Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book 1 of Dark Conspiracy III Rule Book Review And Commentary Part I


As I covered yesterday Dark Conspiracy is back with a vengeance. So last night I picked up the DC rpg rule book pdf from Drivethrurpg. And I was surprised. The whole pdf is packed to the brim.  The introduction to the game goes something like this :
Conspiracy Rules is the first book of Dark Conspiracy III, an update to the original and in many ways ground-breaking urban horror RPG of the 1990s. This update brings the rules into alignment with Traveller: The New Era and Twilight 2000, version 2.2. The second book in the series, Conspiracy Lives, updates the setting
So your basically looking at an overview rule book and the rule book weights in at a hefty 298 pages! There's a lot of ground to cover here.
 The pdf is layered allowing printing without the background elements common in a lot of pdfs. So I can print what sections I need for game play. This isn't simply a retread or let's add some new artwork and call this a rule book. The pdf while dense is clearly laid out, very well edited, and better laid out then the original.

The introduction of the book sets off the tone of the book and gets you into the heart of the world of Dark Conspiracy. This is the deep end of the science fantasy horror genre. We've got aliens, ufos, and all the things that made the weirdness of  television shows  like the X files, Supernatural, Friday The 13th series right here.
The Character generation is solid with lots, and lots of options, customization, and its fully laid out for the player.We get a nice selection of skills, ideas, and backgrounds for the characters. The PCs in this game are not the victims of a horror movie. Instead these are the backbone of a resistance against a very, very, dangerous world of the Greater Depression. We get a great overview of the options for the PCs with a boat load of new careers, skills, and ideas for making this folks into a fully functioning party. There are open ended character options for further play when the PCs begin to gather more experience.
 We also finally get a psychic, empathic, and darkling power system that makes sense and adapts to the rapidly changing conditions of game play. This was an issue with the first edition of the game.
We also have a very,very, nicely updated equipment and weapons lists that are actually useful for a group and  not something that's been tacked on to the game as an after thought.

 Bloodkin Vampire
The world of DC isn't our world but it does resemble it. The setting resembles a world gone mad with a strange almost pulp sensibility to the game.  Even in the main rule book there's more then enough here to not only run a game but to run a long lasting campaign. The thing that I actually like about the game is the fact that it sees beyond the simple X files mentally. There are plot hooks built right into the game but there is a sense of closure in certain places .
 Tentacular ET peering through the window!
There are a lot of talented folks who put their stamp on the game. Featuring internal fiction by Jason L. Blair and Matt Forbeck with original artwork by David Lee Ingersoll, Bradley K. McDevitt, and an original artist from the first edition, Earl Geier. These are some of the folks whose names appear in the Protodimension magazine and they've been keeping the game within the public's eye for many years.
Certain issues were fixed in this book. The game features modified character generation something that wasn't working in the 1st edition of DC but has been fixed.
The old combat system had  issues, those have been resolved and the combat system works with Swiss Watch perfection. We finally get c
larified rules for automatic gunfire and initiative that actually works. 
 The book isn't without flaws even though they are minor. The rules lag in certain areas and it sometimes slows down the flow of information to the reader. The book is big and in some respects too big but if the DM is into rules that make sense then this isn't a problem. 
The game is cross compatible with 
 Traveller: The New Era and Twilight 2000, version 2.2. Which makes me think that we might get new versions of those games sometime down pike. The Twilight 2000 game was horrific in its own right and still brings shudders to my spine. I'm not as big of a fan of Traveller: The New Era but their are personal reasons for this opinion. 
The game book retails for 40.00 for a pdf but its on sale for 10.00 and as a very dense and formidable pdf filled to the brim. Does the game actually handle horror? I'm happy to report that it does it very well. The whole package allows the Dm to run the game straight out of download if they so choose. Tomorrow I'm going to be diving into the second half of the book with the monsters, setting material, and empathic power sets. From everything that I've seen this is a keeper and the price is nice for what you get. More coming up in Part II including detailed setting info, monsters, emphatic abilities, and more on the Big Bosses of the game! 

 You can purchase the game right over Here


  1. Cool. I thought there was a lot to like about the original Dark Conspiracy.

  2. This is a great book and I'm going to dive into the second half of the book this evening. There's lots going on here. This is an interesting and entertaining new school game with an old school feel. Thanks for the comment most welcome.