Preview a New Specialization and Species from Cyphers and Masks
The daily life of a Spy in service to the Rebellion is one of flexibility and innovation. Every mission poses a new question that must be answered with minimal supplies and personnel against a foe with a surplus of both. The Rebellion relies on the ingenuity and skill of every single operative on their roster. Today, we're going to look a little closer at the secrets revealed in the newest Star Wars™: Age of Rebellion sourcebook, Cyphers and Masks.
Up and Over
In a galaxy filled to bursting with technology and networks and computer systems, tech experts like Slicers access streams of data to manipulate and control the flow of information. However, not everything of value is in code or safe on the holonet. Couriers are spies who specialize in the safe and secure movement of secrets and supplies. Where the previously revealed Sleeper Agent excels at social engineering and a carefully constructed legend, the Courier navigates physical space with similar deftness. Their training and skill at maneuvering through dense urban areas allows them to get where others can’t. Towering buildings, crowds of civilians, clutter-strewn alleys, and more are the preferred environments of the Courier.
Couriers are experts at operating deftly in enemy territory where the watchful eye of the Empire is ever present. Multiple ranks of the Indistinguishable talent upgrade the difficulty of observers to recognize and identify the character, and an Improved version extends this benefit to nearby allies. To represent their ability to navigate their surroundings where others would find difficulty, the talent Freerunning allows the Courier to spend 1 strain to move, even vertically, to any location within short range provided there is a path to do so.
The final tier of the Courier tree includes two potent active talents the PC will find supremely useful in their dangerous line of work. Lose Them requires a Stealth check, but penalizes any pursuers of the Courier with two setback dice for as long as the chase continues or allows an immediate escape if the Courier spends a Triumph from the roll. The setback dice may not seem like a huge detriment for a single check, but over the course of a chase encounter, the failures and threats rolled will steadily wear the enemy down enough for an eventual empty-handed end for the trackers.
The Incite Distraction talent calls for a Deception skill check and, upon success, turns an entire crowd of people into difficult terrain for the Courier’s enemies. Paired with Lose Them, a Courier will have little problem making their escape from authorities or anyone else foolish enough to engage pursuit. However, Incite Distraction includes even more utility than that. While certainly useful for escape, the distraction incited is also perfectly suited to establish a trap for anyone the party may be themselves pursuing. The chaos of an incited crowd may provide the perfect opportunity to approach and assassinate or abduct an Imperial officer or troublesome crime lord.
A Poisonous World
As a planet, Balosar is dedicated solely to corporations and their manufacturing and financial interests. As a people, Balosars are subject to distrust and suspicion among the galaxy’s civilized society as well as its criminal underworld. Balosar is home to myriad companies who strain the world’s resources and health, resulting in a planet that is choked environmentally and culturally. The perception of the Balosar people as conniving and untrustworthy is an occasionally fair assessment of the absurd amount of corruption, espionage, and backstabbing that happens at all levels of society on their homeworld. Nearly everyone from the mightiest CEO to the lowest street urchin see this duplicity as a necessary means of survival in a cutthroat culture of their own making. One of the mightiest industries on Balosar is the cultivation of the balo mushroom, of which one of the primary end products is the street narcotic known as the death stick. Very addictive and even more deadly, death sticks are as reviled as they are desired across the galaxy, and this innate connection to the drug further sullies the reputation of Balosars.
Physically, Balosars are remarkably humanlike save for a pair of retractable antennae protruding vertically from their heads. Otherwise, one might mistake a Balosar for a tall, slender, unhealthy-looking human. Generations of living on an overdeveloped corporate world have turned the physique of the Balosars gaunt and sallow.
Balosar characters benefit from a boosted Cunning score and a free rank in the Streetwise skill, both owing to the threatening nature of their culture. Many individuals find their way into the spy or smuggling trade because of this, whether striking out on their own or serving one of the mighty corporations on their home planet. They also receive two automatic advantages when making a Vigilance skill check reflecting their constant need to be aware of their (often dangerous) surroundings.
Cyphers and Masks (SWA53), an Age of Rebellion sourcebook for Spies, will be infiltrating your local game store soon! Pre-order at your local retailer or online here!