Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Suicide Solution For High Tech Mysticism & High Caliber Adventure- A Retrospective On The Suicide Squad

File:Suicide Squad -1.jpg

So its 1987 & I'm going down to my local comic shop in my home town of  Torrington Ct called My Mother Threw Mine Away. Jack the owner threw a great comic book in my box called The Suicide Squad.. Boy was this different then the usual brand of  DC drivel at the time. Talk about grey morality! The basic plot line went something like this - The current Suicide Squad (created by John Ostrander in the aforementioned Legends #3) is an anti-hero team of incarcerated supervillains who act as deniable assets for the United States government, undertaking high-risk black ops missions in exchange forcommuted prison sentences. The group operates out of Belle Reve Penitentiary, under the command of government agent Amanda Waller.
 The book was great & the concept was very new at the time!


I was pretty much hooked! Then a nice little game came along & pretty much blew my doors in! I'm talking about this : 

This had come out about '85 & our group picked it up!We played the hell out of this game!We used to convert from Marvel Super Heroes, AD&D, & DC Heroes all the time!
Then this came out
In '88 & my campaign for three years was pretty damn complete!
40 pages of complete info! No B.S. just simple easy to use information
"The enclosed files report on the status of the personnel and facilities at the Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary. The documents describe those accomodations designed for the containment and holding of prisoners with paranormal powers. For your reference, maps and layouts of the prison grounds and surrounding areas are provided.
The reports are primarily intended to update you on the current standing of the branch of Task Force X known as the Suicide Squad™. Complete psychological, historical, and power evaluations on all Squad personnel are included, I would personally bring to your attention those files on Amanda Waller™, Colonel Rick Mag™, Captain Boomerang™, Bronze Tiger™, and Nightshade™. These individuals have formed the core of the Squad, and are largely responsible for the success of several important missions.
The Squad's history has been updated, and specific details of all missions are enclosed. These include its recent foray into the Nightshade Dimension™ and the Squad's successful defeat of the terrorist group called the Jihad™ in New York..." 
We grabbed every thing for this game that we could from Mayfair Games when Mayfair was doing great things!
So how the hell did we as the DM & players fit into this? We were the Suicide Solution the group of  hardcore prisoners that were sent in when the crap really hit the fan!
Here's how this worked my players created assassins, super villains, etc. We'd pit them against whatever second string opposition that I could come up with & the 'treasure' was turned over to the boys at Star Labs, the whole nine yards!
We played through the Manhunter story line
We went from Earth 1 to Earth 2 before the Crisis took it away. Blasted Shadow Demons, & had lots & lots of characters die! 
That was the thing about this style of game. The action was lethal there was no resurrection spells available, no retrofitting dead characters, this was all a gentleman's agreement.
This morning I found my notes on this game & this adventure 


We played the hell out this game/campaign through this update 
The Suicide Solution became a group of  Mercs later on. As friends D&D or AD&D campaigns came to an end or would implode I'd grab the player & stick them into the game. The concept was simple your from XYZ mini plane & your universe ended we'll try to get you to a similar world but your going to work for us in the meantime. If you live then fantastic but if you die well roll up another character.
If you want to know how an all evil campaign might work then read the Suicide Comics. One of my players still has his character from 30+ years ago.
If you want to know about the DC rpg's history & products go Here
If you want to know about the older DC run of the Squad go Here

I got enough milage out of the Suicide Solution concept to use it in an Aberrant campaign  game!


I might dust the concept off once again & use this with Crypts & Things! I did a couple of  TPK's using another Mayfair games product with this campaign

If this sounds like a total cheese fest to you? Well this was all before the OSR & all of that. One of the first adventures that the squad did was to help Nightshade(an original Carlton comics character) sort her past by going to her hellish extra dimensional home world.It wasn't pretty! I had my players revisit the Night shade lands  for a relic & we lost all of the PC's in that encounter! Nightshade has in my opinion some of the best background material for gaming. Read about her Here & Here

To me super hero role playing has always seemed an open season or kitchen sink style of gaming. Sort of a salad bar approach, take what you want mix it up & leave the rest. Use the Suicide Solution or the squad as a concept. It works very well in a game where the shades of black & white are blurred. I don't take this stuff seriously at all because its only a game but the play is the thing. I owe John Ostrander big time for this & GrimJack, & lots of other stuff. 


  1. Ostrander's Suicide Squad is, hands-down, my favorite comic series of all time.

    Word is bond.

  2. Thanks for the kind words Justin!
    The comic book series has a ton to offer for merc gaming & its also a favorite of mine! There's more to come man! Thanks again


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