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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Welcome To The Orion Foundation...

A new era for the Tuesday Knights kicked off yesterday, not only with a new face behind the Gamesmaster's Screen (Pete, running his Top Secret SI campaign) but a new member at the table, Kevin - Nick's best man from his wedding last month.

Pete talked us slowly and carefully through the character creation system, a clever mix of rolled statistics and points-buy, and we all came up with nicely varied characters.

Mine is James 'Bicky' Bickmore, an ex-RAF code breaker with a penchant for UFOlogy; while Clare is Hermione Stone, a former St Trinians pupil and ex-army athlete.

Nick and Kevin came up with a pair of East Europeans: Oleg and Bruno respectively. Oleg is a former Russian agent who defected just before the Berlin Wall came down, while Bruno was born to Eastern European parents on the Isle Of Wight and was a once a member of the British Olympic rifle shooting team.

We were all recruited to the international philanthropic Orion Foundation and having made it through basic training were selected to be agents for the Orion SOE (Special Operations Executive).

After the reasonably lengthy character creation process, Pete ran us through the start of his introductory assignment - which mainly consisted on a guided tour around Orion's underground base in the London Docks and a brief overview of our mission (stop gun smugglers, working for the evil Web organisation, who are supplying guns to terrorists and crime gangs in the UK) before packing us off to our full briefing (which will be at the start of the next session).

We even got in a bit of "at-the-table LARPing" when we first arrived at Orion's "front organisation" for our 'meet-and-greet' and we had to go through a thumb print scanner... as ably demonstrated above by Nick and Kevin!

Pete has been buying up old Top Secret SI material from eBay for months, but - of course - much of it, being written in the '80s, is incredibly dated now and so he has been going through everything meticulously updating it as best he can.

For instance, we've all been equipped with snazzy iPhones with some very Q-branch "apps" (such as calling in a Titan Team - basically the marines - or converting your phone into a hand grenade) - which have seemed like science-fiction if they'd been included in the original game.

Pete even produced three briefing files (pictured above) for our characters on Orion's global operations, their archenemy Web and our own branch (Orion UK). While the main files were still 80 per cent original Top Secret material, the Orion UK file was 100 per cent Pete!

It made a pleasant change to be a player, not knowing what was round the corner, and I'm looking forward to us getting out "in the field"... and seeing how long before everything descends into anarchy!

Our boss, Mr Jacobson, stressed that we were to "avoid killing innocents" and "avoid attracting media attention"... obviously Mr Jacobson has never played an espionage RPG before!

3 comments:

  1. Excellent! I have very fond memories of playing Top Secret/SI. It's easily one of the most underrated games out there and something everyone should play at least once in their life.

    Looking forward to hearing all about this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great stuff! I've always wanted to play a spy game, but the closest we ever got was Delta Green and Conspiracy X. Everyone was always more interested in scifi, fantasy or horror.

    Although that said, I wonder if I could run an espionage game under D&D...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I guess you can play an "espionage" game of some kind in any genre really, but Pete's a massive Bond & Spooks fan and has really put his all in this - he's been talking about running it since we all got back into RPGs and I reckon it's going to be great!

    The next session will be sometime in January - but we haven't agreed game dates for next year yet.

    ReplyDelete

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