Dark Conspiracy Returns in 2018…

Clockwork Publishing/Uhrwerk Verlag have announced they have licensed GDW’s 1990 RPG Dark Conspiracy and will be bringing out a brand new edition in 2018. This is the second old GDW title Clockwork have brought back to life as they are also the publishers of the new Ubiquity powered Space 1889 RPG.

The relaunch will begin with the release of the Dark Conspiracy core rulebook, accompanied by the Dark Conspiracy Referee’s Resource & Screen, special Dark Conspiracy Dice and Card Decks and adventures. Future supplements will include sourcebooks detailing gear, psychic powers, minions, and will further explore the world of Dark Conspiracy.

In the all-too-near future, the world slides into another Great Depression, the United States affected most dramatically. Nationalism surges, and he social safety net is in tatters. Corporations control governments openly, corruption is commonplace, and the citizenry is starkly divided between those who have and those who go without. Urban sprawl runs amok, and great metroplexes connect the great cities into teeming, soulless metropolises, their lights shining across the countryside.

The heartland of America is largely abandoned, the bread basket now empty. Law enforcement and the government have given up on these regions, and utilities are scarce and unreliable. Few can survive within these outlaw areas. Few humans, that is.

For in these forgotten and empty places in the rust belt, the tissue of reality tears wide, and energy from nightmare dimensions and planes of utter terror seep into this world. This demonground grows more substantial, expanding each day, and creatures from these hellplaces walk freely there, and from the demonground they infiltrate the metroplexes to feed their inhuman hungers and bring ruin to all.

Some of these strange and terrible creatures are remembered through folklore and legend – monsters such as vampires, demons, ghouls, and their like – while others are utterly fantastic, extradimensional and alien beings from beyond time and space. Together, these minions of darkness are opposed to all life, and they struggle to extinguish the last lights of human civilization.

Some few stand against them, humans banded together and armed against these dreadful forces of darkness. These minion hunters stalk them in the cities and even in the demongrounds, but the greatest challenge they face is the realization that these monsters do not work alone: they are aided by humans who have made terrible pacts with the forces of darkness, selling out their own knid for power and survival.

This is the world of Dark Conspiracy.

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Dark Conspiracy 1st Edition cover, GDW 1990​

A website and Facebook page have so far been launched to support the game with more news due over the next few months.

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Great premise for a game. Vampires, E.T., and Cthulhu. What's not to like about that? Any idea as to the mechanics that will power this game?

Bill Winski

First Post
Because Aliens.
That's what I liked about the 1st edition of this game. The world seemed to be functioning fine & dandy - somewhat "normally" - until you started stumbling on Dark Secrets...
Transforming it into just another post-apocalyptic setting doesn't really push my buttons.


So its basically the name to draw people in. The lure for my friends and I was the conspiracy aspect that made you question if what you were experiencing was real or your character going nuts. That seems to be missing and that's a turn off.


I didn't take from this press release that there was no conspiracy. The verbiage about humans aiding the horrors seemed to imply it is still in this version of the game.

Kevin O'Neill1

First Post
So far everything about their website and facebook page indicates that the 4th edition is going to be very much in the same vein as the 1st edition. There's nothing to indicate that they are turning the game setting into a post-apocalyptic version. Everything about the original was apocalyptic (note, not post-apoc) and the writeup for 4th edition gives the same feel.


I have been a Dark Conspiracy fan and a contributor to various fanzines for a long time, as well as being involved with the now-defunct Third edition, and I am looking forward to seeing what Uhrwerk do with this. :cool:


It was a cool setting with some mixed rules issues. It's definitely "dystopian" but it's not strictly cyberpunk (if you were a cyborg the tech was put there by aliens, typically against your will) and definitely not post-apoc in the sense of Twilight 2000 or Gamma World. The "big problem" of the setting was that there was a "Greater Depression" that ruined a lot of people and damaged the ability of institutions like government to run things as they had before. Then the creepy x-files stuff starts leaking in and making things worse.

Rules-wise it started out with GDW's then-new d10-based "house system" - it was really swingy and had a limited range of possibilities. For example, a difficult task is roll under half of your rating in that stat or skill. Considering the skill/stat range is 1-10 and that you're rolling a d10, you're looking at needing a 2-3-4 for most characters even if they're good at something! Outstanding success or failure was judged on being 4 over or 4 under - as you can imagine this was pretty hard to do on anything other than an easy check (double your skill or attribute). So to get an outstanding success on a difficult task you would have to have max skill (a 10), halved to 5, then roll a 1. It was pretty unforgiving. This is the same system that pretty much killed Twilight 2000 second edition.

They later came out with the "PC Booster Kit" which updated it to the newer d20 version of the GDW House System that was used in Traveller the New Era and while it was an improvement a lot of people I knew had already dropped the game.

The setting was one I really liked, and it was different enough to be interesting, and while I liked the "not easy mode" approach to the mechanics in theory in practice it was hard to sustain a campaign. I played it some and tired to run an ongoing game but even shifting the difficulty to "average = double skill" it just was not something my players enjoyed enough to keep going.

New mechanics and a new push might actually breathe some life into this one.

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