Category Archives: Dogs of W*A*R

Agents of GHOST (v 0.9)

Wherein your humble scribe presents his first stab at turning out a Ghostbusters/Chill kinda of hack using the Barbarians of Lemuria system. I started with Dogs of WAR as my basis, but now that I’m putting this out there I’m thinking maybe I should have built things more from the ground up. Then again, I’m not looking to write an entirely new game, so maybe not. But it’s possible I should have started with Dicey Tales as the base instead. In any case, make of the following what you will. And maybe I’ll get around to making a proper v1.0 of this one way or another eventually.

Agents of GHOST (General Hostile Occult Suppression Team) is a hack of Dogs of WAR intended to yield Ghostbusters-like hijinx or Chill-esque “serious” stalking of the night fantastic.

Note: Some material found in this document may be drawn from or reference other BoL-derived games, like Barbarians of the Aftermath, the BoL edition of Legends of Steel, Dicey Tales, and Barbarians of Lemuria itself. If you don’t own those fine games, I heartily suggest you pick them up from your favorite game outlet. And I humbly salute those responsible for these fine games. I wouldn’t be writing this without their outstanding efforts.

Changes To Dogs of WAR

The details for each of these changes are discussed below. This is just a high-level summary for cataloging purposes.

  1. Possible reduction of the starting Attribute, Combat Ability, and Specialization ranks, depending on “feel” desired.
  2. Rename Scientific Background to Academic
  3. Rename Academic Specialization to Scholar
  4. Paranormalist Specialization added
  5. Renaming Exploit Points to Luck Points
  6. The possible addition of Magic (and the Sorcerer Specialization)

Character Creation

A brief outline of the character creation process, which is essentially the same as that found in Dogs of WAR, with changes described in the sections that follow:

  1. Allocate points to Attributes
  2. Allocate points to Combat Abilities
  3. Choose Background, Boons, and Flaws
  4. Add a Background-derived Primary Specialization at rank 1
  5. Add Paranormalist Specialization at rank 1
  6. Add X ranks to Background-derived Specializations
  7. Distribute X additional ranks to Specializations of choice


For a Ghostbusters-like game where failing is almost as much fun (if not more) as succeeding, start the characters with only 3 points for Attributes.

For a Chill-like game where competence in the face of danger in the form of creatures of the night, start the characters with the normal 4 points for Attributes.

Combat Abilities

For a Ghostbusters-like game where combat isn’t necessarily a focus, start the characters with only 1 or 2 points for Combat Abilities.

For a Chill-like game where characters will likely have to engage in battle against countless hideous things, start the characters with either 3 or 4 points for Combat Abilities, depending on your tastes.

Background & Specializations

For a Ghostbusters-like game, limit the characters to 3 points in Specializations: 1 in the primary, 1 in Paranormalist, and 1 more of choice.

For a Chill-like game, hold the characters to 5 points in Specializations: 1 in the primary, 1 in Paranormalist, 1 in a secondary related to the background, and 2 more of choice.


As DoW, with the following change:

  • Scientific Background renamed Academic, but functions in the same ways.


As DoW, with the following change and addition:

  • Paranormalist: Paranormalists are students of all things strange and unusual, from ghosts & monsters to magic & psychic powers to aliens and demons. A paranormalist knows facts and legends relating to such things, and is less likely to be frightened or driven insane by encounters with creatures of the night.
  • Academic Specialization renamed Scholar, but functions in the same ways.

Boons & Flaws

One specific Boon needs to be added to DoW to make AoG just about right:

Knowledgeable: The character receives a bonus die when dealing with his or her area of specialty. These areas include:

  • Ghosts & Spirits
  • Monsters of Legend
  • Extraterrestrials
  • Demons, Devils & Gods

Other Boons & Flaws found in the other BoL-derived games might be appropriate to AoG, so be sure to take a look through those games if you need more options. Dicey Tales seems to be particularly rich in options that fit the ghost/monster-hunting genre.


If you’re going for a Ghostbusters kind of game, you’ll obviously want to include some kind of Proton Pack for fighting those ectoplasmic baddies. Here’s my suggestion:

  • Proton Gun: Does d6 damage vs spirits, but 2d6 vs corporeal creatures and objects, so be careful with that thing!

You may also want to consider the usefulness of traditional “weapons” used against the paranormal, such as crucifixes, holy water, silver bullets, and the like.

