XCOM - The Beginning
- Matthias Friedrichs, veteran soldier (played by neutrondecay)
- Theodore Reyes, cybercrimes detective (played by Slybrarian)
- Kate Reeves, criminal troublemaker (played by coelocanth)
- Dr Laura Thompson, Medic (played by Argh)
- Warren Fredrickson, Sniper and Big Game Hunter (played by O'Borg)
- Rev. Sandra Kisi MacDougall, priest (played by neutrondecay)
- Chae Seon "Jason" Im, med student (played by coelocanth)
- Pvt. Jonathon Miller - Ex-US-Army Mechanized Infantry
- Pvt. Steve Johnson - Ex-British Army
- Ray Bradford - Operations Officer, Ex-Captain in the US Marine Corps
- Dr. Rebecca Vahlen - Head of Research
- Dr. Helen O'Malley - Scientist
- Armory - Tier 2 - (+3 Resources)
- Front Business - Tier 2 - (+3 Resources)
- Hanger - Tier 1 - (+1 Mobility)
- Money - Tier 1 - (+1 Resource)
- Private Contractors - Tier 1 - (+1 Muscle)
- Research Labs - Tier 1 - (+1 Tech)
- Connections - 0
- Infiltration - 0
- Mobility - 1
- Muscle - 1
- Resources - 7
- Security - 0
- Tech - 1
Current Research - Alien Alloys (1 month)
- Alien Weapon Fragments - 1 month
- Alien Autopsy (Sectoid) - 1 month
- Alien Flight Computer - 3 months
- Alien Power Source - 3 months
- Jack of All Backgrounds - Pick any Four Skills
- Civilian - Culture/Any, Profession/Any, Steward, Any (1)
- Politician - Culture/Any, Leadership, Persuade, Steward
- Priest - Culture/Religion, Leadership, Persuade, Religion
- Researcher - Culture/Any, Perception, Science, Tech/Any
- Scholar - Culture/Any, History, Instructor, Science
- Soldier - Combat/Projectile, Combat/Unarmed, Culture/Any, Tactics
- Technician - Computer, Culture/Any, Tech/any (2)
- Worker - Culture/Any, Profession/Any, Vehicle/Any, Any one skill
- Military Heritage - History, Tactics, Culture/Any, Combat/Primitive or Unarmed
- Archaeologist - Combat/Any, Culture/Any, History, Language, Perception, Science, Tech/Any, Vehicle/Any
- Army - Athletics, Combat/Projectile, Combat/Unarmed, Combat/Any, Leadership, Tactics, Vehicle/Any, Any (1)
- Assassin - Athletics, Combat/Any (2), Culture/Criminal, Security, Stealth, Tactics, Any (1)
- Bounty Hunter - Combat/Any, Culture/Any, Navigation, Persuade, Stealth, Survival, Tactics, Vehicle/Any
- Criminal - Business, Combat/Primitive , Culture/Criminal, Gambling, Perception, Persuade, Security, Stealth
- Pilot (Military) - Combat/Gunnery, Culture/Any, Navigation, Perception, Survival, Tech Aeronautics, Vehicle/Air
- Scientist - Bureaucracy, Culture/Any, Perception, Science, Tech/Mechanical, Tech/Any, Vehicle/Any, Any (1)
- Special Forces - Athletics, Culture/Any, Combat/Any (3), Stealth, Survival, Tactics
- Law Enforcement - Athletics, Bureaucracy, Culture/Any, Combat/Any (2), Perception, Persuasion, Tactics or Security
- Culture - Continents - Asia, North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, Central/South America, Russia, Middle East, Mediterranean, Criminal, Religion (choose one)
- Combat - all except Energy and Psitech
- Exosuit - Not allowed
- Aeronautics - ability to work on all types of aircraft
- Mechanical - the catch all. Mechanical and electronic technology including almost all of the technology in use in modern society
- Medical - per book
- Vehicle - Air, Land, and Water only
- Civilian Weapons - Legal in most areas.
- Military Grade Weapon - Illegal without a license or part of the military/law enforcement. Military grade are any weapons with burst or that require Gunnery Skill to use. Also includes any weapon systems that uses an explosives (grenades). Civilian versions of these weapons (except gunnery weapons and explosives) are available. They cost the same but the "burst" capability has been removed.
