Secrecy Mechanic

New Mechanic: Secrecy

Secrecy & You:

This site has a significant theme of paranoia and conspiracy, and with that is the fear of discovery. Your enemies are everywhere and some of them can see everything. They have eyes all over and are constantly looking to find who needs to be mitigated, and who must be destroyed.

Mechanically, SECRECY is tracked score similar to Morality stats like Wisdom or Humanity but is generally hidden from the players and tracked by the ST staff. It is a 0-10 scale and moves up and down according to what PCs do in game, what merits they have, and how their background fits. Things that bring attention to your PC lower Secrecy, things that hide your PC from the scrutiny of mortal and supernatural powers raise your secrecy.

Secrecy is basically your supernatural credit score.

 

The Secrecy Scale:

10

You are so far off the grid you practically do not exist. Friends who know you don’t actually know you. No one can really say where you live, and describing you to others takes a great deal of work.

9

You actively hide your presence, nature, and existence. You are difficult to find and your records, if they ever existed, have been buried, hidden or destroyed.

7-8

You are just another face in the mass of humanity that is LA. Your record is associated with a name, but not necessarily your real name

5-6

You are known in some circles and some people probably recognize you generally when you walk in a room. Your name and face are associated and there is a decent record of who you are. Adversaries and authorities might make a note of you and your activities, but probably are not actively investigating you.

4-3

You are known in probably more circles than your faction leadership would like. The wrong kind of people recognize you and you may have noticed that van always parked outside your house all the time or the feeling of always having eyes on you. You are probably being evaluated to determine if you are a threat or a possible recruit.

1-2

You are known in probably more circles than your faction leadership would like. The wrong kind of people recognize you and you may have noticed that van always parked outside your house all the time or the feeling of always having eyes on you. You are probably being evaluated to determine if you are a threat or a possible recruit.

0

The jig is up. Your enemies and your faction both have decided you are a threat and can’t be ignored. Chances are, someone, or everyone, wants you dead. Chances are your character is on its way out – perhaps in a blaze of glory.

 

How do I learn what my Secrecy score is?

Players can learn what their Secrecy score is IC. Depending on the approach, players can use investigation, streetwise, politics, computer, or social merits like allies and contacts to find out what other people know about them. Of course, a failed roll or too much time digging may bring unwanted attention in and of itself, so this is not without risk. Players should declare their intended means of learning the Secrecy score and the ST will determine the roll or rolls necessary to achieve that goal.

 

Sins against Secrecy:

Unlike other scales (Humanity, Wisdom, etc); sins against Secrecy can lower Secrecy at any interval. Generally, Secrecy will drop by 1 point for most minor to moderate or 2 for serious sins. This is a subjective measure made by the Sts, and significantly based on context. Generally, secrecy will not drop more than two points from a single scene – it won’t matter as much if you talked about the Supernal if you blasted people with a fireball and released a paradox.

Example Sins to Lose Secrecy:

  • Use of obvious supernatural powers (Going Kuruth, throwing fireballs, stopping a bullet with your t-shirt, growing fangs etc)
  • Use of supernatural abilities that put you above normal (buffing a skill or attribute above the normal limits – for example, rolling 16 dice with rote and getting 10 successes.
  • Releasing a paradox
  • Causing quiescence or lunacy, etc
  • Talking about supernatural things in public (“So, here I was at Elysium and the Prince started chewing out this crone and we had to stake and torpor her…”)
  • Obvious criminal activity (drive-by shootings, armed robbery, grand theft auto etc.
  • Taking the fame, striking looks, or a public status merit (congrats, you stand out now for being ridiculously good looking).

 

Gaining Secrecy:

You can improve secrecy and start taking yourself off the grid and below the radar. Buying and using merits are the best means for mitigating the loss of secrecy. Occultation, New Identity, Allies and Contacts are all means for improving secrecy. You can also ditch the things that may be compromised – if the bad guys know about your safe place or your nest/sanctum/packhouse may be compromised, it could be worthwhile to ditch those things and try something else. Sanctity of merits is your friend, although it may take some time (and scenes) to rebuild what was lost.

Example Actions to Improve Secrecy:

  • Use of Social Merits: Call your Allies in the police and ask them to bury the case or your Allies in the media and have them spike the story.
  • Mundane changes in pattern of life: Change your appearance and your identity, get a new apartment, or burn your sanctum.
  • Disinformation: Get some alternative facts into the system – use streetwise or politics (etc) to muddy the water.
  • Start over: Get yourself a new identity (merit) or go off the grid.