Xaosnet.com Xaosnet.com Scrolls of Wisdom Where am i? Making Fantasy a Reality The Guild Companion Please vote for us once every day by clicking here!

Training Packages for Fantasy Espionage

Copyright Eran Ben-Sa'ar (WickedBar), 2000

Valdor wanted to act as soon as he saw the two men, his training caused him to wait and watch. They were obviously following the All-Father and Kir-Dar, just as he was, but why? Were they rivals from the faction of War, or perhaps he had stumbled on an operation of a different spy net? He watched the two men stalk until he was certain, they were War factionists. Not only were they carrying the traditional curved knives (though doing a good job concealing them) one was obviously too clumsy to be any type of a spy.

Valdor decided to wait for their move, it had to come just as the All-Father and Kir-Dar tuned into the next ally. If they were going to attack Kir-Dar he would take them down instantly, but if they went after the All-Father first… Well Buntor the Merchant will arrive just in time to save Kir-Dar from the two assassins who killed the sacred All-Father. That would get him close to Kir-Dar, and with the All-Father of the Ancestral Faction dead, he could manipulate him into assuming his place and becoming a strong opposition to Blackmoon’s party. The Blue Eyed Man would be happy at such rapid progress.

I’ve long been a fan of combining fantasy and espionage campaigns; I like the political setting and the fact that you can run a high level of fantasy with major world effects without it having to involve ancient wizards, huge dragons, evil demons and a few minor gods. Also fantasy espionage is, to me, much more fascinating and dangerous that modern day covert operations. The spy is usually alone in his assignment, with very little contact from home and with hardly any help available to him.

The Rolemaster Standard Rules offers one Training Package called "Spy" to create characters and NPCs who belong or used to belong to an espionage agency or are working directly for one person. That might be enough for most campaigns, but for those who wish to develop bigger and well planned networks and wish to add further depth to this aspect of political fantasy, I offer the following training packages.

 

Spy – Agent (Fantasy) (L)

The Agent is a spy with a mission. He is sent out to perform some task that will aid the cause of his operators and since those tasks are many and varied he must be well prepared to deal with many situations. If a country head need to be influenced or even replaced, if money has to be stolen from someone, if market prices must be made to rise, the Agent is the man for the job. Since the Agent is always on the job, he must endlessly hone his skills and never be distracted from his tasks.

Time to Acquire: 90 months

Starting Money: normal + d10 (open ended)

Special:
False identification (+10 non-magic) 50

Close personal friend with influence 40

Contacts within friendly government 40

Items of value (worth 10d10 sp) 30

High ranking favor 20

Weapon (+10 non-magic) 0

Category or Skill: # of ranks

Awareness – Perception skill category 0

Alertness 2

Sense Ambush 2

Awareness – Searching skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Awareness – Senses skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Combat Maneuvers skill category 0

choice of one skill 1

Influence skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Outdoor – Environmental skill category 1

choice of one skill 1

Special Attacks skill category 1

choice of one skill 1

Subterfuge – Attack skill category 0

choice of up to two skills 2

Subterfuge – Mechanics skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Subterfuge – Stealth skill category 2

choice of up to four skills 2

Urban skill category 1

choice of one skill 1

Weapon skill category (choice) 1

choice of one skill 1

Stat Gains: choice of Reasoning or Intuition

 

Spy – Freelancer (L)

The Freelancer is a spy without a permanent employer, he picked up his skills by himself sometime during his life and since then he has been for hire. The Freelancer must be a combination of both the Agent and the Information Gatherer, as he never knows for what job will he be hired next. Also since he is usually picked for missions which were judged too dangerous to risk a more loyal spy he is also prepared to defend himself should the need arise.

Time to Acquire: 54 months

Starting Money: normal + d10 (open ended)

Special:
False identification (+10 non-magic) 50

Close personal friend with influence 40

Cloak (+10 non-magic) 40

Items of value (worth 10d10 sp) 30

Lock Picks (+10 non-magic) 20

Weapon (+10 non-magic) 0

Category or Skill: # of ranks

Awareness – Perception skill category 0

choice of up to two skills 2

Awareness – Searching skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Awareness – Senses skill category 1

choice of one skill 1

Body Development skill category 0

Body Development 1

Communications skill category 1

choice of one skill 1

Influence skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Special Attacks skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Subterfuge – Attack skill category 0

choice of one skill 1

Subterfuge – Mechanics skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Subterfuge – Stealth skill category 2

choice of up to four skills 2

Urban skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Weapon skill category (choice) 1

choice of one skill 1

Stat Gains: Intuition

 

Spy – Information Gatherer (V)

This spy’s work is to gather information and report it back to his superiors. To that end he is well learned at the arts of stealth and infiltration. This is the general Spy offered in the RMSR.

