Campaign of the Month: December 2013
Fate: Warhammer 40,000
A Contacts roll allows a character to know just the right person for the job. Making a Contacts roll typically requires making calls and putting the word out for someone willing to help. This action is not subtle, and may attract unwanted attention, even when it succeeds.
The sort of environment the character conducts her search in determines the base difficulty. If she is looking for a knowledgeable Tech Priest in a friendly Ad Mech outpost, the base difficulty is 0. However, if she is currently on the run from Imperial authority, the base difficulty will be higher.
0: if both the character and the contact resides in an environment that is friendly or allied with the them
2: if contact resides in an environment hostile or opposing the characters’ cause, or is otherwise acting under time pressure
Additionally, modify the difficulty number based on any additional requirements on the nature of the contact. Using the following modifiers as a guideline.
+2 if the contact must be of a specific occupation or calling outside the characters’ usual circles (as indicated by her Aspects)
+2 if the contact must possess unusual knowledge, specific skills, or access to special resources; increase this penalty by +1 for each requirement beyond the first, and an additional +1, if the requirement is illegal or forbidden in the contact’s locale
+1 if the contact is of a different station or rank (both higher and lower)
If the Contact roll is successful, the character knows of and gets in touch with such an individual. If the roll succeeds with style, the player may pick one of the following boons:
- Making the contact does not draw unwanted attention
- The contact is of favorable disposition
- The contact “owes her one”
- Place an Aspect of your choice on the Contact with one free tag
If the Contact roll fails, the GM may put you in touch with an appropriate contact anyways, and additionally chooses one of the following complications:
- The contact has an agenda not aligned with the characters’. Place an appropriate Aspect with one free tag.
- Someone hostile to the contact or the players is notified and takes immediate action.
- The character owes the contact a favor, or has otherwise slighted him in the past. Place an appropriate Aspect with one free tag.
In either case, a new Contact may be noted down as an NPC to be used at a later date. If the contact leaves “on good terms” with the characters, they can be reached without a roll at a later date.
Aspects and Contacts
It is easier for a character to search for contacts that already have connections with the characters’ established background. If the character has an Aspect that indicates how she would know such a contact, the penalty for specific occupation or calling is waived.
Tech Priest Kappa needs to find an enginseer who knows the history behind the space station’s tram network. Being a Tech Priest in good standing, the Imperial station entreats Kappa’s requests with only the usual bureaucratic delays. The base difficulty is 0. While not part of the station’s Mechanicus chapter, Kappa’s Tech Priest high concept affords him the opportunity to meet other tech priests; this waives the +2 penalty for specific occupation. The history of the tram network is considered specific knowledge, which sets the final target number at +2.
Arbite Robinson is conducting an investigation in occult activity within Hive Omega. He is looking for a contact who may possess knowledge of the personal activities of a prominent political official. Being an arbite in good standing, the base difficulty is set at 0. He wants to find a mid-level bureaucrat or secretary (same station +0; specific occupation +2) who handles this sensitive information (+2). The difficulty for this roll is 4. If these activities were illicit in nature, the difficulty would be bumped up to 5, and the contact may be hard pressed to reveal them without additional persuasion.
Invoking a Contact
At any point, a character may simply pay a Fate Point to invoke an appropriate Aspect and declare the availability of a contact. This contact is of neutral (or worse) disposition (i.e. without any of the boons granted by a success with style).
At any point, an existing contact may be upgraded with a boon granted by a success with style by paying a Fate Point to invoke an appropriate Aspect. Explain this came to be, and how it relates to the tapped Aspect. If this was a previously established contact, explain the recent change in attitude.