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.
Hero Points 3
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.
Hero Points 5
Edged Weapons Specialist
French, Spanish, German
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.
Hero Points 5
Gun Specialist: Sniper Rifle
French, Dutch, German
Sniper Rifle, d6+1
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.
Hero Points 5
French, German, English, Russian, Greek
Light Pistol, d6-1
sounds like a rip-roaring ride, ala Kelly’s Heroes and the Dirty Dozen. If Dogs is anything like BoL I expect it will be great fun.
Interesting you went for a partasians/underground group and not a bunch of GIs or British special forces dropped into France.
Frankly the whole game just sounds like an opportunity to run Inglourious Basterds…
Dogs is almost exactly like BoL. It’s just targeted at a different genre and, consequently, has some different rules and approaches. But it’s still the same ol’ goodness.
I opted for the resistance group because they took over my brain. I was originally going to do a party of “misfit platoon” folks that included a single resistance fighter, but the more I worked on him the more the others came crawling out of the shadows 🙂
You know, I never actually saw Inglorious Basterds (I’m not a big Tarantino fan). But the previews an such for it were indeed playing in my head as I was pondering this stuff. That and Defiance (which I also never saw, but read about when it was released). Both seemed fitting. Of course, if I were to actually run something in this sub-genre, it would certainly take a Hogan’s Heroes turn, given my group 🙂
Excellent post, V.P. Like a previous commentor noted, you really know how to weave “hooks” into your characters that suggest mini-scenarios unto themselves (e.g. Severand, completely out of his element, has to try to hobknob with monied Pro-Vichy at a cocktail party).
I loved Dogs of War, but I wasn’t that fascinated with the particular genre either. Some of the variants, though–especially the idea of a mercenary company finding themselves ported to Lemuria . . .
Thanks, G-Man! That’s definitely what I’m aiming for with my posts that feature multiple NPCs. I love little more in life that looking at the possibilities of what may come. And your though of shy Severand completely fish out of water is perfect.
Speaking of aquatic life bereft of its natural habitat… I actually kind of chafe at the “Mercs in Lemuria” variant, myself. I can’t quite say why, though. I think it’s got something to do with too many years of playing with dudes for whom “I SHOOT IT IN THE FACE!” – even though their characters clearly wouldn’t – was the default solution. The idea of cutting those guys loose with a humvee and some big guns just makes my skin crawl 🙂
Yeah, I can see a couple CoC adventures quickly going down the tubes:
GM: “You approach the weathered New England manor. Flecks of black mold cover the mansard roof and some of the slate shingles have fallen into the weed-strewn yard. After you knock on the door, a stooped old man answers–”
Player: “I SHOOT HIM IN THE FACE! DOUBLE-TAP! AND I’M USING HOLLOW-POINTS LIKE I TOLD YOU BEFORE . . .”
GM: “Congratulations. You just killed the butler, fuckhead.”
G-man made me chuckle, very, very much
He’s a funny guy. And I mean that in all the best ways 🙂