Each agency turn, each NPC organization is allowed to take one action, while the PC agency is allowed to take two actions. The player agency always goes first, and the GM might choose to end the session after the players have acted, in order to have more time between sessions to consider likely rival responses. The players should discuss their actions, but the final decision is made by a single player. Rotate this player through the group as each action is taken, allowing each to have their own final say in turn.
- Attack: Make a Resources, Mobility, Muscle, or Connections strike against an enemy element, indicating an overt push to neutralize the rival’s resources. The target may choose to defend either with the attribute of the attacked element or with half of their Security score, rounded down. The target may choose to spend its upcoming actions to Block the attack, or they may just trust to their existing defenses. On a successful attack, the element is Compromised, but the target is aware that it has been Compromised. The agency must know that the element exists before it can be struck, usually requiring a Scout Element action beforehand to learn its details. Attacks can only be launched if the target element is on a planet with an agency Station, or within reach of an agency Transport element.
- Block: An agency can sacrifice its upcoming action to Block incoming Attack actions. Once this action is sacrificed, an unlimited number of Blocks can be made against different Attacks that turn as the agency has bunkered down into a defensive posture. An agency that Blocks forces the attacker to take a penalty to their attack roll equal to half the agency’s Security score, rounded down. Agencies can declare Blocks at the start of the turn, outside of the order of play. If the PC agency Blocks, it still has one action left for performing other activities. Blocking does not defend against Sabotage,Discern Plans, or other offensive actions.
- Build Element: The agency creates or improves an element. Only one Build Element action can be taken each turn, regardless of how many actions are available. Each attempt to create or boost an element requires 1 turn of effort per level of the new element, with a Build Element action being taken each turn. Any interruption forces a restart of the process. Once a sufficient amount of time has been spent building the element, the agency then rolls its relevant attribute versus 11, 15, or 19 depending on the level being built. On a failure, the process must begin again from the start. On a success, the new element is now available and usable by PCs. Elements may be attacked or sabotaged while they are being built or improved. If the attack or sabotage is successful, the build process must start over and any existing level of the element is Compromised.
- Discern Plans: The agency selects a rival organization and makes an Infiltration attack against it, opposed by the rival’s Security score. On a success, they are informed of the actions the rival takes the next time its turn comes up, grants a free Block against that agency’s Attacks next turn, and causes their Sabotage attempts to automatically fail. If the check is failed, no benefit is gained.
- Internal Sweep: After taking this action, the agency becomes aware of one element that has been Sabotaged by a rival, assuming any such exist in the organization. Repeated use of this action reveals additional sabotaged elements.
- Establish Base: The agency attempts to establish a base on some distant continent. With an agency base in place, the PCs have access to all plausible agency resources while in that location, including money, equipment, vehicle access, criminal ties, and whatever else might be reasonably dispensed through a continental base. Even Legitimacy might carry over if the agency has excellent relations with the host continent and the base’s presence is known. To establish a base secretly, at least a level 2 Transport element is necessary to smuggle in the requisite resources and personnel. If the agency is willing for the base to be publicly known and the target continent's governments do not object, it can use commercial services. If the target continent or location is so remote that there is no commercial transportation available to it and no Transport element is available, the PCs are going to have to take up a mission to blaze a trail there before the base can be constructed. Constructing a level 1 station requires three turns of work, each turn requiring the expenditure of one establish base action. Only one base can be established at a time. At the end of the work, if the established base has not been successfully Sabotaged or Attacked, the continent gains a level 1 base. Note that only the highest-leveled base possessed by an agency counts toward its Mobility score.
- Reform Element: The agency works to pull together an element that has been Compromised by an attack or by sabotage. The agency rolls the attribute associated with the element against 11 for a level 1 element, 15 for a level 2 element, or 19 for a level 3 element. On a success, the element is no longer Compromised.
- Sabotage: Make a Connections, Infiltration, or Tech check against an enemy element, at a -4 penalty to the roll. The target defends with the higher of the attribute of the attacked element or with half of their Security attribute, rounded down. If successful, the attacker Compromises it. The target is not aware that their element has been compromised until they make a roll that involves its attribute or the PCs attempt to make use of its benefits. The Internal Sweep action can also detect sabotaged elements. The agency must know that the element exists before it can be struck, usually requiring a Scout Element action beforehand to learn its details. Sabotage requires the same Station or Transport access to the target that is required by a more direct attack.
