Monday, January 23, 2012

The Secret Is In The InSauce

Whether adding a few dashes of it to your favorite system or dropping big chunks of another game into it to slowly simmer, you just can't beat InSpectres by Memento Mori for livening up the flavor of an RPG.

I've mentioned this little gem before but I may not have focused on how well Jared Sorenson's InSpectres lends itself to being spliced into the genes of other games to create superhuman hybrids of fun.

The game by itself is excellent. A simple die pool system with a few key mechanical additions to give it it's own identity. Among its game specific rules and concepts are the Franchise Dice that create a sort of mini resource management element, the Confessionals that enable players to directly influence and even rewrite (kinda) game events and a very cool system for having the players' ideas determine the nature of an adventures mystery instead of clues left behind by the GM.

Now a little research reveals that hacks of the game abound, including a game where you play kid supernatural investigators (In-Speckers) and another focused on classic, 'Big' Science Fiction concepts like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris, Contact and the like (InSpace).

When I first got ahold of InSpectres, which is primarily about creating a paranormal investigation and elimination franchise, I harkened back to my days playing the official Ghostbusters RPG created by West End Games (as well as its sequel Ghostbusters International). It struck me that the games were mechanically quite similar. So similar in fact, that a merger of the two (using the Ability Score/Traits from one with the Talents/Skills from the other for example) would result in a game that filled out the sparse Ghostbusters game while adding a bit more crunch and setting to InSpectres.

The result was one of my best campaigns ever if I do say so myself. I ran the game with my friends in New Jersey (sometimes referred to here as the 'NJ Group') and would love to do it again.

So it goes that, about a week or so ago, I was talking to one of my players and best friends about the game 3:16-Carnage Amongst the Stars. I had heard about it but hadn't yet played or run the game. My friend had gotten the chance to actually play it at RECESS.

Awesome game but I needed a hook or something to spark an idea for long term play. As I was reading up on it on DriveThruRPG, I noticed that some time ago I must've put InSpace, the InSpectres science fiction variant, into my cart and never checked out. InSpace is $1.00, so it was a no brainer to pick it up.

Low and behold, new hybrid idea!
Carnage Amongst the Stars and InSpace are the perfect match for that under used and appreciated genre of Science-Fiction where two-fisted, laser gun blazing explorers actually come upon phenomena that can make profound changes in the thinking of humanity. Deep philosphical and speculative Science-Fiction with an added action twist thanks to Carnage Amongst The Stars could give you Voyage of the Space Beagle, The Jupiter Theft or Have Spacesuit Will Travel. I'm considering running a Space: 1999 game with this frankensteined system.

In-Speckers might enable me to finally bring another pet project to life. Using the system and its ideas to fill in the gaps lost in translation from the Japanese RPG Peek-A-Boo Horror.

In conclusion, I highly recommend giving InSpectres and its mods a try. I would also love to hear about your unholy, mish-mashed hybrids. What two great tastes taste great together in your book?

Barking Alien


  1. Really? Not a single response? I'm disappointed. I really think this is an interesting and cool subject in addition to the mention of a noteworthy game.


  2. Aw, see now, I have been working on two posts: Bad Game Ideas I will Never Run and Bad Game Ideas I am Going to Run and then you go and trip the wire with stuff like this...

  3. Which one do my idea fall under? ~_^