quarta-feira, 6 de maio de 2009

101 rpg - Preview to Chapter 0 - Intro

Part 0 - Intro

What is The 101?

101 is a narration game of high action stories, world scale conspiracy and bizarre imagination whose protagonists are secret agents inspired on hyper violent comic books and the weirdest conspiracy theories. The game is about this hyper realistic action that stubbornly refuses to let go and grabs our attention to the last minute, while telling us about the impossible movement in slow motion where the hiss of bullets burns the air to a choir leaving vivid trails of distorted light in our imagination. It’s also about what motivates us as individuals and how the choices we make not always reflect the society we live in or contribute to it’s preservation.

What do the characters do?

The characters in this game are secret operatives with superhuman capabilities and extraordinary abilities who live in a surreal world of inter dimensional terrorists, ageometric gods and self desctruct codes imbedded in our genes. In the name of John Smith’s blissful ignorance these operatives investigate, isolate and systematically eliminate each and every glance of the frightening truth that each moment threatens our existence and mental health. To do it they seduce dangerous pleasure droids with haikus, exorcise the spiritual reason backing Rio de Janeiro’s drug trade with the help of military ghost squadrons, destroy the magical placenta of Pope Joanna during a secret meeting of the Order of False Popes, and defeat the undead body of the very first victim of execution in British soil.

What do the players do?

The players control the characters and agents of the 101, using their imagination to vividly describe their actions and emotions; if these descriptions are to the liking of the other players, they can even directly influence the game and the flow of the story. One of the players, Zero, that in other games would be is pompously called the Game Master, controls the adversity, in the form of enemy agents or moral questions that the other players will have to address.


The 101 is based on movies like The Matrix and Equilibrium, with its lethal ballets that defy the laws of physics and its corporate dystopias, documented on the books by Ken Hite, respect author and well versed on Secret History, and write of, among others, several GURPS supplements and countless articles on his monthly column Suppressed Transmissions by Steve Jackson Games. The game also draws inspiration from the mad esoteric British comic book writer Grant Morrison, creator of The Filth and The Invisibles, which is a fundamental inspiration for this game. The 101 also draws inspiration from such movies as Pi, The Number 23, and The Da Vinci Code, in it’s approach to the mosteries of life and the existence by analogy to symbols and imperceptible unknowns of the unaware. And, last but not least, this game is secretly energized by the wickedly perverse mind of Warren Ellis, another British comic book writer, known by his revisionist work on the very nature of comic book heroes, namely on works like The Authority, Planetary, Transmetropolitan, and, a huge influence on this game, the mini-series Global Frequency.

What are the 101?

The 101 is a game that reflects the methodic effort of a secret organization called, surprisingly, One Hundred and One, and its purpose is apparently incomprehensible to those who observe the consequences of their actions. This non-governmental group is not looking for global security or supremacy over all. Instead, its goal is to effectively maintain Humanity’s status quo: total ignorance of the Unreal that at every moment stalks us from the comfortable boundaries of our perception and the monotonous nature of reality. The implacability of the means at its disposal is so logical and impersonal that for a mathematical genius each 101 operative must seem nothing more than a numerical constant and something less than human: an inhuman function of the encryption algorithm that this organization uses so that the systematic denial, elimination and alteration of historical facts is successful until today.

Why 101?

Every day the one hundred and one operatives further the obfuscating operation of hiding the absolute truth from the fragile human existence and its tragic future on this world, and they do it through the efforts of their operatives on the field. However, 101 is not only the total number of operatives this organization maintains global wise at every moment, all with different super human and supernatural capacities thus contributing to facing and eliminating each and every threat that threatens John Smith’s place in the universe. 101 is also an acronym meaning introductory course to a matter unknown to the student, a violent way to confront an opponent, and the room number in the Ministry of Love where subjects are brainwashed into submission, in George Orwell’s 1984. Any of these possible meanings is also an ironic reference to the daily life of the 101 operatives, and is considered by the authors as a terrible coincidence.

What is the world of the 101?

The world of the 101 is shock full of daily psychedelic suggestions by the Illuminati in the literary hallucinations of Robert Anton Wilson, the sacrosanct myth of the inverted womb of Isis and the Holy Grail, Bin Laden’s enigmatic location on Prester John’s kingdom of Ethiopia, the laser precise attacks of CIA’s black helicopters, the Freemason Initiatory Order and the deep roots of the medieval cathedrals, the unregistered stock of UFO’s on Area 51, and everything else that each one of us takes from careful reading of conspiracy theorists sensationalist blogs and newspapers. On this world, trips are made through imaginary Victorian worlds, population control bombs are built, UFO’s arrive from a distant future one hundred thousand years away, werewolves howl in prayer to their moon totem, and the real reason for 9/11 is known.

The 101 deal with all this and they do it so that these kind of news stay in the rampant imagination of tabloids, comic book writers and videogame designers. And they do it day in day out, even if they have to throw a discordant whistle capable of obliterating the material frequency where mere seconds ago their enemy was standing, Kung-Fu kicking the space time continuum to paint them a new smile full of broken teeth. Each ends in the desired effect: the obliteration of the truth no matter what.

What does it take to be on the 101?

The 101 operative is a being with extraordinary capabilities far beyond the human range. Some of them shouldn’t even be called human anymore, even if they chose to keep such appearances, while others couldn’t stop living if they so chose, forced to fake their own deaths time and time again. All of them are specially trained for field duty, hand to hand combat, active hostage negotiation, systematic target elimination, long range recon, and, from time to time, even how to take out the Finnish idea-powered generator.


Each 101 Operative is the perfect example of the dreadful game of zero-sum: that of being cool. Either through their twin Uzi forged with the metal from the horns that razed the walls of Jericho, or through their scar in the left cheek in the form of the goddess Discordia that allows them to speak in tongues, or even in the fact that they are the human incarnation of the Phoenix bird, capable of hurtling fireballs with a pyromaniac smirk on their face. All this is cool and it’s this that lets the Operative to do the impossible, and only those showing this level of ability in the fight against the Unreal and its ageometric space in constant expansion deserves to be recruited into this elite group. And if in the process he makes the other guy look bad in the name of the all sacred blissful ignorance, then better for all!

But, what is the 101?

In the end, the 101 is a game about these beings and the world of hyper violent conspiracy they insist on maintaining, one that is undeniably closer to our unawakened minds we wish it were. In this game the players will have the opportunity to experience what it’s like being an Operative of the 101 inside the clean, safe limits of the game table. They will be able to create the details and characteristics that define them, that will put them in the Criptoverse, to describe the fantastic way their actions impact on the world around them, and guarantee those actions further their motivation as Operatives inside the Organization. They will help their characters through the tough choices about their role on the 101 while facing Humanity, Ethics, and Physics. And they will do it all in the name of fun, while helping tell the story whose audience is you and the other players.

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