One helpful way to think of ideas is to think of them is that ideas are spiritual germs that infest the ecosystem of someone's minds. For a time, an idea can proliferate through a mind, or many minds, before eventually fading with time. A trend can overtake a whole population, then vanish just as quickly, as a new trend emerges to take its place.
And while some ideas are brief and ephemeral, leading nowhere or only remaining with you for a brief time, some are vastly more powerful. Religions and ideologies can lead to the foundation of societies, incite wars, and change the course of history. Consider that, a few stray thoughts floating around your head could one day change all of human history, and potentially save or destroy millions of lives.
But let's take it a step further.
You can only learn about the Black Goat from someone who is also infected, whether by talking to someone who knows about the Goat, or reading some of their writings, or or seeing a picture of the damn thing. This is not the only type of contagious idea- there are many, but this is one of the most virulent. This is also why Agents of the Company avoid reading or watching anything they confiscate. In some cases, the pen is truly mightier than the sword.
Of course, you might not read or hear about anything about the Black Goat. You might just be walking through a rural area down a dirt road, and see a black goat. You might not think anything is amiss at first. But then, you will see. Oh, you will see.
The Goat will turn, and you will see it has three eyes. It will stare at you unblinkingly, and you will feel it thinking about you, for a single second, you will come face to face with the uncaring God who rules you. Or maybe the Goat will speak to you in the voice of your long dead Mother, or it will reveal that it was cannibalizing a she-goat, tearing open the female goat's womb. After it leaves, you can cut apart the she- goat and find a half-formed human fetus inside her.
Congratulations, you've just been inducted into the Black Goat conspiracy.
Now your eyes have been opened, and you see clearly. For the first time, you see clearly. You can hear the secret messages in the TV static, and feel the CIA trying to eavesdrop on your conversation through your dental fillings. The stars spell out secret messages, and you receive prophetic dreams. But you're not insane, it's too real to be simple madness. And you're sure everyone agrees with you. You don't act insane.
You can't, after all. If you start acting like an utter nutball, they will find you.
1: Aware. You know of the Black Goat, but you have no idea what it is. You also have little idea of what is going on. Strange things that you never noticed are now happening around you. Roll on the Black Goat Encounter Table at least once a session. You can only advance a level in the Conspiracy by rolling a result that indicates so.
There is a 0-in-6 chance, if you are in a social interaction, that you are near one of your Brothers or Sisters, or that the person you are talking to is also in the Black Goat Conspiracy.
2: Involved. You now are part of the Black Goat Conspiracy. You will be tested, by both your Father and your siblings. You will be hunted and sought by strangers and friend alike. Roll on the Black Goat Encounter Table at least once a session, or once every time you are in the presence of one of your brothers or sisters. You can only advance if you roll a result that indicates so.
There is a 2-in-6 chance, if you are in a social interaction, that you are near one of your Brothers or Sisters, or that the person you are talking to is also in the Black Goat Conspiracy.
3: Collaborating. You are now one of them, body and soul. When you die, Father will take you home. But there is so much work to be done. You must not stop, not now, things are reaching their most critical point. You know this, but you may still have doubts. And while it is not a sin to doubt, it is a sin to hesitate and not act when you need to. If you fail to do as you have been ordered to, you will be killed. Afterwards, black roses will be left on your doorsteps.
Roll on the Black Goat Encounter Table once a session, or near constantly if you are in the presence of one of your brothers and sisters.
There is a 4-in-6 chance, if you are in a social interaction, that you are near one of your Brothers or Sisters, or that the person you are talking to is also in the Black Goat Conspiracy.
The Black Goat Encounter Table
1- A man hands you a package. You are not to open it. Keep until you receive further instruction.
2- A woman comes up to you and pins a Boutonniere to your shirt. Wear it until you meet a dark-skinned woman in a white dress, then take it off and give it to her.
3- You find a gun in a hidden place. It has two bullets left in the magazine. Inscribed on the handle is the inscription, "For the Wicked".
4- You have a package delivered to you. It makes a ticking noise. Do not dispose of it.
5- The next time you enter a shop, the shopkeeper tells you to use the back entrance. If you do so, you will find that the back entrance is locked. If you circle back around, you will find a different shopkeeper running the store, with no memory of the first.
6- A woman comes up to you and asks if you want a kiss. If you say yes, she kisses you and passes you a small piece of metal with her tongue. The small piece of metal is a cyanide pill. She does not know this, but she warns you not to swallow.
