Endersai

Genesys modern - mercs, spies, hackers, and the rest

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So this is a thread to share ideas for a modern day setting in the Genesys system. While there may yet be a sourcebook for this era, at launch I expect some - but not much - coverage. 

I want to start a game that sees a team of denial operatives pitted against a Quantum like organisation. I love the freedom the drones offer in Watch_Dogs 2 and Ghost Recon: Wildlands and would probably make that option available to any hacker types who joined us. 

My first question is - how would you handle firearms? By category like the SWRPG books do - so for example, holdout becomes compact, blaster pistol becomes your bog-standard automatics, and heavy blaster pistol your handcannon crazy guns? 

And how would you deal with ammunition? One thing I loved about Skyfall, the film - and it wasn't it's nonsensical plot -was that Bond has 2 mags for his Walther and when he's out, he's out - time to go fist fight Patrice. Conversely, when you watch John Wick 1 or 2, you see Wick has this whole thing of carrying large magazine pouches under his jacket, which would ordinarily make concealment checks under skulduggery destined to fail. 

I would want my players to view combat as lethal (hint - if everyone has at best soak 1-2, then yeah, it will be) and to try and avoid gunfights except where it's necessary or they have cover. So them running out of ammo has to be a real and persistent threat as well as not terminal to their story. 

The second thing is, what sources would you recommend as good inspiration points for players wanting a modern spy/paramilitary adventure? I can think of a few:

Aforementioned Bond films and John Wick franchise; Ghost Recon Wildlands; Payday 2 (stealth missions especially); Watch_Dogs 1 and 2 (incorporating hack and smart phone vulnerability into the game); the TV series Strike Back, and the 1998 film Ronin (which should be on Netflix). I would say Jason Bourne but after the first films they became a ridiculous parody - the drinking game alone is worth it. Every time Bourne says he doesn't want to be "that guy" who kills people anymore after killing or beating the snot out of a bunch of people? Take a shot. Every time he says he knows who he is? Take a shot. Every time someone mentions "the grid", take a shot, etc./ 

Third thing - what sorts of careers or specialisations would you expect to see? Wheelman? Hacker? Soldier? 

Note: If you are intending on running minis, the last 5-6 years in Heroclix has produced so many good generic mercs, henchmen, cops, hackers that you can get from places like Cool Stuff Inc or Troll & Toad that you'll never need to paint again. 

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Endersai said:

So this is a thread to share ideas for a modern day setting in the Genesys system. While there may yet be a sourcebook for this era, at launch I expect some - but not much - coverage. 

I want to start a game that sees a team of denial operatives pitted against a Quantum like organisation. I love the freedom the drones offer in Watch_Dogs 2 and Ghost Recon: Wildlands and would probably make that option available to any hacker types who joined us. 

My first question is - how would you handle firearms? By category like the SWRPG books do - so for example, holdout becomes compact, blaster pistol becomes your bog-standard automatics, and heavy blaster pistol your handcannon crazy guns? 

And how would you deal with ammunition? One thing I loved about Skyfall, the film - and it wasn't it's nonsensical plot -was that Bond has 2 mags for his Walther and when he's out, he's out - time to go fist fight Patrice. Conversely, when you watch John Wick 1 or 2, you see Wick has this whole thing of carrying large magazine pouches under his jacket, which would ordinarily make concealment checks under skulduggery destined to fail. 

I would want my players to view combat as lethal (hint - if everyone has at best soak 1-2, then yeah, it will be) and to try and avoid gunfights except where it's necessary or they have cover. So them running out of ammo has to be a real and persistent threat as well as not terminal to their story. 

My guess is that you might have better luck with GURPS, and I don't mean that to be smarmy. :) I'm guessing that FFG will keep things pretty crunch-light regarding things like keeping track of ammo, differences between different models of submachine guns, etc. My suspicion is that the game will run pretty much like Star Wars does: You only run out of ammo when you roll a Despair or something of that nature, and even this can be overcome with special talents, like Spare Clip. Even with the Star Wars style guns, you can accomplish the things you mention, though, when the narrative dice say it's appropriate.

