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When standard Investigation  techniques fail, it’s sometimes necessary to lean on a character to learn the truth. Interrogations can take the form of back-alley abuse, structured police procedur-als, or even long-term Grand Jury investigations. This type of Dramatic Conflict begins when 1 or more characters (the Predator(s)) set out to force 1 or more other characters (the Prey) to reveal information they possess.

Predator Skill:Intimidate (Str or Wis —when the Predator uses physical force, it’s Str; when he uses mental tricks, it’s Wis). This check possesses the Bribe, Disposition, and Language tags (see page 101).

Prey Skill:Resolve (Wis). This check possesses no tags.

STREAmlINEd INTERROgATIONS

When the GC wants to speed up or reduce the risk of any inter-rogation, it may become a standard Intimidate (Str or Wis) check (DC equal to the target’s Bluff skill bonus + 10). In this case, all modifiers from Table: Interrogation Modifiers still apply.

INTERROgATION lEad

During an Interrogation, Lead represents the Predator closing in on the desired truth. Each point of Lead gained gives the Prey another ounce of will to resist, while each point lost sends him one step closer to cracking.

STARTINg lEAd

An interrogation’s starting Lead is based on the Prey’s risk of answering, as shown on Table: Starting Interrogation Lead

Table: Starting Interrogation lead
Risk of AnsweringStarting Lead
None 3
Slight (may prompt ridicule or social sanction) 4
Moderate (may prompt mild retribution or minor criminal charges) 5
Extreme (may prompt a personal vendetta or moderate criminal charges) 6
Deadly (may prompt attacks or major criminal charges on self, friends, and family) 7

mulTIPlE Interrogation PARTICIPANTS

When more than two participants are involved in an interroga-tion, the GC designates each as part of a “Predator group” or “Prey group.” Each group makes a single opposed cooperative check during Step 2 of each Conflict round.

INTERROgATION TImINg

During an Infiltration, each Conflict round takes an amount of time determined by the situation and the Predator’s Strategy, as shown on Table: Interrogation Modifiers and Table: Interrogation Strategies. The Predator and Prey must both be present and involved for a minimum of 1/2 this time (rounded up).

INTERROgATION mOdIfIERS

During an Interrogation, many modifiers apply to the Predator and the Prey, as shown on Table: Interrogation Modifiers. In order to qualify for the "act of violence" modifier, a character must inflict a minimum of 5 points lethal damage or 1/4 the target’s total wound points (rounded up), whichever is lower. In order to quality for the "act of torture" modifier, a character must inflict a critical injury. Alternately, he can inflict a minimum of 10 points lethal damage or 1/3 the target’s total wound points (rounded up), whichever is lower. In both of these cases, the interrogating charac-ter chooses how to inflict this damage and whether to inflict further damage. Depending on the method of violence or torture used, the GC may further adjust the damage inflicted.

Table: Interrogation Modifiers
CircumstanceConflict Round DurationCheck Modifier*Error Range*
Situation
Prey may voluntarily leave** ×1/2 –6/+0 +2/+0
Prey is imprisoned or cannot leave ×1 +0/+0 +0/+0
Prey has legal counsel present ×1.5 –6/+0 +2/+0
Prey expects to be released or rescued in the current interval +0/+2 +0/+0
Prey has no hope of rescue +0/–4 +0/+1

Duress
Threat of minor injury or inconvenience +0/+0 +0/+0
Threat of incarceration or violence +0/–2 +0/+0
Threat of death +0/–4 +0/+1
Threat of torture +0/–6 +1/+2
Act of incarceration or violence (the target or a second character)† +0/–6 +1/+2
Act of killing (a second character)† +0/–8 +2/+3
Act of torture (the target or a second character)† +0/–10 +3/+4


Incentive†

Offers of money†† +2/+0 +0/+0
Offers of reduced penalty (legal, financial, etc.) +4/+0 +1/+0
Offers of protection (from prosecution, injury, etc.) +6/+0 +2/+0
Offers of immunity (from prosecution, injury, etc.) +8/+0 +3/+0
* The modifiers to the left of each slash are applied to the Predator’s opposed check and its error range, and the modifiers to the right of each slash are applied to the Prey’s opposed check and its error range.
** Though the Prey is technically allowed to leave, he may not do so until he wins the Conflict.
† If the Prey can willingly depart from an Interrogation, he never willingly submits to this action. Further, most of these acts result in exposure (see page 435).
†† The minimum amount of money is equivalent to a bribe (see page 121). Each time this base amount is doubled, this bonus increases by +2.

INTERROgATION STRATEgIES

Available Strategies are determined by the current Lead and each participant’s base Will save bonus, as shown on Table: Interrogation Strategies. In some cases, a participant’s choice of Strategy changes the skill he uses to make the Conflict round’s opposed skill check, or alters the duration of the round.

