Savage Reich Star 10.1: Suspicion (SWADE)

Savage Reich Star 10.1: Suspicion (SWADE)

Paper, please!

Common street encounter in the Third Reich

Deep in any setting involving the Third Reich, there is always that air of paranoia and suspicion. You never knew who you would trust because everyone feared for their own lives at every turn. It took very resolved people to support the resistance movements during the war, many of which had lost so much already that their own lives didn’t seem to matter as much as the cause of fighting the Nazi tyrants.

The newest version of Savage Worlds – SWADE – has a mechanic called Networking and in the world of Savage Reich Star, that mechanic would come into play heavily. However, who can you trust in this process of networking and the consequences of trusting the wrong person could be dire. The Gestapo is waiting at every turn to stop local resistance cells and the resources of the counter-terrorist agencies within the SS are vast and formidable.

Suspicion in Savage Reich Star comes from many sources and for many reasons. No one should feel safe in the world ruled by the Third Reich and the Empire of Nippon. No search and seizure is unreasonable especially if you are a Minder (Lesser) citizen. In 2065, with the availability of the Netz and global communication, suspicion and paranoia is even more prevalent.

Suspicion can be a relatively permanent Hindrance or a temporary and time-span based Condition. Your character may be red-flagged for crimes committed in the past or suspected connections to an insurgent group. Or your character could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and roped into an investigation that will eventually end.

For the purposes SWADE and the game mechanics, you can gain a Hindrance at character generation as part of your background (Suspicious Background) or gain a Condition while Networking. If you have both, they do stack!

New Hindrance

Suspicious Background (aka Red-Flagged) (Minor/Major)

Your hero or someone related to your hero was involved in a crime or illegal activity at some point in the past, red-flagging your history permanently or semi-permanently in the “system.” Local and federal authorities commonly harass you when something suspicious or illegal occurs.

The level of the Hindrance depends on how serious the crime was as well as what part of the setting the hero lives on. On Erde within the Reich, for instance, it would probably be Major. However, somewhere out in the Belt on a Nippon colony it might be monr. Also, much like Wanted, a hero with numerous unpaid parking tickets has a Minor Hindrance. Being suspected of being involved in a murder of a Uber is a Major Hindrance in the Reich.

Taking Suspicious Background as a Minor Hindrance imposes a -2 penalty to Networking attempts. As a Major Hindrance, Suspicious Background imposes a -4 to those attempts.

New Condition

Suspicion

Falling under Suspicion can grow into something more (permanent Hindrance) or fade over time (GM’s discretion) . Suspicion is a Condition that represents more immediate but probably temporary effects of the authorities’ prying eyes. A Gamemaster can impose up to three levels of Suspicion, each imposing a stronger penalty on the characters ability to Network.

Avoiding and Gaining Levels of Suspicion

Primary means of gaining levels of Suspicion is through Networking checks. Success or Failure at Networking, depending on the information, could raise some unattended attention.

In any Networking attempt within Savage Reich Star, the GM may call for an Avoid Suspicion check using Stealth as the default skill. If appropriate, the GM may allow the Hero to use Persuasion as a substitute skill to avoid Suspicion.

The GM may apply penalties based on methods used to Network (Persuasion vs. Intimidation), location, character reputation, the information sought after as well as the channels the character is using. The Connections Edge in this particular area or faction will help alleviate some penalties (GM’s discretion).

Suggested Penalties/Bonus

SituationBonus(+)/Penalty(-)
Pursuasion0
Intimidation-1
Bribery+1 or more
On Erde, densely populated area-2
On Erde, sparsely populated area-1
Inner Colony-1
Outer Colony0
Relevant Connection Edge+1 per
Wanted Hindrance-2
Outsider Hindrance, Minor-2
Outsider Hindrance, Major-3

If the attempt at Avoiding Suspicion (Stealth) roll fails, the character gains a level of Suspicion. When that level goes away is up to the GM.

Level of SuspicionPenalty
1 – Shade of Suspicion -1 to Networking
2 – Under Scrutiny -2 to Networking
3 – Person of Interest -3 to Networking

Any additional levels of Suspicion could result in a Wanted Hindrance being imposed. Penalties from Suspicious Background stack with Suspicion conditions

New Edge

Above Suspicion

Requirements: Uber in the Reich or Nihonjin in the Empire

The Hero has enough social clout, reputation, or connections that when Networking, he gains an automatic bonus to Avoiding Suspicion. He has either kept his nose clean enough or paid off the right people to keep his reputation spotless. He gains a +2 to any Avord Suspicion check.

New Hindrance

Suspicious Nature (Minor or Major)

The Hero has a suspicious nature about him. This Hindrance can not be taken with the Above Suspicion Edge. As a Minor Hindrance, this imposes a -1 to Avoid Suspicion checks. As a Major Hindrance, the penalty increases to a -2.

“Papers, Please!”

ZIK Checks

In the world of Savage Reich Star, harassment by the Gestapo or other authorities are common place as the powers must exert themselves on the population to ensure compliance. When out and about in a city or other populated areas, it is never really a question of “if” you get checked, it’s a question of how many times. Unless you are a uniformed official, properly adorned party member or noble of the Emperor’s Court, the authorities will hassle you.

During any kind of Networking checks that involve populated areas, where authorities of either the Reich or the Empire exist, these checks are common place. This adds complication to the Networking attempts.

During a Networking attempt, the GM may decide that the attempt may be involved enough that the player will pass through some checkpoints or draw some attention from authorities enough that his ZIK must be checked. Not only does this exert the authority of the state on the player but it also tracks the player at any given point because they scan their ZIK.

If the player has a false ID imprint on his ZIK, than the tracking will not matter as much, but he needs to keep it in mind as time goes on.

To simulate this, the GM draw a card from the Action Deck without showing it, as does each player involved in the Networking attempt. The suit and the number of the GM’s card determines several factors of the ZIK Checkpoints encountered.

SuitConditions
Spades Routine Alert (no penalty to Avoid Suspicion)
Hearts High Alert (-1 to Avoid Suspicion)
Diamonds Moderate Lockdown (-2 to Avoid Suspicion)
Club Heavy Lock down (-3 to Avoid Suspicion)

The GM first then flips the card so everyone can see. The GM then forces the player to do so, by stating “Papers Please!”

If the player’s card is higher than the GM card, then the player is safe and avoids any trouble at the checkpoints.

If the GM’s card is higher than the players, then the difference between the two cards is the number of cards drawn in a Dramatic Task for Dodge The Authorities task. The number of successes using Stealth, Persuasion or Intimidation is equal to the difference between the cards +2. Use blackjask values for Face Cards and 11 for Aces.

For Example: The GM pulls a 7 of hearts (High Alert) for a Networking attempt involved two players performing a networking task each. Right now, the penalty to the Avoid Suspicion Roll stands at -1. Player 1 draws a 10 of clubs – he’s good, free and clear but still has to roll Avoid Suspicion with a -1 penalty. Player 2 pulls a 3 of diamonds which means she failed to avoid trouble at the checkpoints. Her Avoid Suspicion converts to a Dodge the Authorities (no Avoid Suspicion roll needed).

The difference between the two cards is 4. The GM must pull 4 cards and the player must get 6 successes in those cards to avoid be detained. Critical failure on any could mean being shot on site (Gm’s call). The player can use Stealth, Persuasion and/or Intimidation. Complications mean the player is detained for an amount of time determined by the GM.

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