Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-15-2012, 05:09 PM   #11
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

She's interesting; are all the characters in this campaign people who have trouble fitting into conventional units?

There is a historical unit that would make good use of her. The Fighter Interception Unit was the original British unit for radar control of night fighters. They were set up in June 1940 and pioneered ground-controlled interception as well as airborne radar. It was a very chancy business, and they didn't wave their egos. Someone who guesses well would be accepted for that.

On a slightly related note, I tried aircraft spotting as an example for the 4e perception rules. It seems to come out as:

Size modifiers: +4 to +7
Speed/Range modifiers: -10 to -18
Darkness penalties.
Optics give +1 per level of Telescopic Vision, or +2 on a careful look.
+10 "In Plain Sight" to spot, but not to recognise.

Example: good Royal Observer, clear day, He 111 at 10,000 feet. +6 for size, -17 for range/speed, 8x50 binoculars are +3, doubled for careful use, net -5 to skill. We see why high-power mounted binoculars are valuable.

In Their Finest Hour, which is a 3e book, you had Aircraft Identification as a skill. I suspect under 4e it is an Average technique of Soldier, with no upper limit. Since Soldier really ought to be specialised by the service that taught it, the Aircraft Identification default can depend on the service that taught the skill: probably full skill for air forces, -1 for navies and -2 for armies and marines.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2012, 02:11 AM   #12
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
She's interesting; are all the characters in this campaign people who have trouble fitting into conventional units?
Thanks, I'm glad you found her interesting. The player developed her quite quickly and became way more powerful in different ways, too.

As to their being misfits, either they had that kind of trouble, or they have found ways to make their weirdness difficult to notice.

Quote:
There is a historical unit that would make good use of her. The Fighter Interception Unit was the original British unit for radar control of night fighters. They were set up in June 1940 and pioneered ground-controlled interception as well as airborne radar. It was a very chancy business, and they didn't wave their egos. Someone who guesses well would be accepted for that.
That's the unit of the first character I posted upthread! Yes, an interesting outfit.
That said, Mary should do well in any Sector Station and even in Bentley Priory; they can make good use of her capabilities. But, first, they'd need to accept them, and that' s not really easy.
OTOH, the RAF's special unit has no problem with that... they know there's more than meets the eye.

I'll come back to spotting and aircraft identification later. Thanks for the feedback!
__________________
Michele Armellini
GURPS Locations: St. George's Cathedral
Michele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 03:04 AM   #13
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
On a slightly related note, I tried aircraft spotting as an example for the 4e perception rules. It seems to come out as:

Size modifiers: +4 to +7
Speed/Range modifiers: -10 to -18
Darkness penalties.
Optics give +1 per level of Telescopic Vision, or +2 on a careful look.
+10 "In Plain Sight" to spot, but not to recognise.

Example: good Royal Observer, clear day, He 111 at 10,000 feet. +6 for size, -17 for range/speed, 8x50 binoculars are +3, doubled for careful use, net -5 to skill. We see why high-power mounted binoculars are valuable.
Yes, this seems to work. He's unlikely to miss it (the +10 for "in plain sight" gives him a final +5 to spot), but identifying it is another thing.

Note that clouds and the sun's position could easily take the "in plain sight" clause away.


Quote:
In Their Finest Hour, which is a 3e book, you had Aircraft Identification as a skill. I suspect under 4e it is an Average technique of Soldier, with no upper limit. Since Soldier really ought to be specialised by the service that taught it, the Aircraft Identification default can depend on the service that taught the skill: probably full skill for air forces, -1 for navies and -2 for armies and marines.
I had not thought about the Technique solution. As you'll have noticed, we kept the Aviation skill as the airman's alternative to Soldier; it would make a lot of sense to have Aircraft Identification as an easy Technique based on that, but certainly land personnel would base it on Soldier.

