Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Take Care of Your Friends

I've played a lot of Shadowrun over the years. To some, it was about the gear, to others it was to stick it to the Man, or various other reasons. To me, it was about the Contacts. In Shadowrun, every Contacts has ratings that indicated how loyal and helpful they are, along with a short bio. I was fascinated by the effects these relationships my character had on the campaign.

I wanted Wiseguys to give the players one more reason to interact with the colorful nonplayer characters and cultivate relationships with them so I designed the Friends of Ours Setting Rule that you could use in any setting.

Contacts aren't sitting by the phone waiting for you to call them and do you a favor. They are as much a part of the Underworld as you are and have their own agendas.

In Savage Worlds, Contacts are handled through the Connections Edge. Wiseguys builds upon that by making the interaction between the player characters and their Contacts more dynamic. In Savage Worlds, the Persuasion skill provides guidelines to the Reaction Level of nonplayer characters. This a nonplayer character's attitude toward your character. Each Contact is given a Reaction Level by the Don. This attitude is subject to change through the course of the campaign. Let the attitude fall down to Hostile and this Contact may turn on you. Improve it to Helpful and new services open up to you. You learn that the drive-thru clerk at your favorite local fast food joint is also a biochemistry student and she can provide you with venom or anti-venom doses. The labor union leader you've been in business with likes you enough to declare a strike the day you want to rob the joint. Your personal tailor who always makes you look your best now has access to a bulletproof fabric and can make you a nice suit. Wiseguys contains over 50 such Contacts that you can use out of the box along with guidelines for the Don and the players to create their own.

At the beginning of each session, the Don may ask a player whose character has a contact to draw a card from the Action Deck. Certain cards trigger an event that the wise guy must deal with. The outcome of this event is going to change the relationship between the wise guy and his Contact for better or worse. Wiseguys is a world full with betrayal and unlikely alliances!

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