High Stakes Gamble was the only other box set released for the TOP SECRET/S.I. roleplaying game.
Monte Carlo plays a part in James Bond lore (a location in Never Say Never Again), so it shouldn’t be surprising that the gambling and Grand Prix racing mecca of Monaco made an appearance in Top Secret.
This is also your source for expanded vehicle rules for TS/SI.
High Stakes Gamble [BOX SET]
1988 … Robert Kern & Doug Niles … TSR 7628 … ISBN 0880385456
CONTENTS: Monte Carlo Book; Vehicle Book; Adventure Book; poster map; 36 vehicle cards.
Vehicle Expansion and Monte Carlo sourcebook for Top Secret SI roleplaying game.
Book I – Monte Carlo Book
The first book delves into the little country of Monaco and the city of Monte Carlo. Details on the Casino, and Orion / Web headquarters. At the end are 8 pages of chase hazards the Administrator can drop into a scenario.
The art is extensive, fantastic, and it all looks to be from the same hand. Much more art than even that in the TS/SI core box set! (Looks like the only time this art was used, not recycled. The style looks like the late Jim Holloway to my eyes. He really had a knack for drawing action scenes and attention to detail, and his style is distinctive. But he always inserted his mark in his pieces, and none of that is to be found here. I scoured the interior illustrations for an artist’s mark to no avail.
TSR seemed very intent on the artist remaining anonymous. No art credit is to be found in the credits of each book. (But they were careful to note the folks behind the “typography” and “keylining”!)
From what I’ve seen, TSR had a troubled relationship with its artists. And it seems here at least, TSR was completely anonymizing them by 1988. Sad.
Speaking of detail, I noticed this while scouring the art for names.
Book II – Vehicle Book
The second book contains the Advanced Vehicle Rules for Top Secret SI. The appendix has a chase flow chart and some location maps.
Book III – Adventure Book
Three adventures in Monte Carlo.
36 cardstock cards, with a wide range of motorcycles, cars, helicopters, and aircraft. Reverse has B&W hit location counters. Several sheets are duplicates, so you’re not getting 36 different vehicles.
Printed on one side. Regional map of Mediterranean France: The French Riviera. City map of Monaco. Building maps of Hotel de Paris and the Monte Carlo Casino. TSR 7628XXX0701