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The lives of Spycraft characters are often peppered with private concerns and lingering business. Much of this “personal baggage” is simulated with Subplots. Unlike main missions (which the Game Control creates), Subplots are voluntary character options that allow you to tailor your character’s history, enemies, and challenges to your liking, and receive some extra experience in the process.

You may choose Subplots when you create your character and between missions. There is no cost to choose a Subplot, but your character may only have a limited number of Subplots in play at any given time, as shown on Table 1.3: Level-Dependent Benefits. Further, each time you choose a Subplot, you must define the plot details listed in the Subplot’s description (usually simple information like the name and occupation of a person hunting you). The GC determines the rest of the Subplot details during play.

At the start of each mission, the GC secretly decides which Subplots to activate. He may activate no more than 1 Subplot per character, or 3 Subplots per mission. For each Subplot activated, the GC gains 1 bonus action die.

When a Subplot is activated, the team’s current Threat Level usually determines its effect, as outlined in its description. Before the mission begins, however, the GC may voluntarily increase any active Subplot’s Threat Level by up to 2, gaining 1 additional action die per level increase.

At the conclusion of each mission, each character with an active Subplot gains additional XP as follows.

  • If the character does not meet the requirements listed in the Subplot’s “Completion” entry, he retains the Subplot and gains an additional 25 XP × the mission’s Threat Level (or the Subplot’s Threat Level, if it’s different).
  • If the character meets the requirements listed in the Subplot’s “Completion” entry, he loses the Subplot and records the Subplot as “Completed”. Thereafter, he may choose another Subplot to replace it (though only between missions, as standard). Additionally, he gains an additional 100 XP × the mission’s Threat Level (or the Subplot’s Threat Level, if it’s different).

Subplots never produce more than this amount of XP, even if they introduce NPCs, objectives, and other mission elements that typically produce XP.

Inactive Subplots: All Subplots the GC chooses not to activate at the start of a mission are “inactive” during that mission and do not come into play or have any effect on the characters or the game (i.e. no one gains action dice or XP for them). This is the case even with Subplots that are always logically lingering in the background, like Discredited. Though a character possessing the Discredited Subplot is always dealing with his shame and fighting for the respect of others, the storyline involving his struggle — and the mechanics supporting that storyline — only come into play when the GC decides they do. At all other times, the Subplot is a footnote in the character’s lingering background with no effect on the current mission.

Special Note: The GC may reject any Subplot if he feels it isn’t a suitable test of your character or his team. All Subplots should involve an element of personal risk, lest they become mere background noise.

Crossroads SubplotsEdit

Beginning at Level 2, your character may undertake a “Crossroads Subplot,” a far more difficult version of a standard Subplot that tests and strengthens your character, making him more effective during future missions. There are four Crossroads Subplots, each of which grants a corresponding Crossroads Title — and several impressive benefits — when completed.

Before your character may undertake a Crossroads Subplot, he must achieve a minimum Career Level, complete a minimum number of standard Subplots, and already possess all lower-level Crossroads Titles, as shown on Table 1.16: Crossroads Subplots. A Crossroads Subplot is counted toward the maximum number of Subplots a character may possess at any time, and may be chosen from the standard Subplots. It operates in all ways like a standard Subplot, except that each time it’s activated, its Threat Level increases as shown on Table 1.16.

Once a character completes a Crossroads Subplot, he gains the associated Crossroads Title and the standard Subplot’s XP bonus. Further, beginning with the next session and mission, he gains the benefits listed in the “XP Gain” and “Bonus Action Dice” columns of Table 1.16. These benefits are permanent, remaining with the character so long as he retains the Crossroads Title that grants them.

Characters possessing a Crossroads Title are often the most accomplished heroes of their setting, even when their deeds go unsung. The GC is encouraged to further incorporate a character’s Crossroads Titles into the campaign’s ongoing missions and stories.

1.16 Crossroads Subplots





Story-Spawned SubplotsEdit

Some players will choose a Subplot at character creation, incorporating it into their character’s background or to using it to bridge their character into the GC’s campaign. Others might find it useful to hold off, waiting to link their Subplot choices directly to the storyline. For instance, when a player likes a particular villain, he might use him as the basis for his next “Long Term Mission” or “Mystery” Subplot.