- Scout Element: The agency scouts a rival for the presence of a specific element, making an Infiltration check opposed by the enemy's Security attribute. If the check is successful, they learn whether or not the rival has an element of that kind and if so, what level it is and what location it occupies. On a failure, nothing is learned.
Parts of an Agency
Agencies are composed of elements. An element is a particular kind of resource, connection, or governmental blessing that the agency finds useful in carrying out its mission. An element might be "Legitimacy", which allows an agent to ignore certain laws in pursuit of his quarry, or it might be "Transport", which gives an agent access to smugglers and trafficking rings that can get her to a distant world without alerting the locals of her arrival. All of these elements have their own benefits to PC agents. Elements come at three different levels, measured from one to three. A level one element provides a modest benefit or small advantage level one Legitimacy, for instance, allows the agent the privileges of a local security officer. At level three, the advantage is very great, with level three Legitimacy giving operatives of the agency the license to act without fear of any power short of the agency itself. Aside from elements, agencies also have attributes. There are seven attributes: Connections, Infiltration, Mobility, Muscle, Resources, Security, and Tech. Attributes are measured on a scale of zero, indicating that the agency has no aptitude whatsoever in that field, up to fifteen or higher, meaning that the agency is remarkably gifted in that regard. Attribute scores are determined by adding up the bonuses that each element gives to a particular attribute.
- Connections refer to the agency's links with outside powers, be they governmental officials or gang bosses. A low Connections attribute suggests that the agency is isolated. Perhaps it's not an official government agency at all, but instead a private investigation company or freelance troubleshooter organization. They may be a formal part of the state security apparatus but have a drastic lack of human intelligence on the ground. High Connections suggests that the agency knows everybody of importance and probably has dirt on them as well.
- Infiltration shows the agency's talent at poking its nose where it’s not wanted. Insinuating agents into enemy agencies, placing operatives inside government offices and street gangs, or simply managing to get people into an ultramax prison or past a panopticon sensor array all relate to the agency's talent for Infiltration. Agencies with a low attribute here simply aren't very good at getting their people inside.
- Mobility relates to the reach and speed of agency responses. Agencies with poor Mobility have a hard time getting to the action and struggle to place their agents in distant locations or get them there in time to make a difference. Some might even be forced to fly commercial, with all the difficulties related in getting illicit hardware past the customs agents of a hostile world. High Mobility is usually the result of agency-owned vehicles and starships, and extensive connections with the smuggling and mercantile community that serves a world.
- Muscle is a measure of the sheer physical violence available to the agency. While any government agency can theoretically hand off their findings to the civilian police or try to convince the military to get involved in a situation, there's no substitute for having their own supply of assassins and legbreakers. While these men and women are usually not trained to work alongside PC operatives, they can pin down enemy agents or provide deniable deaths to troublesome people.
- Resources reflects the raw financial and material support available to an agency. An agency might have a proud and storied history and vast reserves of legitimacy among the populace, but if it's established on an impoverished world, it might simply be unable to get its operatives all the hardware and financial support they might want for their missions. Even the poorest agencies can usually manage to cover their agents' minimal necessities, but pretech artifacts, powered armor, and disposable gravcars for decoys don't come cheap.
- Security is a measure of the agency's resistance to outside infiltration and interference. Security is rarely a popular branch among agents, with their constant checks and surveillance for infiltrators, but they are a vital resource when dueling with rival agencies. A high level of agency security makes it much more difficult for enemies to launch a successful intrigue against the organization.
- Tech is the attribute that indicates the availability of sophisticated science and advanced hardware for the agency. An organization strong in Resources can afford to buy the best on the market, but an agency with well-developed Tech can make things that simply cannot be found for sale. A low Tech attribute implies that the agency is reliant on the existing scientific resources of their homeworld, and can't easily reverse-engineer more exotic devices.
- Armory Most agencies of any size have at least some reserves of weaponry, body armor, and gear relevant to their duties. An armory element allows the agency to assign its members a wide range of equipment. This equipment is not the agent’s personal property. He is expected to turn it in between missions, though sidearms and other standard issue gear may be on standing loan, and loss or breakage of the gear is apt to bring scolding. Outright sale of it had best be justified by extreme and exigent need, or else a lengthy discussion about proper equipment handling will be the least of the agent’s concerns.