That said, I suppose they could handle modern-era guns like they do arrows and grenades in Star Wars, with the Limited Ammo quality. But maybe as an optional rule? It'll be interesting to see.

Edited by SavageBob

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If you want combat to be more lethal, change the Soak formula. We don't know what it is yet, but if it follows Star Wars then it's Brawn + armour. Just change the base to 1/2 Brawn…or even 0!

As for limiting ammo: threat! 3 threat or 1 despair should be sufficient. If the PC has an extra reload, all it takes is a manoeuvre to reload. Weapons with a very small capacity could even have the Limited Ammo trait at 2 or 3. Anything more should just be handled with threat expenditure. 

Sometimes it takes only one bullet to hit a target and sometimes it takes an entire magazine. With the cinematic nature of Genesys it doesn't make sense to have l Limited Ammo 6 for a revolver, since it's not"one attack roll = one pull of the trigger".

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Posted (edited)

Endersai

Let the game be the game. If you want to go into massive detail, then SavageBob is right. GURPS is the game for you. The FFG system is fairly cinematic, and light, to keep things fast and smooth. GURPS has their weapons down, so that a gun-nut can use a "toolkit" look at the weapons system... and generally speaking (more so than any other RPG I've played) you can transfer real world knowledge into game knowledge.

So For using the FFG system (with what we know, basically just filing the numbers off the Star Wars system for now, as we can't know really what they are going to do until we see a book in print, or at least get hints from those playing the game at Gen con (oh how I remember those initial reports of 4th D&D... sigh... ) Just focus on the roles. I mean, if someone wants an MP-5 make fun of them for thinking back in the 80's then tell them they just have a UMP-45 and everyone smiles. But They will probably focus on role (Long gun/sniper/MBR-Main Battle Rifle, Sub-gun (SMG), Pistols (Holdout/Heavy pistols). And honestly this is all you need. If you want more names, just check out some books on it. either checking out a gun nut page, or GURPS High-Tech specifically.... or PM a gun nut/gear head you know on any of your friendly message boards ;) .  These guys are professional enough, unless you get into a multi-day firefight, don't sweat ammo... or you have someone who is blazing away sending thousands of rounds down range a combat... but even then, I mean, as professionals, they know their ammo usage, and would prep for that. so meh. 

Looking at Army SF, they have the weapons expert, medic, Radio, and demolitions/technical. Delta run with teams that are medic light/weapons heavy, as they are primarily door kickers. Taking a modern view maybe add in a hacker type. There should be some covering of the others roles. Everyone being born in the modern world should know how to drive a car/truck. and everyone because of that should have training on how to maneuver their weapons around the interior of a vehicle... the long gunner/machine gunner is going to be hosed in a car... so let them make a hole, or roll out of a stopped vehicle. My favorite is the back on the front console (hopefully not a stick, lol) and supporting the front of the gun with the backseat... and it's hammer time (Good for chases with our heroes in the lead). Having a wheel guy... that's good for the movies. For a game, as unrealistic as it is, it's better to just have a pilot guy. Planes, choppers, vehicles, trucks etc. missions should be diverse enough that he's got that (even in the A-team BA drove the van, while Murdoc flew the chopper... a 4 person group in a game might not have that freedom, and more skill points to boot). 

Edited by Hexnwolf
spelling.

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Oh I wasn't interested in the number crunch aspect of it - you know, "well, you're talking an old FN-FAL, which is a heavy hitter for sure but that means reduced ammo capacity". I was more thinking this:

Say my team, consisting of a hacker type, a faceman, a wheelman, and an equivalent of the infiltrator from AOR, are in the small town of Orta San Guilio in Northern Italy. They are chasing down a high level member of a Quantum-like group, who is holidaying on Lago D'Orta.

