I’ve long been a fan of conspiracy roleplaying games. My obsession began back in the 1990s with a couple of cool game worlds: CORPS and Dark Conspiracy. My interest deepened when I ran a fabulous Dark*Matter campaign in the early 2000s. Imagine my surprise when, by a strange turn of events, I came to realise that I own a copy of CORPS for the EABA system.
The connections are always amusing to me: I scroll on Twitter, see a post about the re-issued EABA Bundle of Holding and remember that I bought this back in 2019. A quick look in my Dropbox uncovers the files and then I notice CORPS – among several other very cool worlds – and begin to get curious.
In direct contradiction of my post the other day, I spent a day (while isolating in lieu of my PCR test) reading both the EABA Core Rules and the CORPS supplement. Very cool stuff. Enough cool to get me delving the rules and thinking about running a conspiracy game. I mean, I’ve been wanting to run a conspiracy game since… well, for about 15 years.
The obvious move is to put together a one-shot, find some interested players, and run CORPS just to see how it goes. From there, with a mission-orientated set-up I could easily envision a longer-running game playing as an Open Table. Given how I am itching to run an Open Table game, this idea simply adds one more option to the pile.
But there is something magically intriguing about a good conspiracy. I’ve read quite a few real-world conspiracy books over the years – largely with the intention of stealing their ideas and running a conspiracy campaign. Wild fringe ideas have always fascinated me, however, and each time I visit the rabbit warren it’s both illuminating and desperately bizarre.
If roleplaying games offer us a means to escape the real-world concerns of the everyday, there seems to be a great catharsis on offer for those willing to step into the darker shadow world of our collective post-modern nightmares. At a time of global pandemic and extremist divided politics perhaps a good dose of fictional investigation is a welcome counter to the crazier imaginings of our Western culture.
Time to dust off my tin hat.