Médecins Sans Frontières
rating: 0+x

Trained to another use,
We march with colours furled,
Only concerned when Death breaks loose
On a front of half a world.
Only for General Death
The Yellow Flag may fly,
While we take post beneath-
That is the place for a spy.
Where Plague has spread his pinions over Nations and Dominions-
Then will be work for a spy!

(from) The Spies' March Rudyard Kilping

Basic Information

Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders in English, is an international organization of doctors and healthcare workers that delivers medical care to people in need of it around the world. It is noted for its impartiality and focus on epidemic diseases.



Game and Story Use

  • PCs could be part of a group of MSF doctors (or their bodyguards), sent to an obscure part of the third world to combat a mysterious and deadly new disease. The disease could turn out to be anything, from an experimental bioweapon on the loose to unearthly contamination.
  • They can appear almost anywhere there is plague, conflict or disaster and, despite the French name, recruit from practically anywhere. An MSF mission is appropriate set-dressing for any hell-hole on the planet.
  • Generally due to their work in the butthole of beyond, agencies like MSF are likely to be the first to encounter all sorts of things (other than the natives, who've always known about it but to whom no-one listens)
  • They also make great abductees and hostages. And relatives for significant (N)PCs, up to and including the BBEG.
    • Military or security contractor characters may be tasked to rescue or defend an isolated medical station - or may get chased into one by the enemy. Alternatively the PCs enemies may go to ground in a nursing station, making them a lot harder to kill.
    • Just getting the medical team across hostile territory may be a mission in itself.
  • Their role is usually filled by medical missionaries in the colonial period and monastic orders in medieval and fantasy settings.
  • A fantasy equivalent could use any of the above and more. What do you do when the pandemic isn't responding to magical treatment?
  • A relatively good background for a PC who wants to be a team medic, but would like field skills and doesn't want to be ex-forces.
  • Also a good place for an important NPC to disappear to if they have medical training - either as the atoner or because they joined up to forget. Just finding them could prove to be a Livingstone/Stanley moment.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License