View Full Version : World War II

07-21-2009, 04:30 PM
Ok, so I was watching Defiance yesterday (awesome movie if you missed it) and it got me really wanting to get working on the idea I've been having for a while about a World War II RPG (work with me on this one, I don't want to give away any more than that for now). But just to see what's out there (and to make sure my ideas haven't been done before) I started looking for WWII RPGs, and I found two... d20 Modern (and it's war spin-off, Blood and Guts, and its Weird War II spinoff), and GURPS WWII. But that can't be it. Are there any more out there anyone knows of? I'm not looking for wargames, I'm looking for actual character driven RPGs. Naturally any game can be set in that time frame or used as such, but I'm looking for an honest to goodness game about WWII, or at least a pulp game set in the 40s. So, what say you?

07-21-2009, 04:35 PM
Spycraft? ;)

Seriously though, GURPS is the only one I know of though. Good luck finding Behind Enemy Lines (http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=3993).

edit: looks like you might be able to get Battleforce Bravo (http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=11534) perhaps. http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?cPath=1338&products_id=18179&it=1

07-21-2009, 04:38 PM
Lol, I know about Spycraft ;) And that would be easy enough to use. Some of my inspiration for how combat works comes from there. I more just want to see what else is out there.

07-24-2009, 10:55 PM
Guess no ones got anything. Sweet, I've found a void in the market to fill :)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-25-2009, 12:00 AM
Best of luck and keep us up to date on your WWII rpg endeavors.

07-25-2009, 09:44 AM
What Thoth said. If you're stuck on something, drop me a message, maybe we can find a solution together.

07-26-2009, 04:23 PM
I think you may be right. The only time I played a WWII game we used the Storyteller System from White Wolf. It worked nicely, but, all of the source material came from the DM.

07-26-2009, 10:52 PM
Behind Enemy lines is available from drivethrurpg.com I believe. I had a discussion with somebody else about this. It was orginally a Fasa product and used D6's

07-27-2009, 09:05 PM
Good catch outrider. I need to find a copy of that one.

Anyway, for those interested, Here is what I have so far (http://omaharpg.webs.com/). It's obviously nowhere near complete, or at this point anything but a basic outline of some key mechanics. But I plan to add to it for about an hour a day or so until it's done, so if you'd like to follow the development, feel free. Any comments are appreciated, and any suggestions will be taken into consideration, as the entire system is not ironed out yet. Let me know what you think :)

07-27-2009, 10:38 PM
Hmm... That sounds really interesting. Depending on what degree of supernatural horror your game might tolerate by way of inspiration, there is always the original d20 Weird Wars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weird_Wars) rpg, which was set in WWII. Pinnacle (http://www.studio2publishing.com/shop/index.php?cPath=41) released several supplements before launching the next phase of Weird Wars set in Vietnam (and using a SW core instead of d20). Have you played either of these? I've never played either of them, though I notice that Weird Wars II has a persistent following in the rpg community. Anyhow, they might be good to benchmark in prep for your own game.

07-28-2009, 07:50 AM
Yeah I used to play the crap out of Weird War II back in the day, and I've read Tour of Darkness, and the sci-fi one whose name eludes me. I like both games (but I'm not so fond of the sci-fi one).
There may be a hint of their influence in the game, but for now, the main focus of my writing is to make a legit Historical RPG. If I delve it into sci-fi, fantasy, or horror later, those will be optional side-rules (though I'm trying to write the whole game to be modular)

07-28-2009, 11:40 AM

Unlike today's more modern military, I would think that characters in a WWII setting wouldn't be too worried about skills. Many GIs as well as many planners had to invent how to accomplish things from scratch. Many of the concepts in Modern Management philosiphy and Management Science have WWII to thank for thier birth.

Outside of the training received for an individual's training (which I believe wasn't really specialized back then, except for things like Airborne), an indiviual's skill set only included what he knew before entering the military and what he learned the hard way.

