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CT- B05-High Guard
par Philip W. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 11/17/2017 20:19:54

This is the original High Guard ruled from ClassTraveller. After the 3 little books itwas oneof my first FRP purchaces. I decided on a digital copy aftmy printed copy was falling to bits from lots of use.

Thisis truely a classic Starship design book. Itdates from the early 1980's. Some aspects suchas the computer ruled a bit quaint today. Other aspects suchas ship's weapons still seem to hold up nicely. What could have been very complicated has been simplified to the extent that pencil, paper and a calulator (no spreadsheets back then) was all you need to star gear heading your first ship.

Many star ship design rules have followed - none have matched CT High Guard's fine balance of elegant simplicity and creative potential. My only criticism is that this is a scan and not a digitally mastered copy (look closely at the fonts - they blurr when you zoom in which is a sign that it is only a scanned copy). This criticism aside, at least a digital copy is available for purchase.

I strongly recommend this as a purchase for anyone interested in Classic Traveller.



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DC1 Tampete - GDW 2201
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/30/2017 10:04:24

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Dark Conspiracy, this book opens with some remarks from an assortment of contributors to and super-fans of the game... and a rather sad note from Lester Smith, who started it all off with the initial core rulebook and much more besides. He laments how the 'work for hire' method of paying authors prevalent in the RPG industry can leave game designers and developers feeling that they somewhat lose contact with works they have laboured over with love and passion once they've been published. Then it's on to the book itself, which is a massive sourcebook for the conurbation formed by Tampa and St. Petersburg in Florida, jammed with flavour, ideas and new stuff to enhance your game.

The Introduction begins with some fiction, a conversation in a seedy and violent bar that I don't think I'll be visiting anytime soon, and then moves on to discuss the development and history of Tampete. It seems a dark place, with all the ills that befall any city in Dark Conspiracy - high unemployment, weak government, lack of investment in infrastructure, rampant corporations and crime - but with an unpleasnt edge. Crimes that include cannibalism and clowns running amok, new and potent drugs, and civil disobedience that's more like terrorism. There's worse, creatures living in lagoons and waterways or underground that are said to abduct people. Rumours of portals to other worlds, and patches of Demonground. Visit at your peril... for they are a quarrelsome lot, and altercations turn violent real fast.

There is a timeline, in accord with the rest of Dark Conspiracy diverging from the real world in the early 1980s and running through to 2034, deemed the present day. There's a map to show you what's where, and then we get down to detail: health and disease, the survivalist communities, the weather (which plays quite an important role here)... and crime. Lots about crime and about the sometimes bizarre laws enacted by the city fathers that probably don't help much.

Next comes a visit to various regions within the sprawl. Detailed maps, locations to visit, history and much, much more. Scattered throughtout are notes on what really happened and what is going on now, so this isn't a player-friendly gazetteer of the conurbation although it will aid you in making a visit a rich experience. There are also 'quick and dirty plot seeds' dotted around, just in case reading the material hasn't already spawed several ideas.

This extensive section is followed by a collection of Factions and Personalities - many of whom have already been introduced during the grand tour of Tampete. This section provides loads of people (loosly speaking) to interact with, do business with... or get into contention with, as may be appropriate. Gangs rub shoulders with strange religious cults, and this section ends with 'A Hundred and One Personalities' - a list of short notes/stat blocks for individuals you can pop in wherever you like. Many could spawn an adventure or two of their own... and many would make good contacts, especially if the party will be staying in Tampete for long.

After a selection of full-page colour paintings of various Tampete scenes comes a section of Dark Adversaries, an array of beasties you can use as necessary to impede and imperil the party. Plenty of weirdness that will have them gawping when they really ought to be running...

Next come several new Protodimensions. Visit if you dare. Or if circumstances mean that you don't really have the option. Finally, there are several Appendices, which are where you'll find new rules, new career options, new DarkTek and several tables to roll on for anything from encounters to what's in a market, drug effects and even more plot seeds. There's also a complete writing system called Underglyphs to scatter around.

If you want a detailed, vibrant, exciting, sometimes threatening and almost always dangerous city to let the party run rampage through, this is a fantastic resource with which to introduce them to the delights of Tampete. It's full of stuff that will give you ideas for adventures or even whole campaigns... once sucked in, the party may never leave! They may not even want to...



