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Your character’s gear choices may change at three points — when the character is first created, during each mission, and when the character gains a level. Your character’s options at each juncture are described in the following sections.

At Character Creation

When creating a character, you must perform the following steps to choose your character’s gear.

You must complete these steps before sitting down to play your character; otherwise, you lose access to any choices not made before play begins. You only lose access for the duration of the current mission, however, as you can repeat these steps between missions as many times as you like.

Step 1: Distribute or redistribute Wealth

The first thing you should do when determining your character’s gear at character creation is to distribute the character’s Wealth. This is a gauge of the character’s social standing in the setting. It defines where he lives, how much of his savings he can bring into play, the personal possessions he can use during missions, and the limits of his personal flair.

Your character’s starting Wealth score is equal to the amount granted by his base class + his Charisma modifier (if positive). You may distribute this number between 3 Wealth statistics: Lifestyle, Possessions, and Spending Cash. Each of these statistics begins at 1 and may not rise above 10 (though the GC may place additional starting limits on one or more of them to satisfy his setting and game balance needs).

Example: Kevin creates a Level 1 Snoop with a Charisma score of 15. This grants the character a Wealth score of 3, which Kevin distributes equally between his 3 Wealth statistics. His Lifestyle starts at 2, his Possessions start at 2, and his Spending Cash starts at 2. Alternately, Kevin might start with Lifestyle 3/Possessions 1/ Spending Cash 2, or Lifestyle 2/Possessions 3/Spending Cash 1, etc.

As mentioned above, you may redistribute Wealth between missions, though doing so requires you to sacrifice Wealth points at a 2–to–1 ratio.

Example: After a few missions, Kevin possesses a total Wealth of 12 — 4 points each in Lifestyle, Possessions, and Spending Cash. Between missions, he decides to liquidate 2 points of Possessions to gain some additional Spending Cash. His new Wealth statistics are Lifestyle 4, Possessions 2, Spending Cash 5.

This rule only applies to re-distributing Wealth. All Wealth points distributed for the first time are assigned at a 1–to–1 ratio.

Step 2: Define Lifestyle

Your character’s Lifestyle establishes the size and splendor of his home and vehicle, as well as his basic appearance, which has a palpable effect upon social activities and getting ahead in his organization or network. These effects and possible definitions are summarized on Table: Lifestyle.

Home: A character’s home includes not only the physical structure but also all of its permanent contents, such as furniture, appliances, entertainment devices, art, and other decoration. The number of people that may comfortably live in character’s home is listed in parentheses following each set of example descriptions.

Per the GC’s discretion, you may describe your character’s home however you wish. Regardless of your description, however, the number of people that may comfortably live in his house does not change. The only way to comfortably house additional people in your character’s home is to increase the character’s Lifestyle. You may voluntarily have your character live in a home listed at a lower Lifestyle, though this offers no additional benefit other than providing enough room to comfortably house the number of people listed with your character’s actual Lifestyle.

Example: Using the first Wealth example, Kevin has a starting Lifestyle of 2. This allows him to live in a dormitory, trailer, 1-bedroom apartment, private quarters, or 2-bedroom apartment. His home can comfortably house up to 4 people no matter which of these options he chooses. Kevin wants his character to keep a low profile when not on missions, so he chooses to live in a 1-bedroom apartment.

Vehicle(s): A character’s personal vehicle(s) are chosen with standard Vehicle gear picks as shown on Table: Lifestyle. All upgrade rules apply.

Table: Lifestyle
Lifestyle Example Homes Vehicle Example Appearance Appearance Modifier
1 Dormitory, trailer, 1-bedroom apartment (2) Caliber I Streetworn — gritty street look ($0) –2
2 Private quarters, 2-bedroom apartment (4) Caliber I Crude — rough street look ($25) –1
3 Private suite, loft, 1-bedroom house (6) Caliber I Average — common street look ($50) +0
4 Condo, houseboat, 2-bedroom house (8) Caliber II Trendy — outdated high-end street look ($100) +0
5 3-bedroom house, yacht (10) or any two* Caliber II or any two* Fashionable — constantly updated street look ($250) +1
6 Penthouse, 4-bedroom house (15) Caliber III Executive — power player look ($500) +1
7 Mountain aerie, 5-bedroom house (25) Caliber III Upscale — mogul look ($1,000) +2
8 Private compound, hidden base (50) Caliber IV Designer — personalized and custom-fit look ($5,000) +2
9 Mansion, chateaux, luxury liner (75) Caliber IV Select — limited edition look direct from creators ($10,000) +3
10 Private island, palace (100) or any three* Caliber IV or any three* Unique — perfect made-to-order look ($25,000) +4
* The character gains the listed number of options listed at a lower Lifestyle. He may not choose identical options, nor may he choose any option that grants additional options (i.e. with a Lifestyle of 10, he may not choose two Lifestyle 5 options to gain four Lifestyle 1–4 options).