Likewise, if the campaign goes in a direction for which the GC isn’t prepared, he might suggest the characters take “Amnesia,” allowing him to launch the campaign forward a bit. Then he can simply go back and fill in the intervening time at his leisure, revealing it through the characters’ Subplots as the campaign unfolds.

This kind of collaboration is what Subplots are all about. They develop story and setting and help characters and GCs grow all at the same time.

Subplot DescriptionsEdit

The following is just a sampling of the most common Subplot options in a modern game. Players may wish to try out their own, in which case they should explain the basic concept to the Game Control and let him develop the rules to go along with it.

AmnesiaEdit

Your character has forgotten something… but it hasn’t forgotten him.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

Period of undefined location and/or activity lasting at least 1 day.

EffectEdit

This Subplot has no impact on your character’s attributes, skill ranks, or other statistics. It simply means that he can’t remember anything during a certain period or before a certain point. It also means something important happened during the missing time — something defined by a second Subplot chosen by the GC.

Your character must recover his memory before he can complete the second Subplot. This process is a Complex Task with 3–7 Challenges, as determined by the GC when he chooses the second Subplot. Generally, the number of Challenges should correspond to a number of important revelations the GC plans to impart upon your character, like a trail of breadcrumbs gradually leading him back to the truth about his missing time. This structure is similar to that of a mission’s clue chain, which is further explored in Chapter 7 (see page 430).

Completing each Challenge requires a successful Resolve (Wis) check against a DC equal to the Threat Level + 15. Your character may attempt only 1 Challenge at the end of each mission during which this Subplot is active (i.e. at the end of each mission during which he’s been exposed to the Subplot’s threat). The GC may instead call for a Challenge check earlier during an active mission, especially when it corresponds with something your character discovers about his missing time (the discovery prompting a new memory, rather than the other way around). The GC should not increase the number of Challenge checks made in each active mission, however, unless you and he have already decided that the Subplot should end quickly.

CompletionEdit

If your character completes the Complex Task’s final Challenge, he recovers his memory and may undertake the second Subplot per its standard rules.

If he fails the Complex Task, however, he may never recover his memory. This Subplot ends without granting any additional XP and the second Subplot chosen by the GC must either be abandoned or introduced later.

CompulsionEdit

Your character is drawn to something, compelled to indulge whenever he can.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The focus of your character’s compulsion (e.g. chases, combat, romantic entanglement). This focus must be a category of activities that regularly draw your character into dangerous or dramatic circumstances.

EffectEdit

The GC doesn’t activate this Subplot; rather it becomes active and he gains action dice for it becoming active the first time during any mission when your character encounters the focus of his compulsion. Each time the focus is encountered, your character must make a Will save (DC Threat Level + 10). With success, he may act without restriction. With a critical success, your character becomes immune to his compulsion until the end of the current mission (this also means, however, that he can’t make any more Will saves against it, and therefore cannot achieve successes toward completing the Subplot).

With failure, your character must engage in an activity related to his compulsion for a minimum number of rounds equal to the difference between the DC and his save result. With a critical failure, he must engage in such an activity for a minimum number of minutes equal to the difference between the DC and his save result. During this time, he may not perform any actions unrelated to his compulsion activity, and all actions related to his compulsion activity requires twice the standard amount of time.

CompletionEdit

Your character makes 10 successful Will saves to resist his compulsion.

DebtEdit

Every character’s funds can run dry, even when he’s technically rich. Problems arise that demand fast liquid cash — business ventures go south, personal possessions are trashed, and friends and relatives are kidnapped and ransomed. No matter how careful someone is, misfortune is always lurking just around the corner.

Special Note: A character never gains money from a Debt Subplot. All money owed is automatically spent or committed when the Subplot is acquired, for reasons jointly defined by the player and the GC.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

Name of character and/or organization owed, nature of the debt (e.g. monetary loan, compensation for property or honor loss, or other slight or indiscretion).

EffectEdit

At any time, your character’s debt is equal to your career level × $50,000 (it rises with your career level due to interest applied by the collectors). During each mission when this Subplot is active, the collectors harass your character, inflicting 2d4 stress damage at the end of each scene. The GC chooses how this harassment comes into play, possibly blending it with the mission’s storyline. For instance, during a mission to carry a valued package across country, the collectors might sabotage your team’s transportation.

