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Chapter 3: Subsystems / Infiltration

PC Preparations

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 162
Sometimes the party has a chance to prepare before conducting their infiltration, by scouting a location, bribing officials, and so on. This takes the form of special downtime activities that can give the PCs Edge Points (EP): resources and advantages they can bring to bear during their infiltration, such as stolen uniforms, forged documents, and the like. As with infiltration opportunities, careless work runs the risk of increasing Awareness Points—but in this case, before the infiltration even begins!

Typically, you’ll limit the preparation phase in some way, such as by setting a number of days the PCs have to prepare and by constraining how many preparation activities are available to make sure the PCs aren’t entering the infiltration with so many Edge Points that the infiltration is no longer suspenseful. The more opportunities for Edge Points you give, the lower you should set the Awareness Point thresholds for complications and failure. Also decide how many times the characters can benefit from each preparation activity—most activities should grant their benefits only once.

You can use the activities below for your infiltration by adjusting the details, but you should also create custom activities that link directly to your story.

Edge Points

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 163
Edge Points (EP) represent advantages the party gains by proper planning, quick thinking, the intervention of an ally, or some other benefit. They are typically gained by pursuing opportunities in previous infiltrations or through preparation before the infiltration. When a PC fails or critically fails a check to overcome an obstacle or a complication, they can spend an Edge Point to succeed instead. Some Edge Points can be spent only during particular circumstances—for instance, no matter how well you forge documents, it won’t help you unlock a door—so consider using unique tokens to represent such Edge Points.

Preparation Activities

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 163

Bribe Contact

DowntimeSecret
Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 163
Cost A bribe worth at least one-tenth of the Currency per Additional PC listed on Table 10–9: Party Treasure by Level. Doubling this amount grants a +2 circumstance bonus to the check.
Requirements You’ve successfully Gained a Contact (see below).
You offer a bribe to your contact to help the heist in some way. Attempt a hard or very hard Deception or Diplomacy check.
Success The contact accepts the bribe and you gain 1 EP.
Failure You believe you successfully Bribed your Contact and gained 1 EP, but in fact the contact informs the opposition of the attempted bribery, adding 1 AP to the infiltration. The GM can reveal that this Edge Point grants no benefit at any point during the infiltration, as befits the story.
Critical Failure As failure, but adding 2 AP to the infiltration.

Forge Documents

DowntimeSecret
Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 163
You prepare forgeries that might serve as convincing props. Attempt a hard or very hard Society check.
Success You create convincing forgeries and gain 1 EP you can use only when presenting some form of paperwork.
Failure You create unconvincing documents. You gain 1 EP that (unknown to you) grants no benefit when used.
Critical Failure As a failure, but a PC who tries to use the Edge Point gets a critical failure, even if they use the Edge Point after rolling a failure.

Gain Contact

Downtime
Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 163
You try to make contact with an individual who can aid you in the infiltration. Attempt a normal, hard, or very hard DC Diplomacy or Society check, or a check using a Lore skill appropriate to your prospective contact.
Success You make contact and gain 1 EP.
Failure You fail to make contact.
Critical Failure You insult or spook the contact in some way. Future attempts take a –2 circumstance penalty. Special Multiple critical failures might cause the contact to work against the PCs in some way, likely increasing the party’s Awareness Points.

Gossip

DowntimeSecret
Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 163
You seek out rumors about the infiltration’s target. Attempt a normal, hard, or very hard Diplomacy check.
Critical Success You gain inside information about the location or group you’re trying to infiltrate. This grants you a +2 circumstance bonus to future checks you attempt for preparation activities for this infiltration. If you share this information, those you share it with also gain this bonus.
Success You gain inside information about the place or group you’re attempting to infiltrate that aids your planning.
Failure You learn nothing.
Critical Failure You hear a few mistaken rumors and take a –2 circumstance penalty to your next check for a preparation activity. Word spreads around that you’re asking after that group or individual, increasing your Awareness Points by 1.

Scout Location

DowntimeSecret
Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 163
You spend time observing the place or group you wish to infiltrate. Attempt a normal, hard, or very hard DC Perception, Society or Stealth check.
Success You make observations that provide 1 EP.
Failure You learn nothing particularly noteworthy.
Critical Failure You misjudge some aspect of what you observed, gaining 1 EP that results in a critical failure instead of a success when used, even if a PC uses the Edge Point after rolling a failure.

Secure Disguises

Downtime
Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 163
You seek to procure or create disguises. Attempt a normal, hard, or very hard Crafting, Deception, Performance, or Society check.
Success You procure or creates disguises, gaining 1 EP that can be used only to maintain a cover identity.
Failure Your efforts result in an unusable disguise.