Unless your character’s missions take place as part of, or intersect with, his personal life, his personal vehicle may not be used in missions. Instead, this vehicle is offered as additional detail about your character’s life away from the field. The GC will determine when, and if, your character’s personal vehicle may come into play. You may voluntarily have your character own a vehicle listed at a lower Lifestyle, though this offers no additional benefit.

Example: With Kevin’s Lifestyle of 2, he can choose any vehicle listed under Caliber I on any Vehicle gear table. Since he’s looking for substance over flash, he chooses a light SUV, which can be found in the Caliber I area on Table: Standard Ground Vehicle Picks. This vehicle comes with 1 upgrade, which Kevin uses to gain a set of run-flat tires.

Appearance: A character’s appearance is not limited to his clothes and accessories (e.g. watches, jewelry, etc.), but also defines all the little things that play into his overall look, such as his complexion, grooming, scent, tattoos, make-up, and the like. As shown on Table: Lifestyle, a character’s appearance can range from streetworn, which is appropriate for a rough and rumble private eye or thug, all the way up to glamorous and trendsetting, befitting an international celebrity or business magnate. The street value of a character’s clothes and accessories is listed in parentheses in the Example Appearance column. Also, the modifier listed in Table: Lifestyle’s last column is applied to all Cultures, Impress, Networking, and Profession checks the character makes, representing the character’s general flair and how it tends to affect those around him (whether the character is aiming for such a reaction or not). Per the GC’s discretion, you may describe your character’s appearance however you wish. Regardless of the character’s description, however, his Appearance modifier does not change. The only way to adjust your character’s Appearance modifier is to increase the character’s Lifestyle.

A character may voluntarily choose to adopt an appearance listed at a lower Lifestyle, though this offers no additional benefit.

Example: Kevin’s Lifestyle of 2 gives him a rough street look, which well suits his background. He’d rather not deal with the –1 Appearance modifier, but he’ll lose that with experience.

Step 3: Choose Possessions

Your character’s Possessions are the items to which he always has access, during and outside missions. These items are only part of a larger amount of general “stuff” your character owns, but for simplicity and game balance, each character can only have so much of his total gear on him at any time. Also, a character’s Possessions only represent the important or key items he carries — the items that are especially useful or require detailed rules. The remainder of the character’s items — the items that have limited function or aren’t especially complicated — are Common Items and handled during Step 5.

Table: Possessions
Possessions Personal Gear Picks
1 1/II, 2/I
2 1/II, 3/I
3 1/III, 1/II, 3/I
4 1/III, 2/II, 3/I
5 1/III, 2/II, 4/I
6 2/III, 2/II, 4/I
7 2/III, 3/II, 4/I
8 2/III, 3/II, 5/I
9 3/III, 3/II, 5/I
10 1/IV, 3/III, 3/II, 5/I

Your character’s Possessions, which are also referred to as his personal gear, consist of a number of gear picks as shown on Table: Possessions. In each case, the number before the slash is the number of gear picks you are permitted and the Roman Numeral after the slash is the Caliber up to which each pick may be chosen. Gear picks chosen as part of a character’s Possessions may come from any gear category.

Example: Using the first Wealth example, Kevin has a starting Possessions of 2. This allows him to choose 1 Caliber II gear pick and 3 Caliber I picks.

The GC must approval all Possessions before they enter play. He’ll be checking to make sure your character’s Possessions match your character’s background concept and that you’re not using them to gain equipment that should legitimately be mission gear (see During a Mission).

The GC may also provide any number of additional Possessions of his choice in order to satisfy the needs of his setting or storyline. These items will generally satisfy basic needs of an organization to which your character belongs, or a goal that you’re assigned, and will generally be limited to a select few items, leaving your personal gear choices to round out the complement.

Step 4: Determine Spending Cash

A character’s Spending Cash represents the amount of his savings he can bring into play during each mission. It’s assumed that much of a character’s savings are in tied up in various ventures at any time and that he can only shift a limited amount during each mission without upsetting his portfolio. Shifting more is possible, but comes with some stiff penalties (see Liquidating Assets in the During Each Mission section).

At the start of each mission, your character begins with $100 × his Spending Cash × his Spending Cash (his Spending Cash is factored in twice).

Example: Using the first Wealth example, Kevin has a starting Spending Cash of 2. This translates to $400 at the start of each mission ($100 × 2 × 2 = $400).

Spending Cash is fluid currency and may be used for any appropriate in-setting expense, from bribes to legal and black-market purchases based on an item’s street value.

Step 5: Choose Common Items

At creation, each character gains a number of Common Items equal to his Wisdom score. These Common Items become part of the character’s personal gear. For more information about Common Items.