Orta San Guilio is a small hamlet, only a few blocks across, and it's July - meaning there are tourists about (though this part of the lakes district of Northern Italy escapes the attention of Garda or Como). So the team are blending in. The tech is sitting at a small restaurant on the Piazza Motta, seemingly scrolling through is tablet but actually controlling a drone that is following a bodyguard of the target. The infiltrator and faceman are posing as a couple and taking in the sights, and the wheelman is trying to sneak up to the target's Audi S8 with a tracking bug linked to the GPS in the group's Porsche Cayenne.

The faceman is dressed in a polo, chinos, and desert boots - so, 30-something tourist. He therefore really only has limited carry capacity. Does he take a compact pistol and a spare magazine in his pocket, or a larger automatic and no spare magazines since there's really hopefully no need for a protracted gunfight? i.e. the PPK or the P99, tucked in his waistband?

The limited capacity question becomes about the narrative choice - unless you are carrying spare clips clenched betwixt the cheeks of your buttock, you're going to have limited storage space. Especially if you want to be discreet. As for soak, I wouldn't change it. If an average 9mm does 7 base damage and minions might be able to make that a 9, you're going to mostly have Soak 1 or 2 depending on clothes. That's perfect. Wandering around the picturesque north of Italy with a kevlar vest is perhaps not the most discreet option available.

I guess my question would be better - how could you ensure that players don't try and find ways to have the best of all worlds and instead just view their sidearm as tool of the trade? As opposed to "well I want a PX4 Storm subcompact because it's really concealable, but can accommodate a 17 round magazine. And I want to attach a laser sight under the barrel, which won't alter the profile at all but will give me a boost die for all attacks..."

 

(Which, FWIW, the hardpoint system could totally accomodate; I just don't want that. I want the generic approach that EOTE has to blaster pistols, albeit with a limited shot capacity).

 

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Yah, I see what you're saying. And that's rough. This afternoon I typed out a few different responses... and this is really at the heart of one of the ones I didn't use. In this system I'm not sure you'll be able to do what you are looking for. I mean, honestly, that level of detail, and as I like to say, looking at your kit like a toolbox, is really the defining characteristic of GURPS for me, and why I use it as such. In that system there are stats that allow for the normal stuff (damage, mag capacity, etc)... but some weapons are more or less accurate than others,  concealability is granular enough that it can matter and adding a laser sight is going to make it less concealable, Cost, legality.. Even stats on how fast the weapon fires (meaning even a differences in how fast even different semi-automatics fire). 

Now specifically wanting to work within the Genesys system is hard, because we don't have books. So, just looking at the Star Wars system, I'd just remove the "run out of ammo" rule, and just count bullets. You can easily obtain modern magazine capacities from the internet (or your own knowledge... ).  At what point though are you reworking the system for what it's not meant to be? That's really why I keep so many different generic systems... each one does enough differently, I don't have to rework one so completely, I just find what I like about each one.. or how each one handles their mechanics, and use them for those purposes. 

I think I would use this as my truly generic system... it seems to fit enough things.. good enough... and the base cinematic feel. Even for spy/modern/spec-ops stuff... I think it's pretty dialed out, that your normal player is going to be fine in this. That said, all my military buddies and gear heads are going to get frustrated at some of the ways things are handled. Those guys can get in on this when they want a narrative game, and some will deal with having the same basic weapon represent 4 or 5 different pistols/Rifles/SMG's. But when we want a skill list a mile long, a delta team that has the same core training, and overlapping specializations, with reasons why one dude has a SCAR-H, two have SCAR-L's, and another has an M-4, and want to feel like they are carrying different rifles, then GURPS is going to be the system. 

