Setting: Suez 56 – Character templates

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I’m currently working on a new setting/scenario taking place during a particular episode of the Cold War: the Suez Crisis of ’56. I intend the game to be fairly realistic, but I’m not a specialist of this period, so this is another great opportunity for me to learn (and make mistakes along the way). I will be posting the material here as I make progress.

Focus

Following a demand from my players, I put the focus on the french Intelligence Service, the SDECE (for Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage, pronounced ‘zdek’). Most of the PCs are expected to come from the military or the police; some might have had a different experience (but it is my understanding that most SDECE field agents were either former soldiers or former cops).

Templates

Ideally, I would have put together a single template, SDECE agent, and multiple lenses, one for each career the PCs might have pursued before joining the agency. However, I felt this would make character creation rather backwards, focusing first on their second career and then only on their beginings. So I did the opposite, providing instead one template for each pre-spy career and a mandatory lense grouping the SDECE-mandatory skills.

For now, the templates rely solely on the core rules but I might include a few things from Social Engineering and Social Engineering: Pulling Rank in the future.

Campaign level is at 160 for starting PC, with a maximum of 30 points of disadvantages.

Note that I haven’t playtested these templates yet, and I’m likely to have done a few things wrong here. Also, I will post these over at SJGames to get some precious feedback and advice from fellow GURPS GMs. As a result, there’s a good chance I will be updating this post in the next few days to fix the templates.

The templates are:

Ex-Military Soldier (82 points)
Attributes: ST 11 [10]; IQ 10 [0]; DX 12 [40]; HT 11 [10].
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-1/1d+1; BL 24 lbs; HP 11 [0]; Will 10 [0]; Per 10 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Basic Speed 5.75 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8.
Languages: French (Native) (Native Language) [0].
Cultural Familiarities: Western [0].
Advantages: Combat Reflexes [15].
Disadvantages: Flashbacks (Mild) [-5].
Skills: Soldier/TL7 (A) IQ [2]; Guns/TL7 (Pistol) (E) DX [1]; Guns/TL7 (SMG) (E) DX [1]; Knife (E) DX [1]; Camouflage (E) IQ [1]; Observation (A) Per [2]; Expert Skill (Military) (H) IQ [4].

 

Ex-Military Artificer (73 points)
Attributes: ST 10 [0]; IQ 11 [20]; DX 11 [20]; HT 11 [10].
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs; HP 10 [0]; Will 11 [0]; Per 11 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Basic Speed 5.50 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8.
Languages: French (Native) (Native Language) [0].
Cultural Familiarities: Western [0].
Advantages: High Manual Dexterity-1 [5]; Single-Minded [5].
Disadvantages: Stubbornness [-5].
Skills: Soldier/TL7 (A) IQ [2]; Explosives (A) IQ [2]; Guns/TL7 (E) DX [1]; Knife (E) DX [1]; Chemistry/TL7 (H) IQ [4]; Mathematics/TL7 (Applied) (H) IQ [4]; Expert Skill (Military) (H) IQ [4].

 

Ex-Military Communications (72 points)
Attributes: ST 10 [0]; IQ 12 [40]; DX 10 [0]; HT 11 [10].
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs; HP 10 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Per 12 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Basic Speed 5.25 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8.
Languages: French (Native) (Native Language) [0].
Cultural Familiarities: Western [0].
Advantages: Acute Hearing-2 [4]; Lightning Calculator [2].
Disadvantages: Shyness (Mild) [-5].
Skills: Soldier/TL7 (A) IQ [2]; Guns/TL7 (E) DX [1]; Engineer/TL7 (Electronics) (H) IQ [4]; Electronics Operation (Communication) (A) IQ [2]; Cryptography/TL7 (H) IQ [4]; Expert Skill (Military) (H) IQ [4]; Mathematics/TL7 (Applied) (H) IQ [4].

