Saturday, May 14, 2011

Top Secret Potential Characters in Sprechenhaltestelle

I unearthed my old Top Secret modules and rulebooks and found the following names that you may wish to use as NPC names and aliases for your modern campaign in the Sprechenhaltestelle module.

Assassins
"The Silencer" - a gentleman and scholar
"Kingbreaker" - a not-so-nice guy
"Shark" - ex-marine, ex-bouncer, pool hustler
"Dr. Firestone" - explosives expert
"Omega" - last person victims see

Confiscators
"Pigeon" - ex-con prisons expert
"Whitecollar Harry" - computer / electronics expert
"Green Thumb" - counterfeiter
"Fingers" Malone - master of sleight of hand
Wes Smith - firearms and ammo provider

Investigators
"The Inquisitor" - veteran investigator
"Glass Eyes" - typical window-watcher
"Ratchet" - safecracker
Lafayette True, righter of wrongs
Melville Sharp, wronger of rights

I really liked these intro characters, though I was more mystified by the module than I was for any D&D intro modules. Is there some inherent difficulty in running the espionage genre as opposed to the fantasy genre (at least for the very young)?

2 comments:

  1. I don't recall running it (a buddy and I traded off as Admin), maybe we did, but even now I remember how this module blew my mind (I would have been 13 in and around 1981). In retrospect I see how it's basically a recapitulation of B1: Keep on the Borderlands. TS's problem was it was neither fish nor fowl, too realistic to be a game like JAMES BOND but the authors didn't seem to know anything about real life intelligence gathering outside TV and the movies. Looking at this now, I can see it's not completely terrible as long as you abandon any attempt to relate this to the real world. I mean, the setup is silly, but the NPCs all have jobs and roles to fulfil that are internally consistent, to a much greater degree than the monsters of a typical dungeon crawl. And social interaction and/or covert intelligence gathering actually play a big part in completing the mission. Too bad the players of the day would only be interested in treating the entire town as a dungeon to loot and the inhabitants as monsters to kill (for XP because everyone played Assassins).

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  2. I'm glad you have this 'at the time' and 'looking back' perspective on the module.

    It may mean I should re-read it once more!

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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