  • Crucifix: Does d6 damage when used as a weapon against vampires and other similar baddies. May also be used to keep vampires at bay (just out of melee range) by making an attack roll using Defense
  • Holy Water: Does d6 damage when used as a weapon against vampires and other similar baddies
  • Silver Bullets: Either do an additional d6 damage against werewolves and other similar creatures or may be the only way of damaging such foes. In the second case, the damage is equal to the base weapon damage


Again, if it’s Ghostbusters you’re after, you’ll need to add in a Ghost Containment Device. You can pretty much hand-wave this thing, except you’ll want to have some idea of how many spirits a specific unit can hold. I suggest that a normal field unit be limited to holding 3 “regular” ghosts at any given time, and fewer more powerful spirits.

  • Garlic: Automatically prevents vampires from entering any doorway or window where a strand is hung. Additionally, vampires will not enter into melee combat against a person wearing a strand of garlic.
  • Wolfsbane: May prevent lycanthropes in were-form from passing through a doorway or window or approaching within 10′ of a person holding a significant amount of the herb.. Additionally, a lycanthrope in were-form who ingests wolfsbane is poisoned and must make a Difficult Might check or suffer 3d6 damage. If wolfsbane is ingested by a lycanthrope in his human form, the lycanthropic change begins immediately, regardless of the moon’s phase (or any other “normal” trigger for the change). Of course, wolfsbane can be toxic to non-lycanthropes, so one is not advised to go around foisting wolfsbane on every suspected lycanthrope.
  • The Common Cold: If unleashed against alien monstrosities, have the creatures make a Difficult Might check, with near-instant death as the outcome for failure and a lingering, wasting death for any other result except a legendary success.


DoW doesn’t assume magic is present or used in-game. Obviously, a game about the paranormal should at least include the possibility of magic. Fortunately, DoW is derived from BoL, so all we need to do is plug in that magic system and let it ride.

It must be left up to any particular GM whether they want to allow spellcasting PCs or not. If no, just ignore this section. If yes, I advise requiring at least a single rank actually be applied to the Sorcerer career (i.e., no “rank zero” Sorcerers) and the acquisition of the Magery Boon (which “costs” two Boons) to “buy in” to being able to cast spells. I’d also limit PCs to second magnitude spells at the highest, and even those should require some in-game effort to track down in musty tomes and lost grimoires, etc.

Regardless of PC access to magic, it’s likely that they will face foes who can bend the laws of the universe with arcane and/or divine powers. Behind the screen you don’t really need rules for this kind of stuff, but following the general principles of the way sorcererous and priestly magics work should keep you honest and give the PCs a fighting chance against your threats.

Playing The Game

The Dogs of WAR rules don’t need to change much, really. The basic mechanics will get us pretty much wherever we need to go. But here are a couple of things you might think about incoporating into your game to help with genre (or at least game system) emulation. These are strictly optional and may not provide the right feel for your game, so use or ignore as you see fit.

Fear Checks

Whenever the characters encounter something truly frightening (or mortifying, or sanity-blasting) have each one make a check using his Mind value and his ranks in Paranormalist.

On a failure, the character is stunned for 1d6 rounds and can only stand there stammering (though he may defend himself if attacked – that is, his Defense still counts as a modifier against any attacks directed at him).

On a Calamitous Failure, the character goes temporarily insane (1d6 days). If the result is a Calamitous Failure as the result of rolling a “1” on a penalty die, or if the source of the fright is otherwise related to one of the character’s Flaws, the insanity is, sadly, permanent and the character should be retired. Investigating the terrible isn’t always pretty, after all.

A Wild Ride

Any time a 1 is rolled on either die when making a check, something “bad” happens. If the roll was a success, make it an interesting bad, not a game-crushing one. If the roll was a normal failure, make it something more noteworthy. On a Calamitous Failure, go for broke. And if the 1 was rolled on a penalty die, it’s time for some serious consequences.

Any time a 6 is rolled on either die when making a check, let the player roll it again, keeping the 6 and adding the result of the new roll. And if that roll is a six, keep on rolling and adding until something other than a six is rolled. If the results of a check wind up at 18 or higher, the check becomes a Mighty Success. If the results of the check wind up at 24 or higher, the check becomes a Legendary Success.

Put It On The Company Card

Since the PCs are presumed to be members of a larger organization, they can generally be assumed to have significant enough financial backing to be able to acquire just about anything they feel they need. Still, resources aren’t unlimited, so every time an acquisition is attempted, a check should be made using the characters average Mind score, modified by the GM based on the expense and nature of the goods to be acquired. If the check succeeds then the items are acquired with no complications. If the check fails, the gear is not secured and future acquisition attempts suffer a cumulative -1 penalty for each previous failed roll. If the check results in a Calamitous Failure, the company’s card is maxed out an no further gear can be acquired during this mission.

