This story hour is an ongoing account of our D20 Modern conspiracy game. It follows the missions of Majestic-12 agents battling Lovecraftian horrors in a world rife with conspiracy and the occult. I also write a column about action horror gaming in general at RPG.net titled The Horror! and I'm the National RPG writer for the Examiner. If you're waiting for updates and want to read more from my gaming group see the completed 3.5 D&D story write up: http://www.enworld.org/forum/story-h...completed.html.
UPDATE: I didn't create the below video, but the fact that we both chose the same name for our campaigns is a kind of awesome synchronicity that deserves to be recognized here:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3OoN1VN4pQ"]YouTube- Delta Green: The Beginning of the End Teaser[/ame]
- D20 Modern: This is our primary rules set. We’re trying to stick to just the core rulebooks for now.
- Character Statistics: The characters' statistics in all their ugly glory.
- [ame=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0786926392/michaeltrescaA/]Call of Cthulhu d20[/ame]: I created a cultist advanced class, which covers most of the bad guys. All the monsters and spells have been converted to d20 Modern.
- Delta Green: Many of the scenarios the agents encounter are Delta Green or Cthulhu Now scenarios. However, in this universe, Delta Green has merged with Majestic-12. Majestic-12 is now a lot like Delta Green, broadening its scope to include “preternatural phenomena”.
- Alien Invasion: The structure of Majestic-12 has its roots in the organization I created for Alien Invasion. And of course, there will be aliens. I’m the author.
- Conspiracy X: Since the agents work for a much larger organization, I use many of the “pulling strings” rules from Conspiracy X to represent what Majestic-12 can do for them.
- Blood & Blades: The Profiler’s Guide to Slashers: We’re using these insanity rules from this book as well as some other bad guys as the mood strikes me.
- GURPS Black Ops: This book provides much of the background for the agents’ training.
- Dread: I use a variant of Dread with Jenga, which I like to call the Pillar of Sanity. I basically require all PCs to pull from the Pillar when sanity points are lost. This keeps sanity-tracking to a minimum, means only one investigator will go completely nuts in a scene at a time, and keeps the tension high.
- [ame=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000GBA60W/michaeltrescaA/]Jenga[/ame]: Jenga's wooden blocks hold up well, despite having fallen in a couple of full glasses on more than one occasion.
About the Agents
- Blacknet: Our wiki for the agents.
- Delta Green: Because Delta Green is THE place for conspiracy fiction.
- Black Ops: GURPS Ops took Men in Black, gave it a dose of steroids, threw in the Colonial Marines from Aliens, and then set them loose on the worst the paranormal world has to offer.
- Bureau 13: If occasionally this game gets a little silly (*cough* Guppy *cough), I blame Bureau 13. This took the concept of stalking supernatural entities and made it fun and funny, because...because "preternatural" can also be pretty ludicrous when you think of it. In a laugh out loud, oh my god my head is going to explode Joker kind of way.
- Game Master: Michael Tresca
- Joseph “Archive” Fontaine (Dedicated Hero) played by Joe Lalumia: A licensed private detective and master of the mystical arts, Archive wanted to be a priest once. He freelances for X-investigations, a glamorous private detective agency that specializes in the occult. When he crossed paths with the Traveler and mistakenly identified it as a body-hopping demon, Majestic-12 recruited him for some much needed mystical backup.
- Jim “Jim-Bean” Baxter (Charismatic Hero) played by Jeremy Ortiz: A former British SAS and PISCES agent, Jim-Bean lost his partners to what can only be called "brain spiders." Although he's also psychic, Jim-Bean loathes his abilities and considers the majority of supernatural events to be bunk. He's also a wiseass.
- Hank “Guppy” Gupta (Smart Hero) played by Joseph Tresca: An American-born Indian, Guppy was abducted by aliens once, or so he believes, on an expedition to South America. He has never recovered, losing his girlfriend and his promising degree. Majestic-12 sprung him from the Van Dyson Institute for reasons known only to them. Guppy's the first one to panic, but fancies himself a kind of McGyver.
- Kurtis “Hammer” Grange (Fast Hero) played by George Webster: One of the agents who had a former government affiliation, Hammer was on a mission for the CIA when he encountered the "brain spiders." He lost both his partners. Hammer's the most level-headed of the group, and the only trained investigator among them.
- Jake “Blade” Iron Shirt (Strong Hero) played by Matt Hammer: A Native American bruiser and former Ultimate Fighting Champion, Blade is the only famous agent on the team. Unfortunately, he's famous for all the wrong reasons: his romance with the woman he was assigned to protect, Christine Dee; the birth of their child, Alex; his subsequent divorce and spiral into alcoholism. Blade is desperate to get visiting rights to see his son. Stephen Alzis has an unhealthy interest in Blade's family dynamics as well.
- Sebastian “Caprice” Creed (Fast/Smart Hero) played by Bill Countiss: An American engineer, Caprice is the closest agent who was "normal" before he joined Majestic-12. His fast thinking on his feet has proved useful on more than one occassion, especially when hunting down body-hopping aliens.
Inspiration and Ideas
- [ame=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1934506192/michaeltrescaA/]Fall of Cthulhu[/ame]: The league of Cthulhu super villains that “Mister Arkham” put together will make an appearance for sure.
- [ame=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000W3ODBW/michaeltrescaA/]Lori Lovecraft [/ame]: That’s right, Christine Dee is based off of Lori Lovecraft. Many of her misadventures will find a place in my story hour. She’s the ex-wife of one of the agents, after all.
- [ame=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312868677/michaeltrescaA/]Titus Crow[/ame]: Probably the closest parallel in fiction to heroic characters fighting the minions of Cthulhu.
- [ame=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0747240590/michaeltrescaA/]Cold Print[/ame]: Because I met Ramsey Campbell at World Fantasy Con and he kicks ass. His concept of horror is truly terrifying and modern in ways that traditional Lovecraft sometimes lacks.
- [ame=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000QUEQ4U0/michaeltrescaA/]The Dresden Files[/ame]: The inspiration for Joe "Archive" Fontaine.
- [ame=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000QDLSR0/michaeltrescaA/]Heroes[/ame]: Jim-Bean talks just like Takezo Kensei (and looks like him too).
- [ame=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000AP04L0/michaeltrescaA/]Office Space[/ame]: Guppy is a lot like Samir Nagheenanajar, only less angry and more terrified.
- [ame=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000MR8W92/michaeltrescaA/]24[/ame]: Curtis Manning is the inspiration for Hammer.
- Reaper: To get Stephen Alzis down just right, think the Devil from Reaper.
Welcome to the show. Get ready for a wild ride...