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Hogan’s Heroes


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After reading through the Beverly Hillbillies thread in this forum, it got me to thinking about another fun series from decades ago, Hogan’s Heroes.

 

I think it could probably be done pretty well with 175-point Heroic characters. Any thoughts on abilities? I’m thinking most of them had at least a die of Luck.

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Colonel Hogan, I think, would have a massive amount of Persuasion.  Coupled with Klink's Psych Complication: Extremely Gullible, that's how Hogan was able to facilitate the vast majority of his schemes.

 

I think all the Heroes had the Charm Skill to an extent, coupled with the Complication: Skirt Chaser.  For LeBeau it was a matter of national honor to "chase skirts"--Frenchmen being the kings of love and romance.  Of course, Colonel Hogan was the most successful at it, he was, after all, the star of the show.

 

As I remember, Carter was the demolitions expert, Kinchloe was communications, Newkirk was the safecracker and card shark, LeBeau was the chef (useful when bribing Germans with food, especially Schultz) and Hogan was the mastermind, whose brilliant schemes always worked.  (They might have gotten complicated, but as the English say, it all got sorted in the end.)

 

Hope this helps.

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   Ive been indulging in Sundance running six hour HH marathons a couple of times a week. So let’s see what I can do to help.

   First the group skills.

    All of the Heroes speak German fluently enough to fool native speakers, including paranoid types like Gestapo officers. They all also have acting and bluff and disguise on high enough levels to walk in and out of enemy headquarters on a regular basis.  Kinch and Newkirk have vocal mimic skills. Everybody has some demolitions and engineering for building the tunnel system. Let’s not forget they all have the basic commando skills like map reading, parachuting, weapons training and martial arts.

   Now for the individual specialities.

Sgt. Ivan Kinchloe

Electronics. KS; codes. KS; radio operation. Mimic. MS;  Stand-Up Bass. Mart Art; Boxing.

Cpl. Louis LeBeau

Lang; French, native. PS; Chef. PS; Baker. Contortionist (car trunks, dumbwaiters, any small space) CT; French Underground. Tailor. MS; Piano.

Sgt.Andrew Carter

Demolitions. KS; Chemistry. KS; Bombardier. Engineering. Lang; Sioux.

Cpl. Peter Newkirk

Slight of Hand. Lockpick. Security Systems. Disguise. PS; Safecracker. Mimic. Acting. Tailor. Gambling. Knife Throwing.

Col. Robert Hogan

Tactics. Pilot. Seduction. Acting. Bluff. MS; Drums.

  Most of this is off the top of my head. Skills were listed twice with the individual if the concentration should be higher.

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They all have PS: Handyman which helps with various capers around the camp and various cover identities outside of camp. That wasn't unusual for people coming out of the Depression era since jobs were hard to come by and often temporary. A worker had to be flexible. They were shown doing carpentry, painting, roof repairs, landscaping, bricklaying, simple wiring, plastering, as well as manual labor of various types. Give them that as their free background profession.

 

In fact, I'd go for PS over KS for all of the Heroes as much as possible. Most of what they displayed was hard-earned professional skills from their lives more than knowledge skills. And if you group most of what they have as PS, you can use Jack of All Trades to reduce the cost (with some obvious exceptions like Carter's college skills).

 

Yeah, they all have the Social Complication: Desperate for female companionship. Though Kinch wasn't allowed to display it much since he was in the middle of Nazi Germany and almost all the available women were white (and Kinch was a character on an American TV show in the 1960's where almost all the available women were white).

 

I'd drop the KS: Codes from Kinch. He read the codebook because he was the one operating the radio. I don't recall him having any particular expertise. He was completely stymied at least a couple of times because they didn't have access to the current codebook.

 

LeBeau has AK: Paris and AK: France. PS: Entertainer might be a good overall fit for him since he could both sing and play an instrument. Not unusual for people of the era to do a little of several different things as part of an act, even when they weren't particularly great at any one thing (telling jokes, singing, playing an instrument).

 

Carter has Inventor 8-. He also seemed to have the quirk of wanting to sun himself though it wasn't clear whether he wanted to be tanned or whether he was worried about Vitamin D deficiency.

 

Newkirk has Concealment and Forgery, he does their fake papers IIRC.

 

Hogan has Bribery and also Navigation. He successfully flew a fighter from London to Stalag 13 without getting lost or flying in a formation, which was quite the trick back then. And they never seemed to get lost when Hogan was with them but successful navigation became more of an issue when he wasn't.

 

The Heroes' base gives -2 or -3 PER rolls to anyone who isn't a Hero. They got away with a LOT more at camp than they ever did outside their base.

 

All the Heroes have Life Support: able to survive on German prison camp food (even the prisoners who weren't regulars on the team). Maybe that was bought through the base as well?

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I don't know that there's a martial art specifically designed for undercover work out of a prison camp in Nazi Germany.

 

But if I was putting together something that Allied soldiers might reasonably learn and putting the moves roughly in the order of usefulness:

 

Moving Dodge (get away from the machine gun bullets ASAP)

Takeaway (a Disarm move, handy for guns, knives, grenades, radios, etc. and very cinematic)

Legsweep (opponent falls so you can run or it allows someone else to put them out of commission more permanently)

Defensive Strike (not getting hurt is the essence of a good plan, getting hurt means having to come up with an explanation)

Offensive Strike (when you need to take down that dumb ox a little quicker)

 

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  I went with codes for Kinch because he had Morse code and had memorized at least the current code they would be using along with various call signs “Papa Bear” etc

  I forgot Bribery for several characters and I like you using Performer primarily for LeBeau, but to a lesser extent for Newkirk and Carter.  All three actors were cabaret/nightclub performers in real life. If you want to see Robert Clary’s talent as a clown and dancer you can check out his performance in the movie The Hindenburg.

