Games

HERO System/Champions

We've played many different RPGs in our time. This is the best. The HERO system is a very flexible, multi-genre roleplaying game. It works equally well with superheroes, spies, martial arts, horror, fantasy, space opera, westerns and pulp-era adventures. We've been playing that better known fantasy role-playing game -- you know the one -- for so many years we never did switch over to HERO for our fantasy fix, and we get most of our eldritch horror elsewhere, too, but this is the best all-around system we've played, and if we'd been able to start with it when we first started role-playing, we'd probably never have needed another game system.

Champions FAQ/POC List
FTP Site: /Gaming/Hero
FTP Site: /pub/frp/hero
FTP Site: /pub/frp/hero/champions
FTP Site: /pub/Role-Playing/Fantasy/HERO Fantasy

Chaosium/Call of Cthulhu

As suggested by the name, this horror-genre RPG is based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and other contributors to the "Cthulhu Mythos". We love this game system, but it's difficult to explain why, especially to people who aren't into role-playing to begin with. You see, if you play the game long enough -- developing the same characters in a serial campaign, rather than just hopping from one episodic adventure to another, with no continuity -- your characters will go insane, or they will die in horrible fashions, or both. It's inevitable. The more the characters experience, the more they learn about the Things Man Was Not Meant to Know. The more about that they learn, the less sane they remain. If the beasties don't kill you, the sheer horrific knowledge of their blasphemous existence will. If you are lucky, it will take a while for this to happen, and in the meantime, it's a lot of fun. Campaigns can be set in any place or time, and there is a lot of support material for campaigning in the 1920's and 1930's (when the stories were written), in the 1890's (Cthulhu By Gaslight) and the 1990's (Cthulhu Now).

Chaosium, Inc.
Chaosium Resources
FTP Site: /pub/chaosium/archives (Chaosium Digest)
FTP Site: /pub/chaosium
FTP Site: /pub/cthulhu
FTP Site: /pub/rpg/cthulhu
FTP Site: /pub/Role-Playing/Horror/Call of Cthulhu

Wizards of the Coast/ AD&D

We've been playing AD&D off and on since the late '70s. Damon bought the first edition Player's Handbook the month it came out. He has every issue of Dragon Magazine from the very first issue to the present, hundreds of lead miniature figures, scores of sourcebooks, supplements, and adventures; and a fair number of old character sheets, some of them novel-length. Presently we are primarily playing 3rd Edition D&D because it's the easiest system for which to get a group together. Our intrepid band of misfits (that's the players, not the characters) gets together two or three times a month, usually at our house, to solve mysteries, save the Empire from invasion, rescue orphans from life on the street, and wander off on bizarre tangents. Check out the SPQT Home Page to find out what you're missing by not playing with us.

Conspiracy-Based Role-Playing Games

Ever wanted to roleplay the X-Files? Well, you can't. Truthfully, that's probably a good thing. Face it, you'd get bored with it almost immediately. If you watch the show regularly, you already know who to trust and how far. Even worse, if you take the roles of Mulder and/or Scully, you are guaranteed to survive every game session. No GM would risk killing off the icons of millions, lest a manic X-Phile find out and kill him for his blasphemy. Ah, but you can play any of several RPGs that will let you act out similar plots. These conspiracy oriented games come in a variety of flavors, from tensely dramatic to downright wacky. Something for everyone.

BUREAU 13, from Tri-Tac Systems, is based on a series of three paperback novels by Nick Pollotta. The books follow the adventures of Team Tunafish, a highly trained, heavily armed group of field agents working for Bureau 13, a secret division of the FBI. Like many of the Bureau's field teams, Tunafish includes weapons experts, mages, a priest, and a psychic. Their job: to keep the world safe from ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night. Or at dawn. Or every third Tuesday, about 2:00 pm. The novels are hilarious -- definitely hit the used book stores and check them out! The mechanics of the game system left something to be desired. To be fair, it may just have been the fact that it was too different from others we were used to. Whatever. We used the HERO System rules to recreate Bureau 13 characters and played that way.