Step 6: Check Carrying Capacity

Once you’ve chosen your character’s Possessions and defined the rest of his Wealth, you should check to make sure your character can carry everything. Your character’s encumbrance is determined by comparing his Strength score with the total weight of all items carried, including armor and weapons, as shown on Table: Carrying Capacity.

Table: Carrying Capacity
Strength Light Load Medium Load Heavy Load Extreme Load Overloaded
1 up to 3 lbs. 4–6 lbs. 7–10 lbs. 11–20 lbs. 21+ lbs.
2 up to 6 lbs. 7–13 lbs. 14–20 lbs. 21–40 lbs. 41+ lbs.
3 up to 10 lbs. 11–20 lbs. 21–30 lbs. 31–60 lbs. 61+ lbs.
4 up to 13 lbs. 14–26 lbs. 27–40 lbs. 41–80 lbs. 81+ lbs.
5 up to 16 lbs. 17–33 lbs. 34–50 lbs. 51–100 lbs. 101+ lbs.
6 up to 20 lbs. 21–40 lbs. 41–60 lbs. 61–120 lbs. 121+ lbs.
7 up to 23 lbs. 24–46 lbs. 47–70 lbs. 71–140 lbs. 141+ lbs.
8 up to 26 lbs. 27–53 lbs. 54–80 lbs. 81–160 lbs. 161+ lbs.
9 up to 30 lbs. 31–60 lbs. 61–90 lbs. 91–180 lbs. 181+ lbs.
10 up to 33 lbs. 34–66 lbs. 67–100 lbs. 101–200 lbs. 201+ lbs.
11 up to 38 lbs. 39–76 lbs. 77–115 lbs. 116–230 lbs. 231+ lbs.
12 up to 43 lbs. 44–86 lbs. 87–130 lbs. 131–260 lbs. 261+ lbs.
13 up to 50 lbs. 51–100 lbs. 101–150 lbs. 151–300 lbs. 301+ lbs.
14 up to 58 lbs. 59–116 lbs. 117–175 lbs. 176–350 lbs. 351+ lbs.
15 up to 66 lbs. 67–133 lbs. 134–200 lbs. 201–400 lbs. 401+ lbs.
16 up to 76 lbs. 77–153 lbs. 154–230 lbs. 231–460 lbs. 461+ lbs.
17 up to 86 lbs. 87–173 lbs. 174–260 lbs. 261–520 lbs. 521+ lbs.
18 up to 100 lbs. 101–200 lbs. 201–300 lbs. 301–600 lbs. 601+ lbs.
19 up to 116 lbs. 117–233 lbs. 234–350 lbs. 351–700 lbs. 701+ lbs.
20 up to 133 lbs. 134–266 lbs. 267–400 lbs. 401–800 lbs. 801+ lbs.
21 up to 153 lbs. 154–306 lbs. 307–460 lbs. 461–920 lbs. 921+ lbs.
22 up to 173 lbs. 174–346 lbs. 347–520 lbs. 521–1,040 lbs. 1,041+ lbs.
23 up to 200 lbs. 201–400 lbs. 401–600 lbs. 601–1,200 lbs. 1,201+ lbs.
24 up to 233 lbs. 234–466 lbs. 467–700 lbs. 701–1,400 lbs. 1,401+ lbs.
25 up to 266 lbs. 267–533 lbs. 534–800 lbs. 801–1,600 lbs. 1,601+ lbs.
26 up to 306 lbs. 307–613 lbs. 614–920 lbs. 921–1,840 lbs. 1,841+ lbs.
27 up to 346 lbs. 347–693 lbs. 694–1,040 lbs. 1,041–2,080 lbs. 2,081+ lbs.
28 up to 400 lbs. 401–800 lbs. 801–1,200 lbs. 1,201–2,400 lbs. 2,401+ lbs.
29 up to 466 lbs. 467–933 lbs. 934–1,400 lbs. 1,401–2,800 lbs. 2,801+ lbs.
+10 ×4* ×4* ×4* ×4* ×4*
* For Strength scores of 30–39, find the score between 20 and 29 that has the same ones digit as the character’s Strength, then multiply the figures by 4.
Example: A character possesses a Strength score of 36. Looking up 26 and multiplying this by 4, we find that he may carry a light load of up to 1,224 lbs., a medium load of 1,225–2452 lbs., a heavy load of 2,453–3680 lbs., an extreme load of 3,681–7,360 lbs., and he becomes overloaded when he carries 7,361 lbs. or more.

These capacities apply to a Medium character; the following modifiers are applied to characters of different Sizes — Nuisance (×1/16), Fine (×1/8), Diminutive (×1/4), Small (×1/2), Large (×2), Huge (×4), Gargantuan (×8), Colossal (×16), Enormous (×32), and Vast (×64).

When a character carries a medium or heavier load, he suffers the effects described on Table: Encumbrance Modifiers. Additionally, a character may perform the following encumbrance related activities.

