Department 7

So, I’ve played a lot of games with Department 7 as a central focus.

When d20 Modern was new, I ran a few different X-Files style games, with the players working for a mysterious Department 7. Sometimes they were a subsidiary of the FBI (I think they were some kind of “Frontline Division Department 7” or something), sometimes they were working for a different agency based around paranormal investigations called PSI (don’t ask me what the S stood for…). I think I ran one where they worked for a Foundation, or perhaps THE Foundation, whatever that was. I may have been reading the Dark•Matter setting at the time.

They’re a very versatile entity to play with, particularly with modern, sci-fi or near-future games. I’m thinking of dropping them into my FATEPunk setting at the moment, and perhaps into a Supers game in the future – “Task Force Blue, Department 7 – Metahuman Police” has a nice ring to it. Maybe PolyAlbion would be a good place for them? It gives the players a structure to fall back on if needed, an easy ally early on before they have to get too involved in a setting, or even a better way of building out the world from the start of a game.

The only problem I ever had with them was in giving them a real foil to play against. It’s possible to run them as government and have private sector goons in their way, but they always seemed to fall flat. Maybe I don’t run them well.
It always felt much easier to run Department 7 as a private entity fighting against the G-men, but again that came with its own problems of how to fight against the evil overlord/bureaucracy or why to even try.

If I actually come up with a good answer, or they make a return to a game setting I have in mind, expect a follow-up post!

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