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Eric Johnson (order #2093395)

THE SECOND EDITION The second edition was published in two folio-siz ed volumes, one targeted at

THE SECOND EDITION

The second edition was published in two folio-sized volumes, one targeted at Players (184 pages, Basic Edition and 400 pages, Master Edition) and the other at Game Masters (180 pages, Basic Edition and 462 pages, Master Edition), both in soft cover. In each case, the Basic Edition was a subset of the Master’s Edition (and the DPI catalog listed the additional Master’s material as an Expansion volume). For insights into the material differences between Basic and Masters, it is possible to compare the Tables of Contents of each of the books (provided on the following pages).

THE SECOND EDITION The second edition was published in two folio-siz ed volumes, one targeted at

Player’s Handbook Basic Edition 184 pages Player’s Handbook Masters Edition 400 pages

THE SECOND EDITION The second edition was published in two folio-siz ed volumes, one targeted at

Referee’s Guide Basic Edition 180 pages Referee’s Guide Masters Edition 462 pages

THE SECOND EDITION The second edition was published in two folio-siz ed volumes, one targeted at

Referee's Screen (Dark Conspiracy, 2nd Edition)

This three-paneled referee's screen (33" x 8.5") is beautifully illustrated by fantasy artist Larry Elmore. This Referee's Screen has everything a Referee needs for quick

reference to speed up game-play. Also included is a 48-page book with material from the previously released Ice Daemon and Nightsider adventures, both of which are sure to frighten and delight horror role-players of any age.

Eric Johnson (order #2093395)

The Shadow Falls Sin City, Vol. 1 Welcome to New Centennial City, or "Sin City" as
The Shadow Falls Sin City, Vol. 1 Welcome to New Centennial City, or "Sin City" as

The Shadow Falls Sin City, Vol. 1

Welcome to New Centennial City, or "Sin City" as the people who live here call it. New Centennial City is a new Hong Kong - a place of commerce, opportunity and dark secrets. It is a foreboding place, crouched somewhere in the shadows between Tim Burton's Gotham and the Los Angeles of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. New Centennial City is a place where powerful men prey on the weak-minded with disastrous results. A series of violent crimes and a mysterious explosion, draw the players into the clutches of the Calendites, a modern-day Mayan cult led by the enigmatic Ethan Rayne. In trying to learn its secrets, the players are caught up in the frenzy of impending doom. The stage is set! The end of the world is nigh!"

Eric Johnson (order #2093395)

The Shadow Falls Sin City, Vol. 1 Welcome to New Centennial City, or "Sin City" as

Of Gates and Gods Sin City, Vol. 2

Something strange just crashed into a heavily populated region of NewCentennial City and someone is trying to keep it a secret. As the players investigate, they will be introduced to the subculture of the Citadel. The Citadel can be best described as the personal playground to the elite of New Centennial City. Big parties, big business and big money flow through this area at neck- breaking speeds. The Citadel is dangerously out of control. Greed and corruption can be found on every corner. Certain elements attempt to change the world as we know it. What is happening behind the scenes and can your party stop it before it's too late? And no matter what happens in Sin City, just remember ... IT'S JUST BUSINESS."

The Shadow Falls Sin City, Vol. 1 Welcome to New Centennial City, or "Sin City" as

Masks of Darkness Sin City, Vol. 3

"Just what the hell is going on here?' Something is happening behind the scenes in New Centennial City. A gang war has erupted in the Projects and an influenza epidemic sweeps the city. Meanwhile, a man has gone missing and no one seems willing to help find him. The players get asked to help and inadvertently get pulled into a web of lies, deceit and confusion. Masks of Darkness introduces several new underground ernpathic cells that are active in New Centennial City. They, together with the players, will work together to uncover the truth that lurks behind the facade of everyday city life. If the players aren't careful, they could get more than they bargained for."

DEMONGROUND DPI’s support of Dark Conspiracy 2 included the innovative electronic fanzine Demonground , featuring many

DEMONGROUND

DPI’s support of Dark Conspiracy 2 included the innovative electronic fanzine Demonground, featuring many of the same authors who contributed to the rules and its supplements (and who had contributed to Dark Conspiracy 1). The first issues of Demonground were exclusively Dark Conspiracy material, but as the publication matured, it expanded to cover other games in the genre.