7- You get a phone call. It warns you, "Next time you enter a building, walk around it three times before going inside."
8- A desperate, haggard man comes up to you and asks for the package. Whatever you give him, he will be satisfied.
9- You are summoned by a member of a local municipality over a minor matter, perhaps a traffic violation. While there you will be asked "Who is your father?" You know you must lie.
10- You are given a note. "Brace yourself," the note reads.
11- You are given a knife. A ribbon is tied around the handle, embroidered with the words, "For the Just."
12- A woman walks up to you and asks you for your gun. If you give it to her, she will thank you and walk away.
13- The next place you go to roll out the red carpet for you. Nothing is wrong, but it doesn't seem that way.
14- 1d3 of your possessions disappear, and are replaced with legs of roasted meat, wrapped in tinfoil. The meat is tasty.
15- The next time someone serves you food, they warn you not to eat it.
16- The next radio show, TV show or podcast you watch or listen to starts giving you coded instructions that only you can hear. They warn you to get out of the area right now.
17- You are given a small animal, and asked to watch over it until further notice.
18- A stranger walks up to you and asks if you can watch over his child for some time, until he can return and retrieve him or her.
19- A stranger approaches you and asks you to marry his (son/daughter), depending on the PC's sex and imagined preferences.
20- The next person to make an attack against you is shot by a sniper before they can lay a hand on you.
21- You receive a dream of a motel in a rural area. The clerk at the front desk has an important message for you.
22- You receive a waking vision of a wealthy, important person. You need to shoot him.
23- You receive a dream of a young, imperiously cruel woman. In your dream, she is doing something horrible, such as pulling out someone's fingernails with a pliers. You are told to find her.
24- You receive a dream of a young child, innocent and adorable. You are told to make them disappear.
25- You are given instructions to find "the man in the bowtie".
26- You are given a cigarette lighter that looks exactly like a gun.
27- A man approaches you and asks you for your gun. If you give it to him, he will shoot himself right there in front of you.
28- A woman approaches you and asks you for your gun. If you give it to her, she will fieldstrip your gun, clean it, then take all your bullets out and replace them with an equal number of bullets stamped with the Mark of the Black Goat. She warns you not to shoot anyone with this gun.
29- The next book you read has a message scrawled in the margins. "Go to Drexel Lane," it says.
30- The next time you finish talking to an NPC, they will congratulate you and shake your hand. If you shake their hand, you are branded with the Mark of the Black Goat. Advance to the next stage of the Black Goat Conspiracy.
31- The next night, the stars spell out a secret message for you.
32- The next time you buy something, you find you also purchased a gun with one bullet left.
33- The next NPC you talk to is shot by an unseen shooter.
34- The next NPC you talk to is shot by an unseen shooter. The unseen shooter then walks over to you and apologizes for the mix-up.
35- The next NPC you talk to, in the middle of the conversation, pulls out a gun and shoots a previously unseen shooter.
36- The next NPC you talk to, after you leave them, vanishes and is never seen again.
37- As soon as you finish talking to an NPC, a previously unseen shooter comes out and tries to kill you. The encounter plays out as normal.
38- As soon as you finish talking to an NPC, they warn you about the previously unseen shooter who will arrive momentarily. The shooter is actually five minutes later than expected.
39- The next NPC you talk to is shot in the middle of your conversation by a previously unseen shooter. However, they get up right after. The shooter reveals that their gun is loaded with blanks, and the NPC apologizes for being so dramatic.
40- As soon as you finish talking to an NPC, they will attempt suicide with whatever methods they have on hand.
41- As soon as you finish talking to an NPC, you realize that they are actually a monster wearing the person's face as a mask.
42- As soon as you finish talking to an NPC, they excuse themselves, then grab a blunt instrument, which they use to start destroying all the objects in this room, except for the doors and walls.
43- As soon as you finish talking to an NPC, they pull a leaf of lettuce wrapped in paper out of their pocket and offer it to you.
44- The next time you finish talking to an NPC, they pull a piece of raw meat wrapped in butcher's paper out of their pocket and offer it to you.
45- The next time you finish talking to an NPC, they pull out a knife and start cutting off one of their fingers. After they are finished with the drawn out, agonizing process, they will offer you the finger. If stopped, they will ask if you have no understanding of hospitality.
46- The next time you finish talking to an NPC, they will leave and ask you to wait for them, but as they leave, they will be blown up by a hidden explosive device.
