Hudson City Chronicles
Resources (Extras and Locations) provide Aid to any roll they’re called in on—you determine your result and then add the Resource die to your total. When you call on a Resource, you get to roll both of its dice at the same time you roll the rest of your pool for a Contest or Test. You need to keep track of exactly which dice these are, so use a different color or roll them separately. You can then add one or both of the Resource dice in your total for that roll, but doing so spends that die for the rest of the session, for everyone. If you use both dice in one total, that’s it for that Resource until the next session. If you used only one, the other is open for use later in the session. Resources are renewed at the start of the next session.
Multiple characters—Leads and Features—can have access to the same Resources. This shows up on the Pathways Map when several characters draw arrows to the same circle or diamond. So, Mr. Salvatore might be your friend’s dad and also your favorite art teacher who you confide in. But Mr. Salvatore’s time and energy is still limited and still represented by a total of two dice. When you spend one of those dice, it’s gone for your friend, too. Then after she calls on her dad to help, Mr. Salvatore may be tapped for both of you for that session.
What you get from your connection to Mr. Salvatore is probably different from what his daughter gets and it may be rated differently. So, you may have Mr. Salvatore (Advice, Inspiration) 2d8, while your friend—who views her father mostly as a mobile ATM who gets her out of trouble—has Daddy (Excuse, Spending Money) 2d6. But he’s still one Resource with a total of two dice to be spent per session.
You can also gain access to Resources that aren’t written down on your Lead sheet, but it costs you a Plot Point. Suppose you really could use access to your friend Sam’s Old Clunker (Privacy, Transportation) 2d8. You pay Sam a Plot Point for using up one of his car’s two dice, and you can roll it as a Resource—but since it’s not your Resource, it always defaults to a d6. This also uses dice like discussed above
People tell their bartender things they wouldn’t tell their mother, priest, therapist, or lover. His job, more often than not, is to keep the glasses full and the conversation flowing—and to shut up and listen. And with the right incentive, that information can occasionally get into the right (or wrong) hands. Sometimes it involves a slight greasing of the palm; sometimes it’s as easy as striking up the right conversation.
Specialties: Brawl, Contacts, Rumors, Therapy, Wingman
CLUB HOPPER (OR SOCIALITE)
You’ll find denizens of this sort in every bar, club, and highend establishment in every city. Often, a club hopper is simply a guaranteed partner for a dance and/or a drink. But sometimes, the right socialite on your arm means the difference between being the belle of the ball and being a social pariah. Just ask Ollie, who notoriously conveys the image he’s decided on for the night by making sure he has the right girl on his arm at every event.
Specialties: Attractive, Flirt, Public Image, Socialize,Wingman
Not all crime is violent. In fact, most is quiet and hidden in the shadows. Primarily thieves and liars, criminals get in, get the goods, and get out—often with little to no bloodshed, leaving almost no trace of their passing.
Specialties: Connected, Liar, Safecracker, Sneaky, Thievery
In the super-hero business you sometimes need someone to patch you up. Even Clark has found himself in the care of a doctor at Metropolis General now and then. Still, it’s surprisingly easy to forget how important these Extras really are, even with somebody like Dr. Emil Hamilton hanging around now and again.
Specialties: Forensics, Medicine, Research, Resources, Science, Technology
Emergency Medical Technicians and paramedics are often the first people on the scene when things get bad. Trained in rescue and medicine, they are true heroes, risking life and limb, usually without the benefit of powers to fall back on. Typically armed with only first aid supplies and a gurney, these first responders can be counted on to go well above the call of duty to save a life. They don’t have to know who you are. They don’t have to know anything other than that you need them.
Specialties: Driving, Medicine, Mental Map, Retrieval, Unflappable
We’ve all heard that we shouldn’t trust the government. Agents—like those guys that show up in broad daylight and whisk you away in a black van, never to be seen or heard from again—are usually the reason why. That’s not to say that all people who work for our government are dangerous supervillains. Quite the contrary, actually. Most of the time, they’re just doing their jobs, following the nefarious orders of some shady government official with an odd infatuation with chess.
Specialties: Investigation, Kidnapping, Security, Unflappable, Weapons
The best hackers are almost impossible to find. They cover their tracks so well that Uncle Sam couldn’t pull them out of a lineup if they gave him their Social Security numbers. If you need to get into a pesky secure network, or behind a 128-bit firewall, these are your guys (and gals!).
