Dark Conspiracy 1st Edition is the last of the games that was gifted to me last year that I’m going to use in this challenge. I decided to use this game for the 2022 Character Creation Challenge since I actually had the books on my shelf. I prefer the dead-tree versions when learning new systems.
In the early 1990’s the cyberpunk genre was the new “it factor” for roleplaying games. When something becomes popular a lot of publishers try to release their own take on the genre. This would also make it a very crowded market trying to stand out on the local gaming store shelves. Dark Conspiracy was GDW’s entry that tried to combine both cyberpunk and horror elements. Think Johnny Mnenomic meets X-Files meets Judge Dredd. I remember seeing ads and books for Dark Conspiracy, but the gaming group I was involved in had already elected to go with the Cyperpunk RPG. So I never picked up any of the books.
It is the early 90’s in this alternate history, my gaming buddies have decided that Dark Conspiracy is our next campaign and I need to sit down and make a character for play. Let’s see what the main rulebook can tell me about creating a character.
So the first thing is that the game has a two page worksheet that you fill in before you transfer everything over to your character sheet. Hold on, I’ve got to scan in a copy of this as well. OK now I’ve got one printed out let’s fill it in.
Items 1-4 are basic. Name (Dale Laslo), Gender (male), Nationality (American) and Native Languages (English). The worksheet even guides you to page numbers if needed. For item 5 we are rolling for basic attributes. These are Strength, Constitution, Agility, Intelligence, Education, Charisma and Empathy. The last one you roll a 1d6-1. The remaining attributes roll 2d6-2 and anything that comes up zero gets a re-roll. Once I have these scores determined, if they are less than 33 I can add points to any attribute (nothing above 10). I ended up rolling 41 points for attributes so what I rolled stands. I could have done point allocation, but that would have only been with 36 points so I’m glad that I rolled.
So you start the character creation at the age of 17. Before you turned this age you earned four background skills selected from a list. It also listed the controlling attribute which helped in deciding which skills to take. You gain more skills by doing four years at a career. The career term also gains you a contact, secondary activities and money. Once you’ve finished a term, you can elect to do another one (or roll a certain number if you want to be random) and continue on. If you have a lot of terms, your age can rise to the point where it affects your attributes. This way if you wanted to play an aged professor when the game starts, you can do so. Also a term can be four years at a college if you elected to do so. With the attributes I rolled for Laslo, I didn’t think he would get into college so he signed up for the US Army and got into one of the elite corps. Where he stayed for three terms (12 years). Earning three military contacts (two foreign). I wrote down his various skills or attribute bonuses. From here we were able to generate the character’s initiative, age, base hit capacity (aka hit points), weight (yes there was a formula to follow), load (how much the character could carry), throw range and unarmed combat damage. The worksheet states that we need to generate our base hit numbers for ranged combat, but the book did not have that in the same order. I had to go track this down elsewhere, and I was unable to find it. The index had nothing on base hit numbers. Screw it, I’ll leave it blank for now.
Using my final equipment allowance, I allocated weapons, armor, tools, ammo and transport for this character and called it good. I think I did right on the equipment. I’m definitely noticing a lack of help on starting equipment in most games.
Dale Laslow came out of school thinking that he wouldn’t be able to get into any college or university. He signed up for the US Army, and to his surprise he was accepted into the Rangers. He spent 12 years serving the country in various hotspots around the world before an injury forced him out of the service. Wondering what he was going to do with his life a friend looked him up and inquired if he wanted to join his mercenary squad. They had just been hired to provide some protection for an unusual group of investigators.
Trying to find a character sheet for this system was next to impossible. I ended up trying to scan in the sheet from the book. If the image looks a little warped, that’s because I couldn’t get the pages flat against the scanner.
While the character worksheet to assist in the creation of the character was very helpful, it still needed some polishing. There should be more page number references to easily find things.
Without knowing what was planned with “fellow players” and gamemaster, it was kind of hard to see myself playing this game. I didn’t get a chance to dive too deep into the actual system rules so these are just numbers on paper. It looks like there was a lot of thought put into the world-building for this game, but I don’t see myself playing it at this time.
One of the things I love about the RPG.net forums is the vast amount of knowledge available. Practically every game has had someone who knows about it and can give some feedback on it. When I posted my Technoir character yesterday, one of the posters stated that this was the first game that they had not heard about. So I was able to introduce someone to a new game.
Coming Up Next:
Tiny Dungeons 2nd Edition