nba cover

Night’s Black Agents won two silver ENnie awards for Best Game and BestWriting, and was nominated for Best Rules, Best Interior Art and Product of the Year. Find out why!

Night’s Black Agents puts you in the role of a deadly secret agent, taking down the forces of darkness. Get it now from the Pelgrane Store.

Bring your favorite high-octane spy thrillers to the table with Night’s Black Agents from legendary designer Kenneth Hite (Trail of Cthulhu). Have friends who love console shooters? This is the tabletop RPG for them! Access the eyes-only Resources page for blank agent dossiers, quick-reference sheets, a 20-minute demo and more — but sweep for tracking devices first.

The Cold War is over. Bush’s War is winding down.

You were a shadowy soldier in those fights, trained to move through the secret world: deniable and deadly.

 

ENnies 2013 silverThen you got out, or you got shut out, or you got burned out. You didn’t come in from the cold. Instead, you found your own entrances into Europe’s clandestine networks of power and crime. You did a few ops, and you asked even fewer questions. Who gave you that job in Prague? Who paid for your silence in that Swiss account? You told yourself it didn’t matter.

It turned out to matter a lot. Because it turned out you were working for vampires.

Vampires exist. What can they do? Who do they own? Where is safe? You don’t know those answers yet. So you’d better start asking questions. You have to trace the bloodsuckers’ operations, penetrate their networks, follow their trail, and target their weak points. Because if you don’t hunt them, they will hunt you. And they will kill you.

Or worse.

Night’s Black Agents brings the GUMSHOE engine to the spy thriller genre, combining the propulsive paranoia of movies like Ronin and The Bourne Identity with supernatural horror straight out of Bram Stoker. Investigation is crucial, but it never slows down the action, which explodes with expanded options for bone-crunching combat, high-tech tradecraft, and adrenaline-fueled chases.

Updating classic Gothic terrors for the postmodern age, Night’s Black Agents presents thoroughly modular monstrosity: GMs can build their own vampires, mashup their own minions, kitbash their own conspiracies to suit their personal sense of style and story. Rules options let you set the level of betrayal, grit, and action in your game. Riff from the worked examples or mix and match vampiric abilities, agendas, and assets for a completely custom sanguinary spy saga.

The included hook adventure gets the campaign going; the included city setting shows you what might be clotting in Marseilles’ veins even now. Rack silver bullets in your Glock, twist a UV bulb into your Maglite, and keep watching the mirrors … and pray you’ve got your vampire stories straight.

Designer’s blog entries.

An interview with the publisher.

Listen to Ken Hite talk about Night’s Black Agents on the Fear the Boot podcast

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Review Hightlights

Read all the reviews here.

As good as the toolkits that Night’s Black Agents provides are, the rules and advice deliver on the game and genre that they promise. Whether it is blood pumping action or heart stopping shocks, Night’s Black Agents is probably best shaken, and definitely has the “Vampire Spy Thriller” staked. – Matthew Pook

Vampires and spies – once you’re past the initial surprise, you’ll see that they work tremendously well in tandem. Well, I think they do, and I think the book’s an absolute knockout. – Sidney Roundwood

 


NBA CD front coverJonathan Hicks of Farsight Blogger fame has posted a great review of Dust and Mirrors, new original music for Night’s Black Agents by James Semple and his crack composing team. Jonathan says,

“The themes on this album have an excellent atmosphere to them that suit the Night’s Black Agents game perfectly. I’m incredibly impressed with this album, not just as a decent soundtrack for a great game but also as a great selection of music from some incredibly talented people. I can see this getting some serious airtime during my special ops-themed campaigns”.

He also says,

“The music itself reflects both of the genres the game represents exceptionally well. The high-energy and action-orientated spy genre merges well with the dark, brooding danger of the horror in the world and you could quite easily use this music in a general spy- or special ops-themed game or a stand-alone horror one.”

You can read the full review on RPG.net here.

NBA CD front coverDust and Mirrors – music for Night’s Black Agents

“I was delighted to be asked to write original music for Night’s Black Agents. The game is truly a masterpiece backed up by some incredible research and it just oozes atmosphere. Superspies vs Vampires? What’s not to like?

 For this project I assembled a crack team of amazing composers who each brought something unique to the table. Everyone was very inspired by the source material and that really comes across. I consider myself honoured to be surrounded by so much talent here.

The music itself is made up of tracks which are each designed to work for specific situations but also can be played together as an album for a general mood of tension, action and horror. I hope this creates the perfect mood for your games!”

- James Semple

 

Track Samples:

Main Theme

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Urban Parkour:

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Dust and Mirrors contains the following tracks, specifically composed for Night’s Black Agents:

1. Main Theme
Mysterious and dramatic music sets the scene for the game ahead!

2. Stakeout
Hidden surveillance and gathering evidence during dark hours of the night.

3. The Brief
A meeting, telephone call, email or letter is the catalyst for a series of events where danger lurks in the shadows.