How you would make a game mechanic out of this is above my pay grade however.

I do like the incorporation of some of Spycraft's mechanic and do like the concept overall. Best of luck on this, and let us know if you need playtesters.

07-28-2009, 12:45 PM
That's a good point Fersboo, thanks. For the game mechanics, where your skills come from is of little consequence... though the very nature of the setting means they *probably* are skills known beforehand, it's really up to the GM and the players. That really just stems from how I view RPGs in general... mechanics fuel roleplaying, but I want to make up the justification for the mechanics myself. Obviously advancement during the game would represent learning the hard way.

Keep checking back though. I hope to have at least a basically playable game up within a week, two at the max.
--- Merged from Double Post ---
Update Log 28Jul2009:
-Changed Saving Throw mechanic. Previously, I had planned on having stats similar to d20's three saving throws, though their calculation was going to be different. Now, I have decided that saves will be checks AGAINST whichever attribute the GM decides is relevant. Players want to roll below their relevant statistic on an unmodified d20, or for extremely hard checks, they want to roll below half of the relevant statistic, rounded down.
-Added clarification on the difference between Vitality Points and Hit Points
-Doubled value of Action Dice in skill checks.
-Added detailed charts for Strength, Agility, and Fortitude
-Slightly reduced number of points players have to assign Statistics at character creation, from 40 to 36.

07-29-2009, 05:23 PM
I bet it would not be difficult to find military manuals from WWII and find out just what training was like for the different branches of the military.

The fact that the military in WWII used MOS (military occupational specialty) codes goes to show that there was at least some formal training above and beyond basic.

You can find many of them here: http://kelleys_kobras.home.att.net/reference/mos.htm

07-29-2009, 07:04 PM
Awesome. Thanks for that RageofGaia! Who wants to RP the Sewing Machine Operator? ;)

I'm kidding of course, that'll be immensely useful, thanks man.

07-30-2009, 12:18 AM
No problem. I'm interested to see how this turns out. WWII is an awesome place for any number of campaigns.

If you're taking requests, I'd like to see more stuff about the pacific theater. So much gets made of the Nazis and Hitler's interest in the occult, but the war with Japan has a lot of interesting and rarely touched upon material.

Japan's use of the bubonic plague against China, kamikazes, overwhelming odds, jungles, malaria, and some of the most heroic stories of the war.

There's also some more humorous ones. I had two uncles by marriage, who both fought in the pacific theatre. One was a rifleman and one was with the howitzers. The howitzers got their coordinates, and fired off their 88mm shells, only to realize they had shelled their own men including the rifleman, who got a piece of shrapnel to the leg.

They never met, or knew each other, and ten-twenty years later married into the same family and through talking, realized that the one had nearly killed the other.

07-30-2009, 07:08 AM
Yeah I totally agree, and there's definitely going to be a lot of info on each theater. My grandfather was in the Navy and was actually involved in every major theater, so I have a vested interest in portraying them all. I'm planning info on both the Eastern and Western fronts for Germany, North Africa, Italy, and the Pacific. And since I'm not focusing on the occult side of Germany, I have no real need to focus there or anything. So we'll see how it goes. Thanks for the encouragement, and if you have any other ideas, let me know.

07-30-2009, 09:20 AM
All the WWII games i've played have been tactical games. You could do something similar though, i remember TOG Renegade Legion (FASA) where you re-created the battles from history and played them out. In fact, it was really fun thinking back on it.

Spy missions, paratroop, squad or platoon sized roles are great - otherwise, tactical situations are either played out as story or as wargame.

Since WWII's outcome is already predetermined, you could do an alternate history story line - that would provide you more suspense, intrigue, danger and introduce a lot more unknowns into the play.

We did a few like this with Twilight 2000 rules...

07-30-2009, 04:33 PM
Well obviously you have no way to know this, but I have a system cooked up to cover larger battles while keeping the small squad/platoon feel of the game. Stay tuned for that, because that's an area I'll probably need some input on.