Table: Encumbrance Modifiers
Load Defense Penalty* Armor Check Penalty* Speed/Throwing Range Increment Conditions
Medium –1 –2 –5 ft. None
Heavy –3 –4 –10 ft. None
Extreme –6 –6 –20 ft. Vulnerable
Overloaded –10 –8 0 ft.** Helpless
* Only the highest Defense penalty and ACP penalty inflicted by encumbrance or armor applies (see page 227).
** An overloaded character cannot throw anything, nor may he move at all, even to take his bonus 5 ft. step.
  • A character may lift up to his maximum heavy load over his head. He may lift twice this amount to his waist, but he may then only move 5 ft. per full action and loses his Dexterity bonus to Defense while doing so.
  • A character may push or drag up to 5 × his maximum heavy load. He may push or drag twice this amount under good conditions (i.e. over a waxed floor, or when pushing or dragging a round object), and half this amount under poor conditions (e.g. up a hill, or when pushing or dragging an awkwardly-shaped object).
  • Using only his hands, a character may clear an amount of rubble per minute equal to 5 × his heavy load. A character may clear twice this amount with a shovel or similar digging utensil. Each square may be filled with 1 ton of loose debris (2,000 lbs.).

Step 7: Reputation and Net Worth

Finally, if your character belongs to a Faction, write “2” in the spot for Reputation on the character sheet. If he’s Freelance, write “$100,000” in this spot. All characters begin with either 2 Reputation or $100,000 Net Worth, regardless of the setting, storyline, or their starting career level. The GC is advised not to lift this restriction, as it can seriously unbalance the game’s character advancement rules.

During Each Mission

Once you’ve completed the previous 7 steps, your character is complete and ready to undertake his first mission! Missions are discussed in detail in Chapter 7, but in terms of gear they can be divided into three broad periods, as follows.

Intel Phase: Accept or Decline Mission Bundle, Choose Gear Picks (mission gear), Choose Common Items, Check Carrying Capacity, Determine Reserve Picks and Reserve Items

In the Field: Make Request Checks and Gear Checks, Liquidate Wealth, Spend Reputation and Net Worth, Caliber Changes End of Mission: Return Bundle, Mission Gear, and Common Items

The Intel Phase

As described in Chapter 7 (see page 423), each mission features an Intel Phase, during which the characters learn about their objectives or the situation facing them, and plan accordingly. The Intel Phase can take many forms depending on the setting and storyline — from the classic meeting at the home office to the offscreen period when the characters scour the streets for initial clues to gain the adventure set-up to other situations of the GC’s own creation. The Intel Phase can come right at the start of a mission or after a Bond-like opening scene (see page 424). In all cases, however, the gearing up process remains the same.

All of the gear gained during the Intel Phase — including the mission bundle, gear picks, and Common Items — is provided by the Faction characters’ organizations and Freelance characters’ noncatalogued personal stashes, respectively. In the latter case, these personal stashes are never itemized and may never be augmented to increase the characters’ class-granted gear picks. The source of Freelance gear is merely flavor; the rules for gaining gear during the Intel Phase don’t change when the flavor does.

The Mission Bundle: First during the Intel Phase, the GC may offer the characters a mission bundle — a selection of gear the team’s Faction or Freelance network feels is crucial to the mission’s completion. This bundle is gained in addition to the characters’ Possessions and mission gear. The characters may refuse the mission bundle, and if they accept it their mission’s base XP reward decreases (see page 429).

Example: Kevin’s GC offers his team a mission bundle consisting of 1 Caliber I Electronic pick and 3 Caliber II Resources. If Kevin’s team accepts the bundle, their mission’s base XP reward decreases by 70.

Choose Gear Picks (mission gear): After considering the mission bundle, each character gains his mission gear, or classgranted gear picks. Each character adds up all the gear picks listed under “Gear” on his class tables to determine the maximum mission gear he may choose. Example: Kevin is a Level 8 Advocate/Level 2 Con Artist. His combined gear picks are 2R, 2T. He gains 2 (R)esource picks and 2 (T)radecraft picks as mission gear.

Each character’s Charisma modifier also applies to his gear picks. With a Charisma bonus, a character gains the same number of additional picks from any of the following categories.

  • A Faction character may choose Charisma-granted picks from the Gadgets, Tradecraft, Vehicles or Resources categories.
  • A Freelance character may choose Charisma-granted picks from the Electronics, Security, Vehicles, or Weapons categories. With a Charisma penalty, the character loses the same number of picks chosen from any category his classes grant him.

Example: Using the previous example, if Kevin’s Charisma is 8, he must lose either 1 Resource pick or 1 Tradecraft pick. This may decrease a character’s mission gear to 0 picks.