 

Ex-Military Officer (72 points)
Attributes: ST 10 [0]; IQ 11 [20]; DX 11 [20]; HT 11 [10].
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs; HP 10 [0]; Will 11 [0]; Per 11 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Basic Speed 5.50 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8.
Languages: French (Native) (Native Language) [0].
Cultural Familiarities: Western [0].
Advantages: Unfazeable [15];
Disadvantages: Ennemies [-10]
Skills: Soldier/TL7 (A) IQ [2]; Guns/TL7 (E) DX [1]; Leadership (A) IQ [2]; Tactics (H) IQ [4]; Strategy (Pick one) (H) IQ [4]; Expert Skill (Military) (H) IQ [4].

 

Ex-Military Pilot (81 points)
Attributes: ST 10 [0]; IQ 11 [20]; DX 12 [40]; HT 11 [10].
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs; HP 10 [0]; Will 11 [0]; Per 11 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Basic Speed 5.75 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8.
Languages: French (Native) (Native Language) [0].
Cultural Familiarities: Western [0].
Advantages: Acute Vision-2 [4]; Fearlessness-2 [4].
Disadvantages: Light Sleeper [-5]; Loner [-5].
Skills: Soldier/TL7 (A) IQ [2]; Guns/TL7 (E) DX [1]; Piloting/TL7 (Heavy or Light) (A) DX [2]; Expert Skill (Military) (H) IQ [4]; Mathematics/TL7 (Applied) (H) IQ [4].

 

Ex-Cop (73 points)
Attributes: ST 11 [10]; IQ 10 [0]; DX 11 [20]; HT 11 [10].
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-1/1d+1; BL 24 lbs; HP 11 [0]; Will 10 [0]; Per 10 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Basic Speed 5.50 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8.
Languages: French (Native) (Native Language) [0].
Cultural Familiarities: Western [0].
Advantages: Danger Sense [15].
Disadvantages: Sense of Duty (cops and SDECE agents) [-10].
Skills: Guns/TL7 (E) DX [1]; Shadowing (A) IQ [2]; Detect Lies (H) Per [4]; Intimidation (A) Will [2]; Interrogation (A) IQ [2]; Forced Entry (E) DX [1]; Lock Picking (A) IQ [2]; Observation (A) Per [2]; Search (A) Per [2]; Streetwise (A) IQ [2]; Law (France) (H) IQ [4]; Expert Skill (Cop) (H) IQ [4].

 

Ex-Cop Chief  (78 points)
Attributes: ST 10 [0]; IQ 12 [40]; DX 11 [20]; HT 10 [0].
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs; HP 10 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Per 12 [0]; FP 10 [0]; Basic Speed 5.25 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8.
Languages: French (Native) (Native Language) [0].
Cultural Familiarities: Western [0].
Advantages: Contact (Pick a skill, Pick a location, Effective level 18, Usually reliable (x2), Frequency Fairly Often (x1)) [6].
Disadvantages: Overconfidence [-5]
Skills: Public Speaking (A) IQ [2]; Guns/TL7 (E) DX [1]; Leadership (A) IQ [2]; Intimidation (A) Will [2]; Interrogation (A) IQ [2]; Law (France) (H) IQ [4]; Expert Skill (Cop) (H) IQ [4].

 

Ex-Journalist (71 points)
Attributes: ST 10 [0]; IQ 12 [40]; DX 10 [0]; HT 10 [0].
Secondary Characteristics: Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs; HP 10 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Per 12 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Basic Speed 5.0 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8.
Languages: French (Native) (Native Language) [0], (Pick another) [6].
Cultural Familiarities: Western [0], (Pick two others) [2].
Advantages: Contact (Pick a skill, Pick a location, Effective level 18, Usually reliable (x2), Frequency Fairly Often (x1)) [6]; Empathy (Sensitive) [5].
Disadvantages: Impulsiveness [-10].
Skills: Current Affairs/TL7 (Politics) (E) IQ [1]; Current Affairs/TL7 (Business) (E) IQ[1]; Streetwise (A) IQ [2]; Propaganda (A) IQ [2]; Photography (A) IQ [2]; Smuggling (A) IQ [2]; Holdout (A) IQ [2]; Filch (A) DX [2]; Diplomacy (H) IQ [4]; Writing (A) IQ [2], Fast-Talk (A) IQ [2].

