Starting a Merc Company with a party of 6

This is a place for G.M.s and GM wannabes to share ideas and their own methods of play. It is not a locked forum so be aware your players may be watching!

Moderators: Immortals, Supreme Beings, Old Ones

Posts: 639
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:55 pm

Starting a Merc Company with a party of 6

Unread post by darthauthor »

Looking for some feedback on the players creating their own merc company.

First Idea

1st Level

"Man at Arms" player characters run through "Boot Camp" in Merc Town. Graduate.

2nd Level.

They still don't have a reputation. Get some merc work for a few months getting familair with low level merc company.

3rd Level.

Then decide they want to do the jobs they want to do and cut out the middle man. So they want to start their own merc company out of Merc Town.

Figure they are too small for high paying jobs so they'd have pick up whoever is left on the open bounties on the bounty hunting board.

They have only what THEY have and some contacts with their former employer and fellow mercs.

Start out with out-sourced merc work the big companies are too busy to bother with.

Run some Hook, Line, and Sinker adventures out of the books for Merc Town or such.

LOOTING they pick up extra weapons and such they can keep or sell for start up $

Size & Orientation: SMALL time Squad (Start-Up) 5 player characters and 6 NPCs they recruited (5 smugglers and 1 Forger).

60 POINTS are available, plus an additional 10 POINTS for vehicles
and 10 POINTS for weapons. + 10 Points ANYWHERE for being independent.

A. Sponsorship: None.

B. Outfits: None.

C. Equipment: None.

D. Vehicles: + 10 points from starting bonuses; an expense account of $500k. Over Powered and NO WAY. MAYBE a client pays them in "credit" towards vehicle maintenance up to $500k and they have to do side quests for them delivering vehicles to clients or repo them back or pick them up in the field and exchanging them taking the that needs service back or such. Or they keep a vechile from one of their conquests / LOOT.

E. Weapons: Basic Weaponry. (Got by LOOTING) + 10 Points (Start-Up)

F. Communications: Secured Service. 10 Points

G. Internal Security: None.

H. Permanent Bases: None.

I. Intelligence Resources: None.

J. Special Budget: None. Seems too easy to ABUSE.

K. General alignment of personnel: Scrupulous and Principled. Company Cost: 10 Points
NOT SURE about this but trying to use Points somewhere.

L. Criminal Activity:
Smugglers and Sellers of Contraband (5) NPCs; books, pre-Rifts Artifacts, TW items, basically stuff illegal in the CS but treasured in Lazlo. NOT drug dealers) 15 points
Forger (1) - Works with the smugglers. 30 Points.

M. Reputation/Credentials: Unknown. 5 Points

N. Salary: None

Total Points Spent: 90 POINTS

FEEDBACK: Over-Powered? Under-Powered?

#2. How do the players GROW their business?

When the $ comes they can take profits for themselves or hire more people.

I figure a company needs at least 3 things to grow:

1. Profit/Money (there has to be $omething in it for them)

2. People (competent, loyal, diciplined. NOT someone who takes the rifle you issued them and runs away)

3. Process. The NPCs have to understand their role in the company and what's expected of them. What they can expect their leadership and other NPCs comrades in arms to do. You have to break the NPCs into their job, each other, and the procedures/hardware.

Unless you are churning out battle droids from a factory already programmed it takes time practicing for real people to work together and do their job safely and correctly 98% of the time.

Come to think of it.

What would player characters do with an Army "company" of 160 troops?

What would you do in Rifts Earth if you were the leader of your own Merc Army?
Posts: 639
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:55 pm

Re: Starting a Merc Company with a party of 6

Unread post by darthauthor »

Answering for myself.

The merc company above is built for adventurers to escort smugglers and their illicit goods between towns. Clean off the bounty board after they get "there" and hunt the surrounding country side for diabolical enemies of civilization.

Only real way to find out if it works it to try it and see.

As for what I'd do if I had an army.
Thinking of the enemies to my survival and freedom as well as what would pay well enough for the pay-roll and operating costs for my small army (160):

A) Kill Xiticix for bounties or a contract from Lazlo. The Task seems impossible to finish but someone has to fight them. Also, my character would NOT know about a lot of other threats. Still when you get big enough an army can fight a few hundred Xiticix and retreat. Sell the body parts to Necros. Have a Chappie cook to eat the rest.

B) On the way to this "Noble" fight with no end, I'd have to find jobs that paid well enough to recruit more service members. The "good" fight includes bringing criminals to justice so bounty hunting isn't all that bad.

C) Generic Monster hunting is ligit unless the so called monsters are not actually trying to terrorize and eat people or enslave them or something. Some, like a Psi-Slayer, have their lot in life to feed only by terrorizing. Same with Vampires.

D) There's loads of vampire hunting and such in Texas.

E) During the Minion War there are plenty of Demon and Dvyal to kill.

F) Hunting Splugorth slavers

G) Fight on the side of Tolkeen.

H) While between battles doing a lot of smuggling, arms sales and protecting trade shipments.

Maybe the real question is, "If you had 50 or even 100 million in universal credits and were too young to retire, what would you do if not have your own private security force and use them to shape the world to your liking?"
Posts: 639
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:55 pm

Re: Starting a Merc Company with a party of 6

Unread post by darthauthor »

Anyone remember what issue of The Rifter or book elaborates on the building of a merc company in terms of time, experience and money.