Specialties: Hacking, Rumors, Technology,
Sometimes a hero’s abilities come from the cutting edge gadgets he has at his disposal. Inventors—the brilliant minds behind the gear—are the makers of heroes. Or sometimes they’re the twisted villains trying to blow up the world with their toys.
Specialties: Fixer, Gearhead, Knowledge (Science), Resources, Technobabble, Technology
Insert tasteless lawyer joke here. Seriously, though, in the hero business, it’s always a good idea to have a lawyer or nine on speed dial. You never know when the long, disapproving arm of the law will catch up with you and toss you in a big nasty room with no broadband. Also, when you do the super hero shtick, you will run into lawyers on both sides of the fence. Usually, you’ll meet prosecutors trying to make vigilante justice stick on the criminals you busted—but that’s fine, as long as they don’t know it was you.
Specialties: Contacts, Law, Red Tape, Resources, Silver Tongue
There are times when even the best tech a hero—or a hero’s support staff—has at his disposal can’t give him the answer. Sometimes there are mysteries that modern—or even futuristic—science can’t explain, as hard as that is to believe. And that applies even if you’re a girl who spent four years with a Wall of Weird in her office. Call them charlatans, witches, voodoo shamans, whatever. But there are times they can get the results that you can’t.
Specialties: Lore, Magic, Research
Whether they’re using moral support or good oldfashioned guilt, some people in your life motivate you to go the distance. In some cases, motivation comes from beyond the grave, such as the memory of your mentor inspiring you to live up to his expectations, or the tragic death of a loved one driving you to vengeance.
Specialties: Courage, Inspiration, Tenacity, Training, Vengeance
Not everyone gets to have a run-in with a bona fide ninja and live to talk about it. Most think the notorious shadowy martial artists are simply fodder for comic books and cartoons. (Those same naysayers don’t hang around with super heroes.) By the time you notice a ninja’s work, they are most likely already gone, leaving only a body or two in their wake.
Specialties: Sneaky, Weapons
Nurses (and orderlies) are the eyes and ears of the healthcare industry. For all the prestige the doctors get and the adrenaline rush the EMTs thrive on, it’s the nurses that keep hospitals going. They’re not only useful for their medical knowhow. If you want to know the comings and goings of people in a hospital, you don’t ask a doctor. You ask a nurse.
Specialties: Medicine, Red Tape, Rumors, Therapy
From the small town sheriff to the city beat cop, the boys in blue are there to protect and serve us all. Armed with more than just weapons, a cop can help you track down a lead and even find a killer. Just ask Dan Turpin; the man practically bleeds blue.
Specialties: Crowd Control, Investigation, Law, Security, Weapons
Astonishingly, there is at least one politician who isn’t completely corrupt. (Although, Senator Kent does laugh at punch lines like “Her mouth is moving.”) Having the right politician in your pocket can be like finding the golden ticket. But getting on the wrong side of a corrupt one can easily make sound sleep a thing of the past.
Specialties: Contacts, Law, Publicity, Red Tape, Silver Tongue
Not everyone trusts local police with their most treasured possessions. Or, more to the point, some people have secrets so big and pockets so deep that they hire their very own police force. Sometimes little more than trained thugs, private security firms can be among the most detestable and secretive organizations you’ll come across—or some of the best friends to have at your back.
Specialties: Crowd Control, Intimidation, Retrieval, Security, Weapons
Metropolis University has a small army of talented, if beleaguered, tenured teaching staff on nearly every subject imaginable. And that’s just one university. What some professors may lack in practical applications, they more than make up for in sheer subject knowledge.
Specialties: Contacts, Knowledge (pick a subject), Red Tape, Research, Resources
Reporters know how to get the best story for tomorrow’s byline. They get into places they aren’t supposed to be. They dig and dig until they have what they want, then dig a whole lot more just to make sure. And tomorrow, when it’s the last thing you want, you’ll find your face and name plastered in print for the whole city to see. Smart move? Get a reporter or two on your side, keep the press far away from you if you can, and only use them to research things that can’t be traced back to you.
Specialties: Contacts, Investigation, Photography, Publicity, Research, Silver Tongue,
The most talented scientists usually seem to work for large corporations like LuthorCorp or Queen Industries. We try not to hold that against them—they need to put food on the table like anyone else. Some might even truly be trying to extend the boundaries of scientific knowledge. Regardless, finding someone truly dedicated to science is something akin to magic.
Specialties: Forensics, Resources, Science, Technobabble, Technology
The polar opposite of the scientist, soldiers are born and bred solely for one purpose: to make war. At least, that’s the popular movie definition. Most soldiers have families and hobbies outside of launching a new offensive. Still, there are few things scarier than a well-trained squad of veteran soldiers bearing down on your position.