When your character owes a great deal, the collectors also send 2 Tier II thugs to “check in” with him. These thugs are equipped with 1 weapon each, chosen from any Caliber up to the current mission’s Caliber. Further, the GC may spend action dice to increase the number of thugs who arrive (by 1 per action die spent, maximum 5), or increase the Tier of all thugs who arrive (by 1 per action die spent, maximum Tier IV). The GC may spend no more than 4 action dice invoking both of these additional effects.

The thugs arrive at a time of the GC’s choosing, trying to corner your character and demand their employers’ money. Unless paid, they attack until your character falls unconsciousAn unconscious character is helpless and may take no actions. A character loses this condition after 2d4 full hours of sleep. or suffers 1 or more wounds or critical injuries, at which point they withdraw, warning that it will happen again unless they’re paid… soon.

CompletionEdit

Your character ends a mission with an amount of cash in his possession equal to the debt. Remember that stealing prompts exposure (see page 435).

DiscreditedEdit

Your character has been shamed, due to his own actions or those of another. Regardless, he’s operating more and more on his own these days, and will have to keep his nose clean and rebuild some bridges if he wants to re-establish himself.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The reason for your character’s dishonor (e.g. a botched mission, the accidental or intentional insult of a Faction or Freelance network superior, a rival casting aspersions).

EffectEdit

Your character’s Reputation or Net Worth decreases by an amount chosen when you gain this Subplot (minimum 10 Reputation or $500,000 Net Worth). Net Worth may only be decreased in $50,000 increments (e.g. $50,000, $100,000, $150,000, and so on).

CompletionEdit

Your character’s Reputation or Net Worth increases to its value when this Subplot was chosen.

Example: Your character loses 10 Reputation at the start of his career (when his Reputation is 2). His Reputation drops to –8 and this Subplot lingers until it rises to 2 or higher.

FearEdit

Your character is unnerved or perhaps even chilled by something that affected him deeply. This Subplot is particularly common among spies, whose frantic, paranoid lifestyles spawn all manner of mental ailments.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The focus of your character’s fear (e.g. shadows, crowds, cameras, intimacy). This focus must be something that can potentially come into play in any common mission.

EffectEdit

The GC doesn’t activate this Subplot; rather it becomes active and he gains action dice for it becoming active the first time during any mission when your character encounters the focus of his fear. Each time the focus is encountered, your character must make a Will save (DC Threat Level + 10). With success, he may act without restriction. With a critical success, your character becomes immune to his fear until the end of the current mission (this also means, however, that he can’t make any more Will saves against it, and therefore cannot achieve successes toward completing the Subplot).

With failure, your character becomes frightenedA frightened character moves away from the source of his fear as quickly as possible. If unable to flee, he becomes sickened. A character remains frightened until the end of the current scene or until the source of the condition has been out of his line of sight for 10 consecutive rounds. Alternately, a frightened character may be pacified with a successful 1-minute Impress (Cha) check (DC 20). This check may be re-tried and possesses the Disposition, Hearing, and Language tags. , and with a critical failure, he becomes terrifiedThis condition operates identically to frightened, except that if the character is unable to flee, he may only take the Fight Defensively or Total Defense actions until he can flee or the condition is lost. Further, a terrified character may not hold any objects in his hands. .

CompletionEdit

Your character makes 10 successful Will saves to resist his fear.

Game Control FiatEdit

By choosing this Subplot, you’re letting the GC know that you’d like to be surprised. Sometime when you least expect it, he’ll spring a new storyline on you. Until then, you’ll have to wonder… is it something in this section, or something entirely new?

Required Plot DetailsEdit

None.

EffectEdit

Per chosen Subplot.

CompletionEdit

Per chosen Subplot.

Impending DoomEdit

Your character faces some lingering threat, such as a relentless tracker, an illness, a kidnapped ally, or a time bomb or other danger to his Faction or personal life.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The nature of the threat (see next).

