jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
Even in a game between partners there is a need for some set agreements, i.e. a social contract. Here's what we've been discussing.

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Hedgemazes are originally there because [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom said recently "I want to play this concept" after reading a short story. Some digging shows there are lots of interesting chocies, and I really need to get a copy of Schafers, Fons. "A Catalogue of Labyrinths & Mazes in the Netherlands" Caerdroia 32 (2001), pp.28-35. (Catalogue of Netherlands hedge mazes).

Mind maps are usually useful for me to expose those areas aI need more work on. Unsurprising its in the area of chaarcters and places. So off I go to develop those.
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
The Russian love of illegals is deep and strong, and the use of sleeper agents has long been established. The June 2010 round-up of a cell of 10 in the United States came as no surprise, especially to you, for you are a deep sleeper and a professional who has long been buried in the United States. Buried so deeply that you have had no contact with Russia since you were first inserted (which may, for some, go back before the collapse of the Soviet Union), following your orders and leading the life you were inserted into. At first there might have been a moment of fear, buried deep to betray nothing, followed by a few days of extra counter measures. As the weeks passed and nothing untoward happened your thoughts may have been tinged with a little contempt of the ease this “group” was detected and rounded up.

And then you were activated: An internet ad here, a blog posting there. Following your new orders and established protocols (some quite old) you’ve made your way to Montreal. Where who knows what awaits.

In this Gumshoes game you play Russian sleeper spies, inserted into a variety of odd roles (historian, forensic engineer, epidemiologist, as long as they make sense in Gumshoes) who have been activated to find the world is a very strange place indeed. In the interstices between spy novel and horror, this game will start from the assumption that there is something deeply rotten in the West and you were prepared for this day. Game play will start in North America and expand world wide as the campaign goes on.
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
Last night during the Pantellos sessions [livejournal.com profile] jeffwik kept on commenting on how messed up the Congo seemed. And I ahd to admit that I'm pretty sure I wasn't exaggerating much based on my understanding of the region.

To drive this home, I see this in on my google reader this morning

Whole villages are being abandoned as civilians flee attacks by Rwandan Hutu militia and Ugandan rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, just weeks after joint army operations to oust the militias ended.


[livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom has a wrap up of last night's session and her very cool playlist.

I'm hoping to get the chance to clean up my session flow-chart and scenes and post them with commentary later today (after the meetings end, okay the meetings never truly end but there are lulls)
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
Working on my skill list for upcoming gumshoes game. Mostly esoterrorists with some changes.

trying to capture both the bureaucratic theivery and the abilities for special ops craziness. So comments are definitely appreciated.

Skill list for Gumshoes )
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
Call for gaming )
jeregenest: (Default)
News about the Congo coming in fast and furious (around all the news about Somalian pirates and Mexican drug gangs) and this makes me think about Pantellos. Pantellos was my Declare-style game about corporate spies in an occult world spinning out of control.

[livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom and I we're just talking about this, and we both agree Esoterrorists could work, but we'd need more crunchy combat. Luckily, [livejournal.com profile] robin_d_laws is coming out with the The Esoterror Fact Book, which is supposed to add some more crunch to combat to allow paramilitary games. Which might be perfect for this.

So, [livejournal.com profile] seborn, [livejournal.com profile] truthspeaker, what do you say? Interested in reuniting the band and doing a 7 years later? Many of the craziness in the world is still there. We have the Congo spiraling out of control; Craziness in Venezuela. Black prisons in the Balkans. Spice it with some Somalian pirates and Mexican drug gangs and we easily have the places. And the weirdness usually just writes itself.

A few nights back we had [livejournal.com profile] jeffwik, [livejournal.com profile] emilytheslayer, and Stefan over. And Jeff suggested we do a mission, which is from my more realistic spy game, Age of Paranoia. And it was a lot of fun. It got the old juices burning overtime. I'm also re-reading The Eight which may be the book that started it all 20 years ago for me. Couple all that with my lovecraftian-spy LARP that never happened and I have this burning desire to run a spy game. Again. But I'll be honest its something I do do well.

I still want to return, by the way, to my Supernatural done right game with [livejournal.com profile] jeffwik and [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom as soon as they are ready.
jeregenest: (Default)
One of the issues I’ve been ruminating a bunch about is what makes a good conspiracy horror game and how has it changed in the post-9/11 world. I do think it has changed, certainly the conspiracy believers have changed and the genre should change as well.

There's certainly nothing original here, I'm just putting it in one place for ease of thought.

