Top5

Operation Seventh Seal (1985)

The last adventure published for the first iteration of Top Secret, Operation Seventh Seal (1985), goes out with a bang. Er, hopefully not literally, as the plot revolves around stopping a nuclear weapon from going off in Los Angeles.

First off, I love the graphic design of this one. As fun as the TSR artist pool is in the earlier modules, I really dig the photo illustrations. They give the whole thing a late 70s early 80s vibe that I appreciate. Extra bonus cool/goofy points for using photos (presumably of the game designers) as portraits for the pre-generated characters.

The plot has a (slightly contrived) connection to Aleister Crowley and uses his tarot cards in a puzzle central to the plot, giving the mission to avert the apocalypse some nicely occult overtones. Plot wise, players have to get access to computers locked in a mansion to deactivate the bombs and neutralize the Four Horsemen behind the plot.

The “Ending the Module” section has one of my favorite RPG lines ever written. “If the agents neutralize the bombs…then the module has ended, and ended happily. If the city blows up, then the module probably ends too, but certainly not happily.” Understatement.

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