Monday, October 29, 2012

The Autumn People From Something Wicked This Way Comes For Monster Monday

Charles Halloway: I know who you are. You are the autumn people. Where do you come from? The dust. Where do you go to? The grave. 

Mr. Dark: Yes. We are the hungry ones. Your torments call us like dogs in the night. And we do feed, and feed well. 
Charles Halloway: To stuff yourselves on other people's nightmares. 
Mr. Dark: And butter our plain bread with delicious pain. So, you do understand a little. 
Charles Halloway: You are known in this town. My father knew you. 
Mr. Dark: Your father? The preacher? That half-man? 
Charles Halloway: He lived on goodness. 
Mr. Dark: Tasteless fare. Funerals, bad marriages, lost loves, lonely beds. That is our diet. We suck that misery and find it sweet. We search for more always. We can smell young boys ulcerating to be men a thousand miles off. And hear a middle-aged fool like yourself groaning with midnight despairs from halfway around the world. 

They have so many names The Halloween People, Autumn People, The Hungry Ones. They were known to the ancients & they were feared. Each age remade them into the shapes they wear to entertain to give hope & to feed on each & every emotion of the soul. They take all & give nothing in return. They're ways are mysterious & their methods demonic. 
They're appearance is always proceeded by a storm or other weird events which announce their arrival. They haunt the ancient trails of cities & towns long dust.
These showmen of scared & the sad come to grand wishes & induce nightmares. Neither living, dead, or quite demonic they serve the lower powers in return for the right to walk the Earth once again.

 They're arrival is announced by flyers on the wind for a grand carnival or fair. Rides,games, & other attractions are their fare & lure for the unwary. 
 While the rides are ridden, the popcorn is sweet, & a good time is being had, the Autumn people are sizing up the larder. 
At the heart of each & every one of their entertainments are two places filled with the darkest of magic & misery. 
The Mirror Maze of The Soul & the Carousel Configuration. 
The Mirror Maze of the Soul appears as an ordinary maze of mirrors & it is to the ordinary eye of the victim until your in its heart. 
The maze shows the most convincing phantasmal illusions. Things & visions so personal that they can rot the soul of the victim. 
The first power of the configuration allows the thing to mark its victims for later soul sucking by showing them their fondest hearts desire or a vary personal regret. That is unless a save vs wands is made. 
The victim must make a save vs wands or be sucked into the unreality of the vision. The whole thing acts a vampiric field upon the victim via Mutant Future rules. The  Maze acts as a storage battery for the soul energies stored within & may store close to D200 +1 souls. There is of course room for expansion there always is. 
At the heart of the fair is of course the 
the Carousel Configuration! 

This infernal machine taps into the very abyssal energies of Hell itself allowing one to race up & down the years of  life & sin. The victim can gain or lose 1d20 years per round it is ridden. This is not an instrument to be trifled with & the Hungry Ones use it to lure their victims even further into their clutches. It also allows them to gain a false life by artificially extending their years for them. This is however dependent upon their deal with the Hells itself. Those who trifle with this infernal machine must make a save vs death or become trapped aboard this hellish thing as it races through the ages taking its victim with it.

 Autumn People 
No Enc: 1d4 
Alignment: Chaotic 
Movement: 120'(40')
Armor Class: 6 
Hit Dice : 7 
Attacks: 1 (weapon or mutation) 
Damage: weapon or 1d4 
Save: L6 
Morale: 9 
Hoard :XlX 

The hungry ones are known to the ancients & slipped between the cracks of reality & unreality when the collapse happened it was like Christmas to these monsters. They began to ply the old routes once again. They are called to thriving communities where they ply their demonic trade of entertainment & granting wishes. They will give you your heart's fondest desire & crumple it like Christmas wrapping in your face.
Each & every one of them has the demonic kiss of the Vampiric field mutation that they can turn on & off at will.
The monsters will have 1d4 random mutations hidden beneath the candy colored clown robes they wear. They part living, dead, & mostly demonic.
They fill their ranks with their victims. Replacing the used up or worn out of their kind. The fresh ones are best. Once they have fed up the dreams of young boys, the yearning of old women, & dark desires of middle aged fools they move on.
They may not return for a hundred years or more or a mere fifty years may pass.
Each fair of the damned as they are serves hell & is lead by an Owner. The owner is a menace himself & will have 1d4 mutations or even a few ranks of magic user or necromancer under his belt.
 There is only one thing that the autumn people truly fear! 
The Saint Of Storms

