Actual Play Campaign at RPPR: Know Evil

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towo towo's picture
Some hints on CC

It's licensed CC-BY-NC-SA - which means that when you use the stuff, you're not allowed to (re)sell it (NC), it needs to be attributed (BY) and you need to share it under a similar license (SA, share-alike). They do not forbid derivative works. That is, if you just use the setting, but add your own stuff, reference the core rules instead of copy-pasting it and include the proper incantations to the attribution gods, you are a-okay.

And aside from that, if you manage to contact PS and they give you a cart blanche, you're good whatever the license says. (Just be able to prove it in case there's a rights transfer at some point.)

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Know Evil: Episode 22

The Earth Tier begins with a bang! The Firewall team moves in to finally meet with agents of Manjappa, the mastermind behind Know Evil, at the Hotel California, one of the most dangerous and chaotic habitats in the system. The agents pick up a new agent, Quoth, a Xeno expert, as they head in, but they quickly find out Quoth may be in over his head. Will his help be enough for this delicate operation? They must bring the unique artifact stolen from the Lunar bank to lure Manjappa’s agents in but then ambush them to get a lead on Manjappa himself. This balancing act will push the team to their limits and it’s possible the entire operation ends in this mission.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
and after Know Evil?

Will there be more EP actual plays from you guys?

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

Remember The Cant!

lets adapt lets adapt's picture
Cthuluzord, you are an evil

Cthuluzord, you are an evil genius.

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
@Quincey Forder

Yeah. I believe we have 4 or 5 games left in the campaign. Earth Tier is the final tier though.

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Know Evil: Episode 23

The Firewall team survived Hotel California, but only by the skin of their cloned teeth. They need time to recover and pursue new leads into the Know Evil investigation. They travel to the Vo Nyugen station in Earth orbit and encounter something they never anticipated . . . relative peace and quiet. The station is peaceful and no one seems to be gunning for them, at least for now. So what do these battered and scarred agents do when no one’s trying to kill them? Some stay focused on the case, while others try to find some personal peace in their own lives. Some make questionable decisions regarding seed AIs. Find out how the team handles this calm before the storm!

IDaMan008 IDaMan008's picture
And once again, I'm two

And once again, I'm two episodes behind because I always forget to update my podcasts. Listening through the meeting with Manjapa's agents now. Holy shit, guys. I laughed my ass off through the entire scene where David's character met the rest of the crew. Bartelby's flustered-but-polite HR Rep reaction to the new Sentinel was priceless. Excellent role playing on Ross' part.

I can't wait to see what happens with Augustine! That's gonna be great.


Lilith Lilith's picture
Every time someone talks to

Every time someone talks to Augustine, I just imagine an AI researcher out there bashing his face into his desk in frustration.

lets adapt lets adapt's picture
Hey, Cthuluzord

I have a question about your campaign! Going to put it behind a spoiler tag.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Regarding the bank heist, did you plan at all for your group failing? I ask because I always have no trouble coming up with these grand quests but always blank on how to proceed with the story if such an important task is botched and the group's success is key to the general story I want to tell. Would your game have gone in a completely different direction? Am I being too rigid?

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
@lets adapt

It is kind of complicated to explain without spoiling future episodes, but I will try my best. I will put the explanation in spoiler tags for those who haven't listened to previous episodes. I'm NOT going to give things away about future episodes.

Spoiler: Highlight to view

I viewed the campaign as a matter of initiative. If Venus tier was about discovering just the hell what was going on, Luna tier was about the PC's moving from reactionary to proactive action. Basically, I play a group of opposition NPC's against the PC group all the time. For the first three tiers, my only rule was that the two groups never really meet outside of dealing with the fallout of the other's actions.

So, in Luna tier, the opposition had no idea Artemis was going to make a very bad choice on Mitre, and the presence of the PC's was initially thought to be in relation to the Professor Truth interview and not previous operations. By the time the opposition connected the Mitre operation to the Venus forks and took them down, the PC's were already gone from Mitre. The opposition was equally ignorant of the Exsurgent risk in the Lunar tunnels and the retrieval of Artemis's ecto.

