MikeS 2017-09-12 12:11:58
Luc's got some Medic that he's willing to donate.

Also some Surveillance, but I'm fresh out of Conceal.
Gatac 2017-09-12 12:14:19
You can spend and refresh in whatever order is more convenient for you, so if you want to refresh Medic anyway, you can burn down the remaining points to heal Tim. He basically only needs one point of Medic donated to restore his Health. In turn, Tim could Shrink Luc to restore the lost Stability.
skullandscythe 2017-09-12 17:06:45
My refresh is going to Explosive Devices, Infiltration, and Sense Trouble.

I'm fine going in without weapons for now, but I can help set up someone who's less interested going in like that - I've got some Human Terrain and Streetwise points that we can use.
punkey 2017-09-13 00:57:26
Conceal, Preparedness, Sense Trouble, and Mason's ticket in is with the US diplomatic delegation as part of the security detail. Increased danger, don't you know, and he'll be needing that Sig, too. He'll be using Human Terrain to get himself fitted with a very nice armored suit.
Gatac 2017-09-13 11:05:18
Alright, bookkeeping of decisions so far.

Tim spends a point of Shrink to restore Luc's Stability. in exchange, Luc spends a point of Medic to restore Tim's Health.

Everyone refreshes their physical abilities.

Tim refreshes Conceal, Disguise and Surveillance.

For Luc, I'm refreshing Conceal, Filch and Infiltration - not much choice there.

Blake refreshes ED, Infiltration and Sense Trouble.

Mason refreshes Conceal, Preparedness and Sense Trouble. He spends a point of Human Terrain that acquire a snazzy suit that grants 2 Armor versus firearms. The "get through security" cover as part of a diplomat's bodyguard team comes with enough limitations that I'm throwing it in as a benny.

Everyone has been updated to reflect these choices.
skullandscythe 2017-09-14 13:22:43
It sounds like most of us are going as press on this run, so let's talk covers real quick! I think we should go as a group from the same agency - Robert has pretty much said outright to me that going in alone would be suspicious, and more so if the same agency sent other people who we would ostensibly be working with as well.

I'm also assuming that we would want to use newspaper journalism as our cover; TV attracts a little too much attention for our purposes, I think. So the main question is: local or international? This is a relatively high-profile event. Smaller publications probably won't have other teams in place who can blow our covers, but would be harder to justify how they got invites in the first place. Bigger publications won't have that problem, but we might run into 'co-workers' who've never heard of us.

I think I'm leaning towards international, myself, but what do you guys think? After all, I could be missing something obvious.
punkey 2017-09-15 12:47:06
International just because I don't think we all speak Dutch fluently enough to pass as locals.
skullandscythe 2017-09-21 23:37:40
Talking with Robert, sounds like everyone's settled on Canada, which honestly sounds better than either option I had cooking. Did a little research, I think our most promising choices are La Presse, though Le Journal de Montreal's a close second. La Presse does one weekly paper, but has a thriving digital service, so my money's on that one. Le Journal de Montreal's more popular, though, even despite it's tabloid format.

My alias for the mission will be Spencer Freneau.
Gatac 2017-09-30 01:16:22
Tim assigns two points of Network to his Laura Mayer contact and spends one point to get into the hackerspace. Using his Human Terrain (I'm ruling that doesn't require another spend, because Contact spends hurt enough) he finds a couple of hackers eager to let someone field-test their 'sploits.

All hail Tim Barstow, keeper of multiple special phones, watcher of dogs. :)
MikeS 2017-10-22 13:29:29
Luc will go in as press with the others.

Incidentally, might it be better to go as members from several different press teams, so that Fractal or the Chinese aren't immediately able to associate all of us?
Gatac 2017-10-22 15:27:00
The press loophole Tim and Blake are using is explicitly via Fractal. You could of course use your own resources to smuggle yourself in as a different press agency.
Gatac 2017-11-26 12:35:38
To clarify what happened with the XM-430, Blake dumped his two reserved build points into Explosive Devices and used the 1/session auto-success granted by that being his MOS to defuse the bomb without rolling for it.
Gatac 2018-01-27 02:22:57
While Day 3 of Amsterdam continues towards its conclusion, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of what's coming up so you can place your votes accordingly as to where you want to go next.


Operation MARKETPLACE: Marrakech

Also known as "the Red City" and located in Morocco just North of the Atlas mountains, Marrakech marries ancient culture and modern economy. As one of North Africa's most important trade hubs, Marrakech is the kind of place where anything and everything is for sale at the right price - even contract killing. We have high confidence that Juan David Sotelo, a former FARC assassin now freelancing as "the Lynx", currently resides in an estate just outside Marrakech between jobs. As one of the few known surviving associates of Valentina deSilva, he is our best shot at getting a positive ID on the woman known as "the Cleaner" and potentially finding out more about how Fractal operates. Although Fractal has rendered us some quote-unquote "assistance" in Amsterdam, we simply can't let them continue to operate from the shadows - more than their obvious resources, their low profile represents a huge blind spot in our intelligence network, and worse, we cannot be sure who they've compromised and what their ultimate goals are. Additionally, we have identified several information brokers in Marrakech who may possess more knowledge of who exactly "Renewal of Islam" are and how they are financed. Finally, Marrakech is also home to several targets of opportunity sought by the Pakistani government in connection with the activities of the Taliban. Distasteful as it might be to do their dirty work, eliminating those targets will go a long way to easing the current tensions over our custody of Brahmvir Singh.

