Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes (aka MSPE) is a role playing game released by Flying Buffalo and written by Michael Stackpole. If that name sounds familiar it may be from his various novels that he has written. Mr. Stackpole has penned several novels for Star Wars, Battletech and other series. He was also a big defender of the role playing industry when the “this game is evil” scare reared its ugly head in the 1980’s.
When I did my Character Creation Challenge entry for Top Secret, I created Secret Agent Gary King, one of the new recruits in an attempt to re-build the active agent roster for UNITY, an intelligence organization that is assisting the western powers in the 1960’s cold war. Today we are going to introduce another new recruit, Andrew Knightley. I am taking the names from characters in a favorite movie, but the characters are completely generated for the game and are not completely based upon the characters in the movie.
The attributes for characters in MSPE is Strength (ST), Luck (LK), Intelligence (IQ), Dexterity (DEX), Constitution (CON), Charisma (CHR) and Speed (SP). You roll 3d6 for the attributes and if they don’t come up with all three numbers on the same roll (example: all 3s) then you add all three rolls together for the attribute score. If the three dice all come up the same number, you roll 2d6 and add those rolls to the first set. I ended up rolling this on my CHR roll, Three 5s came up so I rolled two more dice (3 and 1) for a total of 19). After this section the RAW has me fill in some character basics such as name, race, nationality, level, description, et. The Hand to Hand adds score is determined by DEX, ST or LK while the Missile adds is only benefited by a high LK. Money uses the same 3d6 triples technique that we used to determine attributes and then timed by 1,000. Unfortunately I only rolled a total that started me out with $1100. Adventure points are a form of experience points and can be used to improve your skill levels. First-level characters start out at 0 AP.
This is a game that uses skills. Your character’s starting skill points is the is your IQ score. So Agent Knightly will have 13 skill points to spend. I liked that some skills were only attainable by higher IQ scores. However the pilot skill needing an IQ minimum of 14 with a Doctorate skill only needing an IQ of 13? How many times have we seen drunk or barely competent pilot in various shows? If I was a GM, I’d allow the pilot skill to be taken at a lower IQ (probably 12 or 13) without little convincing. As a new agent with some military background, I selected the appropriate skills. I saw some skills that could be assigned to Cate Archer in the No One Lives Forever video game series. I’ll have to write up her stats for this game.
In other RPG books, the equipment is listed pretty early in the books. In MSPE, the Provisions is in the later half of the book. When looking to equip Agent Knightly, I had to go through several pages before reaching the equipment section. Then it was mostly arms and armor. So I added what I thought would be prudent and considered the character ready to play..
With how high his CHR score is, Agent Knightley would almost be the “faceman” for the group. But he could work together or on solo missions if the need arises. The sheet is posted below.
I didn’t get a chance to go through the combat or chase rules for the game. So I’ll have to check those out later. But for the most part, the character creation process was pretty up front. It started out with a series of “Do This” steps with a “We will explain this in more detail later” response. I found this helpful when trying to create my first character for the game.
Added a livejournal (that’s still alive?) link for someone who is participating in the Character Creation Challenge. I’m still looking for other links.
Coming Up Next:
Star Trek Adventures by Modiphis