The Clever Hands job appeared to just be Preston keeping his cover. They left no traces of espionage activities on the base itself, and their stealthy resleeve of Nissim meant any evidence of their trip to the Cognite bunker was covered up. So the intel discovered at Clever Hands and the bunker never factored into opposition planning either.

The Firewall interference at Necter was obvious, which is why the bounty on known quantities in the team (namely, Gerard) was up'ed, leading to the attack on the scum barge by Bohimi Eshuabay. Still, this appeared as anti-Oversight interference by Firewall, and there was as yet no evidence that the true Know Evil plot had been discovered. Opposition thought Firewall was just chasing its own tail.

Finally, the PC's presence at the PCR was completely clandestine, as was Yu-on's strategic betrayal of Manjappa. The opposition had no idea the Firewall team had gotten so far in their investigation, and so they thought the Haunted Stars remained completely undetected.

Had PC's attacked the plot points in a different order with different results, I'd of played the opposition team's actions in my head differently. As things worked out, they pulled off the heist while imitating the Haunted Stars plan, and they exited the habitat with enough stealth to fool the opposition. If they had failed, their corpses and stacks would have revealed that the team knew all along about the opposition's movements in the Luna system. This would have meant the opposition would have reassessed Firewall as a much larger threat and acted accordingly. The attack on the resleeved agents by the opposition would have been the opportunity for players to re-enter the story had the bank heist not gone well.

So, the recent Hotel California kerfuffle bought the players a big lead on the conspiracy's motives, and they have begun investigating on Vo Nguyen. However, the firefight and death of all the agents sent to Hotel California has alerted the opposition that someone is close on their trail. Firewall, and specifically Preston's team, has become a major threat. They have lost the initiative, and future adventures will see them in the reactionary position again as Manjappa (e.g. me) makes moves against them.

Basically, if you are running a espionage/conspiracy game, you have to ensure that ever major success/failure moment in the campaign has an option where the PC's successfully chase the conspiracy, and an option where the conspiracy successfully chases the PC's. This keeps the game moving regardless of success or failure.

Sorry if that was cryptic; things will be more clear once the campaign wraps up.

prototyper prototyper's picture
Thank you for the spoiler warning ....

Thank you for the spoiler warning, because the spoiler tag does NOT work for the digest e-mail i get when this thread is updated. I was able to scroll on by without revealing a thing to myself. I do hope to read it after the final episode plays, and may request that you re-post it then. As a slightly related question, how many episodes remain before the end?

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture

i believe there are 4 left, but don't hold me to that; it has been over 6 months since we finished up.

helios1014 helios1014's picture
Manjappa and Bond Villans

Just wanted to say that I have fallen head over heals for this story and your stuff has made for some very enjoyable moments for my players (in spite of my running Bryson Spring's in the most railroad way possible). I also wanted to say that I was trying to think of literary equivalents to Manjappa from what I have heard about him and the closest I can come are either Dr. No or Blofeld. I am referencing the books for these comparisons since the movies have more of a lets take over the world from a volcano while the books give slightly less insane plans. Dr. No is disabling American missiles and selling the tech to the Soviets while Blofeld is simply practicing a heavy handed form of blackmail. In other words, their plans make sense and have an achievable goal in mind unlike your usual let me build a giant laser that blows things up and somehow rule the world after I fill some blanks in.

Well I have prattled on a bit but thank you for making such a compelling villain without the PC's ever meeting him before hand. Seriously, this guy is better than Sauron.

clockworkjoe clockworkjoe's picture

Caleb and I are both watching a new cyberpunk anime series called Psycho Pass. We both agree that the antagonist of that series is definitely Manjappa-esque.

Aggrotron Aggrotron's picture
Trying not to spoil this, are

Trying not to spoil this, are you referencing Makeshima or The Other Big Thing? Because TOBT is highly reminiscent of the opponents my PC's are facing at the moment.

Or it's what they're becoming, take your pick.

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture

@helios1014: Thanks! Prattle on all you like, especially when you say nice stuff about us :-) We appreciate it.

