Top Secret: New World Order

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alcyone
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Top Secret: New World Order

Post by alcyone »

http://topsecretnwo.com/

Just was reading Covert Ops and thinking about Top Secret and remembered Merle Rasmussen had a new one he was writing. Guess this is it. By TSR (the Gygax Magazine one).

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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by DMMike »

Yup, our podcast (Save for Half) did a 2-parter where ep 5 wa about the original Top Secret and ep 5 1/2 was an interview with Merl and Jayson Elliot (of the new TSR) about TS:NWO. Follow link in sig for details.

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Rhuvein
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Rhuvein »

Cool! Look forward to learning more.

Aergraith, Penny and Gringnr and I have talked about this game in the past during our Sunday night sessions.

I pulled out my old game tonight and forgot what great condition it is in.

Love to look at the credits to read . . . most of the TSR writers, editors and artists involved.

Darlene's rendering of Emma Peel is superb!

Aegraith knows that I'd run this ~ under C&C rules, of course!!! ;)

I plan to re-read this game tomorrow!

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Gringnr
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Gringnr »

Been listening to the original Bond novels on audiobook during my morning runs. And Merle Rasmussen mentioned "The Sandbaggers" during one of (I think) DMMike and Co.'s podcasts, which, as it turns out, is an excellent show (Referring to both "The Sandbaggers" and "Save for Half" here). So, Espionage gaming is def on my radar. If I were running a game, it would be James Bond 007 (EASY system and I'm lazy), but I would play anything anyone else wanted to run, for a while at least (still have heavy time commitments to LL & the nephews at this point).

Here is a cool site dedicated to Espionage roleplaying: https://www.modus-operandi.co.uk/
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Caladbolg »

I'm looking forward to this one. I backed it on KS for the PDF...loved the original, looking forward to running/playing it.
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Lurker »

Wow that brings back some old memories ...
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finarvyn
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by finarvyn »

Gringnr wrote:Been listening to the original Bond novels on audiobook during my morning runs./
I don't do audiobooks, but I own the whole set of Ian Fleming James Bond novels and they are great! Much different from the "tux and a babe" Bond popularized in the Roger Moore era, the original Bond books are more of a tough-guy Bond who gets beat up and gets fingers broken. I'd say that the original Bond books are more like Hammett and Chandler, but a spy instead of detective.
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Jyrdan Fairblade
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Jyrdan Fairblade »

The Bond of the books is definitely meaner, rougher, and colder. I still have a soft spot for Roger Moore era Bond, though.
finarvyn wrote:Much different from the "tux and a babe" Bond popularized in the Roger Moore era, the original Bond books are more of a tough-guy Bond who gets beat up and gets fingers broken. I'd say that the original Bond books are more like Hammett and Chandler, but a spy instead of detective.

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Gringnr
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Gringnr »

Definitely agree with the two posters above. In the Fleming novels, Bond was more ruthless, but also more human in many ways.
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by finarvyn »

Any more news on this game? I'm puzzled since the link above seems to imply that TSR is releasing the thing, but it's not on the TSR webpage. Maybe I'm mis-interpreting something...?
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Gringnr »

DMMike wrote:Yup, our podcast (Save for Half) did a 2-parter where ep 5 wa about the original Top Secret and ep 5 1/2 was an interview with Merl and Jayson Elliot (of the new TSR) about TS:NWO. Follow link in sig for details.

Mike

I found it very interesting that, in that episode, Mr. Rasmussen says that the biggest influence on Top Secret was a late 70's British TV show called The Sandbaggers. The Sandbaggers is a great show, and way ahead of its time. But it was more akin to, say, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy than it was the Bond films, or even Top Secret as most of us played it. A lot of mifdle-aged, decidedly non-sexy guys talking and making plans in offices, punctuated by the odd brief burst of action. Definitely not what 12 year old me wanted out of a spy game! That having been said, the Sandbaggers is amazing, complex and, at times, morally ambiguous. Well worth watching not only for the taut drama and interesting character studies, but also for the uncomfortable questions it poses. We don't always like the characters, and they don't always like each other. They spend nearly as much time ferreting out traitors and double agents in their own ranks as they do engaging enemy spies in foreign countries. And it was also a show in which no character was safe. Espionage in the show was a dangerous, sometimes deadly business. Agents could, and did, lose their lives on missions. Great stuff.
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finarvyn
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by finarvyn »

I've never heard of the Sandbaggers, but my sister is really into British shows so maybe she knows about it. I'll have to ask.

James Bond was definitely a huge influence for my group's TS games back in the day. I read the books and watched the movies and I think my campaigns were somewhere in between. A buddy of mine did a lot more military stuff with TS in his campaigns.
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Jyrdan Fairblade
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Jyrdan Fairblade »

Back in the day, there was a bit of Bond to our Top Secret campaigns. But really it was more of the military side, inspired by innumerable 80s action flicks, especially after we got the Commando sourcebook.

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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

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Its funny, this weekend I was watching a recent Bond movie and my girls came in. I quickly realized watching Bond with 9 and 10 1/2 year old girls that go to a small Christian school isn't a good idea ... So I put in a 'Mission Impossible' movie. And, the little ones were hooked.

I may have to look into a 'spy game' in the near future after the girls get a bit more 'Harvester's' under their belt.
Jyrdan Fairblade wrote:Back in the day, there was a bit of Bond to our Top Secret campaigns. But really it was more of the military side, inspired by innumerable 80s action flicks, especially after we got the Commando sourcebook.
Rgr, back in the day (high school) we played a military/UNCLE/MI type spy game. Especially once we got the Commando book. We never really played an 007 style game even though we watched them all.

