This type of Dramatic Conflict begins when 1 or more characters (the Predator(s)) set out to force 1 or more other characters (the Prey) to reveal information they possess.
Prey Skill: Resolve (Wis). This check possesses no tags.
When the GC wants to speed up or reduce the risk of any interrogation, it may become a standard Intimidate (Str or Wis) check (DC equal to the target’s Bluff skill bonus + 10). In this case, all modifiers from Table 6.11 still apply.
During an interrogation, Lead represents the Predator closing in on the desired truth. Each point of Lead gained gives the Prey another ounce of will to resist, while each point lost sends him one step closer to cracking.
Starting LeadTable 6.10: Starting Interrogation Lead.
Multiple Interrogation Participants
When more than two participants are involved in an interrogation, the GC designates each as part of a “Predator group” or “Prey group.” Each group makes a single opposed cooperative check during Step 2 of each Conflict round.
During an interrogation, each Conflict round takes an amount of time determined by the situation and the Predator’s Strategy, as shown on Tables 6.11: Interrogation Modifiers and 6.12: Interrogation Strategies. The Predator and Prey must both be present and involved for a minimum of 1/2 this time (rounded up).
During an interrogation, many modifiers apply to the Predator and the Prey, as shown on Table 6.11: Interrogation Modifiers.In order to qualify for the "act of violence" modifier, a character must inflict a minimum of 5 points lethal damage or 1/4 the target’s total wound points (rounded up), whichever is lower. In order to quality for the "act of torture" modifier, a character must inflict a critical injury. Alternately, he can inflict a minimum of 10 points lethal damage or 1/3 the target’s total wound points (rounded up), whichever is lower. In both of these cases, the interrogating character chooses how to inflict this damage and whether to inflict further damage. Depending on the method of violence or torture used, the GC may further adjust the damage inflicted.
Available Strategies are determined by the current Lead and each participant’s base Will save bonus, as shown on Table 6.12: Interrogation Strategies. In some cases, a participant’s choice of Strategy changes the skill he uses to make the Conflict round’s opposed skill check, or alters the duration of the round.
The Prey puts on a display of detached calm, countering the Predator’s questions with reasoned responses and legal loopholes.
The Predator plays up his authority or potential for violence, seeking to unnerve the Prey.
The Predator repeatedly comes back to the same questions and carefully analyzes each of the Prey’s responses, trying to ferret out logical inconsistencies.
The Predator makes a series of friendly gestures or overtures, trying to win the Prey over or undermine his determination.
The participant stages an elaborate mind game, hoping to trip his opponent up.
“I’m No Rat”
The Prey clings to his loyalties, drawing strength from the knowledge that any slip could endanger his friends and loved ones.
Moment of Crisis
The participant forces an outcome with high-pressure tactics.
“Nothing to Say”
The Prey clams up, hoping to resist all provocation.
The Prey plays upon the Predator’s intense focus, trying to ingratiate himself and distract from the matter at hand.
The participant settles in for a long, drawn-out interview, hoping for outside forces to come into play.
“We’re Done Here”
In a fit of pique, the participant takes things over the line looking for an immediate conclusion.
The Predator goes beyond simple intimidation, his demeanor becoming frightful.
The opposed check winner improves his opponent’s disposition toward him by 1 grade until the end of the current scene (maximum Friendly). Every 3 times this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, the opponent’s disposition toward the opposed check winner improves by 1 additional grade.
The process reaches a crucial impasse, with Predator and Prey locked in the ultimate test of wills. Each participant must make a Sense Motive (Wis) check (DC 25 + the opponent’s career level). Each time this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, the opposed check winner’s Crisis DC decreases by 4, minimum DC 20 (his opponent’s Crisis DC remains unchanged). If either participant fails this check, he cracks under the pressure, ending the interrogation in his opponent’s favor; otherwise, the Conflict continues as standard (this is the case even if both participants crack, though such an outcome likely produces strange results as the participants become unhinged). Each participant may skip this skill check, but the Lead shifts by 2 in his opponent’s favor as his determination falters.
The Lead is adjusted by 1 in the opposed check winner’s favor. Every 2 times this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, the Lead is adjusted by an additional 1 in the opposed check winner’s favor.
The interrogation is “put on hold.” The Lead remains the same and no steps are resolved during the following Conflict round. Each time this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, the interrogation is paused for 1 additional round. The action continues during this time (i.e. the participants continue to test one another), but no one — including the opposed check winner — makes any progress.
The opposed check winner gains 1 of the following benefits.
- The winner extracts 1 clue or important secret from 1 opponent.
- The winner presents one lie that is believed to be true as if he made a successful Bluff/Deception check with a penalty of up to –6 (see Table 2.26: Character Deception).
Every 2 times this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, the winner extracts 1 additional clue or secret, or increases the penalty limit of the lie by 2 (i.e. to –8 if the Advantage is chosen twice, –10 if it’s chosen three times, etc.).
Each participant except the opposed check winner suffers 1d4 stress damage. Each time this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, this damage increases by +1d4. No character may recover from this damage until the interrogation ends.
The interrogation ends in the opposed check winner’s favor.
Ending an Interrogation
If the Predator wins (i.e. the Lead decreases to 0 or less, the Prey fails a Crisis-prompted check and cracks, or the interrogation otherwise ends in the Predator’s favor), the Prey truthfully provides all information in his possession related to 1 event or topic of the Predator’s choice. Additionally, the starting Lead of any subsequent interrogation Conflict featuring the same Predator and Prey during the current mission is reduced by 2 (minimum1).
If the Prey wins (i.e. the Lead increases to 10 or more, the Predator fails a Crisis-prompted check and cracks, or the interrogation otherwise ends in the Prey’s favor), the Prey becomes unresponsive or spins a tale so convincing that the interrogator provisionally accepts it as the truth. Additionally, the Predator may not target the same Prey with an interrogation Conflict for the duration of the current mission.
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