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Author Topic: Review: WW II: Operation Jedburgh  (Read 738 times)


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Review: WW II: Operation Jedburgh
« on: May 30, 2007, 03:23:49 pm »

WWII: Operation Jedburgh is the first in a series of "Quick Play" d20 Modern system adventures published by Small Niche Games. The adventure throws the players into the historical "Operation Jedburgh", during which the allied forces of America, England, and France parachuted behind enemy lines (into France) to raise the French resistance and sabotage German operations. For those who have been waiting for a true historical adventure, Operation Jedburgh should be a welcome sight.  No magic, superpowers, or fantastic beings to be found here, just straight up historical WWII.

I don't claim to be a WWII era historian, but I have done my share of reading on the subject. As far as I can tell the historical bits included are accurate. I'm also of the opinion that WWII history needs no jazzing up with magic or fantasy in order to be an entertaining and exciting gaming setting. Small Niche Game manages to bring the excitement and blood pumping thrills to the table top in the same way the "Medal of Honor" does in video game media.

Now, what do characters do? During Operation Jedburgh the PCs will have the opportunity to do everything from spring ambushes, rescue missions, uncover traitors, fight tanks, and join an city fight assault on German forces. It is high action, high drama and got my blood pumping just reading it. If you have seen any of the great WWII movies including Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, and The Guns of Navarone you should find what you are looking for here.

Operation Jedburgh is not just an adventure, but could also be used a generic resource for other WWII era games that use d20 modern. There is plenty of Nazi and Allied NPC's to be helpful. Many of the most common guns of the war are included along with stats for a Panzer IV and a few other German vehicles. It has 11 very nice battle maps made for the major encounters in the adventure (for use with minis), but could be reused later for other adventures.  There is a map of Bierville (Where the adventure takes place) and the area surrounding the town. A player handout section is also included that clues the players in on the info they need to know including what heir characters know about the situation and a little bit of history on Operation Jedburgh.

So, you may be asking  what makes this a "Quick Play" adventure. Well, it has 10 pre-generated characters from levels 3-5 (for which the game was designed). These characters are ready to go (Including a background), no need to roll up characters. The adventure also includes enough background and setting info so that you don't need to know much about WWII history to run the adventure. Since all the weapons and equipment that are available for the adventure have stats and the NPCs are already generated, it makes for little prep time for the GM.

Operation Jedburgh is also a nice looking PDF. The cover, interior art, and layout were all done by Rick Hershey. If you are familiar with the quality of Precis Intermedia Gaming's products, the look and feel of the art will ring bells. The art is high quality black & white and each piece perfectly depicts what the material is discussing.  The text of the layout flows well and uses up the space, not leaving a lot of white space. My only gripe on the layout would be the header fonts could have been a little more flashy, but they don't look bad.

In the end WWII: Operation Jedburgh is great one shot adventure with enough material to perhaps stretch into a min-campaign. It is also not a bad resource for other WWII games and the materials included have a high reuse value. If you and your players in the mood for a historical WWII adventure that plays like Medal of Honor on a table top give this adventure a try, I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

The Good: All-in-one package, High reuse factor, Expandable, Little GM prep, High Action and Drama plot, and overall pleasing to the eye.

The Bad: May be a little too linear for some people, but any good GM knows to let the players do and go where they like. One section suggests the party split up, I'm not a big fan of splitting the party.

The ugly: Nothing.