Author Topic: Zero Dark: Millennium  (Read 69 times)

Offline precinctomega

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Zero Dark: Millennium
« on: March 24, 2020, 06:53:33 PM »
It's been a while, but I'm back, kinda. ;)  And I appreciate permission from the Mods to post this here.

So, a long, long time ago, before IRE, there was INQ2, which I nearly persuaded GW might be a thing and even got to the point of doing demo games for Jervis Johnson and Gav Thorpe.

Anyway, a lot of water has passed under that bridge, in which time I went off and started my own company, got a publishing deal, left the publishing deal, started my own publishing company, wrote another game and published that, too.  And there was some other stuff, like children and jobs and what-not.

But nearly two weeks ago I released Zero Dark, which is a hard SF skirmish game.  Why am I telling you lot, though?

Well, Zero Dark is designed to be playable solo, co-op and PvP with pretty much the same mechanics throughout.  You lead a team of elite operatives whose stats you write from scratch, giving them skills and weapons and personality traits, and you take on a narrative series of missions in which a team of faceless mooks controlled by a deck of playing cards try to stop you.  I hope, by now, you're seeing that there's some relevance to this forum?

But Zero Dark is hard SF, so not really INQ-fodder.

Or is it...?

I have a Patreon that really helps me to cover some of my costs and acts as a vital launch pad to putting new products into the market, and I really like making sure my patrons get something worthwhile for their time and (modest) contributions.  And I'm working on a new supplement for Zero Dark that will allow players to set missions right in the heart of a dystopian grimdark technopulp far future that bears an uncanny (yet non-IP-infringing) resemblance to a galaxy familiar to all of you here.

I haven't worked out how I'm going to release this into the wild, yet.  But while you're all locked away in self-isolation I thought I'd give you a little heads-up.  When the supplement is finished and available for beta testing by patrons, I'll let you all know.  Whether it finds its way onto this forum for INQ fans to give it a little test-run, we'll see.  But if you're interested in Zero Dark generally, you can find it on Wargame Vault, currently in PDF form but with a print edition coming very soon.

If you feel like supporting the Patreon, that's here.

The game is geared around 28-32mm, but is playable down to 15mm and I see no reason it couldn't scale up to 54mm.  You'd probably want to play 54mm with larger cylinders but otherwise leave the rest of the rules unchanged.

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Zero Dark: Millennium
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2020, 09:57:55 PM »
And I appreciate permission from the Mods to post this here.
I've apparently become plural. :P

(In all honesty, I don't think there's much of a forum "team" any more, beyond me occasionally pestering Charax for help with the technical side of things, or when I have to run around like a headless chicken because the domain registration expired and all the details of that were lost in the various transfers...)

Quote
you take on a narrative series of missions in which a team of faceless mooks controlled by a deck of playing cards try to stop you.
I keep meaning to adapt this kind of mechanic to Inquisitor; a lot of scenarios I write for story events are intended to be fairly GM-less, as taking time out of a game day to run a scenario someone else wrote isn't the most thrilling.

As such, the general principle tends to be: Let the players keep track of turn order themselves, cue cards for when major events happen, and they come over and get me if they've got a rules question or dispute they can't settle yourself. (Or what happened at the London GT, where the players on another table decided to take advantage of the fact Gav Thorpe was standing next to them).

But that does tend to mean not much in the way of NPCs, so a way to automate them would be interesting.

I have however had playing cards alongside Inquisitor before, but that's a whole other story. I had to come up with a way of making the players feel like they were actually involved in the trial of a Radical Inquisitor, so I wrote a playing card game. It quickly turned into GrimDark Phoenix Wright, and was a very welcome end to a day that had started quite stressfully. (Quite a palaver regarding large numbers of players not turning up).
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

GW's =I= articles

Offline Inquisitor_Snarf

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Re: Zero Dark: Millennium
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2020, 12:53:53 AM »
So, a long, long time ago...



INQ2, which I nearly persuaded GW might be a thing and even got to the point of doing demo games for Jervis Johnson and Gav Thorpe.

Now that is interesting! Too bad they did not bite in INQ2, was there even a ruleset of your 'v2' dropped? or am I getting my editions confused?

For Zero Dark, how much of Inquisitors DNA (rule wise) is there?

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Zero Dark: Millennium
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2020, 03:22:46 AM »
Too bad they did not bite in INQ2, was there even a ruleset of your 'v2' dropped? or am I getting my editions confused?
As I remember the timeline:

The first edition of Inquisitor was released in about May 2001. Over the next few years, some minor revisions happened, changing things like the rules for flame and full-auto weapons, and updating a couple of problematic abilities. This brings the official version of Inquisitor up to V1.1

Robey was talking to GW about INQ2 around 2008; he'd run a few playtesting events, a few of the design studio were interested, and there was the suggestion that Robey's work could become the new official second edition (albeit likely only in PDF form).
But this was also the time at which GW's management were dropping the development of Specialist Games entirely, shutting down the Specialist Games and Fanatic studios (and by this point, Fanatic had already become online only, rather than its original print magazine, which was itself an attempt to consolidate all the individual game magazines). Development of INQ2 as INQ2 did last a little longer, but eventually tailed off.

IRE (or "Inquisitor Revised Edition") is the latest attempt, my own attempt to pick up the idea of a fan-made second edition. It doesn't borrow much directly from INQ2 - although it did naturally need to solve a lot of the same problems, and there are a few bits in there that were at least broadly inspired by ideas I'd either heard or misinterpreted* were to be part of INQ2.
* Or, at least, if they ever were an idea, they're not in the INQ2 rules document I've got.

Thematically though, IRE is perhaps more of an "Inquisitor 1.5" - it tries to be reasonably back-compatible, and to focus its attentions on fixing what's broke rather than being a complete overhaul. It's also by no means widely used (although the people I've tested it with have been reasonably enthusiastic).
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

GW's =I= articles

Offline precinctomega

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Re: Zero Dark: Millennium
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2020, 05:18:26 PM »
Now that is interesting! Too bad they did not bite in INQ2, was there even a ruleset of your 'v2' dropped? or am I getting my editions confused?

For Zero Dark, how much of Inquisitors DNA (rule wise) is there?

No, they never dropped my 2.0.  It was a good deal more radical (pun intended) than IRE.  It did away with weapons tables and introduced what amounted to a points-build system to allow players to adopt a more "balanced" approach to assembling their teams if they wanted a more competitive style of game.  It also built in rules for NPC Grunts although I don't think it was card-based (I still have the files somewhere).

Very little of the mechanics of Inquisitor made it into Zero Dark, but several of the original concepts I developed for INQ2 came into it.  It's best to say that  Zero Dark represents a hard SF version of what I wanted Inquisitor to be.

Btw, an early draft of the grimdark supplement for Zero Dark has been leaked to my patrons.