In support of the OpenQuest Bundle of Holding that is currently running until Tuesday 4th April, here’s the fifth of a series of posts this time about how the OpenQuest powered game The Company was written, with some suggestions on how to use it outside of the setting presented in the book.
Shortly after I got OpenQuest into the wild, a friend of mine proposed doing a “OpenQuest Modern”. The pitch I got was an unholy mash up of OQ and the info in the D20 Modern SRD, something I feel is the equivalent of welding two different cars together, and mixing it with an Government Agency vs Supernatural Horror, i.e. OQ Horror not OQ Modern. I turned the idea down, which I’m glad I did since six months later Cubicle 7 announced the most excellent Laundry (which is a D100 Modern Horror game of guess what… Government Agency vs the Supernatural).
Instead I wanted “OQ Modern” to be something your could easily use for various Modern Settings, not just contemporary horror, as well as its own baked in setting. Apart from OQ itself I decided early on that any spin off game that OQ spawned would not be generic, but would have a setting that was distinct and flavoursome, but could easily be stripped out and dumped in favour of the the GM’s own.
So that was the pitch I gave author Rik Kershaw-Moore, who picked up the task of writing “OQ Modern”. Rik quickly worked up the background of the game, which involved a group of ex-British Military officers setting up a state sanctioned Mercenary Group. This world of “Private Military Service Provider” gives the imident structure and reason for upon which the player characters, all members of this group, to go on exciting and thrilling missions. Extensive research on Modern day military equipment (we knew that this would be a big draw of the game), so there’s plenty on Guns, vehicles, armour and other equipment in the book. The book also has background on five of the world’s trouble spots and has ‘Threat Sheets’ for each country covered. Finally the book rounds out with not one but two scenarios.
The book was written very much as self contained book which doesn’t need endless supplements to fill in the gaps. But if you need ideas on things to do with outside of the mission based scenarios that feature in the book, here’s some quick campaign ideas.
Conspiracy Theory. The characters could very easily become involved in some sort of Illuminati/Secret Society that wants to rule the world type of plot, as they could be hired by one of the off-shots of some sort of nefarious conspiracy, that is willing to use them as patsies on their schemes to achieve world domination. You could effortlessly blend this with the Dan Brown sort of Conspiracy thriller, since it doesn’t need supernatural horror to make it work. Off course you could run scenarios that include the sort of Ancient Aliens/Time Traveling shenanigans that Ufology includes and see how long the character’s military procedures stay in play in light of an unknown and unexplained enemy. I ran a convention game called “Operation Mudbrick” where the Company was hired by the British Museum for protection of a group of their archeologists digging in the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur, in modern day Iraq. The enemy in the scenario turned out not to be Iraqi insurgents (although I kept them on their toes with the belligerent Iraqi Armed Forces presence literally across the road at the Airbase that exists there), but time traveling Soldiers in full NanoSuits (from River of Heaven) who belonged to the Totalitrian society of the Future, whose mission was to close and destroy the open Time Gate that existed under the city in unexplored tunnels.
Post Apocalypse. Both the “200 years after the Bomb” type scenario and a more British , after the plague and/or killer plants and everything went away type. Just use the equipment detailed in the book and throw in some new organisations for the characters to interact/fight. If I was to run it I’d keep the characters as members of The Company, but have them awaking to the chaos and having to follow their orders of what to do in the case of a break down of society.
World War III. What happens if an all out World War III explodes in the world of the Company? Are the player characters abroad and caught in crossfire. Does the UK government, which stays out of the conflict, use their independent status to send them into the war and achieve their aims without being officially involved. Or is World War III a more subtle and low-intensity war? A war fought by proxies, such as terrorist cells, so called ‘rogue nations’ and mercenary companies such as The Company, one which can be fought for economic gain, never has a planned end and can be done so without causing the voting public’s outrage at home.
Modern Thriller/Espionage. By focusing on the individual characters and the player character’s immediate group, the game can be easily tailored to this sort of game. Whether its 007 or Task Force 141 (from the Call of Duty Modern Warfare games), The Company can handle this style of game easily.
So if you want to check out The Company in pdf form at a crazy low price remember its availble in the OpenQuest Bundle of Holding for the next couple of days.