Friday, 8 May 2015

Visitant: cover and compromise

Cover and Compromise

It’s tough being an alien resident on Earth. From the moment you arrive, it’s vital to create and maintain a solid cover identity as a human. This cover allows you to go about your agenda undetected; many kinds of research, manipulation and predation wouldn’t be possible if your targets knew you weren’t human. More urgently, cover keeps you safe. A low-cover visitant is vulnerable to observation, investigation and public suspicion. A visitant whose cover is blown is a wanted fugitive, whether the pursuers know exactly who they’re dealing with or simply think them a dangerous spy.

Cover is about being totally mundane. You don’t want suspicion of any kind. The more information is spread about you acting unusually, the weaker your cover becomes. Suspicion doesn’t necessarily need to be attached to you personally; reporters investigating alleged alien activity in your village is a problem too. Gossip about your unusual habits, police questioning about involvement in strage events, YouTube videos of a strange creature prowling around the park, they’re all dangerous to you.

Cover is a generalised measure of how well you are concealing your nature and avoiding suspicion. It’s possible to maintain a high Cover even if some individuals are convinced you’re an alien. Similarly, it’s possible to have a very low Cover without anyone in particular suspecting you.

Cover is also a concept in Demon: the Descent. In Demon, Cover is a metaphysical concept defining how well you conceal yourself from the God-Machine. As such, it focuses on maintaining a consistent cover identity, and the use of specific powers which draw the God-Machine’s attention.

In Visitant, Cover works a little differently. Cover is a general measure of how suspicious society is of you. With no God-Machine monitoring the world, nothing breaches Cover unless it’s noticed, so it’s easier to discreetly use alien talents. However, behaviour is more strictly controlled: it doesn’t matter much how consistent you are if your behaviour seems unusual or suspicious. For visitants, context and conformity are vital.

Causes of Compromise

Compromises are anything that poses a risk to the visitant’s cover identity; mechanically, they risk damaging Cover and imposing conditions. Some compromises are dictated by the cover identity in question, but others are more rigidly defined.

For an event to count as a compromise, there must be some possibility of it becoming known to others. As such, compromise rolls are typically made at the end of a scene based on events that took place. Peeling off a mask to reveal an alien face within the safety of your bedroom is not a compromise (unless you’re being bugged). Revealing information to a trusted confidante is not a compromise, if they keep it secret.

If you are able to prevent the information spreading, your Cover is safe. This includes removing physical traces, destroying footage before it is seen, or erasing inconvenient memories. In some cases, a witness can be persuaded to keep information secret, which prevents any compromise roll until they change their mind. Some professions insist on the sanctity of certain confidences, although many (such as therapists) have disclaimers for public safety and criminal activity.

Revealing a Tell: if a Tell is observed by humans, a Compromise Roll is required.

Revealing a key fact about your true nature to humans: Each time humans learn something significant about your true nature and they believe it, that is a compromise. Only new information counts; if that information is disseminated to several people at once, like a hunter telling his cell that he’s identified an alien, it still only counts as one compromise. This information doesn’t have to come directly from you, either: anyone who knows something about your true nature can reveal it and force a compromise roll. Just remember the two caveats: it has to be significant, and they have to believe it. Mistaken information can also provoke a compromise: if a hunter believes you to be a demon, rather than an alien, your cover is still threatened.

Behaviour that is peculiar, alarming or suspicious to observers: This includes most criminal activities, carrying what looks like a missile launcher, attempted impersonation, eating four roast chickens at a stretch, or claiming knowledge of Martian history. These activities draw attention to your abnormality.

Behaviour that is grossly out-of-character: This is the catch-all category that correlates to a human’s breaking points. The difference is that while, say, killing someone is a breaking point for most humans because of the emotional trauma involved in the act, it’s a compromise because, for most people, murder is an extremely out-of-character act. The key to remember here is grossly out of character. Acting inexplicably weird or suddenly distant doesn’t count, but suddenly displaying doctorate-level knowledge of physics or casually torturing someone does. This category allows some leeway if there's no way for your current behaviour to be connected with your identity.


When a character experiences a compromise, the player rolls Wits + Manipulation with a modifier based on the character’s Cover rating:

Cover Modifier

The Storyteller can also impose modifiers based on how egregious the compromise is relative to the character’s Cover. The chart below gives some suggestions, but again, the Storyteller and the player are encouraged to develop the particulars of the demon’s Cover to the point that modifiers can be customized. Modifiers are cumulative, but the total modifier from circumstances should not exceed +/–5 dice.

