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Espionage '88

Espionage '88

Espionage ’88 is my project of working on combining my favourite parts of Top Secret and Top Secret / S.I. – basically taking the Top Secret game, and adding the advantages and disadvantages of TS/SI, as well as cleaning up and simplifying the hand to hand combat system and completely rebuilding the social contact rules to be based on trait rolls instead of cross-referencing a table of results where only super-agents have a chance of success against average citizens.

One of the first steps in the redesign is re-writing the bureaus from the game to be both simpler than the bureaus inthe Top Secret Companion, and have a bit more differentiation than they do in the classic Top Secret game.

Thus, the new bureaus for Espionage ’88

Bureau Classification

There are a variety of bureaus (or divisions) within the agency that an agent may work under. When a character is created, each player will decide what bureau his operative will be working for. A character can only work for one bureau at a time, and experience gained will apply to that bureau’s experience levels exclusively.

Between assignments an agent can change bureau classification as he wishes. He then starts the next mission working for that bureau, and assuming he hasn’t worked for that bureau will be at level 0 with no experience points. A character can switch back to a previous bureau between assignments and continue his previous career and designation, adding any new experience gained in new operations to that gained in his previous assignments in that bureau.

This book only includes the divisions that outside agents can work for – there are many divisions inside the agency for internal work including Logistics (Division 3), Data Assimilation (Division 1), and so on.

Division 2 – Investigation

Investigators are the eyes and ears of the agency in the field. The investigators of Division 1 spend most of their time observing and inquiring, rooting out information. Most examine the target systematically, using suveillance equipment, cameras and tailing to get information. Some, known as infiltrators, actually make themselves members of the group to be investigated, either for a night or for more long-term surveillance – sometimes working from inside a group or organization for months or even years to subvert the group or gain information about it, or to gain information about a location where that group is commonly allowed or found.

Investigators add +5 per level to all rolls to interrogate, fool, con or otherwise gain information through social means from another character.

Investigators add +3 per level to all rolls to tail or shadow a target.

Investigators add +2 per level to all deactivation rolls to open locks and gain entry into secured areas.

Level – Designation – Experience
0 – Snitch – 0
1 – Informer – 1,800
2 – Tail – 3,600
3 – Inside Man – 5,400
4 – Contact – 7,200
5 – Interrogator – 9,000
6 – Shadow – 11,000
7 – Penetrator – 13,000
8 – Spy – 15,000
9 – Investigator – 17,500
10 – Special Investigator – 20,000
5,000 experience points must be earned for every level above 10th

Division 5 – Confiscation

Confiscators are the hands of the agency. Their operations centre around the seizure of property and the penetration of security systems. Some specialize in the procurement of hardware and other tools in the field (such as acquiring funds for large untraceable purchases), altering and returning stolen items without detection and other tasks other than the direct acquisition of documents, secrets, plans, money and weapons.

Confiscators add +5 per level to all deactivation rolls to open locks and gain entry into secured areas.

Confiscators add +3 per level to all rolls to commit minor sleight of hand including picking pockets, shoplifting and switching goods.

Confiscators add +2 per level to all rolls to fence goods.

Level – Designation – Experience
0 – Carrier – 0
1 – Pilferer – 500
2 – Crook – 1,400
3 – Burglar – 2,400
4 – Runner – 4,000
5 – Thief – 6,000
6 – Purloiner – 8,000
7 – Courier – 11,000
8 – Logistician – 14,000
9 – Confiscator – 17,000
10 – Special Confiscator – 20,000
5,000 experience points must be earned for every level above 10th

Division X – Assassination

Assassins are the wetwork operatives of the agency, performing the regretfully necessary tasks of elimination of targets that cannot be acquired or compromised in some other way. The actual majority of operatives of Division X are not assassins, but the opposite – agents trained to protect and bodyguard, to transfer targets safely from one point to another (such as collecting defectors).

In either role, Division X agents are the strong-arm of the agency, with high willpower and typically a high physical strength stat.

Assassins add +5 per level on the sneak attack results table.

Assassins add +3 per level to deception when trying to conceal a weapon.

Assassins add +2 per level for first shot determination on the first round of combat only.

Level – Designation – Experience
0 – Lookout – 0
1 – Thug – 750
2 – Hoodlum – 1,500
3 – Sentry – 3,000
4 – Muscleman – 4,500
5 – Buttonman – 6,000
6 – Killer – 8,000
7 – Mechanic – 10,000
8 – Hitman – 13,000
9 – Assassin – 16,000
10 – Special Assassin – 20,000
5,000 experience points must be earned for every level above 10th

Division 9 – Operations

Operations and Administration is the division in charge of the other divisions of the agency. Also known as Section 9 or Control, administration assigns operatives to tasks and routes information and materials to and from the agency proper.

In a field office, there will typically be a few Section 9 agents working as field handlers, with some small offices only having a single Section 9 operative handling all in and out traffic as well as requests from agents in the field.

However, there are also some field agents that work for Section 9. These are refered to as special agents, and generally work alone or in very small teams of other special agents performing a variety of tasks. Special agents are generalists, having risen through the ranks of all the other operational divisions before entering Section 9. They must have at least three levels in each of Divisions 2, 5 and X in order to qualify as a special field agent, and their level in Section 9 can never exceed the lowest level of their other three fields.

In a team involving agents of other divisions, operatives from Section 9 are always the senior agent in the field – acting as team leader and liaison with administration.

Special Field Agents add +2 per level to all non-combat die rolls.

Level – Designation – Experience
0 – Junior Case Officer – 0
1 – Case Officer – 1,000
2 – Senior Case Officer – 3,000
3 – Troubleshooter – 5,000
4 – Senior Troubleshooter – 9,000
5 – Pragmatist – 13,000
6 – Expediter – 17,000
7 – Special Affairs Officer – 22,000
8 – Special Affairs Chief – 27,000
9 – Field Agent – 33,000
10 – Special Field Agent – 40,000
10,000 experience points must be earned for every level above 10th