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Limited

Liability,
Corporation

Quick and dirty


rules to tackle a
mercenary
campaign

Phillip Gawlowski
Limited Liability, Corporation Pa g e |1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction..................................................................................................................................................... 2

Licensing (AKA legalese) ............................................................................................................................. 3


How Private Military Contractors Function ...................................................................................................... 4

A word on Squad sizes ............................................................................................................................ 4


Organization .................................................................................................................................................... 4

Ranks, Squads, Platoons, Special Operations… err, what?.......................................................................... 4

What are Special Operations, then? ............................................................................................................. 5


The Mercenary World ...................................................................................................................................... 6

The Guild...................................................................................................................................................... 6

Assignments ................................................................................................................................................ 6

Employers................................................................................................................................................ 6

Typical Assignments ................................................................................................................................ 6

Hotspots ...................................................................................................................................................... 7

Africa ....................................................................................................................................................... 7

Asia .......................................................................................................................................................... 7

Aztlan ...................................................................................................................................................... 7

South America ......................................................................................................................................... 7


The Rules ......................................................................................................................................................... 7

Basics ........................................................................................................................................................... 7

Character generation................................................................................................................................... 8

Mercenary Qualities..................................................................................................................................... 8

Positive Qualities ..................................................................................................................................... 8

Negative Qualities ................................................................................................................................... 9

Corporate Reputation.................................................................................................................................. 9
Final Notes ...................................................................................................................................................... 10

Changelog .................................................................................................................................................. 10

Version 0.1 (26. January 2010)................................................................................................................. 10

Credits ........................................................................................................................................................ 10
Limited Liability, Corporation Pa g e |2

INTRODUCTION
Hello and welcome to my little rule set to play a Shadowrun, 4th Edition campaign as a group of
mercenaries.
These rules have grown out of the desire to run a Shadowrun campaign that is a little off. Unfortunately,
Fields of Fire is long out of print, and I’m not aware of an updated version of the idea for Shadowrun, 3 rd
Edition, nor Shadowrun, 4th Edition, which forced me to take matters into my own hand, and create
rules of my own.
This is a beta release of sorts. The rules and balancing has not been play tested yet to any sufficient
scale, but I’m reasonably sure that the rules should work as laid out. You are of course free to alter what
you don’t like, and even to create a derivative version (See Licensing, just below).
I hope you enjoy the rules at least as much as I did creating them.

And remember:

Watch your back, shoot straight, conserve ammo, and never, ever, cut a deal with a dragon.
Limited Liability, Corporation P a g e |3

LICENSING (AKA LEGALESE)


This work is licensed as Creative Commons, attribution, non-commercial, share-alike.
For more information, go to CC By-NC-SA.
The Shadowrun brand, related brands, and all other brands or trademarks, and whatnot are not covered
by this license, but are and remain the property
This is a fan work, and not endorsed, licensed, or anything else by Shadowrun’s owners, and has been
created to share with the community. Have fun with it, chummers.
Limited Liability, Corporation P a g e |4

HOW PRIVATE MILITARY CONTRACTORS FUNCTION


This chapter is more of a sketch, than a full plan. A few terms and ideas get explained as easy as
possible, sacrificing complexity for playability and understanding.

A WORD ON SQUAD SIZES

The "best" size is a squad of 6: 5 soldiers of different specialties, and a commanding Sergeant.
Typical organization of a squad:
 1 Medic
 1 Support1
2
 3 Riflemen
 1 Sergeant

ORGANIZATION

RANKS, SQUADS, PLATOONS, SPECIAL OPERATIONS… ERR, WHAT?