Finally, three characters may each contribute 1 pick from any category to gain 1 team pick in any of the contributed categories as if the mission’s Caliber were 1 higher. For every 3 picks contributed, only 1 higher Caliber team pick is gained. Example: Kevin, Steve, and Carl decide they want a Caliber III item during a Caliber II mission. Kevin contributes 1 Electronic pick, Steve contributes 1 Gadget pick, and Carl contributes 1 Weapon pick. The team gains 1 Caliber III team pick that must be chosen from the Electronic, Gadget, or Weapon categories.

The characters need not choose all these picks — each may keep some in reserve for use during the mission (see Determine Reserve Picks and Reserve Items, below).

For more information about Gear Picks.

Choose Common Items: In addition to gear picks, each character gains a number of additional Common Items at the start of each mission equal to 1/3 his Wisdom score (rounded up, minimum 1). These Common Items are gained in addition to those granted by the character’s Possessions. The characters need not choose all these Items — each may keep some in reserve for use during the mission (see Determine Reserve Picks and Reserve Items, below).

Check Carrying Capacity: This step is identical to Step 6 at character creation, except that the character considers all the gear he’s carrying into the mission, including anything gained at creation or during the Intel Phase.

Determine Reserve Picks and Reserve Items: In the final step during the Intel Phase, each character fills in the Reserve Picks and Reserve Common Items sections of his character sheet, including the number and categories of all picks, and the number of all Common Items, not chosen during the Intel Phase.

The maximum number of combined gear picks and Common Items the character may hold in reserve is equal to his Wisdom modifier (if positive). Any additional gear picks or Common Items held in reserve are lost. A character with a Wisdom modifier of +0 or lower may not hold Reserve picks or Common Items; he must choose all his mission gear during the Intel Phase or lose access to any items not chosen.

Example: Kevin gains 2 Resource picks and 1 Tradecraft pick from his classes (after his Charisma modifier is applied), but only chooses 1 pick from each category as his mission gear. In the “Reserve Picks” section of his character sheet, Kevin writes down “1R,” meaning that he possesses 1 Reserve Resources pick.

Also, Kevin gains 3 Common Items during the Intel Phase but only chooses 1. In the “Reserve Common Items” section of his character sheet, he writes down “1,” meaning that he possesses 1 Reserve Item. Reserve picks are acquired in the field with Request checks and Reserve Items are acquired with gear checks (see the next column).

In the Field

After the Intel Phase, the characters still have gear options. Most of the time, they’ve saved at least some Reserve picks and Reserve Items, which can be gained with Request checks and gear checks, respectively. Desperate characters can also liquidate various assets to gain additional cash or call in favors with their organization or freelance network by spending Reputation or Net Worth. The mission’s Caliber may change from time to time as well, increasing or decreasing the available gear pool. These options are further detailed in the following sections.

Request Checks: At any time during a mission, a character with 1 or more Reserve gear picks may make a Request check. This is an appeal to the character’s Faction or Freelance network for any single item or option listed in Calibers I–IV of the same gear category. A Request check is only possible with a method of rapid communication (e.g. phone, email, satellite radio, etc.), and requires an exchange lasting 1 full minute.

To make a Request check, the character spends a number of action dice equal to the Caliber of the item or option desired, then rolls 1d20, adding his Request check bonus to the result (the action dice spent to make the request are not added to this). A Request check has no error or threat range. Each Request check consumes the Reserve gear pick used, whether the check is successful or not. If the result equals or exceeds the item or option’s Request DC — 10 × the item’s Caliber — it becomes available to the character in an amount of time determined by his current location, as shown on Table: Gear Delivery Time. A Request check may be re-tried, but costs additional action dice and consumes an additional Reserve gear pick with each attempt. Two or more teammates may pay a Request check’s action die cost, but only one of them makes the roll to determine whether the item or option is available.

When making a Request check, Faction characters are subject to certain gear benefits and restrictions, as defined by their Faction’s organization statistics (see page 389).

Finally, Request checks may never be made for picks whose Caliber is higher than that of the current mission.

Example: Following the previous example, during a Caliber II mission, Kevin wants to use his Reserve Resource pick to gain a Caliber II bag full of guns. He must spend his Reserve pick and 2 action dice to make the attempt (though one of his teammates may spend one or both of these action dice so he can make the Request check). Kevin must also spend a minute on the phone with his organization.

Kevin’s Request check bonus is +9. He rolls 1d20, getting a 12, so his result is 21 — just enough to beat the DC of 20. Since he’s located 20 miles away from a city, Kevin’s organization delivers the bag full of guns to a predetermined drop point in 2d6 hours.