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DC1 Nightsider
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/27/2017 09:42:06

A holiday resort is a place you go to relax, sit around the pool, eat and drink, stuff like that, right? Not if you're playing Dark Conspiracy it's not...

This three-part adventure tells the tale of the inhabitants of another dimension trying to sneak into our own, with the intention of getting up to no good once here - and they've chosen a prime vacation spot as their infiltration point. The Introduction explains what is going on and provides a synopsis of the entire plot. To start with, of course, you need to find a way to get the party into the right place, the holiday resort of Bar Harbour - which is a real place in Maine as it happens, so you can use real maps and other materials to support your game. Several ideas are provided: you can pick the one best suited to your group or come up with your own... after all, you know them better than the authors do! The three briefings provided are for parties with eco-terrorist leanings, members of the military, and people who just happen to be there - either they've heard some of the rumours provided or they might just have decided it was time for a vacation!

The first part of the action takes the party to a nearby island. Getting there (unless you take the military option) is a bit of an adventure in itself as the authorities are barring access. Once there, the party can explore and try and figure out what has been going on... and will probably find themselves fighting for their lives before too long! This adventure requires good combat skills as well as brains to complete. There are lots of atmospheric descriptions here, whatever's happened is decidedly nasty.

The second part of the adventure seems quite unconnected, and indeed could take place after some intervening adventures. All the more surprise when elements from the first part are revealed! Again scenes of mounting horror have to be investigated and dealt with. During this part, the party should discover (or be given) a particular device that will become important during the third part, which takes them to the alternate dimension... well, they do say the best form of defence is offence. This all begins with an intriguing note from an academic who needs some more, shall we say, action-oriented folk to follow up on his reseach. What better idea than go stop the invasion at source?

Throughout the entire adventure, there are loads of options to enable you to react appropriately to whatever the party does... and plenty of possible outcomes depending on their actions and how successful they are. Oddly enough, as I sit reading this adventure for the purposes of review, I realise that I played it some 20-odd years ago! I enjoyed it as a player then, and now I've seen how it's all put together, I understand how it makes a truly cracking adventure. Lots going on, all manner of useful contacts, potential for follow-up adventures... what more could you want? Well, perhaps a holiday resort that IS safe and relaxing - but we're here for adventure!



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DC1 Ice Daemon
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/24/2017 07:37:38

An adventure about weather? Well, at least it starts that way with the party driving through Texas when a snowstorm hits... on a broiling midsummer day. There are notes on shifting these events out of Texas, and to provide for the party using a different form of transportation than a car.

The adventure proper begins with the party having to cope with freezing conditions when the storm hits, a scramble to find shelter. Hopefully they will be able to access a weather forecast which shows that the storm is localised and also displays an unusual feature... Again, if they do not, or cannot, access the weather channel, other options are provided to point them in the right direction. There's even someone to help out with cold weather gear if the party is too busy freezing to death to investigate!

There's a cave complex to explore, its denizens to defeat and a dastardly plot to thwart. All is explained for the Referee, with plans, stats, and plot details all laid out. The stakes? Well, do you want a new ice age?

Compact, elegant, neatly-presented... this adventure should take but a session or two to complete, yet it's replete with significance. There isn't really any follow-up, it is more something to drop on your party when they think they are merely travelling to get somewhere else you have sent or enticed them. An excellent short adventure with plenty of action.



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DC1 Proto-Dimensions Sourcebook, Volume 1
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/23/2017 08:45:26

This book basically comes in two parts: the first part deals with the mechanics of creating and running alternate dimensions in your game and the second part provides some twelve exemplar dimensions ready for use. The Introduction explains all this and more, and notes that this is one of the harder parts of the game for the Referee to get across, seeing as the players have no experience of such a thing... a little odd as we do not have experience of quite a lot of stuff that's already cropped up in Dark Conspiracy!

