Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mutant Conspiracy - Mining The Dark Conspiracy Rpg For Ideas

The 90s were one of the golden ages of horror. The VHS tape brought back old classics & made the horror genre accessible to everyone with a VCR. Franchises such as Freddy, Hellraiser, & many others were in full swing. White Wolf was king of the horror rpgs & Chaosuim's Call of Cthulhu was feeling the pinch a bit. Into this era came this game called Dark Conspiracy which promised the following:

"Shapes that rip and tear. Shadows that live in corners. Windows in space and time that lead to realms of madness and decay. A dark lurking horror that feeds off the echoing anguish of a billion tortured souls. This is the center of a twisted, sinister conspiracy which threatens the very existence of all humankind.

Set in the near future, the world of Dark Conspiracy is dramatically altered from today and is fraught with peril and challenges. The Metroplexes, where most of the world's population lives, are a blend of lawless gang turf and corporate fortresses ruled by men and women powerful enough to be above the law. The countryside is sparsely inhabited, its natives suspicious and violent. And increasing areas of countryside are turning into Demonground, from which few humans return.

When an ancient, brooding evil is released from its dimensional prison, humankind's worst nightmares come to life. What is the link between this sinister horror and the mysterious holes in the ozone layer, the rise of empathically aware humans, and the alien visitors from another star system?"
1991 ... Lester W. Smith ... 336 pages ... GDW 2100 ... ISBN 1558780769

It's one of the early, dark paranormal-mixed-with-aliens rpgs, it delivers quite a feel but the game is complex in its character generation. There's quite a bit of a mix of traditional OD&D style monsters.. The whole setting is dove tailed within the Greater Depression. 
Some of the Elements OSR Style From Dark Conspiracy
Dark Races, Vol. 1 (Dark Conspiracy)
  1. Lots & Lots of support for the game with over 17 products for the first edition. They're relatively cheap these days. Demonground magazine gives lots of additional support. 
  2. The idea of Demon ground gave lots of opportunity old school dungeon crawling. 
  3.  The game takes on a  sort of science fictional pulp feel through the artwork of Tim Truman, Larry Elmore, Timothy Bradstreet, & others. 
  4. The game divides the city state metroplex, the wild countryside, & the rest within the frame work of a workable campaign. 
  5. The game is very topical in a ruined downed pile of a world. The type of a world seen in the X-files, Supernatural, Friday the 13th The Series. The monsters fit right in. 
  6. The rise of the monsters is directly tied into the rise of psychic powers. There's no magic here & somewhat like Empire of The Petal Throne these are psychic powers taking the place of magic. 
  7. Mother nature has returned full force & there are numerous other mutant species among them as well. The countryside isn't a place to go lightly. You go adventuring armed. 
  8. There are alternative planes of reality that have opened up right along side of the UFOs, aliens, & other bizarre phenomena.
  9. There is enough Giger style biomechanical weirdness to fill a whole book & they have. The aliens are using Darktech & its bleeding right into the black markets of this world. Very useful for introducing artifacts & alien gizmos 
  10. The game works quite easily with any of the traditional horror tropes 
Dark Conspiracy Fast & Dirty = Mutant Conspiracy  

Some of the ideas presented within the Dark Conspiracy frame work are that mankind is being shared by forces outside itself. These are changing mankind & we are with a post  apocalyptic setting, almost. The setting is the thing. Here's how to do it OSR style. 
Mutant Future+ Labyrinth Lord  + Realms of Chaos + Dark Conspiracy = Ready made campaign. 
The monsters from either game are your minions & dark lords. The magic or psychic powers will dovetail in. Add your favorite location.  It pretty much writes itself. The game can easily be set within the "Twilight or Shadow" years of 1st or 2nd edition Gamma World or Metamorphosis Alpha. The world's mutant species are rising & mankind is on the losing end. There are many different options: 
  1. The whole campaign can take place in the "Twilight years" where the various teams are trying to preserve what's left of mankind for the future. 
  2. The cyberpunk aspects of the game can become full force & allow one to combat the forces of darkness with something of an edge. 
  3. Mutantanity can throw off the yoke of its alien creators & join the rebellion to banish these invaders from this world 
  4. The whole game could have a '50s style of science fiction paranoia to it & keep the pressure & horror on it. 
  5. This might be used as an option for Star Ships & Spacemen Second edition as another world to kill away parties on. 
  6. The PCs are part of a Morrow Project sleeper cell & are faced with the Mutant Future where humanity is on the brink of extinction. They're humanities only hope. 
  7. The PCs are tracking the corporations of DC through time & space. There are a variety of  worlds that they operate on. 
  8. The PCs wake up to a survival horror world where the monsters of DC are ruling & things are very,very, bad 
  9. The PCs find out the extent of the damage done by the aliens of DC in the Mutant Future world 
  10. The whole campaign of Labyrinth Lord is a sham & the real world is DC. The campaign has a very "Prisoner" type of feel to it. 
You can read lots more about Dark Conspiracy right Here
You can also download Demon Ground Magazine right Here
Goblinoid Games products are available right Here