Its funny, from the group back then 3 of us went military and 2 went the police/sheriff route. Only 2 did the college or normal life path.

I'll have to give 'sandbaggers' a look. It sounds like I'd like it.
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

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Lurker wrote:Its funny, this weekend I was watching a recent Bond movie and my girls came in. I quickly realized watching Bond with 9 and 10 1/2 year old girls that go to a small Christian school isn't a good idea
As I've gotten older, I'm finding I can't handle the womanizing in old Bond films. I loved them as a kid. Now, I find the Sean Connery and especially Roger Moore-era Bond to be a disgusting man whore. I have no problem with people who enjoy those films, but they aren't for me anymore.
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Gringnr
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Gringnr »

Buttmonkey wrote:
Lurker wrote:Its funny, this weekend I was watching a recent Bond movie and my girls came in. I quickly realized watching Bond with 9 and 10 1/2 year old girls that go to a small Christian school isn't a good idea
As I've gotten older, I'm finding I can't handle the womanizing in old Bond films. I loved them as a kid. Now, I find the Sean Connery and especially Roger Moore-era Bond to be a disgusting man whore. I have no problem with people who enjoy those films, but they aren't for me anymore.
In his original foreword to Frank Miller's seminal "The Dark Knight Returns", Alan Moore wrote, "...we begin to see that the overriding factor in James Bond's psychological makeup is his utter hatred and contempt for women".
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

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Gringnr wrote:
Buttmonkey wrote:
Lurker wrote:Its funny, this weekend I was watching a recent Bond movie and my girls came in. I quickly realized watching Bond with 9 and 10 1/2 year old girls that go to a small Christian school isn't a good idea
As I've gotten older, I'm finding I can't handle the womanizing in old Bond films. I loved them as a kid. Now, I find the Sean Connery and especially Roger Moore-era Bond to be a disgusting man whore. I have no problem with people who enjoy those films, but they aren't for me anymore.
In his original foreword to Frank Miller's seminal "The Dark Knight Returns", Alan Moore wrote, "...we begin to see that the overriding factor in James Bond's psychological makeup is his utter hatred and contempt for women".

Rgr that. I don't mind a beautiful girl in a movie, but so much of Bond girls is gratuitous and in excess ...

So, As TS NWO isn't out yet, and it is to late to get in on the kick starter.

What rule systems are out there (preferable in PDF) that are good spy games ?
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Gringnr
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Gringnr »

Lurker wrote:
Gringnr wrote:
Buttmonkey wrote:
Lurker wrote:Its funny, this weekend I was watching a recent Bond movie and my girls came in. I quickly realized watching Bond with 9 and 10 1/2 year old girls that go to a small Christian school isn't a good idea
As I've gotten older, I'm finding I can't handle the womanizing in old Bond films. I loved them as a kid. Now, I find the Sean Connery and especially Roger Moore-era Bond to be a disgusting man whore. I have no problem with people who enjoy those films, but they aren't for me anymore.
In his original foreword to Frank Miller's seminal "The Dark Knight Returns", Alan Moore wrote, "...we begin to see that the overriding factor in James Bond's psychological makeup is his utter hatred and contempt for women".

Rgr that. I don't mind a beautiful girl in a movie, but so much of Bond girls is gratuitous and in excess ...

So, As TS NWO isn't out yet, and it is to late to get in on the kick starter.

What rule systems are out there (preferable in PDF) that are good spy games ?

Every system has its adherents. It really depends on what you're looking for in a game. I still prefer the James Bond 007 game to any other. Simple, flexible system that perfectly captures the spirit of the movies and books. It's fun, but I wouldn't call it "realistic" or "gritty". And it's not intended to be. Also, the modules had a very high production value. Each was quite lengthy, with props, handouts and tons of detail. Its biggest drawback was being tied to the mythology of James Bond (Each module was based on one of the films- but changed significantly. Players were warned that trying to play the module just like the movie night result in death, failure or at the very least, a stirred martini.). I don't think that allowed the game to "breathe" properly. Luckily, the game has recently received some non-film related support from two places: one is Classified, a retro-clone available on drivethrurpg. It has an excellent scenario (available separately) called Rogue Lion. The second is some excellent adventures done by this gentleman for free download on his website:

http://4eyes.code66.se/?page_id=11

Unfortunately, the JB007 stuff is not available as a legitimate PDF. It's out there on the web, though. Classified is available, and 100% compatible. Classified also updated the weapons and technology of the original game, bringing it into the present day, which is nice.

There is a free bare bones retro clone called, Double Zero, which is basically all mechanics and no fluff. It's floating around the web as well.
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Gringnr »

The character sheet for this game has on it a picture of a matchbook. The front of the matchbook reads, "Lucky 13 Public House", while the back says, "Neil Burnside, Publican", along with an address and other details.

"Lucky 13" is the name of the game system for TS: NWO

Neil Burnside is Director of Operations for the SIS (also known as MI6) in The Sandbaggers. I thought this was a cool shout out to the game's original source of inspiration.

The show ended abruptly after the disappearance of its creator and chief writer. Perhaps Mr. Rasmussen decided that Burnside deserved a peaceful retirement. Or perhaps the pub is a front. Either way, I like it!
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Gringnr
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Re: Top Secret: New World Order

Post by Gringnr »

My bad, it wasn't Merle Rasmussen who was a fan of The Sandbaggers, it was Jayson Elliot.
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