First up, The Meta-verse gets quite meta-physical about the whole concept, claiming that any Referee wanting to use other dimensions needs to understand this... as it happens, although I find it fascinating to read, I disagree: one of my most successful Dark Conspiracy games involved the characters travelling to an alternate dimension and trying to find their way back, all without any concept in my head or theirs about how it 'worked' - it just did! They got there because they were standing beside a nuclear bomb that went off (triggering a full five minutes of "We're all dead" before I could get their attention) which just happened to be sitting on an undefined 'dimension portal' that went "Ahhh, energy" and diverted the explosion to power itself. The place they landed in was one where magic worked, and after a fair few entertaining adventures) a powerful mage got them back home (and came along, to everyone's amusement). But here the dimension was a plot device, nobody needed to understand it. This theoretical discussion, however, provides a lot of underpinning background that enables a measure of logic, so those players who want to figure out how they work have something to discover. It also allows for an impressive array of different types of alternate dimension without losing consistency.

There's all manner of stuff about visitors to a dimension becoming 'assimilated' into its physical laws, and then we move on to Interstices: The Interdimensional Spaces. These gaps in the fabric of the meta-verse are quite scary, there's nothing there at all. Yet people can go there, although few do on purpose, and visitors risk insanity. Throughout, examples and apposite rules are provided... even for those who want to fight whilst in different dimensions. We find out about Interdimensional Travel and how it works - and how to administer it from a game mechanical standpoint. There are basically two ways to travel between dimensions: using the Dimension Walk skill or using an interdimensional device, and both are explained at length with all the rules you need to run them. Apparently to close a device you need a 'dampening metal' to seal it, which produces images of something wet to my mind... I usually dampen somthing by pouring water on it. Background and history of dimensional travel is also covered, so we find out when assorted Dark Minions first found out about it themselves.

Once your head has stopped reeling from all the theory, interesting though it is, there's a section on Using Protodimensions in a Campaign. There's a lot of good advice here about making them integral to your plotline, not merely a nice bit of windowdressing to say "Hey, here's something really weird". Things like ensuring your Bad Guys have good reason for being there or using them, things like determining locations where you can travel from, or deciding that with the proper skill or device you can go from wherever you happen to be. There's a brief note on designing them, then we're off on the survey of the sample ones. Many are really quite strange, not just a different place that isn't on Earth, but places where physical laws work differently and it's going to get very comfusing real quick! They're quite fun and may give you ideas for adventure.

As a book of two parts, the first bit - the nuts and bolts of how to make alternate dimensions work in your game - is excellent. The sample ones are all a bit weird, and it depends what you are looking for in your dimensions. In the game I referred to earlier, there wasn't much odd about where the party ended up. It was based on the world of Conan the Barbarian, low-tech swords and sandals and the odd powerful mage, one of whom they managed to befriend in order to get home... but until then it was an 'aternate world' where things like gravity and even their firearms and laptops worked (until they ran out of bullets and the batteries went flat). That worked for us, but if you want something really odd to send your party to, there are some strange ones here.



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DC1 Empathic Sourcebook
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/20/2017 09:05:53

The Introduction lays out how this book is designed to expand the basic Empathy ability. There are different disciplines which may be learned: the neuropathic, the psionic, the sorcerous, and the mystical. Only the neuropathic discipline can be acquired without the need for study and training. It equates to the default Empathy ability in the core rules, and is regarded as the most dangerous form of empathy to use, even if it is easier to acquire. The other disciplines can be studied during character generation (by taking one or more term to do so) or once play has started if the character can find a teacher. The study of psionics and mysticism is incompatible, you have to choose one or the other.

The first chapter, however, deals with a system change, from the original D10-based system to a D20 one. It explains in detail how to create new characters, or convert existing ones and then goes on to explain how the new rules work in play. This isn't the 'D20' system of Dungeons & Dragons 3e, by the way, but a revision of the D10 system to use twenty-sided dice. It's something that was introduced in Twilight 2000 and the rest of the GDW games with a common ruleset.

Next up is Empathic Background. This talks about the degeneration of the world and the part, unnoticed by the vast majority of people, that Dark Minions have played in it. Although most people haven't noticed, some have and they form a loose 'empathic underground' to combat the threat. As your party finds out more, they will become aware of the empathic underground if not part of it - even those characters with all the empathy of a house brick. Many groups of empathic people have existed long before the Dark Minions arrived on the scene - there have long been those who study esoteric arts, alchemy and the like. The chapter continues with an analysis of the different groups that can be found, with suggestions as to how to involve them in play. There's also a random generation system in case you need a group in a hurry along with some sample groups, then the discussion moves on to the relationships of the empathic underground with ETs. Notes on playing ETs for the Referee and some ET careers follow.

