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Top Secret Administrator’s Screen
I was looking through a box of role-playing books when I stumbled across my Top Secret Administrator’s Screen. This accessory was made for the spy-themed Top Secret role-playing game, which was written by Merle M. Rasmussen. The game system was released in 1980 by TSR
These Administrator Screens were meant to be used by the person running the game as both a privacy protector and reference guide. That is why the inside of the screen is covered with charts and information for the Admin, while the outside is more player focused.
I always liked screens when I played games, especially when I was starting out as a player. I would constantly be reading the charts and staring at the art. It taught me a lot and set the mood for the game at the same time.
I am not sure who designed the screens, and cannot find an artist attribution for the cover work. Thanks to Adam Morrison for pointing out that the cover is most likely by Jim Holloway. Who also did the art for the included mini-adventure.
The screens came with a short mini-module, Operation: Executive One by Corey Koebernick. It’s a fun little adventure were the players attempt to rescue the president, who is being held by a band of mercenaries in a haunted mansion in Canada. What a premise!
Unfortunately for collectors, this very light adventure often gets lost. So when finding the screens used, you often cannot find the module.
Find Enclosed one TSR TOP SECRET Administrator’s Screen, with all the necessary charts and tables. Also find one mini-adventure, OPERATION: Executive One. Agents must rescue the Presidents from a Squad of Corporate Merceneries.
So what could you find on the outside of the screens? Well besides the cool art you see above, they included several combat tables all laid out in colorful blue and white. They included tables for: Untrained Combat, Knife Fighting, Boxing, Judo, and Martial Arts.
The inside was all done in black and white, although mine has aged to be a more yellow and brown. These charts and info blocks are a bit more informational, but are all still combat-oriented.
Included are charts for Weapons, Contact Reaction, Genera; Injury, Projectile Combat Damage, Character Movement Rate, Hand to Hand Combat, Swordplay, Possessions Combat, HTH Actions, Injury Modifiers, and Intruder Discovery.
It’s A LOT of information.
Screens in role-playing games can be controversial. Some do not like the secrecy. I think they assume it implies cheating on the part of the DM or Administrator.
I always liked them because I had a lot of notes and information I wanted to lay out in front of me while I played. This info, if viewed, could possibly spoil the game.
Top Secret, with its emphasis on SECRETS, seems to be a perfect match for a set of screens. My only complaint about this set is that it is a single screen. The area one screen can cover was never suitable for my needs, and I would have to use a folder or a Dungeons & Dragons Screen to increase my table real estate.