The goal of the Spycraft 2.0 gear system is not to define every possible item your character might possess or own, but rather to streamline the process of defining gear, keeping it specific enough to retain game balance and fluid enough to avoid cumbersome bookkeeping. Important and especially useful items are closely tracked and given detailed rules, while items with limited functions and complexity, as well as some broad elements of the characters’ backgrounds, are largely left to the GC and players to define.
The Spycraft 2.0 gear system handles equipment in three ways — with gear picks, Common Items, and Wealth.
Gear picks are the aforementioned “highlights” of modern gaming — the weapons, the vehicles, the gadgets, and the myriad other things that are too useful or complicated to hand-wave.
Common Items are all the other items a character might have on him at any time. They’re not worthy of a full gear pick, usually — but not always — because they’re inexpensive or so simple they don’t deserve scripted rules. Common Items include things like lighters, cell phones, compasses, and the like.
Wealth is an abstract representation of a character’s personal, holdings — the stuff he deals with when he’s not on missions, like his home and his private vehicle. Some of a character’s Wealth does spill into the mission, however, like his personal gear, his available cash, and his appearance, which includes his clothes, accessories, and general style.
Spycraft 2.0 features seven categories of gear, each abbreviated on the class tables and elsewhere by its starting letter — (E)lectronic Gear, (G)adgets, (R)esources, (S)ecurity Gear, (T)radecraft Gear, (V)ehicles, and (W)eapons.
The alphanumeric codes on the class tables show the number of gear picks the character has in each category.
|Example: A Level 10 Snoop’s Gear column reads “3T, 3G, 2R, 1E.” This translates to 3 Tradecraft gear picks, 3 Gadget picks, 2 Resource picks, and 1 Electronic gear pick.|
Another major aspect of the gear system is a mission’s Caliber. A mission’s Caliber defines its importance to the character, his organization, or his network, as appropriate to the character’s Faction/Freelance choice and the current storyline. This in turn determines the character’s investment, or that of his organization or network, in accomplishing the mission’s objectives. It’s assumed that neither the character nor his backers can throw their entire weight against most problems — the character probably doesn’t have time to keep all of his gear prepped and his organization or network is usually working several missions at once. As in the case of Possessions (see page 216), the game system also frequently assigns Caliber when granting a character additional gear. The GC and players may put forth additional reasons, though they’re rarely important and usually aren’t detailed in play.
In game terms, though, Caliber plays a vital, well-defined role. It establishes the available pool of gear in each category. A mission’s Caliber ranges from I to V, and all gear picks are divided into these five Calibers as well. Mission Caliber determines which gear a character is permitted to pick.
When a character is permitted to make a gear pick, he simply scans down the table corresponding to the appropriate gear category and chooses 1 item from that table in any Caliber up to the mission’s current Caliber. There is no cost or spending involved — all that matters is the category in which the pick may be chosen and the mission’s current Caliber.
|Example: Kevin may choose 1 Electronic gear pick during a Caliber II mission. He may choose any 1 item in the Caliber I or Caliber II sections of the Electronic Gear table. This process repeats for every gear pick the character is permitted to make.|
Some items — usually vehicles and weapons — come with 1 or more upgrades. These are special options that enhance the chosen piece of gear, such as improved handling or specialty tires for a ground vehicle or a targeting sight or specialty ammunition for a rifle.
Unless otherwise specified, each upgrade may be applied only once. Upgrades are not subject to mission Caliber. When a character chooses a gear pick that comes with 1 or more upgrades, he may simply choose each upgrade from the accompanying upgrade table.
|Example: As shown on Table 4.36: Backup Pistol Picks (see page 253), the Walther PPK backup pistol comes with 1 upgrade. Kevin might consult Table 4.60: Weapon Upgrades (see page 272), gaining a suppressor or a concealed holster. Each of these options requires 1 upgrade. Alternately, he might consult Table 4.62: Ammunition (see page 274), gaining 1 additional stockpile of FMJ ammunition, or converting his first stockpile to armor-piercing ammunition.|
A character need not choose an upgrade just because an item comes with one. A cover operative’s mission plan might call for an unmodified weapon, for instance, or a driver might find none of the available upgrades for his vehicle appealing. In all cases, unchosen upgrades confer no additional benefit; they are simply lost.
Upgrades may only be applied to the gear item with which they’re gained.
|Example: Kevin uses 1 Weapon gear pick to choose a Ruger Mark III (which comes with no upgrades) and a second Weapon gear pick to choose a Walther PPK (which comes with 1 upgrade). The upgrade gained with the Walther PPK may only be applied to the Walter PPK, not the Ruger.|
When upgrades are available in a gear category, the character may trade in any number of gear picks to gain additional upgrades in that category. For each pick sacrificed, the character gains a number of same-category upgrades equal to twice the mission’s current Caliber.
|Example: During a Caliber III mission, Kevin trades in 1 Weapon gear pick to gain 6 Weapon upgrades.|
Alternately, a character may trade in any number of gear picks to gain lower-Caliber items and upgrades in that category. For each pick sacrificed, the character gains 1 item whose Caliber is up to 1 less than the mission’s current Caliber + 1 appropriate upgrade (if sacrificing a Caliber II or III pick) or 2 appropriate upgrades (if sacrificing a Caliber IV or V pick).
|Example: During a Caliber III mission, Kevin trades in 1 Weapon gear pick to gain a Caliber I or II weapon with 1 Weapon upgrade.|
Another fundamental of the Spycraft 2.0 gear system, Common Items are equipment that isn’t listed in any gear category, not worthy of a full gear pick. Some Common Items are inexpensive items readily affordable to the average person, while others have single, obvious functions. Others are simply not useful enough to warrant a gear pick.
