Master Mines

We’re digging RPGs

The Next Game: Paranormal Containment

So, no, I’m not done with Know Thyself.  I am taking a short break for feedback, aside from what designer’s notes and other info I need to put up this weekend for the website.

But I’m starting a new project now, Paranormal Containment.  I was noodling over an idea, and mechanically-speaking it fits many of my older Damned Anonymous ideas better than D.A. did.  Here’s what I told a couple friends today:

Paranormal Containment – an RPG about being an unwilling agent in the Paranormal Containment Agency, a secret goverment agency set up to keep magic on the down-low, if not utterly eradicated.  Unwilling, because it turns out you’re a magus.  And they have a “shoot or recruit” policy.

“Damage” is tracked not as how hurt you are, but how suspicious your family is of you and how much of a liability you are in the Agency.   It’s called “Exposure.”

I may post up the entire chat log with Daniel Solis, as I got a lot of good material out of it.  But really, I just wanted to talk about the fact that I’m starting a new game.  And I want it solid enough for a second-tier playtest at the February LA con.


August 23, 2007 - Posted by | Paranormal Containment


  1. How far do you intend to take this project? If you’ve got an idea for a game and want to make some notes, that’s cool. However if this is a project that you intend to throw yourself into with the intensity that you have been with the other two games and finish, I’d really caution you on that.

    My suggestion would be to take one of these games to the finish before you start really focusing on the next game. This may involve publishing it as a PDF, or even keeping it among your group of friends but understanding that it’s done. Being that it’s your first game, it doesn’t need to be perfect (and most likely it won’t be). Most of the major games out there aren’t the first attempt that the designers have published. If for nothing else, do it to prove to yourself you could. I know that for me, publishing the ashcan made the final steps I’ll need to take a lot more managable in my head.

    This is all my opinion of course, but if you’re going to take a break, you shouldn’t spend it working on something else. You should take some time to play some new games, watch some movies, read some books, etc.

    That said, the setting sounds really cool.

    Comment by jhimmelman | August 24, 2007 | Reply

  2. Jeff, I definitely plan on taking some down time. This idea just attacked me, and I wanted to get as much out before it left.

    I plan on finishing Know Thyself, but I’m waiting for feedback for that, using that as a time to intentionally take a break from it. I also want to get back into fiction, as that’s fun and I miss doing it. If it wasn’t for the fact that my head is coming up with idea after idea for Paranormal Containment, I would probably be doing something else.

    To answer your first question, though: I intend to take it as far as it goes. I’d like to have a playtest doc I could bring with me to the February LA con. I think there’s something here worth publishing, but that shouldn’t be on my mind right now.

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | August 24, 2007 | Reply

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