The Pirates Of Atlantis
A character with this Perk knows someone who can occasionally help him out. Characters can purchase this Perk multiple times; in each case, it represents a person or persons the character knows. The Contact usually holds a job or position that can be useful to the character. Contacts must always be defined when the character buys the Perk, and any Contact must be approved by the GM. Examples of Contacts include the captain of the guard, a Senator in the Atlantean Senate, an armorer, a skyship pilot, or an underworld informant.
A character cannot take the same NPC as a Contact and a DNPC or as a Follower and a Contact unless the GM specifically permits him to.
A Contact can help the character on an 8 – roll for 1 Character Point, or an 11 – for 2 Character Points; with + 1 to the Contact Roll for every + 1 Character Point thereafter. Exceptionally useful Contacts may cost more (see below). The minimum cost for a Contact is always 1 Character Point, even after applying the modifiers described below.
Contacts Limited By Identity
If the character has two or more identities, and he can only access a Contact through one identity, the Contact costs – 1 point. This may occur if the Contact is only available to the character’s Social Limitation: Secret Identity (but not his “masked” persona), or if the Contact is known to a character through a disguise-based identity or Deep Cover.
Extremely Useful Resources
The rules assume all Contacts possess information, skills, or resources useful to the character.
If the Contact has very useful skills, information, or resources, he costs + 1 to + 2 points; examples include minor underworld figures; minor political figures (a council member, a guild leader, a local judge, most bureaucrats); or minor corporate figures. If the Contact has extremely useful skills, information, or resources, he costs + 3 points. Examples of this include powerful underworld figures; one of the Atlans trusted advisors; well-connected black market arms dealers; major political figures (the Atlan, A King, or one of the regional Princes); an extremely wealthy person; a highly skilled armorer or weaponsmith; and major corporate figures.
Access To Important Institutions
If the Contact grants the character access to important organizations or institutions, he costs + 1 point. The extra cost here depends on two factors: how important and useful the organization or institution is; and the quality of the access granted by the Contact. A Contact who’s a member of the Atlan’s Guard would be worth + 1 point (important group, but the Contact has little overall influence on it), whereas the Captain of the Guard would be + 3 points (important group, Contact has high level of influence over the group). The priest of a small local church would be worth + 1 point (great influence over group, but group is of little importance).
Organizations or institutions generally considered “important” include organized crime groups, the military, governments and government agencies and offices, popular or well-connected social clubs, major religions, megacorporations, and key bureaucracies or lobbying groups.
The Contact’s Contacts
If the Contact has a significant quantity or quality of Contacts of his own, he costs + 1 point.
Buying a Contact often means the character obtains access to a whole network of quasi-Contacts — “friends of a friend” who may prove helpful to him. (The character may also make “enemies by association” this way.) If the character attempts to gain the help of a “friend of a friend” directly (without going through the Contact), there’s a – 2 to all rolls involved with contacting and using that person.
Nature And Quality Of The Relationship
The nature of a character’s relationship with his Contact may affect the cost of that Contact. If the character has an especially long-lasting, good, or deep relationship with the Contact, the cost is + 1 – 2 points. Contacts of this nature are more likely to be available to the character and to do what he asks.
Examples include a childhood buddy, a good friend, an old flame, or a long-time comrade or colleague with whom the character has frequently worked. If the Contact is slavishly loyal to the character, the cost is + 3 points. Loyal Contacts are almost always available to the character and will do virtually anything he asks (though they’re not as readily available, or as willing to help, as a Follower). Examples include someone whose life the character saved (or for whom the character performed some extremely important favor in the past), someone who’s in love with the character, or someone who owes the character a large debt (of any sort) and will do anything to work some of it off .
Not all Contacts are friendly to the character. If a character has acquired a Contact via blackmail, intimidation, or similar unscrupulous methods, the Contact will deliberately try to make it harder for the character to find him and do his best to weasel out of or subvert any work given to him by the character. Such Contacts cost – 2 points.
Most Contacts are with individuals, but sometimes a character wants to buy a Contact defined as an entire group or organization rather than a person — for example, Contact: Atlantean Lancers 11 – rather than Contact: Legalos Thaneira Beruscia 11 -. This sort of Contact grants the character broad access to the organization, its resources, and its knowledge. Organization Contacts cost three times what a standard Contact costs: 3 points for an 8 -, 6 points for 11 -, + 1 to the roll per + 3 Character Points thereafter.
The multiplier for an Organization Contact applies after all additions and subtractions to the base Contact cost have been made (the minimum cost is 3 Character Points — the standard minimum of 1 Character Point, times 3). If the character has the Well Connected Skill Enhancer, it affects the Contact’s cost last, after the character applies all other modifiers (both additive/subtractive and multiplicative) (thus, the minimum cost for an Organization Contact bought through Well-Connected would be 2 Character Points).
When a character needs some special help during an adventure (or even between adventures), he can try to get in touch with his Contact. This requires a Contact Roll. Th e GM should apply appropriate modifiers (for example, camping out on the Contact’s doorstep adds a +2 bonus).
If the character reaches the Contact, then he has to convince the Contact to help him. The base chance is the Contact Roll. Th is is modified extensively by the exact nature of the help the character needs. The Contact Modifiers Table has modifiers for finding and using Contacts.
A characters should only use his Contacts to do things he can’t do or would have great difficulty doing. Contacts should never hand the solution to an adventure or dilemma to a character — they’re there to help move the adventure along when the players are stumped about how to proceed or need a little help to get through a difficult spot, not to take the PCs’ place. Characters most often use Contacts to gather information, obtain equipment or money, broker deals, arrange meetings with important people, and so forth.
A Contact can be almost anyone, from a janitor all the way to the President. People with important positions and/or influence are oft en the most watched, and therefore will refuse to help in many ways. If a character had the President as a Contact (perhaps they’re childhood friends), the President couldn’t get a murder charge dismissed — he’d be character an invitation to a diplomatic party or an appointment with almost anyone. A police records clerk can usually get information much more easily than a police captain, whose conduct is watched more carefully. Th e GM should always control Contacts and their use.
Often characters don’t start the game with Contacts. Th e GM may award a Contact to a character when it’s appropriate in the course of an adventure, as a way of giving out Experience Points (though the character should get Experience Points as usual in addition to the Contact). For instance, if the characters befriend a wizard during an adventure, the GM might give each character an 8 – Contact with that wizard.