offered up different details and laid out some ideas about the Thule Society (iirc) that believed secret organizations were running the show behind the scenes and moving men about the world like a giant chess board. Very interesting stuff.

rmb1957 said...

Has anyone checked out my book about the Nazi Occult and the British Special Operations Executive ? It is titled, Occult House available at Amazon.com. Paperback versions will be printed in February. Take a look.

Alexander Osias said...

+Charlie Warren, it's an area of passing fascination to me -- I only became aware initially through comics -- but it's certainly stayed with me throughout the years.

Hope you can remember that book! In the meantime, I'll see if I can find rmb1957's book.

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