Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Commentary on The Darktek book for Dark Conspiracy rpg & Its Uses In Cepheus Engine Rpg campaigns

"Behind the shadows of our world, the Dark Ones lurk, plotting humanity's ruin. Their Dark Minions stalk us, armed with horrific devices, the products strange and hideous sciences. Human agents capture what they can, hoping for weapons that will aid them in their fight. And in some secret strongholds, individual ETs who have escaped the darkness labor side by side with human scientists, creating items to hold the Dark Ones off.

Meanwhile the megacorporate sector pursues technologies that pander to the wealthy. For many, HiTek is the truest symbol of high status. Worn like a coat of arms, it distinguishes the movers and shakers from the increasingly disenfranchised hordes of 'commoners' below.

In this volume, you will find items ranging from the gruesome biologic weapons of the Dark Minions, to the futuristic constructs of the ETs, to the most advanced in human technology. But all belong to the world of Dark Conspiracy, a world that is itself ever more a product of DarkTek. "

Darktek is a missed opportunity in the Dark Conspiracy rpg. A raging hole in the Dark Conspiracy rpg line of books. And on & on & on go the reviews of  the Darktek  book published in 1991 by Games Designers Workshop  that have cropped up over the years. This is true of of this  review  from Marcus Bone.  Which none of the Drivethrurpg Dark Tek reviews seem to agree with at all. Why?! Because of the fact that oh sure there's the usual  rpg equipment geek stuff like weapons, melee weapons, camping equipment, etc.. But Dark Tek  also has  a ton of retro technology that seems to be more in place of some alternative Thirties or Nineties  style sci fi Earth. So in other words Darktek fits  the world of  Dark Conspiracy itself.  But what does Darktek have to do with Cepheus Engine?! Quite a bit actually. 

The real difference between most equipment books & Darktek? Is the fact that Darktek is orient not only towards the PC's but mostly towards the dark forces & their minions. And their occultech style technologies have a high cost factor  indeed to the PC's humanity as well as their sanity. For Cepheus Engine Darktek is a perfectly designed PC/enemy book in one. Why?! Well because Bagagge Books Empire of Time offers alternative time period settings where Darktek could be very useful indeed.
It’s been 20 years since time travel was invented and the here-and-now, the good old 21st century, is in the middle of a revolution. You switched your major in university because of it and it’s paid off: you’re heading up-time, on a mission to the Chovu Imoi, an intelligent species that won’t even evolve for another 600 million years. It’ll be three weeks’ journey on the old model Hyundai time ship the expedition has bought second-hand from the University of Victoria, but you’ve tried to pack light. " 

Want to find out who & what are really in control of a vast empire of alternative time periods?! Empire of Time is a perfect fit for this coupled with Darktek. Here you can have agents of time putting the hurt on the dark minions across space & time. 

The reason for this is very simple, Charles E. Gannon the author of Darktek was very active in the fandom of Traveller 2300 AD and in fact is a contributor to Stygian Fox's Colonial Times fanzine. 

And so the reader of Darktek who happens to be an old school Traveller rpg player recognizes the vac suits. The full on space equipment and much more this opens up all kinds of possibilities for gaming on alternative timelines & Earths. 
And it also means that the forces of darkness have also been busy exploiting these alternative historical time lines. This is just the sort of weirdness that would see in Michael Brown's Among The Stars Silent Screaming .. 

For the Hostile Rpg Darktek offers some very strong possibilities as an alternative equipment book for the bad guys. Imagine your marines facing down colonial terrorists armed with ancient occult pact technologies that can offer a real challenge to the party. Or a Zaibatsu gang armed by an ancient Oni ready to take down a whole corporation. The possibilities are endless. 

Is Darktek completely perfect? Hell no. But it does suit my purposes for my current Cepheus Engine rpg campaign that's ongoing. 

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