Spycraft is a d20-based role-playing game dealing with superspies and modern action. It is published by the Alderac Entertainment Group. After the release of the core book (subsequently referred to as the "Spycraft Espionage Handbook") in 2002, multiple supplements were released in the following years. A new edition of the rules, Spycraft 2.0, was released in August 2005.
Early in 2006, a new company announced it would be acquiring the Spycraft line from AEG. This company, Crafty Games, was founded by the authors of Spycraft 2.0 Alex Flagg, Scott Gearin and Patrick Kapera (who also co-authored Spycraft 1.0).
Spycraft 1.0 is based on the d20 system, incorporating a few changes to give more of a modern-day feel.
- The system used the Vitality/Wound Point system first introduced in the Star Wars d20 RPG.
- Characters gained both a Defense and Initiative bonus which improved with their character levels, while armor instead adds damage resistance rather than add to defense (Armor Class).
- Modern day skills like Computers and Electronics were added to the skill list. Characters in Spycraft can also critically succeed or critically fail at skill checks.
- A system for resolving high-speed chases was included in the main rulebook (and expanded somewhat in later supplements). The system involves both sides of the chase picking maneuvers with specific game effects and then rolling a contest of skill to determine which takes effect.
- Characters kept a certain amount of personal gear, but the gear would be replaced by the Agency the characters worked for when lost. Characters also received additional gear for each mission based on the threat level code of the mission (White, Yellow, Red, or Black).
- Characters received a number of "Action Dice" based on their character level (and feat selection) for each play session. These Action Dice would be used during play to add to die rolls or to activate a critical success (or critical failure on the part of your opponents). The Game Control (Spycraft's term for a Game Master) also received a number of Action Dice to use for his NPCs, and could award the players (and himself) additional Action Dice for particularly good play.
Spycraft 2.0 took these changes a step further and removed the game far enough from its d20 origins that it was able to serve as a stand-alone book. A copy of the Player's Handbook, or similar sourcebooks, is not required to play Spycraft 2.0. There were also numerous changes from Spycraft 1.0, such as:
- New character options, including Wealth and Interests help flesh out characters more effectively.
- The introduction of plug-and-play modifications called Campaign Qualities that allow characters to advance in some skills and abilities faster at the expense of others that slow down by the same rate. Other Campaign Qualities have more general effects like setting the game in a specific time period, or making combat more dangerous than it already is.
- Each character chooses an Origin at character creation. Unlike D&D's Race mechanic and Spycraft 1.0's Departments, Origins consist of two parts which allow players to choose an almost unending variety of character benefits and detriments.
- The skills system has been largely reworked. The d20 System skill list has been replaced by a new list, and each skill has a variety of codified checks that that skill can perform. The skills rules more rigorously detail matters that were often left to group contract in other d20 System games.
- A re-designed gear system that simplifies one of the more unwieldy parts of Spycraft 1.0. Budget and Gear Points have been replaced with a number of Gear Picks based on a character's class. Though apparently more complex than its predecessor, gearing up supposedly become much easier. Gadgets can now be designed with others, with a simple set of rules to guide you through the process.
- Vehicular chases have been expanded into a new rules mechanic called Dramatic Conflicts. The one system covers chases, seduction, hacking and other suitably dramatic events.
- Mission and NPC creation have been redesigned, and are now crafted to give a set amount of XP based on their ability instead of using Challenge Ratings. As well, it is presumably a relatively simple exercise to create a mission.
The first of all the Spycraft campaign settings. The world of Shadowforce Archer (SFA) is an Earth where mystical and psionic powers are real. A series of supplemental books that were released to support the SFA worldbook. Each book details one of the international Chambers of world. Each book has a different theme and includes new rules and agent options appropriate to the theme. The setting was discontinued at the beginning of 2005 due to lagging sales of the books. Spycraft 2.0 contains many classes and feats that first appeared in the SFA line.
The Shadowforce Archer World Book has recently been re-released in PDF format by Crafty Games. The rest of the SFA line will also be made available in PDF format throughout the rest of the year (and possibly into the next).
Released in 2004 by Mythic Dreams Studios, Dark Inheritance (DI) was originally a d20 Modern campaign setting but converted across to the Powered by Spycraft banner using the Spycraft 1.0 rules. It describes an Earth that has been ravaged by ancient mystical powers, allowing Demons and other foul beasts access to this dimension. The setting book contains new rules that allow agents to play as Titans (powerful descendants of antediluvian demi-gods), worship the demonic forces and gain access to mystic powers (reprinted from the SFA world book).
There are a number of supplements planned for DI, similar in fashion to those for SFA. There is no release date as yet for any of these supplements.