I could swear I remember something about how building a merc company takes your character out of the game for like a point per day or something.

I think it said you could only start a traveling circus from the beginning and put it into practice.
User avatar
The Dark Elf
Rifter® Contributer
Posts: 3858
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:04 am
Comment: "So gentlemen, are you prepared to open your minds and travel to worlds hitherto undreamed of?"
Location: UK

Re: Starting a Merc Company with a party of 6

Unread post by The Dark Elf »

Boot Camp - Nice.
2nd level they are gonna be spending MONTHS without levelling - thats potentially a lot of sessions! Could get frustrating.
After that it seems like the options should be up to the players. They might like where they are...
Let them create THEIR merc company how they want it.
Rifter 52 Cannibal Magic
Rifter 55 The Ancestral Mystic P.C.C.
Rifter 59 The Lopanic Games adventure "The Lion, the Ditch & the Warlock". Illustrations to this adventure can be found here.
Rifter 71 & 72 Double Issue Ninjas & Superspies adventure "On a Wing & a Prayer"
Rifter 80 Masters Unlimited
User avatar
Posts: 625
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:25 pm
Comment: Go woke, go broke.

Re: Starting a Merc Company with a party of 6

Unread post by Fenris2020 »

The problem a lot of GMs have is being too restrictive.
If you look at the #1 option: Small Time Company or Squad, you'll see that the way the points are assigned actually goes along with beginning-level characters' initial gear. A lot of OCCs start with vehicles, mounts, robots and power armor. Not to mention the rest of the gear PCs and NPCs start with.
Special Budget seems like something an investor, previous employer, or steady employer, would grant.
As for the Alignment on the creation chart... I would change something. Instead of Miscreant and Aberrant, it should be Unprincipled and Aberrant. Aberrant people are a lot less likely to work with Miscreants, than they are to kill them for being repulsive. Unprincipled people would bring the "good merc/ bad merc" dichotomy into negotiations for contracts, enemy surrenders, and so on. It's also closer to how most contractors actually work in real life.
As for growing your company, contractors/ mercs are always looking for people in specialist fields (medic, explosives/ breaching, and so on); recruiting is an ongoing thing.
Don't limit PCs and NPCs to humans; players generally get tired of humans. I certainly never play them if there's an option in whatever game I'm playing.
You are a truly worthy foe! I shall howl a dirge in your honour and eat your heart with pride!
Posts: 639
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:55 pm

Re: Starting a Merc Company with a party of 6

Unread post by darthauthor »

Great ideas Fenris 2020,

I like your idea the expansion on the alignment table.

I also like your view on 1st level player characters starting their own merc coming with their own gear.

For me, the hang up is around the boundries of accounting. What are you as a mercenary group if you just finished an adventure and took a lot of loot. You have what you have.

To me the real definition factor for a company are the number of NPCs frong line fighters and support people. The greater the number the greater the question of how do they operate with each other. Who tells who what to do and how?

What weapons, armor, vehicles, power armor, robots, spell casters, Juicers, cyborgs, etc. do you throw at a problem/opportunity?
How do you recruit these people and pay for them and the things they fight with?

Merc Town has a boot camp and a lot of mercenary who can be hired. It would take some role-playing and M.A. success to persuade them to join a start up company if you don't have the money to pay them or even a job lined up that with an employer who can pay.

There is a point, as I see the game system, were it no long becomes about counting credits to see if you can afford to buy a SAMAS or Glitter Boy. Instead, the players are not supposed to ask how much they are being paid or the "score" is and just let it be understood that the merc company will only ever grow as large as the adventure needs it to be.

I think I remember something in one of the issues of The Rifter that offers the option of fighting large scale battles between two army's as two characters fighting.

What left to determine are the number of attacks, attack options, bonuses and damage of the two army's.

The winner rolls a 1D6 on a table to determine how many were killed, captured, and got away.
Reminded me a little of simulation games that revolve around conquest of territory.

I see a place for it in a game.

Stage 1 : The players do scouting. Have maps made. Maybe espionage like 007 - James Bond to learn about their opposition.

Stage 2 : Control the field of battle. Set up defenses or knock down your oppositions. That or catch your enemy trying the same against you.

Stage 3 Maybe sneak behind enemy lines and open the door for your merc army to come in and conquer. Sabotage your enemies defenses or vehicles and weapons.

Stage 4 Front line fight rolled up. Players play a character composed of their platoon or company. The players are playing armies.

Stage 5 Wrap up the War. Did the players have an epic battle with the boss opponent? Did the Evil mastermind getaway to fight another day. Were the players losing the War and pull victory out of the jaws of defeat? Will there be a parley and both sides come to an agreement to stop fight. For example, the bad guy wants quit and withdrawl but won't if the heroes will pursue him. Or the other way around and the players are losing the war but their enemy will let the live if they admit they lost, take their army, leave and never return.
Or are the players capture and they have to pull a prison break or are rescued by the other player characters.
After losing the war do the players, out of justice or spite, assassinate the leader of the opposing army (sniper shot from a 1,000 feet away).

The possibilites are endless. . .
Post Reply

Return to “G.M.s Forum”