Dogs of War: pulpy, cinematic WWII hack

Think “Dirty Dozen”, “Inglourious Basterds”, “The Great Escape”, “Kelly’s Heroes”.

Team of misfits, rejects and criminals on a mission to infiltrate French chateaus, steal Nazi gold, and get their scalps!

Just started on Playbooks. Some character concepts to give a little flavor. Thanks for all the feedback!


The Manhunter, The Hotshot, The Enigma, The Grunt, The Brass, The Doc, The Wrecking Ball, The Hustler, The Gearhead, The Lucky Charm, and The Psycho Playbooks are up.


I am not sure about using luck instead of trauma, but I love your choice of action names.

There are still Traumas with all the normal effects. Luck replaces Armor. But instead of having 2 boxes for heavy, 1 box for Special Armor everyone gets 4 Luck boxes. They allow you to Push Your Luck which is basically Devil’s Bargain. And you can use them for special abilities.

But unlike Armor they don’t automatically refresh during downtime. You have to clear your stress to 0 and one box is unchecked. So you get more boxes but they are harder to refresh. And when you get a Trauma you remove one box permanently. So as you take more and more trauma, eventually your Luck runs out.


Got it. I think the connection between stress and luck threw me off.

I like it! Looks like fun. Definitely interested to see the playbooks.

As much as I love the word “smokes”, do you reckon there’s any mileage in each character having a different barter/luxury item? To encourage individual characterisation, in the same way vices do. So one character might get smokes to barter with (and indulge in R&R), but another character gets whiskey, and a third gets racy pulp novels.

I also wonder if there’s some way to keep a modified version of the faction system; I like the idea of these roughnecks building up antagonistic relationships both with recurring enemy units, and with factions on their own side. We’ll kill any nazis, but there’s that one elite unit who we’ve tussled with a few times and they’ll really go out of their way to mess with us now - and on top of that, the allied armored division has had enough of our shit, which makes life difficult. But hey, the airborne love us.

I’ve struggled with figuring out how to include factions so I basically put it on hold for now. Having UK, Germans, French Resistance, etc as factions didn’t quite work. I like the idea of different units/divisions as factions but there are so many possibilities.

I’m working on Entanglements now so I’ll see if that could trigger adding a faction from the mission you just finished. Like you said, you steal a Sherman and their commander is going to be out to get you.

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For what if is worth, I love the idea of a war setting with the currency focused on Smokes!

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Yeah I loved how Smokes are so iconic. But then I started thinking of all the other possibilities. Didn’t want to add more mechanics for each thing so I just changed it to Contraband and added a bunch of examples. Mechanically still works the same way but you can adjust the fiction based on the type of mission or your characters particular vices.


How does “Grit” work out in play? I’ve seen some debate about “act under fire” actions like that in Blades in the Dark games, and so I’ve hesitated to use one.

Definitely like the setting! I’m hoping to do a trench warfare with supernatural elements FitD hack after my current game, so this all looks cool to me. Have you given much thought to crewed vehicles like tanks yet? I think they’d have some interesting mechanical interactions.

Yeah, that’s the one I’m most unsure about. But it fits so great I had to keep it. I haven’t play tested any of this yet so I’ll see how it turns out. You do roll Grit to heal your traumas so it is useful.

I think tanks would be like any other vehicle with weapons. Operate to drive it and fire the main gun. Finesse to fire the machine gun. Or maybe Assault if you’re just trying to mow people down.

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Missions, Mission Briefings, and Factions added

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It’s shaping up well!

Thanks I’m happy with how there turned out to be a wide variety of missions. It encourages a diverse squad. And the missions will give different rewards. So a Combat mission will only give Gear and small amount of Intel. So if you want to remove Stress you’ll need to do an Aid or Spoils mission to get Contraband. I think that will help prevent it from turning into a boring slog through one combat mission after another.


A few more Playbooks up.