Today I am putting up the advantages from the World at War Sourcebook by Ray Winninger. The sourcebook can be found on Amazon brand new for $12. I highly recommend it. The art in it is completely lame (it barely has any art in it at all), but the info stuffed on the pages in fantastic. It offers a very cool history of World War II and the Golden Age, DC Comics style. It even has stats for Hitler and Roosevelt!
I have edited these advantages to fit in campaigns outside of the Golden Age. I present them here for use by people who do not have the World at War and can't get it for whatever reason.
Connections [Cost: Variable]
Allied Armed Forces [Cost: Low 8, High 12]
This Connection functions exactly like a Connection with the
military except that the
Connected character has access to a military leader or soldier serving with the
forces of a nation allied with the U.S. . In WWII this would be
British, Chinese, Free French, or Soviet military forces. In modern times, it
could be almost any nation involved with NATO or the UN. US
All Golden Age characters who maintain any sort of Connection in the Soviet government or Soviet armed forces following WWII are automatically suspected to be communist sympathizers and often may find themselves targets of alphabet soup (FBI, NSA, CIA, etc) surveillance. Any character who purchases such a Connection must triple the cost of any Connection with the
government or the U.S. armed forces. Such
characters are treated as though they have a minor version of the Mistrust
All-Star Squadron (Golden Age Only) [Cost: Low Special, High 25]
All Golden Age home front characters who do not purchase the Independence Advantage automatically receive a free Low-Level Connection with the All-Star Squadron, entitling them to access the All-Star equipment and information. By spending 25 Hero Points, a character may raise this Connection to high level, indicating that he or she is personally Connected with Liberty Belle or one of the other principal Squadron members. At the GM’s discretion, high-level connections with the Squadron can be used to call for assistance or backup from non-player Squadron members. See
for more information. Independence
All-Star Squadron members have access to special information and equipment, but they are also subject to orders issued by Squadron leaders.
Alphabet Soup [Cost: Low 12, High 18]
The Alphabet Soup is a nick name given to the various collective of government agencies dedicated to policing and spying on
and its enemies. It
includes the CIA (or America in WWII), FBI, NSA, ATF,
DEA, Secret Service, and others. A High-Level Connection in an Alphabet Soup
organization is a director or an important operative. A Low-Level Connection is
a clerk or a secretary. Connections at all levels within the intelligence
branches of the Alphabet Soup have access to military information and
intelligence concerning the secret activities of enemies powers abroad,
although the most sensitive information is available only at the high level. OSS
Connections with law enforcement branches of the Alphabet Soup are treated exactly like intelligence connections, except that legal operatives have access to information concerning enemy activities within the
. They also have access to
information about organized crime and criminal syndicates. United States
Comics also have their own Alphabet Soup organizations that can be included in this connection, such as Checkmate, DEO, SCU, SHIELD, GI Joe, etc.
Enemy or Axis Armed Forces [Cost: Low 15, High 25]
In the WWII of the comics, the Axis powers are almost always depicted as unified militaristic evil powers. Disloyal Axis agents are almost totally nonexistent. For this reason, heroes with an enemy armed forces Connection are extremely rare, hence the Connection’s high cost.
Characters with this Connection must specify whether they are connected with the German, Italian, or Japanese armed forces at the moment of the purchase. Otherwise, the connection functions exactly like the
armed forces connection
already described. U.S.
Modern characters with Russian, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, or Middle Eastern connections will be viewed with suspicion and often may find themselves targets of alphabet soup (FBI, NSA, CIA, etc) surveillance. Any character who purchases such a Connection must triple the cost of any Connection with the
government or the U.S. armed forces. Such
characters are treated as though they have a minor version of the Mistrust
Hero Team [Cost: Low 10, High 15]
A character with a Connection to a hero team is friendly with a member, whether the Connection is high or low is an indication of just how friendly. Under all but the most unusual circumstances, a Connection with the team can only be used to gain access to the team’s crime files or to borrow its equipment. Even a High-Level Connection can almost never be used to call on a team’s members to take an active role in an adventure unless the character with the connection is an active member.
In campaigns set during
’s involvement in WWII, all
characters with this advantage should specify whether their connection is with
the Home Front armed forces, the European Theater armed forces, or the Pacific
Theater armed forces. Home Front armed forces direct the official resistance to
the Axis sabotage campaigns in the America , oversee efforts to send
American supplies to Allied forces abroad, and control and coordinate activity
in military bases located in United States . European Theater and
Pacific Theater armed forces oversee the operations of American troops,
aircraft, and warships in their respective regions. America
The Advantage must be purchased more than once if the player wishes his character to have Connections in more than one of these areas.
