A quick discussion on which skills your DM thinks will be important, and which you shouldn’t expect to get much use out of. Feel free to take any skill you think is important to your character, however, and if you mention it to your DM, he may work in circumstances in which you’ll get to use it.
- Boating: You likely won’t spend much time on the water.
- Climbing: You won’t be in “dungeons” or mountains, but if you invest in this, it might give you another tactical choice.
- Driving: You won’t have regular access to tanks or jeeps, but if you were interested in being a half-track or truck driver, we could see
- Fighting: Obviously important, in case you can’t destroy all the enemy with firepower alone.
- Gambling: More character driven than practical. That being said, soldiers love to gamble.
- Healing: First aid can be a life-saver (ha ha)
- Intimidation: You’re allowed to shoot your enemies in war. That being said, Intimidation gives you a neat combat ability, and possibly an ability to get other soldiers to do what you want.
- Investigation: You won’t have much time in libraries.
- Knowledge: You might be interested in learning Russian or Romanian. Knowledge (Battle) is more focused on commanding large battles, but is an option. Otherwise, mostly character driven (but if you talk with the DM about it, he may find a way you reward you for your knowledge skills). Also, see the new knowledge skills below.
- Lockpicking: Most of the time, you can blast a door, and anything worth locking is worth guarding anyway.
- Notice: Essential if you plan to know what’s happening around you.
- Persuasion: Moderately useful within the military or maybe with civilians
- Piloting: Don’t expect to have regular airpower. That being said, the Nazi government encouraged recreational flying during the 30s, so it isn’t implausible for a soldier to know how to fly.
- Repair: You’ll need to keep your equipment in working order
- Riding: If you look, you’ll be able to find horses, but mounted combat is certanly obsolete.
- Shooting: Definitely important.
- Stealth: It’s always nice if the enemy doesn’t know you’re there.
- Streetwise: There aren’t many civilian settings around where this skill makes a lot of sense.
- Survival: You do have access to supplies through the military. That being said, supply lines break down. A lot. Especially on the eastern front.
- Swimming: Being able to swim at least a little bit is important. Since tanks & heavy equipment needs to cross rivers, bridges are usually built quickly, but being able to cross unexpected terrain is useful (although Ukraine & Southern Russia are pretty dry apart from huge rivers)
- Taunt: See Intimidate
- Throwing: You’d much rather be able to get those grenades away from you. But if you don’t plan on using grenades, there isn’t much call for this skill.
- Tracking: If you’re hunting someone specific,it could be useful, but there are so many people moving around in a war zone, it might be a mess.
New Knowledge Skills
- Knowledge (Artillery): This skill covers the basics of understanding indirect-fire weapons (mortars, howitzers, and artillery guns). In addition, a character firing an indirect-fire weapon uses this skill, rather than shooting, to get the rounds on-target.
- Knowledge (Communications): This skill covers the use of radios and field telephones. It also represents knowledge of common codes (ie, morse) as well as your side’s codes.
- Knowledge (Demolitions): This skill covers the use of explosives (TNT, gunpowder, plastic explosives, and land mines), primers, laying explosives to demolish a target, and disarming explosives.
- Knowledge (Navigation): This skill allows a character to competently read maps, and deduce position and direction to avoid getting lost. It includes dead-reckoning, compass navigation, astral navigation, and radio direction-finding, as appropriate, as well as a “good head for directions”.