EffectEdit

Your character, his team, his Faction, or a friend, relative, or contact is in danger. The nature of the threat is left to your imagination, but commonly involves one of the following.

  • An ongoing threat in the form of an enemy force seeking to kill or capture your character and his friends. In this case, at the start of each mission in which this Subplot is active, the GC gains 1 action die + 1 action die per mission in which this Subplot has been active since the first, and must use these dice to trigger Surprise Chase and Surprise Combat events (see page 403).
  • An ongoing threat in the form of a deadly contagion that threatens your character’s health. In this case, the GC may choose or create a disease or poison with a Complexity DC of up to 50 + (the current Threat Level × 3). Your character makes 1 save against this contagion’s Secondary Phase DC at the end of each mission and may not recover from any of its effects until the Subplot is completed.
  • A time limit before your character loses something he cares for or relies upon, such as a part of his Wealth or Faction (in this case, the stake is generally 1 point or grade, as described at the end of this section), or a friend or contact (in this case, the friend or contact remains out of play until the Subplot is created, and dies if time runs out before they’re saved). A time limit can also be attached to a contagion, after which death is certain.

As always, the GC may reject any Subplot he feels is inappropriate or lacks the necessary elements to challenge your character, and all details must be worked out before the Subplot may come into play.

During each mission when this Subplot is active, your character faces a test in the form of 1 or more scenes of the GC’s design. These scenes are constructed following the standard mission design rules, not to exceed the standard per-scene XP limit (see page 440), and involve the crux of the impending doom (e.g. the person or group trying to kill or capture your character, the source of the contagion plaguing him, or the forces behind the time limit). These scenes may overlap or intersect a standard mission’s scenes in any way the GC feels is appropriate, but should never occlude the primary mission.

Example: During a mission to track several stolen nukes, the team might capture and interrogate a group of smugglers who recognize the Subplot character from one of their recent jobs (for the villain group behind the Subplot). This sparks a sideline scene in which the team helps the character track down the people who hired the smugglers and learn what they can about the persistent threat to one of their own. Unless this is the final mission for the Subplot (see next), this doesn’t lead to a final showdown, but rather reveals some critical piece of information about the character’s personal storyline, as defined by the GC.

CompletionEdit

Most of the time, the scenes sparked by this Subplot represent advancements in your character’s personal storyline, but every story must eventually come to an end, and sooner or later one of these inserted scenes becomes the Subplot’s conclusion. Determining when and how an Impending Doom Subplot ends is a tricky proposition, primarily due to the different venues in which Spycraft is played.

In a home game (where the same group meets session after session), the GC may secretly choose a set number of missions across which the Subplot will play out, intentionally developing the final confrontation scene(s) ahead of time. This works especially well for Impending Doom Subplots with a time limit (e.g. kidnappers threaten to kill the character’s friend or contact if an unreasonable demand isn’t met by a certain day and time).

Alternately, the GC can leave the climax up to fate, rolling 1d20 at the start of each mission when this Subplot is active. With a result equal to less than twice the number of missions during which the Subplot has been active, the current mission becomes the Subplot’s climax.

Example: An Impending Doom Subplot makes an appearance for the second time. If the GC rolls a 1–4, the Subplot reaches its conclusion in the current mission.

This second option works best in global campaigns, in which many GCs and players come together with little bookkeeping between them. GCs playing home games may also find it an intriguing option, though planners and detail-oriented GCs are likely to find it too unpredictable.

Regardless of how the final scene(s) are identified, they must include the Subplot’s ultimate trial — a final race against time, showdown with the Subplot’s villains, or another finale suitable to the storyline. The Subplot’s Threat Level consequently increases by 1. Also, unlike all of this Subplot’s previous scenes, this offers your character the chance to end the lingering threat, and promises dire consequences for failure. In the case of an ongoing threat, this likely means death (by murder or succumbing to the contagion), while a failed time limit scenario may result in 1 point of lost Wealth, one of a Faction’s Ratings being reduced by 1, or even death (in the case of a timed contagion).

Regardless of the outcome, your character earns the Subplot’s full completion XP reward, whether he’s successful in ending the threat or not (though if he dies as a result, it only matters if the campaign features the revolving door quality).

