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Good & Evil, Incorporated



Going Undercover

This one's a classic of both police and espionage stories. For some reason, one or more of the cast has to pose as the enemy.

A full-fledged undercover story is more than just knocking out a guard and stealing a uniform or pretending to be interested in some evil merchandise. It's about how easy it is to blend in with and become the enemy, and how much like the cast they are.

For an entertaining variation, have one player's character go undercover, while the other players play the enemy crew.

Beginner's Luck

Undercover jobs always start out easy- while there may be a few scares, getting in is the easy part.

There's Always Somebody

The bulk of the enemy group usually accepts our hero right off, but someone will be suspicious- usually, someone that the undercover character is displacing. The classic example is the enemy leader's right-hand man, who's threatened by the new guy's extraordinary competence. His motive usually isn't suspicion so much as jealousy.


This is what the undercover story is really about: the undercover character getting personally involved with one of their marks. For me, personally, the classic version of this was an old episode of 21 Jump Street, but I couldn't even tell you which one.

On TV, the bonding is usually almost immediate- a spark of attraction, a life saved, finding out you were both in the war. This can work for a game, too, but you're going to want to follow up more, and the GM is going to need to be flexible about which characters the undercover protagonist gravitates towards. There's an easy cheat for this one: make all (or almost all) of the marks sympathetic. In Good & Evil, Incorporated, a good foundation for this is to look at why these characters are drawn to sorcery, or what they do with most of their lives that make the occasional hex on an ex-husband seem trivial.

Bonding has two hooks: first, there's the guilt most characters (even fairly nasty ones) will feel about inevitably betraying someone they like. Second, there's the possibility that they might not have to- at least, not totally. There should always be the slim hope that the undercover character can go back to their own side while maintaining the new relationship. Doing so is never easy, though, and trying could result in the death of the new friend, that friend becoming a deadly new enemy, or an ongoing triangle of loyalties between the protagonist, the character he bonded with, and the rest of the cast.


Trouble at Home

That Thing You Do

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Page last modified on September 26, 2005, at 12:05 PM