Ranks are a way to organize authority along pre-defined lines. That's why militaries love them so much.
Mercenaries adapt this system for the same reason: Usually it is effective, fast, and just works.
With Ranks comes the Chain of Command ("It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand
who's in ruttin' command here", to quote Firefly’s Jayne). Captains order Lieutenants, Lieutenants
command Sergeants, Sergeants yell at privates and get the Captain's wishes done, as interpreted by the
Lieutenant.
Essentially, the Captain is concerned with the big picture, and
determines the plan(s) to tackle a given objectives, and assigns AN EXAMPLE OF TH E CH AIN OF
Lieutenants to do the jobs needed to make the plan a success. COMMAND
Lieutenants, in turn, figure out how to accomplish their jobs.
Private Jones is hit, and screams "I'm hit!"
The Sergeants then organize their squads appropriately, and
make stuff happen. His Sergeant, Sgt. Smith, tells his
Accordingly, information flows up or down the chain of Lieutenant "Jones is down, and bleeds
command, with each link on the Chain of Command filtering (or like a pig!"
aggregating) information for those above or below on the Chain
of Command, to ensure that everyone knows what's going on as The Lieutenant decides the best course of
their Rank demands. action, and tells her Sergeant "Keep
covering the area with mortars!", and tells
the Captain noting, since she doesn't feel
her objective cannot be achieved, but
Squads and Platoons (AKA Unit Organization)
calls for a MEDEVAC to get Pvt. Jones to a
To keep things organized, soldiers are grouped. hospital, stat.
The basic level is a "Squad", which usually consists of 5 soldiers
and a Sergeant commanding them. The Captain gets notified that one of his
A Platoon is a group (usually 5) of Squads, commanded by a platoons has ordered a MEDEVAC, and
Lieutenant. assigns a combat chopper to escort the
Captains command a Company, consisting of 1 to 5 (sometimes MEDEVAC VTOL.
more) Platoons.

1
A Support soldier specializes in heavy weapons, like machine guns, missile launchers, explosives, or even
Drones (to an extend). Rule of thumb: Anything packing a punch later than an assault rifle.
2
Riflemen are your average soldiers: grenades, a gun, a uniform, some cross training with the specialists in the
squad.
Limited Liability, Corporation Pa g e |5

WHAT ARE SPECIAL OPERATIONS, THEN?


THE CHAIN OF COMMAND IN GAME Special Operations, or SpecOps (also SPECOPS), are unconventional
(i.e. stuff that doesn't fit into a normal squad), or valuable
Chain of Command (CoC) and unit
operatives. Combat Mages, Combat Deckers, Snipers, or Artillery all
organization are used during training or in
fit into this. It also includes cultural specialists, if these are needed,
the field. More generally speaking, they
apply during duty times. Off duty, the
or intelligence specialists.
soldiers are free to do what they want They can either be assigned to a Platoon as support, or act
with whom they want. independently (usually as directed by a Captain).
Special Operations also describe the daily bread of PMCs (Private
Both CoC and the unit organization are Military Contractors) in 2070: Do the jobs their clients can't do on
tools to keep the battlefield organized, their own.
especially for mercenaries, who are a little
easier going in how strict a CoC is adhered
to. This is a result of their size, since
mercenary companies aren't all that large
in the first place.
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THE MERCENARY WORLD


Mercenaries don’t exist in a vacuum, divorced from the rest of the Sixth World. They have their customs,
their hotspots, and their organizations, however informal.
This chapter will provide an overview of this world.
 The Guild is an informal mercenary organization, functioning much like a social network of the early
21st century.
 Hotspots are the places in 2070, where money flows, and life is cheap. Business opportunities are
everywhere.
 Assignments are the type of work mercenaries usually do.

THE GUILD
Mercenaries are professionals. They are hired, and word gets around, as it is wont to do. The Guild is
who spreads the word about employers, hotspots, and mercenary groups. But there is no newsletter,
no Matrix site, and no membership fees. However, it is a social network, intricately woven. Everyone
knows everyone else. Or at least knows someone who does. The Guild’s currency is rumors and actions,
with the latter carrying the greater weight. However, those who don’t know how to keep their mouth
shut, will be hung out to dry.
Informal as it is, the Guild has unofficial ranks, according to status earned within the Guild.
 Rank 0 is a an unknown mercenary. Either because they just joined the trade, or because they never
made a name for themselves.
 Rank 1 is achieved by those who had a few successful assignments, or survived a particular nasty
campaign.
 Rank 2 belongs to those who are regulars. They do missions regularly, and have regular success.
 Rank 3 are those who are long year veterans of the trade. They have many missions behind them,
and are loyalty to themselves and their employers.
 Rank 4 belongs to masters of their trade. They know the mercenary’s trade from the inside out, and
are not used to losing.
 Rank 5 is a rare achievement. Only those who have a flawless record can reach that high. Not a lot
about them can be generalized, except that they shaped the mercenary world.