I mean, really and truly, from what it sounds like, I'd honestly suggest investing in GURPS a bit... maybe even going onto the SJG site and checking out the forums... mostly it's just talk like this. lol. The line dev is on all the time and he's a pretty huge gun-nut. They also have the Tactical Shooting supplement where you can focus really tight on shooting... Guns are deadly.. armor might be too beneficial... but, that said, it's just enough to mean you survive for a bit. lol. But even that said, you can give characters some plot immunity with the system/advantages (hard to kill/hard to stun makes good moves in this direction).

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Well GURPS is to me just too crunchy (I have played it on and off since the 1990s) and not as intuitively narrative as I'd like. 

On the toolbox front, I probably wasn't clear. Here is the scene I'm referring to:

 

De Niro rebukes the conversation with Sean Bean's Spence by saying he doesn't care about guns, just making sure you have what you need to do the job. 

So where Spence (Sean Bean) might care about hardpoints for mods, Sam (de Niro) is just about making sure if he needs to get into a gun fight he can. 

Now that I have my books handy, I could probably elaborate more:

Compact pistol (replaced light blaster pistol)

Damage 5, range medium, crit 4, encum 1, HP 1. Holds 8 rounds. 

Special:
Concealable 1 - when attempting to conceal the weapon, add one boost to your skulduggery check. When being searched, the searched adds one setback. 
Reload 1 - Reloading this weapon takes 1 action

So you can take the view after 8 rounds the player has to spend an action to pop a new clip in, or that each round = 2 shots so they have to reload after round 4. Either way, you set it up so gun fights either are super quick affairs or the players have to revert to fists/running away, picking someone's gun up, etc. 

Am I making sense here or talking complete nonsense? :D

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Everytime someone mentions GURPS to me, I cannot help but think of this scene from this horribly obscure indy/home movie

 

 

 

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Wow! The new forum software really loves to expand youtube frames as big as possible.

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1 hour ago, SavageBob said:

I don't get it. Is the joke that GURPS is the nerdiest of systems?

Yah, I'm not sure this makes sense.

I mean, as long as you don't turn up all the buttons it's about as complex as Pathfinder as far as crunch (3d6 roll under skill, and if you pick up the character generator from them it makes that part easy, if that's the issue)...

It's as solid a Generic as you could ask for, and currently is my Go-To (in it's 4th edition), though previously my Go-To was Hero. And before I checked out the FFG SWRPG system it was about to be the system that housed my Star Wars game, heck it's even got styles of combat, and a variety of lightsabers already in system... 

The problem I always had was the accessibility without spending on splat books. As I'm no longer a poor high school student, that's less of an issue, lol. Now my only RPG related financial issue is that I like too many different systems.... lol. Pretty soon I'm going to have to start a part time job just to afford my habit... lol.

 

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11 hours ago, Endersai said:

Well GURPS is to me just too crunchy (I have played it on and off since the 1990s) and not as intuitively narrative as I'd like. 

On the toolbox front, I probably wasn't clear. Here is the scene I'm referring to:

 

De Niro rebukes the conversation with Sean Bean's Spence by saying he doesn't care about guns, just making sure you have what you need to do the job. 

So where Spence (Sean Bean) might care about hardpoints for mods, Sam (de Niro) is just about making sure if he needs to get into a gun fight he can. 

Now that I have my books handy, I could probably elaborate more:

Compact pistol (replaced light blaster pistol)

Damage 5, range medium, crit 4, encum 1, HP 1. Holds 8 rounds. 

Special:
Concealable 1 - when attempting to conceal the weapon, add one boost to your skulduggery check. When being searched, the searched adds one setback. 
Reload 1 - Reloading this weapon takes 1 action

So you can take the view after 8 rounds the player has to spend an action to pop a new clip in, or that each round = 2 shots so they have to reload after round 4. Either way, you set it up so gun fights either are super quick affairs or the players have to revert to fists/running away, picking someone's gun up, etc. 

Am I making sense here or talking complete nonsense? :D

I'm trying, but I feel I'm missing what you're getting at. Yah, the Ronin stuff is great. I ran a game back when I was in the service (in Hero) very inspired by that game. and even have taken the quote from the section above... because he's right, it's a toolkit. 

