Sunday, March 13, 2011


Back around the time that I formulated the Synthetic 75 system and started putting the draft playtest rules together for Humanspace Empires, I prepared a few notes for another game that I’d like to write and play. The working title is MICRODOTS: The Retro RPG of Inter-dimensional Espionage.

I see this game as kind of a mash-up of TSR’s Top Secret, Paranoia, and Lacuna from Memento Mori  running on rules similar to those used for Humanspace Empires. Characters would be inter-dimensional agents, spies, and assassins from a continuum similar to the worlds of 1960s spy films.

Here's a preliminary Appendix N:


William S. Burroughs-Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine, The Ticket that Exploded, Nova Express

Michael Moorcock-The Final Programme, A Cure for Cancer, The English Assassin, The Condition of Muzak, The Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius in the Twentieth Century

Films, Television, and Other Media

The Avengers
Danger Man
It Takes a Thief
Mission: Impossible
The Prisoner


  1. In comics, the '60s Steranko book Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as the 2000s Warren Ellis series Planetary also deserve spots on your Appendix N bookshelf.

  2. @ Desert Scribe: Agreed, Probably also (for comics) Modesty Blaise, Casanova, and the Invisibles...

  3. I'm not entirely sure if this would fit, but your description brought Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat to mind.

    - Ark

  4. Check out Keith Laumer's "Worlds of the Imperium" could be available in a collection called "Imperium" these days.

    An American Diplomat is kidnapped and recruited to serve in the secret service of the British Empire in a parallel dimension to infiltrate the leadership of yet another dimension making war with the Imperium.

  5. It also brings to mind Gary Seven from the Star Trek episode "Assignment: Earth." (Which would have spawned it's own series with the same name if the networks had picked it up.)

  6. Sounds like a great set of inspirations.

  7. The Wild, Wild West also had elements of "Weird Espionage," albeit with a western motif.

  8. @School Master - I was totally thinking Gary Seven and the aborted Assignment: Earth series.

    I've had a ton of fun over the years with an adventure I created and ran several times in various Star Trek campaigns based on a female version of Gary Seven (Rachel Eleven), the Organians, The Excalibans and the Guardian of Forever.

    This sounds like a super fun idea.

  9. Burroughs, Final Programme, Alphaville, Danger Diabolik, 60's Fantomas, The Prisoner, Modesty Blaise, Steranko, Gary Seven - Brilliant!

    I'll add "The Tenth Victim" as a great inspiration. Microdots sounds awesome!

  10. Thanks for all the groovy Appendix N suggestions. I know Slippery Jim and I've read some Laumer but not the Imperium series. I'll have to look into that. Gary Seven is very in-line with Microdots and I had completely forgotten about him. I haven't seen the Tenth Victim but it looks pretty cool and its hard to go wrong with mod Italian fims from the 60s...

    I have more Microdots notes for future posts...

  11. Groovy Man! Very cool! Can't wait to see what you do with this!


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