DEMONGROUND DPI’s support of Dark Conspiracy 2 included the innovative electronic fanzine Demonground , featuring many

Eric Johnson (order #2093395)

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Eric Johnson (order #2093395)

Eric Johnson (order #2093395)

Eric Johnson (order #2093395)

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By Lester Smith

Did

you ever wonder how a role-

playing game comes to be? Well allow

me to pull back the curtain over the his-

tory of the Dark Conspiracy RPG, and let

you take a peek.

range of numbers, without the clunkiness

of a d10 on the one hand, the needlessly

fine divisions of a d100 on the other, or

the bell curve of multiple d6s on the third

hand. (It’s Dark Conspiracy, remember,

so I can have three hands.) In my original

The Genesis

The

Genesis

Early in the summer of 1990, I was

taking a break from grad school, when

Marc Miller called to ask if I’d be inter-

ested in designing a new project for

GDW. I had some time on my hands—

and you know what they say about idle

hands…. So I said, “Sure.”

When I met with Marc and Frank

Chadwick to discuss the project, they ex-

plained that they wanted a role-playing

game of “ecological horror.” I have a soft

spot in my head for horror, so naturally I

said, “Sure.” We discussed the ecological

aspects: a world in danger of ruination; a

plot of some sort to take the earth from

human hands. They pitched some ideas. I

pitched some ideas. We shook hands all

around, and I went home to start work.

I was very excited. But as a role-

playing game designer, I was still a little

wet behind the ears back then. My RPG

experience to that point had been to revise

the Traveller: 2300 RPG, filling in some

holes and expanding the original to twice

the size. And I’d done several adventure

modules and a few board games. But I

wasn’t quite sure how to start a role-

playing game from scratch. So I just gave

it my best shot. I jotted down some basic

mechanics, wrote up a few monster de-

scriptions, plotted out an adventure, and

got some friends together to start playing.

Along the way, I just hoped to generate

enough material to fill a 250-page book.

The Mechanics

The

Mechanics

It might surprise you to learn that the

game started with a d20 mechanic based

on skills. At the time, I was of the opinion

that a d20 was just about a perfect die for

a role-playing game. It gives a reasonable

system, the number of points by which

you succeeded or failed determined the

“quality” of your result. In competitive

actions, that “quality” helped determine

just how much of an effect the victim suf-

fered. Still, the effects of that “quality”

were left up very much to the referee to

decide.

A few months into my work, Frank

and Marc called again, to let me know

that the second edition of Twilight: 2000

was going over very well for the com-

pany. They explained that they thought it

would be a good idea for GDW to have

similar mechanics for all its RPGs, so

they wanted me to adapt my current rules

to match T2K2.

AA AA SS SS hh hh oo oo rr rr tt tt HH HH ii ii

At first, I wasn’t thrilled about the

idea. As I’ve mentioned, I thought the d10

system to be too “coarse-grained,” with-

out enough variance. Still, I could see the

appeal of a game company having com-

mon mechanics throughout its RPGs, and

I like to be a team player. Also, it meant

that I didn’t have to come up with new

stats for all the modern and futuristic gear

I wanted to include in DC.

That clinched it. I got to work con-

verting my notes to T2K2 stats (or per-

haps more properly converting T2K2 to

my notes). Empathy was added as an at-

tribute, two of T2K2’s physical stats were

merged, and skills were juggled to suit.

The project took a great leap forward as I

was able to concentrate on mood instead

of mechanics.

The Background

The

Background

From the beginning, I set myself the

goal of making a background that could

incorporate absolutely any horror story. It

was my opinion at the time that AD&D

succeeded largely because a DM could

import pretty much any fantasy story, and

I wanted to do the same for horror.

