Top Secret – System Mastery 43


System Mastery 43- Top Secret

There’s a story around the internet about how this game is so realistic that it summoned the FBI around to investigate the TSR offices to see if they had some sort of secret intel or intent to kill the president or some such.  Having read it now, we can only assume it’s because the FBI literally couldn’t figure out what was in the book at all, and decided to just cover their bases for the purposes of due diligence.  It’s a spy RPG that is 100% charts on this week’s System Mastery.

Let us know what you thought of Top Secret in the comments!  Have a book you’d us to cover?  Let us know about that too.

Editor’s note:  It’s true, I deleted the first recording in my mad dash to play a videogame.  Never again!

10 responses to “Top Secret – System Mastery 43

  1. I picked up my copy of Top Secret at the 1980 Gencon in UW-Parkside and it was the first Modern Day RPG.

    Yes it is chart and math crazy, as the developer Merle Rasmussen came from a heavy microarmor background and you haven’t seen anything like 1970s microarmor rules. Look up Tractics some time.

    At this point of RPG history, we had Runequest, Tunnels and Trolls, Traveller, Empire of the Petal Throne, Metamorphosis Alpha, Boot Hill, Original D&D, Melee/Wizard (proto-proto-GURPS) and not much else really.

    Top Secret was vastly different than any of those in tone or ruleset. The fact that it had weighted damage (the % you were talking about) was something brand new for example.

    Sprechenhaltestelle is a mess, all the Top Secret modules are messes.

    Compared to modern design it’s awful, but at the time of its release it was radical new choices.

    (Also 2nd edition got rid of Wrestling Value…)

    • I like to imagine this isn’t an RPG recommendation but instead is a fashion suggestion.

  2. Marvel Heroes is probably the best of the Diablo clones. I attribute that to Marvel’s long experience with cloning as the solution to all of their problems.

  3. Greetings from Germany. ;)

    The best superhero game I played in just used Fate.
    There is some potential in the upcoming Worlds in Peril I think, but I am a fan of Powered by the Apocalypse games in general.

  4. I’d like to recommend Mutants and Masterminds. It’s d20, but has no wizard problem. I like 2nd edition, but I hear good things about 3rd.

    Also, was that a Prisoner reference? Excellent.

  5. Sprechenhaltestelle is basically In Search of the Unknown, but blander. There’s a plot there, but you need to read through each and every building to figure out who actually is and isn’t important. It’s Codename: Pisces because the defectors are being smuggled out in Fish crates, for example, but is this aver explained in so many words? no. Subsequent TS modules at least had plot hooks worthy of the name.

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