 

Mandatory Lens
SDECE Field Agent (57 points)
Advantages: Zeroed [10]; Patron (SDECE) [20]; Rank (SDECE) 2 [20]; Alternate Identity (Legal) [5]; Legal Immunity [5];
Disadvantages: Duty [-15]
Skills: Intelligence Analysis/TL7 (H) IQ+1 [8]; Expert Skill (Spy) (H) IQ [4].

Notes: No Military Rank, Police Rank or Legal Enforcement Powers since PCs are retired officially.

 

Suggested Skills

  • Cryptography (B186)
  • Driving (B188)
  • Escape (B192)
  • Fast-Talk (B195)
  • Filch (B195)
  • Forgery (B196)
  • Guns/TL7 (B198)
  • Interrogation (B202)
  • Poisons (B214)
  • Observation (B211)
  • Shadowing (B219)

 

Allowed advantages

  • Absolute Direction (B34)
  • Absolute Timing (B35)
  • Acute Senses (B35)
  • Ambidexterity (B39)
  • Animal Empathy (B40)
  • Appearance (B21)
  • Charisma (B41)
  • Combat Reflexes (B43)
  • Contacts (B44)
  • Danger Sense (B47)
  • Daredevil (B47)
  • Eidetic Memory (B51)
  • Empathy (B51)
  • Enhanced Defenses (B51)
  • Fearlessness (B55)
  • Fit (B55)
  • Flexibility (B56)
  • Gadgeteer (B56)
  • Hard to Kill (B58)
  • Hard to Subdue (B59)
  • High Manual Dexterity (B59)
  • High Pain Threshold (B59)
  • Language Talent (B65)
  • Less Sleep (B65)
  • Lightning Calculator (66)
  • Luck (B66)
  • Night Vision (B71)
  • Rapid Healing (B79)
  • Reduced Consumption (B80)
  • Resistant (B80)
  • Single-Minded (B85)
  • Talent (B89)
  • Unfazeable (B95)
  • Versatile (B96)
  • Voice (B97)

 

Allowed disadvantages

  • Absent-Mindedness (B122)
  • Addiction (B122, B164, B165)
  • Alcoholism (B122)
  • Appearance (B21)
  • Bad Back (B123)
  • Bad Grip (B123)
  • Bad Sight (B123)
  • Bad Smell (B124)
  • Bad Temper (B124)
  • Berserk (B124)
  • Bloodlust (B125)
  • Bully (B125)
  • Callous (B125)
  • Charitable (B125)
  • Chronic Depression (B126)
  • Chronic Pain (B126)
  • Chummy (B126)
  • Clueless (B126)
  • Code of Honor (B127, B163)
  • Colorblindness (B127)
  • Compulsive Behaviour (B128)
  • Curious (B129)
  • Delusions (B130, B164)
  • Disturbing Voice (B132)
  • Dyslexia (B134)
  • Easy to Kill (B134)
  • Easy to Read (B134)
  • Ennemies (B135)
  • Extra Sleep (B136)
  • Fanaticism (B136)
  • Fat (B19)
  • Fearfulness (B136)
  • Flashbacks (B136)
  • Gluttony (B137)
  • Greed (B137)
  • Guilt Complex (B137)
  • Hard of Hearing (B138)
  • Hemophilia (B138)
  • Hidebound (B138)
  • Impulsiveness (B139)
  • Incurious (B140)
  • Innumerate (B140)
  • Insomniac (B140)
  • Intolerance (B140)
  • Jealousy (B140)
  • Killjoy (B140)
  • Lecherousness (B142)
  • Light Sleeper (B142)
  • Loner (B142)
  • Low Pain Threshold (B142)
  • Low Self-Image (B143)
  • Manic-Depressive (B143)
  • Megalomania (B144)
  • Miserliness (B144)
  • Missing Digit (B144)
  • Motion Sickness (B144)
  • Night Blindness (B144)
  • Nightmares (B144)
  • No Sense of Humor (B146)
  • No Sense of Smell/Taste (B146)
  • Obsession (B146, B164)
  • On the Edge (B146)
  • One Arm (B147)
  • One Hand (B147)
  • Overconfidence (B148)
  • Paranoia (B148)
  • Phantom Voices (B148)
  • Phobias (B148)
  • Post-Combat Shakes (B150)
  • Restricted Diet (B151)
  • Sadism (B152)
  • Selfish (B153)
  • Selfless (B153)
  • Sense of Duty (B153)
  • Shyness (B154)
  • Sleepwalker (B154)
  • Slow Healing (B155)
  • Slow Riser (B155)
  • Stubbornness (B157)
  • Stuttering (B157)
  • Susceptible (B158)
  • Trickster (B159)
  • Unfit (B160)
  • Unluckiness (B160)
  • Vow (B160, B165)
  • Workaholic (B162)
  • Wounded (B162)

