dark conspiracy - rulebook

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omething very strange is going on. Stranger than usual, I mean. Hell, I'm used to eco-commandos dynamiting oil refineries. I'm used to riots in the Farm Family Relocation Camps. I understand the wars that street gangs and corporate security goons are fighting for the inner cities. I can accept the steady breakup of the old nations, even if I can't pronounce half the names of the new ones. I'm even used to grave robberies and blood bank heists in California. After all, it's California, right? But a few days ago, the Eastern Australian Air Force nuked Melbourne, and refuses to explain why. Black, spiky things that only vaguely resemble fish are attacking people in the Great Lakes. A radio station in Chicago is broadcasting only a single, oscillating toneall day long. Whole blocks of Mexico City have been abandonedby people, anyway. My contact in the Michigan Secret Service said we're being invaded, part of a centuries-old plot. I wanted to find out more, but before we could meet, he turned up headless in a park. Now I have this feeling I'm being followed...

To Pat, Jim, Joe, and Tim, for countless hours of mayhem. And to Jenny, for putting up with it

Design: Lester W. Smith Development: Frank Chadwick and Loren K. Wiseman Additional Development and Typesetting: Julia Martin Front Cover Illustration: Larry Elmore Back Cover Illustration: Dell Harris Cover Design: Steve Bryant, Amy Doubet, and Julia Martin Interior Illustrations: Janet Aulisio, Timothy Bradstreet, Steve Bryant, Paul Daly, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Amy Doubet, Larry Elmore, LaMont Fullerton, Earl Geier, Dell Harris, Rick Harris, April Lee, David Martin, Ellisa Martin, Timothy Truman, and Kirk Wescom Colors: Steve Bryant, LaMont Fullerton, Mark Fullerton, Grant Goleash, and Kirk Wescom Art Direction: Steve Bryant Graphic Design and Production: LaMont Fullerton, Keith Ganske, and Lisa Deckers Copyediting and Additional Input: Stephen Olle and Eric W. Haddock Primary Playtesters: Dan Beckwith, Joe Hideg, Mike Horn, John Langford, and Kevin Wickart Additional Playtesters: Kelly C. Davis, Ralph Faraday, Eric W. Haddock, Trevor Hoffman, Chuck Kallenbach, Ted Kocot, H. Michael "Dain" Lybarger, Julia Martin and Loren K. Wiseman Dark Conspiracy Copyright 1991 GDW, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A. Made in U.S.A. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. ISBN 1-55878-076-9 Permission: Any purchaser of this book may photocopy or reproduce for personal use the forms and data cards in this book in order to play Dark Conspiracy. In fact, photocopying for that purpose is encouraged and is the reason that the information included in those forms was published in that fashion. Dark Conspiracy is GDW's trademark for its game of unearthly horror in a modern world.

PLAYERSINTRODUCING DARK CONSPIRACY

68

The Horror Begins How to Gse This Book If You're New to RoleplayingCHARACTER GENERATION

9 10 1112

Character Generation Overview 13 Background 13 Attributes 15 Initial Experience 16 Skills 17 Secondary Activities 18 Military Rank 19 Reserves 19 Contacts 19 Generic Contacts 19 Solid Contacts 21 Initiative 23 Age 24 Skill and Attribute Derived Values 25 Starting Money and Initial Equipment ..26 Skill Improvement 28 Character Generation Examples 30 Dara Schwartz 30 Herbert Vahn 32CAREERS 34

Education 34 Undergraduate University 34 Graduate University 35 Law School 35 Medical School 35 National Military Academy 35 Technical School 35 Civilian Occupations 36 Astronaut 36 Athlete 36 Attorney 36 Bodyguard 37 Bounty Hunter 37 Civil Engineer 37 Clergy 37 Commercial Pilot 38 Computer Operator/Programmer ....38 Construction Worker 38 Criminal 38 Cyborg E s c a p e e 39 Drifter 39 Entertainer 40 Environmentalist 40 Factory Worker 40 Farmer 40 Federal Law Enforcement 41 Gambler 41 Ganger 41 Government Agent 42 Homeless 42 Journalist 42 Manager 43 Martial Artist 43 Mechanic 43 Medical Doctor 44 Mercenary 44 Merchant Marine 44 Mystic 45

Nomenklatura (Idle Rich) Paramedic Paraphysicist Politician Prisoner Private Investigator Professor Prole (Corporate Welfare Recipient) Psychiatrist Psychic Test Subject Public Employee State/Local Law Enforcement Truck Driver Military Occupations United States Army Regular Forces Enlisted Officer Elite Forces Enlisted Officer United States Marine Corps United States Navy Enlisted S e a m a n Naval Officer Naval Aviator Enlisted SEAL (Sea Air Land) SEAL Officer United States Air Force Enlisted Airman Pilot (Officer) Career ListTASK RESOLUTION & SKILLS

45 45 46 46 46 47 47 47 48 48 48 48 49 49 49 49 49 50 50 50 50 51 51 51 51 52 52 52 52 53 53 5354

Direct Fire Hit Procedure 83 Automatic Fire 86 Movement and Fire 87 Ammunition 87 Special Cases 88 Direct Fire Deviation ,' 88 Indirect Fire 88 Thrown Weapons 90 Hand Grenades 90 Chemical Grenades and Rounds 90 Shotguns 91 Explosives and Demolitions 92 Frequently Used Burst Diagrams 93 Damage 94 Gunshot Wounds 94 Human/Animal Hit Location Chart... 95 Bums 97 Explosions 98 Falls 100 Poison 101WOUNDS & HEALING 102