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BoL, etc. Characters: Monster Hunters (Three Different Ones)

Drawing on all the BoL-based products, including Dicey Tales, Dogs of WAR, Legends of Steel, Barbarians of the Aftermath, and (of course) Barbarians of Lemuria itself, one can do a lot of things. With that in mind, and with my thoughts turning to working on some kind of game to run at the end of October, here’s a trio of gentlemen who (completely independent of one another) make their living hunting down things that go bump in the night.

Colonel Horst Kosmos

A retired army officer from the dark forests of Eastern Europe, Col. Horst Kosmos has sworn to rid the world of the curse of vampirism. He travels with a hunchbacked companion named Doctor Jorst, and is an accomplished swordsman.

Horst Kosmos / Lifeblood 11 / Hero Points 3
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 1 Mind 1 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 3 Ranged 0 Defense 1
Careers: Soldier 2, Slayer 1, Priest 0, Noble 1
Boons: Edged Weapon Specialist, Fearless, Uncanny Tracker
Flaws: Taciturn
Languages: Transylvanian, German
Equipment: Sword (d6), Dagger (d3)

Agent David Malder

An FBI agent who works almost exclusively on cases with possible paranormal connections, David Malder is obsessed with conspiracies, psychic phenomena, aliens, and anything else that is sneered at by his fellow agents.

David Malder / Lifeblood 11 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 2 Mind 1 Appeal 0
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 0 Ranged 2 Defense 2
Careers: Espionage Agent 1, Law Enforcement 1, Scholar 1, Occultist 1
Boons: Forensics, Detect Deception
Flaws: Unsettling
Languages: English, Latin
Equipment: Medium Pistol (d6), Badge

Dr. Paul Vankman

Paul Vankman is part of an organization dedicated to capturing and containing ghosts, spirits, and other manifestations of psychokinetic energy that infest New York City. Though his partners are serious eggheads, Vankman has more of the conman about him.

Paul Vankman / Lifeblood 10 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 0 Mind 2 Appeal 2
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 0 Ranged 2 Defense 1
Careers: Academic 2, Scientist 1, Administrator 0, Faceman 1
Boons: Bluff, Natural Leader, Fearless
Flaws: Hot Shot, Lecherous
Languages: English, French, Italian
Equipment: Protonic PKE Blaster (d6+1), PKE Detector

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Dogs Of W*A*R: November Company Grunts

So here I am using Dogs Of W*A*R (the modern action relative of Barbarians Of Lemuria) to knock out a few grunts for that theoretical November Company thing I mention occasionally. I’m not actually anywhere near doing anything on that front, but I’m trying to rekindle the RPG fire by poking at something I find interesting. So, without further ado, here are some low ranking GIs who have found themselves assigned to November Company.

Sgt. Danny Womack

Daniel Womack hails from Santa Rosa, California. The son of a policeman and a seamstress, the 24 year old Womack had himself entered the force before enlisting in the army after Pearl Harbor. He has taken to the service and is respected by his superiors. He is a very serious man who almost seems to lack a sense of humor entirely.

Sgt. Danny Womack / Lifeblood 11 / Exploit Points 5
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 1 Mind 0 Appeal 2
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 0 Ranged 2 Defense 1
Background: Law Enforcement
Specializations: Sleuth 1 Soldier 2 Sneak 2 Snoop 1
Boons: Alert, Gun Specialist
Flaws: Anger Issues
Languages: English, German, French
Equipment: Heavy Pistol (d6+1), Light Machine Gun (2d6* +1)

Pvt. Dominic Di Martino

Nineteen year old Dominic Di Martino is as Brooklyn as it gets. Before entering the army he was well on his way to establishing himself as a petty criminal of some note. The army has set him straight and it’s unlikely that he’ll return to that lifestyle if he makes it home. Dom is garrulous and something of a practical joker. And his knowledge of baseball is unrivaled in all of November Company.

Cpl. Dominic Di Martino / Lifeblood 12 / Exploit Points 3
Attributes: Strength 2 Agility 0 Mind 1 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 2 Melee 0 Ranged 2 Defense 0
Background: Criminal
Specializations: Faceman 1 Soldier 2 Fixer 1 Tech 2
Boons: Stylish, Fast Talker, Grease Monkey
Flaws: Greed
Languages: English, Italian, German, French, Yidish
Equipment: Heavy Pistol (d6+1), Rifle (d6)

Pvt. John O’Shea

Boston-born John O’Shea is no soldier – at least not by the standards of most of November Company’s fighting men. But what O’Shea lacks in army training he makes up for with a broad range of knowledge and languages. Whether you need to get patched up or take out a bridge, O’Shea’s your man in just about any theater. Now if only he could keep from losing his glasses in a firefight.

