Free Quebec

"Free Quebec" is a Palladium Rifts campaign run in 2000-2001 with the Houston-area RPG group.

The campaign followed the missions of Blue Fox Squad, part of Zulu Company, as the state of Quebec looks to secede from the Coalition States. While the Coalition Military gears up for the siege on Tolkeen, the war at Free Quebec is essentially "The Coalition vs The Coalition." Both sides share similar origins, politics, and world view, right down to their anti-magic sentiments and hatred for all that is inhuman. The campaign story concept was plot-based, as the player characters were tasked to complete various missions based out of Fort Valjean in central Quebec, home of the 7th Battalion Army Recce. Given the unique states of affairs between the two opposing sides, not every adventure involved the singular goal of defeating the Coalition army. With this being more of a military story and most of the content coming from a primary source book, the players were encouraged to engage in the own story, showing the depth and complexity of character development regarding how war never changes, but the people involved do. The unique aspect to this campaign compared to other Rifts adventures was each PC was assigned SAMAS power armor and given call-signs while flying in their mecha. The first episode was played on November 4, 2000, continuing weekly until February 3, 2001, with the game sessions happening on Saturday evenings, but taking time off for various interruptions.

Campaign Setting

Free Quebec, traitors! Emperor Prosek, with the support of the other States, has declared the entire government of Free Quebec of treason. They have been ordered to step down or be forcibly removed. In response, the government of Free Quebec has declared themselves to be an independent and free nation. Despite the Emperor's claim that the people of Quebec are not behind their government, their declaration of sovereignty is the result of an emergency vote by the people. An overwhelming majority voted in favor of seceding from the allied States, knowing full well that it was likely to provoke a war.   

The year is 104 P.A. and civil war is brewing in North America.

The soldiers of Free Quebec are highly motivated, professional troops equal to any in North America. They are well equipped, well trained, and completely dedicated to defending their nation at all costs. Supplies, at least for the first year or so of war, will be plentiful, with most new items not already stockpiled to be manufactured as needed. Trade with the New German Republic and regional people (particularly mercenaries, freebooters, and adventurers) will keep the economy from collapsing.  

The Army Recce Battalions are another infantry unit developed specifically for ground level patrols and holding operations. With most of land claimed by Free Quebec being unmonitored wilderness, the Army Recce Battalion plays an increasingly important role in the defense of the nation. Recce Platoons and Companies are sent into the wilderness on long missions with little or no support. They are expected to be self-sufficient, relying on periodic supply drops and living off the local environment or economy (for those lucky enough to be stationed near a town, village, or farm). Their job is to patrol large regions of wilderness and serve as both lawmen and military authorities. In the former capacity they are responsible for keeping the peace, reassuring the (sparse) civilian population, making sure civilians are not fraternizing/trading with the enemy, investigating serious criminal activity and crushing opportunistic outsiders such as bandits, raiders, invading monsters, D-Bee squatters, practitioners of magic, and other threats to the local region and the nation.  As acting soldiers, these troops are charged with the defense of the remote borders and regions under their charge, including outposts, towns, villages, farms, and huge areas of land, from enemy aggression and exploitation. This means the Recce troops are constantly vigilant for the presence of the enemy, from patrols and troop outposts to spies living among the civilian population. When such evidence is found, they are expected to track the enemy down, evaluate their strength and purpose, and whenever possible, engage and destroy the enemy threat. If the enemy forces outnumber or overpower the Quebec Defenders, they are to call for Tactical Support. This "support" usually comes in the form of a mobile or air strike force while the Recce group provides exact coordinates, up to the minute enemy troop movement and combat support (often lying-in wait to ambush any enemy troops who escape the strike force). If Tactical Support is not available, the Army Recce Battalion is expected to secretly follow the enemy and systematically sabotage and attack using guerilla hit and run tactics. 