LiaisonEdit

Your character is a negotiator, intermediary, or political bridge. His work can bring people together — or tear them viciously apart.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The scale of the parties for whom your character is a liaison (e.g. individuals, organizations, nations). The scale need not be consistent between parties (i.e. your character might be a liaison between an individual and an organization, between two nations, or any other combination). While you may introduce a Subplot in which your character is a liaison among three or more parties, it’s strongly discouraged, as it drastically reduces the chance that the Subplot will resolve in your favor, or at all.

EffectEdit

The process of forging a permanent truce or agreement between the parties is a Complex Task with 3–7 Challenges, as determined by the GC when you choose this Subplot. Generally, the number of Challenges should correspond to the antipathy between the parties.

During each mission when this Subplot is active, a flare-up occurs between the chosen parties. This flare-up must involve a dispute of some kind and must affect the current mission in some fashion. The dispute is decided and introduced by the GC, and must present goals for each party. Except during this Subplot’s final mission, these goals should not be mutually exclusive.

Example: A character is liaison between two rival intelligence branches. An appropriate flare-up for any but the Subplot’s final mission might involve both branches taking an interest in the character’s current mission to prevent a criminal mastermind from sparking war in a neutral territory between their nations. In this scenario, both parties can be contented with mission success. Conversely, the branches shouldn’t both desire the same prototype gadget in any but the Subplot’s final mission, as this is a situation that may only be resolved to one party’s satisfaction.

At the end of each mission when this Subplot is active, your character may attempt 1 Challenge with a Networking/Mediation check targeting all parties in the dispute, including any who weren’t part of the flare-up. This check’s DC is determined by the intensity of the flare-up, as shown on Table 2.36: Mediation Checks. The character’s result increases by 4 when compared to the result of any party whose goal was met during the current mission.

CompletionEdit

If your character completes the Complex Task’s final Challenge, he forges a lasting truce.

If he fails the Complex Task, however, he may never forge a truce. This Subplot ends without granting any additional XP.

Long-Term MissionEdit

Your character has been assigned a secondary mission that often overlaps with other orders. This Subplot differs from a Personal Mission in that your character is almost always detached from the goals and details of the secondary mission (since he’s working for someone else).

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The nature of your character’s long-term mission (e.g. bringing a villain to justice, finding a stolen object, determining the motives or whereabouts of a criminal organization). Also, the Control through whom the long-term mission was assigned (this character need not be your character’s standard mission Control). Finally, at least three preferred objective types, of your creation or chosen from Table 7.6: Sample Objectives (see page 431).

EffectEdit

During each mission when this Subplot is active, your character faces a test in the form of 1 or more scenes of the GC’s design. These scenes are constructed following the standard mission design rules, not to exceed the standard per-scene XP limit (see page 440), and involve the long-term mission and 1 or more of your preferred objectives. These scenes may overlap or intersect a standard mission’s scenes in any way the GC feels is appropriate, but should never occlude the primary mission (see Impending Doom for an example).

CompletionEdit

A Long-Term Mission Subplot is resolved like an Impending Doom Subplot, except that the consequences of failure are decided by the nature of the mission (per the GC’s discretion).

Mistaken/True IdentityEdit

Somehow, people keep mistaking your character for someone he’s not. Alternately, you’ve assumed your current identity to run from your former life, or to achieve a long-term goal (perhaps to complete a “deep cover” mission).

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The person for whom your character is mistaken, or your character’s real identity. This confusion must potentially lead to comedic, dramatic, or lethal situations for your character (per the GC’s discretion). Ideally, a mistaken identity involves your character bring mistaken for someone in the GC’s setting, or a famous (or infamous) NPC you create for him to include.

EffectEdit

During each mission when this Subplot is active, one or more NPCs mistake your character’s identity or accurately guess or realize his true identity, leading to confusion or added drama.

Example 1: Your character might be mistaken for a missing scientist when asking about him, leading all the other parties looking for him to target you instead. Also, if the scientist was remotely working with others toward some incredible action or discovery, those people might come out of the woodwork as well, seeking information from you that only the scientist knows.

Example 2: During a previous mission in the same string of deep-cover ops within a criminal organization, your character might have arranged for the death of a henchman working for the faction’s mastermind. When the henchman dodges the bullet and confronts your character about the set-up, your character must somehow convince him that he’s mistaken about your true loyalties.

