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Con Gone Wrong

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Got another Fate Core adventure for you today. This one takes place in a casino setting, assumed to be modern times and technology but easily adjustable to fit what you want. The adventure is a fun way to meet a new NPC contact that you know has information you want.

Prelude: Tracking Down Mister X

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The party needs a piece of information to continue their quest. This could be security codes, blue prints, a list of names that are friends of Carlotta, or a secret formula for hair tonic. Whatever they need, they do not yet have the information. So they have to track down who does.

Have the group do their thing. A Contacts (3) check pulls up someone that has heard about Mister X who might know what the group needs. An Investigate (3) finds that Mister X has some hefty security moving to and from the office. A Burglary (3) check reveals that his home is also state-of-the-art secured and would be difficult to break into. Each of these checks will also reveal Mister X’s one true passion: gambling.

The party can track Mister X to his favorite Casino, the Tipsy Unicorn, where he leaves his security at the car so as not to attract too much attention to himself. If the party wants to participate in some gambling activities, feel free to reference our past article on The Gambler’s Hall for ideas.

Getting Mister X to talk requires some effort. The group first needs to get his attention. Then they need him to compromise his morals. Finally, the need to receive the needed information from him.

Step 1: Getting Some Attention

The party’s first challenge is to get Mister X’s attention. Depending on the style of play, this can be done one of 3 ways: carrot, stick, or distraction. An Insight check opposed by Mister X’s Will (Fair +2) reveals some useful aspects: Gamble What You Can Afford to Lose, Keep Cards Close and Mouth Closed, New Experiences Are Best.

An easy way to get Mister X’s attention is to sit down at a poker game with him and match his gambler’s talents skill for skill. Have a player make a skill check to create an aspect on him. Use Provoke for a “New Rival” or “Friendly Competition”. Use Resources for a “Wealthy Mark” or “Fresh New Money”. Remember that the party needs to be getting attention, not attacking, so no inflicting stress yet.

If the party is wanting to butter Mister X up, feel free to encourage them to put more aspects on him with Rapport or Deceive. This can be done with any number of skills over the course of the evening. Mister X will also try to place an aspect on the PC each time and may grow suspicious of failed attempts.

Step 2: Compromising Mister X

Once a member of the party has Mister X’s attention, the party is ready to alter him. Provoke is always a good social attack, but others may be appropriate to this particular setting. If the group is trying to out gamble him, Resources could be used to attack for example. Settling things on a game of darts would allow someone to use Shoot.

The party’s goal is to make one big attack, invoking the aspects they placed on Mister X. Since this NPC has only a Will of 2, they just need to inflict 4 stress on him. Since Mister X has no consequences except an Extreme one, he will have to change one of his aspects to stay in the scene. And he will, giving the party a Mister X that is much more easily manipulated.

Which of his aspects the GM changes should depend on the group’s method. If someone is trying to out-gamble him, change the first aspect to “Just One More”. If someone is trying to charm him, change the second one to “No Secret Is Worth Being Alone”. If the group is just trying to distract him for someone to attempt a Burglary check, change the last aspect to “New Experiences Are Very Distracting”. And of course, the group now gets a free invoke on whatever aspect was changed.

Step 3: Obtain the Information

With no more aspects to hide behind and a part of his personality changed, Mister X is ready for the final hit. He will oppose this last check again with his +2 Will, which is essentially negated by the free invoke. And now that he is changed, it is possible to get the information from him.

An opposed Burglary check will get a jump drive out of his pocket with the information. An opposed Rapport check will get him to tell the information. An opposed Provoke check will get him to gamble the information in a final all-or-nothing game, which he will then lose.

Final Thoughts

This is just a basic outline that you will want to flesh out to try out in your own setting. And if players come up with other ways of wearing him down, like getting Mister X drunk for example, go ahead and roll with it. The important thing in this scenario is to give your PCs a chance to change someone with social combat.

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Author: Burn Everything Gaming

Website that mostly produces Actual Play Podcast as well as game reviews and other musings on the topic. Hope you enjoy.

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