Empathic Success Power Level Table Empathic Difficulty Levels Skill Descriptions Skill ListDARK TIMES

55 56 56 56 5765

Wounds Knockdown Stun Wound Severity Healing First Aid... Stabilizing Critical Wounds Basic Healing Rate Recovery From Scratch Wounds... Medical Care Treating Poison Wounds Adequate Diet and Shelter SurgeryWHEELS OF FIRE: VEHICLE TRAVEL & COMBAT

102 103 103 103 104 104 105 105 105 105 106 106 106107

The State of the Union 66 Future Dark Earth America 66 Onset Of The Dark Times 66 The Decline Of Government 67 Urban Sprawl 67 Life In The City 67 "Are You Anybody?" 69 "God Shed His Grace on Thee..." 70 "Don't Drink The Water; Don't Breathe The Air" 70 "You're Not From Around Here, Are You?".... 71 The Dark 72 The Dark Minions 72 Demonground 72COMBAT & DAMAGE 73

Combat Movement The Grid System The Combat Turn Actions Initiative Turn Sequence Panic Unarmed Melee Combat Armed Melee Combat Fire Combat

74 74 75 75 76 76 77 78 80 82

Travel and Encounters Vehicle Movement Rates Terrain and Travel Operating Aircraft Vehicle Combat Combat Movement .. . Firing at Vehicles and Vessels Firing at Aircraft Vehicle Damage Vehicle Hit Locations Chart Vehicle Damage Resolution Chart... Hit Locations Damage Resolution Turreted Vehicle Damage Chart Standard Vehicle Damage Chart.... CrewJn-HuU Vehicle Damage Chart Damage Implementation Boat Damage Chart Aerospace Craft Damaqe Chart Collision DamageSPACE TRAVEL

108 108 108 109 109 109 112 113 114 114 114 114 115 115 115 116 116 117 118 118120

Spacecraft Characteristics Spacecraft Size Chart Launch Characteristics Table Reentry Table In-Space Transfer Table Space Missions Launches ..

120 120 121 121 122 122 122

Landing 123 Maneuvering in Space: Avoidance and Intercepts 123 Difficulty of Intercept (Based on Travel Direction) .... 123 Maneuver Times Chart 124 Intercept and Avoidance Times 124 Launch Vehicles In Orbit 124 Attaining Higher Orbits 124 Spacecraft 125ROBOTS 128

Robot Behavior 128 Combat 129 Melee Combat 129 Fire Combat 129 Battle Damage (Nonvehicular Robots) 130 Battle Damage (Vehicular Robots) ....130 Burn Damage 131 Typical Drudgebots 131

Beat Cops Bikers Cultists Derelicts Dobies and Gidgets Eco-Warriors Gangers Gizmoids Good Samaritans Government Agents Igors Mother Earthers Security GuardsBEASTIES

173 173 173 173 174 174 174 175 175 175 176 176 176177

Weapons Vehicles and RobotsREFERENCE CHARTS

277 300316

Beasty Combat Beasty Movement Mounts in Combat Beasty Attacks Beasty Morale Beasty Listings Designing Your Own BeastiesDARK RACES

186 186 186 186 186 187 200201

REFEREESREFEREEING DARK CONSPIRACY

132134

The World The Story The Rules The Host Conversion NotesDARK EARTH

134 135 135 136 136137

We Are Not Alone The Door to Hell The Cities The Countryside Technology The Dark Ones Demonground EmpathyRUNNING ADVENTURES & CAMPAIGNS

138 140 142 144 146 148 150 151152

Darkling Attributes 209 Physical Attributes 209 Mental Attributes 209 Soul Attributes 209 Darkling Skills 209 New Empathic Skills 209 Dark Minions and Human Emotions ..211 Dark Races Listings 212 Designing Your Own Dark Minions 232DARKTEK 233

Beginning a Campaign 152 Running an Adventure 152 Making Roleplaying a Community Effort.... 152 Setting the Scene 153 Heightening Horror 153 Maintaining Mystery 153 Promoting Paranoia 154 Preparing Adventures 154 A Detail of Corruption 155 Time and Money 155 Rewards and Experience 156ENCOUNTERS 157

Technical Imagery Dimension Walk Device Proto-Dimensional Topology Dimension Walk and Other Dimensions PCs and Dimensional Travel Biocomputers Computer Empathy and Darkling Computers Animator Generators Cyborgs UFOs Death RaysADVENTURES

234 234 235 235 236 237 238 240 241 242 243244

Ravening Wolves Other Adventures

245 254

EQUIPMENT & REFERNCE C A T ..258 HRSEQUIPMENT 260

In the C t y Travel by Highway Countryside AnywhereHUMAN N P C S

158 160 160 162163

NPCs in Combat HPCStats Chart Other NPC Skills NPC Motivations Spades: Ambition Hearts: Sociability Clubs: Violence Diamonds: Greed NPC Appearance Stock NPCs Major NPCs Contacts Sample Stock NPCs

166 166 167 167 168 168 169 169 170 170 171 171 172

Documents Fuel Tripods Ammunition Hand Grenades Types of Rounds Explosives Tools Electronics Vision Devices NBC Equipment Body Armor Medical Supplies Other Equipment Personal Gear Cyber Hands Cyber Hands Table

260 260 260 260 263 263 264 265 266 270 270 270 271 272 273 274 274

Language Table 316 Nationality/Native Language Chart ....316 Soviet Nationalities 316 US E