First draft of a Spy playbook. Still needs a lot of work though. I’m open to suggestions!
As I’ve alluded to before, I wanted a different take on the Thief; someone who could fill the traditional thief role but also have some other niche. For the Spy, that niche is information handling and infiltration.
5 thoughts on “First draft of a Spy playbook. Still needs a lot of work though. I’m open to suggestions!”
Not a fan of the first Bond. Kinda hard to judge when to mark XP. What does ‘Keep an eye on them’ mean? Do you mark it the second you begin your campaign?
Otherwise I think it’s looking good
First pass thoughts:
Reading through it, it definitely feels like a Spy, rather than just a tweaked Thief. It hits all the right marks, I think.
I love the Network move! I can tell exactly what it’s about and what it will bring to the game, the trigger is clear, and since you generate hold to spend later it lets you do that Leverage-style schrodinger’s intel thing. Very slick.
Style-wise, I’m not sure I’m a fan of making the character beholden to an organization and employer. DW characters are meant to be standouts, ya know? It feels odd for a PC to have a boss, let alone to imply that there are NPCs who can do the same sorts of things that they can do. I guess if you view it more like they’re the James Bonds and Sydney Bristows and the other spies are… well, not, then it’s probably cool. Personal tastes and all that, anyway.
I’m not big on the Hitman mission (though I like tweaking alignments/drives to be missions). I can see where you’re coming from with it, but it falls into the same category as a lot of third party drives and fails the following litmus test: “Without the GM building the campaign around my archetype, can I reasonably expect an opportunity to fulfill my [drive/alignment/mission] every session, or at least comparably often?”
The Informant mission, by comparison, is cool; “valuable information” is suitably vague that you can probably make an argument for it. That said, I’d probably rephrase it as collect valuable intelligence, so if you guys are stuck out in the wilderness for a half dozen sessions The Spy isn’t getting screwed out of their alignment xp despite doing what they’re supposed to do. Either that, or give them some easy way to deliver intelligence–add “Trained carrier pigeon” to their starting gear, maybe? 😉
I’m gonna suggest redoing all of the Backgrounds, and coming at them from a different perspective. If you look at backgrounds and races from other classes, they’re not really as strong as full-blown moves. Generally, they synergize with your class abilities in some way rather than tacking on new abilities to worry about–which is cool! It means that your background and class are meaningfully tied together.
Also, Assassin and Poisoner seem too similar to me anyway. Wouldn’t a poisoner just be an assassin who uses poison? Neither one really seems to tie into the information-gathering side of things either, which is kind of disappointing since that’s what sets this class apart from The Thief (and from any other class I’ve seen, actually). As a suggestion, maybe the Assassin background could add in a question to Network about acquiring or going after targets? Something like “How is __ most vulnerable to me?” perhaps?
I’d trim Ever Thoughtful down to one question, and probably limit it further. Similar “ask anything” moves generally limit you to a single, broad subject or condition, and with good reason I think; Discern Realities is a move that’s pretty easy to trigger, and the player asking the questions gets a lot of spotlight time and ability to guide the fiction out of it.
License to Kill seems to have a typo. It replaces Black Ops, but does the exact same thing. I’m guessing the die is supposed to be a d6 instead of a d4 or something?
Looks solid otherwise!
Thanks you very much for the feedback!
I think the Spy needs someone to be corresponding with, even if that someone is very distant and never makes an actual appearance. Without it, why is the Spy doing what they do? I’m not quite sure what a “freelance Spy” would be like.
The reason I went with the strong background moves is that, as is, the Spy doesn’t really have a good offensive ability. What is the Spy going to be doing in combat? Some kind of “Dirty Fighting” move would be ideal, but I’d rather not lift Backstab from the Thief completely.
D8 damage is a good offensive ability, though, as is Like A Shadow if they’re sneaky enough (I’d say it covers the same niche as Assassin, it just does so in a different way). I don’t think you really need more than that, unless you want this to be an upgrade to The Thief instead of an alternative.
I think instead I’m going to drop the damage down to D6, but offer a choice of dirty fighting techniques. I want them to fight like a Spy, not just a second-tier fighter.
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