The rest of the book consists of chapters on each empathic discipline: neuropathy, psionics, sorcery, and mysticism. Background, its place in the world, new skills and abilities, they're all here. They make for fascinating reading and open up whole vistas of new ideas and potentials for characters and plotlines alike. There are extensive details on training and how to acquire it, different abilities and levels of power... pretty much all you need to know. The Referee may want to allow interested players to read up on their chosen discipline or may prefer to reveal the material herein during play - particularly for those characters who seek training during the course of the game.

You should definitely get this book and incorporate it into your game if you want to tap into the full 'otherness' of empathic powers. Whether or not you let your players use them is another matter, these may be part of the weird and sometimes scary that more 'ordinary' characters slowly become aware of as they investigate strange goings-on... and, of course, they may have opportunities to learn these powers for themselves in due course.



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DC1 Among the Dead
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/19/2017 09:25:15

In the lawless times of the dark near-future predicted by this game, Dark Minions take advantage of governments preoccupied with cost-cutting and public disinterest to get up to all sorts of things, and this adventure leads the party into a whole can of worms as they start investigating the disappearance of a nurse on behalf of a distraught uncle. The evidence they unearth should lead them to a dastardly plot set to engulf Moscow... a long way from a missing young lady in New York.

The Referee's Synopsis lays this all out and explains that each sequence leads into the next, with clues for later events scattered through earlier ones... yet, if the party strays off course, it should be relatively straightforward to point them back again with a few well-placed additional pieces of information. It all begins with a worried ex-pat Russian, Lobov, who has a tale to tell about his niece...

He has some letters that she sent to him which have some rather disturbing comments about the hospital in which she was working. He'd already hired a private detective, but he hadn't got very far, so he's turned to the party for help. The letters are reproduced and can be used as handouts... good luck with her handwriting, it's dreadful! Lobov will fund the party's travel to New York and some limited accommodation and expenses once there. Most people they meet either don't know anything or are actively unhelpful, the logical conclusion is to investigate the hospital she worked in itself. There's plenty of background to enable this investigation to be as thorough as the party wants.

One thing leads to another and the party ends up in Russia, whether they intended it or not... and on dodgy ground as they don't have the correct paperwork. More well-resourced opportunities follow, along with informal contacts with like-minded investigators in Russia. There's plenty to do, although you may need to point the party in the right direction upon occasion - they are in an unfamiliar and foreign land, after all. Once the immediate threat has been dealt with, they'll then have to deal with the Committee that runs Moscow, which leads to a further job before they can think about coming home.

Background information on both Moscow and New York is provided, which will be of use in setting the scene not just during this adventure but any time your campaign involves either city. Throughout the adventure, there are ample opportunities to use (abuse?) empathic characters with feelings and full-blown dreams that you can describe to them in appropriate places. Specifically Russian monsters and equipment are also to be found at the end of the book as well.

It makes for an intriging adventure, although players who thirst for action may find parts of the investigation slow and tedious... it's supposed to be, and opportunities to get more physical are there in the course of time, possibly even more enjoyable for frustrated players who feel the investigation is going nowhere fast. A good adventure for the more thoughtful, who enjoy atmosphere and role-playing interactions - even dealing with officialdom - at least as much as they enjoy a brawl!



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DC1 Dark Races, Volume 1
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/17/2017 08:27:00

The Introduction begins with a philosophical discourse on the role of language within horror stories, and how the like of movies has codified and labelled different monsters so that 'everyone knows' what creatures like werewolves or vampires are, what they look like, what they do... and what they are vulnerable to. But if you asked someone from middle Europe in the 12th century about a werewolf, they might have a quite different impression to convey, often less codified and certain than the average viewer of horror movies might be. In Dark Conspiracy, the intention is to bring back that uncertainty and mystery, to provide monsters that are scary because you don't know what they are or what they can do.

What follows is a collection of monsters from many different authors. Some are based on familiar legends, others on more obscure ones from cultures around the world or the author's own imagination. Moreover, they are not set in stone. You are free to tweak them as you please to suit your game. Whatever you think will scare the party... and maybe even their players!

