From publisher blurb:
On the first day of fighting at the Somme something happened which thinned the veil between this world and the world of the Others. Soon after came the Whispers. From just behind a soldier’s ear voices told them how they could win. Some resisted, and the Others drove them mad. Some accepted their instructions and sold their humanity for arcane powers. Strange enemies now stalk the battlefield and many soldiers have become twisted parodies of their past selves.
Inspired by the World War Occult art of Charles Ferguson-Avery, Wet Ink Games is ready to bring you into the horror-haunted trenches and march you through the terror-torn battlefields of the First World War. Create a soldier, choose your Whispers, join your fellow survivors, fight for your lives, and protect your humanity as long as you can. You are never going home...
Never Going Home: World War Occult Role Playing is powered by a simple and easy to learn rules set, loosely based on the Compass System used in Wet Ink Games’ previous game. Players roll D6 equal to skill proficiency and may manipulate die results a number of different ways based on attributes in an effort to meet or exceed the difficulty (a number of successes required) per check. A success is considered a 5 or 6 on the die, but each roll can be manipulated a number of times equal to the associated attribute to raise or reroll a die, but also to add dice to a roll, or even to roll a skill you may not have. The higher an attribute is, the more a character can manipulate the roll, but considering each attribute is a marker of your health and can be reduced means options and proficiency are also reduced as a character is damaged.
Magic actions known as whispers, or more complex rituals offer players powerful options, but carry large risks. Players are able to add a number of abilities to the whisper each time it is used, but each addition raises the difficulty. Massively powerful abilities can annihilate adversaries and rend armor in half, but if a whisper is too powerful and fails, the mystical forces might be too much for a character to handle. Balancing the risk of corruption versus the reward of magical power can often be too much for the common soldier.
Players also hold their memories of humanity in the form of playing cards. These cards must be sacrificed in order to get the group through missions and may be sacrificed to power rituals or avoid injury. These cards also serve as the experience system of the game, being traded to new skills, additional dice, and dark powers from the realm of the Others. Players must balance the goal of personal survival with the goal of group success.