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Contacts

Skill Rate: Fast

Uses: With the Contacts skill, characters can form a network of supporting NPCs to help them. A contact is a GM controlled character who, for whatever reason, the character with this skill has influence over. Depending on the nature of the character, this could be because they are close friends from before the campaign started, the character holds some secret or power over the NPC, or maybe the player helped out the NPC in the past.

Gaining Contacts: When a character puts his first rank in this skill, and again whenever the character takes the Additional Contact technique, the character gains a new potential contact. Do not invent a story or name for this potential contact yet. Later, when the character needs help, he can make a Contacts check to see if one of his potential contacts is in a position to help. Look at the chart for a DC based on the contact grade, as judged by the GM. On a success, the character loses a potential contact and gains a proper one. At this point, the character can either come up with a name and brief description of why the contact is loyal to the character (e.g. "We were roommates in college" or "I helped her out of a jam involving a vampire and an enraged ogress. She owes me big time ."). Be sure to write this down somewhere, the new contact is permanent. Characters can, of course, gain allies and friends in the usual manner over the course of the setting, this skill for attaining helpers on the fly that just so happen to be in a position to help the character.

Using Contacts: When a contact is gained after a successful check, he immediately helps your character to the best of his ability. To call upon a contact that has already been gained, the DC is 2 points lower. On a failed result, the contact cannot help you, even if he wanted to. For some reason, his hands are tied or what you are asking is simply beyond his abilities.

Contact Grades: There are four 'grades' of contacts, ranging from A through D. A D-grade contact is the lowest level, or, the least well-positioned and influential. An A-grade contact is the most influential sort. See the chart: Contact Grades for more specific information.

General New Contact Restrictions: These restrictions (which can be waived by the GM if he deems it appropriate) are for contacts being created. Once a contact has entered the campaign, however, anything goes.

  1.   Contacts will not generally engage in life-threatening behaviour to aid the character
  2.   Contacts are always level one
  3.   Contacts should use the stats for generic characters presented in the monster list. GMs decide which to use, and can of course modify the originals to fit with the circumstances. However, it is the GM, not the player, who finalizes the stats and abilities of the contacts.
  4.   Contacts can be trusted not to betray the character except in extreme, rare, cases.
  5.   A contact cannot be someone the GM has already introduced without the GMs express permission

Losing Contacts: If a contact dies, leaves, or in other situations that the GM deems appropriate, the player can add a new potential contact to his reserve. After all, he spent valuable skill points to attain that contact, his character would be permanently weakened relative to the other characters who placed their Spirit skill that level in, say, Berserk.

Limited Retry: On a failed check to gain or use a contact, you cannot make another Contacts check to get another contact to help you out of the same situation. However, if you succeed on your check but the contact proves less useful than you might have hoped, you can try again for another contact - but the DC is 2 points higher.

Techniques:

  1.   Additional Contact: You can add one potential contact into your reserve. You may take this technique multiple times, its effects stack.  

Contact Grades

Grade

DC

Influence

Examples

A

18

Staggering

  1.   A senator who owes you a favour and might vote your way
  2.   A board member of a major company

B

14

High

  1.   The master-at-arms of the city guard, or chief of a large city's police force

C

10

Fairly Low

  1.   A mid-ranking police officer who can call in favours to delay the emergency services response to gunfire while you and your party take out a group of demon-assisted cultists in a warehouse. She doesn't like it, but she knows that the police aren't well-equipped to deal with supernatural threats the way that you are.

D

6

Bottom-Rung

  1.   A lowly guard or policeman, who can look the other way on minor offences because he's seen you save lives before, and knows that your current illegal behaviour will result in more lives saved, even though he doesn't like it
  2.   A maid who occasionally passes on information she hears while eavesdropping on her wealthy clients
  3.   A journalist who sometimes tips you off before a story breaks
  4.   A shady criminal who knows what's going on in the city's seedy underbelly
  5.   A local priest who will let you hide at his temple after you were framed for a crime and the city guard are looking for you  


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