RAF Aircrew RPG


  1. This is a game developed jointly between James Kemp and John Rutherford after a session where we thrashed through several ideas. In parts it develops some ideas used in an earlier game which looked at RAF bomber crews.
  2. Basic Outline

  3. Players are RAF aircrew engaged in air operations against the Germans over France, Germany and the Low Countries at the beginning of the Second World War. The game is intended as a generic rule-set which could cover any part of the war.
  4. The enemy should ideally be umpire controlled to make the narrative easier to control, however they can be played if it fits the scenario in question. It would be best to have fewer enemy players to avoid detracting from the general atmosphere.
  5. Character Stats

  6. Like most role-playing games this system uses some basic stats to determine actions that the umpire thinks are marginal (the use of dice is for umpires that want to disassociate themselves from rulings!) There are four basic areas that are defined and these are rated on a scale of 0-9 where low numbers are bad. These are:
  7. Cool

  8. This is a measure of how cool, calm and collected the individual is in hairy circumstances, like being shot at, or bluffing the storeman for a new flying jacket. High levels of cool are likely to make life a lot easier and the 'requisitioning' home comforts somewhat smoother. Traditional RPG skills like fast-talk, steal, etc lie under this stat. Most combat skills not requiring brute force will come under this stat (e.g. use of firearms, combat flying etc). Aircrew should have better than average cool with a few getting towards exceptional. (Min 4).
  9. Tough

  10. A measure of physical fitness and strength all rolled into one. Physical endurance, brute force and combat will call on the tough score. Typically the tough score should be very good for new recruits and PTIs and then decline with age and length of time from training. All but the oldest and laziest will have an average or better tough rating. (Min 3)
  11. Brains

  12. This is a measure of intellectual ability. In the main it affects the ability to learn things like foreign languages, persuading people and remembering things. Not a requirement for aircrew, but none should have low scores. (min 2)
  13. Smart

  14. The applied part of brains. Helps use of initiative to solve problems. Aircrew should have average or better levels of smart, especially those with technical occupations. (Min 3).
  15. The ratings

  16. As mentioned before the ratings for the stats score between 0 and 9. The lower the score the worse the stat. The rationale for the scores is in the table below
  17. Score













    Very poor


    Below average


    Above average


    Very good



  18. Ratings are determined by rolling 2d6 and subtracting 2. This gives a range between 0-10 with an average of 5. Not too bad, but not exactly the same as stats range. If you get 10 then call it 9. If you have less than the indicated minimum in any of the stats then you can either play a character that somehow beat the system or you can re-roll. You shouldn't have more than one stat below the minimum for aircrew.
  19. Skills

  20. Now that you have your stats you need to pick some likely skills. Rather than go for a full list of skills and spend time working out what they do and then have players trying to guess which are necessary for the game the system assumes that PCs can try their hand at anything within the limits of their ability determined by their stats. However, people do get better at things with practice and they do have specialities.
  21. To reflect things that have been honed by practice and to flesh out the characters a little, players have a fund of points to add to skills where they are better than their stat would suggest. E.g. With a tough rating of 5 Flight-Sergeant Smith is about average at physical skills, however if you decided that he was a good rugby player before joining up you might allocate some points to give him a Rugby 6 skill.
  22. The number of skill points available for new characters is 40 less the sum of all stats. This means that characters with lower stats will generally have more skill points, which should help to round them out. Only skills with a different score than the stat need to be noted. Skill scores can be less than a stat if it suits the background of the character - in such cases the points difference should be added elsewhere.
  23. When using points to boost a skill the number required is one per level when creating the character. For character development after play the number of skill points required is the same as the score the skill will become. Points must be paid for each level that the skill is boosted. Only skills that have been used should be boosted.
  24. Character Background

  25. To get a proper feel for the character players should write a short pen-portrait of their character's background. Where was he born, what sort of family was it, what schools did he attend, what did he study, what hobbies does he have? Did he join the RAF straight from school or has he had some civilian employment in between? What has his RAF service looked like and how long has he been in. What is his main employment? What courses have been attended? Does he have any special aptitude or handicap?
  26. Once you have got the idea of who your character is then you can come to some view about what sort of additional skills he will have. If your character is straight from school then most of the skills will be service related apart from some school subjects and/or hobby related skills. If he has had a civilian job then there should be some skills that reflect the previous occupation.
  27. You should also make a note of what your character looks like and how others might perceive him on first sight. Any other information might also come in useful. The background you develop here will strongly influence the umpire in determining whether or not your character is likely to know something or have a particular skill.
  28. Resolving Difficulties

  29. Mainly the stat/skill score will be a guide to the umpire in determining whether or not you are likely to be able to carry out some task. However in some cases it will be necessary to resort to dice, usually for marginal activities or in combat where chance plays a large factor. There will also be instances where the quality of a job is determined by the dice as well.
  30. The basic dice roll is 1d10, which should be less than or equal to your stat/skill score. This will be modified by the umpire according to the difficulty of the task in question.
  31. Combat effects

  32. This is pretty rough and ready. I want something that is fast and easy to play. For direct combat (i.e. where the character is in direct danger as opposed to the aircraft they are in) then there are four possible outcomes for the character. OK, wounded, incapacitated and dead. The first and last are pretty self-explanatory. Incapacitation can be temporary or long-term but either way the character is out of action for the rest of that combat. Wounded allows a character to continue but with a penalty to future actions.
  33. When a character is hit by something then the player needs to roll 1d10 to see what effect it has. This is rolled against tough with a success indicating that the character is OK. Failure of 5 or less is wounded; failure between 6 and 10 incapacitated and a failure by more than 10 is dead.
  34. Some weapons will kill automatically, especially large calibre machine-guns. Firearms, explosives and knives all cause permanent damage. Fists, feet and other similar weapons cause temporary damage. The effects are identical during the combat but recovery is much quicker for non-lethal force.
  35. Combat between aircraft and/or other vehicles is treated in a similar way as combat between people. The major difference is that the occupants of the vehicle do not take damage until the vehicle is out of action. Vehicles can be OK, damaged, severely damaged, destroyed. The effects are the same for the corresponding level of damage as a person.