Musings on just what conspiracies horrific )
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
As I'm writing my espionage LARP I've decided I would like a little organic background for a few things. And I'm kind of thinking of developing it through some mission play.

Would anyone be interested? I basically have a few scenarios I'd like to develop some background around and the mission play will hopefully provide some organic stuff.
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
From intrigue-filled fiction spurred by the Cold War to glamorous movies with twisting plots, the business of spying -- espionage, surveillance and sabotage -- has captured imaginations for decades. Occult fiction, especially occult detectives, have probably an even longer pedigree. And for me, as many already know, these are two great tastes that go great together.

Spies have in common with occultists is an uncanny ability to connect the seemingly unconnected, to notice what goes on behind the scenes and to see through misdirection. Both often use collaborators or confederates, and mentors. Each have their rules of engagement. Even some of the elements of tradecraft are the same. Both are cryptic, using encryptions and codes. Each has its own arcane language, symbols veiled from the profane. Remote Viewing is virtually identical with clairvoyance. Both are masters of disguise, the hidden environment, intelligence, espionage, and covert action. Both are Inside Outsiders, working at the fringes of the system. And both work sub rosa.

I’m working on a biography and I find it easier to think of more rpg entries than fiction.
To qualify a book has to involve both espionage and the occult. And frankly I have trouble finding nearly as many as I do occult detectives (like spy novels the sub genre demarcations can of course be difficult).

  • Tim Powers gives us Declare and Three Days to Never
  • Charles Stross, Atrocity Archives and Jennifer Morgue
  • Kim Newman’s Diogene Club cycle
  • Alexander Irvine’s The Narrows
  • There’s all of the Brian Lumley stuff (I’m afraid to read him again, I figure if my teenage self found him awful he can only have gotten worse)


It’s much easier for roleplaying. There’s Delta Green and Conspiracy X, half a dozen books from GURPS, Dark Conspiracy and who knows what else I’m forgetting.

For television I'd place Alias pretty strongly here.

So what am I forgetting, from both lists?
jeregenest: (Default)
Introducing the Purple Badge. Definitely something I need to pay more attention to as I formulate my proposed espionage LARP.
jeregenest: (Default)
So I'm pondering bidding a LARP for the enxt Intercon. Its an espionage concept and one of the bits of mechancis I'm working on is "Code Words", sicne information is power this represents the knowledge a character has (it looks like there will only be two mechanical parts of a character, code words and pulling strings (very Conspiracy X-ish).

I've been pondering how to get this information to characters, and manage it. [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom suggests making it available on the web and thenencourage players to bring laptops/provide afew extras and then do wireless in the room (need to look into internet availability costs for the host hotel).

So I need a software package. I was thinking wiki, but it needs to alow better layout (standard format, logo, color scheme, etc, I want it to look quasi-official) and allow some sort of password management.

Ideas?
jeregenest: (Default)
A spy, like a writer, lives outside the mainstream population. He steals his experience through bribes and reconstructs it. -- John Le Carre


Not running a game may be dangerous for me, I've been thinking of spy games again. Though not necessarily exclusively Age of Paranoia or any of the other games I've run (like Pantellos) though maybe a bit of both. Aybe a one-shot of some sort is called for. Or maybe I should rewatch some Sandbaggers, but that would probably get me more interested.

I wonder if I should have suggested a spy game.

Or maybe I should just buckle down and choose a game already. Last night we played some with Active Exploits and I must admit I really liked it. Needs some polishing to be setting specific but it works very nicely, and its diceless which is a big draw after playing HeroQuest.

Speaking of one-shots I really should try to get a regular group together again, there’s a lot of systems I want to experiment with and we don’t seem to have as much of that going on these days.
jeregenest: (Default)
I once ran a very successful game called Pantellos. It is article like this that made that game so easy to run on several levels..

Oh, and the reason why this invasion was so profitable? Global demand for coltan was soaring throughout the war because of the massive popularity of coltan-filled Sony Play stations. As Oona King, one of the few British politicians to notice Congo, explains as we travel together for a few days, "Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms."


I wish we had kept more of a website presence of that game.

I know that game was a political eye-awakener for me. Ever since I've been more keyed into issues in Africa amongst other things.

Games as political allegory is one of those things I really should write more about.
jeregenest: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] head58 posted on running conspiracies as games. I was originally going to reply as a comment, but I decided this was better off as a post of its on.

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For my eventual espionage game.

Campaign Framework )
jeregenest: (Default)
One of the things I’ve been meditating on for my eventual spy game is Smiley’s speech in The Secret Pilgrim.

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