For each we get a sketch, a stat block and various sections of notes. First up, The Mythology explains what stories are told, what legends there are, about this particular creature (that is, if it's one that 'exists' in Earth mythology). The rest (strictly for the Referee's eyes alone) is The Reality. This includes notes on the appearance, origins and biological habits (reproduction, feeding and so on) of the creature under discussion as well as their empathic abilities and, well, anything else the author wishes to share.

Most of these monsters are nasty, some disgusting and nearly all of them would like to eat you. Others mess with your dreams, attempt to possess you or in other ways bring harm to anyone it encounters. Interestingly the reason why they do these things is not touched upon... it's just what they do. A bird does not need a reason to fly, nor a fish one to swim. It's not really clear how sentient this beasties are, although many possess high levels of cunning. Most, even if they could, are not willing to negotiate or have a conversation, they just want to get on with whatever it is that they do.

They are all creatures and minions, rather than major league extraterrestials (ETs) themselves but many of them work for ETs or are used by them in the furtherance of their plans, when they are not just being themselves. They make for scary and horrific opposition, and it's easy just reading through the entries to come up with ideas for whole adventures or even campaigns built around discovering a given monster - probably though obvserving the results of its malign behaviour - and dealing with it. Somewhat more than a mere bestiary for the game, it's a useful addition to the Referee's bookshelf.



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DC1 Hellsgate
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/16/2017 08:08:53

Opening with a 'supermarket tabloid' with a couple of weird headlines - two-headed mutant animals and alien invasions no less - the introduction soon explains (in somewhat less sensationalist terms) the background to what is actually going on and what needs to be investigated. Basically, a newly-launched communications satellite has gone wonky, and strange things have begun to happen in Mexico.

The Referee's Introduction goes into a bit more detail, as well as giving warning of a couple of devious plot twists that you will be springing on the party during the course of the adventure. There's some historical background linking in two separate groups of Dark Ones whose conflicting objectives merely add to the fun. The adventure synopsis describes how the whole thing kicks off with a mysterious stranger arriving on the doorstep in the middle of the night... followed by a more official approach from NASA seeking the party's help in their investigations. Accepting the offer at least makes getting to Mexico easy. Then it's just a matter of closing the odd dimensional gate and evading the notice of dire and ancient evil...

The first encounter - the mysterious stranger one - is supposed to involve just one party member, and various suggestions are made as to how to pull that off. Choose a player who is good at describing what his character has experienced, or let the rest of the players witness the encounter, as it definitely brings the weirder elements of this game out in force. During this encounter, an extraterrestial asks for help, or so it seems. Before the party has much time to reflect on this a NASA astronaut comes round to hire them to investigate just why that wonky satellite is beaming high-powered transmissions to Mexico, or at least, to find out what's going on in Mexico as a result. Some investigations follow, but soon the chance for action will present itself.

Starting in a run-down village, the party will be led - or taken - to Chichen Itza, a famous archaeological site that's now been taken over by dark minions, almost buried in darktek, and with assorted cultists who have (they think) resurrected ancient Mayan rituals hanging around. The map provided with the PDF really needs to be printed out and stuck together to make sense - I think it must have been provided as a poster in the original print version, but there's a lot to explore in the main pyramid in Chichen Itza, including a maze that draws on Mayan legends well. Eventually, the party ought to find a dimensional gate and will need to shut it down before worse befalls...

... and then they discover that's only the start of their problems!

This is a well-constructed and devious adventure that requires thinking as well as fighting to succeed. Like any investigation-heavy adventure, the party will need to pick up on certain things, but the way it is constructed makes it quite easy to lead them in the right direction without making it feel too much like railroading. It should prove a memorable episode in your group's adventures, one that is quite out of this world...



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DC1 Heart of Darkness
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/13/2017 08:24:05

This is a massive adventure that centres on a fabulous giant black opal called the Heart of Darkness... which has just been stolen from a museum. Several contending factions are trying to get their hands on it - some for good motives, some who want to further the ambitions of the dark ones, and maybe some who just plain think it's valuable - and the party ends up in the middle of it all, chasing clues around the entire world.

