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Modern War

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Welcome to the GM's Day sale! From now through March 10th, this title has been marked down by up to 40%! For more values, visit our GM's Day sale page.

Modern War is a complete squad-level game that opens up roleplaying for a wide-range of modern military-themed settings. It is based on (and fully compatible with) the science-fiction game called Cepheus Engine. With almost 70 military vehicles, 90 firearms and comprehensive military careers, the game can be set anytime in the past thirty years: 2019, 1999, 1989 - no matter. But it can also be used for almost any science-fiction or horror cross-over setting that you can imagine.

This book contains infantry creation rules with kit lists, guidelines on how to game-master a squad-level game and combat rules that  factor in area fire and the inability to see your foe. There are squad templates from modern militaries, suggestions for building squad-based adventures and six fictional future war scenarios.

  • How to roleplay a squad of infantrymen.
  • Playing the crew of a tank or APC.
  • Future wars! Six fictional wars to set your games within.
  • Vehicles – almost 70 military vehicles with stats.
  • Firearms – almost 90 firearms, with Cepheus Engine stats.  
  • Rules for skiiing, combat swimming, NBC protection … and more.
  • Suppression, area fire and the uncertainty and chaos of modern battlefield combat.
  • Detailed equipment lists.
  • Create infantry, tank crews, chopper pilots, even civilians or intel officers. 
Soldiers silhouette

Supplements

Airstrike Puts the players in the cockpit of fast jets and helicopters.

Baltic War A fictional future battlefront preventing a Russian invasion of the Baltic states.

China Sea War A fictional future war where China has invaded both Taiwan and Vietnam.

1917 Trench RaidsSquad-level roleplaying on the Western Front.

1944 Fortress Europe - Fight across Europe in the months after D-Day!  

Modern War Conversion System Create stats for your favourite weapon, vehicle or aircraft that we might have missed!

Gun Conversion Just want new firearms? Use this free booklet to convert from Wikipedia.  

Book Pages

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Reviews (2)
Discussions (29)
Customer avatar
Dennis M December 14, 2023 12:49 am UTC
PURCHASER
I quite like this product, and recommend it to anyone looking for a resource to run RPGs set in (depending on which source book you have) WW1, WW2, late Cold War, post-Cold War or modern conflict. I have two requests:
1) The back cover image, preferably in PDF as I like to have my home-printed books bound with spiral binding and laminated covers
2) Being a Cold War kid, grognard and a (OSFRPG) player since the early 80s, I'd very much like to see a Cold War source book, similar to the other source books, but with respect to the different periods of the Cold War such as Early Cold War & Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis & the Vietnam War, the era of America as Paper Tiger and Detente, and NATO Resurgent.
Thank you!
Customer avatar
David G October 29, 2023 5:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a GM Screen or some other summary of various critical tables such as the rules for air combat, vehicle hull damage, and various details for character scale combat?
Customer avatar
Frank B May 26, 2023 1:02 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm looking for a system to do a New Cold War (1979-1985) campaign, is the "anytime in the past thirty years: 2019, 1999, 1989" a hard requirement or more a suggestion? My assumption is that I can use the conversion rules for older stuff without issue, right?

Also, do incremental changes in vehicles (a F15 A vs F15 C) matter for this game?
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E May 27, 2023 3:43 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Frank. It will cover the Cold War well enough, particularly if you also pick up the Conversion book. There are plenty of older weapons and vehicles in there including M16A1s, M113s and M48 Patton. Plus lots of NBC rules and equipment. I’d love to write a Cold War campaign book for Modern War, I have one planned out - just not written.
Customer avatar
Patrick S April 13, 2023 7:54 am UTC
PURCHASER
I bought the game from LuLu. Is there a way to get the updated PDF without paying for the whole PDF here?
Or is it possible to buy just the update files for less?
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E April 13, 2023 9:01 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes, forward your Lulu receipt to paulelliottbooks@yahoo.com and I will send you the download code via DrivethruRPG.,
Reply
Customer avatar
Patrick S April 14, 2023 10:59 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you for your swift answer.
Awesome game line by the way! Very looking forward to additional material.
Reply
Customer avatar
Patrick S April 17, 2023 5:52 am UTC
PURCHASER
Got it, thank you very much. Ver looking forward to new material!
Customer avatar
Mike V October 25, 2022 2:05 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi, does MW Include Area Fire rules like In Hostile? Thank you.
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E October 25, 2022 2:48 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
It does. It was first developed for Modern War, then adapted later, for Hostile Rules.
Reply
Customer avatar
Mike V October 25, 2022 4:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you Paul, now It´s just a matter of which one to get first, although eventually I will get both. Great work Sir!
Reply
Customer avatar
Mike V October 26, 2022 12:04 am UTC
PURCHASER
Ordered both Hostile Rules and Modern War (hardcover) from Lulu, thank you.
Customer avatar
Paul E September 24, 2022 5:02 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Modern War has just been updated. This is what has changed:

General edit, catching typos and a couple of minor errors.