Specialties: Brawl, Intimidation, Security, Tactics, Weapons
Students come in many flavors, but students of particular years tend to have some things in common. Freshmen are earnest and enthusiastic, but look for direction. Sophomores have started to hit their stride but are just as likely to switch majors or drop out. By the time you’re a junior, you’re starting to cross the burnout line. Seniors have weathered undergrad life, and know just enough to be dangerous.
Specialties: Investigation, Knowledge (pick a subject), Research, Socialize, Technology
In the dark alley of the criminal world, thugs are the scum you go to when you need to beat the living tar out of someone. When you have to sink to less than savory methods to achieve your goals, a well-placed thug can be tactical gold.
Specialties: Brawl, Intimidation, Kidnapping, Vicious, Weapons
Your Mom always told you to avoid dark allies, especially at night, but this just seems to be where stuff happens. Peppered throughout most large cities, alleys are great places to have secret one-on-ones, trap someone, or be attacked. Whether you’re the hunter or the hunted, watch your back—you never know who might be following whom.
Specialties: Crime, Dark, Dumpster, Isolated, Rumors
From sports bars serving bottles of beer to faux pubs serving too-cold ale to high-class cocktail lounges with martini menus, they all have a few things in common: low lighting, some kind of music playing, a bartender who’s wise to more than he or she is saying, and regulars that know the full story. While some are certainly friendlier than others, each is bound to have its own version of these traits.
Specialties: Crowded, Friendly, Loud, Regular Clientele, Shady
CAVES, LAIRS, AND HIDDEN SPACES
It’s going to take a little more than checking for traps to find these sorts of locations—okay, sure, super-senses might do it, but most people need to do a little research and footwork first. Either someone has gone to considerable trouble to keep them hidden, or their locations are long since forgotten. If, on the other hand, you’re taking advantage of your own cave, lair, or hidden space, watch your back! If it’s important enough to be hidden, it’s important enough for others to come looking.
Specialties: Concealed, Damp, Dark, Isolated, Security
Once upon a time, a coffee shop was a place you went for five cent cups of coffee with free refills and it only came in two forms: decaf and regular. Today, a coffee shop is as much a social occurrence as it is an adventure of caffeinated beverage choices. More often located at prime city addresses instead of roadside oddities, a Smallville-style coffee shop is going to be conveniently located, socially active, and almost always open.
Specialties: Contacts, Public, Rumors, Socialize, Therapy
This is the place you share with other team members— where you all report to train, plan, strategize, or even just meet face-to-face. This is also where your fearless leader, should you have one, will be centrally located to perform the functions of command. This is not to be confused with homebase (see below).
Specialties: Glass Furniture, Planning, Security, Tactics
Unlike Headquarters above, which is a team-shared location, a homebase is your center of operations. It could be your home, a secret location, or even a public place that is specifically important to you. This is a place you go to relax and recharge, where you feel comfortable and protected.
Specialties: Comfort, Protect, Restore, Safe
If the last thing you remember is being hit over the back of the head before waking up alone in a dimly lit room with a constant but gentle beeping noise in the background, then you’re probably in a hospital. The big clue is whether you’re restrained or not. If it seems like you can get up and move around on your own, then yeah, hospital. Usually what happens now is that a nurse, doctor, or close friend or relative will come in, tell you what they know about what happened, and convince you to stay in bed until given a clean bill of health. What you’ll probably do, however, is wait until everyone is gone, find your clothes, and sneak out of there.
Specialties: Chaotic, Crowded, Medicine, Resources, Vulnerable
IT implies any location where you are totally ITed up. It could be a government building’s T1, some hacker’s homebase, or a Radio Shack. If you need to go MacGyver on some technology, this is the sort of location where the equipment you need will be found. You can also consider this as a virtual location: a computing cloud, network server, or MMORPG that’s accessible by use of an avatar. And don’t worry too much about firewalls— while they may be just about the only form of IT defense, even the meekest seem able to leap them in a single bound.
Specialties: Breakables, Hacking, High Voltage, Information, Technology
Frankenstein, Dexter, The Brain—all had laboratories of world renown; their private place to go and conduct their experiments. If you have gone through all the trouble to build a top-notch laboratory, you aren’t just conducting any old experiments. Oh no, you’ve got something in mind, something specific. This place, be it in a first-rate educational facility, a seemingly abandoned warehouse, or your mom’s basement, holds what you need to conduct your tests, as well as all your notes on what you’ve discovered so far.