Nowadays, I’m not so sure that’s a valid

approach. Chill tried just that, and it’s

died at least a couple of times. Call of

Cthulhu didn’t really try that, and it’s still

as strong as ever. Vampire: The Masquer-

ade and it’s siblings all focus on one vi-

sion, too, without trying to incorporate

absolutely every type of horror, and

they’re going strong. Fortunately for me,

two focuses developed early in Dark

Conspiracy’s development, and they gave

the game the identifying mark it needed to

survive.

The first focus was the guns. GDW

was a wargame company at heart, and it

showed even in their RPGs. (In fact, if

you used the abbreviation “RPG” at

GDW, it was usually assumed you meant

“rocket-propelled grenade.”) Rather than

fight that fact, I decided to try making a

horror game where the point was ulti-

mately to blow the monsters to little

pieces. I just tried to create monsters that

would rip you up a time or two before you

could come up with a workable plan to

defend yourself. But once you had, it was

payback time in spades. Pretty much all

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Eric Johnson (order #2093395)

of the DC adventures I ever wrote and ran were designed exactly that way: I’d maim

of the DC adventures I ever wrote and ran

were designed exactly that way: I’d maim

or even kill a PC or two, then let the rest

escape, catch their breath, equip for the

baddies, then come back and blast them to

bits. It isn’t how I run Call of Cthulhu, but

it certainly works for DC.

The second focus was the ETs. As a

kid, I watched lots of sci-fi movies in

which the aliens were beneficent. Then as

a teenager, I read reports about ETs per-

forming head transplants on helpless hu-

mans. So I built that change into the DC

game. Once the ETs came in peace, but

now they were corrupted. Frank’s the

fellow who came up with the rationale

that they had opened a mystic gate to

“hell” and became possessed. That central

concept gave DC an identifying mark it

needed.

As for the other monsters, I just tried

to come up with a rationale that fit the old

stories, but didn’t stretch the laws of sci-

ence too far. For example, it seemed more

reasonable to me that “werewolves” were

always bestial-looking in reality, but pro-

jected a hypnotic power to disguise them-

selves, than that their bodies could meta-

morphosize in seconds. That rationale

was one of the things that sold Frank on

my vision for the game.

Finally, I needed a world where such

creatures could break loose. But it had to

be a fairly modern one. So I described a

growing dystopia—not quite cyberpunk—

in which lawlessness plagued the rural re-

gions, allowing for monsters to prowl, yet

dark secrets were held at the center of the

overcrowded cities. It was never my in-

tent to detail the megacorps or metro-

plexes. Remember, I wanted a world

where referees could import stories they

read or viewed, not one that dictated their

campaigns. The plan was to allow for

Howling-style werewolf packs on the one

hand, and Aliens-style corporate horror on

the other. The rest of the dystopian vision

grew from those two extremes.

The Other

The

Other Players

Players

Which brings me to Mike Stackpole’s

novels. At the same time I had been ap-

proached to do the game, Mike had been

asked to write a series of novels. Neither

of us was much aware of the other’s work

until both game and first or second novel

had been completed. Mike depicted a

more cyberpunkish world at first than I

had, but the two visions began to feed off

each other after the game was released.

Ted Kocot, the fellow who turned me

on to cyberpunk before it was a phe-

nomenon, is to blame for the tabloid tie-in

to the game. He got me to thinking about

the ways in which those bizarre tabloid

stories could serve as clues for “actual”

events in the game. I found tabloid stories

to be a great inspiration for adventures. I

only wish I had taken the idea further, and

built them more fully into the back-

ground.

I think my favorite writer for DC

material was Michael LaBossiere. He be-

gan writing short adventures almost im-

mediately, mainly for Challenge maga-

zine. I immediately fell in love with his

approach to horror, his bent vision, and

his delivery in writing. I looked forward

to seeing his every submission. I hope

he’ll do some new work for the second

edition.

For what it’s worth, my favorite of

the full modules, however, is Among the

Dead, for whatever you can make of that.

Late Late Developments Developments
Late
Late Developments
Developments

Eventually, I finished writing and

went back to grad school for one season.

