Game Report – Weird War II (Part 1)

Mai 12, 2008

Here is another report from a game I recently ran. The game ran over four sessions. The report for the first two sessions is what follows.

Game System: Weird Wars – Weird War II

Rules: Official Rules are D20 or Savage Worlds. I used the Unisystem rules.

How Unisystem works: For task, roll D10, add primary attribute and relevant skill, and reach total outcome of 9 or higher to succeed.

What the game is about: Allied Forces vs. Nazis in World War 2. The Nazis are using magic for summoning demons, creating zombies etc. to turn the tide of war. Players take the role of allied soldiers fighting against these supernatural horrors.

Introduction

This game is set in early August 1944 in Paris, France. The characters are members of a cell of the French Resistance. Allied forces are blasting their way through France and the liberation of Paris seems to be only a matter of weeks. The Nazis put all their occult and scientific knowledge into secrectly crafting a machine that can reanimate the dead. Squads of these undead creatures can be controlled by a single SS mage. The forces invoked by the germans are especially strong at places where many people died or suffered. Hence, this machine is built – also secretly – underground below the Place de la Bastille. The goal of the Nazis is to produce a large number of undead from dead soldiers, bodies from cemetaries and hospitals and eventually by killing und subsequently reanimating civilians to make them fight against the Allied Forces. Along with this operation, the Germans intend to wipe out the French Resistance in one single blow. For this, they brought a large number of psionic mages to Paris, that are able to identify leaders of resistance cells and extract the knowledge about other cells and their leaders from scanning their brains. Also, with every day that passes, the undead army will grow in numbers, which sets a limit of about 4 days to the time available for the characters to stop the Germans.

The Characters

Jean-Claude Collier – Demolition Expert
Klara Hase – German Gestapo Agent who is a spy for the resistance
Emeric Rousseau – Detective of the French Gendarmerie
Isabelle Derrey – Manager of a Weapons Factory that was taken over by the Germans

First Session

Before I started the game, I wanted to give the players an impression what life in france during the german occupation was like. I collected a number of images from the web from that time and showed it to the players. I don’t know if this really helped or was necessary at all, but they liked it.

The game started with a combat scene. The characters were ordered to gather with their leader Luc Bouduard at a secret meeting place in the underground tunnels of the Paris catacombs. Luc does not show up, however.

The group is suddenly attacked by german soldiers, who prepared an ambush. Two squads of 4 undead soldiers and one SS officer/mage attacked the two entrances to the room. One group, however, was further away from the room than the other. So if the players would be quick enough to kill the first squad, they could have avoided the second.

Unaware about the true nature of the attackers, the group wasted their only two grenades on the undead soldiers. Isabelle decided to put out the lights in the tunnel, a -4 penalty on all attack rolls resulted from this action. During the course of combat, they realized that the head was the vital spot. After that, they killed the undead soldiers rather quickly. Isabelle was suprised to recognize one of the killed attackers as a member of another resistance cell. The SS officer fled through the tunnels, but was eventually killed by the group, after he tried to ambush Klara, who was initially chasing him on her own.

In summary, the group had a hard time to kill the first squad in time before the second would have arrived. Fighting with a -4 penalty due to the darkness and not knowing for some rounds how to kill the soldiers admittedly was hard.

Second Session

After fleeing from the underground tunnels, the group takes refuge in a bordello, whose madam is a supporter of the resistance.
Not sure if the Germans are looking for them, the characters still decide to go into public to gather information. From their various sources (every player bought the „Contacts“ quality at level 2 at least), they are able to learn:

– German patrols latterly shoot every person they encounter during curfew
– most of the soldiers move sluggish and are accompanied by an SS officer, which is unsual
– most of the resistance cells were wiped out and almost all of their leaders are in german custody
– a small number of resistance cell leaders has not been caught
– graveyards throughout the city are closed by the germans and bodies are dug out and taken to an unknown location
– the department of pharmacy at the Sorbonne was occupied by the Wehrmacht and all french scientists working in the building were replaced with germans
– Hitler announced the launch of a secret weapon to boost troop morale
– the 25th SS division, whose member the SS officer killed in the catacombs was, has close ties to a secret german society called the Thule Society
– the Thule Society is rumored to experiment with rune magic

Altogether, this already gave a pretty clear picture to the players what was going on, although the key questions „How and where are they doing the reanimation“ remained unanswered so far. The characters, however, refused to acknowledge that the Germans are able to use magic. I tried to keep the process of information gathering rather simple, since I intended the game to run for four sessions at the most. If the characters would seek the right contacts and ask the right questions, they would get the answers. In order to save time, the group decided to split. This clearly makes sense to save time in the game, and I do not criticise the players here at all. I only was a little concerned with players getting bored since there is always only one character acting. I also did not want to intervene here by bringing something up that would force the group to stay together. GM paternalism and cheating on players is disgusting. Always. But the players didn’t bother about listening to what each character was doing, so everything was fine, I guess.

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2 Responses to “Game Report – Weird War II (Part 1)”

  1. alexandro Says:

    Great stuff, thx for sharing 😉


  2. Thanks. We finally managed to continue the game and I will post the second part of the report soon.


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