Thanks for the feedback!
__________________
Michele Armellini
GURPS Locations: St. George's Cathedral
Michele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 03:13 PM   #14
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
As you'll have noticed, we kept the Aviation skill as the airman's alternative to Soldier; it would make a lot of sense to have Aircraft Identification as an easy Technique based on that, but certainly land personnel would base it on Soldier.
Makes sense. Getting these professional skills right is kind of hard; male RAF personnel were all supposed to have some basic ground combat training (something like 1pt of Soldier and 1pt of Rifle), but most of them didn't take it very seriously.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 11:16 AM   #15
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

THOMAS “SPARKIE” SMITH
RAF Ground Crewman and Gadgeteer

(c) copyright 2011 Michele Armellini

Base Setting: GURPS WWII: Weird War II, GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

Total Points: 300

Age: 32 Height: 5'8" Weight: 165 lbs. Description: a short but sturdy man with light brown hair, hazelnut eyes, unremarkable features, and a workman’s hands

ST 12 [20] HP 12 [0]
DX 12 [40] Will 15 [0]
IQ 15 [100] Per 14 [-5]
HT 11 [10] FP 11 [0]

Basic Speed: 5.75 Move: 5
Basic Damage: Thrust 1d-1, Swing 1d+2
Basic Lift: 29
[Total Attributes: 165]

DR: 0 Dodge: 8 Parry: 9
(Brawling) Block: 0

ADVANTAGES AND PERKS: Affliction (Electrostun) (4) (1/2D 10; Max 100; Acc 3; RoF 1; Shots N/A; Recoil 1; Armor Divisor (2); Alternative Attack; Reduced Range (×1/2); Surge; Low Signature; Gadget (Breakable: DR 8; Can Be Stolen: Must be forcefully removed; Size -2); Takes Recharge (5 seconds)) [10]; Artificer (1) [10]; Attack, Burning (4) (Accurate (+2); Reduced Range (×1/2); Armor Divisor (2); Surge; Side Effect (Stunning) (+1); Gadget (Breakable: DR 8; Can Be Stolen: Must be forcefully removed; Size -2); Takes Recharge (15 seconds); Nuisance Effect: ability makes you obvious; [31]; Contact Group (British researchers, advanced electronics; Effective Skill 15) (Somewhat Reliable; 9 or less) [10]; Damage Resistance (10) (Any Physical Attack; Force Field; Limited Use (once per day); Gadget (Unique; Can Be Stolen; Can only be taken by stealth or trickery; Size -6) [10]; Damage Resistance (2) (Electricity) [6]; Gadgeteer [25]; Gizmo (1) [5]; Military Rank (Sergeant) (2) [10]; Patron (Labour Party; Favor; 12 or less) [6]; Unfazeable [15].
Forgettable Face [1]; Shtick (SOP; Energizer) [1].
[Total Advantages and Perks: 140]

DISADVANTAGES AND QUIRKS:
Bad Temper (15 or less) [-5]; Duty (RAF) (15 or less (almost always)) [-15]; Enemy (British Security Services; Intent: Watcher; 6 or less) [-3]; Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]; Phobia (Reptiles) (-2) (12 or less) [-10]; Reputation (Communist) (-3) (British establishment, including RAF senior officers; 10 or less) [-3]; Sense of Duty (Country) (Large Group) [-10].
Active Labour Propagandist [-1]; Careful [-1]; Code of Honor (Craftsman) [-1]; Hates British Fascists [1]; Insists on Speaking With a Thick Cockney Accent [-1].
[Total Disadvantages and Quirks: -61]

SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES: Area Knowledge (London East End)-15 [1]; Armoury/TL6 (Heavy Weapons)-15 [1*]; Armoury/TL6 (Small Arms)-15 [1*]; Aviation/TL6-15 [2]; Brawling-12 [1]; Camouflage-15 [1]; Driving/TL6 (Tracked)-11 [1]; Electrician/TL6-15 [1*]; Electronics Operation/TL6 (Communications)-15 [2]; Electronics Operation/TL6 (Scientific)-14 [1]; Electronics Operation/TL6 (Security)-14 [1]; Electronics Operation/TL6 (Sensors)-15 [2]; Electronics Repair/TL6 (Communications)-17 [4*]; Electronics Repair/TL6 (Sensors)-15 [1*]; Engineer/TL6 (Electrical)-17 [8*]; Engineer/TL6 (Electronics)-14 [1*]; Environment Suit (NBC Suit)/TL6-11 [1]; Explosives/TL6 (Demolition)-14 [1]; Fast-Talk-15 [2]; First Aid/TL6-15 [1]; Gunner/TL6 (Machine Gun)-12 [1]; Guns/TL6 (Pistol)-12 [1]; Guns/TL6 (Rifle)-12 [1]; Hobby Skill (Darts)-12 [1]; Innate Attack (Projectile)-14 [4]; Machinist/TL6-15 [1*]; Mathematics/TL6 (Applied)-13 [1]; Mechanic/TL6 (Gasoline engines)-16 [2*]; Mechanic/TL6 (High Performance Airplane)-15 [1*]; Merchant-14 [1]; Philosophy (Socialism)-13 [1]; Piloting/TL6 (High-Performance Airplane)-11 [1]; Politics-14 [1]; Propaganda/TL6-14 [1]; Savoir-Faire (Military)-15 [1]; Scrounging-14 [1]; Soldier/TL6-14 [1]; Streetwise-14 [1].
(*) Includes +1 from Artificer.
[Total Skills and Techniques: 55]

TL: 6 Cultural Familiarities: Western [0].
LANGUAGES: English (native) [0]; Spanish (spoken broken) [1].
[Total Cultural Familiarities and Languages: 1]
__________________
Michele Armellini
GURPS Locations: St. George's Cathedral
Michele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 11:18 AM   #16
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

BACKGROUND:
The Smiths were a family of Whitechapel craftsmen, blacksmiths by tradition. Tommy “Petrol” Smith broke the tradition in that he still loved to work with his hands, but he began dealing with horseless coaches. His son, “Sparkie”, deserved his nickname because he became fascinated, through an accident that nearly cost him his life, with electricity.
While having a vocation similar to his fathers’ for repairing things, young “Sparkie” was exceptionally intelligent, and he took to making things; he designed them from scratch. His education was an apprenticeship and he soon began working in an electrician’s workshop, but his talent was obviously underused. A customer was a university lab technician, and word got around about the boy who was reinventing the electrolytic capacitors, the “auto-electronic emitters” (what we call now field-effect transistors) and similar recent electronic wizardry. This is when Tommy established his Contact Group: the technicians who do the basic work in the most advanced research centers of Britain.
With the right background, he might have become the leading star in those centers. But he was a Cockney East Ender, and had to work hard when the Depression hit his father’s repairs shop. In 1931, that shop closed. Tommy was jobless, and his sympathies drifted towards the Labourists who were going strong in the East End. He joined the party in 1932. By the time he landed a job with the London Power Company, he had also become the mastermind behind local election campaigns. He disliked being in the limelight, and anyway his face is too unremarkable and his manners too impolitic for him to run personally; but insiders knew he was behind the scenes. That doesn’t mean he didn’t take to the streets; at that time, politics always meant demonstrations, and that sometimes meant fisticuffs. In fact, there you could meet Mosley’s British Fascists, who enjoyed some success in the very neighborhoods Tommy worked to rally after Labour candidates. This is when he learned his politician’s skills and why he still has some strings to pull in the party; a guy he helped is in Parliament now.
By 1936, “Sparkie” was frustrated. He had great ideas, but no money, nor clout to convince anybody to help him in pursuing actual applications. He spent his nights toying in his flat-turned-lab; that prevented him from meeting girls, but, without funds, his experiments fizzled due to lack of high-quality materials.
Therefore, there was nothing keeping him in Britain when the new Spanish republic was betrayed by its own generals. The British left was up in arms. Tommy did his best in fund-raising drives; but when the first volunteers left, he joined them.
"Sparkie" received a hasty training as a rifleman and found himself fighting in the desperate battles around Madrid in 1936. But his technical abilities became known, and he was detached to the Republican armored forces, to maintain the ancient French tanks and the new but temperamental Soviet ones.
He was wounded during an air attack near Brunete, in 1937. He was then ordered to serve in technical duties. During this time he had a chance of tinkering. Cutting-edge components were not available, but nobody complained if he used some of the Soviet supplies. Not just for fun, of course: he was trying to build an “electric gun”. His efforts never turned into a mass-produced wonder to arm the faltering Republic’s army; but he still has his prototype. It can stun or kill a foe, and damage electrical equipment.
By December 1938, the International Brigades disbanded and sent home, he was in London again. The British were now worrying that appeasement might not have been a lasting success. Tommy tried to offer his invention and other ideas to the military. But he discovered that serving in Spain had labeled him as a “hard-line Communist”.
“Sparkie” floated around, looking for a new job. In 1939, a stranger commissioned him to build a weird device, making use of tiny parts that were not like anything he had seen. The blueprint was devilish and some of the science behind it absolutely new. It generated a short-duration “force field” that could stop any sort of physical, matter-based attack, or at least absorb part of its kinetic energy. Of course, this was not possible given the science of 1939. But the thing worked. The stranger, however, never came back. Not having been paid, Tommy deems the device is his remuneration. He has his own theories about where this man came from, but he hasn't talked about the affair with anybody.
In late 1939, Tommy volunteered for military service with the RAF. At first it seemed he would be a rifle-carrying grunt; Tommy was sure it was because of Spain, the RAF wouldn’t trust a “Communist”. However, his talent was too valuable to be wasted. He was promoted and he’s now a ground crewman with Training Command. It’s not a “sensitive” post, in the backwater base of White Waltham.
Today, in the summer of 1940, Tommy’s job is basically to repair radios; he’s doing something for the war effort and he’s not that far from London, so he’s content. However, a Communications Flight will soon move to his base. It will have the new IFF devices. If Sergeant Smith is a Soviet spy, it wouldn’t be a good idea to let him see them. Unbeknown to “Sparkie”, higher-ups are now considering whether it wouldn't be better to transfer him to some even less sensitive post, say in Khartoum.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:
Naturally, both of the gadgets are very special. The "electric gun" or "zapper" is made up by a pistol-shaped discharger, which is however connected by a thick cable (which "Sparkie" may hide in a coat's sleeve) to a bulky backpack battery. Overall, it weighs 25 lbs. On the plus side, it can't be deftly stolen. If it is used for a damaging attack, a true lightning, "Sparkie" is then surrounded by residual static discharges, making him very obvious.
The other device is unique: it simply can't be rebuilt at TL6. It's just 2 lbs., but that means it may be used just once before recharging.
Finally, "Sparkie" also owns something that is less fancy, but rarely in the hands of civilians: a sort of flak jacket. This is another of his own ongoing projects; he's trying to come up with a kind of armor that is light enough for use by the British infantry. This far, what he's come up with has DR 7, protects the torso only from the front, and weighs 11 lbs.
If "Sparkie" carries and wears all of the above, plus ordinary clothes, he'll have Light Encumbrance.

