Sometimes it puzzles me when players avoid running support. I think most GMs will recognize this scenario: after working on introducing a campaign where players have their choice of role in a larger organization, everyone will gravitate towards the fighters and the assassins… the guys who shoot things.
Precious few players on the other hand, will realize that in order to proceed with any semblance of order, they’ll have to take the role of the support crew. The support crew are the unsung heroes of most RPG games that don’t take place in the standard Fighter, Cleric, Thief and Mage games. There’s something to be said for those players who willingly go for the role of the Engineer, the Doctor, the Media Liaison and the Researcher.
These are the unsung heroes of countless modern and sci-fi games. Those with specialized knowledge that allows for people to uncover truths, and do something with the clues that have been gained. They’re the ones that patch the fighters together, maintain the group’s reputation to the people, and make sure that doors remain open to those who would otherwise only speak the language of violence.
That said there’s a lot of merit for being part of the Support Squad. Sure you’re not out there directly dealing with the enemy, but if it hadn’t been for your contribution, most of the missions would have failed from outright lack of information. Support teams come in during all phases of an engagement:
- Information Gathering
- Field Support
- Cleanup and Recovery
Another good thing about having a Player Character taking on the role of Support is the simple fact that you can trust them. If a player character dedicates himself to running support, you can pretty much be sure that he’ll stick to his job. Also since you’re not relying on NPCs (which are running on a fraction of the GM’s processing power), you’ve got someone with his complete undivided attention on the job.
So here’s a little shout out to the players who work to keep the others with guns blazing, and wounds mended. Here’s the the support team that keeps the team running like a well oiled machine with up to date information and sound decision making that the grunts can’t react to on their level. You might not get the glory of being the one to drop the BBEG, but you can at least brag about being the one that got your team in place to do so.