Hi everyone, I wanted to share a “rolled” variant on the Declare a Contact move.
Hi everyone, I wanted to share a “rolled” variant on the Declare a Contact move. I plan for it to formalize the range of contacts in my Sprawl game, and I’ve taken cues from circling up a contact from Burning Empires.
What do you all think? Is the balance between the number of boons and banes right? Do you think it covers contacts from your own games? Can you think of additional Boons and Banes to add to the list?
Once per mission, you may declare a contact. Choose one Boon from the list below and roll 2d6. After the roll, you may pay Cred to improve your result, 1-for-1. You must always spend at least 1 Cred this way.
On a 6-: Choose one Bane.
On a 10-12: Choose one more Boon.
On a 13+: Choose two more Boons.
On any roll, you may choose to include one additional Boon and Bane.
* *High Ranking*: They are in a position of power, leadership, or responsibility within their organization.
* *Skilled*: They possess an unusual skillset.
* *Talented*: They are especially talented at what they do.
* *Resourceful*: They have access to unusual resources.
* *Metropolitan*: They come from an unusual background.
* *Reliable*: They have no ulterior motives (or have an agenda that is clear to you).
* *Incognito*: They undertake tasks independent of the wishes of their employers.
* *Old Friend*: You’ve worked together before and they are amicably disposed to you.
* *Bad Blood*: Maybe you’re rivals, maybe you’ve wronged them before, or maybe you owe them one. You know each other, and there’s bad blood between you. Tell us why.
* *Mercurial*: This person’s loyalties are in question, or are conflicted. The GM will decide if they have other loyalties, priorities, or agendas… and then not tell you about it. (Not compatible with Reliable)
* *Tough Times*: They’ve fallen on tough times. Maybe they’re on the run, owe a debt, or had some trouble with their employer. They won’t have access to all of their resources, but they’ll be desperate for help… from you or other parties.
* *Premium*: Their help doesn’t come cheap. Wherever applicable, consider the option “it costs extra” to be always selected.
Quick question: Do Fixers get to pick different jobs their crew hits between every mission (for the Hustler move)?
Quick question: Do Fixers get to pick different jobs their crew hits between every mission (for the Hustler move)? Or do they pick jobs once and that defines what their crews do, and it becomes a relatively immutable choice?
Advancement question: When you add a move from another playbook, can you select a playbooks “base” moves?
Advancement question: When you add a move from another playbook, can you select a playbooks “base” moves? Like picking up Hustling as a non-Fixer, for example. Or for that matter, can you pick base options that you did not select? For example, can an Infiltrator (or a non-Infiltrator) end up with both Cat Burglar and Face?
So I ran two campaigns of Night’s Black Agents. There’s ALSO a retaliation phase in NBA. And the core book has a really cool way to handle it, called the Vampyramid (the conspiracy response pyramid).
This is the printer friendly “Vampyramid” from the free downloads from Pelgrane’s site, so I’m not violating any copyright here.
Spy thrillers aren’t TOO different from cyberpunk thrillers. So this is a useful tool for corporate response tracking. It’s even got six layers, and our Corporation Clocks are 6-tick clocks. How convenient!
A little explanation of the Vampyramid…
This is the algorithm the GM uses in NBA to decide how the vampire conspiracy responds to the superspies hunting them down. You start at the bottom. Assuming the PCs weren’t deterred by the tier 1 response (Narrator: “It only strengthened their commitment to the hunt.”), the conspiracy advances to the tier 2 response following one of the lines from their original tactic (because more than any other creature, vampires — and intelligence agencies — are victims of the sunk cost fallacy).
BTW The strange words in parentheses are the different monsters the conspiracy might use to achieve these goals.
So if the vampires open by framing one of the PCs (Frame Agent), their next move will be to isolate a PC (Isolate Agent) using one of their human servants to make their friends and contacts think they need to be left alone, either by planting false communications or rumors, or by counseling them to keep safe and not get involved. After that, on tier 3, they’ll flip one of those contacts and get that contact to spy on and sabotage the PCs (Double Agent). Next, they might get the contact to try to kill their PC “friend” (Double Cross) or use the contact to spill what the PC really cares about so they can use that to try to recruit the PC with a genuine offer (Offer Drive) that satisfies their Drive (similar to Personal Directives in The Sprawl). After that, things get violent, with manhunts (Hunt Agent) and traps (Lure Agent) and eventually straight up assassination attempts against PCs, one by one, using the toughest monsters around (Kill Agent).
The Vampyramid works AS IS for The Sprawl (except Haunt Agent has to involve the matrix, not weird Bram Stoker style nightmares).
But maybe we can make it even better!
I put a blank Vampyramid on here for folks to use, also from the Night’s Black Agents downloadable stuff (though it might be easier to use SmartArt or text boxes to make them in Word, or the draw.io extension to make them in Google Docs; see below).
Anyone want to join me and try to create a more “megacorp” pyramid? A “corporate ladder” as it were?
Currently is just has the more corporate versions of the Vampyramid. Feel free to jump in and edit; I made a copy of the original for myself. So this one is for all of you, my fellow Sprawl GMs (and Hamish Cameron of course).
Benefits of using the pyramid: Each corporation can start at a different spot on the bottom rung, giving them each a unique style and flavor. But as they move toward the top, they always become more inhuman, cruel, and authoritarian, regardless of their initial tactics, until in the end, they’re just killing that which resists their control. You can track which corp is at which point on the pyramid, too, using just one pyramid instead of six different clocks. Or use the clocks as player-facing warnings, and use the pyramid to choose what the next Retaliation action will be.
Please feel free to suggest other Retaliation ideas in comments, even if you don’t feel like installing and typing them into the draw.io diagram.
Considering doing two missions simultaneously. Give me your thoughts.
Considering doing two missions simultaneously. Give me your thoughts.
A lot of noir stories have a detective who encounters two mysteries that turn out to be linked or somehow solving one allows them to solve the other. I’d like to try that in The Sprawl some time.
A few things that seem obvious, but I thought I’d ask the group:
– Normally I set 5xp worth of Directives for a mission. These missions should have 3 each. 6 total. That way I can force myself to focus on the interaction between the missions being the complication, rather than two missions with normal levels of complexity.
– Normally you get heat if you wager 3 Cred on a mission. I wouldn’t modify it. So they can wager 2 cred on each mission safely and potentially make 12 back (total) if they get both Paid Well and Paid in Full. That’s more potential profit, but it’s also twice the potential consequences.
– I would make it clear to them OOC that they CAN take two missions if they want (system wise) and that these two opportunities were intentional.