47- You receive a secret message that you shouldn't drive your car. You do not know this, but your car has been rigged to explode. Turning the key will detonate the explosive.
48- The next time you finish talking to an NPC, they will remove a small rodent from their pocket and offer it to you.
49- The next place you enter with a group of people you find an animal in a strange place, like a Dog on a jury bench, a Lion sleeping by the fireplace, a crocodile under the table at a restaurant. No one has noticed this animal yet.
50- You are given a free pie by a kind, old woman. The pie has a knife concealed in it.
51- Your tires are slashed, and an envelope full of cash was been stuck under your windshield wipers. Inside is enough money to fix the tyres, as well as instructions on what to do to the mechanic after paying him.
52- You receive a dream about a man you have never met. He needs to leave town, for his own safety.
53- You receive a dream about the birth of a Messiah. The course of action toward this child is unclear. Regardless, action must be taken.
54- You receive instructions that you must seduce the spouse of a local figure. Whoever gave you the instructions was already aware of this person's preferences, and thus choose you for this purpose.
55- The next time you go to visit someone, you find an animal where they would be. The animal appears non-magical and behaves as an animal would in that situation.
56- A man comes to you and asks for the weapon you were given. He will accept whatever you give him, as long as it is a weapon.
57- A woman comes to you and asks for the weapon you were given. She will refuse any weapon you offer her, and leave in a huff, regardless of what you do.
58- A young, attractive person (tailored to what someone might believe about the Player's preferences) comes and tries to seduce them. They are rather bad at it, but also quite desperate.
59- The next time you step outside, you are subject to a clumsy assassination attempt
60- You are given an impossible playing card such as the 13 of hearts or the ace of smiles. Advance to the next stage of the Black Goat Conspiracy
61- A stranger approaches you and shows you a Deck of Tarot Cards. The cards are normal, except the player's faces are on the drawings. Their are other known NPCs also in the deck as well, but the person who has the Tarot cards doesn't recognize them, only the players.
62- A panhandler comes up to you and asks you for money. No matter how much money you give him, he will ask for more until you drive him away or leave.
63- A wealthy looking man walks up to you and hands you an envelope full of cash, "For services rendered." He asks no questions, and quickly leaves.
64- An older, rich-looking woman yells at her dog, a small, diminutive shiatsu. She will ask you to come over and explain to the dog its many failings. The dog reacts as a normal dog would. Afterward, she will thank you, and leave with the dog in tow.
65- A man attempts to pick your pocket, badly. If you catch him, he gives you his gold watch in exchange for not calling the police.
66- A man attempts to pick your pocket, expertly. He takes all the money in your pocket (or your wallet) and leaves instructions on where to retrieve it in its place.
67- A man attempts to pick your pocket, impossibly. A hand emerges from inside your pocket and hands you a note, before taking one random object on your person. The note contains instructions on what to do next.
68- You receive instructions that says, "Greet the first stranger you see today with, 'Do you feel its a bit blustery today?'"
69- A panhandler approaches you for money. Whatever amount you give him, he will insist it is too much. If you ask him to do something for you, he will agree, no matter what it is.
70- The next NPC you talk to, suddenly suffers from a freak accident in the middle of the conversation and dies.
71- You are instructed to leave a note on someone's door. The message you need to pass on is, "Suicide is painless."
72- You suddenly feel you are being followed. You need to lose your pursuer, fast.
73- You have a dream about a group of young girls being threatened at gun point. Then, at their captor's insistence, the girls transform into housecats.
74- You have a dream about a chuckling man washing blood off his hands. After he cleans himself off, he transforms into a monster and looks at himself in the mirror, before turning into someone you know.
75- You are given a sealed letter. You are to give it to the first important person you meet that day.
76- The next time you are outside, the clouds over head give you a warning about what you should do today.
77- You get the sudden impression that you must leave this area right now.
78- A mundane looking man walks up to you and engages you in meaningless small talk until you get mad at him or leave. Regardless of how long this takes, he always leaves with a big grin on his face.
79- A woman walks up to you and asks you a mundane question, but she cannot stop fidgeting, checking her watch, and she flinches at any unexpected noise. If you ask her about this, she will deny it. If you don't want to talk to her, she will thank you strongly and run for the exit as fast as she can.
80- A normal looking man engages you in conversation. In the middle of a normal conversation, he lifts up his shirt to show you the bomb strapped to his chest. Then he goes back to discussing the topic, with no indication that anything happened.
