This entry is inspired by Doyle Hunt’s excellent article at the Supply Bunker.  It also ties in with my GURPS 4th ed templates for the Morrow Project and the RECON Manual (see the checklist at Appendix A).

How do you introduce the Morrow Project to new players?  Well, IMHO, the best way is to play a RECON team – but then you have to explain the duties of a RECON team.

New players should understand that

1. a RECON team is made up of several highly-trained specialists
2. this team is fully capable of effectively surveying a survivor community
3. this team is fully capable of analyzing the community’s problems
4. this team is fully capable of providing solutions – or at least recommendations
5. Team positions can overlap and team members can perform more than one role.



The Recon team is a quasi-military unit and requires someone who can ‘lead’.The team leader directs, supervises and manages the team’s functions. He (or she) must have  excellent interpersonal skills, self-discipline and be able to ‘inspire’ (as Napoleon said: “A leader is a dealer in hope” ).   The Team Leader would usually possesses at least a master’s degree and also  extensive training in  Mass Communication. He or she must also be skilled in small-unit tactics.
Note: This role could be combined with any of the ones listed below
Example Task:  Set up a meeting between the leaders of 2 rival towns
Example characters: Captain Kirk, Malcom (Mal) Reynolds,  Sgt Rock

Every team needs to give and receive information (communicating with the Morrow Project – and with survivors).    The I/C  Specialist is responsible for operating/ maintaining the team’s radios and computers.  They are also trained for computer hacking and Electronic Warfare.  The team I/C  specialist is tasked with planning, advising, and assisting survivor projects to support the Reconstruction Effort.   He or she would also be responsible for surveying, analyzing and repairing any surviving information and communications assets (ranging from libraries to newspapers to postal services to Ham radio networks).
Example task: set up a local newspaper
Example Characters: “Face” (from “The A-Team”), Chloe Sullivan(from “Smallville”), “Sam” Seaborn (from “West Wing”)

A builder, a tinkerer.  You want to be the one who fixes the town’s power plant or the county’s rail system? The team Engineering/Infrastructure Specialist is an expert on the construction, maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure such as transportation networks (road/rail/river) and public works such as sewage systems or energy distribution networks.  This specialist also has training in Combat Engineering and Demolitions – he or she knows how to blow things up as well as build them.
Example Task:  Building a windmill, converting a washing machine into a hydro-power plant, blowing a path through the minefield
Example Character:  MacGyver,  ‘Scotty’, ‘Silent Bob’ , anyone from ‘Mythbusters’.

Want to play an EMT, or even a Doctor? The  Medical/Health Specialist is not only the team’s  Combat Medic, they are also tasked with planning and conducting medical assessments.  This specialist would  provide routine, emergency, and preventive medical and health care to survivors and Morrow Project  personnel.   He or she is also trained to carry out limited veterinarian and dental care, as well as environmental health programs.  Ideally, a Medical specialist should know something about medicinal plants and other ‘low-tech’ medical techniques.
Example Tasks: Set up a pre-natal nutrition clinic.  Find source of disease outbreak
Example Character: ‘House’, “Hawkeye’ (from MASH), Alex Taylor (‘Third Watch’ )

You want to solve mysteries?  Want to play something like an ex-cop or a firefighter? This Specialist is responsible for assessing the safety of the local environment and the status of  ‘Law and Order’ in a community – and providing solutions to any ‘public safety’ problems. They are likely to have some scientific training and be a veteran of the military or police/emergency services.
Example Tasks: train local militia, solve a murder
Example Character: Agent Gibbs (NCIS),  CSI Detective Third Grade: Danny Messer (CSI: NY),

You want to be a wheeler-dealer? Save the world for the good of capitalism?  The Economics/Commerce (E/C)  Specialist is responsible for assessing the economic capabilities and demands of a survivor community.  There are 3 main areas of training and expertise: Resources (evaluates what the survivors could potentially sell and what they need to buy),  Market Reconstruction (advising survivors on HOW to create a ‘surplus’ – and acting as a middleman to  arrange sales)  Food and Agriculture (identify and assesses agricultural production capabilities and advise/assist with improving technologies and production to revive and/or grow a local food crop).
Example Task:  set-up a farming co-operative, bargain with local arms merchant
Example characters: a reformed Yuri Orlov (“Lord of War”), Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Akroyd’s character in ‘Trading Places’),

This specialist has the necessary knowledge and training to facilitate the legal and orderly acquisition/use of surviving resources to restore a peaceful, stable and minimally corrupt government.    This specialist could also help set up a Court system for civil and criminal cases.  This specialist might have education/experience in Political science, Law and/or Public Administration.
Example Task:  provide advice on running local elections, blackmail, persuade local leadesr to cooperate in setting up a new school
Example Character:  Alan Shore (Boston Legal),  Clifford Calley (“West Wing”)

Note 1: As specified in TM1-1, there will also be tasks/jobs that reflect duties involved in operating/maintaining the team’s vehicles: driver, commander, gunner, RTO, scout, etcetera.

Note 2: There will also be ‘infantry’ combat roles.  These will depend on the size of the team but will usually involve forming fire teams (which will be based around one heavy weapon)

UPDATE:  Also see this article on Combat Roles


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