Directing the Action

Advancing through the foliage

With Centurion done, work must begin on a new product. Hit that iron while it is hot. Also, it’s become my natural state, even when I am not planning on releasing or Kickstarting something, I tend to be building or tweaking games for use with my current group.

One of the options is Direct Action: the Quiet Professionals (yes, my games do always have subtitles, it’s contractually mandated). This is a game of special operations forces and covert actions. Much of it would be familiar to anyone playing other SEP games like Sword Noir and Kiss My Axe, with Qualities such as Concept, Traits, and Elements, but in this case, measured in dice, and using a damage and stress scale cribbed from Marvel Super Heroes.

Characters are defined through Concept, Traits, Training, and Elements. Concept includes Niche and Service. Traits include Speed, Strength, Awareness, Acuity, and Personality. Training is divided into Training and Signature Weapon, and Elements are for all other Qualities.

Each Quality is rated from d6 to d12. If one does not have a Quality that applies to an action in task resolution, one can still use a d4. In order to resolve tasks in Direct Action, the player takes one dice from each category (Concept, Traits, Training, Elements), or ā€“ if the character has no applicable Quality ā€“ a d4. That means, in general, the player is rolling four dice.

Task resolution is opposed rolls. Everything that will oppose the PCs, including difficulties and NPCs, are called Challenges, and the four dice come from Difficulty, Threat, Environment, and Complexity. So, for example, a lone terrorist might have a difficulty of d6 (trained, but not well), a threat of d6 (spraying and praying with an AK), an environment of d6 (let’s say the terrorist is in a training camp which he knows well), and a complexity of d4 (only one dude, so pretty darn basic)

Of the four dice generally used for task resolution, one dice each must be applied to Initiative, Success and Effect. In general, two dice are used for Success. Initiative is based on die type first (d12 beats d10, which beats d8, etc.) and then on die result (a 7 on a d10 beats a 5 on a d10). Success is based on die result (so if the Challenge rolls a 6 on two dice, and the PC has an 8 on a d8, the player only needs to apply that d8 to win Success). Effect is based on die type, and if more than one die are applied, if they are within a single step of type (a d6 and a d8, a d8 and a d10, a d10 and a d12, etc.) the highest die type is increased one step.

That’s a general overview. I honestly don’t know if this will be a product that comes out any time soon. The main reason for this is that I don’t think its genre will appeal to people who backed Centurion. However, I will be releasing the material I’m using in my development sessions which should be at least somewhat useful to those running modern spec ops games.

Stay tuned over the few weeks for some of the documents I cooked up for OP GRANGE, in which Canada’s fictional Special Reconnaissance Detachment is called on to assist in the capture of the airport at Conakry, Guinea and to find a missing Canadian diplomat.

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2 Responses to Directing the Action

  1. The Warden says:

    As far as historical RPGs go, possibly not familiar, but what this game and Centurion have in common is the central concept of a small band of soldiers acting in a non-platoon capacity to get shit done before the army is called in. It’s just that this one takes place in modern history and it does fit with a lot of your other SEP stuff.

    If it does go the Kickstarter route, you can add chapter for real world missions/strikes/operations/wars.

  2. Fraser says:

    To be fair, lacking that, it wouldn’t be much of a game. šŸ˜‰

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