Overtly unnatural action or behaviour seen by humans-2
Inhuman Tell discovered -2
Blatant Tell discovered -1
Visitant attempts to explain it away, and fails -1
Witnesses were intoxicated (drunk, high, etc.)+1
Visitant successfully offers a non-interesting explanation +1
Successful explanation makes the witness embarrassed or sympathetic +1

In some circumstances, the Storyteller may also rule that a particularly reliable or unreliable witness provides a modifier to the Compromise roll. Children and outcasts are often disregarded, while a respected doctor might be considered very trustworthy.

Because Compromise is about much talk is provoked, the visitant can smooth things over with explanations that aren't very interesting, if they succeed at the appropriate rolls to convince their audience. Another tactic is to put the audience on the spot: if you successfully ascribe strange markings to a traumatic accident or medical condition, most people won't retell the story because it makes them look bad.

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: The visitant’s Cover has been damaged severely, perhaps beyond repair. Lose a dot of Cover and choose an appropriate Conditions from the following list (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Betrayed, Blackballed or Hunted. Also, take a Beat.

Failure: The character’s Cover has been weakened, and people take an interest in them. Lose a dot of Cover and choose one of the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Red-Flagged, Surveilled, or Hunted.

Success: The character has come through the compromise intact. They might be spooked by the close call, but they can cope. Choose one of the following Conditions (or create a new one with Storyteller approval): Guilty, Shaken, or Spooked.

Exceptional Success: The character somehow manages not only to survive the compromise, but to incorporate it into their Cover and become stronger for it. The character takes a Beat and regains a point of Willpower.

If a visitant’s Cover is ever reduced to 0, that Cover identity is lost. The authorities investigate thoroughly, rendering any official documentation useless and leaving an open warrant on the visitant. The general public are highly suspicious, and will seek help as soon as they see the visitant. Knowledge of aliens isn’t made public, but the visitant may be assumed to be a spy, serial killer, terrorist or other undesirable infiltrator. Covert organisations actively seek the visitant, making it extremely dangerous to revert to that identity. Those visitants who have any form of official backing will be ordered to abandon the identity immediately and assume a new one, even if this means a period of hiding out without any human identity.

Living your Cover

Cover is a matter of consent. The life you live is the life you have. The more a visitant behaves like the human they pretend to be, the more others take it to be true.

System: If, at the end of the chapter, the Storyteller judges that a visitant has lived consistently within their Cover by performing the duties that would be expected of that Cover, the player rolls the Cover rating. If the roll succeeds, the player gains a Cover Beat. At the end of the story, if the player has managed to live below the radar and, most importantly, not fail any compromise rolls, the Storyteller may award an additional Cover Beat. If she went the entire story living consistently within her cover without even rolling for a compromise, she gets a Cover Experience instead.


A Tell is a mark of a visitant’s unusual nature, or a cause of suspicion. They may be physical, mental or behavioural. A six-foot tail is a Tell, but so is eating fistfuls of salt, setting a building on fire, regularly being seen around murder sites, displaying three different personas to the same neighbour, or a mild-mannered interior decorator having advanced knowledge of missile technology.

A Tell is a mark of a visitant’s unusual nature, typically biological. A six-foot tail, lack of heartbeat, very low body temperature, scales, distendable jaws, rapid tissue regeneration, the ability to breathe fire, shapeshifting and many other traits mark out a visitant as inhuman. Less bizarre traits, such as a massive glowing tattoo or sharp teeth, are distinctive and weird, but can be explained away. Some behaviours, such as highly unusual dietary requirements, can also be Tells.

Tells are divided into three categories: Subtle, Blatant and Inhuman.

Tell category may vary with the occasion. If you only encounter a particular NPC once, they may accept your tail as cosplay or your glassy stare as a few drinks too many, treating these Tells as Subtle. If they’re sharing your flat, those will quickly become Blatant Tells.


The Tell attracts curiosity, but not alarm. Some minor quirks of appearance, well within the human range or easily explained as costume, count as Subtle Tells: additional fingers, unusual colouration, great height or very numerous piercings. They are well within the range of human idiosyncrasies. Certain gifts produce unusual effects that can still be explained away, which are also Subtle Tells. Drinking vinegar or eating all your meat raw would be a Subtle Tell, as would walking away unhurt from a three-storey fall.

