Introducing, Ross Rifles – historical roleplaying powered by the apocalypse.
From 1914-1918, Canada played a major role in assisting the British Empire in winning one of the fiercest wars in history. But victory came at a cost. The First World War took the lives of over 60,000 Canadians. It was from this vast entanglement of international alliances, leaders, and agendas that Canada emerged as a modern fighting force on the brink of nationhood.
Ross Rifles is a tabletop roleplaying game that requires 3-5 players, one of which will serve as the game master. In this game, you’ll create and inhabit fictional characters in a historical context – new recruits of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) stationed on the Western Front. Sent overseas to fight for crown and country, your characters will make personal sacrifices in the name of Canada, and experience the horrors of industrialized war. The game will not only teach players about Canada’s contribution to WWI but also highlight the struggles and sacrifices made by Canadians of all background to the war effort.
This game is structured around life in the trenches and the dangers of no man’s land. The horrors of war and the threat of shell shock have profound effects on the narrative. Action in Ross Rifles is structured around our mechanics of “gaining ground” in no man’s land – an objective based means of measuring success, scaffolding action storytelling, and visualizing the flow of war. This way, Ross Rifles effectively bridges the gap between highly structured, combat-oriented RPGs such as D&D and the reflexive, narrative-focused simplicity of Powered by the Apocalypse games.
We are currently in the process of writing and playtesting the game. At the moment, we are actively engaging with veterans, historians, museums, and anthropologists to ensure that the content of the game is respectful and accurate. The purpose of Ross Rifles is to educate players on the realities of trench warfare and complicate our understandings of what "Canadian" meant in the early 20th century.