Monday, August 12, 2013

Armchair Review: The Zalozhniy Quartet

I posted my review of this Night's Black Agents adventure earlier in the year on RPGNow, but forgot to put it here:

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Once you've settled in to your regularly Night's Black Agents sessions, I highly recommend The Zalozhniy Quartet.

Set in post-Cold War Europe, agents must unearth the nature of the conspiracy from clues, and a tangled web of allies, foils, and enemies.

I liken it to a shorter Masks of Nyarlathotep, wherein the campaign is best run when the Director (GM) has read through all the materials, has prepared and understood where all the events, clues, NPCs, and linkages are in advance so as to maximize the enjoyment and reward of the players when (if?) they overcome this slew of antagonists and difficulties.

Unlike Masks, the author has gone out of his way to enable running the four segments of the campaign in any order! This means that there are options for each segment to be modified if it is played 2nd, 3rd or last (and therefore a climactic ending) in the campaign.

As a resource for a supernaturally touched post-Cold War Europe, it also has a lot of material to mine and reuse in future campaigns.

I'm a bit daunted by the modern day espionage campaign; perhaps I always was. But when I remind myself that a campaign can be grounded in cinematic versions of espionage, then I can probably try my hand at it.

There is a certain level of commitment to this type of campaign, certainly. And my old GM muscles want me to actually insert it into an ongoing campaign. But I think it actually might work as is, sort of a tip of the hat to British TV series -- a complete season in one go.

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

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