- Tier 1 - Armory each player is issued a civilian rifle and a sidearm. (+1 Resources)
- Tier 2 - Armory each player is issued a military grade rifle and a sidearm. May also be issued explosives and/or heavy weapons. (+3 Resources)
- Tier 3 - Armory each player is issued an advanced tech or alien tech rifle and sidearm, if available. (+5 Resources)
- Bases - A base on a continent provides the agency with a reach beyond its own home continent. These safe houses and remote listening posts allow agency operatives to draw on elements and other resources as if they were operating out of their home base. They also provide a haven on a potentially hostile continent. Agents without a base on a continent are forced to make do with whatever supplies or resources they can carry in personally. Unlike every other element, an agency can build more than one base element, each one on a different continent. Only the highest-leveled bases counts toward the agency’s Mobility score. Creating a base usually requires a level 2 Transport element to secretly slip in the resources necessary. Agencies can build them openly with commercial transports if the local government is willing to allow them, and many agencies with covert assets on a continent will still operate openly out of a known embassy or consulate. Agency safe houses are secure and concealed locations that can provide agents with the resources appropriate to their agency’s elements. Safe houses can be compromised if the PCs lead enemies to them, and it usually takes a month to move to a fresh secure location. Base can be hidden or open.
- Tier 1 - The agency has one base (+1 Mobility)
- Tier 2 - The agency has up to three bases. (+3 Mobility)
- Tier 3 - The agency has up to one base on every continent. (+5 Mobility)
- Contractors Any agency has access to private contractors. Agencies with private contractors have a force of mercenary soldiers directly under their control. While launching them against foreign worlds or directly engaging rival powers is out of the question, they can provide vital muscle for guarding safe houses, protecting important people, and hitting targets that lack the political protection of a recognized power. These private contractors are usually military in nature, but can be any profession that the agency needs. Each tier allows for the support of a certain amount of people. All their needs will be covered from month to month
- Tier 1 - Agency is allowed a 5 man squad of contractors armed with weapons equal to the agencies Armory (+1 Muscle)
- Tier 2 - Agency is allowed a three 5 man squads of contractors armed with weapons equal to the agencies Armory (+3 Muscle)
- Tier 3 - Agency is allowed a five 5 man squads of contractors armed with weapons equal to the agencies Armory (+5 Muscle)
- Criminal Ties Ordinary criminals make excellent catspaws for agencies. Willing to do all manner of unsavory tasks for reasonable remuneration or forgiveness of their sins, these thugs and thieves draw relatively little attention when about their work. Even if caught, careful tradecraft can ensure that they have little or nothing to tell their interrogators. Agencies with basic ties have no unique influence over the larger criminal groups, but they can identify the major players on a world and know how to get in touch with them when favors or negotiations are needed. They also can place the leadership of these organizations and identify the men and women who set its policies. More sophisticated ties involve planting agency operatives within the group itself. These deep-cover agents rarely act to influence the criminal organization, but keep tabs on current operations and alert the home agency when outsiders start making overtures or when the group begins to move against allies. Those agencies with the deepest, strongest criminal ties have placed so many operatives so deeply within the structure of one or more criminal organizations that they effectively own the group. Most of their effort must be spent in dealing with rivals and legal threats, but the capabilities of the organization are theirs to use, so long as they can manage it with some discretion.
- Tier 1 - (+1 Connection)
- Tier 2 - (+3 Connection)
- Tier 3 - (+5 Connection)
- Early Warning The agency has developed a finely-tuned network of informants and monitors on the world, all focused on watching their assets for signs of impending trouble. Hostile actions against the agency are often anticipated, and in many cases the culprits responsible for the strike are identified before it can be executed. Early warning systems give agencies a chance to detect a hostile act before it actually has a chance to hit a vulnerable agent or element. Basic degrees of this element focus on organizational integrity checks and performance monitoring. They have little chance of foreseeing a strike, but they can often recognize when an element has been compromised or sabotaged in ways that would otherwise be too subtle to notice until a crucial moment. More sophisticated levels of early warning give a chance of anticipating a strike, or even identifying the enemy behind the impending attack. An agency with early warning resources on a continent gains a free automatic Discern Plans roll against a sabotaging agency. The GM rolls this check privately before each sabotage attempt. Level 1 early warning elements will discover a successful sabotage attempt on a successful roll. Success with a level 2 early warning element will alert the agency before the sabotage is launched and inflict a -4 penalty on the attacker’s sabotage check. Success with a level 3 early warning gives the benefits of level 2, and also identifies the organization behind the attack.
