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Black9 Ops

Here's an interesting little game that I must thank GameSpy for pointing me toward. A while ago, the makers of the Star Trek: Starfleet Command series of computer games decided to branch out and make a console/PC action title, which they dubbed Black9, a sprawling sci-fi epic of ultra-tech frontiers, ancient mysteries and Machiavellian intrigues. During development, a decision was made to develop a pen-and-paper roleplaying game set in the Black9 universe; the task was given to none other than Steve Perrin, long-time game developer from the early days of Chaosium (especially RuneQuest).

Over the past few months, though, development stalled on Black9, and just recently, developer Taldren shut its American operations - including Black9 - down in favour of relocating to Korea and starting work on yet another Massively Multiplayer Online Fantasy RPG.

However, Black9 still survives - in its pen-and-paper incarnation, Black9 Ops. Steve Perrin was interviewed on it by HomeLanFed, who have also posted the game in PDF format for download!

I rather like it - I think it's a neat little interplanetary cyberpunk adventure game for seventy-plus pages, and while it's a little sparse on art and atmosphere, you can quite easily make up for that by raiding the screen shot archives of the various computer and video gaming sites featuring the game.

Interestingly enough, while RPG adaptations of computer games already exist, this is the first I've seen that actually directly utilises the computer game's task resolution and combat mechanics. I suppose the wheel has to complete a revolution sometime, eh? :-D

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