CANONICALITY:
“Sparkie” is designed on the basis of the RAF Ground Crewman template found on p. 43, GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour, with the necessary adjustments for the Fourth Edition. He would need Unusual Background, but since the point value depends on the specific setting, this is left for customization.

GM’S NOTES
“Sparkie” is cinematic insofar as the Gadgeteer and Gizmo advantages are involved; his Gadgets are the logical application of that. However, he is not super strong or paranormally resistant to damage, and the player was very concerned about that. Whence the focus on various forms of technological and Gadget-based Damage Resistance.
__________________
Michele Armellini
GURPS Locations: St. George's Cathedral
Michele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 06:06 PM   #17
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

Another interesting character, and one who raises a question. All of these PCs have disadvantages that tend to make them "outsiders", not fitting into a normal military unit. Is this deliberate, or coincidental?
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 02:48 AM   #18
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Another interesting character, and one who raises a question. All of these PCs have disadvantages that tend to make them "outsiders", not fitting into a normal military unit. Is this deliberate, or coincidental?
It was not deliberate. However, the players helped each other with the character concepts. Understandably, everybody wanted plenty of Disadvantages for the additional points they afford; but nobody wanted crippling physical Disadvantages, of course.

As you'll have understood by the fact that the campaign veered towards a Monster Hunters feeling (maybe the first book of that series wasn't even out, but the "feeling" of course already existed), a couple of the players liked one of the key concepts of that kind of fiction: that you need at least a half-monster to catch a monster. So several of the characters were at least misfits, if not true half-bloods like the half-fae pilot, David.

