SOE 21 – a new Dead Simple RPG

During the second world war an elite secret force was formed to attack the enemy from within. Its methods were subversion, sabotage, assassination and terror. Many of its agents did not survive. Often captured, tortured and executed, their work was cloaked in secrecy and all but forgotten. They were the Special Operations Executive (SOE).


At the end of the war they were sacrificed upon the altar of political necessity and disbanded. The victims of inter-agency rivalry. Or were they? In the world of SOE21, not so very different from our own, Churchill secretly ordered that the SOE was to continue, as the hidden and deniable agent of Britain’s otherwise less acceptable activities. One by one SOE’s top wartime agents ‘died’, apparently at the hands of the fledgling KGB, and even MI5 and MI6. In fact they took on new identities and became a deadly and effective underground army.

Even after Churchill lost power he continued to command the actions of the SOE. With the help of loyal civil servants the SOE recruited men and women, to train and, in times of need, to act on behalf of British interests. When Churchill died, he left as his legacy an independent and well-supported organisation, led by an appointed Council of former Operatives, and working to the Charter. This Charter has 21 clauses and guides all actions of the Council and its active Operatives. The SOE, now renamed SOE21, has Council members in all areas of Government and the British intelligence community.  It has infiltrated the top levels of the armed forces and many of Britain’s largest corporations.

You can find these new rules in the Downloads section.

New Dice Mechanic

These are the first rules in the Dead Simple series to have a new mechanic for measuring success:

Roll 15 or more on a twenty-sided die, modified by Aptitude and Training. Other modifiers from equipment, background and specialities may apply.

I believe that this has a more fluid feel in play. If people like this I may update other rules in the series.


About Craig

For those who need to know these things: - I'll never see 50 again. - I'm tall enough to see well in crowds and fat enough to leave a wake. - I'm well married to a woman with twice my smarts, three delightful and challenging children (er-hem), and one cat overlord. - I am Welsh. - I have to work for a living, but do nothing that makes me perspire.
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13 Responses to SOE 21 – a new Dead Simple RPG

  1. Sean says:

    In SOE21, page 3, Rules of Play, #2, Combat, it states, “The amount the attacker scores below what they need is the damage.” Should this be read as ABOVE, instead of BELOW? Later, in the same section the text reads, “He must roll less than his Toughness, minus the remaining damage, or he becomes Wounded.” Should this be a negative modifier with against a DC15 Skill Check? As an example, an Operative ends up with a total of 20 (aptitude, training, attributes, opponent’s DEX). This result is five over the 15 that is needed. The opponent then makes a Toughness roll, minus 5 (i.e., a natural 10 or better on the roll), or he is Wounded. Is this right? Thanks. Sean

    • Craig says:

      You are completely correct Sean. A little sloppy conversion on my behalf which I shall try to put right soon.
      It’s one of the problems of trying to do several projects at once I am afraid.

  2. Sean says:

    Sorry, make that a natural 20 on the roll, not a natural 10; still learning my arithmetic.

  3. Sean says:

    Craig, your efforts kick butt. Great conversion, and I plan on trying it out my guys this weekend. Thank you.

  4. DiverDan says:

    Only just found these lovely dead simple games and loved em from the start.
    But i had a large issue with combat because from a few play tests i done it basically became “roll a 1 or do no damage’

    This new ‘rule of 15’ makes it alot better. Plan to use it next week.

    Cheers for the great systems

  5. Sean Jensen says:

    Craig, I did not see any rules for healing. Would you recommend using something similar to that used in Blaster edition 5? Thanks again.

    • Craig says:

      As all operatives are trained in first aid I’d give the first aider a Knowledge Check to apply the correct treatment and if this succeeds allow the patient a fresh Toughness check. This is for wounded characters. KO’d characters need proper treatment in a hospital or SOE medical centre.
      That should do until I rewrite these (it’s on my list honestly)

  6. Charles says:

    Words of praise: Despite not being able to read five pages into Spycraft, my friends and I managed to foil a bank robbery, stab a rocket-launcher-wielding gangster boss, blow up half a warehouse, decapitate a pile of thugs with a katana, jump between SUVs driving at highway speeds and nearly run over an old lady. 10/10

  7. Craig says:

    Sounds like you had a blast 🙂
    Really glad you are enjoying it!

  8. AriPG says:

    Hey Craig, can we get a character sheet for this and all the other games where there are none?

    • Craig says:

      Of course you can. Forty-six characters sheets coming right up 🙂
      Honestly, I just don’t have the actual time. I’m happy to feature to ones people create themselves though… #hint

  9. AriPG says:

    Hey guys! I just created a Character Sheet for SOE21
    Here is the link:
    Be sure to either print double sided or to print both pages!
    Love your games Craig!

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