This tragic creature is eternally following the Autumn people within their wake. He is a god of storms who has trifled with powers even beyond his ken but retains enough of himself to guard others.
He was once lured by a love so profound that it still haunts him. He sells charms in the form of lightning rods that attract the very lightnings of Heaven itself. He will know the time & the place of the storm that washes away the autumn people & their damnation back to the mists of time once again!
 Should a PC buy a lightning rod from this character & place it near to the place of the Autumn ones the storms of Heaven will be attracted within 1d4 days!
Questions about the autumn ones will be met with cryptically seeming non sense that will reveal deep & lasting inner truths of their very nature


Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Coming Of The Dark Races Volume 1 For Dark Conspiracy ~ Review & Commentary

"Dark Races, Volume 1 Compendium 
"This first Dark Races Compendium is designed to maintain that sense of horrifying mystery central to Dark Conspiracy adventures. Within the pages of this volume, referees will find more than 50 Dark Minions from the feverish visions of a dozen and a half different authors. Many of the creatures herein are the stuff of often-repeated legends of darkness. Others spring from more private nightmares..."

There are somethings that any DM can always use. There is one constant & that's there always needs to be more monsters but these aren't your ordinary rank & file nasties. Instead these are far more then meets the eye with them. 

These monsters have a very horror science fictional feel! Each is unique & weird enough for several adventures. 

The book is done with sold writing & some really interesting B/W artwork. These are not the usual minions found in the DC rule book. Instead these are the more advanced creatures waiting in the wings to take down your PC adventurers! 

Each monster is nasty dangerous & acts as both the center of an adventure or the end of one. Many of them are very, very, powerful almost on par with a Dark Lord itself. 

"Many of the creatures herein are the stuff of often-repeated legends of darkness. Others spring from more private nightmares.." The legends  & mythology are included with the entries along with the actual background. 

Each of these things is either a campaign starter or stopper.

Using Dark Races In The OSR 

These aren't the random monsters of OD&D or the wandering kind from AD&D first edition. These monsters are instead the center of the adventure itself like many horror novels, movies or television shows. They're either the center of the piece or the right hand of the villain. 

The entries are devided into the legends behind the thing. The reality of who or what it really is & a quick overview of the creatures itself. The monsters are actually interesting & cool. 

The psychal description are not simply what it looks like but also the flavor of the creature.
The combat abilities are one of the places where the book really shines. This is the meat & patatoes of the monster. How it reacts & uses its powers.. Its capabilities in combat for the PCs.This not only gives the flavor of the monster but the sauce of its attack. 

These entries also show how easily convertible to your favorite retroclone or 1st edition AD&D. The monsters would fit right at home in the atomic wastelands of your favorite post apocalyptic game. Mutant Future & Mutant Epoch would be perfect places to spring board these monsters into the broken future with little changeover 

 The artwork runs from the weird to the really odd & there's the occasional goofy piece as well. Some sections are in color while most of the book is black & white. There is a horror movie feel to many of the monsters & several are out right thefts from popular movies of the time. This isn't a bad thing, because the creatures will keep your players on your toes 

Many monsters could double as magical familiars for your favorite mutant wizard or cleric of an evil god! These creatures are often times minor powers unto themselves capable of some measure of power beyond themselves. 

There is another element to this book that was only found in many of the "Chill " rpg products the idea of culturally found mythological monsters. If the PCs had a mission in South America then these would be the mostly likely encountered creatures. The monsters actually reflected the mythological & mystical traditions of their country of origins. This didn't mean that this is the actual reality however. Simply this might what be your PCs could encounter.