Operation SWITCHBACK: Hamburg

Thanks to Agent Blake, we have traced an encrypted communication from Edil Varajev to a system located in Hamburg. This represents our potentially most direct route towards Renewal of Islam, but getting there won't be easy. Preliminary research confirms that the system belongs to the "Black Vault" secure server complex of K-Group Global Infrastructure SE, widely considered the "new Swiss bank" in terms of confidentiality and security against both digital and physical intrusion. We can't risk using the captured laptop to establish the connection, as one of the Black Vault's advertised security features is a remote-triggered secure delete of all data in a given server instance. The only way to be sure we can get all the data in one piece is to physically access the server room, pull the right harddrive and get it out of there in a shielded container, all without triggering the alarm. It's not all bad news, though: the German government, while unable to officially sanction our operation, is very interested in any and all evidence we can provide them of threats to security from "Islamic" terrorism in Europe. If we can pull this off, we stand to gain an important ally. We have also picked up chatter that, after their attempts in Amsterdam, Hamburg is a likely next target for a terrorist attack. Hamburg is one of Europe's most important sea ports and a center of international trade, so it has a sizable migrant population. However, ethnic tensions together with failed integration policies have created isolated migrant communities vulnerable to recruitment by terrorist organizations - if we let RoI take root here, we might be looking at a new wave of proxy terror attacks all over Europe. However, we hope that the rushed timeline and our interference in Amsterdam will make our enemies sloppy, and if we can get to them before the Germans do, we might capture actual members of RoI instead of local recruits or hired henchmen.

Operation CROSSROADS: Shenzhen

Your search of the warehouse and our analysis of the shipping papers confirms that the drone tank originated from the port city of Shenzhen. Shenzhen is a Chinese city just North of Hong Kong and has grown explosively over the last decades due to foreign investment. Today it houses vast factory complexes assembling some of the most high-tech gadgets currently available. If there is a place where a reasonably accurate copy of a Russian prototype tank could be assembled, Shenzhen is it. Considering the MSS's activities in this crisis and China's own interests in the Kashmir region, we need to get to the bottom of their involvement. Make no mistake: we'll be going in against the will of Chinese authorities, and whatever we do, it can't trace back to the US government. Our primary target is the 63rd Experimental Manufacturing Syndicate, a multi-billion dollar automated factory housing cutting-edge industrial robotics with minimal human supervision, which we believe is capable of building the drone tank's structural elements. The electronics, however, were likely contracted out - probably to TyConn, a large chip fab that churns out custom jobs for pretty much every major Asian manufacturer. TyConn runs a large campus at the city limits, but is currently touring the facilities for Western investors - a chance for us to gain access. Finally, we've identified an MSS branch office in the city which is currently under construction. This represents our best chance to bypass their internal security and infiltrate their network to get a better idea of what their agenda in this crisis is.
Gatac 2018-02-21 09:51:41
To forestall questions about it, "Pale Rainbow" is not immediately relevant to your current investigation. Just setting up some stuff for WAY down the line.
Gatac 2018-02-23 05:32:29
A few points of order:
  • You will all get a full refresh of your current point pools. Remember that your Cover and Network do not refresh and have to be bought. Each of you gets 6 build points that can be spent to improve your investigative or general abilities. Also, you can spend one of these points to grant 1 point of Trust for another character. Also also, you can reassign up to 2 points of abilities and 1 point of Trust. Naturally, you can also keep points in reserve for later.
  • Kasey suspects that your new Person of Interest could be suffering from a neurodegenerative disease like Huntington's or MS, accounting for money problems and the seeming change of heart in pursuing riskier ventures. I'm not confirming or denying it, just saying that if anyone wants to run with that angle, there's a finite number of cutting-edge treatment facilities for these conditions and it is well within your ability to try to acquire patient records and check for people who fit his general description. However, this will take time - you may get a lead during the next operation if you play your cards right, but you've already got enough on your plate with targets whose location you know. This may be a bit game-y, but after throwing so much at the wall up to now, I figure it's better to hold further stuff back and let you resolve some of those questions before this turns into a Chris Carter show.
  • Speaking of, please place your vote for one of the three follow-up operations.
  • Lastly, I'd love to get some feedback on how you're finding the game after this introductory operation. What do you like? What don't you like? Is there anything I need to explain more/handle differently?
punkey 2018-02-23 15:07:43
I know Robert is gonna love this, but I think we should split up, gang. Hamburg and Shenzen are the two most time sensitive, and where I think we should go.
Gatac 2018-02-24 06:18:03
punkey wrote:

I know Robert is gonna love this, but I think we should split up, gang.


Kasey why

I was ever been good to you Kasey

Hamburg and Shenzen are the two most time sensitive, and where I think we should go.

I will add, however, that the Wolfhound, Laith and Operations are a package deal. Wherever they're not, you're gonna be on your own with regards to logistics and support in the field. In particular, you might miss Laith's Digital Intrusion and Operations' Driving as none of you have those abilities very high. Plan (and level up) accordingly.
skullandscythe 2018-02-26 09:25:56
I agree with Kasey's assessment, but I disagree with splitting up.

Each mission site has two primary objectives listed, and if our foes don't simply sit on their laurels or complications arise, we'll likely see a few secondary objectives crop up, like here in Amsterdam(dealing w/ Visser, mercs hunting us/laptop, Fractal, etc. I'm sure I missed something). One team will only have two boots on the ground - as Robert said, Ops and Laith are a package deal, so two people go with them and another two have a lot of work to do. We can use Network to help cover some issues or fill in gaps in skills, but with only two PCs, there will still be missed opportunities and limited reaction time.

My vote goes to Hamburg.