An Embarrassment of Riches

Whereas before I posted my glee on the kismet of putting together Checkpoint Zulu, my 1980’s Berlin espionage / horror game, it is now starting to get out of hand.  In addition to accruing a lot more props to use in the game (what is this, a LARP?) I continue to find amazing information online.  Each time I sit down to do some writing and go to look up a half-remembered fact I wanted to include, I end up getting sucked into following links and soon enough am drowning in a maelstrom of new information.

Take for example this book, Special Forces Berlin, whose subtitle reads: Clandestine Cold War Operations of the US Army’s Elite, 1956–1990.  It was just published last February, I’m guessing just after last TotalCon so it would be ready for me to use in planning this game.  Seriously, why is all this coming up just as I need it?

Written by James Stejskal, a former member of the very forces this book details, it feels like he wrote the book more from a sense of duty and to preserve the history of this group than an attempt to hit the best seller list.  I discovered the book from Detachment A‘s website, and a little more searching turned up a talk the author gave on his work which you can watch courtesy of C-Span.  Available on kindle for just $10, I naturally picked it up right away.  It was nice to be able to start reading it only hours after discovering its existence.

The book is pretty good, it’s a mix of somewhat dry military history peppered with plenty of first-hand anecdotes.  I’d probably only recommend it to serious history buffs, or anyone writing a horror adventure game set in Berlin when the wall existed.

As much as I love all the material and am now eager to involve special forces in my game, this is really too much.  I should be writing, not reading.  I’m supposed to be running a test run of this game a week from Friday, and all I have so far is a giant pile of notes and props.  I need to pull this all together into a coherent plot, or at least stat up some characters already!

So naturally, here I sit at my computer writing a blog post.  Ugh, this procrastination has got to stop!

2 thoughts on “An Embarrassment of Riches

  1. Which prop will they see first? Which prop will they see second? How many minutes will elapse before they see prop number three? Which prop must they have discovered by the 30 minute mark or else they will be stopped by an NPC “May I zee yur paperz pleaze”? Which props are fluff, which props are essential to saving their souls?

    Just kidding!

    They are of course doomed and nothing will save them, no amount or props can do that … but perhaps a good amount of props will lead them into a false sense of security that they MIGHT make it through this alive 🙂

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