Artist: François Launet

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A quick post to talk about François Launet, aka Goomi. His particular field of expertise is Cthulhu and friends, but I wouldn’t bet too much on his material for direct inspiration for your unspeakable campaigns, as he managed to make the Old Ones funny and likeable!

Have a look at The Unspeakable Vault (of Doom), his web site, where over 500 comics have been published, his two books compiling this material or the extension to Munchkin Cthulhu he made the art for!

 

Plots: lists and generators

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Today, I wanted to share with you a few resources I turn to whenever I find myself stuck with no idea for a scenario:

  • Plot Scenario Generator: from Carolyn Kaufman. Just refresh the page to get new, instant ideas. Her website on proper writing is also full of useful advice.
  • The Seventh Sanctum: this website has several generators, from plots to characters and places.
  • The Big List of RPG Plots: by S. John Ross. A large collection of plots, each one provided with enough details to get you started very quickly.
  • A randomised version of The Big List: BoardGameGeek has put together a procedure to randomise the Big List of RPG Plots. Be sure to have a look, be it only for its reliance on rolling 1d34!

I’m sure many others exist, these are just the four main ones I turn to in case of need.

 

 

 

 

Illustrator: Olivier Sanfilippo

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I just discovered the website of Olivier Sanfilippo, an amazingly gifted artist. His work primarily deals with characters and landscapes and convey a subtle mix of mysticism and lurking danger, which makes them very inspiring to me. He’s also done some of the most beautiful maps  I’ve ever seen. He’s done plenty of work with RPG companies (illustrating for Shadows of Esteren and other french RPGs). It’s the kind of work so inspiring you can start imagining a whole world just by looking at a single picture.

GURPS After The End 1: Wastelanders is out!

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Jason “PK” Levine announced in a tweet that Steve Jackson Games have just published the first supplement in a new line called GURPS: After The End! As the name suggests, the line will explore post-apocalyptic themes and the first supplement, Wastelanders, is full of goodies: templates and lenses, rules for all sides of the cheerful life PCs will lead (mutations, starvation, dehydration, extreme fatigue) and equipment. Also, note that the latest issue of Pyramid, #3/88, titled ‘The End Is Nigh’, is entirely dedicated to the theme.

For more details on the series itself, you can read the “Ask Me Anything” thread over at SJGames Forums, where PK has answered dozens of questions asked by the whole community.

I’m very glad SJGames decided to start this new line, since post-apocalyptic settings are among my favourites! Also, if I were to make a cheeky comment, I would say I’m glad they finally got round to publishing GURPS Survivors that old-timers have been eagerly waiting for since the 80s… Come on, I’m kidding!