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Allies and Contacts ideas

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  • Allies and Contacts ideas

    Hello everyone,

    We all know the basic Allies and Contacts: City Hall, Police, Crime Organization, etc. But I need to stat up about 40 NPCs, and I'm looking for new ideas, and you guys are awesome for this kind of stuff. And it's not just for me, I think this could useful for others as well.

    So, I'm using my 1 dot in "Contacts (Onyx Path Forum)"...

    What are some other interesting Allies or Contacts that you've used, or seen used?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Other splats are a good option, it gives you a way to access information and abilities most of your peers won’t be able to. Nomads are a way to get a heads up on what’s coming towards the city. The covenants all have sub groups that are worth knowing and having a contact in the Prince’s court is a great one dot investment.
    Last edited by Live Bait; 05-16-2019, 03:31 AM.


    • #3
      Any sort of subculture or scene; any particular industry, or a particular player within the industry—as an ST I say the more specific your Contacts are, the more useful they'll be within that field

      In a college town, Contacts (University Faculty) are an excellent source for bits of mundane knowledge

      Similarly, in a college town, Allies (Students) may not be the most skilled but they can be an excellent source of bodies (will the Invictus really follow through on their attack if you suddenly have thirty mortal witnesses nearby?)

      Contacts (Internet Forum) won't know what's happening within your city specifically, but can similarly be great sources of world information (think of how useful a dark-web Occult.StackExchange could be)

      Allies (Vampire Hunters) is playing with fire, but when you're an outnumbered Carthian with nothing to lose and everything to gain…

      Allies (Telecom) are great for disrupting other people's plans: cut off their cell service and internet just for an hour at the wrong time and watch everything fall apart

      It seems weird, but Contacts (Writers) are both an excellent source of miscellaneous information ("I'm writing a mystery novel about a vampire; what would be the first clue the protagonist would find that points to death-by-blood-loss, if the vampire was careful and didn't leave an obviously bloodless corpse?") and an excellent source of alibis ("I know my internet history looks sketchy, but my friends can back me up, I've been working on this book for weeks and it's an important plot point!")

      Allies (Anonymous) may or may not be working in your best interest, but if you can convince them to help with something, don't underestimate the power of "voluntary" botnets


      • #4
        Originally posted by david77 View Post
        Hello everyone,
        What are some other interesting Allies or Contacts that you've used, or seen used?

        Thank you!
        • Cryptid wrangler who can give info on local cryptids or unusual cryptid activity. Doesn't like to see them hurt.
        • Low level demon in an Agency that trades in occult antiques. He works in the back room cleaning and authenticating and can consult on magical items. He might let you borrow one.
        • Mage killer-for-hire in New Orleans who owes the PC one big favor. Modeled on a voodoo priest stereotype.
        • Exiled Angel running a labyrinthine used bookstore. Information broker for all sides, specialist in Bans and Banes. Don't cross him.
        • Wind Spirit that can be asked for small favors.
        • Homeless woman who is actually five hundred years old. She can give historical perspective on dark secrets. Also several interesting herbs and items in her shopping cart.
        • Yemeni doctor who fled to the U.S. to escape the war. Does not have U.S. medical license so runs black market ER for those injuries you don't want reported in a normal hospital ER.
        • Joe the shoeshine guy (from Police Squad).
        • ER doctor who can tell you what weird cases have been showing up in the hospital. Also might patch you up without asking too many questions.
        • The Cleaners: grey older gentlemen who will clean up a crime scene... for a price. They never let the client watch, and there is never a drop of blood left behind. They are quiet, but know all that's happening in the local ghost/Geist scene.
        • Maurice, concierge to the ultra-rich, some of whom are not entirely human. He knows many secrets. He is also used to handling odd requests on short notice. He may owe the PC's a favor for handling a difficult client.
        • The Memenisti - those who remember. Tall, gaunt figures that can be summoned from the shadows of abandoned places. They are the collectors of lost things (keys, toys, passwords, children). They can provide clues, recall re-written histories, and point toward whatever was lost. Those who summon them do not remember the price.
        • That Crazy Guy - local gun nut, has enough ammo for a small war. Can find you anything you need as long as what you need goes "bang". Won't go on a mission with the PC's, but he "knows a guy". Or maybe a bunch of guys.
        • Two-Tails: local fox spirit. Can't talk, but might lead you to things if you ask nicely. (E.g. where are all the children who have disappeared?) He can understand speech and indicate yes or no. Very mischievous.
        For what it's worth, here's how I handle such things: I write a short cryptic description and cost at the top of a page, such as "Doctor who will help and not ask questions: 2 points for a 3 point Contact." Below that I write up a bit more of a detailed description. I then fold up the page so that only the cost and description are visible. Players can then select from a pile of such merits. After they pay for it, they can open it to see the description. They can share that information with other players, or keep it to themselves. I also leave room for the player to add some backstory as to how they made this Contact, if appropriate.

        I give them a cost break because they are buying a Merit without designing it themselves. This allows me to seed characters into a campaign that I think need to be there. The players are happy because they get a discount on the cost.


        • #5
          Building on KieranMullen 's excellent ideas:

          * Former paramedic for private military contractor operating in Iraq, where her medical training was used to revive prisoners for further interrogation/torture. Returned to U.S. with crippling PTSD and determined to redeem herself through good works. Currently runs a charitable foundation that arranges adequate housing for marginalized populations. Can provide safe spaces for "weird" people on short notice; can provide information on city's mentally ill, local veterans groups, or transient population.

