Your team spends time planning out the details of their task. As players, we skip past most of that. Since you can use flashbacks to jump back to preparation when it becomes relevant, there’s no reason to dive into it now.
All you have to do is choose what type of plan your team has already made. There’s no need to sweat all the little details and try to cover every eventuality ahead of time, because the engagement roll (detailed below) ultimately determines how much trouble you’re in when the plan is put in motion. No plan is ever perfect. You can’t account for everything. This system assumes that there’s always some unknown factors and trouble—major or minor—in every operation; you just have to make the best of it.
Before you start planning your venture, the group sets the stage for the upcoming action together.
Set the Stage
The group will go through a series of questions to create some of the possible obstacles together. GMs can take inspiration from what their players put forward, and players can use the information they gain as if it was gathered during research before the venture. It is fine to provide short responses or say what comes to mind first. Think of these answers as springboards to use once you jump into the action.
Alternate between the GM and players each asking a question. Continue until every player has asked one question.
What is the biggest threat?
What is the unseen threat?
What detail of the threat's operation is often overlooked?
Who is an unseen ally?
How could this venture escalate local tensions?
What potential danger worries you the most?
How do these threats scare (or intimidate) their enemies?
Which of your Contacts told you about the unseen threat?
Which of your Contacts told you about the unseen ally?
Which of your Contacts could be hurt by this venture?
Making a Plan
Now that your group knows some of what they face during the venture, it’s time to plan your approach.
There are seven different plans, each with a missing detail you need to provide (see the list below). To “plan a venture,” simply choose the plan and supply the detail. Then the GM will cut to the action as the first moments of the venture unfold.
Each venture you undertake will involve a major obstacle or series of obstacles. Your plan is only intended to take you to the first one. As the saying goes, no plan survives contact with the enemy, so don’t worry too much about which plan you choose.
More than anything, this plan sets the opening scene of your venture. You can think of it as shaping the opening tone. Does your group want to open on a tense scene of intimidation? Choose the force plan. Do you want to begin with the chaos of a large crowd demanding answers? Chose the rally plan. Want the quiet strain of ducking guards? Choose a stealth plan. And so on.
When you choose a plan, you provide a missing detail. This helps give some additional direction to the opening scene and explains, in broad terms, how you launched this plan. If you are using a cunning plan to out-maneuver a hostile gang, explain what special insight or knowledge you have to gain the upper hand. If you want to sow discontent in the over-air conditioned cubicles of your local corporation, name the point of contention you use to build dissent.
Players can make up the detail or gather information from town: describe how you seek out the information and roll. The GM will provide the detail, its viability tailored to the success of your roll.
After the plan and detail are in place, each player chooses their character’s load. This indicates how much stuff they’re carrying on the venture and how others perceive them.
They don’t have to select individual items—just the maximum amount they’ll have access to during the venture. Characters have access to all the items on their playbook. Items require load equal to the number of checkboxes next to them. Items in italics take up no load.