A Subtle Tell may be mentioned to a few friends, but won’t be reported to the papers or authorities. It’s not interesting enough to spread very widely. It falls into the category of “You know, now that you mention it…” or “I just remembered, funny thing…”


The Tell is both intriguing and suspicious; there is something very unusual here. Any feature of appearance which is outside the human norm, but still plausibly human, is Blatant – a Mosa’s gill flaps or a vampire’s fangs might be explained away as extreme body modification, and never blinking as a medical condition. Many gifts have effects that are Blatant Tells, such as changing the behaviour of a group of people, or creating a telekinetic shockwave. A diet of glass and metal would be a Blatant Tell, as would shrugging off a massive dose of sedatives. A Shekt skinsuit found hanging in a closet is a Blatant Tell.

Blatant Tells tend to attract attention from all quarters: your social circle, the general public, the authorities, and covert groups interested in the unusual. Some will send an observer rushing for the police, while others just spark gossip. Depending on the Tell, observers might want to inform the papers, the authorities, the company health officer, or your parents. They are liable to trigger investigations and questioning about your habits. Blatant Tells fall into the category of “Hey, listen, guess what I saw…” and “This is so freaking weird…”


Inhuman Tells are a serious concern: not only are they striking and suspicious, but it’s virtually impossible to explain them away in terms of human biology and technology. This may provoke scepticism, but it also encourages the news to spread. Many anatomical features and abilities are Inhuman Tells, such as shape-shifting, breathing fire, wings, extensible claws, silvery blood, or tissue regeneration. A Shekt skinsuit is an Inhuman Tell if they’re caught using it. Drinking battery acid, punching through steel or vaulting a house are Inhuman Tells.

Inhuman Tells attract all kinds of interest. The authorities and major media are slow to investigate what sounds like nonsense, but there’s no shortage of interest from conspiracy websites, local and fringe newspapers, and the local community. The biggest threat comes from unofficial or black-ops groups who take the news seriously. Inhuman Tells fall into the category of “Look, I know this sounds crazy…” and “Maybe I’ve been working too hard…”

Personal and Situational Compromise

As well as different degrees, there are different kinds of suspicion. Oddities of speech, prowling round people’s gardens, walking around with a peculiar glowing artefact or being seen passing through solid stone will draw attention to you specifically, making them Personal Compromises. Being on the scene when a mass hallucination occurs, being a suspect in a mysterious theft, or living in the apartment block where a vampire is said to hide, will make you more noteworthy without attaching to you specifically, making them Situational Compromises.

Only Personal compromises can reduce your Cover below 3. Being constantly associated with weird and suspicious events will get you talked about, and even monitored, but without anything concrete to pin on you personally, there's not going to be a manhunt.

Improving Cover

Visitants typically begin their time on Earth with a cover identity created by their sponsors, whether those are a planetary research council, a shady team of smugglers, or simply a human who helped them out for reasons of their own. However, new cover identities are inevitably thin and patchy; they don’t have the comprehensive and connected nature of a real life, nor the random factors and coincidences that make a human unique.

Mechanically speaking, to improve your Cover, you simply spend Experience. Narratively, you should think about what sort of refinements you’re making to your human identity, possibly bringing in events from recent game sessions. For example, you might decide that a new acquaintance makes your social network more realistic, or that dealings with bureaucracy gave you a more robust paper trail.

Some of these are personal: you might spend time researching French pop culture and news of the 1990s and chatting to French 30-somethings to help fake your own 36-year-old French background. Some are practical: you might look for ways to fake official records and obtain false paperwork, helping you clean up the bureaucratic side of things. Often, though, these aspects were the easiest to establish on arrival. As a result, visitants mostly concentrate on building up social connections and ordinary-seeming human activities. An unemployed loner from out of town with no apparent source of income is a gossip magnet; an accounting clerk who volunteers at the park and joins the local thriller-reading group is dull. You want dull.

As well as general Experience, characters can earn Cover Experience as reward for certain tasks. A visitant might strike a deal to get better paperwork in exchange for a favour, or become friends with a local human when they help them out. Cover Experience can only be used to improve Cover.

Creating Cover

Sometimes a character needs to create a new Cover identity. They might simply be fed up of the original one, or there might be others on their trail. Adopting a new identity offers new possibilities, and may be necessary to achieve specific goals. For example, a visitant who develops a strong interest in politics may find their identity as a car mechanic a hindrance. They can abandon the mechanic, and create a new identity as an entrepreneur and publicist, offering better access to political figures and information.

