As a roleplaying game, the Syndicate can be used for one-shot
scenarios as well as for long-time campaigns. This chapter
concentrates mainly on campaign ideas, and ideas and examples for independent
or campaign scenarios.
6.1 Campaign Settings
A campaign typically has an overall idea or story behind it, and it is
situated in a certain region or culture; or at least social level. Here
are some general ideas for possible campaings.
The characters are independent professionals or just loners, who do
various tasks offered or invented by characters themselves. They can be
journalists, street fighters, hit men or just rock singers. The
campaign is usually set to a certain country or city, and does not have
any big effects on the world.
This is the traditional Syndicate campaign. It gives the greatest
selections and choices to the players, but can have some problems, mainly
with motivation and work.
The characters are working for some corporation, police, government or
other organization, which pays their fees, provides equipment and expects the
job to get done. The characters should not have any motivation problems,
and depending on the campaign. they could travel all around the world,
or just sit in the same city for the entire campaign.
For a campaign like this, all players should have free, or maybe
forced, agent status to reflect the backup from the organization they work
All, or at least most, player characters are forced to take on an assignment
or several. They may not be happy, and secretly they
may try to foil their employers' plans or try to escape. If they succeed, the
campaign is partly over, and should be transformed to another type, with
maybe a couple of powerful enemies for each character.
For apparent reasons, most characters should have forced agent
6.2 Campaign Flavors
Syndicate can be played in many ways, some of which are represented here.
This is the classic Syndicate style, where things are quite
realistic. Normal physical laws are honoured, and things are not
exaggerated too much. Enemies act quite reasonably, and the world is
As Quite Realistic, but ammunition is quite limitless. Clips have to be
changed very rarely, unless the character is Ammo Hog (see 3.6.2)
Can be as Hong Kong, but the main points are, that every place has extra
gasoline, bullet hits make the target fly, and the enemies have stupid,
enormous plans to destroy the entire world.
The characters are not the center of the world, and even when they are
strong, there are always stronger ones: do not mess with the Big Ones.
Most organizations should have dozens of armed guards, and bigger ones
can have attack helicopters, armed hitmen and cyber killers at their
disposal. Make scenarios dangerous, tasking but still possible. And
success does not always mean blowing up the entire opposition.
When determining the combat, one good way to handle firing from the
opposition is that players are hit on d6 roll of 6 as long as they are
moving or have something in between themselves and the shooters.
If and when the characters assault a corporate station, remember that
corporate stealth combat helicopters arrive in 5-15 minutes, depending
on location. So, be quick or be dead.
Syndicate - The Dark Era (c) Kalle Marjola 1996. All rights reserved.