Table: Interrogation Strategies
StrategyConflict Round DurationSkill*RequirementsModifierAdvantages
General Strategies
Head Fake 30 minutes** Manipulate (Wis) Base Will Save +6† –2 Lead, Slip
Moment of Crisis 5 minutes** Lead 1–3 –6 Crisis
Waiting Game 1 hour** +0 Pause, Stress
“We’re Done Here” 15 minutes** Base Will Save +7† –12 Stress, Victory

Predator Only
Bad Cop 15 minutes Base Will Save +4† +0 Lead, Stress
Goad 1 hour Investigation (Wis) –4 Slip
Good Cop 30 minutes Networking (Cha) Base Will Save +5 –6 Lead, Charm
Worse Cop 5 minutes Base Will Save +8† –8 Crisis, Stress

Prey Only
The 5th Base Will Save +8 –8 Crisis, Pause
“I’m No Rat” Networking (Wis) –4 Lead
“Nothing to Say” Base Will Save +4 +0 Lead, Stress
Story Time Bluff (Cha) Base Will Save +5 –6 Lead, Charm
* None of these alternate skill checks possess tags.
** This modifier only applies when the Predator chooses the Strategy.
† For this purpose, the Predator’s base Will save bonus increases by 1 per clue he’s collected that indicates the Prey possesses vital information.

INTERROgATION STRATEgIES

The 5th: The Prey puts on a display of detached calm, counter-ing the Predator’s questions with reasoned responses and legal loopholes. Bad Cop: The Predator plays up his authority or potential for violence, seeking to unnerve the Prey.

Goad: The Predator repeatedly comes back to the same ques-tions and carefully analyzes each of the Prey’s responses, trying to ferret out logical inconsistencies.

Good Cop: The Predator makes a series of friendly gestures or over-tures, trying to win the Prey over or undermine his determination.

Head Fake: The participant stages an elaborate mind game, hoping to trip his opponent up.

“I’m No Rat”: The Prey clings to his loyalties, drawing strength from the knowledge that any slip could endanger his friends and loved ones.

Moment of Crisis: The participant forces an outcome with high-pressure tactics,

“Nothing to Say”: The Prey clams up, hoping to resist all provocation.

Story Time: The Prey plays upon the Predator’s intense focus, trying to ingratiate himself and distract from the matter at hand.

Waiting Game: The participant settles in for a long, drawn-out interview, hoping for outside forces to come into play.

“We’re Done Here”: In a fit of pique, the participant takes things over the line looking for an immediate conclusion.

Worse Cop: The Predator goes beyond simple intimidation, his demeanor becoming frightful.

INTERROgATION AdvANTAgES

Charm: The opposed check winner improves his opponent’s disposition toward him by 1 grade until the end of the current scene (maximum Friendly). Every 3 times this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, the opponent’s disposition toward the opposed check winner improves by 1 additional grade.

Crisis: The process reaches a crucial impasse, with Predator and Prey locked in the ultimate test of wills. Each participant must make a Sense Motive (Wis) check (DC 25 + the opponent’s career level). Each time this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, the opposed check winner’s Crisis DC decreases by 4, minimum DC 20 (his opponent’s Crisis DC remains unchanged). If either participant fails this check, he cracks under the pressure, ending the interrogation in his opponent’s favor; otherwise, the Conflict continues as standard (this is the case even if both participants crack, though such an outcome likely produces strange results as the participants become unhinged). Each participant may skip this skill check, but the Lead shifts by 2 in his opponent’s favor as his determination falters.

Lead: The Lead is adjusted by 1 in the opposed check winner’s favor. Every 2 times this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, the Lead is adjusted by an additional 1 in the opposed check winner’s favor.

Pause: The interrogation is “put on hold.” The Lead remains the same and no steps are resolved during the following Conflict round. Each time this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, the interrogation is paused for 1 additional round. The action continues during this time (i.e. the participants continue to test one another), but no one — including the opposed check winner — makes any progress.

Slip: The opposed check winner gains 1 of the following benefits.

  • The winner extracts 1 clue or important secret from 1 opponent.
  • The winner presents one lie that is believed to be true as if he made a successful Bluff/Deception check with a penalty of up to –6 (see Table 2.26: Character Deception, page 121).

Every 2 times this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, the winner extracts 1 additional clue or secret, or increases the penalty limit of the lie by 2 (i.e. to –8 if the Advantage is chosen twice, –10 if it’s chosen three times, etc.).

Stress: Each participant except the opposed check winner suffers 1d4 stress damage. Each time this Advantage is chosen beyond the first during the same round, this damage increases by +1d4. No character may recover from this damage until the interrogation ends.

Victory: The interrogation ends in the opposed check winner’s favor.

ENdINg AN INTERROgATION

If the Predator wins (i.e. the Lead decreases to 0 or less, the Prey fails a Crisis-prompted check and cracks, or the interrogation otherwise ends in the Predator’s favor), the Prey truthfully provides all information in his possession related to 1 event or topic of the Predator’s choice. Additionally, the starting Lead of any subsequent interrogation Conflict featuring the same Predator and Prey during the current mission is reduced by 2 (minimum 1). If the Prey wins (i.e. the Lead increases to 10 or more, the Predator fails a Crisis-prompted check and cracks, or the interrogation otherwise ends in the Prey’s favor), the Prey becomes unresponsive or spins a tale so convincing that the interrogator provisionally accepts it as the truth. Additionally, the Predator may not target the same Prey with an interrogation Conflict for the duration of the current mission.