The introduction begins by recounting the stone's history, or at least the rumours and legends that can be gleaned about it. Then the Referee's Introduction provides more detail, not for player eyes of course. It explains the adventure's structure which is non-linear, with five locations that can be visited in any order and the groups or individuals who will interact with the party. There's an extensive section called Research Results which can be shared with the party as their investigation proceeds, and one of Referee Resources with extensive background, ideas for further adventures and repercussions, and more. Then we get to hear the REAL story of the Heart of Darkness...

Various suggestions are made as to how you can get the party involved: pick the one you know will intrigue them the most or invent one of your own. Once they're off, with or without the support of a major corporation that for some reason is interested in the location of the Heart of Darkness, each of the five main locations is discussed in detail, with major NPCs to talk to, places to visit and so on. Sometimes conversations will result, other places a brawl may break out or something else less civilised...

Eventually, as everything comes together, there's an epic conclusion, very cinematic, with a massive fight involving all interested parties (and some good hints for the Referee to help him run a fight scene with 90+ NPCs in it without making the party feel like spectators). Some excellent ideas for continuing adventures are provided at the end.

This is the sweeping epic adventure that defines the Dark Conspiracy game. It's something a party can get their teeth into, and which their players will reminisce about for years to come.



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DC1 Darktek
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/12/2017 08:19:22

The idea behind this book is that, whilst some reasonable speculation had been made in the core rules about the technology of the first few decades of the 21st century, there was a need for some truly weird and off-the-wall stuff to reflect the alien otherness brought into the world by the various dark forces that the party is trying to defeat. They shouldn't look like they tooled up in local stores. Even though not all the predictions about normal human technology were completely accurate, we can at least look at the world around us (or go online) to come up with what the party has access to... but we still need a spin for the aliens' and dark minions' gear. Some of this stuff has been 'acquired' by government agencies or corporations, whether to combat the Dark Ones or further their own ends.

A section titled The Nature of Darktek sets out to explain how the Dark Ones view the universe differently from human beings and that their technology is grounded in their philosophy. Their view is empathic rather than analytic, and organic rather than seeing a definite and distict difference between that which is alive and that which is not. Most of their stuff isn't available for sale anywhere, to acquire it the party will have to find, steal or capture it. And there is a cost to using it, due to its rather unpleasant nature. It can corrupt the user quite easily, something the Referee has to be on the alert for... to use, of course, against the party! Many such items draw their power from the user, who is then afflicted with the desire to consume massive amounts of fresh raw meat to restore themselves. They can also make the user more visible to the Dark Ones or even more vulnerable to psychic attack... and some graft themselves to the user and require surgery to be removed! So use with caution, if at all.

We then move on to the listings, which are grouped by function: biologic devices, electronic devices, weapons, vehicles, robots, miscellaneous items, and consumer goods. Therein, items are presented alphabetically and tagged as to who produced or dreamed them up in the first place. The biologic devices are suitably creepy, but the electronic ones fall far short of developments that have actually taken place over the intervening years since this book was written (of course, you could always say that the Dark Ones happen to be less advanced in this area...). The quality of the other entries is similarly mixed, with excellent alien items and more variable human-produced ones.

Everything is illustrated in line art and has a description explaining what it is and what it does. A bonus is several full-page colour illustrations showing items in use complete with explanatory notes as to what is going on in the scene depicted.

Whilst you could use these items for 'window dressing' to highlight the difference between the real world and the Dark Conspiracy one, they can also be used as plot devices or indeed the inspiration for an entire adventure. Something strange is found, then the party tries to figure out what it is and what it does. Or something has been seen at a distance that triggers an investigation... Some excellent flavour material, well worth a look!



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DC1 New Orleans
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/10/2017 08:21:42

This is a massive adventure set in New Orleans. Like everywhere, the city is in a bad way, but there's worse... a terrible source of evil deep in the heart of the swamp outside New Orleans which is transforming the environment to its own tastes, and taking over people to serve as its minions. Just to make matters worse, those combatting this evil are doing so for their own purposes, purposes that don't include the well-being of the citizens of New Orleans. Enter the party, summoned by a strange missive from a contact who has disappeared by the time they arrive in New Orleans.

