New Year, New Game: Corporation

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It’s a new year so perhaps it is time to try a new RPG? One of the biggest sales at DriveThru RPG is designed to encourage you to do just that – to start a new game. The sale, New Year, New Game offers up to 40% on a whole range of core rules.

Geek Native readers can use the code happynyng2013 to score a further 15% off.

Brutal Games’ Corporation Core Rules is in the 40% off category. Could it be one the games you try for the first time this year?

We asked James Norbury, author of the RPG, to talk to Geek Native about the game. We even asked why the RPG should be your choice of new game this year.

How would you describe Corporation Core Rules to experienced gamers?

Players take on the role of cybernetically augmented Agents working for one of five vast and distinct corporations. Corporation tends gravitate towards the dark side and most characters end up being cutthroat, mercenary sociopaths who will do anything to complete their mission. Although there is the potential for playing good guys, few people do and the innate mechanics of the game such as body part severing, brutal weaponry and law-bending licenses tend to make players want to tread a less moral road.

The corporations all have their own agendas but they are all fairly dark which means that more often than not, the missions that the players are sent on will be ethically dubious and not for public consumption. The potential for different game types is huge with Agents being expected to negotiate, spy, steal, kill and so on.

As regards mechanics, the rules are fairly simple covering only a few pages of the main 256 page book. It was designed so that you could learn the basics in only a few minutes and should seldom have to refer back to the book so that the game retains its pace.

How would you describe the game to groups new to the hobby?

Corporation provides a hard sci-fi setting where you take on the role of a group of cybernetically enhanced Agents one of five monolithic corporations. Each corporation is very different in its methods so you can pick one to suit your play style. The game is set in 2500 and one of its key design concepts was to be able to replicate anything you’ve seen in a movie. If you’ve just watch something that you thought was incredible you should be able to go home and incorporate that directly into your game that night. Corporation provides a base where any kind of scenario can be played, for example, you can hijack weapon shipments, sneak into guarded installations, engage in savage street fight, attend extravagant parties, visit ancient undersea labs, assassinate key politicians, seduce enemy Agents, immerse in virtual worlds, manipulate world politics, extract defectors and so on.

Something tricky new GMs might have encountered are party motivation and unity; in Corporation players (Agent Divisions) are handed their missions at the start of the campaign so they just have to get on with it. How they do it is their business but everyone is headed in the same direction. Each division is also assigned a division leader who gets to discipline the division and has the last word on any decisions. This group structuring adds an interesting elements new players may not have encountered before.

Corporation Art 2

Why are the Corporation Core Rules a good choice for a “New Year, New Game” buy?

Well, for one thing the core rules has everything you need to play, so once you get that you are sorted. You can enjoy hundreds of sessions with only the one book. Saying that we do have a number of expansions so if you decide you really like world and want to know more about it there is plenty more to get your teeth into. Corporation is also a very approachable game. You don’t need to read the whole book to play, you can just skim a few sections and you’re ready to go. Character creation is simple and only takes a few minutes which I personally find a very important factor when trying a new game. Corporation also mirrors our own world to some degree so designing people and places coming up with missions is a relatively simple affair. We’ve also knocked the price right down for the sale so its a great time to try it.

What’s your favourite thing about Corporation Core Rules?

In a word, scope. Corporation was designed to have enormous scope. With a single book you can endless varied and interesting characters, visit all kinds of amazing places and engage in hundreds of different missions. I think that is one of the real successes of the game is how much you can do with one book.

Which music would you recommend groups play in the background of a game or for inspiration?

Something fairly electronic or industrial. Here are some examples:

Combichrist, Fear Factory, the Mass Effect Sound tracks, Deus Ex 3 sound track, the Prodigy (Music for the Jilted Generation), Crystal Method, Fluke, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Icon of Coil.

corp-3Are there are any books, movies or TV shows that are a good match for Corporation RPG

What is interesting is that because the Corporation world mirrors our own, anything can be good inspiration, even the evening news. Here are some particularly good examples,

5th Element, Alien Series, Blade, Bladerunner, Demolition Man, Equilibrium, Gattaca, Ghost in the Shell, Johnny Mnemonic, Minority, Report Predator, The Matrix, The Running Man, The Terminator Series, Total Recall (Both Versions) Twelve Monkeys and Rising Sun.

The Takeshi Kovacs books by Richard Morgan would also make very inspirational reading.

Is there a Pinterest board, or similar, which is a good visual match for the game?

Perhaps is you crossed the visuals from Bladerunner, Mass Effect the New Total Recall film and a glass-steel utopian skyscraper you would get a sense of the Corporation style.

Are there any supplements or accessories you’d recommend for gamers who decide they want more of the game?

Starting off with the equipment guide ‘Machines of War’ would be a good place to start. Additionally ‘The Eastern Bank’ details a part of the world where urban warfare has reached dangerous levels and police presence is worryingly high. All Corporation supplements are designed to appeal to everyone with something for all kinds of player and GM.

Which forums, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or blogs should gamers keep an eye on for news about Corporation Core Rules?

Facebook is the most commonly updated but you can also find a healthy player forum at Deniable Resources.

Twitter: @CorporationRPG
Facebook :

Is there anything new for Corporation Core Rules coming out this year?

We are currently working on the Shi Yukiro sourcebook which is contain all kinds of goodies for the Japanese corporation. We’re also working on a card game based in the Corporation world.

Corporation Art 1

You can buy Corporation Core Rules at 40% off until the 14th, January 2013.

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Lee Smith
Lee Smith

I have all the books and wholeheartedly recommend them! My gaming group played it and was hooked after a single session. Although not mentioned above, character creation is easy but extremely varied with characters choosing specialized trainings and licenses that enable them to exert influence over different aspects of the gaming world.

The 'Termination 3' license is a must have to really get your point across and why not choose the 'Telepath' training to get a heads up on the competition?

Paul Thornton
Paul Thornton

Love the artwork I'm seeing so far. Totally *not* stealing some for inspiration in my own games...

Andrew Girdwood
Andrew Girdwood

The art is fantastic and there's more on their site too - well worth checking out. You know the full game is just a couple of squid more than a fiver in the sale.