Many of the monsters also could be used to generate the whole adventure. An idea often seen in the Johnny Quest Saturday morning cartoon show. This is where the monster is the actual adventure. The creature strikes from shadow causing the PCs to be uncertain of its capabilities & powers. The players fear the unknown allowing the DM to deal the monsters on a case by case adventure by adventure basis. This idea was seen in various pulp stories & horror comics of the 20s,40s & 50s.
The bottom line is that this is one of the best books for a DM to get a hold of for horror gaming. I've used these bastards in a number of games, Torg, AD&D, Mutant Future, etc. The approach of the book allows for easy conversion & deadliness in any number of games. At five dollars on Amazon this is one of the better bang for your buck rpg books. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Don't Play With The Dark Tek ~ An Overview & Commentary About The Dark Conspiracy Rpg

"Behind the shadows of our world, the Dark Ones lurk, plotting humanity's ruin. Their Dark Minions stalk us, armed with horrific devices, the products strange and hideous sciences. Human agents capture what they can, hoping for weapons that will aid them in their fight. And in some secret strongholds, individual ETs who have escaped the darkness labor side by side with human scientists, creating items to hold the Dark Ones off.

Meanwhile the megacorporate sector pursues technologies that pander to the wealthy. For many, HiTek is the truest symbol of high status. Worn like a coat of arms, it distinguishes the movers and shakers from the increasingly disenfranchised hordes of 'commoners' below.

In this volume, you will find items ranging from the gruesome biologic weapons of the Dark Minions, to the futuristic constructs of the ETs, to the most advanced in human technology. But all belong to the world of Dark Conspiracy, a world that is itself ever more a product of DarkTek"

1991 ... Charles E. Gannon ... 104 pages ... GDW 2102 ... ISBN 155878084X

Dark Conspiracy was a game whose time ran out way back in the heady days of 1991 & really didn't have a chance to shine at all. One of the best books for the series was one which I constantly still turn to called Dark Tek. The game shined in three areas one was the alien technology, the second was the retro tech that was a part of the pulpy Great Depression setting of the game, & the third was the weird bio- mechanical stuff of the Dark Minions. 

Dark Tek is nasty stuff the book really shines through with over a hundred & four pages worth of weird stuff. Time & again this technology  has appeared in Mutant Future, Call of Cthlhu, & other horror rpg when I need something really special. There's a certain corruption factor to each & every item. 

The game really wasn't given its proper due & now still has a cult following among horror gamers. When you need something weird or out there this is a great book to turn to. 

The problem is as it was explained to me tonight that the game is way out of date when it comes to technology. Or is it? The background of the game is a general break down of society in a Greater Depression setting amid a United States indeed a world that is more Kult rpg then Dungeons & Dragons. Yet has the feel of a science fiction Saturday morning show. 

The artwork is decent the technology has the feel of a hybrid of alien/their corporate allies. An enterprising DM could adapt it for both Mutant Future or any game set in the Shadow Years of Metamorphosis Alpha or Gamma World 1st edition where a bit of extra punch was needed. 

 The artwork is typical of the Game Designers Workshop stuff of the time & there is a somewhat of a later 80s & 90s Dragon magazine science fiction feel to whole book. Some of the technology is weird & archaic now with a retro feel to it. But basically its good stuff for using this as a science fantasy horror jump off point.
There is a ton of stuff to mine here. 

 With the latest release of the X Com video game & the season of Halloween I've been taking a look at this who series again. The OSR market lately seems pretty closed up with the gothic horror motif being done to almost death so I wanted to look into something different.

 Using Dark Tek


At three dollars on Amazon its really a no brainer that the book is excellent value for the money.
With stuff like this on the back of the book: 

"Human agents capture what they can, hoping for weapons that will aid them in their fight. And in some secret strongholds, individual ETs who have escaped the darkness labor side by side with human scientists, creating items to hold the Dark Ones off.