- Tier 1 - (+1 Security)
- Tier 2 - (+3 Security)
- Tier 3 - (+5 Security)
- Front businesses make life a great deal easier for many agents,providing a convenient and believable cover for their public lives. They also allow for convenient, no-questions-asked acquisition of whatever goods or services the front business produces. Agencies are prudent enough to maintain a shifting sequence of names, incorporations, and financial affiliations in order to make it difficult to easily pin a given business as their cats paw. The actual income a front business grants to an agent hinges on the Money element possessed by an agency. Those with access to larger monetary allowances will usually pose as business executives or senior engineers, the better to cover their evident wealth. An agency with a well-developed front business but no Money is forced to put almost all the profit of the business into maintaining it, and can afford only meager living expenses for its PC employees. Naturally, not all employees of a front business will be agency personnel, but those responsible for sensitive operations and those with control over the business’ operation will be trusted agents. Business Fronts will cut all Hidden Base maintenance by half.
- Tier 1 - The agency has a front business that explains modest wealth. (+1 Resource)
- Tier 2 - The front business is very influential in its industry and justifies very high pay for its employees.(+3 Resource)
- Tier 3 - The agency effectively controls a particular industry on the world, barring a few small outliers.(+5 Resource)
- Hidden Strings An agency with official government backing might be above the law in many ways and have access to large amounts of government data, but these benefits are colored by their official natures. Politicians can complain, enemies can observe official actions, and the agency is always obliged to deal with the official fallout of the exercise of their privileges. Hidden strings speak of a different kind of influence, of a control based on bribes, blackmail, secret alliances, and illicit information. Favors and data obtained with hidden strings don’t come as easily or as surely as official legitimacy might grant, but they come without the burden of oversight or public record. Where an agent with a license to kill might show his papers to the police who catch him standing over a fresh corpse, an agent who relies on hidden strings would have to evade the gendarmerie first, and then rely on the agency to pull the right strings to get the follow-up investigation killed. In exchange for this more cumbersome method of getting forgiveness, favors obtained with hidden strings won’t show up to conventional observers and oversight agencies. Ultimately, however, there are some things that cannot be hushed up by hidden strings. As history might suggest, anything requiring the massive destruction of lives or property requires the open blessing of government to be performed with impunity.
- Tier 1 - The agency has unofficial friends in numerous government departments, and can often get minor regulations bent. (+1 Connections)
- Tier 2 - The agency can get major crimes forgiven and government records searched. (+3 Connections)
- Tier 3 - The agency has complete backdoor access to data in governmental computer systems. While this data can be read, it is not normally possible to change it without discovery. (+5 Connections)
- Hangers - provides the support staff and facilities necessary to maintain, repair, and equip a certain number of interceptors and transports. These aircraft are owned and operated by agency personnel. Purchasing a hanger element will provide these facilities on every base that the agency has. Transport and interceptors are purchased separately using the money element.
- Tier 1 - Allows 1 interceptor and 1 transport per base of obsolete military technology. (+1 Muscle & Mobility)
- Tier 2 - Allows up to 3 interceptors and 2 transports per base of modern military technology.(+3 Muscle & Mobility)
- Tier 3 - Allows up to 5 interceptors and 3 transports per base of up to alien technology.(+5 Muscle & Mobility)
- Identity Shop Little is so commonly necessary to an agent than the need to be someone else for a time. Identity shops are dedicated bureaus focused on the creation and maintenance of cover identities for the agency. Their personnel perform the thousand and one little actions necessary to hold together an identity under the scrutiny of modern databases and modern security. They pay the identity’s bills, maintain its online presence, and keep it warm for the next agent to need it. At its most basic level, the shop can create identities that will hold up under all ordinary civilian-grade inspection. As far as commercial databases and ordinary daily checks are concerned, the agent is the identity, and only running the identity against high-security government databases will reveal it as a fake. More advanced identity shops can overcome even that limitation, making identities that only risk compromise from an agent acting out of character. Identity shops can’t normally create duplicates of existing identities; each person they create is unique.
