Action heroes frequently work for intelligence, law-enforcement,
military, or security services. Normally, either all or none
of them will be active operators, although they might not all
serve the same master; details depend on the campaign.
Employees of such organizations can buy social advantages
(see Lenses, pp. 4-5) that entitle them to ask their employers for
To get help, the person asking must be in good standing
with his organization – that is, he has to have and honor a Duty
to his employer at the “9 or less” level or above, and hold Rank.
Rank 0 counts! It costs 0 points, but it isn’t the same as no
Rank. Somebody with no Rank has no Duty . . . and no chance
of receiving aid.
The chance on 3d of getting assistance, the Assistance Roll
(AR), depends on Rank; see the Assistance Table. If several PCs
with the same boss need help, roll once for the person of highest
Rank, adding 1/5 of the total Rank of the others (rounded
down) to his Rank. For instance, a Rank 3 spy, two Rank 2
agents, and a Rank 1 operative would roll as if their Rank were
3 + (2 + 2 + 1)/5 = 4.
If an NPC preauthorized aid for the mission, use his Rank
(usually 5+) instead. In this case, the GM may fake the roll. It
might be crucial to the plot that help arrives – or that a doublecrossing
NPC hangs the heroes out to dry!
Odds of assistance are low for junior operators – even in a
sizeable team – but an AR is a success roll, subject to Luck and
Buying Success (p. B347). Several bonuses may apply, too. Of
course, there may be penalties, and if modified AR falls below
3, there’s no chance of success!
• Person requesting aid has Smooth Operator: or critical failure means disciplinary action.†
•Specific modifiers: See Sample Assistance (below) for modifiers
that apply instead of or as well as those for appropriateness.
- Administration works only in situations with paperwork;
Smooth Operator, only in person. Neither applies when
requesting help over the phone or radio!
† The GM judges what’s appropriate or inappropriate. A
wounded Military Rank 0 soldier might get 10 minutes, or
1d hours outside city. Crew report what they see in real time
over the radio.
Backup: NPCs at most equal to the PCs in number arrive quietly
in 1d+10 minutes, or in 1d hours outside the city. They
have a few relevant skills – Driving, First Aid, Guns, etc. – at
level 10-15 (1d+9), and carry handguns.
Bailout: Heroes arrested by police while following orders or
who have 15-point Legal Enforcement Powers can “get
out of jail free” with a successful AR. Results take 10 minutes
in home jurisdiction but 3d hours in another
Base Access: Permission to enter a military base other than
the soldiers’ post. Roll at the gate, at 10 minutes for loitering
support to a day or more if called in cold.
Medevac: Ambulance for urban operators or chopper for soldiers.
Typically arrives in 1d+10 minutes, but may take 1d
hours or worse in remote areas. AR is at 8 hours at night
Availability by Service
Intelligence: Cash (to buy information); facilities; false ID;
files (dossiers on enemy spies, maps, etc.); insertion/extraction;
replacement gear; safe house; technical means; transportation.
Law Enforcement: Aerial surveillance; backup; bailout; cash
(for bribes); facilities; files (case report, criminal jacket, etc.);
forensics; medevac; records search; replacement gear; SWAT;
Military: Base access; files (maps, technical manuals, etc.);
facilities; fire support; insertion/extraction; medevac; replacement
gear; technical means; transportation.
Security: Aerial surveillance; backup; bailout; disappearance
(requires 15-point Legal Enforcement Powers); facilities;
files (dossiers on terrorists); forensics; medevac; records
search; replacement gear; SWAT; transportation; warrant.
RESULTS OF SUCCESS
If the heroes requested information (files, forensics, records
search, etc.), treat their organization as though it were a Contact
Group (p. B44) with effective skill 18, and make a skill roll.
Success means the PCs get what they need. Reliability is
“Somewhat Reliable” – if the skill roll fails, those at home base
draw a blank. On a skill roll of 18, someone decides that the
request was above the PCs’ clearance or pay grade! Instead of
aid, their service’s equivalent of Internal Affairs or CID shows
up to complicate the adventure.
If the heroes asked for anything more substantial (backup,
cash, transportation, etc.), their employer serves as a Patron
(p. B72). Treat it as a “powerful organization” in all cases – the
CIA or USMC might outclass the LAPD, but individuals and
squads can at most reach one or two steps up the chain of
-————-Rank 0* 1 2 3 4 5† 6† 7† 8†
Assistance Roll 3- 5 7 9 10 11 12 13 14
- Heroes with Intelligence or Military Rank must have a Duty to claim Rank 0+; those with Police or Security Rank require
Duty and Legal Enforcement Powers.
† Starting PCs can’t buy Rank 5+ but can be promoted there in play (GM’s option).