Conspiracy X (1997)

I don’t think there is an official X-Files RPG. Weird.

Anyway, this is Conspiracy X (1997), the unofficial X-Files RPG. You probably have a good idea of where this is going just looking at the cover. Extraterrestrials are real. The government knows about them. The supernatural is real, too. All of it! And most of the conspiracy theories tied to aliens and the supernatural. And the government knows all about all of it, sort of. That’s where the players come in, containing menaces, unraveling mysteries and dealing with the other government agents who want to use all this for their own gain. Just like the TV show this is totally not based directly on.

Similarly, the game uses a system that requires you spend points to gain abilities. A sort of point-buy system. Again, it has nothing to do with GURPS, another point-based system with a long history of enthusing over conspiracy theories (and, actually, it WOULD have everything to do with GURPS in a later edition that is just, Powered by GURPS).

This might sound like I don’t like Conspiracy X, or that I think it is a low rent Delta Green. The latter is true, but not the former: I LOVE Conspiracy X. It is so on the nose, and in being so clearly a reflection of the X-Files and the conspiracy theories that show was enamored with, the game is a sort of snapshot of the ‘90s weirdo horror culture, uncomplicated by “it was Cthulhu all along” meta-twists. It’s the X-Files RPG in all but name, and it is greater for having to file off the serial numbers.

OH! The best part. Players can always attempt to use their “Psychic Abilities.” They do so by picking a Zener card symbol (You know the psychic test scene in the beginning of Ghostbusters? Those.). The GM draws a number of cards equal to the character’s psychic ability. If the symbol the player picked is among them, the action succeeds! AMAZING. This should be used in every game from now on.

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