My First SpyCraft Adventures

At the end of GameStorm 10 I got to talking to one of my buddies I frequently play Arcanis with. Steve told me about a SpyCraft 2.0 campaign he was running that really caught my attention. Using the various expansions available he was running a fantasy campaign.

Previous to this every time I spoke to someone about SpyCraft, it was in the context of secret agents, espionage, and elite commandos. While intriguing, it wasn’t a setting I was in a hurry to jump on. Steve’s fantasy SpyCraft setting had some fascinating elements about it though. So when he invited me to join the game, I was anxious to do so.

The SpyCraft system is not at all like what I expected. I understand it had it’s roots in d20 but where it sits today seems far from it. There are still come common concepts such as difficulty checks, skill ranks, damage reduction, and the more armor the better. The real differences come in with the details.

Skill checks can be made with synergy from other skills. These are bonuses based on ranks gaining in the other skill. Many of the special abilities can be used on a per scene or per combat basis. This allows you to use your abilities much more often. The system also uses action dice which are a pool of dice from which you can add them to various rolls you make or spend them to further affect the outcome of some conflict as you see fit. The players are also encourage to take a more active role in the story telling aspect of the game too with rewards of action dice for especially well delivered scenes.

The game feels much more like an action film with the hero’s pulling off crazy stunts and the NPCs being categorized into grunts, characters, and bosses. The differences between the various levels of NPCs also affects their power. If you play World of Warcraft the difference is comparable to standard mobs, elite mobs, and elite boss mobs.

My character in the campaign is an Assassin Sniper. I came into the campaign at level seven. “Lucky Bet”, as my character is known, is a brooding rebellious trouble maker with a dark sense of humor. Dressed in casual attire he rarely goes anywhere without his ornate composite bow at his side. On those occasions you don’t see him with his bow your fairly certain it can’t be far away. When he is not on the job you’ll find him at a nearby Inn enjoying his two favorite hobbies, beer and women. While his goals involve making the world a better place, his methods leave a long trail of corpses.

We’ve played two sessions so far and I’ve had some wonderful movie moments already. Steve plans to wrap up the current story line and start a post apocalyptic one when it is done. I’m looking forward to starting a character from scratch.

I like the game system so much I’m currently writing a one shot to play with my son. Here is the basic hook I have in mind:

Your on the way to your bank to make a withdrawal when you notice a black van with opaque windows parked out front. You call to HQ to have them send the police but it sounds like they won’t make it in time as they are dealing with a bomb threat at the far side of town. HQ gives you permission to deal with them as you see fit.

If I take the effort to do it up right I’ll post the module here in PDF form for download. The game is weekly and I can’t wait for this weeks session. Steve is a great GM and we’re just starting to sink our teeth the latest mission.

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