TOG 141, “Miller’s Hellions”

There are only a few days left to support the fundraiser for a PDF and paperback release of GODLIKE: Superhero Roleplaying in a World on Fire, 1936-1946. You can see the details of the fundraiser here.

In the meantime, here’s a look at the most common framework of GODLIKE games, the commando teams of the U.S. Army’s Talent Operation Group. Even better, follow the link for a FREE download of all nine character sheets for TOG 141, “Miller’s Hellions,” the pregenerated TOG team from the pages of GODLIKE.

“TOG 141, Miller’s Hellions” © Dennis Detwiller, 2001-2011.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Talent Operations Command in 1942 to bring the superhuman powers of Talents into World War II. Talent Operations Command decides which service branch will receive each Talent recruit, a process that can take months thanks to lobbying by the branches, all of them desperate for Talents. Once a Talent is assigned, the service branch  decides how to best use the new recruit.

The Army assigns some of its Talents to “regular army” positions, tasking them with transporting soldiers and equipment or other support roles. The rest are put into a combat unit called the Talent Operation Group.

The Talent Operations Group consists of hundreds of nine-man squads, trained at the grueling Commando Basic Training Center at Achnacarry Castle, Scotland to conduct hit-and-run strikes and behind-the-lines operations. Their mission is to operate ahead of the main Army force to locate and destroy enemy Talents before they engage the regular troops. Failing that, they are to notify command of enemy Talents’ presence. Of course, while behind enemy lines, the squads wreak whatever havoc possible.

Most TOG commando teams are assigned to individual U.S. infantry divisions (a division is a unit ranging from 14,253 to 15,500 men). Like normal units, their orders are issued from the command staff of that particular division (or higher headquarters, depending on circumstances). Sometimes, special TOG units are detached for “shock troop” service and other odd duties, but most just operate as frontline commando scout units. They pave the way for armor and infantry through unknown enemy territory.

Talent Operation Group team 141 — TOG 141 — graduated from Achnacarry on May 22, 1944. Led by First Lieutenant Alan Miller and First Sergeant Harvey Braden, they were mobilized and moved to Falmouth, England, just days after their training was complete. All nine are described in detail here.

TOG 141 is composed of eight enlisted men and one officer. The chain of command in a nine-man group is a short one. The lieutenant is in direct command of the sergeant who is in charge of the men, with responsibilities passed down the line. Interaction between the members of TOG 141 is very informal, and the men are encouraged to voice any concern they might have over a mission, idea or objective-but these concerns are always taken up privately. In front of outsiders, the group falls back into military protocol.

Use the men of “Miller’s Hellions” as instantly playable characters. Or you can insert other player characters into the lineup as needed, keeping the characters here as “replacements” in case something untoward happens.

In fact, it is strongly recommended that you use the Troop Play rules presented in Part Eight: The Campaign to keep in the game a player whose character is killed in combat. If a character “buys the farm,” hand the player another character from “Miller’s Hellions” to play until a new character can be created for the next session.

Click here to download ready-to-play character sheets for the men of TOG 141.

Talents in GODLIKE

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Arc Dream Publishing creates roleplaying games and fiction including Delta Green, Godlike, Wild Talents, Monsters and Other Childish Things, Better Angels, The Kerberos Club, The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man, and the award-winning magazine of Cthulhu Mythos gaming, The Unspeakable Oath.