@Aggrotron: Makeshima is what Clockword Joe is referring to. The whole villain-as-talent-scout motif definitely applies to the main antagonist of that show, and that is what I was going for with Manjappa as well. There are other similarities as well, but I don't want to ruin anything.

If we ever see Manjappa in other games, I'm considering sleeving him in a Futura with a Japanese genotype now...

helios1014 helios1014's picture

Caleb, could you put up the map you made for that section of the game where the players had to maneuver through the maze of golden bricks and death traps?

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Death Trap Map

helios1014 wrote:
Caleb, could you put up the map you made for that section of the game where the players had to maneuver through the maze of golden bricks and death traps?

I don't know how useful it will be, but here it is. I had every number correspond to an item, death trap, or piece of creepy flavor text.

helios1014 helios1014's picture
IDaMan008 IDaMan008's picture
Episode 24

Spoiler: Highlight to view

Kill-E? Freaking Kill-E! As in, Wall-E, but with DEATH!

Holy hell.

That's brilliant.


Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Know Evil: Episode 24

Sorry for the late re-post. I'm on Spring Break and more unplugged than usual.

Synopsis: The peace cannot last long, even in a civilized station like Vo Nyugen. The Firewall team finds itself under attack from a mysterious and impossibly skilled assassin just as they are making a deal with an informant for intel on Manjappa. Meanwhile, Augustine sits there in the server room…apparently normal, but can the Firewall team trust a seed AI? Even after they deal with the sniper, the team has little time to act in order to keep the investigation going. Given the number of Firewall rules the team has broken, how long can they keep their own organization from turning against them? Find out how the team manages to deal with the chaos Manjappa inflicts on them in this episode of Know Evil!

@helios1014: I like that. If I run a game again, I'm totally giving the players spammed tacnet.

@IDaMan008: I never even thought of that connection, but I love it. I was actually referencing the main character in the Manga BLAME!

anth anth's picture
Know Evil: Episode 24
nerol-1 nerol-1's picture
I'm still at Episode 1

I listened the first episode of Know Evil and it's beginning is really cool!
24 episodes are a lot but I'll do my best and I'll listen to all of them.
Unfortunately, being an Italian native speaker and living in Italy, my English skill level is not good enough to understand everything.
I would love to make my friends play this campaign.
There will be the possibility to read it, one day?

il NeRo
The blog about the adventures of 4 Italian Sentinels

SashaKemper SashaKemper's picture
I really have to agree with

I really have to agree with Proxy Zealot with just about every decision he makes. It leans me to put the next crew of Sentinels I lord over under his direct oversight. It gives me an excuse to send them on the most heinous of missions and corrode their sanity.

Schizophrenics make for interesting storytellers.

valen valen's picture
I just found this. Tons of

I just found this. Tons of fun listening to it on my commute

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Know Evil: Episode 25

The Firewall Team awakens on Earth, much to their chagrin. They have been placed in a covert bunker under the streets of Tokyo, sleeved in what morphs were available. Tasked with retrieving an AGI from a Tokyo museum, the team must cross the exsurgent infected ruins of earth’s largest city. Given the insidious and alien nature of the TITANs, anything can be a deadly trap. Can the team survive the countless threats and complete the mission objective? Why is the AGI so important? Find out all this and more in this episode of Know Evil.

Emanon Retsim Emanon Retsim's picture


Great game Caleb. I love how you managed to ramp up the paranoia and lunacy this round. I also enjoyed having this visceral look at post-fall Tokyo. It's a bit of a pity that Aaron kinda screwed the pooch by launching that second overload, because I thought it would've been interesting to see Jason/Gerard's response to the surface of Tokyo when the left the elevator. I almost feel sorry for any members of the crew who manages reintegrates with their forks after this.

BTW, at the end was that the first time Manjappa was directly linked to Project Ozma or did I miss something from an earlier game?

Lilith Lilith's picture
D: Your ability to come up

D: Your ability to come up with increasingly-horrifying scenarios is nothing short of astounding, sir. That shit was fucked-up.