After finishing grad school, I went back

to work full-time at GDW. As luck would

have it, my first task was to finish getting

DC through production, then take over

management of the line. Through the next

couple of years, as the line expanded, I

had a great deal of fun. But the D10 sys-

tem continued to bug me. I talked with

Frank about it often, and his reply was

always something like, “Sure, you can

change it, as long as all the current

sourcebooks for it and T2K2 remain in ef-

fect.” So I couldn’t just double the attrib-

ute and skill numbers, because things like

gun recoil ratings wouldn’t work any-

more. I tried a provisional change in the

PC Booster Kit, but it was kind of clunky.

About a week after the booster kit hit the

stands, however, I smacked my forehead

and said, “Of course! Just add the skill

and controlling attribute together, and use

the total as the target number for a d20!”

It was such a natural adaptation that we

all wondered why we hadn’t thought of it

before. That’s the version that’s in the

newest edition of the game.

What brought about that new edition,

long after GDW was gone? Well, at pretty

much every convention I attended, some-

body or the other would ask me if the

game would ever be reprinted. I men-

tioned that fact to a couple of different

publishers over the years, and finally Ken

Whitman decided it sounded like a good

idea. He talked with the folks who cur-

rently own the license, came up with a

business plan, and got to work. It was

Ken who decided to split the original

book into two sections—one for players,

and one for referees—then incorporate

material from various sourcebooks into

each. He’s also the guy who decided to

repackage them both in digest sized

books. At first, I was skeptical about that

format, but when he showed me a sample

page, I had to admit it looked nice, and

when I saw the finished books at GenCon,

I was impressed. They definitely stand out

among a sea of 8 ½” x 11” books.

I’m gratified to see the books back in

print. I’m not certain at this point how

much involvement I’ll be able to have in

the line’s further development. Lots of

water has passed under the bridge since I

ran the line at GDW, and I have several

other irons in the fire, as they say. But I’ll

continue to advise Ken as he pursues fur-

ther publication, and I’ll be running DC

events at a number of conventions. Maybe

I’ll see you there…

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Eric Johnson (order #2093395)

LESTER W. SMITH

DDDD AAAARRRRKKKK CCCCOOOONNNNSSSSPPPPIIIIRRRRAAAACCCC

SECOND EDITION

YYYY

LESTER W. SMITH AA AA RR RR KK KK CC CC OO OO NN NN SShttp://www.dynastypresentations.com/ Copyright © 1998 Dark Conspiracy Enterprises. Dark Conspiracy is a trademark of Dark Conspiracy Enterprises. All rights reserved " id="pdf-obj-14-36" src="pdf-obj-14-36.jpg">

Shapes that rip and tear. Shadows that live in corners. Windows in the space and time that lead to realms of madness and decay. A dark, lurking horror that feeds off the echoing an- guish of a billion souls. When an ancient brooding evil is released from its dimensional prison, humanity’s worst nightmares come to life. Set in the near future, the world of Dark Conspiracy is fraught with peril and challenge. Can you face the forces of darkness?

The Player’s Handbook contains all of the rules to create and run characters in the world of Dark Conspiracy. Including material from the previously released Dark Tek™ and Empathic Sourcebook™, this book contains revised character sheets, expanded equipment lists and in- depth empathic abilities section. 6” x 9” format, 400 pages, US$20.00

The Referee’s Guide contains material from the previously released Dark Races™ and Proto-Dimensions™. This book contains a large section on creatures and new dimensions for players to explore. You will find all the rules, start-up adventures and creatures from the dark abyss needed to play in this dark game of sci-fi horror. 6” x 9” format, 462 pages, US$25.00

Eric Johnson (order #2093395)

LESTER W. SMITH AA AA RR RR KK KK CC CC OO OO NN NN SShttp://www.dynastypresentations.com/ Copyright © 1998 Dark Conspiracy Enterprises. Dark Conspiracy is a trademark of Dark Conspiracy Enterprises. All rights reserved " id="pdf-obj-14-58" src="pdf-obj-14-58.jpg">

To order Dark Conspiracy 2 nd Edition, contact

Dynasty Presentations, Inc.

PO BOX 221

Lake Geneva, WI USA 53147

On the web, go to

Copyright © 1998 Dark Conspiracy Enterprises. Dark Conspiracy is a trademark of Dark Conspiracy Enterprises. All rights reserved

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