4. Infiltration
An overall sense of dread envelopes you when you discreetly enter the state-of-the-art facility.

5. Ambient
A moment to reflect where secret agents become ambivalent when their duty to the mission conflicts with their consciences.

6. Manhunt
A dangerous chase in a network of power and crime.

7. Suit Up
The final battle approaches, and only you have what it takes.

8. Urban Parkour
Desperate pursuit across rooftops in a city where death is on the line.

9. Purging The Demon
A desperate struggle between human and vampire.

10. Heist
Heavyweight direct brute force is sometimes the agents’ only recourse.

11. Conspyramid
Conspiracy theories take a horrific turn after uncovering an ancient and dangerous secret society.

12. Covert Ops
Behind enemy lines sometimes subterfuge is the best approach.

13. The Great Escape
Confrontation is futile, all you can do now is run for your life. How will you get out of this one?

14. Captured
Emotionally draining circumstance of being trapped in a fiercely unpleasant and smelly environment.

15. An Eye For An Eye
An all out horror piece where the character is alone, vulnerable and miles away from any other human being.

16. Horror
The unfortunate and unforeseen event of meeting with blood-thirsty Vampires.

17. Darkness
The true nature and power of the Vampires is revealed. Few can stand against it!

18. Crawlers
You can feel them watching, waiting patiently for you to come out of your hiding place.

19. Atonement
A final reflective moment when the agents examine the life they lead and the choices they have made.

Stock #: PELGN04D Author: James A Semple
Artist: George Cotronis Format: MP3 tracks

Buy

UNCLASSIFIED

The following materials are available for use by all agents. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Special Activities Division through PERISCOPE NORWAY channels.

Maybe you heard that Night’s Black Agents, the supernatural spy-thriller game by Kenneth Hite, scored two silver ENnie awards at Gen Con; and that its new expansion Double Tap sold out at the show.

I ca hear you asking, “Can I try this amazing-sounding game at PAX?” and “Is this an opportunity for me to get my first-person shooter console-loving friends into tabletop RPGs?” YES YOU CAN, and YES IT IS.

Peter Darley is GMing Night’s Black Agents at Indie RPGs on Demand, Washington State Convention Center room #305/306 on these days and times:

  • Friday, 1PM-6PM
  • Saturday, 11AM-4PM and 5PM-10PM
  • Sunday, 1PM-6PM

I’m serious about the FPS thing, by the way. Night’s Black Agents lets you play a badass Jason Bourne or Ziva David style covert operative, going up against a sinister vampire conspiracy in exotic locations across the world. Using high-tech weapons, networks of contacts and cool spy gear, you can evade, outwit and destroy your foes in exciting cinematic ways.

Drag your friends to Indie RPGs on Demand and try this game! You won’t be sorry.

Double Tap cover_reduced With all the Conspiracies, the intrigue, the danger, it’s hard to know what exactly is and isn’t on your side. When every shadow from the back alleys of Bucharest to the back benches of the parliament could hide an inhuman enemy, it’s hard to tell what solid ground you can stand on. What can you depend on? Can you make a difference? Trust no one and nothing except the silver bullets in your Glock. To make a difference, aim true.

Even then, sometimes that first shot isn’t a killer. Sometimes you need a double tap.

Double Tap: The Night’s Black Agents Expansion Book includes:

  • Sample clues, special spend benefits, and a model Tactical Fact-Finding Benefit for each Investigative ability, along with information, tips, and best practices from cloning a cell phone to hosting a seance to the slang of spycraft!
  • For the General abilities, lists of sample clues if they can be used investigatively and more key information and best practices. A new optional Mastery rule keeps your dice hot on every roll — plus over 25 new Cherries!
  • 20 new maneuvers, from Alibi to Thrown Clear by the Blast, plus 60 Achievements to add flavor, focus, and flexibility to your play.
  • Adaptive Tradecraft and the Cartagena Rules let you low-tech your way out of trouble — and high-action your way back into it!
  • More spytech for any mode, from custom face masks to RFID sniffers to jetpacks to EMP weapons — and the “Q Rule” for that laser watch you’ve always wanted!
  • Because you demanded it — a big list of guns, customized for 22 clandestine, military, and police groups from SEAL Team Six to the Swiss Guard. Plus eight Gun Cherries — never waste another 6! — and lots more gun gadgets from the CornerShot to UV-emitting bullets to net grenades!
  • New rules for adapting the acclaimed night’s black agents Thriller Chase rules to contests of hacking, sneaking, and tracking — plus Manhunt rules for agents hunting monstrous masterminds.
  • For Directors, 26 Cameos give you living, breathing NPCs complete with their own clues, and 26 Establishing Shots give you exciting settings to put them — and your agents — into.
  • Discover the horrific secrets of the chupa, the ekimmu, the homunculus, and the penanggalan — and recoil from the nosferatu, a complete vampire build straddling the line between biotech and blasphemy. A complete list of vampiric powers lets you build your own bloodsuckers faster than ever.
  • Finally, the Suspyramid models war within a Conspiracy, tips for solo-agent play let you lay on the Burn, and variant builds send your campaign to the Victorian Era, WWII, or the depths of the Cold War!

