Saturday, November 17, 2012

Department case file 217-011

Maurice and I sat down a couple weeks ago to try out The Department, a nifty Goalsystem game of police procedure investigating fabricant crimes (think Blade Runner.) I'm a fan of the Goalsystem ruleset, and like how it simulates the RPG-style 'downtime' for in between adventures, and thusly could be a good replacement for gamers like me who dig minis but don't have the committed weekly roleplaying games in our lives anymore.

Case file: 217-011
Target: "Nick," Anti-Human Terrorist Cell Leader
Starting budget: 100
Primary officers:
Detective Inspector Huang Lo (Fabricant Crimes division) (46 pts.)
Deputy Sgt. Zogby (Enforcement division) (46 pts.)

1. Incident report: "Grass the Neighborhood" (Budget: 5.)

Our officers hit the streets to start collecting rumors from the usual suspects, hoping for a good lead to start things rolling. Spotting Madji, a local rumormonger, with an unnamed accomplish near the market, Lo and Zogby approach and begin to question them. Lo's questions go nowhere, but Zogby hints at some intimidating outcomes if they don't cooperate, and Madji gives up the goods [successful Intimidate roll secures one People evidence.] Neither suspect has anything else to hide, and the DFM officers return to the station to file reports.

[Snoozer. Spent more time setting up the terrain than actually playing the scenario. Good for getting the investigation going, though, which I think is the intent. And we just re-used the terrain setup for the next mission.]

2. Incident report: "Meet the Snitch" (Budget: 5.)

Following up on other information, officers head to the wrong part of town. Reaching the scene, they find a riot in progress, and are set upon by at least four rioters. After attempting to get the situation under control, they reconsider, contact the Urban Control authorities, get back in their car and drive the flip away.

[EGADS. We went in without any backup or requesting additional equipment, and wow. We just called this one a wash, chalked it up to experience, and pretended it never happened.]

3. Incident report: "Bust the Dealer" (Budget: 5, -1 People evidence.)
Requisitioned: 2 light armors, shotgun, blaster pistol (Budget: 6.)

Following up on Madji's tip from earlier, officers head to the site of the riot to corner a local dealer, Omar. Sticking close to the buildings, Lo and Zogby try to stay out of the dealer's line of sight. This proves to be a wise move. On confronting Omar about his connections to Nick's cell, Omar's bodyguard "the Gorilla" opens fire on the DFM officers. A skirmish ensues, with Lo attempting to stun Omar while Zogby charges the bodyguard. After subduing the Gorilla, Zogby also takes down Omar, and both are brought downtown.

At the station, both suspects are found to be fabricants, and fold under questioning. Omar gives up details on money drops for the cell, while the Gorilla spills about where other cell members were hiding out. [Successful interrogation rolls lead to one Financial evidence and one People evidence.]

[OK, now I think we got this down. Initially I thought the budget for the investigation would be too high, but requisitioning and backup look to be crucial in the right circumstances. Like keeping yourself alive.]

Remaining budget for the investigation: 79.
Zogby has accumulated four experience, Lo a mere two.

[Looking ahead, we'll need to bankroll a lot more evidence to confront Nick at his compound. And keep some budget banked for that, because that will be a war zone. The game is pretty cool, once we got used to the ebb and flow of the operation. Missions can be quick or involved, and you have to think ahead as to what you're doing.]


  1. Thanks I was wondering how this game plays out.

  2. Looks liek your investigation started of similar to ours, we also had no action the first mission and just re-used the terrain for four missions, just changing the starting locations each time ;)
    We also bought some heavy stuff to deal with the Dealer and his bodyguards, but in our case, they didn't turn hostile :)

    I see that you used less than the 50 points suggested for character builds, I wonder if you had any problems with finding a good mix of skills, attributes and traits? I struggled a long time to stay within the 50 points limit without gimping a character ;)

    You can check out my campaign here:

    Also, as I wrote on TMP, I created some sample characters and equipment reference cards, you can download them from the The Department website :)



  3. I have recently been rooting around in Monte Figuero for a sufficient number of civilian figures for this game. I am really looking forward to trying it out.