Table: Gear Delivery Time
Location Delivery Time
City (10,000+ people) 3d20 minutes
City (fewer than 10,000 people) 1d6 hours
Within 100 miles of a city 2d6 hours
101–500 miles from a city 3d6 hours
501+ miles from a city 4d6 hours
delaying the details
Per the GC’s discretion, during the Intel Phase, a character may hold off defining the details of any gear he requests that must be “set” before use (e.g. cover identities, taps, etc.). This allows him to determine these details later during the mission and keeps his Faction or support network primed for the gear’s use, reducing the wait time when the gear is needed. This option may not be applied to any gear that cannot logically be prepared in stages, nor may it be applied to any gear that the character physically carries with him (thus, documents supporting a cover identity may not be carried into the field and instantly determined at the character’s whim). The character must declare that he’s “delaying the details” when he chooses an applicable piece of gear. Thereafter, the character must contact his Faction or support network to finalize the gear. The character receives the finalized gear in 1/2 the standard delivery time, rounded up (see Table: Gear Delivery Time).

Gear Checks: At any time during a mission, a character with 1 or more Reserve Common Items may make a Gear check. Unlike a Request check, a Gear check is not an appeal to outside agencies but rather a check to see if the character had the foresight to bring a particular Common Item he now needs without declaring it during the Intel Phase.

To make a Gear check, the character rolls 1d20, adding his Gear check bonus to the result. If the result is higher than 20, the character already possesses the item. A Gear check has no error or threat range. Each Gear check consumes 1 Reserve Item, whether it’s successful or not.

If the result is higher than 20, the character already possesses the desired Common I tem. A Gear check may be re-tried.

Example: Following the previous two examples, during a mission in which Kevin unexpectedly finds himself in need of a light source, Kevin wants to use his Reserve Item to see if he thought to bring a flashlight. He must spend his Reserve Item pick to make the attempt. Kevin’s Gear check bonus is +7. He rolls 1d20, getting a 15, so his result is 22 — just enough to beat the standard Gear check DC of 21. He reaches into his knapsack and pulls out a flashlight.

Liquidate Assets: Characters sometimes find themselves in desperate need of cash in the field. In these cases, a character may liquidate some or all of his assets to gain the required funds. When a character liquidates his own assets, he decreases the value of his personal Wealth. Alternately, when a character liquidates assets provided to him by his organization or freelance network, he decreases his status with them. All of these sacrifices are permanent and the character may only recoup over time (i.e. by gaining more experience and increasing his career level).

During each mission, each character may raise funds in the following ways, with the following ramifications.

  • Any character may liquidate any number of Wealth points (from any Wealth statistic) one at a time, gaining $10,000 × the statistic’s current score for each. Wealth points liquidated do not refresh; they must be earned again by gaining class levels and other character options.
  • Any character may make a Request check to gain an amount of money equal to the result × $200. As with any Request check, this consumes 1 Reserve gear pick and requires the character communicate with his Faction or freelance supporters. If the character requests electronic funds, however (as opposed to cash), the delivery time decreases to 1/4 standard (rounded up). For more information about Request checks.
  • Any character may sacrifice any number of Reserve Common Items to gain an amount of additional cash per Item sacrificed equal to (1d20 + his Wisdom modifier) × $25. As with an Item gained with a Gear check, this money is already on the character’s person. For more information about Gear checks, see the previous column.
  • Any Faction character may liquidate any amount of his positive Reputation, gaining an amount of money equal to $5,000 per Reputation point liquidated. Reputation liquidated does not refresh — it must be earned again by undertaking missions. For more information about Reputation.
  • Any Freelance character may liquidate any amount of his positive Net Worth, gaining an amount of money equal to 1/10 the Net Worth liquidated (rounded up). Net Worth liquidated does not refresh — it must be earned again by undertaking missions. For more information about Net Worth.

Each of these options involves the character maneuvering the standard channels to gain the desired funds — relying on other people to sell off or generate whatever funds are required. The character may also sell assets on his own, using the Streetwise/ Haggle skill check with the following effects.

The street value of the character’s home is found on Table: Lifestyle, though the character’s starting price when selling it in less than a month’s time drops to 3/4 this amount (rounded up). If the selling time drops to less than 1 week, the starting selling price drops to 1/4 standard (rounded up). Further, once a character sells his home, he immediately and permanently loses 1/3 the Wealth points he’s invested in Lifestyle (rounded up, minimum Lifestyle 1 after deduction).