Meanwhile the megacorporate sector pursues technologies that pander to the wealthy. For many, HiTek is the truest symbol of high status. Worn like a coat of arms, it distinguishes the movers and shakers from the increasingly disenfranchised hordes of 'commoners' below"
The game could well be set in an alternative Earth pretty damn close to our times with the Greater Depression lurking like some sort of pulp bully leaning over the whole setting. The monsters of Dark Conspiracy have a definiative  OD&D feel to them. The technology of the book feels like a nightmarish science fantasy source book & this is exactly how I've used it. Mutant Future easily adapts some of the technology & the setting is very stark & somewhat depressing.
Basically it cries out for heroes & dare I say super heroes or pulp heroes to inspire the masses. The whole thing is very Xfiles years before the xfiles were even around. Instead it feels like this old television show. 
The old War Of The Worlds television show 

The beauty of the setting is that it adapts to any science fiction horror rpg trope quite easily. With the usual GDW stats adapting to your favorite post apocalyptic game is a snap.
 I've heard rumors that the reason that the game has an OD&D feel is because a number of Tsr folks worked on this one. There's bits of Aliens in here, the Terminator, & any number of mid night science fiction movies as well. Dark Elves, Goblins,4 weird alien races including the greys, cyborgs, & various pieces of 50's weirdness. Dark Tek is great for filling in the missing bits & hardware for Mutant Future & giving a cyberpunk edge to a metric ton of OSR games. 

1d20 Random Dark Technology Corruption table 
  1. The user begins to hear voices of various Dark Minions within his mind & to understand the insane ramblings of the unholy creatures. Save vs wands or being to slip bits & pieces of their dark tongue into your every day speech 
  2. Strange marks appear upon your body & boils roll under your skin. They smell weird & bad minus 2 on Charisma 
  3. Weird hallucinations keep happening & mutations seem to form randomly in these dreams. Unless a wisdom check is made they may happen in real life as well 
  4. You have a random telepathic event. The whole world seems to crash in upon your mind. Random thoughts not your own happen for 1d4 rounds then happen again in 40 minutes the cycle continues for 1d4 hours 
  5. You have dreams about demons & then people around you turning into them. You attract type 1&2 demons to you 
  6. You can now speak the dark tongue. You no longer speak common at all. You must make a wisdom roll everytime you speak lest you lapse back into it again
  7. A random circuit board pattern traces itself painfully across your skin each night & glows at night but by morning its gone 
  8. There are aliens from another plane following you across every surface you see them. In every mirror their there again. Even now in the back of your mind their there & they mean to do you harm 
  9. You are attracted to weapons & violence. You've become in sensed to the suffering of others. You have sadomasochistic tendencies. You must make a wisdom check each time you encounter a social situation to snap out of it or you lapse into the moment of enjoying or having imaginary waking dreams about the suffering of others. 
  10. You grow 1d4 demonic or devil like minor features nothing that gives you bonuses but small mutations that take -2 to your Charisma immediately 
  11. Holy water & symbols cause you pain. When confronted with these objects you must make a saving throw vs wands or be stunned for 1d4 rounds 
  12. Your skin becomes translucent & grows thin. Weird alien organs roll under this strange flesh. Then after 4 rounds the illusion is gone or is it? Within 1d4 hours the mutations come back there is a 40% their real
  13. Your reality matrix breaks down & you gain 1d4 mutations as you change to a horrifying monster from beyond the Outer Darkness 
  14. There are voices in your head that are telling you to kill & kill again with a successful saving throw you banish these voices. For now 
  15. You become apathetic to any high technology & are only comfortable around greenery & low tech items. There is a 20% of you wanting to smash any high technology around you. Should this happen you are unaware why you've done this 
  16. You may only use Dark Tek as all other technology breaks down in your hands. You will deal 1d4 points of damage automatically to anything more complex then a ball point pen 
  17. You must make a random mutation check otherwise gain 1d4 mutations. These are permanent
  18. Your eyes can now truly see the real world beyond the illusion & there are things there that wish you dead. Your eyes are now sensitive to light 
  19. A fine coat of tentacles sprouts across your body. You gain +1 on all observation & navigation checks. You perceive the reality beyond the pale in the Outer Darkness 
  20. You become a demon fully please turn your character over to the DM as you become a lowly soul given to the powers of the abyss  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The 50th Anniversary of James Bond & The Horrors Of James Bond Part 5

Bond on Bond ~The James Bond Avalon Hill Game 

"Experience the life of a secret agent... work for M.I.6, the British Secret Service, or assume the role of the most famous agent of all... prepare yourself for endless thrills, high-living and danger. Reach out for excitement in...

