[Death Spiral] Sleeper RPG: A conspiracy horror tabletop roleplaying game

By on 24 January 2015

Death Spiral are running a Kickstarter campaign for the conspiracy horror tabletop roleplaying game Sleeper.

The Game
Sleeper: Orphans of the Cold War is a science fiction horror tabletop roleplaying game, taking inspiration from action movies, ultramodern military thrillers, and some of the darkest corners of 20th century history.

The World
Players take on the roles of sleeper agents created by secret projects during the Cold War, placed in cryo-sleep in anticipation of nuclear war. Now they are waking into a 21st century that has forgotten them, a world imperilled by other long-hidden dangers such as weapons stockpiles, biowarfare experiments and other sleepers turned very, very bad.

The player characters, under the aegis of the secret organisation Obsidian, execute missions against foes ranging from crazed sleepers to the remnants of WWII’s bioweapons project and conspiracies within modern-day governments. They are assisted in this by the superhuman powers with which they were imbued by the projects that created them, and by an armoury of advanced gear that grows as Obsidian researches new technologies.

The System
Sleeper’s rules system is written to facilitate fast, high-octane action scenes, with blistering gunfights and freakish superhuman powers. It is based around a d10 + Attribute roll, versus a target number (TN). This same system drives both skill resolution and combat.

Characters are defined by both a set of six attributes, and by Specialisms related to each attribute. Characters who are specialised in an area related to the test roll a d12 instead of d10. This makes Sleeper characters capable of specialisation while remaining competent as a full range of activities, appropriate for highly-trained elites.

Combat uses robust mechanics related to the basic test to model factors like automatic fire, injuries and the chaos of the battlefield. Sleeper’s rules de-emphasise bookkeeping and a multitude of unrelated mechanics in favour of rapid task resolution and intensity of action.

A typical day at the office for the players
A typical day at the office for the players

The Kickstarter campaign can be found here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/885924577/sleeper-rpg-a-conspiracy-horror-tabletop-roleplayi

About Dave McAlister

Dave has been roleplaying for over 30 years, having played and/or run most mainstream systems with the espionage genre being an early favourite. So much so that, in 1999, he started Modus Operandi. That same year he joined the Sarbreenar “Living” campaign team as their plotline controller before moving across to the Living Spycraft campaign team (as UK Regional Branch Director) in 2003. 2003 also saw the birth of UK Role Players as well as Dave’s first freelance writing appointment (co-writing World Militaries and consulting on both US Militaries and Battlegrounds, all for Spycraft).

Since then, Dave has concentrated on supporting the UK gaming scene. He has organised and run several small, one-day, events and was the RPG Area Manager for Gen Con UK in 2004. His current favourite systems are Dungeons & Dragons (specifically 5th Edition), Savage Worlds and Cinematic Unisystem. He has a (currently neglected) blog at dave.mcalister.org.uk and runs a D&D 5e SRD website at DnD5e.info.

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