After a brief explanation of what's really going on and the actual letter the contact sent, we begin with details of how to get the party to New Orleans in the first place from wherever they are. This then moves on to a quite comprehensive overview of the city itself, which will be useful whenever you want to run a game set there, irrespective of whether or not you run this adventure.

We then get down to business with details of the contact's neighbourhood, his house (in enough detail to facilitate the party searching it) and the information that can be gleaned from the neighbours. As the investigation proceeds, useful locations and people are presented so that the party may interact with them. While the resources are excellent, there is an assumption that the party will conduct their investigation in a certain manner and reach the given conclusions as to where to go next... and apparently all roads lead to a horrifying trip through the sewers.

Unfortunately that smelly romp doesn't yield much in the way of information - although there are a few useful snippets - and the party will have to continue their search elsewhere. Several likely places are presented in detail, and again there are loads of people to meet and information to gather. Eventually they ought to end up at a sprawling mansion from which the 'evil' emanates...

There's a brief note on ending the adventure, which assumes that the party was completely successful, and some thoughts about further adventures. Plenty of scope for those! There's also a large section of Referee Resources to help you run the adventure to best effect.

Overall it's a good adventure with lots going on, a good mix of investigation and more physical action - with scope to vary the balance depending on the group's preferences. The investigative path as outlined rather predicates the party's actions, but provided you have studied the material thoroughly you should be able to accommodate them going off on their own and ensure that they get to see and hear what they need to in order to complete the adventure. It also provides a good grounding in New Orleans which you may choose to use over and over again in other adventures. This should provide good entertainment over several game sessions.



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DC1 New Orleans
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DC1 Tampete - GDW 2201
par Kevin O. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 10/10/2017 03:49:56

Like Ian D mentioned, this product is a gem, well worth the money. Brought to you by the two people behind the "Remnants" comic http://www.remnants-comic.com and featuring some art from the same person responsible for the art in the comic, Tampete brings something sorely lacking in the DC, a city setting for your campaign. The only other city setting is New Centennial City from the 2nd Ed. Sin City set of adventure books.

To quote my own post about this book from the Dark Conspiracy the RPG forum, "...the volume of material in this sourcebook really does make it a sourcebook that you would use for long term campaigns. New Dark Minions, Dark Lords, Dark Tek, some new careers (some specifically for Tampete but I think they could be converted easily enough), new proto-dimensions, tables for urban encounters, darkling activity, demongrounds, merchants and more, 101 plot seeds and a glossary. This sourcebook provides lots of material and in my opinion can hold it's own against any of the original sourcebooks."

Artwork is generally of a much better standard than a lot of the art in DC products released in the 1990s, the layout starts with an overview and follows through from a description of the areas making up Tampete to overviews of factions & personalities, Dark adversaries, new proto-dimensions and then an appendix with many of the things I mentioned in the paragraph above. Then to finish the product the authors have included a glossary and a four page index. The book is liberally sprinkled with artwork, headers featuring images reminiscent of the headers from the old Demonground ezine and some centrespread art that would not look out of place on a GM's screen.



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DC1 Dark Conspiracy, 1st edition rulebook
par Megan R. [Testeur star] Date Ajoutée: 10/05/2017 08:37:21

This work is made up of two sections: one for Players that covers the setting, character generation and the rules of the game; and one for Referees that delves more deeply into what's really going on in the setting, provides advice on creating adventures and campaigns, introduces some monsters and strage devices to enliven your game. Needless to say this requires great restraint on the part of players to stay out of Referee territory and probably drives those who intend to both play and referee quite demented. Such is the fun of single core rulebooks.

The Players section starts by looking at the setting. It's a very near future Earth where just about everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Runaway population growth, a global economic collapse, giant corporations wielding more power than democratically-elected governments... but before you look out the window to ask what's different from reality, there's an ancient unspeakable evil stalking the Earth as well, underpinning everything else that's gone wrong. The player-characters are amongst the few that realise that this evil exists and are trying to combat it. After a brief explanation of what a role-playing game is, we move on to character creation.

