Traitors Can Run

Welcome to the first in a series of articles about the highly anticipated expansion coming for Privateer Press’ sci-fi dungeon-crawl board game, LEVEL 7 [OMEGA PROTOCOL]: Extreme Prejudice.

During the next few weeks before the game releases, the games' developer, Will "Oz" Schoonover, will be giving you a look into how the LEVEL 7 setting has grown and explaining what that meant while developing the game. In his first installment, he will be going to talk a little about how his work on the expansion started and introduce the first new enemy in the game.

Before I even finished the original design, I was thinking about ways to expand Omega Protocol. After finishing LEVEL 7 [INVASION], which featured the climactic end of the setting’s core story, I couldn’t wait to get back to the smaller scope settings: the hallways of underground bases.

There were a lot of questions to answer about the time between the events of Omega Protocol and the state of the world at the beginning of Invasion. One of the biggest was, What was Doctor Cronos up to during the six years between the destruction of Subterra Bravo and the arrival of the Hydra? The events portrayed in the novel LEVEL 7: The Judas Protocol gave us a direction to go to answer that question.

The Judas Protocol novel tells the story of a smaller scale instance of a Ghin turning against the U.S. government. Doctor Thoth, a subordinate of Cronos, defects with the aid of a secret agency that has roots in the U.S.S.R. of the Cold War era. This story lets us explore what another nation would do with the knowledge that extraterrestrial life existed and had visited Earth. Thoth’s dealing with the Russians sets up a line of communication that Cronos could turn to years later, when tensions rise between himself and the Agency.

As the story of Extreme Prejudice begins, we join a team of Agency commandos who are about to begin an assault of the Siberian facility Cronos fled to after escaping Subterra Bravo’s implosion.

New enemies have always been the first place I start when thinking about additions to the LEVEL 7 setting. I already had a few ideas on the back burner, and this project was the perfect place for them. In LEVEL 7 [ESCAPE], we see the UFO conspiracy as it is winding down. With Extreme Prejudice, we get a chance to see a shadow government entity eagerly working side-by-side with the Ghin. That relationship made it pretty clear that collaborator human soldiers should be a big part of this product.

Making a human enemy gave me interesting directions to take rules. With a ranged attack and a melee attack, the guards are versatile tools for the overseer. Their stats put them somewhere between the clones and the hybrids from the base game. They also have a support ability and offer a bit of a refund when killed by the commandos, letting the overseer explore new tactics for existing enemies when playing these new additions.

The human guards were a good place to start for both the enemies and the heroes in the game. Next time, I’ll talk more about the new components of LEVEL 7 [OMEGA PROTOCOL]: Extreme Prejudice as well as some of the ways the expansion adds to the LEVEL 7 setting.