  Along with Handyman the Heroes also worked in the motor pool sabotaging and rebuilding Klink’s staff car. So you might want to include PS; Auto Mechanic.

  For the Martial Arts there’s Commando Training in Champions or there may be a package deal for Commandos in some of the WWII sourcebooks.  I gave Kinch, MA; Boxing for the “Battling Bruno” episode where he said he fought in the Golden Gloves. (For non-Americans, it’s an national amateur competition that often leads to the Olympics or the professional levels.)

   This show was one of my favorites in syndication when I was growing up. So I love going through it like this.

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8 hours ago, archer said:

Yeah, they all have the Social Complication: Desperate for female companionship. Though Kinch wasn't allowed to display it much since he was in the middle of Nazi Germany and almost all the available women were white (and Kinch was a character on an American TV show in the 1960's where almost all the available women were white).

 

Carter has Inventor 8-. He also seemed to have the quirk of wanting to sun himself though it wasn't clear whether he wanted to be tanned or whether he was worried about Vitamin D deficiency.

 

All the Heroes have Life Support: able to survive on German prison camp food (even the prisoners who weren't regulars on the team). Maybe that was bought through the base as well?

 
   Is Horny a “Social Complication” ?  😜

Actually Kinch did pretty well considering, he got the girl in two episodes. The one where he and Col. Hogan go to Paris where a girl he went to high school with was now a singer and had the ear of a Nazi General who wanted to speak to the ghost of Bismarck.  The other one he was the double for an African Prince and romanced the Princess.

 

   You’re right, I forgot Carter was the inventor of the rabbit trap that became the “Gonkulator” and he built explosives into ordinary objects like pens, electric shavers and table centerpieces.  ** Maybe he took to sunning himself because he was used to being darker skinned being part American Indian?  He was after all known to his family as “Little Deer who runs Swift and Sure through Forest”.

 

   This last one is the only thing I disagree with you on.  The prisoners ate quite well...Not on what the Germans fed them.  They got their groceries through the Black Market.  LeBeau was shown making them such dishes as Beef Stroganoff, Co-Co-Van and Chateau Briand.  (I can’t spell in French) It’s easy to pay those prices when you have your own cash printing press.  As a matter of fact it was shown in the pilot episode (The only one in black & white) that they overate to such an extent that they had their own steam room. As Hogan said “A fat P.O.W. would give the whole thing away.”

   Oh well, “bye-bye and buy bonds”.

 

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8 hours ago, Tjack said:

  I went with codes for Kinch because he had Morse code and had memorized at least the current code they would be using along with various call signs “Papa Bear” etc

 

 

I forgot about Kinch knowing Morse code. I've always thought of that as more of a language skill.

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If you were to put the series into a genre, is it a Pulp Hero setting? Since it's mostly a comedy series with some drama, I wasn't sure what genre it best fits into.

 

My favorite recurring characters other than those in the camp are General Burkhalter and Major Hochstetter.

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   I’d go with Justice Inc. rather than the Golden Age Heroes book because JI was more biased towards skilled normals instead of powered heroes.

 

   I just realized you weren’t talking about game genre.  I’d just call it “War Comedy”. Things like McHale’s Navy, M.A.S.H., Hello Hello, Dad’s Army, Bilko, the WW1 season of Blackadder etc.

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14 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

For being a goofy comedy show roughly based on a serious drama, all of the characters in Hogan's Heroes were surprisingly competent and skillful.  They never displayed it but I am confident they all were very skilled with small arms as well.

All but Klink

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Burkhalter had connections and rank.  Piss him off and you're on your way to the Eastern Front.  The only thing that kept Klink from being sent there was that Stalag 13 had a perfect record of no escapes.  (One time Burkhalter said to another officer about Klink's record--"Don't look at me.  I don't understand it either.")

 

But all the recurring Germans were pretty much as gullible and suggestible as Klink.  And Hogan played them all like Palpatine played the Republic and its Senate.

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  I’ve occasionally run into people who told me they’ve seen an episode that ended the series and showed that Klink was really working for the Allies and knew about what was going on the whole time.

   This is stupid on several levels. Shows back then didn’t have final episodes, they just got cancelled.  9 out of ten episodes wouldn’t make sense if Klink WASN’T trying to catch Hogan. And if that show is out there, how come no body else has seen it?

   The strange thing to me is that no matter how I or other people would try to explain all this to them, they never believed it.  People are nuts.

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I remember an episode where Hogan came clean to a German officer whose help they needed.  The officer asked if Klink was part of the operation.

 

HOGAN: "Are you kidding?  Klink and his monocle are still fighting World War One!"

 

It's possible the people you mention are thinking of the episode "The Missing Klink."

 

As far as I am aware, Klink was secretly conspiring against Germany as an ally of Hogan.  I believe Werner Klemperer said so himself.

 

By the way--if you get the chance, check out Klemperer's appearances in Judgement At Nuremberg and Operation Eichmann.  It's one thing to see him portray a Nazi as a complete buffoon--it's unsettling, to say the least, to see him play a Nazi completely serious.

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On 2/11/2021 at 3:05 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

I'm pretty sure Schultz was just a pensioner from WWI as well, and had no skills whatsoever.  But General Burkhalter always seemed very ominous and capable.

 

Schultz was the owner of the largest toy company in Germany, which had been commandeered for the German war effort.  At several points he mentions not liking the Nazis, both for what they do in general but also for how his family was treated when their company was seized.  I always took his "I Know NOTHING!" announcements to mean he saw a lot more than he reported because he was hoping the Allies would win the war and he was just trying to keep his head down until that day came.  There is a theory that Klink put up with him because he knew that Schultz was going to be a good person to know when the war ended.

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