This one was OpenQuest Modern. Around the early 2010s, when OQ had been out for a while, one of the regulars posted about using OQ mashed up with D20 Modern SRD to create a secret service vs Cthulhu game on our forum. I said nope on that one for many reasons, and I realised that I was enjoying all manner of Modern Day thrillers and had no roleplaying outlet. So I put out the call for someone to turn the OQ SRD into OQ Modern, and Rik Kershaw Moore answered the call. About 12 months later, The Company was the result. Published on 13/04/2012, as a softcover/hardcover and pdf via Lulu.com
The game is centred firmly around a fictional UK Private Military Contractor, a modern-day mercenary company that recruit primarily from ex-UK Armed Forces and with a Royal Charter to provide military services in response to falling numbers of UK armed forces.
In many ways, the Company is my favourite of the early trio of OQ games, completed by OQ 1-2 (Fantasy) and River of Heaven (Sci-Fi). I ran some fun convention games. Operation Mudbrick, where operatives guard an archaeological team in the ancient city of UR post-Gulf War 2, and Operation Camphor, where the team reclaims a recording device left by a spy working for The Company that had been left in the Lockheed Sea Shadow, which was now floating inside the hull of a converted cargo ship in one of the US Fleet Arm fleets, moored off the coast of California. In many ways, the scenarios I ran for The Company, although based on real-life situations, were more fantastic and eye-opening than the weirdest fantasy adventures I’ve written.
While the Company was a good steady seller over the years, I never got beyond publishing the core rulebook, even though there was an adventure book and companion written because its principal author – Rik – suddenly left the hobby. The main rulebook finally went out of print at the end of the OQ3 Kickstarter back in October 2020.
One day, I hope to bring back The Company for OQ 3, but it will be a slightly different set-up, with a different name (Modern Operations is the current favourite).
Update: Inspired by the nostalgia this post brought up, and with my interest piqued as a Game Designer, I’ve started working on the spiritual successor to the Company, Modern Operations.