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Corporation RPG

Roleplaying Games > Corporation
RRP: £25.00
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The return of the Corporation RPG, this time under the Flaming Cobra imprint of Mongoose Publishing. Complete missions for your corporation in this cyberpunk future.

  • Hardcover

Corporation is an interesting, if rather unoriginal, Cyberpunk RPG. By this I mean that most of the expected elements of a cyberpunk setting and, as far as I can tell, no huge divergences from the norm. However, the system's clarity and ease of use, as well as the well-thought out and well presented nature of the backstory, serve to make it entertaining and interesting, despite this small compliant.

In the base book you are given full rules for playing a team of 'Agents': super-humanly modified operatvies of the titular corporations who are tasked with various (legal and illegal) missions to look after the corporate interest. It's quite interesting to see a game where the standard characters are on the 'rich' side of the divide, but it works. The 5 corporations detailed are interesting, very different in both play-style (and the associated bonuses they give their agents) and aims, and serve as a solid basis for characters. Promised in future supplements are the other organsiations: the world government, the religious machinist cult, and the outlaw non-citizens; but there's enough backstory on these forces that an imaginative and inventive DM could possibly cobble rules together before then if really required. Equally, the setting has a huge number of areas which are presented workably in the rule book, but have obvious potential for expansion: the giant-mecha, the AIs, and the other factions, but for those who are willing to keep the focus on the agents, these things are presented in enough detail to be used as the occasioanly antagonists or tools.

The game system itself runs on the numerically defined skills, attributes, psionic powers and whatnot, which are given as per a normal game, and provide a good basic system. The system is made more interesting, however, for a pair of major reasons. First, the equipment rules, which obviosuly define a large part of your abilities, are rather elegant in representing a huge range of options without huge complexity. By increasing or decreasing the base item's costs, you can increase or decrease the effectiveness, give the item unexpected or odd customisations, and, with your GM, come up with some interesting versions of the base items (e.g. The game mentions 'Microgranades', which are not a separate item, but simply grenades with +10% cost to represent their miniturisation). Secondly, the game has an interesting system of licences, allowing your agents to do more and more things legally as they become trusted by the world government not to abuse these rights. As well as providing an interesting system for limiting (or increasing the risk) of player activities, the in-game difficulty of obtaining these licences forces players to specialise in areas, say, use of toxins, or searching property, whilst allowing them freedom enough to do otherwise illegal things. With the 'training' which you can also obtain granting you specialised abilities, this allows for a good range of characters who can do many interesting things to solve problems.

The production values of the book are really very good. There's a large amount of flavour text to give you insight into the world, and spin off plot ideas, and there's a fair amount of good quality artwork which conveys ideas and themes. The backstory has a sufficient number of points of tension, loose ends, and areas for development to mean that plot ideas are present, if you want to use them for your own work. The hardback book is good quality, solid, and looks like it could take a fair amount of abuse (but given mines new, I can't promise), as most books do after being lugged around to gaming sessions and bent open on rule pages.

All in all, I like the game. I'd reccomend it for any cyberpunk or sci-fi fan, and to anyone who wants a game where morality is much more free-flowing, and grey, than 'Lawful-Good' or 'Chaotic-Evil'. I'm looking forward to more sourcebooks to see what the other organisations are presented as, but using only the basic rules is a definate option.
Rating: 9.0
Reviewed by: ted.swalwell
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