In modern campaigns, the character should specify which branch of the military to which he is connected: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard. Or, if the GM prefers, whether he is connected with the active forces, such as in
or Vietnam , domestic forces stationed
in the Afghanistan , or embassy forces
stationed in non-war zones over seas. US
A high-level Connection with the armed forces is always a high-ranking military leader. Such characters have access to broad strategic and top secret information affecting units stationed in their regions and have the authority to lend equipment and personnel to the Connected character.
A low-level Connection with the armed forces can be any officer or enlisted soldier below the rank of General or Admiral. Such characters have access to information affecting only a tiny segment of their region. A low-level home front Connection, for instance, might be able to pass on information concerning the anti-sabotage campaign in New York City, while a high-level Connection could pass on information about anti-sabotage activities taking place anywhere in the United States. Low-level Connections rarely have the authority to lend the Connected character equipment or assistance and rarely have access to any information that is considered a closely-guarded secret, such as information about experimental weaponry, the date of the forthcoming
Armed forces Connections never have any information concerning activities that take place outside of their areas.
Because of the geographical limits in which superpowered heroes may operate, most of these characters would be better off purchasing armed forces Connections on the home front or with domestic forces. Connections with personnel involved in active combat are best left to war front characters.
A High-Level Connection with the U.S. Government is usually a Congressman, Senator, or a Cabinet official. Such characters are aware of everything happening in the government and sometimes have access to important military activities as well (especially information concerning domestic military activities).
Low-Level Government Connections typically represent under-secretaries, staff members, and pages. These people have some idea regarding government activity and occasionally glean a military secret or two, but usually have access to very little important information.
War Correspondent [Cost: Low 10, High 20]
During the war, some journalists and media personalities are allowed to accompany military forces into battle in order to cover their activities for the folks at home. These war correspondents frequently gained access to important military information concerning the activities of the press. In essence, the war correspondent functions as both a Press Connection and Low-Level Armed Forces Connection simultaneously. Anyone who wishes to be Connected to a war correspondent must purchase a High-Level Connection at a cost of 20 Hero Points.
The White House [Cost: Low 12, High 20]
A character with a High-level White House Connection is a personal confidant of the President. Such a character is in a position to ask favors of the President and is usually privy to all but the most closely guarded secrets. A player may not purchase a High-level White House Connection for his hero without explaining in his background how the character acquired the connection.
In modern times, a personal connection to the President automatically results in a massive amount of media attention, almost always negative. Treat this as a mandatory Media Bias drawback for which the character receives no HP bonus.
A Low-Level White House Connection is typically a secretary or staff member. Such a character can provide information regarding the President’s whereabouts and activities, but rarely has access to important secrets.
Free Access [Cost: Low 10, Military 15]
Characters with this Advantage have either a press pass, police identification, bounty hunter’s license, private investigator’s license, or other credentials that allow them to gain entry into areas that have been restricted by the civil authorities (well, at least in comics). Normally, restricted areas include crime scenes, areas where VIPs are present, and operational facilities within police headquarters.
If a character purchasing Free Access pays 15 Hero Points instead of 10, he gains all of the above privileges, plus government credentials allowing him access to military installations and top secret government facilities. Characters with the rank of Lieutenant/Captain or higher automatically receive this improvised form of Free Access.
Mere hours after the Japanese attack on
Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt contacted all of the mystery men or costumed heroes in the and asked them to band
together for the All-Star Squadron. He then gave them the task of battling Axis
saboteurs in United States North
Since very few heroes refused to comply with Roosevelt’s wishes, all characters
generated for a Golden Age campaign who do not purchase this advantage are
automatically assumed to be members of the All-Star Squadron.
A character with this Advantage is not bound by the restrictions placed on the All-Star Squadron members, but at the same time he receives none of the benefits of membership.
If a player purchases this Advantage and also wants to buy a Connection with the All-Star Squadron, he must pay for the Connection. A Low-Level Connection in this case would cost 20 Hero Points and a High-Level Connection would cost 25 Hero Points. The character’s Background must explain how the hero gained the Connection without becoming an All-Star Squadron member.
Popularity (Golden Age Only) [Cost: 20]
In a Golden Age campaign, all costumed heroes are extremely well liked by the general populace because they personify powerful symbols of the American struggle against the Axis. Thus, all Golden Age heroes are considered to have the Popularity Advantage automatically at no cost. By paying 20 Hero Points, a player may obtain a sort of extreme Popularity to bolster his hero’s public image further. Extreme Popularity doubles the Persuasion Multi-Attack bonus described in the last paragraph of the Popularity description found on page 35 of the DC Heroes 3rd Edition Rulebook.