Time to Acquire: 44 months

Starting Money: normal + d10 (open ended)

Special:
False identification (+10 non-magic) 50

Cloak (+10 non-magic) 40

Contacts within friendly government 40

Lock picks (+10 non-magic) 30

Important papers (worth 10d10 sp) 20

Weapon (+5 non-magic) 0

Category or Skill: # of ranks

Subterfuge – Stealth skill category 4

choice of up to four skills 4

Subterfuge – Mechanics skill category 1

choice of one skill 1

Awareness – Searching skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Awareness – Perception skill category 0

Alertness 1

Communications skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Influence skill category 2

choice of up to two skills 2

Stat Gains: None

 

Spy Master (V)

Very few state heads or nobles manage their own spy network, its very hard work and too taxing for someone with such responsibilities. Therefore they have their own Spy Master to manage their net of spies, send their man to do the little dirty jobs that must be done behind the scenes and gather the information needed for a successful ruler. It is important to note that the Spy Master need not be a spy himself, though it’s usually the case. If he is, then sometimes the Spy Master might take an extremely important mission on himself, and then let his enemies beware.

Time to Acquire: 54 months

Starting Money: normal

Special:
Royal or Noble Contact 30

Royal or Noble Favor 30

Knowledge of Royal or Noble dark secret 20

Assassin contacts 20

Spies contacts 40

Knowledge of dark secret about own lord 20

Rival (equal or higher level) 0

Category or Skill: # of ranks

Awareness – Perception skill category 0

Alertness 2

Sense Ambush 2

Awareness – Searching skill category 4

choice of up to four skills 2

Awareness – Senses skill category 1

choice of one skill 1

Combat Maneuvers skill category 0

choice of one skill 1

Influence skill category 3

Interrogation 1

choice of up to two skills 2

Outdoor – Environmental skill category 1

Subterfuge – Attack skill category 0

choice of one skill 1

Subterfuge – Stealth skill category 2

choice of up to four skills 2

Urban skill category 3

choice of up to three skills 3

Stat Gains: Reasoning

 

Costs Table

(does not include "modern" or "pulp" professions, sorry)

Profession

Spy - Agent (Fantasy)

Spy – Freelancer

Spy – Information Gatherer

Spy Master

Fighter

39

41

28

34

Thief

31

32

22

26

Rogue

32

33

23

28

Warrior Monk

39

41

28

34

Layman

38

39

27

32

Magician

46

48

33

40

Illusionist

42

44

30

36

Cleric

46

48

33

40

Animist

42

44

30

36

Mentalist

46

48

33

40

Lay Healer

49

51

35

42

Healer

49

51

35

42

Mystic

38

39

27

32

Sorcerer

48

49

34

41

Ranger

35

36

25

30

Paladin

45

46

32

38

Monk

39

41

28

34

Dabbler

34

35

24

29

Bard

35

36

25

30

Magent

25

26

18

22

Arcanist

50

52

36

43

Wizard

50

52

36

43

Chaotic

41

42

29

35

Magehunter

39

41

28

34

Channeling Alchemist

53

55

38

46

Essence Alchemist

52

54

37

44

Mentalism Alchemist

52

54

37

44

Taoist Monk

41

42

29

35

Zen Monk

41

42

29

35

Runemage

48

49

34

41

Mana Molder

49

51

35

42

Warrior Mage

41

42

29

35

Priest

52

54

37

44

Summoner

60

62

43

52

Warlock

56

58

40

48

Mythic

36

38

26

31

Seer

50

52

36

43

Astrologer

53

55

38

46

Enchanter

42

44

30

36

Armsmaster

48

49

34

41

 

When creating a character using these training packages make sure you prepare a setting fitting for him, an Agent with no work is just another thief or rogue (with a more interesting background though). These training packages come into play much better in a setting that includes some level of espionage. It can be a common thing or a very rare one (say one specific nation or lord), but it will certainly spice up you campaigns.

Also keep in mind, playing a spy means role playing a character who, most of the time, is role playing himself…

Valdor exited the office of the Blue Eyed Man with a smile, another job done, and another job waiting. This time its going to be the Ligan Empire, that means he can’t be Bantor the merchant, he’ll have to come up with a richer character, maybe a wine importer, or a dealer of exotic spices. His smile faded. The fun might not be worth it. Tthis time he might not make it alive.

Editor's Note

Please post your comments on this article on the RMSS Discussion Board.

Where am I? Scrolls of Wisdom Travelers Vote for us on the RPG 100 Sponsored by Mimic Media & Data Systems