Generic Schticks

By Mark Means.

These are some generic schticks that can be bought by any character, depending on concept. They are full of holes and can be duplicated by just buying skills, but I was thinking of the "high concept" character who just wouldn't have Deceit, but is a hard one to fool.

The Book

You've heard that old saying, "that's the oldest trick in the book," right? Well this character has read the book. They've been around and have some experience. They know how to spot cons, from the simplest tricks to the most complex confidence games. They also know "new angles on old tricks" and can fool even the most experienced grifter.

Game terms: By spending a Fortune Point, the GM will tell the character if a certain person is conning them. The character must think of a way that the conman could've slipped up and describe it to the GM: no description, no benefit. Also, by spending a Fortune Point, the character can make others fall for "old tricks." This is a little easier as the PC only has to try the trick (such as "look out behind you!," or "your shoe's untied") and spend the point. This works on named and un-named GMCs alike (though the GM might want to give the named GMC a Deceit roll, outcome being higher than the PC's Deceit or Charisma, to resist the urge) This could be for PCs who have been around for awhile, (Old Master), know how the criminal mind works, (Any of the Cop templates, Masked Avenger) or just have a shady past. Cost: 2 skill adds.

The Fade

This schtick gives a sort of anonyminity with the expenditure of a Fortune Point. At times, your features are average and forgettable (even if you're attractive).

Game Terms: By spending the point, GMCs can't seem to remember just exactly what the character looked like when giving a description. ("He looked kinda tall, in a short way. I just can't remember.") When the PC is in a potentially damaging situation, he declares the spending of the point for "the fade" and any GMC in the basic area doesn't remember what he looked like. They know someone was there, but they just can't think of what they looked like. Maybe they weren't paying attention or however else you want to explain it.(If you even want to explain it) This might be useful for those on the wrong side of the law (Spies, Killers, Gamblers), those who like their privacy (Masked Avengers without the mask) and those who may want to protect their families (Everyday Hero, Martial Artist, Old Master) Cost: 3 skill adds.

Last modified: May 12th, 1997; please send comments to