Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bodyguard of Lies

I'm working on a Conspiracy X supplement for Eden Studios Presents. My hope is to have it ready prior to, or during, the return of the X-Files tv series. As of this moment, I have two scenarios in development, an alternate alien invasion setting in development, and a few bobs & bits. I'm tentatively titling it ESP:  Bodyguard of Lies 4.

For the unawares, the Bodyguard of Lies series consists of three books, published for the first edition of the Conspiracy X game line. (there was also a GURPS edition) Each book contained different things.

  • BoL 1 has the widest variety of things:  new skills, credentials, traits, resources, an article on alternate weapon ranges, including alien technology with resource points, informational sources, fear and insanity rules, pool and loci manifestations, hazardous materials rules, and finally a mission titled Psi-Wars. The book is 124 pages total and the mission is 77 pages long.
  • BoL 2 starts with a short story and then moves on to new player characters, alchemy rules, skill defaults, skill categories, new traits, new trainings, revised skills for weapons skills, and a mission into the bayou named Mokole'. The book is 136 pages total and the mission is 71 pages long.
  • BoL 3 contains only two works:  an article on toxins and rules and a ready to run adventure titled Synergy. The book is 160 pages total and the adventure is 96 pages long.

All three are priced at $5.60 a piece on for Acrobat files of the books. You may be able to find print copies at Noble Knight Games or other retailers of used roleplaying game products.

In my opinion, if you are looking for ready to run scenario that you can use as is or modify for your group, these are good choices. However, Conspiracy X 2.0 roleplayers will need to convert the rules to 2.0 rules. This can easily be done with your own creativity or you can peruse Eden Studios Presents:  Volume One and see how Jason Little did it with his adventure, Tiger Eye. You may have received this book back in 2014 around Halloween when we gave it away for free. If you did not and do not yet own it, it's priced at $7.50 for the Acrobat file on DriveThruRPG.

So, back to BoL 4. If there's anything you'd like to contribute, let me know. I'm looking at an October 31st deadline for writers.

If you are thinking of writing a scenario, here is the general outline you can use. If you need our style guide, let me know and I can email it to you.

·         Chapter One:  Introduction
o   Intro blurb
o   Chapter Summary
o   How to Use
o   Synopsis:  Outlines the background of entire mission in one place for ease of understanding. While Directors should read the entire module before running it, this section provides a basic overview of the goal of the mission and what has gone before.
·         Chapter Two:  Catalyst describes the events that draw the agents into the adventure. Opening scenes and continuing afflictions are detailed. The agents soon realize that ignoring the warning signs gets more dangerous as more time passes.
·         Chapter Three:  Investigation presents all the information characters may uncover through pulling strings, sources, research, and legwork. The information is organized in a series of bulletins about each aspect of the mission, rather than a set pattern of encounters. The Director is expected to determine what particular information is uncovered depending on the particular path and success of the agents’ investigation. Summaries of the groups involved are located in this chapter; providing the Director with background information on their actions and motives should the agents interact with them.
·         Chapter Four:  Conflicts & Obstacles lists a series of possible events and encounters the Director can use at any time or certain prescribed times to impede or aid the agents. These events and encounters do not always relate to the adventure. Others are only loosely tied to the plot. This is the Director’s change to throw in red herrings should the characters be advancing too quickly.
·         Chapter Five:  Climax & Resolution is a combined section since the climax of the adventure generally leads to the resolution. This climactic event is designed to spark the agents toward dramatic resolution of the situation. While the events may differ slightly from group to group, it will typically involve the same basic elements. Resolution also describes the probable results dependent on the agents’ actions and successes.
           Chapter Six:  Supplemental Investigations reveals a series of further adventures that could transform this adventure into a full-fledged campaign. Allowing characters to explore related topics and events, and interweaving plot threads suggested in other books greatly extends the adventure. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

#RPGaDay2015 days 21-31

#RPGaDay2015 days 21-31

Real life conspired against me being able to finish this properly. However, I wanted to see it through, so here are the rest of the days and my choices. 

Day 21 – Favorite RPG Setting:  I really dislike published settings. They all too often disappoint me. I like Conspiracy X, as it blends my flavors of alien invasion into a cohesive whole. I like the old World of Darkness and know how to run it without it becoming monster super heroes (but that is also fun). Night’s Black Agents doesn’t count, nor does AFMBE. Those games don’t have a metaplot.

Day 22 – Perfect Gaming Environment:  My house, when the dogs behave. There are currently no children here to cause distraction.

Day 23 – Perfect Game for You:  Something sandboxy with rules my players like. AFMBE fits this, as does BRP for the most part. I prefer to use my own settings, when possible. For a short term game, Night’s Black Agents is badass. It works as written, but also for Impossible Mission Force games.

Day 24 – Favorite House Rule:  Changing how Fast Reaction Time works in Unisystem. In my house games, it no longer lets a player go first. Instead, it adds 5 to their initiative roll.

Day 25 – Favorite Revolutionary Game Mechanic:  Random Charts or Soak. Probably Soak, even if it is outdated and I don't play in games that use it.

Day 26 – Favorite inspiration for your game:  Kult, but my muse is my wife.

Day 27 – Favorite idea for merging two games into one:  Slayer’s Gauntlet.

Day 28 – Favorite game you no longer play:  Star Wars WEG. I loved the Force out of that game. It had a good run and I don’t know that I could ever re-light that fire to do it justice.

Day 29 – Favorite RPG website / blog:  Outside of my own? Probably Age of Ravens, my Google + “Gamers” feed, or the AFMBE FB group.

Day 30 – Favorite RPG playing celebrity:  My wife. She’s one of the most popular gamers in our area.

Day 31 – Favorite non-RPG thing to come out of RPGing:  The many friends I’ve made over the years and the opportunity it gives me to channel my creative abilities outside of music.