Many Bothans might have died to bring you this information–but a capable agent can also get the job done.
Cyphers and Masks is a new book coming out for FFG’s Age of Rebellion, Star Wars RPG. Cyphers and Masks focuses on spies, intelligence agents, interrogators, and so on. Now, while spies didn’t get more than a few mentions in the original trilogy, they have enjoyed their day in the sun in recent times. Take Cassian Andor, who, admittedly is not a very good spy. But he and K2-SO are perfect examples. Or if you played SWTOR, there’s the Imperial Agent storyline that also outlines what Intelligence looks like in the Star Wars universe.
And of course, there’s the most masterful spy in the canon, Jar Jar Binks, who is able to gather enough data on the dirty dealings going on behind the scenes in the republic that he not only gathered the support he needed through blackmail and threats to carry out a Vote of No Confidence, he was able to remain alive throughout the ensuing purge that marked the ascension of Emperor Palpatine.
At any rate, we get a peek in between the covers of the new book, which does not feature Gungans, but DOES feature a new species, the Melitto. The Melitto are a humanoid species whose face is an opaque, chitinous nightmare void. Instead of using sight, the Melitto have highly developed senses of scent, vibration, and electrosensitivity to explore the world around them.
As you might have surmised from their insectoid appearance, the Melitto are structured like a Hive. A given Melitto hive is ruled by a Queen and her handmaidens, who in turn over see male workers and soldiers who make sure the physical safety and function of the hive is preserved. When it’s time to move on, some of the female servants will go off to start a new colony, during which there’s a brief battle for supremacy until one becomes a queen, and those who did not support her (male AND female alike) leave the hive and become ronin.
And just like that, we’ve found like 90% of the playerbase’s Melitto concepts. But, that’s fine, because it’s radical. Speaking of which, so are the Melitto. They are brawnier than you might expect–I hear insectoid species and I’m thinking delicate grace, but no, they start off with 3 Brawn and 2 in everything else except for Willpower, which is at 1.
Their base Strain and Wound Threshold is 12, and they get a free rank of Perception and never take vision-related penalties.
Speaking of penalties–we’ve also got a preview of the new spy specialization, the Interrogator. The Interrogator specializes in getting information out of a target. They can do this brutally, which is probably what the vast majority of you were thinking, but they can also be so gentle their target doesn’t even realize they’ve given up the information the Interrogator was trying to get. They are masters of a certain set of social skills and are unafraid to us them.
Interrogators mostly focus on Coercion and Deception, beefing them up with talents like Know Ther Weakness or Nobody’s Fool. But the real gold lies in the way their talents combo together. FFG has a look at the final tier of the Interrogator’s talent tree, which lets you set up a strain-draining combo of abilities boosting your dice to trick your target into giving away everything they know while leaving them Strained long enough for you to foil their plans.
Cyphers and Masks – $29.95
Not every victory is achieved at the end of a blaster barrel or by the signing of a treaty. Spies do the majority of the work, finding out where the soldiers need to deploy and what would make the enemy wish to surrender. By engaging in the most unconventional of warfare, spies save lives—and take them—in secret. Often uncelebrated, their vital work is necessary if there is to be any hope of toppling the Empire.
Cyphers and Masks is a sourcebook for the Star Wars™: Age of Rebellion Roleplaying Game that greatly expands the options and opportunities for the Spy career. At 96 full-color pages, Cyphers and Masks includes new specializations and species perfect for starting a new campaign or integrating into existing ones. New vehicles, equipment, and droids designed to be assets and adversaries to characters engaging in clandestine operations are included with new rules for utilizing the skills most often associated with Spies and their tradecraft. Gamemasters are also given additional tools and guidance for building stories for Spy characters with an emphasis on Intelligence and Counterintelligence operations.
Look for the Melitto and their Cyphers and Masks later this year.