But I feel each of those view's are more the character. Granted Sean Bean get's outed as a fake... but I mean, There's also a thing for muscle memory. Personally I prefer an M-16/M-4 Colt variant because I've trained that weapon system for a long time... and did most of my CQB training with a full length M-16. One of my buddies did all of his training with a M-4, and so prefers that setup, and thinks I"m insane for using a long rifle in room clearing. My other buddy who went SF, he prefers the SCAR-H, because he's finished clearing rooms with it, then transitioned (by walking out the back door and taking fire from the woodline) to a single shot hit. And granted those are all basically set up on the same platform (muscle memory wise)... But if you were to sit us down with a mission that MBR would be required, then we'd all have different choices... which doesn't feel to me like system, but more personality. 

I mean, the weapons shown to us in the SWRPG are just too generic for me to feel that you could enforce the idea that "it's a toolbox" without really starting to get gritty with the weapons stats... Now that said, I am coming from being able to look at the stat line for GURPS and feeling like there is a huge difference.... But last time I played, there was a dude who just wanted a Kriss... and that's cool, but I felt there were many other options that government org would want to use, and he just wanted it for the flavor of his cha (a specific stat line actually, so he could stay mobile and still triple tap a target)... It bothered me (really the auto-fire rules for GURPS still kinda get's on my nerves, because system wise, outside of ammo conservation, there's mechanically no reason not to fire as many rounds as you can..) So those of us that were just double tapping, represented a lower damage output than this dude.

But, at a certain point, the character like Di Niro's character up there, is the choice of the player. I mean, sure Sean Bean's character ended up being slime, but that same template "Fake it till you make it" is a staple, and featured in 7 Samurai/Magnificent 7 and ends up a solid team mate. Ideally in an RPG the one played by Bean is an NPC teammate, whereas the one in the "7's" is a PC.

I feel I'm still not picking up what you are putting down, and I do apologize... I am trying. I spent a while last night reading over the thread a few times trying to understand the nuance that I'm missing.

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I think you might be at an impass, here. As far as we know, Genesys—like Star Wars before it—is a cinematic game. Each attack roll is not one pull of the trigger, so trying to track specific ammo counts isn't going to work. One really good attack roll could be a well-placed shot or a double-tap where both bullets hit the target or fanning the hammer with a revolver. Or something in between.

I stand by my earlier assessment that threat/dispair is the way to go. Start with a cost of 3 dispair for 'normal' weapons. Small weapons designed to be concealed would then take 2 dispair to empty. Who knows, there might even be a talent that lets you ignore one 'out of ammo' threat/dispair result per session, spend a story point to ignore it, etc.

Another thing that you can do is to limit what people can carry based on logic, not game mechanics. Sure, carrying around one or two extra magazines for a sidearm isn't going to draw too much attention, they are small after all. But carrying around half a dozen or more? You can't conceal all that under a Hawaiian shirt! What you can carry ≠ what you can conceal.

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It's your game, if you want to track ammo, track ammo and don't worry about the rules.  I'm sure a little quick research will tell you about how many bullets a gun type can hold, otherwise make it up.  Rather then a bunch of threat or a despair meaning your out of ammo, it means there's a jam that needs to be cleared.

I think most of what you want can be achieved by just a bit of tweaking of the rules.  Of course we'll have to wait for a book for the ultimate verdict.

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4 hours ago, c__beck said:

I think you might be at an impass, here. As far as we know, Genesys—like Star Wars before it—is a cinematic game. Each attack roll is not one pull of the trigger, so trying to track specific ammo counts isn't going to work. One really good attack roll could be a well-placed shot or a double-tap where both bullets hit the target or fanning the hammer with a revolver. Or something in between.

I stand by my earlier assessment that threat/dispair is the way to go. Start with a cost of 3 dispair for 'normal' weapons. Small weapons designed to be concealed would then take 2 dispair to empty. Who knows, there might even be a talent that lets you ignore one 'out of ammo' threat/dispair result per session, spend a story point to ignore it, etc.

