I thought I’d do a bit of a survey look at games today, sampling a bunch that I go back to again and again but have trouble finding people who are up for them. They are incredible games and tons of fun but for some reason they don’t get the love I think they deserve. Consider this my effort to remedy that!
Do you ever realize you stopped talking in the middle of a sentence? That happened to me recently when I looked back at ancient blog posts and realized I hadn’t finished a series of three posts I’d planned out early on. These were to look at the fantastic spy information of Night’s Black Agents and use that information to deepen the espionage aspects of Eclipse Phase. I went through the Adversary Pyramid and Conspiracies and today I’m digging up my old notes to bring you some ideas for creating thriller storylines in Eclipse Phase.
In the FATE mini-campaign setting Eagle Eyes, the players are detectives in Imperial Rome working against conspiracies in the Eternal City. It’s an awesome setting and I really recommend it, but the conspiracy mechanic is a great feature for other FATE campaigns. It’s especially powerful if you use all the brilliant vision of Ken Hite from Night’s Black Agents. Combine these two and you’ll have a great game dealing with dark, shady ladder of evil whether fueled by Red Court vampires in The Dresden Files, corrupted tribes in Ehdrigohr, or self-made supervillains in Base Raiders.
Continuing with the adaptation of Night’s Black Agents to Eclipse Phase, the vampire conspiracy game has a list of backgrounds for clandestine spy groups that would work well for a Firewall cell. As an Eclipse Phase GM, one of the first questions people ask me are “what are the classes” or “what positions are there?” People want to make sure their group has all bases covered, but I don’t really have a set list for them. In part it depends on what the game’s focus will be but it would be handy to have a starting point.
Last week, I described using the conspiracy pyramid (or conspyramid) from Night’s Black Agents to make your Eclipse Phase game more spy-heavy. It’s an excellent organizational framework but it’s also a great tool for GMs to use for enhancing their campaigns. One of the best ways to do that is through the threats outlined in the “vampyramid,” the ways that the vampire conspiracies respond to meddling PCs in Night’s Black Agents.
The default campaign model for Eclipse Phase is agents of Firewall, a clandestine, illegal, international conspiracy that seeks out existential threats to transhumanity. That’s a tall order and it’s a pretty different model than crashing through dungeons or searching libraries for eldritch secrets. The result can be overwhelming for both players and GMs but there are other resources out there to draw from, the most impressive being the vampiric conspiracy game Night’s Black Agents.