I hadn't thought too hard about the campaign setting per se. I've been thinking alternate history, but I'm not sure exactly how alternate. I want to keep it grounded in reality, and I want to keep the tech the same. I'm actually probably going to be soliciting the good folks here at P&PG for some help crafting a setting, because you're exactly right, templeorder, if something about the setting doesn't change, why would anyone play as the Germans or the Italians or Japanese knowing you're doomed to lose? How could the players impact the course of the war, or even the battle, if everything is set in historical stone? And what would stop the players from creating some little hit squad to roll across Europe taking out prominent enemy leaders, because you'd know where they'd be? All things I want and need to avoid. I'm probably going to start recruiting help with this game soon, both in the form of playtesters, other writers, and folks to bounce mechanics off of. Because right now it's just me, and while it's not that I'm not up to the task, it's that I want to be sure anyone besides me will want to play the final product lol. So if anyone is interested in contributing, let me know.

08-03-2009, 01:20 PM
I'm the best damn Sewing Machine Operator this man's army has ever seen... if it hadn't been for my sewing skills, Hitler would've won, I shit you not. Our boys needed disguises, and they needed them fast. I could whip out an SS uniform faster than your sister could post a Dear John letter after her Joe had left.

08-05-2009, 03:56 AM
I have a couple of ideas:

Resistance Groups: And not just the French. The Germans had Oskar Schindler, Claus von Stauffenberg, Maria Terwiel, and many other heroes who were not only opposed to the Third Reich, but vehemently resisted it. Most of them were subsequently executed as traitors, but I'm sure some of them had to survive, and the other Axis Powers had to have dissidents, right?

The War at Home: Rosie the Riveter probably wouldn't be much fun to portray, but having the PCs be members of the OSS or SIS/SOE in Britain hunting spies, or rooting out dissidents and foiling assassination attempts would be a fun campaign.

I also have a feeling that Inglorious Basterds will be a fountain of cool ideas, especially for violence.

08-06-2009, 03:15 AM
This sounds immensely interesting. I like the idea a lot and I'm going to keep an eye on this. (Though I can rarely leave well enough alone, so I would probably inject some sci-fi stuff into any campaign I would run with it.)

But even a vanilla WWII story would be very interesting, especially if your PCs change history. For example, maybe your party of undercover agents succeeds in assassinating Hitler. You could continue the campaign with a new, alternate history, even after the end of the war.

08-06-2009, 04:03 AM
This sounds immensely interesting. I like the idea a lot and I'm going to keep an eye on this. (Though I can rarely leave well enough alone, so I would probably inject some sci-fi stuff into any campaign I would run with it.)

But even a vanilla WWII story would be very interesting, especially if your PCs change history. For example, maybe your party of undercover agents succeeds in assassinating Hitler. You could continue the campaign with a new, alternate history, even after the end of the war.

Or how the war would have gone if Himmler took his place!

08-06-2009, 04:28 AM
Or how the war would have gone if Himmler took his place!

Oh, yes! There are a lot of things you could do with alternate histories, but that would definitely be a logical next step if your PCs managed to off Hitler.

08-06-2009, 07:36 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the interest :) Makes me happy to know I have a few followers on this one. I'm terribly sorry I haven't been able to post anything for a while, I've been stupid busy. I'm going to TRY to get a few hours of work in on it tonight... I've got a ton of stuff that just needs typing, so it's only a matter of time.

08-06-2009, 02:43 PM
Don't forget that a WWII RPG could also be used to re-create Kelly's Heros or the Dirty Dozen also. :laugh:

08-06-2009, 03:50 PM
... or Hogan's Heroes!

08-06-2009, 08:18 PM
I did omit Hogan, didn't I? I also omitted McHale's Navy. I know it is an excuse, but I've never played a full blown comedy rpg. :biggrin:

How about:
Rat Patrol
Black Sheep
Tora! Tora! Tora!