Berin mentioned the Spycraft supplement Agency in this week’s Uncle Bear update (Internet Archive), and I’m glad he did. When I first heard of it, I’d assumed it was yet another Shadowforce Archer supplement and thus dismissed it out of hand (for my thoughts on that setting, check out this blog entry).
But now I think I’ll have to pick it up. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about Alderac’s Spycraft/Stargate products is their excellent NPC/threat generation systems. Mind you, as a GM I do take a certain pride in creating my villains from scratch, but I’ve always found that Alderac’s products supplement — rather than replace — my own creative thinking.
This was certainly the case with the System Lords source book for Stargate SG-1. It came with a “System Lord Generator” that allowed you to spec out your Gou’ald bad guy, figuring out where he fits in the larger hierarchy of evil, what resources he has available, what bases he controls, etc. I already knew what i wanted my villain to be like going in; the generator just helped me flesh him out, and inspired plenty of excellent side-adventures.
For me, these generators help bring back some of the maniac glee glee I felt as a kid cracking the 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons DMG (with its myriad tables and generators) for the first time. Now that I know Agency continues this excellent Alderac tradition, I’m definitely going to have to add it to my wish list.