This page covers basic character concepts and the process of character creation.
What Characters DoEdit
Player characters are central to any Spycraft game. The nature of every Spycraft character is defined by the world setting for which it’s created. For example, in a historical pulp setting, characters might become bold adventurers, daring fighter pilots, zany gadgeteers, or slinky femme fatales. In an alternate modern setting in which aliens have silently invaded the highest echelons of business and government, the character might become a brazen military officer directly opposing the menace or a crafty investigator resisting the danger inside his own organization (he might even become a sympathizer working with the invaders to subjugate his species).
In the default Spycraft setting, characters become intrepid super-spies working for one or more top-secret espionage organizations striving to thwart criminal masterminds bent on destroying or dominating the world. In this game, players can expect the following.
- Each character is an “agent” working for a large, multi-national “Agency.” This Faction operates outside the law, but also strives to protect the world from global threats. The default Spycraft game leaves the Agency intentionally undefined so that the GC can tailor it to his setting and storyline. The World on Fire setting provides a list of Factions, allowing each character to become part of the organization he likes best.
- The agents are grouped into highly trained and well-equipped covert teams. Control, the agents’ in-game superior and a ranking official at the Agency, sends these teams on missions, which they are expected to complete largely without Agency support. This has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, the agents have a lot of latitude when completing missions; on the other, if they’re caught, they are frequently left to fend for themselves. The Agency operates above the law, and can’t afford to be caught doing so.
- The agents have access to their organization’s intelligence network and collection of high-tech gadgets, many of which are not possible in the real world.
- The agents are generally luckier, faster, and tougher than ordinary people. They can regularly manage outlandish stunts that ordinary people would consider impossible.
- The agents can easily adapt to strange and exotic locales.
- The agents’ enemies are commonly multi-national organizations comparable to the Agency, or criminal masterminds with vast wealth, resources, and personnel.
- The agents’ enemies fall into three categories — minions (the villainous rank and file, who are generally easy to defeat); henchmen (dangerous mercenaries, whose personal power can range from somewhat weaker to significantly more powerful than a single agent); and masterminds (the criminal elite, each of whom is typically a challenge for an entire agent team).
- The agents’ enemies generally outnumber them and are at least as well equipped. The odds against the team are always high, yet saving the world is a fairly common occurrence.
- The agents frequently encounter dangerously attractive, exotic seducers called foils, whose motives are rarely known when they’re encountered, and who may or may not play a pivotal role in the mission at hand.
Creating a CharacterEdit
Creating a Spycraft 2.0 character is a simple ten-step process. Experienced players may find it easier to skip around in the process, but first-timers should stick to the steps until they’re comfortable with them.
Step 0: Character ConceptEdit
Every character begins with a basic concept. Your character might be a dashing rogue, a grizzled military veteran, a thrill-seeking daredevil, a crafty saboteur, a gifted master at any of the hundreds of options available in the modern era, or something entire different. If your character is part of a hybrid campaign — a game in which Faction and Freelance personnel work together — decide whether your character works for a Faction or not.
Further, if multiple organizations jointly field characters, then choose an allegiance for your Faction character. These choices determine whether your character gains Reputation or Net Worth, and have many effects upon gear selection and other rules.
Step 1: Determine AttributesEdit
- Main article: Attributes
The core of any character consists of six attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. These define your character’s basic strengths and weaknesses, and play a vital role in most things he does.
Step 2: Choose OriginEdit
- Main article: Origins
Every character has a “spark” that reveals his natural strengths. Likewise, every character’s training prepares him for a given career or life path. The former is represented by your choice of “Talent,” while the latter is represented by your choice of “Specialty.” Together, these are referred to as an “Origin,” and establish your character’s foundation before he enters play.
Step 3: Choose a Base ClassEdit
- Main article: Classes
A character’s class is his role on the team, his chosen career or occupation. Each class offers its own strengths and weaknesses, in the form of skills that are easier to learn and special abilities that the character may use during play.
Each base class consists of 20 levels a character may gain over the course of his career. Each time a character gains a level, he may advance his current class, or enter a new one. At Level 5 or higher, he may enter another type of class, the expert class, which offers focused training in a given field.
Step 4: Spend Skill PointsEdit
- Main article: Skills
A character’s base class provides him with a number of skill points he can spend to improve his aptitude with a wide variety of tasks. Computer use, athletic achievement, deceit, vehicle use, and many, many other actions are handled with skills.
At Career Level 1, your character also gains 1 “focus” each in the Cultures, Drive, Profession, and Science skills at no skill point cost. These focuses represent part of the character’s upbringing and learning, and provide him with basic communication options and job experience. For example, Spycraft 2.0 characters do not learn languages, but rather gain Cultures focuses that acquaint them with the tongues of an entire region — enough for basic communication with anyone else possessing the same focus.
Also at Career Level 1, your character gains 1 acquaintance-grade contact — the first of many if your character intends to purchase ranks in the Networking skill. Contacts may grow over time, granting your character greater and greater benefits.
Step 5: Choose FeatsEdit
- Main article: Feats
“Feats” round out a character’s special abilities. Some offer the character greater prowess in combat, while others make him more adept with certain skills or actions. Some grant him special actions or options that distinguish him as a master in certain environments or situations. Still others provide him better gear or mission options.
Every character begins with 1 feat at Level 1 and gains 1 additional feat from his Specialty. Additional feats become available to him as he gains levels, and may be granted by one or more of his classes as well.
Step 6: Choose InterestsEdit
- Main article: Interests
A character’s personal indulgences — such as fine cuisine, golf, or literature — offer him a wealth of information and experience. Interests grant your character bonuses when checking to see if he understands or knows something, when he interacts with others who share his Interests, and when relieving stress.
Step 7: Choose a Subplot (Optional)Edit
- Main article: Subplots
Every character has history. Some characters have interesting history. Still other characters have history that tends to leap up and bite them when they aren’t looking. By choosing one or more Subplots, a character can set up background stories for the GC to include in the ongoing game — and earn benefits for his trouble.
Step 8: Calculate Derived ValuesEdit
- Main article: Derived Values
After making the choices in Steps 1–7, it’s easy to derive the character’s remaining statistics. Most of these statistics are combat-related, such as Initiative, which determines how quickly the character can act during tense situations, or Defense, which defines how difficult it is to hit the character. Some support the gear system and other systems, like Reputation and Net Worth.
Step 9: Describe Your CharacterEdit
- Main article: Description
Finally, decide the character’s physical characteristics, from age to appearance to height and weight. While these characteristics rarely affect die rolls, they can dramatically affect play in detailoriented games and when the suspension of disbelief is low.
Special Note: Some or all of a character’s physical description may be decided during Step 0. That’s fine. Most of the process of creating a character is fluid, allowing you to skip between steps as you please. So long as the finished character meets all the requirements in each step, there’s nothing wrong with taking the approach that feels most creative to you.
Step 10: Choose GearEdit
- Main article: Gear
Characters have a range of gear options, including both personal and mission gear, which they can draw on to assist them.
|Characters - Skills - Feats - Gear - Combat - Dramatic Conflict|