Summary of how you can use NPCs to help you
See below for definitions of all these terms.
- Connections edge - can get help from one or more people who belong to a specific group or faction. Each PC who has the Connections edge can do this once per session. These NPCs are extras and will usually roll a d8.
- I know a guy - any PC can declare a new acquaintance who owes you a favour and can help with one task. Costs a Bennie. Can only be done once per session for the whole group (not once each). Optionally, any PC can spend a second Bennie to convert the acquaintance into a contact. These NPCs are extras and will usually roll a d8.
- Contacts - once per session, each PC can call on any of their contacts for aid. Does not cost a Bennie. Contacts are Wild Cards and will usually roll a d8 plus a Wild Die. Contacts will ask you to return the favour from time to time.
Clarification of Contacts vs the Connections Edge
The Connections edge (see SWADE pg 50) provides your character with a connection to a specific group or organisation of people.
You can only use the Connections edge once per session, and only when the narrative allows (eg. you have to be able to contact the group, and they have to be able to reach you.)
NPCs you know through the Connections edge are Extras (not Wild Cards) and so do not roll a wild die. Should they have to roll any traits, they will usually roll a d8.
“I know a guy…”
At any point during gameplay, you may spend a Bennie to make up an acquaintance who owes you a small favour. You may do this to get information, a small amount of specialist gear, access to a restricted area, or anything else that you can convince me makes sense.
Note that “I know a guy…” is restricted to being used once per session across the whole group (not once each.)
The acquaintance starts with Friendly disposition, as they owe you a favour.
Contacts are characterised by two stats: their contact die type and their disposition.
The contact die is the die type the contact will roll when making any test on your behalf in their area of expertise. Most contacts have a d8 die type, although this may vary when the story suggests it.
All contacts are Wild Cards, and so also roll a Wild Die on all trait rolls.
Contact disposition uses the Reactions table (see SWADE pg 33). To summarise, each contact’s current relationship to the PC can take one of these values:
|Hostile||Openly hostile; might attack, betray, or otherwise hinder. Will not help without a really good reason.|
|Unfriendly||Isn’t interested in helping unless offered substantial reward.|
|Uncooperative||Will only help with coercion or reward.|
|Neutral||No preconceptions. Expects fair payment for services.|
|Cooperative||Sympathetic; may volunteer small pieces of information.|
|Friendly||Will go out of their way; will do simple tasks for free, and willing to consider dangerous or very complex tasks for reasonable payment.|
|Helpful||Anxious to help, at any reasonable cost to themselves.|
Using contacts to assist you
You can call on your contacts at any time for help, without needing to spend a Bennie. But you can only do this once per session; your contacts have their own lives and they are not all sitting around at your beck and call.
Creating a contact from an acquaintance
Normally, after you spend a Bennie to do I know a guy (see above) or after you use the Connections edge, that NPC fades out into the background of the story. However if you wish you can spend a second Bennie to recruit them as a permanent Contact.
Note that it can be anyone in the group who spends the Bennie and hence “adopts” the acquaintance; it doesn’t need be the same person who spent the first Bennie.
Contacts recruited this way return to a Neutral disposition, as they have repaid the favour implied by I know a guy.
At the start of downtime, each PC who has any contacts must draw a card. If it’s a face card, one of their contacts will need their help with some thing (see below.) The PC can choose which contact this event affects.
At the GM’s option, this might have to resolved during downtime (taking one or more of the PC’s downtime actions) or after downtime, during the next mission. It might be resolved in a single Wealth check, need the PC to pass a Dramatic Task, or become an entire background story.
If the PC ignores the contact, their disposition will drop one or more levels. If they successfully help, their disposition will improve by one level.
|Clubs||The contact is in trouble with the authorities (Knight Errant or a megacorp) and needs to lie low.||The contact shows up at your door, wounded and bleeding.||The contact has been arrested; they need to be bailed (or broken) out; or the PC needs to find a patsy for their crime; or they need to prove their innocence.|
|Diamonds||The contact has a problem or difficulty in their profession and needs help.||The contact shows up at your door with a fat credstick and offers you half if you can deal with the people who want it back.||The contact is in deep to a loan shark or other shady source of credit, and their patience has run out.|
|Hearts||The contact’s livelihood is threatened and they need help to save it.||A personal tragedy has happened and they need your shoulder to cry on (a breakup, bereavement, illness, etc.)||The contact has been attracting too much attention and someone is hunting them… and the people they know.|
|Spades||The contact needs your help to get information on someone or something, and it has to be done discreetly.||They’re starting to worry about you and need reassuring that you’re loyal to them.||The contact is out for revenge on someone and needs your help getting it.|
Any contact at the Helpful disposition level will give you some extra service, assistance or item for free, above and beyond what they usually can do. The details will depend on the contact’s background and skillset and we will work together to create this.