- Tier 1 - The agents can get false identities that will withstand civilian-grade inspection. (+1 Infiltration)
- Tier 2 - The identities can usually withstand government inspection. (+3 Infiltration)
- Tier 3 - The agency has the facilities to gengineer agents into perfect replicas of other people.(+5 Infiltration)
- Internal Security Internal security is never loved in an agency, but it’s as crucial a part of any covert organization as any other bureau. Internal security elements rarely provide any direct benefit to the agents who work for the organization. Instead, they’re meant to prevent deeply unfortunate things from happening to the careless, and often as not they find themselves the unwelcome bringers of unfortunate tidings. Internal security also assists in maintaining the secrecy of operations and the carrying out of Vow catechisms that the agency might have inherited. Agents assigned to internal security are usually rotated through the organization, left in place long enough to understand how a department works, but brought out before they have time to get too comfortable- or too prone to subversion by deep-cover traitors within the bureau. Internal security personnel tend to be standoffish at best to others within the agency, though sometimes they unbend enough to socialize with those outside of their immediate supervision. The job can be acutely lonely, with the usual solace of friendships within the agency sacrificed to the exigencies of security. Other security agents are undercover even within the agency, rotated into a group ostensibly to work in an ordinary role while secretly passing back word of any anomalies to the brass.
- Tier 1 - (+1 Security)
- Tier 2 - (+3 Security)
- Tier 3 - (+5 Security)
- Legitimacy Intangible and impossible to compel by brute force, legitimacy is the unseen binding that holds a government in place. The citizens acknowledge its right to do certain things they are forbidden from doing on their own, and its representatives are given varying levels of respect in their persons and offices. For an agency, legitimacy means that the continental government and its people acknowledge them as performing a lawful and necessary duty. At low levels, agents are credited as law enforcement agents, and can make arrests, carry weaponry and other objects allowed only to agents of the state, and otherwise avail themselves of all the privileges of being an officer of the peace. It may not always be prudent to flash these powers in public, but the agents have them. At greater levels, the agents can effectively ignore the law in matters of property crimes, trespassing, assault, and other sins not related to the loss of human life. Using these privileges too blatantly is an invitation for heat from local politicians and brass upset at such un-covert behavior from an agent. At the highest level, the agency is effectively its own master. It can do anything to anyone without concerns for legal repercussions. At this level, its only danger is in angering the political establishment of the world. Sufficiently high-handed or offensive behavior toward these grandees is a good way to get these privileges stripped. All items bought on a continent that does not have a legitimacy claim incur a +3 penalty to the TN of the item being purchased with resource roll. It involves buying items under the radar of the current government. Even buying large quantities of legal items can cause the base and/or players to draw attention to themselves and cause a complication.
- Tier 1 - Standard peace officer powers on one continent. (+1 Connections)
- Tier 2 - The agents cannot be arrested for property crimes, trespassing, assault, or other lesser felonies on three continents. (+3 Connections)
- Tier 3 - The agency is effectively above the law. Only hostility it incurs from the government itself can jeopardize its freedom on all continents. (+5 Connections)
- Medical Facilities Agents have an unfortunate habit of falling astray of blades, bullets, poisons, radioactivity, and occasional infestation by semi-sentient parasitical life forms. Heading to the local hospital to have these conditions tended can provoke awkward questions, to say nothing of the vulnerability of an agent in such an establishment. With the Medical facility element, agents have their own secure facility for recuperation and biotechnical work. The most basic level of this element allows the agents to recuperate securely in an agency-operated clinic. No questions are asked and recovering characters are well-guarded by agency staff. More advanced medical labs have the necessary hardware and genotyping tech to implant cybernetic augmentations, allowing any agent to gain free access to any cyberware listed in the core rulebook, and possibly other varieties if they can be acquired for the lab. The most advanced medical labs use alien technology. These resources can cure any conventional illness or poisoning and remedy all hit point loss with 12 hours of treatment. Exotic bioweapons and alien-engineered toxins may be more difficult to treat.