Add that one of the campaign's assumptions is that magic, monsters etc. are a secret; even while top government officials and shady agencies employ those and more for their war objectives, they keep their population at large in the dark. If this was a WWII-IST crossover, you could still have some normal people loathing supers, but the supers would be a known quantity and most of the people would accept them. But this was not the case here.

Anyway, while most of the characters would find it hard to operate in a normal unit... luckily for them, they did not have to!
__________________
Michele Armellini
GURPS Locations: St. George's Cathedral
Michele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 02:58 PM   #19
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
... a couple of the players liked one of the key concepts of that kind of fiction: that you need at least a half-monster to catch a monster. So several of the characters were at least misfits, if not true half-bloods like the half-fae pilot, David.
Makes sense. Ours seem to be better at fitting in: we're working for MI5 rather than the RAF, and so we had to be able to do cover identities. Our monsters have been confined to a single German werewolf, and we'd had enough warning that we had some silver steak knives with us. He did a lot of damage before being killed, though. We've also had various enemy spirits, but most of our opposition is all too human.
Quote:
Add that one of the campaign's assumptions is that magic, monsters etc. are a secret; even while top government officials and shady agencies employ those and more for their war objectives
We are also a hidden magic campaign: the British, Germans, Italians and Soviets all seem to agree that magic is a department of intelligence or counter-intelligence. We haven't found out yet just what the Americans are doing. The Nazi's reputation for being interested in the occult is helpful: we can present ourselves as being mundane researchers, investigating "magic" because the Germans believe in it, so it makes sense to try to figure out what they'll get up to.
Quote:
Anyway, while most of the characters would find it hard to operate in a normal unit... luckily for them, they did not have to!
Indeed - I'd understood that, but wondered if the need for it had been a campaign design decision.

Some quick sketches of our characters:

Major Kingsthorpe: Hermetic ritual magician (Path/Book magic with decanic modifiers) and Royal Engineers officer: formal and staid, with a very low opinion of Alistair Crowley and his followers, but sensible and organised. He's the commander, but he listens to his subordinates.

Flight Lieutenant Alexander: formerly a Hollywood actor, and now a Spitfire pilot (and anything else with wings). Terribly debonair, found of debauchery, astonishingly persuasive (Charisma, Mind Control), and worryingly sadistic as an interrogator.

Sargent Argas: learned how to use his gift of invisibility in the last year of WWI. He's a Cockney, skilled in stealth, lockpicking, explosives, and knives, who's learning detective skills.

Miss Vane: Visited the WWI battlefields in the early 1930s looking for the grave of a relative, and found there were a lot of spirits there who needed help. She's talented with languages, a skilled researcher, a decent actress and handy with a pistol.

Mr Nordman: a Sami reindeer herder who kayaked from Norway up the Thames and knocked on MI5's door. A shamanic magician, who does weather control and healing, and a deadly shot with a Holland & Holland 375 magnum rifle.

Mr Matthews: an old India hand, pretty spry for a man in his sixties, who can make plants and animals do some very unlikely things.

Our boss is Charles Maxwell Knight, see G: Weird War II, p45.
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2012, 02:27 AM   #20
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: GURPS WWII: Their Finest Hour

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Makes sense. Ours seem to be better at fitting in: we're working for MI5 rather than the RAF, and so we had to be able to do cover identities.
Yes, that also gives more flexibility. But we did want to have some substantial air action, and Battle of Britain epos.

Quote:
Our monsters have been confined to a single German werewolf, and we'd had enough warning that we had some silver steak knives with us. He did a lot of damage before being killed, though. We've also had various enemy spirits, but most of our opposition is all too human.
We had more humans in the beginning, then as the PCs grew more powerful, the Germans also became more dangerous and, therefore, more supernatural.
Now that I think of it, I could translate and post a few adversaries, too.

I'll come back to you as to the characters in your campaign - interesting for sure.
__________________
Michele Armellini
GURPS Locations: St. George's Cathedral
Michele is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cabal, monster hunters, their finest hour, wwii

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.