Great ep :D

Aggrotron Aggrotron's picture
I've been AFK for a while,

I've been AFK for a while, somehow I just knew that the characters were going to be ego-napped in the previous episodes. Did the players know about the Annual game at that point? I'd be paranoid as knowing one of Manjappa's goals was to get the egos of the team.

Cthuluzord wrote:
@Aggrotron: Makeshima is what Clockword Joe is referring to. The whole villain-as-talent-scout motif definitely applies to the main antagonist of that show, and that is what I was going for with Manjappa as well. There are other similarities...

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Considering the end of episode 22...

It would be absolutely hilarious if Bartleby took Manjappa's place.

helios1014 helios1014's picture
End game

The thing I eagerly await is how you will deal with the ultimate question that any evil plan in EP must beg which is "how do I stop this?" When coming back to life is as common as getting a cup of coffee, how do you stop a hyperelite who might just be patient enough to wait until the cost is clear and then launch operation volcano fortress II.

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Know Evil: Episode 26

In the penultimate episode of the Know Evil campaign, the Firewall team heads to earth to find out the truth behind Manjappa’s plan. Running the blockade of kill satellites surrounding the planet is dangerous enough, but how long can they last on the surface? Will they do what it takes to discover the truth and stop Manjappa or will they falter in their quest? Everything is coming to an end, but before the team can confront the author of the Know Evil virus, they must first make a decision that will alter history forever!

P.S. The Fan Creation contest has been extended. The new deadline is now two weeks after the post of the final game. We want to give people time to incorporate the whole story into their work if they so choose, though anything is welcome in terms of entry. If it differs a bit, maybe it is an improvement! Anyway, you can check out the fantastic entries we've received thus far here:,1625.0.html

helios1014 helios1014's picture

Thanks to this episode, I will never look at "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes" the same ever again.

@Cthulhuzord. If I am understanding the mechanics of your sheet of death, it can grow by absorbing matter out of things that touch it, can arrange its own mass so that it can be a super long and thin string or a sheet that can cut a man in half within a fraction of a second, and it can self destruct into a rain of component bits. Am I missing anything?

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture

That's pretty much it. It can also store enough information in its cloud to sleeve an ego. That's why they needed the Origami AI to operate it, because it is otherwise too unwieldy and foreign to be a morph

helios1014 helios1014's picture

So Europa was the Terminator and the resleving facility was the T-1000! I just failed my san check. :)

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Know Evil: Final Episode

The journey has come to an end. There is only one mission left: to defeat Manjappa. Warden, the Promethean AI, has sent the Firewall team to Mars to track down and confront Manjappa, the author of Know Evil. Manjappa isn’t willing to go down without a fight though. Can they survive the final battle and even so, what will happen to them after the mission is completed? Everyone must face up to the decisions they’ve made over the course of their investigation. Find out what happens to Bartleby, Preston, SAIROC, Gerard, Quoth, and Fei Yin!

We here at RPPR would like to thank the listeners for their enthusiasm, comments, and emails about Know Evil. It was a great campaign that we all enjoyed playing and we hope you enjoyed as well! The Know Evil Fan Creation Contest officially ends on May 10. More Eclipse Phase is coming, but we have some great new campaigns in the works now:

Castlereagh Castlereagh's picture
Oh hell. I was going to

Oh hell. I was going to replay the whole campaign in one long marathon before the last episode. Sod that, I can't wait any longer, I've got to see how it ends.

I've got chills! That was fantastic

The lonely fox chases after the one eyed hound.

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture

Just started listening, and yeah I see the futurama similarities which at first I assumed was due to a lack of setting familiarity by the players but if your saying thats going on even 4-5 adventures in... something else is going on.

ps love the Bartleby character description... initially seems like a psychic Hannibal lector.

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

Dom Dom's picture
Baalbamoth wrote:Just started

Baalbamoth wrote:
Just started listening, and yeah I see the futurama similarities which at first I assumed was due to a lack of setting familiarity by the players but if your saying thats going on even 4-5 adventures in... something else is going on.

ps love the Bartleby character description... initially seems like a psychic Hannibal lector.

I think having a bit of humor in the campaign is okay. The rest of the campaign has both humorous and horrific situations, so it's not like the campaign turned into a space sitcom.

prototyper prototyper's picture
I have just finished listening .....