There are dangers to this process, though. One is that visitants are expected to remain low-key. Adopting a high-profile identity is highly inadvisable, as this often leads to strong scrutiny from both official and unofficial sources. Another is that the disappearance of an old identity may provide questions and even police investigation, so care must be taken to minimise suspicion.

Purchasing Cover with Experience

To create a new Cover, the visitant spends Experience (including Cover Experience) and establishes the parameters of the new identity. A visitant can only maintain a single Cover at once, unless a special ability or Merit allows them to maintain more. You can create an identity with as little as one dot in Cover, though this is inadvisable.

Trading for Cover

A second option is to strike a deal. If need is pressing, a visitant may be able to strike a deal for a whole new Cover identity. Sometimes this involves taking on the identity of a human, perhaps even with their agreement. There are those desperate enough to escape their lives that they will jump at the chance to change, especially if great reward is offered. Visitants may well have capabilities or resources that allow the human to make a fresh start or transform their lives. The Cover rating of such an identity is established by agreement between the player and Storyteller.

Cover Piracy

A third option is piracy. There are organisations who specialise in crafting Cover for visitants; typically a government or company will make Cover for its own new agents, though some freelance Cover artists sell their talent. A visitant may be able to access this work and steal the Cover before it can be used.

On the one hand, this is potentially a way to very quickly establish a Cover with an extremely high rating. Stealing Cover is risky in and of itself, and can attract serious retribution if the visitant can be tracked down. Few visitants will take such a risky course of action for a measly two- or three-dot Cover.

On the other hand, just finding and reaching a Cover cache can be an entire story in and of itself. A constructed Cover consists partly of preparations (hacking government records, hypnotising neighbours and creating bank accounts), partly of raw information (like physical appearance and behaviour), and partly of physical items like passports and clothing. The information and the objects are stored ready for their new owner. Many are stored within a secret facility, where a new arrival will be prepared for their role; the visitants must infiltrate it and locate the Cover. Others are placed in spatial folds or buried capsules for the visitant to collect on arrival, but these may be protected by security measures and watched by other agents. Moreover, the new Cover is well-known to its owners. Some will seek revenge, while others might be willing to strike a deal if the visitant completes the mission for them.

System: Piracy is an extended and contested action. In both cases, the target number of successes equals the Cover rating of the new identity and each roll represents one turn. If the visitant’s player gathers the required successes first, they manage to pull off the heist. They gain a Cover identity with the appropriate rating, and can switch into it when they choose. However, they also gain the Hunted condition; because the instigators are the original owners of the cover, the hunters have a good knowledge of the identity, regardless of the normal rules. The hunters generally seek to capture a visitant and drag them back for punishment and interrogation, rather than killing them.

A piracy operation is complex, and may involve rolls on multiple Attributes or Skills. It often involves overcoming physical and electronic barriers protecting the cache, and analysing and identifying features of the system or of the Cover. Wits, Intelligence, Strength, Dexterity, Science, Computers and Larceny and Investigation are all likely rolls.

Hostile Takeover

There’s another option for the desperate visitant. It’s possible, though rare, to take over a Cover identity from another creature. This is possible for any visitant who’s able to change their appearance; others may be able to do so with extensive preparation, calling on favours and alien contacts to have their appearance modified to match the intended Cover.

A hostile takeover is typically exactly that. Few visitants are willing to let go of their Cover (although abandoned Covers are sometimes repurposed – player characters may have obtained their Cover this way). Often, it involves killing the owner or removing them from Earth in some way. In other cases, a visitant can be forced to give up their Cover via threats – although since most have no fall-back identity, the prospect of being a fugitive is often worse than the threats.

A Cover identity obtained in this way loses some of its value, because the new owner does not have the experience to support their role properly, nor detailed knowledge of the identity. The value of the Cover is halved. If the detailed Cover rules are in play (see below), Cover is typically lost from the Social and Personal spheres.

Optional rule: detailed Cover

Because cover identities are a complex mass of evidence and relationships, groups may find the simple numerical scale of Cover unsatisfying. One alternative is to use these detailed Cover mechanics, which break down Cover into several spheres: Bureaucratic, Personal and Social Cover each have a three-dot capacity, while the tenth dot is Mundanity.

