Tuesday, February 21, 2023

3 Systems I Would Recommend For Running an SCP Foundation Game

While I might be a little late to the game, so to speak, I've been really enjoying the SCP Foundation as a fictional entity. From short stories, to YouTube lore channels, to short films, there's a lot of it to take in, and it's getting a little bit bigger every day. Heck, I even made my own contribution a little while back with 50 Two-Sentence Horror Stories, SCP Edition, and the audio drama version I put together below.

Consider checking those out, if you haven't seen them yet. It's been tough getting views on them, and I'd like to justify doing a little bit more in this setting, if I can.

However, with so much rich content under creative commons license, it was only a matter of time until someone put out an SCP roleplaying game. And while there is an SCP-specific game on the market now, simply titled SCP The Tabletop RPG, I haven't found it to be a game that really grabs me.

This got me thinking about what other games there are out there one could use to run an RPG campaign in the SCP universe. And while I'm sure there are a lot of games that I missed, I think that the following list makes for some pretty strong starting places.

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Game #1: Delta Green

Just the facts, please, sir.

The first game on this list, and perhaps the most obvious, is Delta Green. This secretive government entity exists in the shadows, and since the raid on the town of Innsmouth in the 1920s the agents of this bureau have combatted the horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos wherever they find them, protecting the world and safeguarding us against the machinations of mad cults and dark gods alike.

While this game started off life connected to the Call of Cthulhu RPG, they've grown and changed to the point that they're separate entities at this juncture. However, honorable mention to Call of Cthulhu as another option for those who want their players to be even more vulnerable than your average Delta Green agent. If that's an option you want to pursue, consider grabbing the Investigator Handbook and the Keeper's Rulebook for the 7th Edition of the game!

Game #2: Hunter: The Vigil

Werewolves, you say? Shame... I'll just have to shoot them a LOT.

If you want a game where the characters are a little more durable, but have to deal with just as much supernatural nonsense, I'd also recommend checking out Hunter: The Vigil. Part of the Chronicles of Darkness series of RPGs, Hunters are the ones who bump off the things that go bump in the night, and they're often used by storytellers as a threat when players are being a little too loud, and breaking the veil of secrecy a little too often in the other spheres.

While the variability in Hunter can be used to scale the power and equipment your agents have access to, you can also use the other spheres of the Chronicles of Darkness to bring in the various aspects of the SCP universe. If you need reality benders and bizarre magic users, Mage: The Awakening has you covered. If you want beings of phenomenal, cosmic power to act as allies or antagonists, you can find them in Demon: The Descent. And if you want that mid-range of mutants and monsters, then all of the creatures and power sets located in Deviant: The Renegades might be right up your alley.

This option has the most scalability of the choices, but it does require a lot of reading on the part of the ST, and it would require the largest number of books. Still, if you happen to have the Chronicles of Darkness books gathering dust on a shelf, and you're looking for a new way to breathe life into them, consider giving this a try!

Game #3: Savage Worlds

Absolute savages.

Much as with the Chronicles of Darkness, the Savage Worlds RPG system has a lot of different games you could bring to bear on creating an interconnected SCP universe game. However, Savage Worlds tends to be a lot lighter on mechanics, which might be more appealing to some players who like the idea of a big, sprawling, multi-book game, but who don't want to have a stack of tomes on the floor that reaches to the top of the table should they need to reference something during the campaign.

While you'll definitely need the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition as well as Dark States to start with, I'd also recommend using a combination of the weird Western game Deadlands, and the Victorian monster hunting game Rippers as the basis for the campaign. While both of these are period piece games, they provide a lot of the rules and backgrounds one could easily use to get an SCP campaign going. You might even want to expand into books like Weird War I, or even Necessary Evil which includes rules for super powered characters, but that will be up to your particular game, and what sort of elements you want to bring in.

What Games Did I Miss?

Do you have a game or system that you feel would make a good basis for covering the wide variety of genres and stories found in the SCP universe that didn't make this (admittedly very short) list? Toss it in the comments below! I'm always looking for new stuff to check out, so I'm happy to take a gander at any recommendations folks want to throw my way.

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1 comment:

  1. Honestly? NIGHT SHIFT. The whole time I was working on it and playtesting it with my kids they kept telling me that this would work as an SCP RPG.
    You can setup your world (and danger levels) how you like.
    The monster creation system can be used to create any sort of creature the SPC wikis have.
    Character creation likewise is super flexible.
    Plus all the tropes of horror gaming are built into the system, not added on like say Savage Worlds.
    That is at least my 2¢.