Enter Into The Cutthroat World Of Business With Murders & Acquistions
  • Enter Into The Cutthroat World Of Business With Murders & Acquistions

    If it wasnít for digital tools, my shelves would be completely overloaded like they were in the mid 90ís. While supplements of D&D, Palladium Books, and the World of Darkness, claimed most of the shelf, between these were a number of duds (which shall not be named) and some of the more innovative and in my opinion underrated RPGs in those days. Two such come to mind, Amber Diceless and Pendragon. Both of these were not only unique to the norm of RPGs, but challenged some of the fundamental ideas of the hobby at the time.

    Murders & Acquisitions (M&A) might be that game for you. Beneath a framework of simple mechanics is a ruthless and delightfully absurd RPG by writer, Craig Campbell. Players take the role as, ďMovers and Shakers,Ē corporate employees in an alternate earth setting who will be advancing their careers by any and all means. Adding a bit of the fantastical, magic, monsters and even cosmic (Lovecraftian) horrors are options. Getting stabbed in the back has a less figurative meaning with this RPG as intrigue, theft and murder are just part of the typical forty hour work week.

    While the ends have little concern of justifying the means, no overtime on the dice; every mechanic of M&A utilizes the same basic roll, within a skill based system. A skill check involves rolling two dice, a die type (d4-d12), which denotes character ability, and the synergy die (d6). The GM sets the difficulty (typically 7) and if the total of these two dice meet or exceed the target number, success is the result. The Synergy Die adds a bit of randomness. If the total is 1 and the skill check fails, this is a botch. If the check is successful and the result was 6 this result grants the character a boon.

    Whatís consistent and charming about this RPG is the way it doubles down on the corporate theme. For instance some of the skills: Public Equivocation, Loss Mitigation and Systems Management. With character creation players will write up a professional summary utilizing three keywords or Facets to describe their character goals/personality and itís not an accident that character sheet reads very similar to a resume.
    The PDF is decently formatted and 177 pages. The text is standard double column format, with a decent amount of tables and black & white illustrations preventing big blocks of text.

    The premise is both unique and niche. There are certainly other RPGs which have utilized elements of the corporate theme such as Corporia by Mark Plemmons, or Corporation by Mongoose Games, but Murders and Acquisitions takes a light-hearted and dry humored approach, with the additional features of magic and horror, provided as optional. The system has a few elements which will appeal to Savage Worlds sensibilities, but for the most part is itís really its own thing. Whether or not itís your thing or your next thing is up to you, but I certainly think it is worth a look.

    Disclosures: This review uses affiliate links. Murders and Acquisitions was provided free of charge for the purpose of this review.
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. J.L. Duncan's Avatar
      J.L. Duncan -
      I just wanted to add... The RPG Academy did a Show and Tell, an interview with the author about Murders & Acquisitions. It is here.
    1. Shiv's Avatar
      Shiv -
      Designer Craig Campbell here.

      There's an actual play here:


      Also, if you have questions, fire away!

    1. chibi graz'zt's Avatar
      chibi graz'zt -
      Acquisitions Incorporated?!?
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by chibi graz'zt View Post
      Acquisitions Incorporated?!?
      No, Murders & Acquisitions.
    1. VengerSatanis -
      The game mechanic / system mentioned in the text actually sounds really cool.
    1. Shiv's Avatar
      Shiv -
      It's a fairly simple game system, but it does what it needs to do. And has some fun mechanics that make it not just pass/fail. And ways for players to influence the narrative. And it has a whole Cosmic Horror ruleset add-on, if that's your thing. :-)
    1. Shiv's Avatar
      Shiv -
      On the off chance that anyone is still checking this thread...

      Murders & Acquisitions is part of the DriveThruRPG.com Christmas in July sale. 25% off of the PDF.


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