Pvt. John O’Shea / Lifeblood 10 / Exploit Points 5
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 1 Mind 2 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 0 Ranged 3 Defense 1
Background: Other
Specializations: Academic 2 Soldier 1 Medic 2 Sapper 1
Boons: Mimic, Deadly Fists, Born Behind The Wheel
Flaws: Poor Eyesight, Clumsy
Languages: English, German, Burmese, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Finnish
Equipment: Heavy Pistol (d6+1), Rifle (d6)

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Dogs Of W*A*R: The Gospel Of Lorraine

So, despite having downloaded it months ago, I finally actually started to read Barbarians Of Lemuria relative Dogs Of W*A*R over the weekend. This delay is probably because I’m not actually all that big into the 80s-era men’s action fiction genre. I didn’t read Mack Bolan novels when I was a kid, nor did I much care for the A-Team or other entertainments in that style. So while I was quite interested to see what Simon himself did with the BoL engine in the name of guns & “modern” action, I just hadn’t gotten around to giving DoW a read yet. My mistake!

You see, even though the basic game is pitched at precisely those notes that don’t sing to me, there’s a little Alternative Settings section at the back of the book that includes an entry called Misfit Platoon, which just happens to list Kelly’s Heroes, Dirty Dozen, and Rat Patrol as its inspirations. Those sound familiar to anyone? Yep, those are pretty much the exact inspirations for that whole November Company concept I was on about previously. And though I know that if I ever do get around to running something like that my players will have fits if I don’t use Basic RolePlaying as the system, I can’t help but think that the concept and the BoL/DoW rules would be perfect for the concept.

As noted before, thinking in BoL comes easily to me. And with the assistance of my handy dandy BoL-to-BRP Conversion Guidelines I’ve got no reason not to indulge my own love of said elegantly simple system.

In the meantime, to give DoW a spin, here are a quartet of French Resistance fighters done up in DoW, which seems to fit the idea of a WWII scenario focusing on the exploits of this kind of group quite well.

Yves “Mathieu” Xavier

A former mid-level minister in the pre-Vichy government, the devout socialist Yves Xavier has vowed to fight the German occupation of France to his last breath. Yves still has access to much of his family’s fortune, which he uses to fund the operatives and soldiers he has recruited into his personal resistance cell.

Lifeblood 12
Hero Points 3

Strength 2
Agility 0
Mind 1
Appeal 1

Brawl 2
Melee 0
Ranged 2
Defense 0

Background Political

Leader 2
Soldier 1
Administrator 2
Sapper 1

Paper Pusher
Current Affairs


French, German, Italian, English

Heavy Pistol, d6+1

Isaak “Marc” Lunel

A young Jewish man from the the Pletzl (in the Marais district of Paris), Isaak Lunel has spent most of his life in trouble with the law. And though he has no love for France itself, he is proud to fight against the Nazis’ presence in his homeland (and, by extension, their persecution of his people). If that means he must work alongside those who have seldom given him respect, so be it.

Lifeblood 11
Hero Points 5

Strength 1
Agility 2
Mind 0
Appeal 1

Brawl 1
Melee 1
Ranged 0
Defense 2

Background Criminal

Fixer 2
Soldier 1
Sneak 2
Wheelman 1

Edged Weapons Specialist


French, Spanish, German

Knife, d3
Medium Pistol, d6

Lt. Jules “Luc” Severand

A survivor of the Battle of France, rescued in Operation Dynamo, Lt. Severand has returned to France to fight with the resistance against her enemies (both foreign and domestic). His painful shyness, though certainly a weakness, led directly to his development of an eagle eye with the sniper rifle.

Lifeblood 10
Hero Points 5

Strength 0
Agility 3
Mind 1
Appeal 0

Brawl 0
Melee 0
Ranged 3
Defense 1

Background Military

Marksman 3
Soldier 1
Medic 1
Scout 1

Gun Specialist: Sniper Rifle
Tough Guy

Socially Awkward

French, Dutch, German

SMG, d6
Sniper Rifle, d6+1
Knife, d3

Olympe “Jean” Daux

The widow of a newspaper publisher who was executed by the Nazis for his refusal to run their propaganda after the invasion, Olympe Daux has vowed to avenge her husband and restore France to its rightful place as a free and democratic country. She doe not relish the battle, but she will do what must be done.

Lifeblood 8
Hero Points 5

Strength 0
Agility 0
Mind 2
Appeal 2

Brawl 0
Melee 2
Ranged 0
Defense 2

Background Business

Faceman 2
Soldier 1
Sneak 1
Sleuth 2

Fast Talker

Phobia: Snakes

French, German, English, Russian, Greek

Foil, d6
Knife, d3
Light Pistol, d6-1

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