  • The street value of the character’s personal vehicle is found in the vehicle’s pick table entry, though the character’s starting price when selling it in less than 1 week’s time drops to 3/4 this amount (rounded up). If the selling time drops to less than 1 day, the starting selling price drops to 1/4 standard (rounded up). Further, once a character sells his personal vehicle, he immediately and permanently loses 1/4 the Wealth points he’s invested in Lifestyle (rounded up, minimum Lifestyle 1 after deduction).
  • The street value of each of the character’s Possessions (his personal gear) is found in the appropriate pick table entry, though the character’s starting price when selling one or more Possessions in less than 1 day’s time drops to 3/4 this amount (rounded up). If the selling time drops to less than 1 hour, the starting selling price drops to 1/4 standard (rounded up). Further, for every 3 Possessions a character sells, he immediately and permanently loses 1 Wealth point he’s invested in Possessions (minimum Possessions 1 after deduction). Conversely, a character may sell up to 2 Possessions per mission with no penalty.
  • Finally, the street value of each of the character’s personal Common Items is left up to the GC’s discretion, though it may not exceed $250. The character’s starting price when selling one or more Possessions in less than 1 hour’s time drops to 3/4 this amount (rounded up). If the selling time drops to less than 10 minutes, the starting selling price drops to 1/4 standard (rounded up). Further, for every 5 Common Items a character sells, he immediately and permanently loses 1 Wealth point he’s invested in Possessions (minimum Possessions 1 after deduction). Conversely, a character may sell up to 4 Common Items per mission with no penalty.

In all these cases, Wealth points liquidated do not refresh; they must be earned again by gaining class levels and other character options. Also, selling one’s own assets requires time and probably distracts from the current mission. The GC is strongly encouraged to roleplay any character’s attempt to sell assets in the field, applying whatever time-based pressures are appropriate to the current mission in the process.

Example: In desperate need of money, Kevin decides to sell off his personal vehicle. His light SUV has a street value of $25,000, but since he’s selling it in less than a day, the starting price drops to $6,250. After brokering for a bit, Kevin’s final Streetwise/Haggle check adjusts this price up to 110%, or $6,875, which is what he makes for selling it. In the process, Kevin’s Lifestyle of 2 drops by 1/4 (rounded up), to 1.

A character may also sell his mission gear picks and Common Items, generating the same street value and sale price. Since these items are on loan, however, selling them tends to injure the character’s future dealings with his Faction or freelance network. Instead of losing Wealth, the character loses Reputation or Net Worth, as described in The End of the Mission.

Spend Reputation or Net Worth: At any time during a mission, a character may acquire any gear pick by spending Reputation or Net Worth, as shown on Table: Reputation and Net Worth. This requires no Request check or action die expenditure (though the character may still only gain picks up to the mission’s current Caliber). The requested gear pick arrives in the time listed on Table: Gear Delivery Time. Spent Reputation and Net Worth do not refresh — the character may only acquire more by undertaking missions.

Table: Reputation and Net Worth
Gear Cost*
Caliber I 2 Reputation/$100,000 Net Worth
Caliber II 4 Reputation/$200,000 Net Worth
Caliber III 6 Reputation/$300,000 Net Worth
Caliber IV 8 Reputation/$400,000 Net Worth
Caliber V 10 Reputation/$500,000 Net Worth

Further, characters may never combine Reputation or Net Worth to pay for any option, gear or otherwise. All of each cost must be paid in one “currency” (Reputation or Net Worth, not both), and one character must pay it in full.

At his discretion, the GC can deny any Reputation/Net Worth purchase for any reason.

Example: On his first mission, Kevin’s Reputation is only 2. If he runs up against a wall and really needs a gear pick, he can spend both of his Reputation points to gain 1 Caliber I gear pick from any category.

Caliber Changes: The conditions of a mission often change in the field — villains prove more powerful than the Intel Phase suggested, simple search-and-rescue missions explode into global doomsday confrontations, and plot twists unravel the characters’ carefully constructed plans. Many unexpected developments await the characters beyond the Intel Phase, and they often impact the level of support provided by each character’s Faction or Freelance network by increasing or decreasing the mission’s Caliber.

In game terms, the GC may occasionally modify a mission’s Caliber in response to story developments. When this happens, the team’s current gear choices are unaffected. The characters’ Reserve picks and Reserve Items may change, however.

When a mission’s Caliber decreases, all Reserve picks may only be acquired up to the lower Caliber. This continues until the Caliber changes again or for the duration of the current mission, whichever come first. Example: During a mission that begins at Caliber IV, Kevin and his teammates have held several Reserve picks and Reserve Items. Once the Caliber drops to II, these Reserve picks and Items may only be chosen from the Caliber I and II sections of the appropriate gear tables, even though the team probably has several pieces of gear that are Caliber III and higher.

When a mission’s Caliber increases, all Reserve picks may be acquired up to the higher Caliber. This continues until the Caliber changes again or for the duration of the current mission, whichever come first. Further, each character gains 1 additional Reserve gear pick in any category and 3 additional Reserve Common Items per Caliber increase.

Example: Kevin is on a mission with his 3 teammates. The GC increases the Caliber from I to III, granting each member of the team 2 additional Reserve gear picks in any category and 6 additional Reserve Common Items.