CONSPIRACY X, from New Millenium, features government conspiracy and extraterrestrial activity (sound familiar?). The Grays Sourcebook describes the aliens' program of abduction and experimentation, details their technology and psychic powers, and reveals the existence of the Blues, an alien subrace seemingly working against the Grays. The Supernatural Sourcebook reminds players that extraterrestrials are not Mankind's only worry. But can the source of this arcane force be a powerful weapon against the alien menace, or does it only lead to humanity's downfall?
Conspiracy X game products are available in game stores now, so what are you waiting for?

WEB OF SHADOWS, from Web Games, is a supplement for the Webs Gaming System, an upcoming game designed from the outset to be multi-genre. Despite early sales hype...

Web of Shadows gives players access to "a world of super-spies and super-intrigue, where James Bond meets True Lies with a hint of The X-Files".

...Webs! appears to be a complete waste of a gamer's time and money. I should admit here that I have not played the game; however, experienced gamers know that you can tell a lot about a game system just by skimming through the rule book. (Maybe you can't tell a book by it's cover, but the Table of Contents can be very revealing.) The system of currency will be familiar to AD&D players: CP, SP, EP, GP and PP -- that's copper, silver, electrum, gold, and platinum pieces to you non-TSR types -- with bronze pieces, lead pieces, steel pieces and shells thrown in so maybe no one would notice. Since Webs! is trying to be all things to all gamers, prices for some supplies and equipment are given in dollars and cents, rather than the fantasy coins listed above; other, "futuristic" prices are given in "credits" (how original!) that are apparently worth about $3.00 each. The treatment of various gemstones is another thing that seems to have been lifted directly from the AD&D game system, but though it's their major influence, it wasn't their only one. The rules for purchasing skills might have been borrowed from the HERO System, but more probably from GURPS. One thing that might be original to Webs! is the Hit Location Tables for combat, and they stink. There is a 25% chance of any hit being a blow to the head. You have a 50% chance of dying from any hit to a vital area. I don't think the head counts as a vital area for these purposes, though, so maybe you're safe.

My biggest complaint about this game is that it does nothing whatsoever to live up to its claim to being a conspiracy-type RPG. Yes, you could run a conspiracy-based campaign with this awful, bland, generic mishmash, but you could do it with any system. AD&D. Call of Cthulhu. Bunnies & Burrows. Yes, I can see it: Agents Fox Thumper and Dana Fluffy investigate the paranormal while dodging the MIBs (Moles In Bunnysuits) and other agents of the dreaded Warren Commission (get it? Warren? they're rabbits?). Trust No One...who advises you to play this game.

DELTA GREEN is coming from Pagan Publishing, a licensed producer of game products for the Call of Cthulhu game. Here's a bit of what Pagan has to say about their upcoming product:

image ©1996 Blair Reynolds

"Delta Green" is an ad hoc, unfunded, and unofficial network of people throughout the many areas of the U.S. government who work to contain and understand supernatural events. DG was founded in the 1940s, coming out of Wild Bill Donovan's OSS, and enjoyed sporadic success until a disastrous operation in Cambodia shortly before the U.S. invasion brought it all to a stop. Delta Green was disbanded...but the group lives on unofficially and without any sanction or protection, working within the bureaucracy and stealing whatever resources it can to get the job done.

Opposing Delta Green is a notorious, almost legendary group known as Majestic-12. This secret government body has been collaborating with extra-terrestrials for decades, often to the personal benefit of MJ-12 members. The "greys" known in UFO lore are real--but they aren't anything like the way they're portrayed. Even Majestic-12 is ignorant of the true nature of the aliens and what they're up to. Delta Green has some ideas, and is working to expose the truth.

The DELTA GREEN sourcebook contains: This book is huge, and jam-packed with information. Although presented for Call of Cthulhu and making extensive use of the Cthulhu Mythos, it's useful for anyone interested in X-Files style material.

DELTA GREEN has been solicited for release in December 1996. Can't wait? Check out the preview, which includes a Delta Green timeline, profiles of U.S. government agencies, and more. You can also download a file from their FTP site, which gives a blow-by-blow description of a play-test session of the game.

Illuminati: New World Order

Steve Jackson Games
The INWO Deck of the Week
FTP Site: /pub/sjgames

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