All Common Items share the following limitations.
- A Common Item may not grant a gear bonus greater than +1 nor inflict a gear penalty greater than –1.
- A Common Item may not be used to attack as anything other than an improvised weapon.
- A Common Item may have no more than 1–2 very simple rules beyond its “common sense” application, as determined by the GC.
Some examples of popular Common Items inclue:
Binoculars: When a character uses this item, he ignores the penalties applied by his second and fourth visual range increments.
Fatigues: When wearing this outfit, the character benefits from a modified camouflagedThe vehicle’s color blends with 1 type of terrain. While the vehicle is located in the designated terrain, its driver gains a +2 bonus with all Blend/Stealth and Sneak/Hide checks. Available terrain types are aquatic, arctic, desert, forest, jungle, mountain, plains, and swamp. vehicle quality that grants only a +1 gear bonus with applicable skill checks in 1 terrain type. Note that the use of face paint does not increase this bonus.
Flashlight: This Tiny, 1-handed item improves a character’s vision in dim or no lighting, and with a successful half-action ranged attack, may inflict a –1 penalty with all actions involving the Vision tag.
Tactical/Headset Radio, Basic: This Tiny, 1-handed item has a Signal Power Rating of 1, a range of 1/4 mile, a battery life of 4 hours, a Damage Save bonus of +5, a Complexity of 15/+1, and weighs 1 lb.
Torch: This Tiny, 1-handed item provides moderate illumination within a 10-ft. radius and dim illumination within an additional 10 ft. radius. A torch typically burns for 30 minutes. The GC defines all uses and rules for Common Items, either as they’re introduced or as they’re used (at his discretion). The players are encouraged to make suggestions for uses and rules, but the GC has final say. Further, the GC must approve each character’s Common Item choices before they enter play (in part making sure that none of them is already a gear pick, or that they shouldn’t be a gear pick in his setting, and in part ensuring that they meet his interpretation of the criteria for Common Items).
Sample Common ItemsEdit
Sample Common Items include altimeters, air conditioners, art supplies, batteries, binoculars, blankets, canes, camera tripods, camelbacks, canteens, caving ladders, cell phones, chemical body warmers, compasses, computer peripherals (AV feeds, black boxes, CD burners, DVD-ROM burners, fax machines, modems, printers, projectors, scanners, etc.), containers (attaché cases, backpacks, luggage, etc.), courier pouches, crowbars, dead drop spikes, depth gauges, dice, document shredders, duct tape, entrenching tools, face paint, fire extinguishers, flares, flashlights, Geiger counters, glass cutters, glow sticks, clear goggles, handcuffs, heaters, ionized water, Leatherman multitools, load-bearing gear, luggage, magnifying glasses, matches (1 box per Common Item), media (CDs, DVDs, film rolls, video tapes, paper, etc.), metal detectors, standard microphones, microscopes, MP3 players, MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), musical instruments, netting (including camouflage netting), notebooks, oven cleaner, padlocks, PDAs, pocket knives, radiation monitors, portable rams, RC car, road flares, ropes and chains, rollerblades, seismometers, signal mirrors, skates, skis and snowshoes, sleeping bags, slim jim car door openers, snacks and vices (chewing gum, cigars, cigarettes, lollipops, publicly available books, etc.), snorkels, snowboards, sports equipment, sunglasses, surfboards, stretchers, swimming fins and masks, Swiss Army knives, low-magnification telescopes, tents, torches (5 per Common Item), video game systems, watches, water filtration tablets, weight belts, wire (barbed, concertina, or razor), zip ties (20 per Common Item), and the vast majority of the Items listed under Kit Contents.
Special Note: Except for specialty clothing like fatigues, which offer a specific benefit under certain circumstances, a character’s dress and accessories are not Common Items, but rather part of his Lifestyle.
The final fundamental of the Spycraft 2.0 gear system, kits are professional gear packages that support skill checks. Each kit is also a convenient collection of Common Items that a character can acquire with just 1 gear pick.
Each kit is presented in 3 grades, and though the contents of each set of kits varies widely, all kits share the same rules.
- Grade I: This bare essentials kit negates the –4 penalty with skill checks possessing the corresponding Gear tag.
- Grade II: This specialized field package confers the benefits of the Grade I kit and grants a +1 gear bonus with skill checks possessing the corresponding Gear tag.
- Grade III: This expert tool suite confers the benefits of the Grade I and II kits, and also increases the result cap with checks possessing the corresponding Gear tag by 5. Often, however, Grade III kits are too large or bulky for easy transport.
A character may gain a Grade I kit with any Caliber I or higher gear pick (of any category), he may gain any Grade II kit with any Caliber II or higher gear pick (of any category), and he may gain any Grade III kit with any Caliber III or higher gear pick (again, of any category).
The location of any non-mobile kit must be determined when it is introduced. If a character acquires the kit, he determines its location.
|Characters - Skills - Feats - Gear - Combat - Dramatic Conflict|