Another thing that you can do is to limit what people can carry based on logic, not game mechanics. Sure, carrying around one or two extra magazines for a sidearm isn't going to draw too much attention, they are small after all. But carrying around half a dozen or more? You can't conceal all that under a Hawaiian shirt! What you can carry ≠ what you can conceal.

Yeah I was thinking that, and it's a bit clumsy, but you could set a reload value for the number of rounds before you have to put a new clip into a weapon, and that doesn't correlate to any shots fired. Because part of the cinematic, narrative experience is the ducking behind cover, flicking a clip away and slamming a new one home. And depending on how you measure encumberance, you could also say 2 clips for 1 encumberance.

I'm thinking specifically of Skyfall here. During the opening scenes, Bond and Moneypenny manage to knock Patrice's Audi R8 over and it crashes to a halt in a Turkish market. Bond exits his landrover and starts firing with his PPK at Patrice, who responds with a fully automatic Glock 18 burst. Bond takes cover, reloads, fires another magazine at Patrice before getting onto a conventiently identical Honda bike to the one Patrice just stole, and gives chase. After a bit of rooftop fun, he ends up on a train where he fires off 8 rounds at Patrice before running out of ammo and discarding his gun.

Patrice in this time fires one extended drum magazine at Bond, followed by an extended clip where he hits Bond in the shoulder (Bond is in the Earth mover).

So the PPK might have a value of Reload 3, whereas the Glock is reload 5, giving Patrice the opportunity to inflict more hits with his larger clip before having to dedicate an action to reloading. But both use up their clips (and their encumberance is not breached, but it is dependent on their attire so they're not wearing tactical vests with 8 mags in them each) and have to resort to settling their problems with their words fists.

To me, this is how I'd want gunplay to go. Generally, you'd be using pistols to clear out minion groups. Again, to use the Craig 007 films as an example - the fight at Bregenz, Austria during the flight from the Tosca production and the interrupted Quantum meeting. A dramatically shot sequence in this criminally underrated film sees 007 fleeing through a restaurant and shooting a bunch of unnamed, dinner suit wearing heavies. The Special Branch officer guarding Guy Hanes is probably a Rival, and he's dealt with in other ways - failed Coercion check ("So who do you work for?" "Piss off") leading to attempt to grapple/wrestle/bluff which Bond coldly and literally slaps down.

But otherwise, the reloading could be a function of rounds of combat eclipsed and not bullets spent. Because I think you want to avoid the videogame thing of hundreds or thousands of sidearm rounds, and at least anchor it so your character is carrying ammo that makes sense in the context of his or her clothing. So the risk of running out is real and prompts either a tactical retreat; a bit of fisticuffs because why not, or picking up an enemy's weapon and using it til empty.

 

 

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To capture the feel you want without rewriting the system I would do 2 things:

1. Reduce the Threat cost to run out of ammunition, down to 2. Everyone runs out easier so considering it a possibility is important in their planning.

2. Play up the narrative importance of concealing your weapon. Some weapons and the shadowsheath in Star Wars add setback to opponents checks to see or find the weapon on you, make this a common thing. If the group are going through a big crowd then roll a Vigilance or Perception check for the crowd with a few Boost added, if the crowd succeeds then panic ensues as screaming civilians run everywhere! Carrying more than a couple encumbrance of weapon related gear is likely to make the checks easier.

 

On a general game note I think you can just use the Age of Rebellion system as it is. Species become more focused versions of humans due to specific upbringing. All the careers and Specialisations though fit perfectly. Knowledge Core becomes Knowledge City, Outer becomes Countryside. Piloting Space becomes Aviation, Planetary becomes Ground Vehicle.

Slugthrower weapons become muskets etc (antique firearms) while all the Blaster weapon stats are just renamed to be modern weapons.

