Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Relaunching Channel Zero

From January of 2003 to June 2012, I wrote a blog named Channel Zero. The blog didn't have any kind of theme.  It was a personal journal like lots of blogs back in the days before social media. I stopped updating for a lot of reasons, however I'd always wanted to start a themed blog about role playing games. I just never got around to it.  Well now I have.  I am relaunching Channel Zero as an RPG blog.  At North Texas RPG Con, I got the chance to meet and talk with many RPG bloggers at and it inspired me to finally sit down and write.  My plan is to write about Old School Renaissance (OSR) games, but I'm certain I will stray to a few other RPGs and probably a few war games.  I've been playing Warhammer 40k since I was 14 years old, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Enough narrative, on to the RPG stuff.  A commenter on the original Channel Zero blog once asked if I named the blog after the Public Enemy song "She Watch Channel Zero."  I didn't get the name from the song though, I got it from an obscure superhero RPG called Underground published by Mayfair games.
Underground was a pretty crazy RPG. The background is somewhat complex.  In Underground, the characters play genetically modified mercenary super soldiers who are brain washed into believing they are superheroes. When discharged from their mercenary duties the heroes end up as part of the "Underground" and fight against the oppressive US police state and the corporations. The 90s were a weird time.

In the game, the rebel superheroes used a pirate TV channel, "Channel Zero," to broadcast their message.  I thought Channel Zero sounded cool and took it for my blog. Turns out, the designers of Underground are Public Enemy fans. The band figures prominently in the game's back story.  So I'm guessing they did get the Channel Zero idea from the song.  I never ended up running the game.  I liked  the comic books Underground was based on a lot more than the RPG.

 Underground is still available in PDF from Drive Thru RPG.  Mayfair made quite a few supplements for it, so it must have been somewhat popular.  I owned the rule book and the Notebook supplement, but I don't have them now.   I kinda wish I did, because writing about it is making me want to check it out again.