The World of James Bond 007

• Careen through high-speed chases...
as you track down villains or escape their evil henchmen!
• Pit yourself against ODD JOB and JAWS...
and thwart the plans of Dr. No and Goldfinger!
• Choose your special skills as an agent...
weapon and vehicle handling, hand-to-hand combat, gambling, mountaineering, demolitions.
• Select your equipment from Q Branch...
have your weapons and vehicles modified to suit each of your missions!

Obtain the Coveted "00" Rank:
Your Licence to Kill!

The Fully Illustrated Basic Game
All the information necessary to play the game is provided to the Gamesmaster and players, plus an introductory adventure - The Island of Dr. No!"
1983 ... VG 35000 ... ISBN 0912515007" 
The James Bond Rpg came out from Victory(a division of Avalon Hill) games in 1983 & was a part of a Christmas present back in Dec of '83 from the big Sears Catalog. The box set along with the Q Manual were waiting for me that Christmas You might as well have handed me a loaded gun! Seriously this game blew everything else out of the water! 
The rules were well laid out & very cool but there was something about the game that was different. 
The game had something about it that allowed players to really plunge into the cinematic elements of the movies. The Hero points were an element that allowed the player to take the PC as his own. Agents right out of the gate weren't rear wipers they were proper agents being sent into the mouth of hell. 
 Who was the enemy? Well according to wiki : "One notable exception was the villainous organization SPECTRE and its leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the rights to which were contested by Kevin McClory, so in the game, they were replaced by a similar organization called T.A.R.O.T. (with a Tarotcard theme), led by Karl Ferenc Skorpios"  T.A.R.O.T. was actually a much, much better choose. Within our games in high school there had been a war between SPECTRE &  Karl Ferenc Skorpios. Skorpios won & the world paid for it. 
The Adventures & The Horror Of Bond 
There was one very interesting element of the Bond Adventures. The writers learned a very neat little trick that I would later see used in the West End Star Wars Rpg.
According to Wiki : 
"The game was licensed from both Danjaq/Eon Productions, which holds the film rights, and Glidrose Publications (now Ian Fleming Publications), which holds the literary rights, and tried to be as faithful as possible to both the books and the films as circumstances permitted. However to challenge the players appropriately, key plot elements in the modules based on the films were changed with the open warning to players that exactly imitating Bond's choices and actions in the film's original story would be dangerous. For instance, in the module for Live and Let Die, the players learn that Mr. Big and Doctor Kanaga are definitely two separate people rather than Kanaga playing the New York gangster in disguise. In addition, the module for You Only Live Twice is largely rewritten to eliminate the outdated space hijacking scheme to a plot to investigate the crash of a Soviet space station that crashes near Japan and deal with the reported bioweapons being researched on board."
More then a few times I saw the players look at a module & think they were going to play the film! They game actually took some of the basic ideas from the film & the book . Then it would skip off in a different direction. This allowed the players a chance to be the stars not Bond.
There was another game that had a similar way of handling horror at the time. 

Call of Cthulhu RPG 1st ed 1981.jpg
Call of Cthulhu, 2nd Edition (1983) was a revelation. The system was also percentile based & although the elements were different to the brains of a teen, it didn't take much to overcome & adapt. The DYI attitude of the OSR were decades off but we were dealing with whatever we needed to at the time.
Tarot became the front for a world spanning call of Cthlhu cult. Monsters from Chill were dealt with & everyone had a jollly good time! 

The Bond game had a few elements over CoC which allowed characters to have a more survivality factor. The Hero system was a part of it. The combat of Bond was another part of it. We were playing the films that our young hearts wanted to see.
Pure CoC would come much later.
Anatomy of an Adventure 

Lets take apart one of my favorite adventures 
"BRIEFING: Two top M.I.6 operatives, working with the C.I.A. to uncover drug mugglers in New Orleans and on the Caribbean island of San Monique, have met suddent and mysterious deaths. Now a third agent, who had been observing Dr. Emman Kananga, the Premier of San Monique, has been found dead in his New York hotel room. All three deaths have occurred within the last 24 hours. Is someone simply out to destroy the British Secret Service, or is there some more ominous link that unites the three agents in death?