- Tier 1 - The agency has its own modern medical facilities for the secure recuperation of agents. (+1 Tech)
- Tier 2 - The agency has access to a limited pool of cybertech and can implant the gear in agents. (+3 Tech)
- Tier 3 - The agency has alien medical equipment and limited cloning resources. (+5 Tech)
- Military Backing Any government-backed agency can request that the military step in to handle a particularly ugly situation, but it can take weeks or months of dithering and dispute to actually get the boots on the ground. In many cases, political officials will flatly deny the request lest it complicate relations. Agencies with military backing have a force of soldiers directly under their control. While launching them against foreign worlds or directly engaging rival powers is out of the question, they can provide vital muscle for guarding safehouses, protecting important people, and hitting targets that lack the political protection of a recognized power. The lowest level of this element grants a ten-man squads of soldiers with the continents primary army. These troops are available for disposition by the PCs, and while none of them are trained for espionage work, they can provide muscle and extra hands for a mission. Final command of the troops falls to the lieutenant present with each squad, however, and under no circumstances will he or she permit troops to be used as cannon fodder or to provoke a political incident. More developed military backing provides special forces troops in place of the regulars, using the Elite Guard statistics from the core rulebook. These soldiers are trained in stealth, survival, guerrilla warfare instruction, and other kills expected of a commando unit. The heaviest military backing provided to an intelligence agency involves four to five ten man squads special forces troops, armored vehicles, and limited air assets as well. While military forces are generally quite cooperative with agents, under no circumstances will they hand over military equipment or vehicles for operative use. Any employment of military hardware will be made by soldiers cooperating with the agency.
- Tier 1 - One 10 man squad of soldiers. (+1 Muscle)
- Tier 2 - Up to three ten man squads of special forces troops. (+3 Muscle)
- Tier 3 - Up to 5 ten man squads of troops. (+5 Muscle)
- Money Every agency is obliged to deal with the brute realities of cash flows and overhead. An elite corps of undercover agents doesn’t work cheap, and the infrastructure and support staff necessary to keep an agency functioning can be a serious strain on the budget. Every agent has their basic lifestyle needs accommodated by the agency, but for more significant salaries the Money element is necessary. Agents can draw equipment from the Armory or pull gear from a Equipment stores, but there are numerous jobs that require liquid funds. Without the Money element, agents have to make do as best they can with funds “liberated” from their rivals. With it, they can charge costs to the agency through a network of financial front accounts. Goods and services bought through an expense account need to be justified to the agency after the mission is complete, or the agent might well end up on the hook for the costs. Equipment acquired through an expense account also has to be turned in at the end of the mission, unlike gear personally purchased by the agent.
- Tier 1 - The team can charge up to 50,000 credits worth of expenses to the agency for any single mission. Agents get a monthly salary of $7500. (+1 Purchase)
- Tier 2 - The charge limit rises to 100,000 credits per mission. Agents get a monthly salary of $25,000. (+3 Purchase)
- Tier 3 - Teams can charge up to 200,000 credits per mission. Agents get a monthly salary of $50,000. (+5 Purchase)
- Research Lab The agency has access to a functioning research laboratory . They are able to preform research on alien and advance tech.
- Tier 1 - Allows advance earth tech research by 10 scientists. (+1 Tech)
- Tier 2 - Allows Alien research by up to 30 scientists (+3 Tech)
- Tier 3 - Allows all types of research by up to 50 scientists. (+5 Tech)
- Psychic Labs (Required to be Researched before buying) The enigmatic powers of the mind have always been of keen interest to intelligence agencies. The powers of a psychic interrogator are incredibly useful in ferreting out moles and squeezing targets in deniable ways, and the powers of an infiltrating teleporter or forewarned precognitive are cherished by those agencies that have such rare talents. Basic possession of the Psychics element simply means that the agency has access to testing facilities and psychic trainers. More developed agencies have been able to find at least one trained psychic interrogator with the Telepathy discipline at level 4 or better. The Memetic Probe ability allows the psychic to dig in and discover any memories pertinent to a particular topic, and this interrogator is available for the PCs to employ. The agency will not permit him or her to be placed in a dangerous situation, however, and the interrogator is in such demand that they will usually only be available once for any given mission. The most richly gifted agencies actually have psychic mentors available, and can train their own disciples without requiring the cooperation of any outside organization. Suitably dedicated and proven agents might be allowed to learn these techniques as well. The psychic interrogators of such well-equipped agencies all have the Telepathy discipline at level 5, at a minimum, allowing them to scan surface thoughts as well as probe for specific memories. The use of psychic interrogation and other telepathic powers is not necessarily going to be accepted by society even if the agency is a government bureau. Without the Legitimacy element at level 2 or better, it’s likely that any mind-probing would be treated as a serious crime by most worlds. Under normal circumstances the government will simply prefer to pretend that it never happens, but the laws can make using telepathic evidence very tricky when wielded against a person of power or importance. Testing requires 1 month, training requires 3 months.
