In another thread, I was asked about the Italian Officer and NCO backgrounds (a la those for the four main European combatant armies in "At The Sharp End"). In an effort to keep from cluttering up the South Pacific topic, I thought I'd reply in a separate thread. Here's what I used for the Italians:
2 - Once an ordained member of a Holy Order, your nationalism outweighed your spirituality. Plus, the current regime eyes religious types with more than a little suspicion. Still, as a former priest your men find you approachable and value your counsel. Add +1 to Men’s Opinion.
3-4 - A Professor of History, you had grandiose ideas of enlisting and using your vast knowledge of Roman tactics towards restoring your nation to her former imperial glory. Unfortunately, your experiences in Cyrenaica have given you some insights into how mighty Rome might have fallen in the first place. Add +2 to your roll for age
5-7 - Abandoning a “safe” career in law or business, your staid, conservative family is aghast that you would forsake everything to pursue a military career. Now you’re just hoping that your quest for personal glory proves them wrong before it gets you killed.
8-9 - At one time you were a successful vintner. Bad harvests, poor investments, and not insubstantial gambling debts have landed you in the military, where at least an officer’s commission carries a decent stipend.
10 - A career officer with a long record dating back to Abyssinia, you’ve seen your fair share of military disasters, and this one looks no different. Already cynical and jaded, when establishing your outlook, shift the result one box to the left. Add +4 to your roll for age.
11 - A career bureaucrat, you excel at pushing paper. Whether it was tax forms or legal briefs, you were always prompt and efficient. Your CO may have his doubts about your command abilities, but by god he can depend on you to submit timely equipment requisition forms through the most efficient channels every time. +1 to CO’s opinion.
12 - An unrepentant Mussolini toady, your officer’s commission owes everything to political patronage and nothing to merit. Your CO tolerates you, but your men think you’re an incompetent boot-licker. -1 to Men’s opinion.
2 - Formerly a baker, you were renowned for your cannoli. You’re conscientious and always make sure your men are well-fed. If you are ever promoted, you will automatically pass the roll to see if your men accept your leadership.
3 - An art restorer, you’re still not sure how you ended up in the army. But you keep a detailed diary, because maybe someday you can turn this fiasco into a best-selling memoir.
4-5 - Young, impressionable, and originally trained as a civil servant, all of those propaganda posters made military life sound WAY more interesting than submitting personnel reports or whatever other drudgery you performed. Now you’re an NCO, and one of your main jobs is the drudgery of keeping on top of personnel reports. Roll only 1D6 for age.
6 - A ne’er do well of the worst stripe whose offences finally caught up with you, it was the military or prison. You’re still not sure you made the right choice.
7-8 - An itinerant farm worker, you toiled in fields or olive groves or vineyards as the seasons dictated. Being in the army might just be the easiest job you’ve ever had.
9 - Originally a member the Carabinieri, Mussolini’s rise to power meant that your police unit became increasingly militarized and was eventually mobilized. Add +2 to your roll for age
10 - After years of training and study, you reached the peak of your profession, and could at last proudly wear the badge of a master sommelier. To say that your talents are wasted here is an understatement.
11 - A regular soldier, you served during the inter-war conflicts in Africa. You aren’t likable, but your men trust you. Add +4 to your roll for age.
12 - An anarchist. You fought both for and against Franco in Spain. You long to destroy social orders, yet fight to support the worst fascist in your nation’s modern history. Apparently cognitive dissonance isn’t a thing for you. Add +2 to your roll for age
Hopefully others might find this useful.