A relatively new concept that has been embraced by the Free Quebec Military High Command is the air forces. Quebec's Air Force Corps is only about a quarter of the size of the Army Air Corps of the Coalition States, and nowhere near as developed and diversified. Still the SAMAS dominated Quebec Air Force provides a limited but capable air attack and support platform. It is especially adept at working in tandem with the Glitter Boy Legions and other heavy ground troops. The troops are placed into combat regiments and fighting "wings" (aerial squads and platoons) which are mainly comprised of traditional SAMAS, Violator Class SAMAS, Sky Cycles and Northern Gun Sky Kings. These pilots are specially trained in power armor dog-fighting, anti-robot and anti-tank tactics. They have proven to be particularly effective in small skirmishes, surgical hit and run strikes, and SAMAS vs SAMAS dog-fights. Specializing in power armor tactics and combat support roles with the infantry, SAMAS wings are typically deployed as battalion and brigade-sized military units. They are more frequently found supporting infantry and armored ground troops or providing mobile support for fixed defensive outposts and escorting convoys and troop movements. They also engage in aerial border patrols, low altitude reconnaissance, fly-bys, rescue missions, hit and run raids, search and destroy, and surgical strikes, but the SAMAS Battalions specialize in SAMAS-to-SAMAS dog-fights and power armor counter-measures to eliminate enemy armor, robot and air support. Very much the specialists in their tactical field, they are often placed as direct support units for armored infantry divisions, including the Glitter Boy Legions. 

Player Characters

The main function of this campaign is a plot-driven story line with character just trying to survive the war-torn North America. The characters are stationed in the remote regions of Free Quebec, defending the people against supernatural threats at home and invading Coalition Forces from the south. At the outset of the campaign, each player will start with one character. All players will roll randomly for stats and skill benefits, but can choose their own background. Humans are the only race allowed, to mitigate the issue with xenophobia. Experience points are awarded based on game play, not just killing enemies. Alignments are limited to any non-Evil alignments. Alignments are posted as follows: Principled PRI, Scrupulous SCR, Unprincipled UNP, Anarchist ANA.

Important NPCs

As the campaign was self-contained within the area of the Free State of Quebec, the players had ample opportunity to meet and establish a variety of NPC contacts, allies, and enemies. Each NPC had a different significance to the campaign, as the players developed relationships that had a bearing on the overall campaign. Minor NPCs tended to add enrichment to the main plot points, while major NPCs offered a perspective which either complemented the players or added an adversarial aspect to the campaign. Due to the scope of the campaign, actions of the players sometimes dictated the importance of NPCs to their characters' lives. Some NPCs were not grounded in one place and would appear in totally unrelated locations, while others would always be in the same place for the players to find them.

At the outset of the campaign, the PCs started out at Fort Valjean, home of the 7th Battalion Army Recce. Spring had brought warmer temperatures and an increase in Coalition and DB activity. The characters arrived to find a bevy of new personalities to interact with on base and in the nearby villages, ranging from strict military personnel to open-minded freedom-loving homesteaders.

Episode Guide

Each weekend, the players assembled to play what has been designated as an episode. The characters initially were assigned to Fort Valjean in the central part of Free Quebec, to defend the base and support the outposts of Cosette, Eponine, and Fantine. As the campaign progressed, adventures occurred farther from their home base. Each week, a recap of the most recent episode’s happenings was sent out via email to allow those who have been missing for many or few episodes to get a feel for what they had missed. Since this campaign was developed before the advent of DIY websites and social media, information about the adventures of Blue Fox squad have been documented here.

Places of Note

The main plot of the campaign revolved around the encounters taking place in the former Coalition State of Quebec, now declared Free Quebec. Defending the newly seceded country is the main scope of the campaign, with Coalition Forces looking to reclaim a valuable territory, setting the stage for the Eastern Front during the Siege on Tolkeen in the West. A map was created to give the players a visual aspect of where their characters are traveling to and from. Individual towns and villages were not mapped out as their sizes are small in comparison to cities and military installations. As the campaign progressed, general information was given to flesh out the locations.

Rules and Redundancy

The main goal of the campaign is to have fun. Unfortunately, there are times when rules can come into conflict when players are attempting to achieve their goals. House Rules allowed for situations like these to be mitigated when there was insufficient information to deal with specific encounters.

Weapons Locker

Core rule books contain a plethora of melee and ranged weapons for the players to choose from. However, there are times when the characters encounter weapons and items of power that go beyond the scope of what is readily available for purchase. Herein lies an inventory of non-standard items encountered throughout the campaign, from the mundane to the spectacular.

Free Quebec by RPG Dynamite., Important NPCs by © Palladium Books Inc., Places of Note by Wilfredo Rafael Rodriguez Hernandez

Artwork for © Palladium Books Inc. on this page is used with express written permission.

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