Review: Night’s Black Agents: The Dracula Dossier

By / October 31, 2015 / General, Marty, Roleplaying Games

“Listen to them, The Children of the Night, what music they make…” -Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Redacted)

The Hunt for Dracula is on. Agents spanning the decades search for the elusive fiend at the behest of one agency or another, all in an attempt to either destroy his evil once and for all or to turn it to their own use, cultivating the Prince of Darkness into a master operative for their own nefarious purposes.

Pelgrane Press’ Dracula Dossier is a brilliantly constructed set of books that add a major new player and storyline to their sandbox Superspies versus Vampires RPG, Night’s Black Agents.

The Director’s Handbook is chock full of information for running a campaign featuring, if not revolving around, Dracula and his minions. Dracula Unreacted is an annotated copy of Bram Stokers “Dracula” as unredacted account or after action report written by Mister Stoker at the request of EDOM, an nefarious organization secreted deep within the confines of MI 5, dedicated to turning a vampire, and preferably THE vampire, Dracula, into an agent of their own.

The Director’s Guide is a dense, richly detailed sourcebook that provides Director’s a wealth of information with which to fill in their sandbox.   All of the information in this book is steeped in aspects of spycraft and presented as a means for evolving a campaign in meticulous fashion. Characters from the novel are assumed intelligence operatives working for Edom (or other similar such organizations) and their names may or may not be accurate. They could be covers or they could not be or they could be covers that are meant to be covers of covers. Ultimately up to the Director to decide how far down the rabbit hole they want to go.  The book presents options and alternatives for the original team of hunters as well as their Legacies; Descendants who may or may not be taking up the fight against the mythic Count.  Much love for the genre (both spy and horror) has gone into  building possibilities into every character, location and object in this game. Everything has a sinister side as well as a mundane one. Again, all up to how much a Director wants to invest and how deep they wish to delve.

Dracula Unredacted features annotations from field agents who, throughout the past century and a half, have traced the tales and legends about the Count, again in attempts to locate and either neutralize or recruit him.  The book itself is presented as an object of great (or not so great. Again, see the rabbit hole…)importance, either as a mythical tome or as very direct and important insights culled from years of research by persons of various origin obsessed with the Vampire.  Dracula Unreacted, the book itself, is a shining example of what supplemental source books can and should be. Rich with history and incredibly fun. It certainly doesn’t hurt that this also happens to be the vein from which most modern vampire lore flows.  Bravo to Pelgrane for having the gumption to introduce it into their game.

For fans of Vampires, there can be no more monolithic entity than Dracula.  He has enticed moviegoers and storytellers for generations.  He is legend and that can be very intimidating to work with.  The Dracula Dossier, a staggering work in it’s own right, gives the Director vast stores of information and option for their own conspiracy and retains the feel of legendary evil and limitless power that Dracula should wield within a world run by Vampires.

Well done.

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MB

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