Second edition core book
|Designer(s)||Dave Chapman, George Vasilakos|
|Publisher(s)||Eden Studios, Inc.|
|Publication date||1996 (1st Edition - New Millennium Entertainment), 2006 (2nd Edition - Eden Studios)|
Conspiracy X is a role-playing game (RPG) published by Eden Studios, Inc. The current version is based on the Unisystem, but previous versions have used GURPS and its own system. All feature the same central story.
The game has a long and involved metaplot detailing government involvement with three different alien races (the Greys, the Atlanteans and the Saurians), dating back to the Roswell Incident of 1947, as well as tying together supernatural and paranormal phenomenon. Player characters usually take the role of operatives for AEGIS, a secret organization dedicated to investigating extraterrestrial and paranormal threats, and responding where necessary, although campaign settings can equally be crafted for operations by other in-game organizations. Players themesleves generally take the role of disaffected government agents. They may be employed by real-world organizations such as the FBI or ATF or an organization created for the game, such as the Defense Tactical Information Center or Project Rasputin. The game also touches on many modern popular conspiracy theories including the CIA involvement with psychics and the alien cover up from MKULTRA. The game can also be run to focus on paranormal happenings such as ghost sightings or ESP.
The first edition was acquired from New Millennium Entertainment and was Eden's first RPG, and used a system unique to the game. The first version went through several printings, with the Third Printing – Revised carrying a copyright date of 1997. The system included rules for purchasing equipment and connections for the player characters' cell, and a psychic ability system that involved Zener cards. Many supplemental books were produced for this line including books detailing alien technologies and races, books for dealing with the supernatural (as it is defined in the Conspiracy X world) and books on the governmental agencies featured in the core book (AEGIS and Black Book, also called the NDD), as well as a book on how to create conspiracies and the Bodyguard of Lies series, three books with miscellaneous additions to the world and rules as well as missions to roleplay.
This edition features an original rules system, where actions are resolved with one of only four probabilities:
- Easy (100%) – Automatic Success (if your skill exceeds the difficulty level)
- Medium (58.3%) – Success on rolling 7 or lower on 2d6 (if your skill is equal to the difficulty level)
- Hard (16.7%) – Success on rolling 4 or lower on 2d6 (if your skill is a single point lower than the difficulty level)
- Impossible (0%) – Automatic Failure (if your skill is more than a single point lower than the difficulty level)
There are also resolution systems for non-skill actions, competitive actions, extended actions such as research, and use of specific powers and abilities using the core resolution system as a base. Difficulties range from 1 to 5, and sometimes higher for very difficult actions.
The first edition was very well supported, with a number of supplements:
- The Aegis Handbook (1997) – Player's Guide to Aegis.
- The Hand Unseen (2002) – Player's Guide to the NDD, or Black Book.
- Nemesis (1999) – Grey sourcebook.
- Atlantis Rising (1998) – Atlantean sourcebook.
- Exodus (1999) – Saurian sourcebook.
- Forsaken Rites (1997) – Supernatural sourcebook.
- Shadows of the Mind (1999) – Psi sourcebook.
- Cryptozoology (1997) – Dossier of the Unexplained.
- Sub Rosa (1999) – Conspiracy Creation sourcebook.
- Gamemaster Screen (1996) – with adventure module included.
- Bodyguard of Lies series:
- Psi Wars (1998) – Introduces Dreaming, New Creditials, Trait and Resources, Alternate Weapon Ranges, Compilation of Alien Technology Resource Points and Psionics, New Informational Sources, Fear and insanity Rules, Manifestations, Biological, chemical, and radioactive menaces. The majority of the supplement is Psi-Wars, a complete Conspiracy X scenario.
- Mokole (1998)
- Synergy (1999) – Introduces Rules for Toxins and Poisons. The majority of the supplement is Synergy, a complete Conspiracy X scenario.
Another version was published in 2002 using the GURPS rules-set. This was the second Powered by GURPS licensed game to be produced outside of Steve Jackson Games. In addition to GURPS rules it provided conversion guidelines for players of the first Conspiracy X. The GURPS variant is part of the 1st Edition line and features the same cover art.
Second Edition (Conspiracy X 2.0)
Conspiracy X 2.0 was published in 2006 (features the Unisystem rules) and was nominated for an ENnie Award Best RPG for 2007. This edition presented conversion guidelines for players of the 1st Edition of the game (although no GURPS conversions are provided). Since the release of Conspiracy X 2.0, the following supplements have also been produced:
- Extraterrestrials Sourcebook (PDF in May 2010, successful Kickstarter in November 2011 for a print edition).
- The Paranormal Sourcebook (print and PDF editions via Kickstarter funding January 2012).
- The Conspiracies Sourcebook (print and PDF editions via Kickstarter funding July 2012).
Conspiracy X was ranked 23rd in the 1996 reader poll of Arcane magazine to determine the 50 most popular roleplaying games of all time. The UK magazine's editor Paul Pettengale commented: "By far the best of the modern-day horror games inspired by The X-Files, Conspiracy X has a meticulously constructed background which combined reality and fiction to create a frighteningly plausible setting. Reading through the background is enough to spark ideas for scenarios and even whole campaigns. The rules are simple and quick, while still allowing for a fair degree of complexity, and feature a unique and interesting system for dealing with psychic powers. Excellent stuff."
- Richeson, Christopher (2006). "Review of Conspiracy X Second Edition". RPGnet. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- Dady, Gavin (2002). "GURPS Conspiracy X". RPGnet. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- Powel, Aaron (1998). "Conspiracy X". The Gaming Outpost. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- Wiegel, Kurt. "Game Geeks ep #15 Conspiracy X 2.0". Retrieved 2007-10-01. Game Geeks Video review of Conspiracy X 2.0
- Hollings, Sarah (2001). "Review of Conspiracy X". Places to Go, People to Be The Online Magazine for Roleplayers . Retrieved 2007-09-30. External link in
- "ENnie Nominations: Best RPG of 2007" (2nd ed.). ENWorld. 2007-08-25. Archived from the original on 2007-09-18. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
- "Conspiracy X RPG The Extraterrestrials Sourcebook". Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- "Conspiracy X RPG The Paranormal Sourcebook". Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- "Conspiracy X RPG The Conspiracies Sourcebook". Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- Pettengale, Paul (Christmas 1996). "Arcane Presents the Top 50 Roleplaying Games 1996". Arcane. Future Publishing (14): 25–35.