Most modern RPGs produce ever-expanding equipment lists and have characters “shop” for gear, often by “paying” realworld prices — or prices appropriate to the setting — in the process. While Spycraft 2.0 provides real-world modern prices for things and includes rules for buying and haggling during play (as described in Chapter 2), the system shifts the focus away from large gear stockpiles, emphasizing the few things that define each character in the field. In Spycraft 2.0, characters are encouraged to choose a small personal collection of gear that’s important to them and their mission, and discouraged from keeping track of every item they might have handy in their closets and vehicle glove boxes. As in any cinematic game, the focus is on the items that matter right now, not the stuff that might matter tomorrow or the next day, or even after the mission is over.
For this reason, an abstract system is used to roughly describe each character’s personal Wealth — his home, his clothes, and other aspects of his life away from the action. Also, instead of “buying” or “shopping for” gear, a character simply chooses, or “picks,” items from a pool of available gear. This pool is determined by the importance of the mission (or the gravity of the scenario, if you’re playing in a setting where adventures aren’t defined as missions). The specific rationale for the gear made available to the characters is left to the GC. In a classic espionage game, in which the characters work for an Agency, it’s easily explained as the gear made available by the characters’ home office. In a mercenary game, it might represent the characters’ expectations, or those of the characters’ supporters. It may not even be explained at all, becoming just another offscreen detail left unaddressed. Regardless, the gear available at each degree, or Caliber, of play ensures the characters’ gear choices don’t throw off the game’s balance, as so often happens in a mostly realistic modern setting where technology is rapidly overtaking the limits of humanity. Despite its exhaustive approach to equipment, Spycraft 2.0 is not a gear-centric game — it’s about characters and how they can change the world. This gear system reflects that philosophy.
This chapter is divided into five sections. The first section introduces the fundamentals of the gear system and how to choose gear. The second section, Using the Gear System, explains in step-by-step detail how to equip your character at creation, at the start of each mission, and when the character gains a level. The third section explains how to use the heart of the system — the gear tables — and the fourth section comprises the tables themselves. The fifth and final section contains descriptions and rules for using the items found on the gear tables.