In this model, Cover gained or lost should be tied to specific spheres. If possible, Cover should be lost according to the behaviour that triggered Compromise. Unusual behaviour tends to affect Personal Cover or Social Cover. Being associated with odd events may damage Social Cover. All kinds of activities might lead to some official scrutiny, potentially damaging Bureaucratic Cover. The player and Storyteller should work together to decide which is the most appropriate Cover to deplete, but the player has the final say. When Cover is gained, the player should try to explain how they’re strengthening their Cover; it may be enjoyable to play through the scene before the Experience is spent.

Bureaucratic Cover

In most parts of the world, ordinary citizens accumulate a paper trail throughout their lives. In their interactions with officialdom, they build up records and histories, beginning with birth certificates and ending with burial records. School reports, medical records, census data, utility accounts, voter registration, tax reports and passports form part of this data, and while nobody may care much about it, its absence is highly suspicious.

Three dots in Bureaucratic Cover means the character’s paperwork is impeccable. Tax returns, birth certificates, Brownie badges, a history of dental appointments and trips to the doctor, exam results from every year of school, a bank account they closed when the interest fell, they have it all. Even careful scrutiny from the authorities is unlikely to bring up any anomalies.

Two dots in Bureaucratic Cover means a good, solid spread of bureaucracy. You have almost everything the typical citizen needs, from bank accounts to birth certificates. Maybe you never got a passport, or don’t have a credit history, but there’s not much here to arouse suspicion. Serious digging will bring up questions – where exactly did you go to school and not take any exams? Did you actually get your compulsory vaccinations?

A character with only one dot in Bureaucratic Cover has problems. It’s unusual for anyone to have such a sparse record, and authorities will hesitate when they see it. You have just about the bare minimum to get away with – maybe a proof of ID, a bank account, and some utilities. If the authorities start paying attention, they’ll wonder what happened to your taxes, or where you’ve been living until last April, and what exactly your immigration status is.

Without any dots in Bureaucratic Cover, a character is at a serious disadvantage in any dealings with officialdom. You’re essentially off the grid, with no official identity, address, medical history or legal status. It’s the equivalent of being unemployed and homeless, and unable to tell anyone who you are. The authorities will tend to assume you’re either a vagrant in need of help, an illegal immigrant, a criminal trying to avoid detection, or even a spy. Careful scrutiny, interrogation and incarceration are all likely.

Personal Cover

Personal Cover is all about your human self. It’s important to build up an identity that’s strong, consistent and above all, normal. When you interact with the world, do people see a perfectly ordinary woman, or an erratic weirdo who seems to have a drug problem? The less normal you seem, the more attention and suspicion you attract.

With three dots, your persona is essentially watertight. You have a sharp picture in your mind of exactly who you “are”, with your attitudes and behaviour patterns worked out to the last detail. Everything about you is well within the bounds of normal, with a few hiccups to make you just different enough not to be unusually dull. A persona like this is usually the work of a covert ops team, or the result of long experience.

At two dots, you have a well-established human identity and a good sense of how to portray it. You have a few eccentricities that attract remark, and sometimes you slip up, but you can pass it off as being shatterbrained or just tired. People talking about you might give a wry smile or roll their eyes – depends if they like you or not – but they won’t get suspicious.

With a single dot, you have a solid persona, but it’s incomplete. Maybe it’s a quick job, too rough and ready, without any of the convincing touches that make it realistic. Acting like a walking stereotype raises eyebrows. Or maybe it’s patchy, with some strong aspects and others entirely lacking, leaving you improvising wildly. Maybe you just don’t have a handle on things, and can’t keep your attitudes and quirks straight, so you seem very erratic. This level of Cover leads to gossip, curiosity, and sometimes suspicion from those you encounter.

If a visitant has no dots in Personal Cover, they’re essentially without a human identity. They struggle to act coherently, or even normally; even when they’re being flawlessly polite, something about their manner raises red flags. Observers may react badly to them, or find them suspicious and try to summon the authorities.

Social Cover

Acting like a real human means finding yourself a place in society. Normal citizens stand in a web of connections: family, friends, lovers, ex-roommates, teachers, customers, old colleagues, fellow commuters, shops you frequent and clubs you belong to. There are people who recognise you, have some history with you, care about you. Society tends to be uneasy about loners.

At three dots, you have a rich and complex social life. It might be a hectic social whirl, or simply a strong net of familiar connections to neighbours, associates and colleagues. There are no gaps that might make you seem a little odd, and no obviously unusual connections. Anyone investigating you finds all the connections they might expect, and no more.