Specialties: Breakables, Experiment, High Voltage, Resources, Science!
It’s easy to forget that these places even exist anymore, but libraries remain an excellent location for quiet study and research today. In addition to all the modern information technology now available here, making your research go quicker than ever before, don’t forget about the quiet powers of the librarian. She or he holds great wisdom and the gift for knowing just how to share it.
Specialties: Librarian, Quiet, Research
Not everything is available online, not yet. Sometimes, especially if the information you want is old enough, or if it has been made to vanish from online achieves, paper files are the only way to get the information you need. And you never know what you might come across—some tidbit you weren’t even looking for—in your search. So roll up your sleeves, put on the coffee, and be wary of paper cuts. Specialties: Musty, Private, Quiet, Research
Night clubs can vary pretty widely, but there are a few characteristics they tend to have in common. There’s always a dimly-lit bar, a dance floor with contrastingly colorful lights, characteristically attractive servers, some big dudes in suits for bouncers, and music. Lots of loud music. This is the sort of place where deals go down, crimes of passion are birthed, and bad guys are caught in the act.
Specialties: Anonymity, Crowded, Loud, Publicity, Seduction
Truck stops, greasy spoons, mom and pop joints, cafés, and five-star bistros. Restaurants are an ideal, public location to meet, talk, and socialize. If you’re creating a restaurant scene, consider the type of seating: is there one long counter with a few booths along a wall of windows which anyone can clearly spy into from the outside? Or a formal location where tables are kept secluded from each other and the music is just loud enough to keep conversations private? Does this restaurant offer private rooms where business can be conducted? Is the wait staff comprised of local college kids, or professionals that know what is and is not their business?
Specialties: Contacts, Quiet, Socialize
Whether we’re talking about a one-story, low rent strip mall on the outskirts of town, or the classy three-story, high end consumer goliath complete with an amusement park in the center, shopping malls are fascinating locations. If you (or your Lead) have ever worked in one, you know there are all sorts of back rooms, hallways, and entrances the public never sees or even has a clue about. They’re also good, generally centralized locations full of innocent people not paying a lot of attention to what goes on around them.
Specialties: Crowded, Holiday Shopping, Public
In contrast to the ever popular skyscraper roof tops, way down at ground level you’ll find a plethora of highly variable locations all under one header: streets. It might be a daytime scene on a crowded city street with throngs of people passing each other by without taking stock in any activity outside their one-foot bubble; or it could be the quiet, desolate avenues long after most people have gone to bed and only night owls are found lurking under street lamps. The open streets are where you’ll find just the person you’re looking for, or someone completely unexpected.
Specialties: Crowded, Deserted, Dirty, Loud, Under Construction
TOP OF A BUILDING
Building roofs are a popular location type in Smallville— and it makes a lot of sense, really. They’re difficult to get to unless you have that certain something that can get you up there, and that allows a lot of privacy for a very select group of people. If you have the right abilities or access (or friends that do), these are great locations for conducting business best kept from the prying eyes of every day humans.
Specialties: Contacts, High, Isolated, Romantic, Windy
TRANSPORTATION (CAR, BUS, TRAIN, PLANE, ETC.)
When we’re talking about public transportation, we mean anything you can pay to ride on and get to a destination, whether specific or random. All forms will be busy during the day when commuters are taking part in their daily grind to and from their places of work, and again in the evening as entertainment venues are visited throughout the city. At night, the spooks come out and it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. And odds are every step you take will be recorded on CCTV.
Specialties: Confined, Crowded, Elevated, Fast, Subterranean
These days, if you’re in the right neighborhood you’ll have no problem finding an uninhabited home—maybe even a block of them. These can be surprisingly useful locations to hide out in, take refuge, or hide secrets. But squatters need to be careful; neighbors, the police, vandals, or realtors hosting potential buyers could drop in on a moment’s notice.
Specialties: Deserted, Private, Quiet, Restore
The proverbial “down by the docks” where stacks of shipping crates create mazes to be explored and potentially chased through. Sometimes the crates continue onto the decks of freighters docked nearby. Sometimes they continue into warehouses. This is a great place to find criminal goings on, salty sea dogs, and at least someone swimming with the fishes. Somebody’s always striking up a deal, or waiting in a car with the headlamps on, or looking nervous as they hand over contraband or information.
Specialties: Crime, Dilapidated, Isolated, Resources, Water