ASSIGNMENTS

Mercenaries are engaged in different kinds of missions, or assignments. A few of those are expanded here.
Note that these assignments are in addition to the usual shadowrunner’s fare, and do not replace them.

EMPLOYERS
Both governments and corporations hire mercenaries, but for different reasons.
Governments require mercenaries to do the dirty work (plausible deniability), or to act as a military
advisors, or, while uncommon, in place of a regular military. These are, in general, long term
assignments.
Corporations hire mercenaries to fill a short term need, especially as protection. Sometimes mercenaries
are hired in place of, or in support for shadowrunners.

TYPICAL ASSIGNMENTS

COPORATE SECURITY
Even mega corporations can’t have their security troops everywhere. Thus, they outsource their needs,
and hire mercenaries.
In most cases, mercenaries are included in the employer’s usual chain of command, at least as far as
command and control, as well as intelligence are concerned. Except for corporate guidelines,
mercenaries get leeway in how they complete their assignments.
Typically, mercenaries are assigned to low threat, or out of the way installations.
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GUERILLA WARFARE
Since mercenaries are both small and light units, they are trained in light unit tactics, and engaging (and
overcoming) superior forces. This makes them ideal to engaged in Guerilla Warfare, on both sides of the
engagement.
Guerilla wars are usually low intensity, asymmetrical wars.

ADVISORY
Mercenaries are often hired as advisors. Either as part of a government’s military staff, as personal
advisors, or independent training for the regular forces.
A sweet deal, since it usually involves little shooting, and lots of downtime for relatively high pay.

SPECIAL OPERATIONS
Even governments and corporations don’t have every possible skill. And if they have, it is usually
distributed across different units.
To avoid training costs, as well as transfers, they hire mercenaries who bring the training, and the
experience as a unit, as well as easy deniability.
These assignments usually involve behind enemy lines work against important targets.

HOTSPOTS

A rough division in geographical areas that provide lots of interest for a LL,C campaign

AFRICA
Tribal and national affiliations and borders shift often, usually involving violence. A continent of
constantly shifting political intrigue, it provides generous work, but requires political savvy to navigate
and stay alive.

ASIA
The Far East, in particular the dissolution of the PRC, provides plenty of work for mercenaries of all
kinds.
In the Middle East, the Desert Wars Mercenary Challenge (see Target: Wastelands) has many takers.
In former Indo-China, guerilla warfare, or low intensity conflicts, flare up regularly, providing ample
work.

AZTLAN
Yucatan. See the Aztlan Sourcebook for details on the political background of the revolt there.

SOUTH AMERICA
A continent used to coup and counter-coup, the factions there have a never ending hunger for
mercenaries.

THE RULES

BASICS
The players get a corporate budget, replacing the normal resources of SR4 character generation.
The budget is 1 500 000 ¥ per squad, not including officers.
For example, a corporation having 3 squads, with 3 officers, has 4.5 million ¥ to spend. A corporation
with 2 quads and 2 officers, has 3 million ¥ to spend.
The budget is provided by the mother corporation or a group of investors as startup capital.
Note that running costs (maintenance, pay, etc.) comes out of this budget as well, so plan accordingly.
The owners don't like subsidizing loss leaders.
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CHARACTER GENERATION
Character generation uses 375 BP in this rule set, instead of the usual 400 BP.
No resources can be bought, since equipment is provided by employer out of the employer’s budget.
Instead, players can spend up to 25BP on Mercenary Qualities (general restrictions on Qualities remain in
effect, so no more than 50 BP can be spent on them!), which can be found just a little later in this book.
All player characters begin with the "Private" quality.

MERCENARY QUALITIES

The Rank qualities are only available during character creation!

POSITIVE QUALITIES
Ranks, obviously, are where in the chain of command a player character is place.
Rank BP Bonus

Private 0 1K pay / week; Starts with Guild Rank 0.

Sergeant 10 1.5K pay / week; commands a Squad of up to 5 Privates, can request support and
chose his own gear (as available to the mercenary corporation). Starts with Guild
Rank 1.