In both cases, the process of correcting the misunderstanding is a Complex Task with 3–7 Challenges, as determined by the GC when you choose this Subplot. Generally, the number of Challenges should correspond to the proliferation of the mistake, or the certainty, obstinacy, or ignorance of those making it.

At any point during the mission, your character may attempt 1 Challenge with an Impress/Persuasion check (DC 15 + Threat Level). With success, he convinces everyone in this mission of his true identity, preventing the Subplot from surfacing again until at least the start of the following mission. With failure, the confusion continues and your character may not attempt the same Challenge again until the start of the following scene (if this is the last scene, the confusion does not abate and the current Challenge may not be completed during this mission). The Game Control is encouraged to permit this skill check only after your character has accomplished something that helps to prove his claim.

CompletionEdit

If your character completes the Complex Task’s final Challenge, he convinces everyone everywhere that he is who he says he is.

If he fails the Complex Task, however, he must live with the fallout of the mistaken or true identity for the duration of his career (though it only comes into play per GC discretion). This Subplot ends without granting any additional XP.

MysteryEdit

Your character is trapped in a web of intrigue. Worse, he can’t see the spider — at least, not yet.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

One nagging question (e.g. “Who murdered the Black Dahlia?” or “How did Beowulf escape death… again?”). Additionally or alternately, up to three starting clues (which need not have any obvious connection).

EffectEdit

Unlike most Subplots, a mystery doesn’t pit your character against the rules, but rather pits you against the Game Control. When you choose this Subplot, you’re offering the GC the chance to create a puzzle of interconnecting clues and leads, beginning with those you provide him but ending… wherever he wants.

The GC begins by deciding on two things — whether there’s an ultimate, perhaps shocking realization to the mystery (e.g. “Beowulf murdered the Black Dahlia!? But that means…”), and how the climax will test your character’s team. Commonly, this test will take the form of a self-contained scene developed ahead of time, per the standard mission design rules, and not to exceed the standard per-scene XP limit (see page 440). Occasionally, it may become a collection of elements that drop into any existing scene (e.g. a main villain and his underlings who can make a surprise appearance, or a device or weapon that can conveniently wind up in the hands of the current mission’s villain).

At some point during each mission when this Subplot is active, the GC introduces 1–2 new clues leading to the mystery’s climax. These clues may be direct or indirect, as telling or obscure as the GC likes, based on his desired length for the mystery and his desire to toy with you or your character before it concludes.

CompletionEdit

Your character confronts the mystery’s scripted finale, either heading to the GC’s scripted scene or keying into enough of the puzzle that the GC introduces the finale elements into the current scene.

NemesisEdit

One of your character’s enemies rises above the rest, threatening to disrupt his life, or worse.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The name of your character’s nemesis, at least three background details about him, and the reason for his privileged status (e.g. responsible for your character’s humiliating defeat during a previous mission, for the death of a loved one).

EffectEdit

Your character’s nemesis begins as a Tier III NPC of the GC’s choice, chosen from the sample special NPCs in this book (see page 454), or designed as a full special character whose career level is 2 higher than that of your character. In the former case, his Tier increases by 1 for every 3 missions in which this Subplot is active. In the latter case, his career level increases with that of your character (so he is always 2 levels higher than your character).

During each mission when this Subplot is active, the GC may introduce the nemesis in one of two different ways.

  • The nemesis makes a guest appearance. In this case, the GC gains 1 action die + 1 action die per mission in which this Subplot has been active since the first to trigger Surprise Chase and Surprise Combat events (see page 403).
  • The nemesis is the true threat behind the current mission. In this case, the GC replaces the mission’s ultimate villain with the nemesis, leaving all other elements of the mission as is.

CompletionEdit

At the end of the mission, the nemesis is killed or captured and the GC does not spend action dice to ensure his survival or escape (see page 398).

Personal MissionEdit

Your character has taken on a secondary mission that often overlaps with other orders. This Subplot differs from a Long-Term Mission in that your character is almost always personally connected to the goals and details of the secondary mission.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The nature of your character’s personal mission (e.g. finding a lost love, fulfilling a vow to protect a dead friend’s relative, avenging the death of a friend). Also, at least three preferred objective types, of your creation or chosen from Table 7.6: Sample Objectives (see page 431).