MISSION: Unraveling the threads of these murders takes you to New York, New Orleans and San Monique. At these locations you will find clues to a master plot that threatens to undermine the very fabric of American society. As you penetrate into the mystery behind the deaths of your fellow agents, you will find yourself confronting the dark powers of voodoo, encountering the lovely and mystical oracle Solitaire, and defying the cutthroats who work for the American gangster known as Mr. Big. Your life is in the balance, for the next card to be played is Death!"
The adventure is at its heart a weird mix of Blackexpoilation film and Bond. The whole thing comes off today as weird & slightly horrific. The key here is that the adventure is actually pretty fun. 

The players are sent to deal with the dual problems of  Kananga & Mr.Big. Both the film & the adventure use racial  sterotypes that are larger then life. The whole thing screams fun & if the horror aspect is pushed to far then it drifts into Angel Heart turf. You lose the whole point of the adventure.
There are lots of differences from the movies such as: 
  1. Expanded encounters & more combat opportunities 
  2. The NPCs are much more important then the film
  3. The module is actually pretty generic in a sense. Sure this is a Bond film but.. 
Using the world wide cult idea its could be just as easy to plug in a UN based organization with superior operatives. 
The United Network Command for Law and Enforcement could just as easily be slipped into the adventure & still be just as playable. 
File:The Man from U.N.C.L.E.jpg
So where could this whole affair connect to? What sort of cult would have the money, personnel  & resources to pull something like this off? 

 The cults from this relic of the past come to mind. Kananga & Mr.Big. could both be high level operatives of the cults of the many faces of  Nyarlathotep
 There could be threads of this running throughout history. After all given the history of the various world spanning organizations there could be lots of interaction & trading going on.
Some final James Bond Rpg Tho
 There were some very, very, good solid supplements for the Avalon Hill  James Bond Rpgs. These were & still are really useful. They provide a whole lot of information for just about any horror or spy related game
This is the list according to wiki: . 
  • Q Manual (October 1983) ISBN 0-912515-01-5 - sourcebook detailing required equipment for a "00" agent
    This is the go to James Bond manual with commentary from Q & some really interesting weapons. A bit dated now but still right on the money when it comes to the gadgets & guns of Bond as well as some addtion Q Branch NPCS
  • Gamesmaster Pack (October 1983) ISBN 0-912515-05-8 - various tools including a gamesmaster screen with charts and other game-related references.
    Almost every James Bond module had a DM screen but this was quite the nice little packet. There are some addtional rules & such in here. I was hoping for a mini adventure but this is good & solid 
  • For Your Information (1983) ISBN 0-912515-07-4 - additional rules as well as information on characters and equipment not included in the original rulebook or Q Manual.
    Basically the rules expansions & the this & that left out of the original rule book as well as Q The Q manual 
  • Thrilling Locations (June 1985) ISBN 0-912515-10-4 - detailing hotels, casinos, restaurants, and the Orient Express, with floorplans and NPCs This is hands down one of the most useful books that I own period. This book details everything you need to run a game of Bond, the locations can be used for a post apocalytic game, the locations shift right over to a horror setting, & the NPCs make excellent victims 
  • Villains (1986), ISBN 0-912515-11-2, by Gerard Christopher Klug - 7 original major villains, and an updating of SMERSH for the modern day. The go to non Tarot box set. This is the perfect set of maniacs for a number of genres & I've used them all. Not bad for a 2.00 find at Good Will 
    The James Bond rpg was one of the first that dealt with homosexuality, drug use, poisons, violence, etc. all in a matter of fact way. The game didn't cut corners or wholesome the subjects. It was cut & dry facts that was it in favor of spy fy fun.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The 50th Anniversary of James Bond & The Horrors Of James Bond Part 4

 Before you is the mostly complete offerings of Mercenaries, Spies, & Private Eyes. The game is an old favorite of mine & was one of the conversion points for Top Secret. Why? Read on & find out as we dive back into the world of  Bond once again. 

