27 April 2020

Lockdown Challenge Day 22: The Motherland Calls!

The Motherland Calls!, subtitled ‘a role-playing game of courage and resolve in defence of the Motherland’, is a historical role-playing game that I worked on between June and September 2016, in which you play the role of a member of one of the rifle corps of the Red Army during the fateful days of Operation Barbarossa. I have only GM’ed the game once, at THE KRAKEN convention in Germany in October 2016. For some reason, WWII has inspired writers of fiction, designers of wargames and boardgames, but not of role-playing games — and before someone should mention Night Witches: yes, I know and I own the game, but at the time I was aiming at something more Old School.
Alas, the session I GM’ed at THE KRAKEN wasn’t particularly successful, mostly I think because the system itself wasn’t really suited to the genre… too much detail in some areas, not enough in some others. The Motherland Calls! is still on my “will re-work one day” list, and I think I’ll definitely move away from Old School and towards something more narrative, more character-driven.

Anyway, here is a character still generated using the 2016 rules:

Name: Nikolai Pavlich Berezov
Ethnicity: Russian Gender: Male Handedness: Right
Height: 1m62 Weight: 58kg
Age: 21                                                        
Description: Short, thin                                                                       
Distinctive Features: Freckled, Looks younger than his age                                                   
Role: Rifleman
Background: Member of the Komsomol

EDU 13


Cold weather

Political Profile

Orthodox 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3 Revisionist
Proletarian 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3 Bourgeois
Modernist 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3 Traditionalist

War Weariness 2

Hit points


- Model 1940 steel helmet
- Cloth peaked cap
- Rucksack with ration pouch
- Two cartridge pouches, each containing 20 rounds
- Two grenades
- M91 bolt-action rifle (5 rounds) with bayonet

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