At two dots, you have a good set of connections, though it’s somewhat untidy. Perhaps you never got to know the neighbours when that’s usual practice in your street; maybe you don’t seem to have any family. Your connections might simply be unusually disparate, so people wonder about your history: this media darling, that old army buddy. Perhaps you’re known to hang around with a dubious crowd. Your interactions with shopkeepers might be unusually intimate or abrupt. This sort of cover might raise a detective’s eyebrow, but nothing more.

One dot represents a shaky set of connections, enough to produce gossip. Maybe you avoid your colleagues, or don’t seem to have any social life to speak of. Perhaps you associate with the wrong crowd, enough that people wonder just what you’re mixed up in. Maybe your patterns of shopping and shifting jobs seem weirdly inconsistent. If anyone looks into you, they might suspect you have social anxiety issues, or are deliberately keeping a low profile.

If you have no dots in Social Cover, you’re socially dead. Nobody identifies as your friend, your colleagues barely know you, and you just don’t seem to fit in. You have no coherent place in society, even in the small details. Those who do know you think you’re distinctly peculiar. This sort of behaviour might be seen to indicate a fugitive, a spy or serious health problems – either one may bring the authorities calling.


Mundanity is the precious state of being ordinarily extraordinary. Everyone has their own quirks, peccadillos, statistical anomalies and coincidences. It takes real work, and a lot of time, to build up a façade that’s just odd enough to be normal. Ironically, much of that artificial reality needs to be real: connections that you build up painstakingly by actually connecting. There are plenty of actual humans who don’t reach this threshold. A visitant who achieves this state is almost invulnerable to scrutiny.

Mundanity is the last dot of Cover you can gain, and the first you lose.


As this is a different game drawing on World of Darkness, here are some changes to Conditions:

Blown (persistent)

The jig is up. The authorities know your Cover is just that. They might not be actively hunting you, not yet anyway, but you can’t hide from them any longer. Even if you have multiple Cover identities, the authorities are onto you; the only way to shake them off to destroy the compromised cover. Beat: Agents of the authorities or alien hunters discover you. Resolution: Destroy your Blown Cover identity.

Betrayed (persistent)

You’ve attracted too much of the wrong kind of attention and someone you trusted can’t let that go on. The Storyteller chooses a Storyteller character you had previously considered an ally. That character betrays you to the authorities or other enemies at the worst possible time — maybe it’s a new development, maybe your “ally” was a double-agent the whole time. Your betrayer gets the 8-again rule on all rolls against you. Beat: Your betrayer does something that inconveniences you, puts you in danger, or ruins your plans. Resolution: Kill the traitor, convince them to turn on their new masters for you, or take a new Cover identity.

Hunted (persistent)

Your actions have alerted the authorities or others to your presence, and there are hunters closing in on you. The Storyteller chooses either one major antagonist (tier 4-5), 3–5 lesser threats (tier 2–3), or 10–15 mortal agents. These antagonists know where you were when you compromised your Cover and have a general description of your identity; the accuracy of their information is inversely proportional to the strength of your Cover. Their sole motivation is to hunt you down by any means necessary and destroy or capture you. Beat: The pursuers find and attack you. Resolution: Kill your pursuers or permanently lose them. Permanently losing them is probably an extended and contested action, but the particulars will depend on the context of the story.


The authorities are suspicious of you. They don't know what you are, but you are marked as a potential problem. All your interactions with bureaucracy are impeded by their close scrutiny. You suffer a -2 penalty on most interactions with officials, including law enforcement, emergency services, government and financial services. The penalty also applies on credit checks and similar reputation checks. This condition typically causes delays, unusually thorough inspections and other inconveniences. Resolution: Convince a senior agent or official organisation that you’re an ordinary human.


You’ve drawn too much attention, and just being around you is a risk to your allies. While in your presence, other visitants suffer a –2 penalty on compromises. Resolution: Gain a dot of Cover or convince a fellow visitant (player character or otherwise) to help you despite the risk.


You’re under active surveillance by enemy agents. They’re under orders just to observe for now. At the beginning of each chapter, the Storyteller rolls a dice pool equal to (10 – your current Cover rating). Successes accumulate over the course of the story. Once the Storyteller has accrued a number of successes equal to your current Cover, resolve this Condition and gain the Hunted Condition instead. Resolution: Let the Storyteller accrue successes as described above, or find and nullify the enemy’s means of surveillance. This Condition does not resolve at the end of a story, but the successes accumulated do reset to zero.

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