Nov 13, 2007
WARNING: Instances of strong language may offend some listeners.
1. News & Views
Heroes, Season Two
It's Vishnu, baby! Er, whoops, I meant it's Vishnu baby
The Unit Season 3: as long as we can kill terrorists and protect country singers, you can have your shadow government.
2. Feature - Campaign Design
3. Inspiration Time
Lost for its "firm" continuity
X-Files for its "loose" continuity
The Bourne movie series, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum
Justice League/Justice League Unlimited TV series
4. The Hook
This week, I want to provide a hook to lead into a gritty, conspiracy campaign. It's shamelessly stolen from the first two episodes on the new season of the Unit.
The characters belong to a special operations force, perhaps Delta, perhaps JTF-2 or the SAS. They might even belong to something blacker, like the Increment or the CIA Special Activities Division. On their first adventure, they are tasked with escorting a spook on an "interdiction" mission against a drug kingpin's complex. The target doesn't look very drug complex-like—in fact it looks like a very nice home with large grounds. During the mission, the team is confronted by an individual whom the spook shoots. The spook searches the place and cracks a safe, all the time deflecting questions from the team—if they ask any.
On return, the team is called before a government oversight committee. It turns out, the “drug kingpin? was the defence minister of a government on poor terms with the PCs' government. Their superiors deny any knowledge of the mission, indicating that the team went rogue. The PCs are hung out to dry and it looks like they are going to do prison time. Their commanding officer, who was left out in the cold as much as the team, orders them to evade arrest and go underground. He's going to take the heat and the PCs need to figure out what is going on.
The truth is that the team have been chosen to take the fall for an operation undertaken by a shadow government conspiracy. The mission was an intelligence operation to retrieve important information from the unfriendly government that the conspiracy feared might be used against them. That information could lead the team to the people behind the conspiracy, could clear their names, and ensure their CO doesn't end up in prison.
The campaign has the team following clues and getting closer and closer to the heart of the conspiracy. Finally, they are able to take out the heads of the conspiracy. Like a snake, the shadow government dies, but the team can't go back out into the open after that. They become an arm's length black ops team, contractors for their government, doing dirty-work but only when they are sure the aims are righteous. It's kind of like the Unit meets the A-Team.
5. Podcast News
A. The End of the Round Table and Misfit Brew
The House of the Harping Monkey is a little bit quieter and less crowded with the demise of two much-beloved podcasts, the Round Table and Misfit Brew. Mick Bradley was involved in both, and with him on the Round Table was Chris Miller and K J Johnston. The Round Table especially will be missed, though Misfit Brew was a great podcast, the Round Table was one of my 'must listen' podcasts. I wouldn't put it in a queue to listen to, I would listen to it as soon as I downloaded it. It's a sad day, but all the participants will be visible in the Podosphere and in the RPG community. Maybe we can actually coerce them onto the Accidental Survivors at some point.
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