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Twilight 2000

I only GM'ed a session of this once, but I must have reread the rules several times in my teenage years.


Twilight 2000 is a role-playing game set in the aftermath of World War III (the "Twilight War"). The premise is that the United States/NATO and the Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact have fought a lengthy conventional war, followed by a (limited) nuclear war with all its consequences. Characters in the game are survivors of the war.
The adventures in Twilight 2000 typically involve a military unit which was stranded in Central Europe after the nuclear war and places emphasis on attempting to realistically depict military and social systems after a nuclear war. The war, as it continues on from 1997, has aspects of the Broken-Backed War Theory, wherein a catastrophic nuclear exchange occurs between two belligerents, and is then followed by a continuation of conventional war.


Original setting
The game was first published in 1984 during the Cold War and was intended to be an accurate depiction of a possible future, but events in the world have rendered the premise of the game an alternate history.

In 1995, a series of Sino-Soviet border conflicts expanded into general war between the Soviet Union and China. The Sino-Soviet war rapidly escalated from conventional warfare into exchanges of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. In 1996 a cabal of East German and West German military officers seek to reunify their country. Unified German forces stage a coup d'état against the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. The US and NATO allies initially attempt to stay out of the war, but are quickly drawn into the European conflict. France withdraws its military from Germany and withdraws entirely from NATO, declaring its neutrality in the conflict.


Between 1996 and 1997, a largely conventional war is fought between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces throughout Europe. There are limited exchanges of battlefield nuclear weapons, and chemical and biological weapons. During Thanksgiving 1997, the Soviet Union launches a surprise first strike against targets in the United States and Europe. The US and Great Britain launch retaliatory nuclear strikes against the Soviet Union. France, because of its neutrality, largely escapes direct damage.


In the aftermath of the nuclear exchanges, both blocs struggle to recover from the damage. The war continues - despite increasing shortages of men, equipment, and fuel. In the United States, there is a breach between the civilian government and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. An open rift develops between "Civgov" (the civilian government) and "Milgov" (the military government), which leads to a low-intensity civil war.

By the summer of 2000, the European theater of operations had been fought to a near stalemate. In one final effort to break the deadlock and end the war, NATO forces planned a summer offensive across Northern Poland and into the Baltics, but the offensive ground to a halt in the face of a Warsaw Pact counterattack. Several divisions and corps on each side were virtually eliminated. In the chaotic aftermath, supply lines are lost, high level command breaks down and armies in the European theater lose cohesion beyond the platoon unit. Some go “native’ and integrated with the militias of independent “free cities", others turned into gangs of marauding bandits and some small groups of surviving soldiers sought to find their way home.

Twilight: 2013
In 2006, 93 Games Studio announced that they had acquired the license to produce the official Twilight 2000 Version 3.0, and planned for a 2008 release with the title Twilight: 2013. According to the developers, the timeline leading to the Twilight War was completely re-written, and no longer focused on a Cold War confrontation between NATO, the Soviet Union and China.


The Twilight: 2013 core rules were released on 8 November 2008 as a PDF. The hard-copy edition is now in print.

In December 2010, 93 Games Studio announced it was going out of business. The future of the Twilight 2000 brand is unclear.


I know two other virtual Desktop for RPG's:

Roll20 (Free as far as I know) & Tabletop Simulator (20 $ on Steam)


Loved this game, played several scenarios with 2 different groups over the years. Proper Cold War RPG :)


I'd love to play this again, BUT (As recent problems have proved) I'm too unreliable to depend on ;)


Nov 28, 2011
Perth, Australia
Late to the party but would also be interested in getting together as a group to play some these online. My problem as always is timezones, so some forward planning and hopefully consistent timing week to week would be preferable.


FGM New Member
Sep 12, 2020

I see this is an old thread, and I recently joined, but in case you weren't aware, there was a recent Kickstarter (which is complete) for a new 4th Edition of the Twilight 2000 rpg by Free League press.

The physical game will be available summer next year, but the early PDF will be available this fall to backers.

ALSO, I've dusted off my 2nd edition books of T2K and am gonna start a campaign with a few buddies just to get the feel of the original campaign in my bones again.

Anyway, just wanted to shout that out.

Take care all!