I've got this really cool plot for a James Bondish type campaign. Anyone have any suggestions for a decent game system. I unpacked and undusted the old TSR Top Secret game. Way too complex. (There was a good reason it was still packed)
I would recommend Victory Games' JAMES BOND 007 RPG, from the early 80s. You can find it very easily online, since they made TONS of it, and a lot of online retailers have bundles of it. You can also find it on ebay.
It is, as you might suspect, PERFECT for James Bond style campaigns.
The James Bond game is really good, and the rulebook is a very complete tool, including an interesting method to create missions (with random encounters if you like it).
Also, dozens of NPCs are ready to use, and you've got movies to see them in action.
The system is excellent, the idea of percentage=skill x (difficulty number) is something absolutely great. There's a multiplication chart, if you have problems multiplying 17 by 9.
Some elements of the system are a bit too complicated, though (like the seduction rules, artificially complex, just to stress their importance).
The point-based character creation was something very innovative for the time (beginning of the 80's), and the Disadvantages are really fun.
The gadgets and the background notes may be a bit dated, but if you place your campaigns in the 60's / 70's / 80's the game is just perfect !
- James Bond. Naturally a match. Perfectly geared for a superspy game. Best for 1:1 or small groups.
- Blue Planet/Synergy. A surprising match. BP is specifically designed to handle superspies. The mechanics can be used for any setting between present day and the late 22d Century by adjusting the available technology.
- Mercenaries, Spies, & Private Eyes. Nice and easy mechanics. A good choice if you don't want a rules heavy game.
- Feng Shui. Perfect for handling the wild cinematic action of the Bond movies and for presenting the master villian, his named bruiser, and hordes of faithful mooks. Particulary good if you want to present fancy technology without a lot of mechanics.
Then you will hopefully like the Bond game. One of the great things about the Bond game is the way the mechanics encourage play that emulates the movies.
This is mainly done through Hero Points. Hero points are spent to ensure/upgrade results on a chart (my memory is getting a little vague here). Hero points are earned by rolling spectacular successes on the chart. Consequently, the best way to generate Hero points is to engage in game activities involving a lot of die rolls, like seduction. A perfect Bond style. This actually got one Machiavellian gamer in our group to engage in one of only the few romantic roleplays I saw in five years of gaming with him.
Still, my first choice would be Blue Planet or Feng Shui depending on the style of game I was going for.