In the game, characters are members of The Foundation and have the mission to Secure, Contain and Protect the various…. things… that lurk on the edges.
The initial set of creatures came from Kickstarter backer suggestions, twenty of them have been written up, and the game includes original art as well.
Available in PDF and premium hardcover, the 292 books can also be enhanced with an optional deck of SCP Drama Cards.
Jason Keech, the founder of 26 Letter Publishing, was kind enough to quickly talk to Geek Native about the game. I ask about those Drama Cards.
Can you please give us a quick introduction to the world of Secure, Contain, and Protect. Is it just a codified creepypasta? Why do an RPG based on it?
SCP started off as a “CreepyPasta” with SCP-173. It was implied that there are paranormal creatures being held by a secret government organization and other writers compiled and expanded upon the idea. Now it’s such a massive internet phenomenon that there are over 6000 entries on the scp-wiki, and dozens of video games based on the universe. The idea of soldiers in a secret government base going around and trying to contain Lovecraftian monsters is a perfect match for a role-playing format.
Are there any licenses or rights issues?
SCP is a Creative Commons license, hence why anyone can create a video game or any other sort of media as long as they provide credit to scp-wiki.net and follow the proper laws. I definitely did my homework before publishing.
Can you tell us about the Drama Card system?
You can get a deck of 82 cards for the game. As you play you’ll gain points that you can use to draw the top card of the deck. The Director (i.e. GM/DM) isn’t even allowed to know what cards the players draw, and each card explains how it’s used. Some cards can be used to reroll dice or reduce incoming damage while other cards can cause in-universe occurrences such as an NPC gets a phone call about a family emergency, or cause someone’s gun to jam. My favorite card is called Product Placement. “Play this card after your character uses a brand name product and makes a big deal to explain how amazing the product is. You then gain 1,000 credits.” There are some funny cards like that to lighten the mood. Having GMed the game for years I gotta say the Drama Card system is the best part. It’s not an original concept but this is the first game (I know of) to incorporate cards like this into the system itself. I would love it if other RPGs did this too.
There’s also a Mutilation system where characters hit with critical strikes can have various effects applied to their character. Some are permanent like losing an eye, limb, or head. The type of Mutilation that occurs is based on what type of damage caused the attack (shock attacks cause stun, fire attacks catch you on fire etc).
Who do you think would be a good fit for the game?
Anyone who’s a fan of Call of Cthulhu, the video game “Control”, or people interested in an easy-to-understand but medium complex game system. I put a big emphasis on making the rules comprehensible and enjoying to read with all my games. I’m not a fan of RPGs that don’t explain basic dice rules until page 94. I also color-coded the books pages to match Security Levels, so that if you want you can refuse to allow your PCs to read further into the book until their character obtains the proper security clearance. It’s a great way to introduce the nuances of the system slower.
What’s 26 Letter Publishing working on next?
Through the Kickstarter funding I had 3 preset adventures created but only ended up including one in the core rulebook. I’m going to take the remaining modules and combine them into the first expansion. I expect I’ll be making SCP content for a while. We even have a few people on our discord working on some of their own expansions for the game. Since it’s Creative Commons anyone can make their own supplement, and I hope someday to see lots of fan-made content out in there in the wild!
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