Net Worth
It’s easy to stumble over the concept of Net Worth, which doesn’t so much represent actual holdings as a character’s “street pull” — his ability to draw from his Freelance network of dealers, fences, stool pigeons, insiders, and other allies. Despite the big numbers associated with Net Worth, the statistic is ultimately on an identical scale to Reputation — 1 Reputation point equals $50,000 of Net Worth, and smaller increments shouldn’t come into play, lest the balance of the Net Worth system collapse. If the numbers don’t sit well with you (burning incredible “sums of cash” to acquire relatively low-rated gear, for example), we recommend you divide each character’s starting Net Worth — and all Net Worth values and modifiers throughout this book — by the same number, preferably something easy to calculate, like 5, 10, 100, or even 1,000.
Long-Term Gear

The Spycraft 2.0 gear system is intentionally dynamic, providing a direct accounting of critical items while relegating minor ones to Common status and summing up a character’s accumulated property with Wealth and either Reputation or Net Worth. In the default system, it’s impossible to keep most gear from mission to mission, or to exceed the limits of one’s class and Charisma when choosing gear.

This, of course, makes for fast-paced and cinematic game play, but limits the system’s utility for those who want to itemize their holdings over the course of their careers. For those seeking a less fluid gear list, we recommend the following changes be made to the system. These rules should only apply to Freelance characters.

  • Each character may keep gear from mission to mission, to a maximum of his Net Worth in street value. This does not include items gained through Wealth.
  • Each character may bring a total number of picks on each mission equal to his combined class and Charisma picks, chosen from the items at his disposal. This limit is this variant system’s only concession to game balance; eliminating it may drastically destabilize your play experience.
  • Each character may sell mission gear as he likes, yielding no negative Reputation or Net Worth loss.
  • Gear checks are not used. All Common Items are gained during the Intel Phase.
  • Each character’s total Cash on Hand is tracked, increasing an amount equal to his Spending Cash at the start of each mission. This is in addition to any returns for selling gear and other enterprises.

Finally, at the end of each scene during which the Caliber increases, the characters may swap gear with their Faction or Freelance network. This is only possible with a method of rapid communication (e.g. phone, email, satellite radio, etc.), and requires an exchange lasting 1 full minute.

For every pick a character turns in, he may acquire a new pick from the same category at no cost and with no Request check. All Caliber limitations apply during this exchange and the exchange occurs in the same amount of time a Request check would take under the same circumstances.

Example: During a four-scene mission, the mission’s Caliber increases twice — once during Scene 1 and once during Scene 3. The team may swap gear at the end of Scenes 1 and 3 only, not Scene 2.

A mission’s Caliber may change multiple times before the climax, representing the Factions’ and Freelance networks’ evershifting awareness of the true danger.

The End of the Mission

At the conclusion of each mission, each character loses all mission gear, as well as all Common Items, other gear, and other gear options acquired during the Intel Phase or any other part of the mission, including any items acquired by spending Reputation and Net Worth. Except for Lifestyle items, Possessions, and Common Items chosen at character creation or between missions, gear is never tracked between missions.

Gear lost or used during a mission is written off, but if the characters sell any of their mission gear, or any part of their mission bundle (see Liquidating Assets), the characters injure their relationship with their Faction or Freelance backers and each character’s Reputation or Net Worth decreases. The Reputation loss per item sold is equal to 1 point per $50,000 of street value (or fraction thereof). The Net Worth loss per item sold is equal to the item’s street value (rounded to the nearest $50,000, minimum $50,000). No class ability, feat ability, or skill use, may circumvent this Reputation or Net Worth loss. It’s assumed that the team’s backers eventually discover the slight, losing a small amount of faith as a result.

When You Gain a Level

Each time your character gains a level — which, again, may only occur between missions — his Wealth increases by the difference between levels. This may result in a Wealth increase of 0. You may distribute any gained Wealth between your character’s Wealth statistics as you wish, though no Wealth statistic may exceed 10.

Example: Following the first Wealth distribution example, Kevin gains a second level as a Snoop. His Wealth score increases by 1, which Kevin distributes to his Spending Cash, increasing it from 2 to 3. If your character’s Lifestyle increases, you may redefine his home, vehicle, and appearance, or just note his new Appearance modifier and his home’s maximum occupancy. If your character’s Possessions statistic increases, you must adjust his personal gear accordingly.

Wealth losses

Wealth may also decrease at any time due to a variety of factors, such as spending Wealth and suffering Charisma damage. Spent Wealth is almost always lost from a specific statistic (see Liquidating Assets). In the event that an affected Wealth statistics isn’t specified, and when your character suffers Charisma damage (which in turn lowers his Wealth), you must immediately distribute the Wealth losses between your character’s Wealth statistics. Again, no Wealth statistic may drop below 1. Example: Following the previous example, Kevin’s Charisma drops from 15 to 13 in a prolonged and rather brutal interrogation. He could drop his Spending Cash from 3 back down to 2, or drop either his Lifestyle or Possessions from 2 to 1.

If your character’s Lifestyle decreases, you may redefine his home, vehicle, and appearance, and if his Possessions statistic decreases, you must adjust his personal gear.