And I must say, BRAVO !! (If you could hear me, I would be clapping) All of you did an excellent job in a FANTASTIC Campaign. I commend you all on fun well done !!

That said, PUBLISH NOW and TAKE MY MONEY !! (lol) Any word of how that is going? Posthuman saying anything? For my two centi-credits, Please PS, grant them a license. This is a wonderful campaign, and I do so want to run it for my fledgling crew of transhumans. Again, hats off to you all for a terrific time. Thank you very much!!

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
@Castlereagh @Dom @Prototyper

Thank you for the support ladies and/or gentlemen. I really appreciate it.

@Prototyper: I have heard back from PH and they are considering things. Considering how wonderfully things are going with the Kickstarter though I imagine they have many other more important things to worry about. I'll know when I know, but until then it is good to know I have you on my side :-)

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Know Evil: Postmortem

The main podcast hosts, Ross (Bartelby) and Tom (Preston), were kind enough to ask me to record an episode with them about the Know Evil campaign as a whole. If you had any questions about how the game was designed, what I learned from it as a GM, or what the players were thinking "behind the scenes," give it a listen.

Baalbamoth Baalbamoth's picture
on episode 3

yeah was a laugh riot when somebody played the "eye of the tiger" song at the death match. group is a little weird but good natured, I'm kind of suprised they can go from deadly serious rp to goofy as hell octi with a top hat and fake moustache rp instantly, well.. off to episode 4...

"what do I want? The usual — hundreds of grandchildren, complete dominion over the known worlds, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me."

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Thank You!

With the 80K stretch goal hit, I'll be writing one of the adventures to be released along with Transhuman. I just wanted to thank everyone on these forums that supported the Know Evil campaign. We really appreciate it, and I hope this leads to more work with Posthuman in the future. It wouldn't be possible without the support and interest of everyone on this thread, and for that I am deeply, personally grateful.

helios1014 helios1014's picture
Ftaghn Caleb

Thank you Caleb for helping to make some of my best game sessions. I may have turned Bryson Springs into a railroad full of revolvers with infinite bullets and somehow got the size go giant worm monsters radically inconsistent, but my players somehow had fun and you are partially responsible for that so thank you.

hhexo hhexo's picture

Congratulations for the chance to write an adventure as part of the Transhuman work!

Count me in as one of the fans waiting for a published Know Evil... :-)

Lilith Lilith's picture
No sir, thank *you*

Listening to Know Evil only helped to cement my fledgling love for Eclipse Phase, as well as inspire me to push myself to be a better GM. I can't say for sure whether I'm making progress on that front or not, but if nothing else I'm always chomping at the bit for another Caleb game to provide a font of ideas (I'll have you know my girlfriend routinely uses the phrase "Stokesian architecture" when referencing deathtraps). Regardless, I can't wait to see what you come up with for this stretch goal scenario!

And by-the-by, thanks for the comments regarding the story (Last Rites) that I posted for the Know Evil fan creation contest. Coming from you, I consider that very high praise indeed. :)

Castlereagh Castlereagh's picture
I'm very excited.

I'm very excited.

The lonely fox chases after the one eyed hound.

Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Know Evil Author's Latest Kickstarter

Hello all!

I know it's been a long time since the salad days of Know Evil, but I've been using that time to work on my own setting and system. If you liked my writing in Know Evil, please check it out. Even something as simple as retweeting the link would be immensely helpful.

Laskeutua Laskeutua's picture
Looking forward to playing

Looking forward to playing this game again, DM backed the kickstarter and he can't contain his excitement. Last game we ran was during its beta and I have quite fond memories of it. Absolutely loved the haggling system. So solid that we've taken to using it for other games.

Unrelated, I owe you some thanks. I marathon'ed the entirety of Know Evil several months ago; it directly inspired me to write and DM a 6 month long EP campaign that just wrapped up in its epilogue about an hour ago. It was up there as one of the most fun things I've ever done in any RPG environment. I may or may not have stolen an idea or two from you >_>
I also loved that your table banter was just as entertaining as the campaign itself :P