I have a feeling the Spy book coming out later this year will have a lot of useful information for you too. I wouldn't be surprised if there was even a section on carrying concealed firearms, and it seems from the reveal article that there will also be expanded information on undercover operations.

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Funny you should say that, Richard! I was actually going to use AOR with some minor conversions exactly as you said.

But we agree 100% on the concealment factor. One of my sources of inspiration, since the original's release, has been Hitman 47. In the latest one, 47 heads to, among other places, a fictional Italian town in the summer:

Hitman_Sapienza_shades-large_trans_NvBQz

Aside from resembling musical travesty Pitbull, 47's perfectly dressed for the dry heat of Italy in a short sleeve cotton shirt and slacks.

hitman_episode_2_sapienza_dlc.jpg

47's signature weapon is a .45 calibre AMT Hardballer pistol with silencer. He also carries, potentially, fibre wire between two handles to garrotte targets.

Unless betwixt the cheeks of his buttock there exists a holster, the question would be "where is he hiding the weapon". It doesn't break immersion for me because I recently replayed the Morocco episode and I was seriously carrying 4 bricks and 5 cans of pop/soda. Anyway.

I'd be encouraging my players to blend in. Dress the part. Which means that concealment checks via skulduggery should be a thing. Consider this:

cr8-cl-pants.jpg

 

You can see in the right hand side picture that the Sunspel polo is up and over a belt holster with Bond's sidearm in it. The midnight blue of the shirt, plus leaving it untucked, means carrying a sidearm can be quite doable for a PC. But they're not going to also be storing ammo without drawing too much attention to the shirt, or the trousers, with a telltake outline in the pockets. There's certainly not much room for a suppressor, unless stored in a pouch attached to the holster. So the firearm is there, but unlikely to be used without drawing attention. They're also only carrying a finite number of rounds, meaning a gunfight is not ideal without other considerations.

This is precisely what I want and I think you're right Richard, the spy book will be massively useful. I don't want the players to look, or be armed enough that they'd have no choice but to look, like this:

ghostrecon051280jpg-a575ff_1280w.jpg

 

Unless they were geared up for combat.

For minis - those Spectre ones are beautiful. I have some old War Games Foundry ones, but mostly as I said I'm using Heroclix. I mean, there's lots of thugs and henchmen for very low costs, and some fantastic agent choices:

SashaBordeaux.jpg

 

Image result for agent shield heroclix

Plus, the suave faceman gentleman spy...

bm002f.jpg

 

 

 

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Also, broadening the topic beyond just concealed firearms - hacking.

I'm going to refer to two PC games in particular, though Mr Robot still could be an inspiration.

The games are Watch_Dogs and Watch_Dogs 2.

For those unfamiliar with the franchise, the premise is that two cities - Chicago, then San Francisco, are running a prototype operating system called ctOS (central Operating System) that controls everything from cars to the power grids to public transport and infrastructure to surveillance. Concerns about the ethics of this and ctOS' parent company Blume drive hacktivists Aiden Pierce and Marcus Holloway to act throughout the games.

Of course key to this is the ability to use smartphones as weapons. Whilst ctOS as a conceit could be employed by GMs to facilitate gameplay (whilst still far-fetched in our world, if done properly it can be effective in an RPG as both a tool and an enemy) the real emphasis here is the smart phone. When I was playing d20 Spycraft 1.0 and 2.0, the iPhone was still an idea in a narcisst's mind. That a phone could clone another phone was really cumbersome as an idea, fueled by The Wire. And tech characters tended to be physically isolated from the group because of the needs of their hardware. It didn't really give them much to do.

Watch_Dogs makes use of hacking to disable locks and suveil targets through cameras, but in Watch_Dogs 2 they added a remote controlled car-like device, and a drone which could do the usual things of surveil targets, hack, but not destroy a Yemeni wedding sadly.

