Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for THE X-FILES

The X-Files was a great resource for me when I was planning Cyberpunk 2020 campaigns. I liberally stole a whole bunch of ideas from this series (as well as from The Pretender) when designing my campaigns. I actually started a CP2020 campaign that saw the characters all as members of the FBI. They weren’t exactly assigned to the “X” files, but they were assigned to some pretty weird stuff. Sadly, the campaign devolved very quickly into stupidity and power-gaming, and I never really got to develop the plots I had been working on. In my outline, I had found a way to connect the events of Cybergeneration (ie. Nanotechnology infiltrating humanity like a virus) to the campaign as “alien experimentation”, which was being tacitly approved by the US government. I also found a way to tie in some psionics weirdness with a European corp working on making “mind soldiers”, in a bizarre mash-up of THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL and THE PRETENDER.

I miss the X-Files…. well, MOST if the X-Files. The last couple seasons (after David Duchovny decided he didn’t want to play Mulder any more) became an disorganized mess, leading to possibly the most disappointing series finale I can remember. There were still some moments of brilliance there (like when Mulder came back to finally (sort of) lay to rest what had happened to his sister, Samantha), but the BEST parts of the series were from about season 3 to season 7, where they really hit their stride with being able to weave together their standard “weird” episodes with the ongoing mythology episodes involving the Smoking Man. Even when they played up the camp for a few episodes, it worked. That’s why I think the X-Files is a great resource for a gamemaster to rip off ideas from.

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