81- A man walks up to you and tells you he is going to blow up this building/commit a terrorist act. He is perfectly reasonable and sincere toward you, but he will lie to anyone else.
82- A woman walks up to you and presses something circular and metal against your back. She will pretend it is a gun. She will take your wallet and give you a playing card in exchange. She says "You will know what to do."
83- A random pedestrian on the street stretches or drops something, and as they go to pick it up, you see the bomb strapped to their body. They do not notice you seeing, and no one else sees this.
84- The next time you are in a public place, someone throws a grenade into the center of the largest group of people. No one seems to notice anything odd about this.
85- The next person you talk to, in the middle of the conversation, suddenly starts laughing. Then, they transform into a swarm of snakes and slither away.
86- A man walks up to you and asks if you've heard the big news. Regardless of what you say, he says, "Oh, so you didn't? And walks off, cackling.
87- A man runs up to you and asks you if you've heard the big news. He hasn't, and needs to know. Whatever you tell him, he will accept as truth.
88- A woman walks up to you and asks you about the big news. Regardless of what you say, she calls you a liar and runs away.
89- A woman walks up to you and confesses her love to you. She is being genuine, along with completely normal and sane.
90- A woman walks up to you and confesses her love to you. She is lying, and is actually planning despicable things.
91- A woman walks up to you and tells you the exact date you will die. It is soon. She is lying.
92- A woman walks up to you and tells you the exact date you will die. It will be soon. She is telling the truth, but she may be wrong.
93- You are handed a bit of food by a stranger. It is clumsily and obviously poisoned.
94- You are handed a bit of food by a stranger. "It is not poisoned," the stranger says. The stranger is correct.
65- You are handed a bit of food by a stranger. It is full of highly lethal poison. "It is probably safe," the stranger says.
96- You are handed a cake by a stranger. The cake is made of painted C4, the candles are steel, and the detonator is in the bottom of the box. "Be very careful," the stranger advises.
97- A naked man suddenly appears from underneath a couch or sofa and gives you a small pill. "Give this to the next new person you meet," he says.
98- A naked woman suddenly appears from out of a closet or bathroom, sopping wet. She gives you a single bullet, and says, "You know what to do."
99- A delivery man arrives with a package for you. The package is of your own corpse, taxidermed and stuffed. You are wearing your Sunday best, and have a bouquet of black roses. The delivery man will pretend nothing is wrong.
100- You see the Black Goat again. If you speak to it, it gives you a cryptic warning about the future. Regardless, advance to the next stage of the Black Goat Conspiracy.
Sub-Table A: Roll on this table when/if you need a person to give the players a secret message, try and kill them, or etc.
How much does this person know?
1- They are just a mind-slave, manipulated by the Black Goat. They know nothing.
2- They are also in the Black Goat conspiracy, and realize their error. They know little, but will be able to tell you something.
3- They are in the Black Goat conspiracy, and realize they are being tested. They will lie, and pretend to know nothing.
4- They are deep in the Black Goat conspiracy, and have learned more than you could possibly know. Everything is happening exactly as they planned it would.
Once you have been selected by the Black Goat, you will encounter much more difficulty than one of the others. But that is to be expected. You are a Goat, crafty and clever. You can escape a pen and evade a farmhand, while everyone else is a Sheep, too slow-witted to actually realize how thoroughly you are trapped.
Your Father, he will test you. His instructions will often be unclear, as he wants you to rely on your own judgement.
But that is not the only difficulty to your new status. The rewards for success are enormous, but the punishment for failure is equally incomprehensible. As such, your Brothers and Sisters may attempt to destroy you, so you do not threaten their schemes and endanger their chances of pleasing father. But they may also help you, as you are family. But their help, is it any less dangerous than their violence? Is it meant to lull you into a false sense of security, before they dispose of you? Or is helping you all part of some greater scheme that you just cannot yet grasp? You must know, you need to know!
Or maybe you don't. Maybe you just need to get them before they get you.
It is said you will see the Black Goat three times. The first time will be when you meet him. The second time will be at the moment of your greatest triumph. The third time will be moments before your death.
Sometimes these deaths are the work of your Father, other times the work of Brothers and Sisters, or outsiders. Sometimes they are merely accidents. Or should I say, "Accidents"?
Do not attempt to avoid this fate. Your Father sees you. He knows your intentions.
He always wins.