Lieutenant 20 2K pay / week; commands a Platoon, can use allocated support, and assigns
squad's payload. Starts with Guild Rank 2.

Captain 25 3K pay / week; commands up to 4 Platoons, can allocate mission support, request
and assign equipment, promote deserving mercenaries and assign missions to his
Platoons. Starts with Guild Rank 3.

Privileges are bonuses a player character has modifying the usual gear assignment the character would
receive in his unit’s position.
Privileges BP Bonus

Veteran 10 +.5K pay / week; can request equipment according to highest skill

Sniper 15 Can request Sniper gear (camo gear, special comm gear, sniper rifle + ammo)

Specialist 10 +.5K pay / week; 1 additional skill point for chosen skill group, increases maximum
skill level for this skill to 7
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NEGATIVE QUALITIES
Quality Additional BP Mali

Maverick 10 You are known for your unorthodox or reckless decisions under fire, or both.
Your Sergeant or COs have an eye on you. Promotions for you are a rare thing,
and might not last long.

New Meat 20 You never were in combat. You didn't even know how to hold a weapon until
you went through basic training. You are an unknown quantity to your
squaddies, and want to prove yourself. Difficult when no-one assigns you
anything important. -4 on all tests involving squadmates. Only available to
Privates, and all skills involving firearms or leadership limited to a maximum of
2 at character generation. Is an unknown in the Guild, and cannot advance his
Rank.

Promoted 10 You know it, your soldiers know it: You aren't quite ready for a command yet,
too soon but you do your best. -1 on all leadership tests. Only available for Lieutenant
and Captain Rank. Cannot advance in his Rank in the Guild.

CORPORATE REPUTATION
Reputation is tracked for characters, as well as for the corporation itself.
Corporate reputation is a little stricter from the normal reputation system, to reflect the reaction of the
business world and public opinion. These can be at odds, and the players should work towards finding a
balance between economic successes and being able to look into the mirror.
Unless noted otherwise, the reputation is primarily business related.
Completed mission +1
Profitable quarter +5
Humanitarian aid3 +2
Profitable year +5
Minimum force approach3 +3
Low casualties (below 10%/25%, depending on size) 3 +5
Aiding opponent w/ medical supplies3 +2
Failed mission -5
Unprofitable quarter -10
Unprofitable year -5
3
Trail of destruction -15
Endangering non-combatants3 -20
Reputation allows a merc corporation to increase its ranking.
All corporations start at F, maximum is AAA. This ranking reflects the credit rating, and reputation within
the mercenary world. It is not the ranking applied to corporation by the Corporate Court. Sorry,
chummers, no AAA megacorporation for you.
Every 75 rep points the ranking increases by one level (F to E, B to A, AA to AAA).
Each rank allows:
 Credit rating + 500 000 ¥
 Recruitment of 1 additional specialist not available on the corporation's roster per month
 2% discount on weapon deals.

If the ranking falls into the negative, the corporation loses 2 levels of rank (from AAA to A, from B to D).
Should the corporation have a ranking of F, it has 6 months to turn a profit of 500 000 ¥, or to increase
its reputation to +1, at least.

3
Public opinion reputation
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FINAL NOTES
A lot of work is left to do. I have to create an index, flesh the document out in more detail, create some
gear, keep additional rules to a n absolute minimum, and in general expand it. Not to mention adapt it
for Shadowrun, 3rd Edition and eventually Shadowrun, 2nd Edition.
A chapter on tactics and strategy is also lacking for the moment, as well as a breakdown of where and
what kind of work a mercenary corporation can find.

CHANGELOG

VERSION 0.1 (26. JAN UARY 2010)

BUGFIXES
Increased the penalty for the New Meat Negative Quality
Adjusted the Sergeant Rank Quality to provide a larger bonus
Some light editing here and there

IMPROVEMENTS
Introduced The Guild, and adjusted Rank qualities to reflect standing within the Guild
Hotspots (Location) and Assignments (Mission types) included

CREDITS

 Cover image: US government, http://www.army.mil/-images/2007/04/09/3845/army.mil-2007-04-23-


161325.jpg, used in the belief that it is in the public domain and Fair Use.
 The Shadowrun mailing list at shadowrn@understairs.nl for reading and providing feedback.
Thanks, folks!