New firearms: the USA’s new M7 pistol, M5 rifle and M250 LMG.

New vehicles: the US AMPV and Infantry Squad Vehicle, Chinook and the Chinese Truck Howitzer.

Also: a six page appendix on infantry and drones

Correction of weights for demolition kit and climbing kit.

Just re-download your copy of Modern War on DrivethruRPG.
Customer avatar
Anthony W August 01, 2022 1:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
Dude. Dude... Doooooooooood. Picked up this one and "Airstrike" Bloody good work.
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E August 04, 2022 9:56 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Many thanks, I hope you enjoy it! It’s fantastic to hear your comments.
Customer avatar
David A April 22, 2022 7:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
It looks excellent. I'm a huge fan of Cepheus Engine so this seems a natural extension thereof. One thing I can't find are rules on drones; have you created any? If so, can I ask where? That seems a real gap given how important they've become.
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E April 22, 2022 7:46 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you for your kind words! Drones are my blind spot. I see them as a hindrance to roleplaying, just as I see robots as a hindrance to SF roleplaying. Maybe I'm just seeing it from the perspective of the *operators* or the guys being replaced by drones and robots. But it can't be denied they have an impact on the poor bloody infantryman. I've seen footage of ISIS drones in Syria hovering over dug in troops and dropping to explode... I feel a free supplement coming on.
Customer avatar
Rokas ? March 17, 2022 8:34 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hello, I really liked this game, however, there are quite a few mistakes. For example, in combat section it states that NPC's hit on 12+, but examples use 10+. Also in character generation section education is mistaken for endurance and section for creating officer character is unclear.
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E March 17, 2022 6:29 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Rokas, we updated the NPC 'to hit' number, and you are right - we omitted to amend the examples at the end of the chapter. We've uploaded a corrected PDF 'Modern War 15'. On your comment about character creation and the Education / Endurance mix up, that's never been mentioned to us and we cannot see that error...
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E March 17, 2022 6:29 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi Rokas, we updated the NPC 'to hit' number, and you are right - we omitted to amend the examples at the end of the chapter. We've uploaded a corrected PDF 'Modern War 15'. On your comment about character creation and the Education / Endurance mix up, that's never been mentioned to us and we cannot see that error...
Customer avatar
Roberto H December 22, 2021 12:52 am UTC
PURCHASER
Just one question:
How melee works for the enemy if they attack first or counterattack?
+8 like the characters or +10/+12 (in MW-13)
I can't found it in the text.

Thanks in advance.
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E March 17, 2022 6:30 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
We use 8+, because it isn't long range fire. Its deadly face to face combat.
Customer avatar
Paul E December 18, 2021 8:27 am UTC
PUBLISHER
An update has been made (modernwar-13) which increases NPC to hit rolls to 12+, due to continued testing player feedback.
Reply
Customer avatar
Elias R February 22, 2022 5:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
There is still conflicting information on whether NPC to hit rolls are 12+ or 10+. Please check page 140 last paragraph. Also check combat example page 149
Customer avatar
Robert R November 14, 2021 6:57 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Paul, I’ve got another of your games, GRUNT. Is MODERN WAR a kind of a child of GRUNT? Is there any compatibly?
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E November 14, 2021 10:19 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes it is, the whole concept of ‘area fire’ and invisible enemy was tested out in Grunt.
Customer avatar
Jim L November 14, 2021 6:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a skirmish wargame version of these rules? I like them but would prefer to have them converted for skirmish gaming.
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E November 14, 2021 8:34 am UTC
PUBLISHER
No there isn’t, it’s purely a roleplaying game. Unfortunately we don’t have much experience with table-top wargaming.
Customer avatar
P. C May 03, 2020 11:40 am UTC
Hi Paul,

Do you have Character Sheet available for download other than the one found in the book?
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E May 18, 2020 8:32 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I do, great idea ... I will include them with the download as well as put them up on the Zozer Games website. Look for the Modern War page.
Customer avatar
Andrew S April 19, 2020 1:30 pm UTC
This looks really interesting. Can this be played solo?
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E April 20, 2020 12:20 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
No ... I don't think so. There are no rules included for solo play ... however, Zozer Games has done some preliminary work on a Solo Military book (to compliment the science-fiction Solo book). We hope that project can be developed later this year... that could certainly be used to run Modern War solo.
Reply
Customer avatar
Pavel K May 13, 2020 7:06 pm UTC
Awesome...
Customer avatar
wayne B April 08, 2020 2:41 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Just brought a hard copy via lulu and while there discovered a supplement as well! My question is will there be any chance of a twilight 2000 style supplement in the future?
Reply
Customer avatar
Paul E April 08, 2020 8:03 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
We have a couple of historical books planned for release this spring/summer, with a World War 3 Soviet invasion of West Germany (including limited tactical nuke strikes) in the 1980s planner after that. Work has already begun on all three books.
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File Last Updated:
October 24, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on February 25, 2020.