          * Competent, gruff, no-nonsense medical examiner with a savant-like ability to look at a crime scene and mentally recreate everything that happened. A difficult childhood spent looking after his drug-addled mother left him with a fatal soft spot for disturbed women in distress; most recent partner had breakdown and left him, leaving him bitter, vulnerable, and talkative. Can provide forensic analysis, access to investigative reports, mucking around with autopsies and death records, insight in dealing with people with suicidal depression, and extremely opinionated views on 1990's death metal bands.

          * African-American woman who, after a short stint as a bureaucrat in the Department of Buildings, eventually became a document control officer for a major international construction company doing a multi-billion renovation project on the local airport. As the sole black woman in a majorly white male industry, intensely self-controlled in public; acerbic and frustrated in private. Can provide financial information about most major construction vendors and sub-contractors and their local projects. Can provide legal-political-bureaucratic insight into how the Dept. of Buildings works, and how to retrieve old plans or get new ones approved. Tight with local construction unions, electricians, and similar professionals who owe her favors for adjusting their documentation. Wants to talk someone's ear off about work and maybe humiliate one or two of her more misogynistic bosses.

          * Middle-aged intellectual property attorney. Single. Sole caretaker for his father who is dying of inoperable metastatic cancer. Well-off; eagerly indulges his sole escape: Star War memorabilia. Can provide legal services regarding copyright, art law, patent applications (esp. computer-related), contracts for creatives. Wants someone who will humor his need for escapism, such as sitting through long discussions of why the Prequels are criminally underrated.

          * Logistics manager for a nationwide catering company. Functional alcoholic. Rabid fan of local football team. Never graduated college, resume is mostly a lie; job security is very tenuous. Highly knowledgeable about local night spots. Can ship or divert most mundane, non-weapon equipment, but is personally incapable of showing up anywhere on time. Will need help with downward spiral of personal life.

          * Genius without any formal education born into poverty and abuse. Became local bigshot drug dealer, arrested following murder and currently serving federal life sentence while pursuing appeal. Knowledge of street life is 8 years of date, but extremely plugged into the prison's rumor mill among inmates and correction officers; can arrange favors inside the prison and with old contacts outside. Connection to prison gangs strained due to suspicion he may be trying to snitch to negotiate lighter sentence (gang possibly tipped off by bent C.O.), and thus eager for any evidence that would help appeal or resentencing.

          * Immigrant programmer trying to raise two small children after the tragically early death of his childhood-sweetheart wife. Extremely good at economizing money (i.e., miser / penny-pincher). Currently working for manufacturer of surveillance satellites; believes the company is illegally abusing federal contracts to embezzle money. Can provide expert assistance with writing specialized software, and with great risk can provide data from satellites. Worried that if he becomes a whistle-blower he and his family will suffer financially and maybe physically.

          * Chemical engineer has retired after long career to work on home brewing, fostering dogs, and community volunteer work. Frustrated that he can't see his grandkids; attributes this to his weak-willed mushbrain of a son marrying a controlling shrew. Very skilled at chemistry, woodworking, most mechanical repair work; can probably supply a dog to a good home; very knowledgeable about neighborhood/small town politics. Would like to see his grandchildren and maybe influence his son to get a divorce.


          • #6
            Building on James_Nostack 's excellent continuation:
            • Comic book/War gamer who has a scale model of the neighborhood in her basement and has run every battle simulation you can imagine. How do you defend the town against zombies? Check. Which water towers would you drop to block an armored assault? Check. It's all academic to her, but she is a master strategist in search of a problem.
            • The Witch EMT. As in, not a witch doctor, but the one you call when you're bleeding out Essence or have a broken Fetter or your spouse is aging one year every minute from that weird unremovable necklace. They can patch people (and other types) and stabilize them. Cures are another matter, but at least now your loved one won't die while you search for a cure/exact vengeance. They are a real EMT, too. The special code to dispatch to ask for this EMT is "code grey".
            • Retired Jesuit professor who is one of the last true Exorcists. Mild mannered, but iron-willed. Frail and whip-smart. Can read Great, Hebrew, Latin, and knows Aramaic. He is aware that he doesn't have the strength for this anymore, but also knows that it's not about surviving. Lives alone in a Georgetown basement apartment with a very large and clumsy cat.
            • Mister/Ms. Mischief: A minor summonable spirit/fae/horror. He is the "the imp of the perverse" that inspires a perfectly normal person to do mischief. S/he is a tall androgyne with long blond hair in a pastel blue suit and bowler hat. While s/he is immaculate their clothes are scuffed and dirty. Mischief delights in bringing down the high and proud. S/he is an uncertain ally but an opponent of anyone in power or representing order. Always first appears behind the summoner no matter what.
            • The burly ex-con who tends the corner dive bar in the wee hours and maintains the peace. He knows who's happy, who's broke, who's missing and who's suddenly and inexplicably changed their drinking habits. He does more good than an office of social workers, trying to hold the neighborhood together. He'll call the PC's if something seems worrying or tell them the word on the street. He never drinks alcohol, himself and is tight-lipped about his past. He always wears long sleeves to cover up his tattoos, and broke the arm of the last person who tried to get a look at them.