With the prevailance of smart phones, tablets, and the internet (not to mention the darkweb, which sounds like an old Fighting Fantasy book title) there is tremendous scope in a modern game for players not only to be a hacker, but a collective of hackers.

Mechnically, the easy and perhaps lazy assumption is "it's just a series of computers checks with variable difficulties." Maybe. But consider this; if the player's drone is able to map out where patrolling guards are, or to remotely loop a camera feed for 10s so you can sneak by, or to track you via remotely hacking into their CCTV feed - is that not akin to a series of leadership-like checks that provide persistent or situational boosts to the players? And then you think of the axes of resolution offered by the narrative dice; successful computers check might bypass a series of electronic locks that facilitate access for the other players, but the people whose facility you're entering detect a network intrusion on a despair and backtrack its location to where the tech is, say, sitting in the team's sedan with the wheelman. So suddenly their cover is blown and they have to not only get to safety, but either re-establish a connection to the network they were kicked from and provide support to the rest of the team.

It's really worth considering how much value this character could bring to your squad, especially for people who like support roles.

 

 

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Also don't forget that concealable gear is getting better and better. 

Concealable body armor (kevlar, Sapi-plates are still just too big), The Site reviewing the image here says that this is rated to stop a 9mm/357. (source: http://www.beattheend.com/safeguard-armor-review/)

Front-vest.jpgside-view-vest.jpg

They also make concealable mag holsters... Which I'm sure you know... 

That's just ridiculously huge... in the post... 

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So, being a touch cinimatic, you could just say you're guys had two spare mags... I mean, it wouldn't mean much longer of a confrontation, but even my Springfield XD .45 holds 13+1.. (I'm also a bigger guy, so.. there's that. I wouldn't carry a double stack .45 were I in the same shape I was in the service...) I could carry 40 rounds on me... with the double paddle above, and a shirt that wasn't tucked in. 

 

In other thoughts I had what I dread in the system with the way they do your weapon being out of ammo... My Smuggler pilot rolls his first shot, and bam, he's out of ammo... I mean, he just got the gun... first time firing it... I decided that he forgot to charge it... that said, I decided to also figure out a few other things to do than run a weapon out of ammo specifically under those rolls.

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I would use a lot of Knowledge checks for those things you mentioned to boost your crew. Also Perception checks (looking for beneficial openings), Vigilance (noticing things out of the ordinary), Cool (giving an order at exactly the right moment such as identifying the hole in camera sweeps), Leadership (guiding the team), Mechanics (knowing the right system to disable to cut security)... then lots of Computers checks. Look at Special Modifications for ideas on Slicing Combats.

As you said our real world Tech is far more wireless than Star Wars, but really most of that is a narrative element and a mindset you and the players adopt.

 

Endersai likes this

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Exactly! Even things like two of the agents are pinned down and the tech guy overrides their comms with static. Might a daunting check, but it gives them enough setback die to give the PC a break they need. It might even disable them for a combat round, during which time the PCs might run through an exit and escape.

Thinking in that abstract sense about "how can technology itself be a weapon" may not/probably will not be teased out too much in the Genesys sourcebook, and might need a modern era sourcebook to really realise it. But I think you're showing ways in which a tech character could be, essentially, the MVP on a field team and not just a Q type who mutters to him/herself and invents stuff. An equal parts computers expert and field commander type.

As if I wasn't hyped enough already...

Hexnwolf and Richardbuxton like this

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45 minutes ago, Endersai said:

Thinking in that abstract sense about "how can technology itself be a weapon" may not/probably will not be teased out too much in the Genesys sourcebook, and might need a modern era sourcebook to really realise it. But I think you're showing ways in which a tech character could be, essentially, the MVP on a field team and not just a Q type who mutters to him/herself and invents stuff. An equal parts computers expert and field commander type.

Basically you just described the Analyst Spec ;) 

Endersai likes this

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I know this topic is older but the direction you're heading is where I want to go. Sort of a cross between Leverage and Shadowrun minus the fantasy elements. 

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