Rank (revised) [Cost: Variable]
Purchase of this Advantage causes a character to begin play with an official rank in the
armed forces. The more
points spent on the Advantage at the time of the purchase, the higher the rank. United States
The Rank Advantage is sort of a dual-edge sword. While rank, of course, has obvious privileges, characters with a rank are automatically subject to orders from military superiors. Treat this as an automatic Person of Interest (Benign) drawback for which the character receives no HPs. Characters with the Rank Advantage with the
armed forces and all
characters with a rank of O-3 or higher automatically receive the Free Access
(Military) and Security Clearance (Low) Advantage at no cost. Those ranked O-7
or higher receive Security Clearance (Medium). U.S.
Refer to the table below to determine the exact cost of the Rank Advantage.
E-1 through E-3
E-4 through E-6
E-7 through E-9
W-1 through W-5
O-1 through O-2
O-3 through O-4
O-5 through O-6
O-7 through O-8
O-9 through O-10
Although there are not many domestic superheroes who will want to purchase a Rank, this Advantage will take on an added importance for generating war front heroes.
Hero Points spent for Character Improvement cannot be used to increase a character’s Rank Advantage. A character can only increase in rank by being promoted by his superiors. Circumstances that can lead to a promotion can range anywhere from internal politics to a reward for valorous service in the field. It is up to the GM to determine whether a character has earned a promotion, and a player may decline a promotion if he feels the character would prefer to remain in the lower rank. Sgt. Rock, for example, has declined promotion many times in order to remain as topkick of Easy Company.
Below is a listing of the US Military ranks by branch and pay grade. The Star Fleet ranks are taken from Star Trek.
|Pay Grade||ARMY||MARINES||NAVY||AIR FORCE||COAST GUARD||STAR FLEET|
|E-1||Private||Private||Seaman Recruit||Airman Basic||Seaman Recruit||Crewman Recruit|
|E-2||Private 2||Private First Class||Seaman Apprentice||Airman||Airman Apprentice||Crewman Apprentice|
|E-3||Private First Class||Lance Corporal||Seaman||Airman First Class||Airman||Crewman|
|E-4||Corporal||Corporal||Petty Officer Third Class||Senior Airman||Petty Officer Third Class||Petty Officer Third Class|
|E-5||Sergeant||Sergeant||Petty Officer Second Class||Staff Sergeant||Petty Officer Second Class||Petty Officer Second Class|
|E-6||Staff Sergeant||Staff Sergeant||Petty Officer First Class||Technical Sergeant||Petty Officer First Class||Petty Officer First Class|
|E-7||Sergeant First Class||Gunnery Sergeant||Chief Petty Officer||Master Sergeant||Chief Petty Officer||Chief Petty Officer|
|E-8||Master Sergeant||Master Sergeant||-||-||-||-|
|E-8||First Sergeant||First Sergeant||Senior Chief Petty Officer||Senior Master Sergeant||Senior Chief Petty Officer||Senior Chief Petty Officer|
|E-9||Sergeant Major||Master Gunnery Sergeant||Master Chief Petty Officer||Chief Master Sergeant||Master Chief Petty Officer||Master Chief Petty Officer|
|E-9||Command Sergeant Major||Sergeant Major||Fleet/Command Master Chief Petty Officer||Command Chief Master Sergeant||Command Master Chief Petty Officer||Command Master Chief Petty Officer|
|E-9||Sergeant Major of the Army||Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps||Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy||Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force||Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard||Master Chief Petty Officer of the Fleet|
|W-1||Warrant Officer||Warrant Officer||Warrant Officer||-||-||-|
|W-2||Chief Warrant Officer 2||Chief Warrant Officer 2||Chief Warrant Officer 2||-||Chief Warrant Officer 2||-|
|W-3||Chief Warrant Officer 3||Chief Warrant Officer 3||Chief Warrant Officer 3||-||Chief Warrant Officer 3||-|
|W-4||Chief Warrant Officer 4||Chief Warrant Officer 4||Chief Warrant Officer 4||-||Chief Warrant Officer 4||-|
|W-5||Chief Warrant Officer 5||Chief Warrant Officer 5||Chief Warrant Officer 5||-||-||-|
|O-1||Second Lieutenant||Second Lieutenant||Ensign||Second Lieutenant||Ensign||Ensign|
|O-2||First Lieutenant||First Lieutenant||Lieutenant Junior Grade||First Lieutenant||Lieutenant Junior Grade||Lieutenant Junior Grade|
|O-4||Major||Major||Lieutenant Commander||Major||Lieutenant Commander||Lieutenant Commander|
|O-5||Lieutenant Colonel||Lieutenant Colonel||Commander||Lieutenant Colonel||Commander||Commander|
