Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spycraft

I've been on board with Spycraft since it first came out. AEG's 1st edition remains one of my very favorite RPG books in my collection. They published generic espionage books as well as on official setting- Shadowforce Archer, which I passed on, but I owned every book that covered the generic espionage material. When Spycraft 2.0 came out my interestin d20 was waning and the book was overwhelming. It sat on my shelf for a few years before I sold nearly all my Spycraft items. This is one of those things you do that you later regret as inevitably my interest in the game has returned.

It has come back to me in my search for a game system to run some sessions with Leesha modeling a campaign in line with Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls books. One system I've leaning toward is SpyLite- The MicroLite20 Spycraft game. A lite game seems like a good way to start with her and this one should prove to be an easy transition to any fundamental d20 game no matter which version of Spycraft we end up.
Spycraft 2.0 Cover by Chriss2d

A great resource for a Gallagher Girls style campaign is found in issue 75 of a game magazine called Signs & Portents. The article is called Childish Things which covers playing children or juvenile characters in Spycraft 2.0.

The Crafty Games forum has a lot of talk about Spycraft 3rd Edition (not 3.0) which sounds like a slimmed down and improved version of Spycraft 2.0 which was originally still released by AEG. Later, Crafty Games produced an edited second printing. This version is now available again through a print-on-demand method.

A side note here- print-on-demand is a pretty cool thing that could change a lot of things in the gaming industry. Suddenly long out of print books can be available again. Interesting, that.

Anyways... 3rd Edition will be Crafty Games' first real Spycraft game. It has been described as an improvement on 2.0- which is now the Mastercraft system, but more narrowly focused on espionage avoiding the overwhelming magnitude of the 2.0 book. Other genres may be covered in other supplements, for example- for more of a crime campaign than espionage, Crafty Games has the Ten Thousand Bullets line (powered by Mastercraft) to cover that. I think this is a good move. Their Fantasy Craft is where Mastercraft has really seen it's development and seems to have done pretty well.

Espionage roleplaying games are my favorite of any of the RPG genres. Most likely starting with my first real RPG- Top Secret/S.I. I've recently picked up some of the old Victory Games James Bond RPG. Spycraft always felt like the natural next step from Top Secret/S.I. (like Fallout was the unofficial sequel to Wasteland).

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