 Bond Before The Bond Rpg Part II

There are games that haven't had OSR revivals & retro clones of them. They're out there unplayed, unloved, & unappreciated. This is one of those!
The game is one of my go to sources for spy fy horror! With the Bond years so litterally ripe with opportunities for adventure why choose a game which uses a modern variation of the Tunnels & Trolls engine? 

Who would choose to use this to illustrate the world of Bond with its villians, weird brotherhoods, & its border world War III rashes of international incidents?
The game is simple, fast, & much more robust then Top Secret & conversion between the two is easy. 

The character sheet fills out out, quickly easily & with no fuss what so ever. Given the nature of a horror survival spy game this is a good thing. 

The skill list is extensive & the character design works on a cinematic level quite well. Its also one of the first games that really puts the ladies on a level playing field with their male counter parts. Yes there is some sexism in game design that is unintentional. Call of Cthulhu & OD&D both addressed this & took care of it. 

 The weapons list is extensive to say the least at least for when the game came out. There's a bit of a Call of Cthlihu vibe that echoes through the game & its support. 

 Monsters which Bond never encountered or even many spies never encountered are between the pages. These are the dezines of the pulps of the 30s & men's entertainment. These are the creatures of Johnny Quest! 

Time & again the world of Bond seems to be run behind the scenes & we are given glimpses in the movies behind the curtain. These are folks who sip wine while discussing the fate of nations & whose turn of a phrase decides futures of millions with a word.
Stack up the old pulp villains given new Bondian skins & this game easily takes you right into that world. Yet there has always been an uneasy darker world lurking just behind the windows of various sky scraper & within the halls of power. 

The only thing keeping an agent alive is a good solid weapon. Bond's Walter PPK & the various other items he uses throughout the Connery years have a weird military vibe to them. By design or error Bond is a creature of murder. Connery portrays him as a man on a mission. He prowls through the films murdering, dealing violence, & seeking the powers behind the scenes. Mercenaries, Spies, & Private Eyes does a good job of allowing the PCs play in the halls of power. There was a solid difference with game versus Top Secret. 

You could feel the pulp roots of the game right in front of you. The weapons list spoke volumes as to the game's intention. Lots & lots of pulp violence & power plays. 

Everything from shot guns to six shooters were in there. The game even did a decent job dealing with sub machine guns. I remember a Dragon Magazine article giving the game high marks. 

 Remember that I mentioned Call of Cthulhu earlier. The veteran horror game that we all know & love. Well it easily & infact still easily converts to Mercenaries, Spies, & Private Eyes.
 Well before we had a billion gun lists with the first edition of the game of CoC I was using the list from here for this game. The other game that was easily converted to another of veteran of  the Horror rpg  school.

So what does this have to do with the world of James Bond?
Well the fact is that with monsters already within  the game Mercenaries, Spies, & Private Eyes was for quite a while my go to source of spy fy/horror mash ups.
There's one character who easily came to represent the perfect villain of pulp grandeur. Bond's Joker
Ernst_Stavro_Blofeld is the perfect example of the myriad faces of evil that can come into a game. Who or what is Blofeld? He's become so iconic in my games that he's become a modern version of this fellow

Yet that's pushing it really. The Prisoner television show & the Bond movies had me wondering if there are so many versions of a villian running round. The human mind can be hacked to a degree couldn't this character still be operating today ala Dr. Doom fashion? Programming various people into become another arch criminial while the machine continues to run?
Of course it could. Because Ernst is still with us even today. You thought the Master from Dr.Who was a problem? Who knows who actually is running those various conspiracies that seems so in fashion today? 
Part of the charm of Mercenaries was that it allowed a DM & continues to allow one to play across a variety of time periods. 

Because its based on the Tunnels & Trolls engine its easily convertible to any number of OSR products which a lot of folks don't know. 

You might want to dust off those copies of the game & take a look back at them again.
The game is still available from the original publisher right Here
 Coming up The James Bond Rpg, Uncle, & some of the stragglers as well