Sunday, January 8, 2012

The NoN List / One shot festive Gumshoe adventure

There's now no chance that I'll run with this idea for the next eleven months, so let's blog it instead.

Before I go on, its probably best if you watch the first Tom Cruise Mission Impossible film, in which Hunt and his team must stop stop a NOC list from falling into the wrong hands.

For a while now I've had a half formed joke rattling around my head about Santa assisting police with their enquiries due to his extensive Naughty or Nice list.
He has clearly established an effective and secretive international intelligence network, and uses the information it gathers to keep records on every person alive in the world today.
Therefore, Santa would possess information valuable to any criminal investigation.

It's a poor joke, but a terrifying espionage scenario.
Especially if that list falls into the wrong hands...

I intended to run this using the Esoterrorists rules with a tweaked setting, although I now think that Nights Black Agents would suit it better, being a Bourne/M:I setting already.
I'll reserve judgement on that until I've read through NBA, though.

The set up is; the players are active operatives for an intelligence agency - CIA, NSA, MI5, MI6, MOSSAD, KGB, etc.
They have been tasked with retrieving an encrypted hard drive from a defector. They are briefed that the hard drive is infinitely more valuable than the defector.
The deal goes bad; a third party intervenes, the defector is killed and the hard drive lost.

Information points to a mole within the players own agency, and they are implicated in the conspiracy.

You'll need to decide who the traitor is, who he works for and how the players can track him/her down, retrieve the hard drive and clear their names.

So, what's on the hard drive? Only the previous years Naughty or Nice list.
This is best played after Christmas Day, and should be delivered deadpan.
The Hard Drive contains one, massive, rich text document - a seemingly endless list of names, ages and addresses in table format, with three extra columns.
The columns are headed Yearly Average, Nice Deeds, Naughty Deeds.
It covers the previous Dec 25 through to Dec 24.
If they specifically look, the players can find their own names with a scarily accurate summary of their activities for that year, including details of any covert, top secret missions they undertook.
They can also find the names of their immediate family, their superiors, known operatives from rival agencies, world leaders and celebrities.
The list could topple governments, compromise national security and ruin lives.
The players may even question whether or not their own agency should possess the list.

It's important to play the game as straight as possible. The only joke is the origin of the list, everything else is deadly serious.

For a supernatural element, you can include disturbing midgets with twisted faces, high pitched voices and bleeding edge equipment who are competing against the players.