|O-7||Brigadier General||Brigadier General||Rear Admiral (lower)||Brigadier General||Rear Admiral (lower)||Commodore|
|O-8||Major General||Major General||Rear Admiral (upper)||Major General||Rear Admiral (upper)||Rear Admiral|
|O-9||Lieutenant General||Lieutenant General||Vice Admiral||Lieutenant General||Vice Admiral||Vice Admiral|
|O-10||General||General||Admiral Chief of Naval Operations/ Commandant of the Coast Guard||General Air Force Chief of Staff||Admiral Chief of Naval Operations/ Commandant of the Coast Guard||Admiral|
|O-11||General of the Army||-||Fleet Admiral||General of the Air Force||-||Fleet Admiral|
|They prefer to be called "Hero Support."|
Sidekick [Cost: Variable]
The Sidekick Advantage allows a hero to begin play with a lesser powered (and usually younger) hero as his sidekick, partner, or assistant. In the Golden and Silver Age of comics, sidekicks were extremely common. Modern comics are way too serious for such a concept.
This Advantage has a variable cost that is dependent on the capabilities of the sidekick. A player who wishes to purchase this advantage must first create the proposed sidekick as a complete character. The cost of the Sidekick Advantage is equal to one-third of the total number of Hero Points necessary to create the sidekick, rounding all fractions up. The sidekick’s abilities and methods usually roughly mirror those of the adult hero. For example, the Sandman’s sidekick is
the Golden Boy essentially
a younger version of the Sandman himself. Except in rare circumstances, a
sidekick will always have the Thrill of Adventure Motivation. Sandy
Example: A player is creating a hero named Cowman and wants him to begin play with a sidekick, Calfboy. The player creates the sidekick character using the step-by-step procedure outlined on pages 18-29 of the DC Heroes 3rd Editon rulebook. In the end, the player discovers that Calfboy would cost 400 Hero Points to generate. To begin play with this sidekick, the player must purchase the Sidekick Advantage at a cost of 134 Hero Points (400 divided by 3 equals 134, rounding fractions up).
Beginning Gamemasters should probably not allow their players to select this Advantage for the time being. In fact, even highly experienced Gamemasters are advised to monitor closely the creation of the sidekicks for their campaigns. Feel free to prohibit any sidekick who will not make an interesting addition to both the campaign and to the patron hero. You should also prohibit any sidekick who does not have at least one or two foibles built into his personality that might be used against the patron hero.
Unlimited Resources [Cost: 15]
During WWII, gasoline, certain foodstuffs, and other items were strictly rationed by the United States Government, meaning that most Americans were allowed to purchase only limited quantities of these special goods. See the relevant portion of the encyclopedia entry on page 22 of the World at War Sourcebook for details. A character with the Unlimited Resources Advantage, however, is under no such restrictions and may purchase as much of any item as he desires.
Item rationing affects a typical DC Heroes campaign in a couple of ways. Characters without the Unlimited Resources Advantage are required to add a +1 Column Shift to the OV/RV of their Wealth Checks whenever they are attempting to purchase a rationed item. For the purpose of this rule, all parts necessary for the construction of a gadget or artifact are automatically considered rationed items. Characters without Unlimited Resources are also unable to travel at will by automobile, due to gas shortages, sometimes forcing them to rely on alternate and inconvenient methods of transportation. The only time the +1 Column Shift is not used is when a player is making an Upkeep roll, as described on page 125 of the DC Heroes 3rd Edition rulebook.
Rationed items in the
included gasoline, butter,
milk, eggs, oil, coffee, leather goods, boots, sugar, and tires. U.S.
Finally, I wanted to provide a link that would allow everyone to see a complete list of what products were published by Mayfair Games for all three editions of DC Heroes. This link is from a site called Wayne's Books, which is a wildly cool site this guy put together that acts as a reference guide to old school RPGs. He provides links to buy from Amazon every book from the DC Heroes line. I recommend the Third Edition DC Heroes Rulebook ($50 used), the Atlas of the DC Universe ($8 new), the Magic Sourcebook ($20 used), and, of course, the World at War Sourcebook ($12 new).
Thanks to Wayne for creating this awesome reference: