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Top Secret / S.I. anyone?


Other RPGs

51 to 95 of 95 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

I'e posted elsewhere that at one point we even converted our 2e D&D characters to 007 rules, we liked them so much. Armor and spells were sort of clunky that way, though. Ultimately we evolved a 007/2e Hybrid game that we'd still be playing to this day if Paizo hadn't done such a good job supporting 3.5.


CourtFool wrote:
SecretAgent wrote:
EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
Anyone ever play Top Secret/S.I., if so what was your experience like?
That's classified.
It is only Confidential.

More like "For My Eyes Only" so you have been given clearance to reveal such intelligence to the proper personnel, namely ME!


Any read the Top Secret/S.I. and Agent 13 comics? Or the Double Agent novels? The novels were about Sebastian Cord.


Moebius wrote:
Any read the Top Secret/S.I. and Agent 13 comics? Or the Double Agent novels? The novels were about Sebastian Cord.

Yes I have all of them. The novels were very much so-so but if your a big Top Secret/S.I.fan like I am, you'll still enjoy them. One of them was advertised but was never actually printed, so there are three novels available.

I have the two Agent 13 novels as well. The second one picks up where the first one leaves off as I recall. Absolutely loved the 1st one, I had a hard time putting it down. The second was ok.

The comics that came out put Agent 13 in the 1990's. They were ok as well.


EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
Moebius wrote:
Any read the Top Secret/S.I. and Agent 13 comics? Or the Double Agent novels? The novels were about Sebastian Cord.

Yes I have all of them. The novels were very much so-so but if your a big Top Secret/S.I.fan like I am, you'll still enjoy them. One of them was advertised but was never actually printed, so there are three novels available.

I have the two Agent 13 novels as well. The second one picks up where the first one leaves off as I recall. Absolutely loved the 1st one, I had a hard time putting it down. The second was ok.

The comics that came out put Agent 13 in the 1990's. They were ok as well.

I have the novels and read the first two (the Web vs Orion stories only so far) and I have all the comics, too. Yeah, they're ok. I don't have the Agent 13 novels other than the stories included in the Double Agent novels. So I haven't read them yet. I do have the first Agent 13 graphic novel. That was pretty cool.

I wish there was more support for TSSI. Such a great game. The only gaming book I'm missing is F.R.E.E. America. I think I also misplaced the gadget booklet that came with the original box set. I wish all that was available in PDF. Hard to find.


Moebius wrote:


I have the novels and read the first two (the Web vs Orion stories only so far) and I have all the comics, too. Yeah, they're ok. I don't have the Agent 13 novels other than the stories included in the Double Agent novels. So I haven't read them yet. I do have the first Agent 13 graphic novel. That was pretty cool.

I wish there was more support for TSSI. Such a great game. The only gaming book I'm missing is F.R.E.E. America. I think I also misplaced the gadget booklet that came with the original box set. I wish all that was available in PDF. Hard to find.

Did you play pretty much by the rules as written or did you house rule a lot of things? Just curious, I like to see what others did or do with their Top Secret/S.I. game. Any particular areas of the game you found particularly great to on the weak side?

Cheliax

My favorite memory of Top Secret/S.I. was when a buddy of mine in the Air Force took our actual top secret stamp and stamped all the pages with it. Then he three hole punched it and stuck it in one of the black official looking binders. The guards stopped him on his way out the gate and he was still at the station three hours later when I came on shift trying to explain what was going on. Good times.


David Fryer wrote:
My favorite memory of Top Secret/S.I. was when a buddy of mine in the Air Force took our actual top secret stamp and stamped all the pages with it. Then he three hole punched it and stuck it in one of the black official looking binders. The guards stopped him on his way out the gate and he was still at the station three hours later when I came on shift trying to explain what was going on. Good times.

Wow, sound similar to the inverstigation TSR had back in the day by the FBI.

Here's the piece....
A note written on TSR stationery about a fictitious assassination plot (part of a playtest for the Top Secret espionage game) brings the FBI to the offices of TSR Hobbies.

For those who want to link it here you are. Go to the year 1980 and down to the fourth bullet.

TSR Top Secret/FBI Investigation.


David Fryer wrote:
My favorite memory of Top Secret/S.I. was when a buddy of mine in the Air Force took our actual top secret stamp and stamped all the pages with it.

Not terribly smart.

One of my old army buddies was great at espionage campaigns. He ran a Top Secret campaign where I was a Mossad agent. I then converted him to G.U.R.P.S.

Cheliax

CourtFool wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
My favorite memory of Top Secret/S.I. was when a buddy of mine in the Air Force took our actual top secret stamp and stamped all the pages with it.

Not terribly smart.

One of my old army buddies was great at espionage campaigns. He ran a Top Secret campaign where I was a Mossad agent. I then converted him to G.U.R.P.S.

He was a vehicle mechanic, what can I say?


David Fryer wrote:
My favorite memory of Top Secret/S.I. was when a buddy of mine in the Air Force took our actual top secret stamp and stamped all the pages with it. Then he three hole punched it and stuck it in one of the black official looking binders. The guards stopped him on his way out the gate and he was still at the station three hours later when I came on shift trying to explain what was going on. Good times.

That would be a pretty cool copy to have, though. Where do you think it is now? Filed away in some government warehouse next to the Ark of the Covenant?

Cheliax

Moebius wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
My favorite memory of Top Secret/S.I. was when a buddy of mine in the Air Force took our actual top secret stamp and stamped all the pages with it. Then he three hole punched it and stuck it in one of the black official looking binders. The guards stopped him on his way out the gate and he was still at the station three hours later when I came on shift trying to explain what was going on. Good times.
That would be a pretty cool copy to have, though. Where do you think it is now? Filed away in some government warehouse next to the Ark of the Covenant?

No, once everything was straightened out he got to take it home with him, so long as he did not try and bring it back on base. It's probably on a shelf in his home in Illinois.

Taldor

A buddy of mine, studying criminal justice in college, ran several Top Secret games. I enjoyed them very much. Although not my cup of tea to game master, I played some memorable characters. Good game.


It was my favorite game to Administer.


I found this on my old computer and have no recall of where it was found. I also noticed I was missing the last page. My google-fu was too weak to find it again. So I come to you...

Where is this character sheet from? Who made it?

http://jeffrywith1e.googlepages.com/p01TSSI-CharSheet-Biop1.png
http://jeffrywith1e.googlepages.com/p02TSSI-CharSheet-Vitals.png
http://jeffrywith1e.googlepages.com/p03TSSI-CharSheet-Skills.png
http://jeffrywith1e.googlepages.com/p04TSSI-CharSheet-Combat.png
http://jeffrywith1e.googlepages.com/p05TSSI-CharSheet-Gear.png


Modus Operandi has had a make over...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Moebius wrote:
Any read the Top Secret/S.I. and Agent 13 comics? Or the Double Agent novels? The novels were about Sebastian Cord.

I had the Agent 13 Sourcebook and at least one of the novels. That takes me back. We had a great Top Secret game that we updated to to SI once it came out. We never played it as much as D&D, but it made some of the adventures more memorable because of that.


Top Secret/S.I. Was and IS an awesome game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
Anyone ever play Top Secret/S.I., if so what was your experience like?

Enjoyable but all too short.

I did enjoy the skills based system, and the fact that pulling out the Thompson Submachine Gun and blasting everyone in sight wasn't really the way to go in SI. At the same time the plots that we most enjoyed were the ones like Rapidstrike and Lady in Distress that were really just modernized dungeon crawls.

The problems arose when we moved on to more...nuanced fare like Fastpass, Seventh Sign, and (particularly) Orient Express. My team of Commandos just didn't quite know want to do for these plot/ investigation driven adventures. In fact I believe LA burned in nuclear fire during Seventh Sign, and the general frustration led them/us back to AD&D.

But that was some 20 years ago and I actually had some fun adapting Lady in Distress as a Vampire: the Masquerade module for a convention, but that is another tale...


I used the same modules but adapted them for Top Secret/S.I. I can't say I ever played Top Secret itself. Certainly some modules were better written or easier to follow than others. My experience is that the success of the module (in part anyway) has a lot to do with the style of play the Administrator and players enjoy.

We played strong plot oriented games, others were essentially commando missions, others were 33% combat 33% investigative, and 33% interaction. To me it's all good, but I do think players have their preferences.

One of my players very much preferred the straight forward..."Here's your goal, now go get them" type of approach. Thinking just wasn't in the players area of preference.

The other two players were a better mix and enjoyed the investigative sort of play.

Boils down to play style I think.

I never really played a module straight as written. I did find the original Top Secret modules to be much like a dungeon crawl and in order to peak player interest, I'd remotivate the villains and include a module as a small part of a much larger mission.

As for the Top Secret/S.I. I did the same, though the very first module was a bit tougher, as I thought it didn't link sections very well and quite frankly, I thought the injected humor (the whole movie scene thing) was terrible. I ended up editing that stuff out.

The San Cristobal modules were a huge hit, as was some of the shorter adventures in Brushfire Wars, the Orion Rising, and The WEB books.

Still, all in all, the best game I've played. The amount of extra work I put into the rules of coarse gave me a great apreciation for it which definently influenced my feelings about the game.

I'd say Top Secret/S.I. was easily are dominating game in the past 22 years. Originally I started playing D&D, but after Top Secret/S.I. I felt it just wasn't as interesting (and the rules not near as good). D&D will always be second to Top Secret/S.I. for me and one of the other players (the same one who preferred straight on fighting/roleplaying (not the investigative). The other two players have gone on record several times for saying "The rules of the game are far better than anything else they have played".


Top Secret S.I., back then for me, was the best for a spy, local, or commando scenario.

To this day, one character is still in jail, for chucking a flaming cocktail, during a shoot out, in Hard Rock Cafe, Manhattan NY, during a firefight. He threw the firebomb, straight at the upstairs serving bar.

And I asked him, 3 times, to make him understand to what he was doing.

So he did the action, after an investigation by Fed & Local law enforcement. He got busted, went to trial, and got sentenced for 20 years+.

That character was never played again. :)

And oh, he was a private dick (character wise).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Weird coincidence. I was away for the weekend, come back and sitting on my desk is the Agent 13 Sourcebook and Orion Rising. My wife found them in a box of old Mac magazines she was sending to recycle. I wouldn't have been able to find these if I'd tried. Now I'm partly excited about looking at these again and finding my box set, and partly afraid of what other gaming material has accidently gotten misplaced into the wrong boxes...


You should go and look for it know, find it, break it open and play. At least that's what I would do if I were you.

By the way, did you know that ORION stands for:

Organization Resisting Imprisonment of Nations


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
EileenProphetofIstus wrote:

You should go and look for it know, find it, break it open and play. At least that's what I would do if I were you.

By the way, did you know that ORION stands for:

Organization Resisting Imprisonment of Nations

I did not know that. But how the heck do you lock up a nation. ;)

Unfortunately, this is a 100+ hr work week and between trying to keep at least some contact with my kids, wife, and occasionally some sleep, I won't get any time to indulge until maybe next week. But I gotta admit, I'm getting the itch...


Daeglin wrote:
EileenProphetofIstus wrote:

You should go and look for it know, find it, break it open and play. At least that's what I would do if I were you.

By the way, did you know that ORION stands for:

Organization Resisting Imprisonment of Nations

I did not know that. But how the heck do you lock up a nation. ;)

Actually a friend of mine came up with the "Organization Resisting the Imprisonment of Nations" because I wanted a name that matched the letters. The imprisonment follows up on the WEB which I dubbed World Enslavement Brotherhood. So both names are homebrew, one by my friend and the other by myself.

The enslavement concept comes from WEB attempting to run governements and how they orchestrate events to meet their goals of world domination. A dominated country is essentially enslaved or imprisoned through the machinations of WEB.


I remember when I was first heavily getting into gaming, I found the original Top Secret on the used rack at my FLGS. I was enamoured of TSR at the time, and trying to discover the history and origins of RPGs (when I get into something, I GET INTO it) so I just had to have it.

It was a fun game, the rules were kinda scatterbrained, but then again, so was everything TSR back then.


My favourite with the original Top Secret was the martial arts table. Type J was my favourite. :-)


I've never played the original Top Secret, just the S.I. version. I did however give those rules a major overhaul to add a lot more depth to them, I also took some ideas from the original game as well. My favorite were the modules.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Aaargh!! I can't find Top Secret or Top Secret/S.I. in the boxes I thought they were in! This is going to drive me crazy. Only thing I found were 2 old characters (which were kind of neat to see 20 years later). I'm going to have to visit the folks and ransack the basement...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Woo hoo! Found Top Secret/S.I.! Half way there, just need to find Top Secret but not looking good, running out of boxes to search.


Daeglin wrote:
Woo hoo! Found Top Secret/S.I.! Half way there, just need to find Top Secret but not looking good, running out of boxes to search.

If you find it, it will be in the last box you check.

So what are you going to do once you find it?


Eileen, are you still playing TSSI?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Man this brings up some memories. We played the hell out of Top Secret/S.I. and I still have a monstrous collection of books. I remember going all over the Twin Cities looking for the Agent 13, Superhero (forget the name of that one), and Commando books.


MisterSlanky wrote:
Man this brings up some memories. We played the hell out of Top Secret/S.I. and I still have a monstrous collection of books. I remember going all over the Twin Cities looking for the Agent 13, Superhero (forget the name of that one), and Commando books.

Mister Slanky, a Top Secret/S.I. Fan? Great, you found my thread. What is even greater is you live in my neck of the woods. Do you do all your gamer shopping at the Source Comics and Games? Ever use any of those Top Secret/S.I. articles out of Dragon Magazine?

Your elusive book was entitled Free Lancers. There was also a companion for it called F.R.E.E. America.


Moebius wrote:
Eileen, are you still playing TSSI?

Not playing it currently, its my favorite game but right now I'm busy designing my own game based on the Legion of Super-Heroes. Although I just recently bought another 007 drawing poster of Sean Connery (thanks to the Mall of America). Got to decorate the walls of the gaming room you know. I've considered a Top Secret/S.I. PBP but my work on the game has inflated the rules so much I think it would be hard to teach over Paizo, I'm having the same problem with my Legion game. It's tough for people to learn a new game and then try and play PBP style.

How about you? What corners are you lurking about these days?


Crazy! I live in the Twin Cities, too! In fact, I'm going to the Source later today! Weird.

Check this document out- it looks like a pretty good job of adapting TSSI to fantasy and magic...

PUCS

I've been enjoying reading the newest Doctor Who RPG. And I've recently discovered how good GURPS is. But I always come back to good old TSSI and re-read those books probably a couple of times a year.

I'm tossing around the idea of running on 1 on 1 sci-fi mystery game revolving around racing- like a Star Wars pod racing setting mixed with Speed Racer. The question is should I attempt to adapt TSSI or go with GURPS? Hmm. The player (my brother) doesn't have the gaming experience that I have and he's most familiar with TSSI from when we played back in the old days.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
EileenProphetofIstus wrote:

Mister Slanky, a Top Secret/S.I. Fan? Great, you found my thread. What is even greater is you live in my neck of the woods. Do you do all your gamer shopping at the Source Comics and Games? Ever use any of those Top Secret/S.I. articles out of Dragon Magazine?

Your elusive book was entitled Free Lancers. There was also a companion for it called F.R.E.E. America.

I try to spread my shopping around to the game stores I like in the cities. The Source has always gotten the bulk of my money, but I also do some at Dreamers and Village Games. I actually bought most of my Top Secret SI collection at The Source before it was the current incarnation (it was the version that went out of business due to awful business practices). I haven't actually seen a lot of the Dragon Magazine stuff though; somewhere I have the old Dragon archive on CD, maybe I'll have to dig through it.

Yes...I remember having both. I remember it taking me years to figure out what they meant by "social vampire."


Much earlier in this thread a forum called Spooks was mentioned- which has long been dead. More recently the TS/SI Yahoo Group suddenly went missing. Modus Operandi remains one of the only outlets for Top Secret/S.I. (Modus Operandi).

I've created a new Google Group for Top Secret/S.I. (Top Secret/S.I. google group) which I hope will stay put longer than the former Yahoo counterpart. Please feel free to take a look.


I have almost all the books for TS/SI, actually. I got very into it back in the day. I don't have the Commando sourcebook, but I think that's it.
I really liked the source material on different intelligence agencies and famous spy cases. Those sourcebooks were called Covert Operations Sourcebook 1 and 2. Really interesting stuff.

However, in terms of the game mechanics, I began to realize that it was riddled with problems:
Skills were ridiculously expensive, but at the same time having more skill levels didn't give much benefit (except for combat skills). So PCs would have a lot of different skills all at level 0, because no-one could afford to buy skills at higher level. And improving them was almost prohibitively expensive.
Weapons were... wacky. The damage assigned to different types of weapons was fairly random. The G4 book (which was an incredibly long list of different cars, guns, etc) had hundreds of entries for different rifles, handguns, etc. And there didn't seem to be any particular reason for why different weapons differing amounts of damage. Just to mention one example, a lot of .30 calibre rifles did less damage than a .45 handgun. And automatic fire was not deadly, although I understand that sort of makes sense if you don't want there to be regular TPKs.