So consider this the next level, a higher pay grade and higher-than-double-0 clearance. It’s time to take the fight to the Conspiracy.

This time, it’s not just a headshot. Better go for the double tap.

Stock #: PELGN03 Author: Kenneth Hite, John Adamus, Will Hindmarch, Kevin Kulp, Christian Lindke, James Palmer, Will Plant & Rob Wieland
Artist: Alessandro Alaia, David Lewis Johnson, Phil Reeves Pages: 128pg Perfect Bound

Preorder

DD image 2For over a century, we have known only part of the story of Dracula — the part Bram Stoker was allowed to tell. Now, the whole tale can be revealed. In 1893, the secret services of three nations played a dangerous game to contact and control the perfect asset — the ultimate weapon — Count Dracula.

This new edition of Dracula adds new letters and recordings, diary entries long thought lost, and documents suppressed by Her Majesty’s Government … until now. From the first tentative contact between British intelligence and the un-dead, to the werewolf of Walpurgisnacht, to the cataclysmic disappearance of Dracula in volcanic fire, read the story you’ve known for years … for the first time.

Dracula Unredacted does for the Dracula Dossier what Henry Armitage’s letters did for Armitage Files or The Book of the Smoke for Bookhounds of London.

 

Status: In Development

A review of five-ENnie-nominated Night’s Black Agents by Charlie White on Intwischa

If you want to feel like a badass, get this book. If you’re sick of Twilight, get this book. If you want compelling player-versus-player that doesn’t ruin campaigns or friendships, get this book.

Hell, if you like roleplaying games, get this book. It thoroughly deserves its spot as a nominee for Best RPG of the Year, and I’m very much looking forward to giving it a try.

NBA DEXCON 2013

CONFIDENTIAL//SI-NBA//ORCON

We have learned that last year’s operation in Morristown, New Jersey failed to end the vampire threat. Kenneth Hite and John Adamus urgently request assistance at DEXCON 16 from 10:00AM – 6:00PM, Saturday, July 6, 2013 to counter yet another assault by the undead…

…or to participate in it.

The Operation: The 2013 World Night’s Black Agents Championship will be run in two rounds by Night’s Black Agents designer Kenneth Hite, assisted by John Adamus. Players can come for either, or both sessions:

  • The first round is a LIVE ACTION session in which players portray agents, vampires, and the holders of the clues to a terrifying conspiracy.
  • Surviving agents follow those clues to an explosive final tabletop round.

Prizes: Up to five winners (determined by survival and excellence) will receive FREE 2014 combo memberships to METATOPIA 2013, DREAMATION 2014 and DEXCON 17.

Get more details, and order Night’s Black Agents from the Pelgrane Shop.

Night’s Black Agents brings the GUMSHOE engine to the spy thriller genre, combining the propulsive paranoia of movies like Ronin and The Bourne Identity with supernatural horror straight out of Bram Stoker. Investigation is crucial, but it never slows down the action, which explodes with expanded options for bone-crunching combat, high-tech tradecraft, and adrenaline-fueled chases.

Michael Wolf over at Stargazer’s World has written a detailed and balanced review of Kenneth Hite’s newest GUMSHOE offering, Night’s Black Agents. You can read the full review here.

It’s very well written, basically allows you to run or play in every spy thriller subgenre with vampires or not, and it adds a lot to the Gumshoe system without feeling too complicated. If you are interested in spy games you should definitely check this game out, I doubt you’ll find anything better anytime soon.

Two wider geek-media huzzahs for Pelgrane core games hit this week, and by some kind of odd coincidence, they both feature interviews with me.

Andrew Girdwood of Geek Native shares the news of how you can get Trail of Cthulhu for 55% off at DriveThruRPG if you haven’t bought it yet, and asks me all manner of questions including “What music goes well with Trail of Cthulhu?” You know I plugged James Semple’s amazing soundtracks, but click through to see what else I suggested.

Ed Grabianowski, meanwhile, gives Night’s Black Agents a very flattering review at io9.com (“Filled with innovative features that help create a unique gaming experience”) and asks me, among other things, about playtest highlights I didn’t mention in the “DVD Commentary” sections in the book. Find out where the giant stone vampire head was, here.

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