Characters are described, as usual, by a combination of innate abilities and learned skills. The process can seem a bit complex, as skills are built up through charting the character's life story to date. The advantage of this is that you have a ready-made background to draw upon when playing your character - and to help you through the process a detailed Character Generation Worksheet is provided. Actually, creating characters can become quite entertaining in its own right, as well as a necessary precursor to play - and there are some examples and even fully-generated characters to either use or be inspired by as you create your own character. Most skills come from the career(s) your character pursues in 4-year terms from age 18 to whenever you start playing him (this can be determined by die roll or you can choose). Each career has certain core and optional skills and there is also scope to add other skills as hobbies. Characters in the armed forces can advance in rank, and transfer to the reserves after a period of full-time service. It all makes for realistic, rounded characters... my current character is a US Army officer who likes birdwatching, and a longstanding one in my past was an Olympic judo champion (not that it did him much good when it came to combat!) and another was a professor of psychology.

A system for building a network of contacts is provided along with detailed information on possible careers, and then it's on to the rules for task resolution and, of course, combat. The game mechanic uses d10s and d6s, and skills are rated 0-10, so to succeed in using one you basically roll under or equal to the level of skill that you have. Difficulty levels and the use of Empathy (this game's psychic powers) muddy the issue somewhat, but it's fairly straightforward to get the hang of things and there are ample examples to help. There's also a section on the world as is currently known, the stuff that the player-characters would know about the state of the world that they live in.

Combat, of course, takes a lot of space to explain and covers many different areas from unarmed brawling through the use of melee weapons and firearms, and going right on up to vehicular combat. Damage, disease, other types of injury and healing are also covered. It looks daunting at first, but soon becomes clear with some study and practice. There's even a section on space travel which is mostly based around the Space Shuttle, which was in operation when this book was written. Robots also get their section, somewhat limited in the light of what's around today.

That's it for Players, we now move on to the Referee section. This is packed with good advice for running games in general and Dark Conspiracy in particular. Tbere is a lot more detailed background material explaining what the current state of affairs actually is and how it came to be that way. Perhaps the players will come to understand some of this in time but it's certainly not general knowledge - indeed few if any human beings are privy to all of it. There's plenty of rich flavour to help you convey what the Earth is like wherever it is that the characters have gone. Advice on running campaigns and adventures is filled with atmosphere and how to generate feelings of paranoia as well as more general advice on suiting the plots to the characters (and their players) so that everyone feels involved in the shared story. Notes on sample encounters, grouped depending on where the party is, provide some instant material to throw into an ongoing adventure, and there is advice on generating and playing NPCs, along with some sample ones. A selection of 'beasties' is the stuff of nightmare, most seem to have more eyes and/or tentacles than is natural. Unspeakable alien races follow, then a whole section on DarkTek, inventions by (or at least inspired by) the alien invaders. These tend to mix technology and biological elements in an unnerving manner.

Finally, there is a fully-developed adventure and several adventure ideas to get you off to a flying start. The adventure is called Ravening Wolves and begins when one or more characters has a very disturbing dream... action and investigation follow as the party tracks down why. The story ideas are all based on the sort of stories you might find in supermarket tabloids (or the Fortean Times) and any could lead to some exciting investigation-based adventures. After all, in a game like this, you have to find the enemy before you can defeat them...

Throughout, illustrations are distinctive: somewhere between cartoons and woodcut, suiting the subject matter admirably. There is a large number of useful charts and summaries at the end, plenty of reference material about equipment and more, which should come in handy for ready-reference. This is where you find the equipment details for everything the characters might wish to carry, although you may want to supplement this with real-world catalogues of weapons, camping gear, electronics and so on especially if you want to run your game in our near future rather than the one envisaged some twenty-odd years ago when this book was written.

Overall, this stands the test of time well. It's still a great game, if you want to explore imaginary conspiracies lurking just beneath a world not too different from the one in which you live, reasonably realistic without being over-detailed or ultra-gritty... and great fun to play!



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DC1  Dark Conspiracy, 1st edition rulebook
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DC Gear-Up!
par Ian D. [Acheteur vérifié] Date Ajoutée: 10/03/2017 11:55:46

Wow! One of the best gear books ever.

If you want gear and equipment for your Dark Conspiracy game then get this.

Great price with some great equipment lists.

Top AAAA++++++++

P.S But this and the Tampete sourcebook and you'll have a blast.

Props to the author , great job Sir!

Lets hope the next DC sourcebook is not far away. I'll buy it.



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