EffectEdit

During each mission when the Subplot is active, your character faces a test in the form of 1 or more scenes of the GC’s design. These scenes are constructed following the standard mission design rules, not to exceed the standard per-scene XP limit (see page 440), and involve the personal mission and 1 or more of your preferred objectives. These scenes may overlap or intersect a standard mission’s scenes in any way the GC feels is appropriate, but should never occlude the primary mission (see Impending Doom for an example).

CompletionEdit

A Personal Mission Subplot is resolved like an Impending Doom Subplot, except that the consequences of failure are decided by the nature of the mission (per the GC’s discretion).

Romance/RelationshipEdit

Your character desires someone he can’t have (possibly because the love is forbidden, or because the object of his affections isn’t interested — at least, not initially). Alternately, he’s already found the love of his life and now things are getting rocky. Either way, the entanglement affects other parts of his life — including his missions.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The name and gender of the NPC with whom your character is entangled, and up to 3 details about that person’s background. If this is a Relationship Subplot, also provide the trouble afflicting your character’s relationship (e.g. discontentment, resentment, a rival for his or her affections, emotional turmoil in one or both partners, loneliness — perhaps because the character is always away on missions).

EffectEdit

The process of winning or keeping an NPC’s heart is a seduction Conflict (see page 387). The NPC makes an appearance in each mission during which this Subplot is active, triggering a Conflict round. Conflict rounds happen only during missions in which this Subplot is active.

Ideally, the GC should further develop the NPC, establishing a strong personality so that the Conflict rounds can be described as fluid parts of the ongoing storyline. The GC should avoid romantic Subplots simply becoming a string of meaningless conquests (unless that’s the point, and a Compulsion Subplot is looming on the horizon). Rather, the key to each NPC’s emotions should lie in the details. Is the NPC aloof? Your character might have to get his or her attention. Is the NPC guarded? The Subplot might become a game of gradually wearing down his or her defenses. The meat of the Conflict lies in removing obstacles and convincing the NPC of your character’s respect and devotion (or, in the conquest model, your character’s strength and magnetism). Either way, the process should be as complex and engaging as any mission to be worthy of an ongoing Subplot.

CompletionEdit

If your character wins the seduction Conflict, he enchants the NPC or reminds the NPC why the relationship started.

If your character fails the Conflict, he loses the object of his affections and may never win over the NPC (unless the GC later decides to allow a new Romance Subplot focusing on them). In this case, the Subplot ends without granting any additional XP.

WantedEdit

Your character is wanted for a crime that he may or may not have committed.

Required Plot DetailsEdit

The crime for which your character is wanted.

EffectEdit

During each mission when this Subplot is active, your character becomes the focus of a Wanted event (see page 404).

CompletionEdit

Your character recovers or fabricates the evidence required to clear his name, as determined by the GC when this Subplot is chosen.

Creating New SubplotsEdit

Many Subplots exist beyond those listed in this section, and the GC and players are encouraged to develop new options to suit their personal tastes and the flavor of their campaigns. Two types of Subplots are problematic, however.

First, any Subplot that fails to complicate the character’s missions or inflict penalties of some kind is open to abuse. Many players are perfectly capable of roleplaying such Subplots, accepting that a Subplot is intended to present challenges for them to surmount, but just as many would simply gloss over the effect of a roleplaying-heavy Subplot in order to gain the additional XP and Crossroads Title benefits.

Second, no Subplot should ever promote negative or antisocial behavior. For instance, an “Personal Mission” Subplot would require the character to spend much of his time away from the action. Worse, a “Wanted” Subplot could prompt a character to suspect everyone around him — even his teammates and allies — driving a wedge into the fundamental unit required to make the game function.

Subplots should personalize the game’s excitement, not give players a method to exploit the rules or an excuse to ignore the game’s social element. The GC must be ever vigilant to ensure that neither of these things happen, and firm in any decision made to prevent them.


Spycraft 2.0
Characters - Skills - Feats - Gear - Combat - Dramatic Conflict

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