Basically, I liked the idea of it, and I enjoyed a number of the modules, even if they were on the cheesier side of things. Its execution was rather lacking, though, which was unfortunate.

Perhaps I'll go back and take another look at it :)


I signed up though I'm not sure what the Web Site does, is it just a forum for TS/S.I. discussion?

Moebius wrote:

Much earlier in this thread a forum called Spooks was mentioned- which has long been dead. More recently the TS/SI Yahoo Group suddenly went missing. Modus Operandi remains one of the only outlets for Top Secret/S.I. (Modus Operandi).

I've created a new Google Group for Top Secret/S.I. (Top Secret/S.I. google group) which I hope will stay put longer than the former Yahoo counterpart. Please feel free to take a look.


Commando was full of different information, most of which was a soldiers version of new skills, advantages, weapons and equipment. I have the book and used some of it. I'd love to get involved in a campaign once again.

Elrostar wrote:

I have almost all the books for TS/SI, actually. I got very into it back in the day. I don't have the Commando sourcebook, but I think that's it.

I really liked the source material on different intelligence agencies and famous spy cases. Those sourcebooks were called Covert Operations Sourcebook 1 and 2. Really interesting stuff.

However, in terms of the game mechanics, I began to realize that it was riddled with problems:
Skills were ridiculously expensive, but at the same time having more skill levels didn't give much benefit (except for combat skills). So PCs would have a lot of different skills all at level 0, because no-one could afford to buy skills at higher level. And improving them was almost prohibitively expensive.
Weapons were... wacky. The damage assigned to different types of weapons was fairly random. The G4 book (which was an incredibly long list of different cars, guns, etc) had hundreds of entries for different rifles, handguns, etc. And there didn't seem to be any particular reason for why different weapons differing amounts of damage. Just to mention one example, a lot of .30 calibre rifles did less damage than a .45 handgun. And automatic fire was not deadly, although I understand that sort of makes sense if you don't want there to be regular TPKs.

Basically, I liked the idea of it, and I enjoyed a number of the modules, even if they were on the cheesier side of things. Its execution was rather lacking, though, which was unfortunate.

Perhaps I'll go back and take another look at it :)


I had borrowed the Commando Sourcebook from a friend at various times, and it irks me that I don't have it :) But then I'm a completist at heart.
I do have the FREE Lancers and FREE America books, and the Agent 13 Sourcebook.
I like a lot of it, but I do wish they had thought through the mechanics more carefully :)


I spent an enormous amount of time developing further reality rules for the game, my work literally doubled the Players Guide. I thought the basic rules were good but just incomplete for the more realistic Top Secret/S.I. game I wanted to run.

Elrostar wrote:

I had borrowed the Commando Sourcebook from a friend at various times, and it irks me that I don't have it :) But then I'm a completist at heart.

I do have the FREE Lancers and FREE America books, and the Agent 13 Sourcebook.
I like a lot of it, but I do wish they had thought through the mechanics more carefully :)


EileenProphetofIstus wrote:

I spent an enormous amount of time developing further reality rules for the game, my work literally doubled the Players Guide. I thought the basic rules were good but just incomplete for the more realistic Top Secret/S.I. game I wanted to run.

Elrostar wrote:

I had borrowed the Commando Sourcebook from a friend at various times, and it irks me that I don't have it :) But then I'm a completist at heart.

I do have the FREE Lancers and FREE America books, and the Agent 13 Sourcebook.
I like a lot of it, but I do wish they had thought through the mechanics more carefully :)

EileenProphetofIstus, is it possible to get copies of your work on the TSSI rules, or is that something that wasn't digital and easy to copy and send?


I have them on disc and I could send some or all of it in a email if you like. I never got around to finishing the current re-write of the Vehicle Rules. The manuscript is long and I would send them in individual chapters. Regretfully, Top Secret/S.I. hasn't received attention from WOTC and most likely never will. Leave me your email address and I will send the rules to you. Your free to use what you like in your own game but please do not make any money off of them. I wouldn't want to be involved in any questionable activities.

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