"The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it."
-- Morpheus, The Matrix

About the Campaign

Overview

Hidden Dangers

The year is 2011 and despite the best efforts of two administrations, terrorism remains a significant threat. But what most of America -- what most of the world -- does not realize is that there are even greater terrors that go unreported in the news or on the Web. Madmen hell-bent on triggering the long-delayed World War III. Death cults preparing to release genetically engineered viruses. Criminal masterminds prepared to subvert entire nations.

The threats are legion, and each one is as deadly -- or worse -- than the ones that the public is aware of. It is the responsibility of the agents of America's Covert Intelligence Group to counter these threats before their enter the public consciousness, to maintain the stability of the world's geo-political structure, and to preserve the United States against enemies both internal and external.

Struggles in the Dark

The CIG is a black-ops organization, answerable only to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the president himself … and perhaps not even him. Founded with the noblest intentions in 2003 to counter unconventional threats to the nation, CIG has festered in the darkness that cloaks it. While its agents still fight against the enemies of the United States, their tactics have become increasingly questionable, and some within the organization are beginning to question -- quietly, and only among trusted associates -- whether CIG has expanded beyond its mandate, whether there may be lines that were never mea nt to be crossed.

Logistics

Prometheus is a libertarian-themed play-by-email Spycraft campaign scheduled to begin in September 2004. In it, agents begin working as operatives of a government agency, fighting back the typical evil masterminds, evil corporations, two-bit tyrants hellbent on world (or at least regional) domination as well as not-so-typical enemies of freedom like "non-governmental organizations", environmental terrorists, and scum-harboring international agencies.

The game is run in association with the Libertarian Gamers Project and the current game control is Ken Newquist. New members are presently being accepted; lurkers are welcome. To join the campaign, send an e-mail to knewquist@nuketown.com introducing yourself. To lurk, join our Yahoo Group and include a note that you intend to lurk in the comment field.

You can learn more about this campaign by reading the following speculative columns on Nuketown. While not all of these elements will find their way into the campaign, they will serve to give you an idea of where we're headed.

Source Books

Recommended Books

The following source books are strongly recommended for ongoing members; those who'd like to try the campaign can join without having these books, but it's a good idea to pick them up eventually:

  • Spycraft Espionage Game Source Book: (Publisher: Alderac, ISBN: 1887953434) The core rule book for Spycraft. It contains the basic classes and core rules.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook (Publisher: Wizards of the Coast, ISBN: 1887953434) A supplemental source book needed for experience charts, feat progressions and stat improvement information. You can get buy without this book; the Spycraft book is the critical one.

Other Source Books

The following source books are used by the Game Control in the creation of the campaign. With the exception of the Mastermind source book, all of the feats, skills, prestige classes and abilities listed in these books can be used by player characters without prior approval from the Game Control. Rules from other source books can be used, but since I don't have copies of those books, you'll need to send me an excerpt of the rule in question.

While not a Shadowforce Archer campaign, feats, skills and prestige classes from that book can be used with GC approval. No psionic or mystic-related items are allowed however. Skills, feats and Earth-based classes from Alderac's Stargate SG-1 source book maybe appropriate for this campaign; if you have the book and would like to use them, e-mail the GC.

Definitions

There are several key terms in Spycraft that need to be defined. These terms impact upon certain abilities or activities -- for example, emergency training lasts for the length of one serial.

  • Game Control: The Spycraft version of a Dungeon Master or Game Master. Abbreviated GC.
  • Season: The equivalent of a television season in a show like Alias or Mission: Impossible.
  • Serial: The individual episodes of a series. There can be a variable number of serials in seasons, from 2-3 (a short season) up to 10-12 (a long season). The typical season is 6-9 serials long. The number of serials impacts upon the competence of the mastermind the agents will be facing.
  • Scene: A specific location or action within a larger serial.

Character Creation

1. Skill Points

We use a 36 point buy. Starting attributes may range from 8-18, before department bonuses are added (as per the Living Spycraft rules).

Score Cost Modifier
6---2
7---1
80-1
910
1020
1130
124+1
135+1
146+2
158+2
1610+3
1713+3
1816+4
19--+4
20--+5

2. Departments

You can choose any department from the Spycraft core rule book.

3. Starting Level

All characters start at 3rd level.

4. Backgrounds

Players are strongly encouraged to invest skill points in backgrounds, as per the Spycraft rules on page 96-98 of the core rule book. You may take choose backgrounds from the Spycraft core book or Agency supplement; all backgrounds need to be approved by the Game Control, to ensure they’re work within the context of the season (but the season can and will be modified to accommodate backgrounds when possible).