World On FireEdit
Released in December 2007, World On Fire is the title for a world book that will be covering the setting detailed in the Spycraft CCG. Agents will be able to fight the forces of evil alongside such groups as the Shadow Patriots and Banshee.Net. The book will feature even more character options (in the form of new origins, base and expert classes, and new master classes for higher level characters. New classes include the Ace, the Centurion, the Edgemaster, the Fixer, the Forward, the Goliath, the High Roller, the Martial Artist, the Medic, the Menace, the Mole, the Ninja, the Provocateur, the Saboteur, the Spin Doctor, the Street Knight, and the Terrorist. World on Fire will also be used as the campaign setting for Living Spycraft.
Long teased on the Spycraft forums under the name 'Project X', 10,000 Bullets is a gritty crime setting that brings Spycraft down to street level. New rules will allow players to become police, gangsters and everything in between. It has been mentioned on the official forums that Ten Thousand Bullets will be released in time for GenCon Indy 2007, but still has not been released.
Spycraft can also be played as part of the Living Spycraft campaign. As a Living Campaign, judges download official modules created by volunteers and run the modules according to the "MRD" rules document. Players track character progression on a log sheet. The latest version of all files can be found on the Home Office site.
Originally a part of the Role Playing Game Association's network of Living Campaign settings, the RPGA has offered varying support for Living Spycraft. Modules could be ordered via the RPGA system, and games were held at conventions such as GenCon.
In 2007 there was no support for Spycraft at the D&D Experience gaming convention (previously named Winter Fantasy). Shortly afterwards, in February 2007, the RPGA announced that it has stopped supporting campaigns not based on Wizards of the Coast products, including Living Spycraft. Adventure modules are now being provided via the LivingSpycraft.com website, and support is provided directly from the campaign staff.
The Living Spycraft campaign has featured several story arcs over the years. In 2006, the World on Fire story arc began, offering dramatic changes to the campaign. Per the MRD and announcements by Crafty Games, players can now have several primary characters, each in a different campaign (of which World on Fire is one) and each one will advance in level at the same time. In addition, each primary character can have backup characters that level automatically. Each backup character is 6 levels lower than the first. Thus, a 15th level primary would have 9th and 3rd level backups. These two changes from the standard RPGA Living system increase the chances that tables can be formed. One final change is the creation of adaptable adventures, where a framework is provided and authors can create multiple adventures based on the framework. All approved adventures are playable. This facilitates authoring. These changes are seen as attempts to increase the player base for the living campaign.
- Modern Arms Guide (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- Gentleman's Agreement (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- Game Control Screen (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- Soldier/Wheelman Class Guide (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- Fixer/Pointman Class Guide (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- Faceman/Snoop Class Guide (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- The 1960s Decade Book (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- Most Wanted (Paradigm Concepts)
- Agency (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- Mastermind (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- U.S. Militaries (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- World Militaries (Alderac Entertainment Group)
- Battlegrounds (Alderac Entertainment Group)
Crafty Games has started re-releasing the first edition books in PDF format. Where possible, each books comes with a Conversion Document that allows owners use the material with Spycraft 2.0.
There are currently ten supplements available for the new version of Spycraft, all of which are in PDF format and available for purchase through their publishers' official sites.
- Back to Basics: Modern SRD Classes for Spycraft (Crafty Games)
- Bag Full of Guns: Red Heat (Crafty Games)
- Bag Full of Guns: This is My Rifle (Crafty Games)
- Spellbound Volume 1: The Channeler (Crafty Games)
- Conspiracies (Paradigm Concepts)
- Black Knight Casino (Darkfuries)
- Origin of the Species: Light of Olympus (Crafty Games)
- Practice Makes Perfect (Crafty Games)
- Fragile Minds (Crafty Games)
- World on Fire (Crafty Games)
There are a number of other supplements currently in production for Spycraft 2.0. Release dates for many of these products have not been announced, as Crafty Games prefers not to do this until they are sure of a release date.
- Combat Missions (Paradigm Concepts) (Release Date: TBA)
- Farthest Star (Crafty Games) (Release Date: 2008)
- Shatterpunk (Crafty Games) (Release Date: 2008)
- Spellbound Volume 2: The Enchanter (Crafty Games) (Release Date: 2008)
- The Crucible (Crafty Games) (Release Date: 2008)
- Throwdown (Crafty Games) (Release Date: TBA)
- The official Spycraft website has a selection of free downloads for both versions of Spycraft, including downloadable missions and character sheets.
- Modus-Operandi is a fan-run site for all things Espionage Role-playing related. They have a large collection of material for Spycraft players.
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