- Tier 1 - The agency has access to psychic testing and training facilities. (one person at a time) (+1 Infiltration)
- Tier 2 - The agency has trained telepathic interrogators Mastery level 3. May train/test 3 people at a time. (+3 Infiltration)
- Tier 3 - The agency has psychic mentors among their numbers. Mastery level 5. May train/test 5 people at a time. (+5 Infiltration)
- Starships (Required to be Researched before buying) The agency has access to a number of ships, ranging from a foghter and its crew up to a task force that outweighs the tonnage of some planetary navies. Starships provided by this element are in no way covert, but they can be convenient when movement does not need to be discreet - or when large guns are necessary to emphasize a point.
- Tier 1 - The agency has a fighter and the crew and facilities to keep it functional. (+1 Muscle)
- Tier 2 - The agency has a free merchant and three fighters under its control. (+3 Muscle)
- Tier 3 - The agency has a frigate, two free merchants and six fighters under its control. (+5 Muscle)
- Tradition - There are few concrete benefits to a strong tradition in an agency. It does not provide better guns, or more money, or greater liberty of action. Instead, a tradition provides meaning for those men and women dedicated to the lonely work of the agency. It helps them to feel part of something greater than their own brief lives, some proud, high cause that is worth the best of their devotion. Agencies with a strong tradition are difficult to infiltrate or subvert. Conventional tools of blackmail and bribery work poorly when the agent considers the agency more important than their own lives, and the fierce resolve of a believer can keep an operative fighting even when the cause seems lost.
- Tier 1 - The agency is dedicated, united, and has a history of accomplishment.(+1 Security)
- Tier 2 - The agency is fired by a zealous devotion to its purpose and a proud record of success.(+3 Security)
- Tier 3 - The agency is practically its own religion, suffused by an intense dedication to its cause and a near-mythic history.(+5 Security)
- Training (Tier 2 and above require Research) - Unlike other elements, Training does not directly add to any of an agency’s attributes. Instead, it reflects unusually good training protocols that improve the speed at which agents acquire skills. These protocols often require harsh sacrifices of time and determination on the part of their pupils, but the agency is positioned to ensure that its staff is willing to pay that price. The most basic level of the element arranges for skilled professional tutors in any skill its agents require, along with cramming techniques and possible chemical enhancement that allows for an additional skill to be obtained at level-0 when a character is created. This bonus skill cannot “stack” with an existing one to improve it. More advanced protocols begin to involve neural repatterning and heavy integration work. These pretech techniques are dangerous to unsuitable minds, but PCs can use them to gain 1 additional skill point every time they advance a level. The most sophisticated training tools involve virtual reality simulations, direct-to-brain muscle memory uploads, selective memory triage, and forced nerve growth. The experience is excruciatingly painful and disorienting, but with a few weeks of effort, it decreases the cost of raising a class skill by 1 skill point, down to a minimum of one point.
- No attribute bonus.
- Tier 1 - The agency has access to trainers up to level 2 in any desired skill. Agents begin with their choice of any one skill at level-0.
- Tier 2 - Sophisticated training protocols grant agents 1 additional skill point on each level advancement. Trainers can train up to level 3.
- Tier 3 - Trainers are available up to level 4. Raising a class skill costs 1 fewer skill point, down to a minimum of 1.
- Transport- Agents need to get to a hot zone before they can do much about it. The Transport element allows them to avail themselves of covert vehicles, smuggler ships, and other discreet ways of getting in and out of a location. These transport can generally be relied upon to drop agents off and pick them up on schedule, though none of them are willing to stick around to trade laser fire with hostiles. Transport can be taken to or from any location within range of an agency base. These drops can usually avoid any civilian-grade detection systems, but hot dropping into a military zone is highly unlikely to prove survivable. The captains of these transports will cooperate with any reasonable request, and they’re constitutionally suited to handling a certain amount of risk, but they won’t fly into firefights. When transporting people instead of raw supplies, one ton of space can be taken up by one person and their equipment.
- Tier 1 - Can smuggle in a 5 man team and the gear they are carrying into a continent.(+1 Mobility)
- Tier 2 - Can smuggle in a 10 man team and 50 tons or gear into a continent. Min requires to install a base on new continent. (+3 Mobility)
- Tier 3 - Can smuggle in a 20 man team and 500 tons or gear into a continent.(+5 Mobility)