The rules attempt to represent a stylised genre in a stylised way. They are intended to facilitate role-play driven gameplay, whilst creating engaging opportunities for failure and prevent ‘one-person-gets-everything’ stories.
The rules incorporate numerous elements of other LRP systems, because we like them. In particular, Victoriana LRP (for perks, nerf and blueprints) and Slayers LRP (for the healing system and combat style) have been significant influences. We are indebted, as always, to those who have come before.
We would like to thank the following individuals for their input on refining these rules: David Garwood, Alex King and Tom Garnett. Apologies to anyone we’ve missed out.
General Rules Assumptions
The genre is littered with examples of characters managing to escape in ‘the nick of time’ on some occasions, but having to be rescued on others. Therefore, some skills are useable on a limited number basis, striking a balance between effectiveness and tension. This allows players to save skills for appropriately dramatic moments (or indeed, for *not having them* at others).
An OC day is a regular day, so for example, on a weekend event you could use a 1 x OC day ability three times.
An IC day accounts for the possibility, within the game, of time passing more quickly than OC time.
A combat scene is represented by a single ‘op’, or, by fights separated by a period of time no less than 30 minutes.
All characters are assumed to be competent enough to engage in ordinary conversation and identify signs/orders/ basic documents in any appropriate language. The Mission Impossible team were always going uncover around the world and didn’t seem to have problems, after all. Technical and/or detailed conversations, and complex written documents require translation. So, Agent A and Agent B can chat each other up in a bar, and Agent C can respond to queries about their (false) documents and read a newspaper. However, Agent D can’t read the secret orders and Agent E can’t translate the scientist’s ramblings without having the requisite language skills.
All characters are able to read their own agency’s codes without the cryptography skill – if they chose to.
All characters have at least been familiarised with basic field skills. In keeping with the genre, any character without any combat skill can activate dramatic desperation once per episode, provided they (or their friends) are in a clearly dangerously disadvantaged position. This operates with respect to an offensive combat skill, letting them lay out their captor with a timely punch, shoot the baddie with a discarded gun etc. Dramatic desperation allows the character to call dramatic stun or dramatic grapple. Dramatic stun stuns the target character for twenty seconds and does the maximum possible damage of the weapon/manouever used. Dramatic Grapple, unlike an ordinary grapple, can only be held for 30 seconds. Dramatic desperation moves cannot be dodged.
All characters, if conscious, can stabilise another character (who is unconscious and dying) for no longer than 5 minutes, at which any attempts at further stabilisation by unqualified personnel will be ineffective. A stabilised character can’t be moved, except by medics.
IC bags, jackets and coats are assumed to be freely IC if separated from their owners; you are free to plant things in and remove things from them, therefore we strongly recommend that players don’t carry valuables in them. It is however entirely acceptable to keep OC items such as inhalers and medication in a labelled compartment or small container within a jacket or bag, which must not be interfered with.
All player characters should have the following values, which retain genre flavour and give PCs a good reason to act co-operatively. However, there are also good reasons to carry on business as usual with their cold-war enemies, and beyond these restrictions (other than those integral to the social contract) there is no expectation PCs will be nice (or not) to each other.
Nuclear War or some similar form of global devastation is not a desirable outcome of international conflict. Similarly, concentrating global power in the hands of a single despotic or criminal individual would not be a desirable outcome.
Spies and their affiliates know the score and are legitimate targets in ‘the game’. People who aren’t part of ‘the game’ (ordinary people, civvies, bystanders) should -in the main- be protected from it.